I had issues with slow internet here so I couldn’t upload last night. For any given update day, if I don’t update till 10:00 pm IST, kindly don’t wait for it. I will then update next day morning, whenever I get time and opportunity.

Overwhelmed with response to this blog and this new story. Love you all so much. I have tried to reply to everyone on chapter 1. I felt like I should welcome everyone here 🙂

Thanks for being there. Stay blessed. Stay safe.

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A tear dropped over her mehendi-adorned hand to be smudged under her haath-chura. Nandini’s maasi fastened the beautiful diamond studded haath-chura at her wrist after taking each chain extending from rings in different fingers. Her tear caught maasi’s attention and she looked up at her niece’s pretty face, decked in light makeup, completely lost and distraught now.

“Oh, dear! Please don’t cry. You’ll spoil your make up.” Maasi took her kerchief to touch at the edge of Nandini’s eyes, taking care not to smudge her kohl.

“Maasi, I don’t want to get married.” Nandini sobbed.

Maasi could understand her. She sighed, “Look beta, you are alone in this big world and too young to face the harshness that it brings along. You are only 25 years old. And have already suffered so much. I wouldn’t have sent you off with anyone who came with a proposal, but this is the doctor uncle’s family. Dr. Malhotra’s son Manik is also a doctor. And the best part is that he is settled in Innsbruck. You will go to Austria after marriage and forget this city, this place, this part of your life forever.”

“This is something that troubles me the most. I don’t want to spoil someone’s life. Doctor uncle is too kind and loves me as he has seen me for years. But what is Manik’s fault?” Nandini asked, teary-eyed, and with a choked throat.

“What was your fault? None. These things are destined to happen. Get past them.” Maasi suggested, “Aren’t you happy?”

“Happy??” Nandini sighed, “Maasi, you know how I feel about marriage. I don’t even think of marriage. I never wanted this but since you wanted me to, so I…”

“Yes. I wanted to see you settled and happy.” Maasi said, “I have family who doesn’t approve of you staying here. I can’t leave you alone and I don’t know how to convince others to not disturb you constantly, after the allegations on you. I am always worried for you. And when Dr. Malhotra said that he wanted you and Manik to get married, I was really relieved and happy. Manik seems to be a nice guy.”

“I hope he knows about me,” Nandini wondered, “This marriage was fixed in such haste. Just 2 days?! We haven’t met each other. What if he is being forced or emotionally blackmailed into agreeing with doctor uncle’s wishes?”

“Hmm. That can be an issue.” Maasi agreed, “Do you want to talk to him?”

“Can I?” Nandini asked.

“You can if you are feeling so anxious. Maybe, talking to him clarifies your doubts.”

Maasi gave her a phone and stood up to open the first drawer of her side table, where she had placed a small card where she had noted down Superna’s phone number. Since Manik didn’t stay in India, Dr. Malhotra had told her that Manik was using Superna’s number while he was here on this trip.

Nandini dialed the phone and waited for the call to ring with bated breath.

Manik had been tying his shoes’ laces after Superna left him. She had tried hard to convince him against this marriage but all in vain. When the phone rang, he looked at the screen for a moment and answered it.

“Hello,” He spoke in his typical, heavy, throaty baritone, and introduced himself since the phone belonged to his mother, “hey, this is Dr. Manik Malhotra.’

“Hi. I’m Nandini. Nandini Murthy.” She softly said her name.

Manik frowned and pressed his lips. ‘Was she supposed to call him?’ No one had told him about it. ‘Was he supposed to call her? And when he didn’t, she had to call?’

He wondered if he was missing something. Not expecting her call, at this moment, he didn’t know what to say to her. He cleared his throat, loud enough for her to hear, and said, “Um…yeah… Nandini?”

“Is this the right time to talk to you?” She asked as a routine. Her job as an accountant at a book store had taught her to be polite with every call and ask permission before continuing any discussion.

Manik replied, “I guess, this IS the right time to talk. As after some time, we will be already married.”

“I’m not sure why you agreed for this marriage at such a short notice but it is only justified that I should tell you some things about me, that perhaps you have no idea about.” She blurted it out in one sentence. Her heavy ear-rings and nose-pin had started disturbing her. She had never liked bridal wear, ever. In fact, she hated it. Her previous experience was a disaster so she hated everything related to marriage – the trousseau, the make-up, the jewellery, and every ritual – she hated them all.

Manik fixed his phone between his ear and his shoulder and freed his hands to tie his laces, as he said, “What if I tell you that I know everything about you?”

“Everything? You mean, doctor uncle told you everything?” Nandini couldn’t believe it.

“Mmm…I guess, the fact that you were married before, but had a bad marriage, and that everyone around you died quite early in life, and that you are alone in life constitutes ‘pretty much’ everything about you!”

It was unbelievable to Nandini that Manik knew almost everything about her and was actually nonchalant about the entire thing. She couldn’t fathom why would anyone be okay with all these things.

She asked, “And why would you agree to get married to a woman with such history? We haven’t even met each other so it’s not about liking someone. Are you being pressurized?”

“Not in the least.” Manik raised his other leg to tie the lace.

“Then?”

“Well… I have my own reasons. And don’t ask me, as I am not going to tell you.” Manik stood straight after finishing his job, now looking at the grave face in the mirror.

“Such strong reasons, that you don’t care who you are getting married to?”

“Yes.”

Nandini sighed, “I cannot give you anything in this marriage. I am done with this system of connecting men and women.”

“Same here. I’m glad that you won’t be expecting anything in return.”

“Is this why you said – ‘yes’…?”

“Of course! My parents are after my life to get me married and I’m just not interested. I never will be.”

Nandini took a long, dead pause and said, “I’m evil, ominous… and very dangerous. People around me die mysteriously.”

Manik smirked, “Are you trying to threaten me?”

“I’m trying to warn you – I am a witch.”

“Bring it on!” He swayed his jawline.

“I will never be sharing any dark secrets of mine. I will never tell you what I am doing and why. I am sinister.”

“So, are we getting married?” He asked.

“It’s up to you to decide. I have added more to ‘everything’ that you knew.”

“I got that.” Manik sighed, “But before we get married, I want to remind you that you know nothing about me, Nandini. Do you want to know more?”

She frowned and winced, “I don’t care.”

“Neither do I. So, that’s good.”

“Before disconnecting, I want to add one more thing…”

“What?” He asked.

“I’m a lesbian.”

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49 thoughts on “Love, Lies, Etc. Chapter 2: Secrets We Have

  1. Part 2 – Her answer cracked me. ROFL. She was trying to instigate him to cancel this marriage at any cost. But all got in vein. But the convo was interesting. He too seemed surprised with her pestering. So both never expected anything from this marriage and just dodge off pestering from their family. And they were entering into a deal of marriage of not expecting anything from each other.

    Madhuri53

  2. Nandini be Kya kya nahi kaha manik ko ki wo us se shadi na Kare. Really nandini is a unique piece

  3. the way nandu thought of him and the is the concern she has for him to know her past…. is so sweet i thought first as her mom in law described like she wasnt that girl…. but later whn she called and told him… i was so shocked n i strted laughing in the middle of d nite during work break… my god is she threatening him that is a lesbian to back out of this marraiage… hahaahaaaa i cant stop laughing wnaa see his reaction…

  4. Hahaha😂😂😂. This is interesting. Cute Nandu , couldn’t think of anything else to persuade Manik to not to marry her. I am sure Manik will not fall for it.

  5. Wt lesbian really this is epic 😂😂😂
    And “I am trying to warn you – I am a witch” this damn loving this their first phone conversation is lit can’t wait for next encounter so excited💃🤩

  6. Okay u literally dropped the bomb on us dii by the last line😂😂😂😂 My reaction was like shit Wth🙈😂 but i m still thinking why Manik is ready for the marriage even though he knows everything about her🧐also the way she was trying to threaten him with i m witch and all🤣🤣and last me bomb fod diya mast vala👻i m sure usko shadi se mana karne ke liye hi kaha hoga but now i want to see his reaction😂waiting for next one💃🏻

  7. if she had been a lesbian…that would be the first thing she would have told to deter him lols….i had such a laugh reading when she goes i am evil and dark and then i am a witch…and then the last bomb…i can’t wait to read manik’s reaction..i bet he will laugh out loud…he will just be amused or relieved either ways considering how nonchalant he is about the whole thing:)…a real fun update!..thank you

  8. This is interesting and ur stories are so different.. T&T arranged marriage but MaNAn met each other & knew about each other’s traits to great extent and they were attracted to each other very soon.. BEB arranged marriage , ManAn knew each other but not in real sense knowing .. now the slow burn and steady attraction towards each other ❤️and now this.. arranged marriage where MaNan know that this marriage is nothing but just as another formality where both don have intentions to make a any connect in near future annnnnddddd it wil be interesting to see THEM breaking each other’s walls and finding love 💕💕

  9. Ohhh….so she is trying to evade the marriage and using all the tricks.I AM A LESBIAN ,hahaha,this had me in splits. Waiting for the next update Di.
    Take care.Stay safe.

  10. 😂😂😂 what a great start to their first interaction!
    She thinks he will back off by her scaring him lol no way, they both seem so stubborn, but have Arun you side to them which is always amazing!

    Honestly thank you for trying so hard to post every single day and you just do it for all of us and ask nothing back in return.
    Love you for that Manita
    🥰😘

  11. I don’t know, i was so serious and 😳😳when I read nandini’s ” I am a lesbian statement” Here everyone is laughing over that! Tbh I toh believed nandini 🙈🙈 and thought di I didn’t signed up for this 🙈🤣🤣🤣

  12. Whhhhaatttttttt????
    Aiyooo im laughing 😂
    This is prolly one of a very few stories that hAd managed to interest nd inspire me within frst 2 chaps

  13. So they don’t expect anything from each other!! And nandini’s blackmail 😂😂 I am witch, sinister 😂😂🤣🤣 manik in future don’t cry or complain abt ur wife coz she has clearly warned u 😝😝

  14. Woah !! Should I laugh or be serious? Well,I need to wait for two days to find it out. Loving the suspence already ❤️

  15. Can’t make the head or tail out of their actions…..and it is making the story nore intriguing…Not that I am complaining. Loving the update di.

  16. Wow!! Liked the story already M!!
    Pretty much ur stories start with friction between the main leads and that adds spice to the story. Last line made me laugh!! Reminded me of T&T nandhini and manik first meet .
    Thank you M for writing such stories. These really divert our mind from the CoVID. I think you really enjoy writing and thats why you are able to do 2 stories at the same time. And we love your writing so anywhere,anytime we are there to read!!!
    Take care. Stay safe. Love you.

  17. Now this is really interesting. I know why Nandini said that coz she doesn’t want Manik to touch her in any way. May be bad past.

  18. Lesbian😂😂
    I am sure this is just to shoo him off, or may be not🤔
    Only Manita knows!!!

  19. superb update.. i’m really thrilled
    is nandu really a lesbian 🙊🙊🙊
    or she is threatening him… i loved this manik’s version 😍😍😍😍… waiting for nxt update eagerly

  20. Totally in love with love, lies, etc like all other stories di. Trust me when I say this but reading your stories make me forget the characters I mean it doesn’t matter if it Manan or any other character. All of your stories have the same charm and vibe, it just attracts me and makes me addictive.
    All I can say for now is that this story is going to be very different from all your other stories.
    The previous stories has always had nandini being the outspoken one but here I feel it’s the opposite. It’s Manik who is more of an extrovert with of course lots of hidden secrets
    I am dying to read more. Will wait till Tuesday.
    Thank you for making this quarantine survivable. We all owe you one.
    Take care.

  21. The last line made me cracked up😂🤣..I’m desperately waiting to know wat was Manik’s reaction lol.. That’s so hilarious..hahaha..n Thanks for the quicker updates..Tc

  22. Seriously lesbian… 😂😂
    I’m sure this is just to stop the marriage…
    Eagerly waiting for next update…
    This is getting interesting…
    Amazing update as always…
    Thanks for the update 🤗🤗

  23. Wow what a beautiful portrayal of manan in this fiction..just loving them…so curious..is she threatening him by saying she’s lesbian or what is she upto…I just love it..it gives me so much thrill to read this story.. thanku di..for making us always happy by the beauty of your story… immensely grateful to you…I don’t know just a word “thank you” is not enough to show the love what we have for you and your stories..

  24. Okay!!! Now that was Unexpected
    Or Nandini is telling him lies to make him reject her.

    Now I really want to know manik’s reaction.

    Eagerly awaited the next

  25. Woahhhhh!!!!!! That was something..Nandu…is a lesbian😱😮.. Ohhh, Manita di… Ek hi Story me itne saare twists. Wow… This is amazing… I really liked the concept and it’s very intriguing. I am sure there will be much more to this and I will have to wait for that.
    Thanks you for the update.
    I am quarantined at some hotel…. As I am back to my Hometown, Manali.. it’s green Zone and I have come from chandigarh..red zone 😅 So your updates are blessings.!! 😍😍
    Well they always are😄
    Stay happy!!!

    1. Aww… I can understand your state of mind, dear. I wish you a happ and healthy stayover. These 14 days will pass soon.
      And wow, Manali is your hometown. Cool, ya!!

  26. I cant get over 4m the last word a lesbian🙄🙄 how on the earth even that possible, ohk im dying to read the nxt part nd more.. they are jst tooo perfect 4 each other😉.. what shd i say about the writying, u r hands down the best in the field🤩🤩 nd i love too read more…

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