Chapter 27: More Birthday Surprises
Ishaani and Ranveer came over to their floor lobby and the former gave the latter a mischievous smile. Ranveer on the other hand, gave her an unsure look.
"Sunny, don't tell me you have a third surprise in tow now."
"It's not that much of a surprise actually." Ranveer stared at Ishaani for a few moments and could see that she was uncertain.
"Are you nervous?" Ishaani shrugged her shoulders and gave him an unsure look.
"I don't know, I just feel... anxious. I just hope that you like it."
"If you've decided to surprise me, I'm sure that it must be good." Ranveer gave Ishaani a reassuring smile and she brought out a blindfold that she had tied on her hand.
"Turn around then, I want to blindfold you." Ranveer cocked his eyebrow up in question while she impatiently put her hand on her hip.
"I want to play a game." Ranveer threw her a suspicious look and she returned the same pair of innocent eyes as reply.
"Feeling the aura. And you know, this time there is something interesting as well. Guess all the things correctly and you will have an extra surprise gift as well." Ranveer gave her a shrewd look and smirked.
"Why do I get the feeling that this surprise is totally going to be worth it, especially that extra gift you have for me?" Ishaani smiled notoriously as she threw the blindfold over Ranveer's eyes. Guiding him slowly towards their room, she opened the door and pushed him inside.
Ranveer at once felt a delicious aroma enter his nose, something he knew that was impossible to find in this part of the world, yet the aroma that he was getting had to be it. He felt astounded as he asked Ishaani slowly.
"Samosas?" Ishaani smiled and replied.
"Made them myself." Ranveer felt his jaw drop him surprise and he turned around in the direction of her voice.
"Yeah. What do you think we have a kitchen in the suite for?" Ranveer clicked his tongue impatiently while Ishaani laughed at him openly.
"But how did you learn to cook?"
"I did need to eat something to survive for three years, you know. And outside food was getting boring. So I learnt how to cook."
"Wow..." Ranveer laughed before he could stop himself and Ishaani gave him a dirty look, even though she knew he could not see her.
"Laugh like that one more time and I swear-"
"Alright, alright. I guessed one thing right. What's next?" Ranveer cut her statement abruptly, afraid to get on the receiving end of an angry Ishaani. Ishaani smiled in apparent satisfaction and continued.
"Well, there's a bit of change in this game. Back in the library, you made me guess things based on the aura. Here, I make you guess things based on aroma." Ranveer let out a cry of indignant disapproval while Ishaani tried to control her laughter.
"Hey, that's not fair!"
"Everything's fair in love and war. And it's a bit of both over here." Ranveer smiled at her statement sweetly and Ishaani chuckled nervously.
"Hmmm. Well, alright. Getting back on task." Ranveer sniffed the air and spoke softly. "Apart from the yummy samosas, I smell something very flowery about the room. Rose petals about?"
"Very good, that's two in your pocket." Ranveer smiled happily and Ishaani couldn't help but stare at him affectionately. "Two down, four more to go."
"Oho! That was quick. Okay-" Ranveer walked ahead blindly and suddenly felt something cold and creamy brush against his trailing fingers. He felt Ishaani steer him away roughly from it but it was too late.
"That's the kitchen, silly. You don't want to be eating those samosas right now."
"Oh, wait a moment. I felt my hand touch something cold. Is that ice-cream?" Ishaani groaned inwardly and replied grudgingly.
"Damn it. Yes." Ranveer gave a pleasant look and tried to guess astutely.
"Then there must be tea alongside as well?"
"4 down, two to go." Ranveer did a fist-pump in the air as he felt Ishaani growl softly at the things being guessed so quickly.
"Oh yeah. Who's Mr. Awesome now?" Ranveer felt a smack behind his head and sobered down instantly. "Ow! Alright, sorry." Ishaani rolled her eyes at him and spoke cunningly.
"Want to guess the remaining two things?"
"Oh yeah." Ishaani lead Ranveer ahead for some time before she twirled him around twice. Ranveer felt a something funny hit his face. In that moment, he managed to get a sniff of what had hit him and he quickly turned around, asking tentatively.
"Balloons and streamers?" Ishaani threw her hands up in the air in frustration while Ranveer remained unaware of her reaction. Ishaani replied in an exasperated voice.
"Oh yeah. Damn, you are really good at this!"
"I know I am." Another smack on his back got him working again while Ishaani rolled her eyes at him.
"Last one and you get your surprise gift." Ranveer's tone suddenly turned silky and he spoke huskily.
"Okay. Now I'll be taking a bit of detour over here, given that I want my gift really badly. Is it a cake?" Ishaani quickly caught on to his tone, and smiled seductively to herself.
"Yes. You win." Throwing his fist in the air, Ranveer was about to pull the blindfold off, when Ishaani caught hold of his hand. "Wait, don't you want your surprise?"
"Then keep the blindfold on." Ranveer suddenly felt Ishaani leading him backwards, until he felt his back hit a wall.
"Ishaani, what are you up to?" Ishaani stared at his flustered face and spoke softly, her voice a silky whisper.
"What happened, sweetie? I'm just giving you your gift." She could feel Ranveer giving her a charming look through the blindfold and could see his lips turning into a playful smile.
"I can feel something good coming my way." Ranveer now gave a very mischievous look in Ishaani's direction and Ishaani put Ranveer's arms over her waist while she put her own over his shoulders.
"Then just keep feeling."
Ishaani crashed her lips over his own, their lips meeting and parting away like old friends meeting regularly. This time, Ishaani and Ranveer felt much more at ease and kissed each other with a fluency that came with easy grace. Ranveer let his lips wander about Ishaani's neck daringly while Ishaani simply let him continue his ministrations before Ranveer came back up and claimed her lips once again. Smiling against his lips, Ishaani gave him one, final peck before they separated and Ishaani pulled off the blindfold from Ranveer's eyes.
Ranveer gave her an overwhelmed look and stuttered for a few moments.
"Whoa... that went better than I expected it to go." Ishaani gave him a desirable look and spoke in a meaningful tone.
"Don't get your hopes all up, mister. You are not getting any more surprises tonight." Ranveer pouted his lips in mock disapproval and Ishaani stuck out her tongue in his direction.
"Hmmm, that's a pity. But no problem. I think I'm kind of dazed with the ones that you've given me already." Both of them smiled at each other and Ranveer stared about the room with an impressive smile on. The entire room was strewn with rose petals, and balloons and streamers hung about gracefully that made the room look even more magnificent.
"Let's cut the cake. Then we can have our little party as well." Ranveer smiled at her and moved towards the center of the living room where the cake stood. It was a fruit cake, Ranveer's favorite flavor. Ishaani lit the candles up and began singing the happy birthday song and Ranveer smiled and blew the candles, shutting his eye in a silent prayer. Cutting the cake, he fed Ishaani a piece of it and Ishaani did the same.
Ishaani quickly cleared up the cake from the living room and returned back from the kitchen after ten minutes with a tray carrying a plate of samosas, two cups of tea and two bowls of ice-cream. Setting it on the table, she sat down and offered Ranveer the plate of samosas while Ranveer happily accepted one. Taking a bite from it, Ishaani stared at Ranveer's face keenly before he gave her an astounded look.
"These are amazing! I can't believe you actually made them!"
"Well, I'm glad that I learnt to cook well enough."
"But I don't understand. When did you make them?"
"When you were asleep."
"How come I didn't get the smell?"
"I made sure to camouflage the smell with the air freshener. I'd made sure to tell the bell boy and the housekeeping to make the plate of samosas warm from the fridge when they came over to decorate the room."
"I must say, that was some ingenious planning on your side. You've really set the bar of celebrating birthdays really high."
"Ah, there's nothing like that. It's just, three years back, it was always you who took the initiative for surprises and stuff. I wanted to break the trend." Ranveer smiled at her and spoke gently.
"This story has been pretty interesting of ours up until now, hasn't it?"
"Speaking of which, when did you learn to cook such wonderful food?"
"Well, just like you, I too managed my low time with cooking." Ranveer remembered the time when he'd made Ishaani soup and chuckled slowly.
"Well, let's just say I loved the surprise and even more, these samosas. They're indeed one of the best I've eaten in ages. But why did you think that I won't like this surprise?" Ishaani gave him a guilty look.
"I don't know, I just hopes that it would not remind you of darker times."
"Now, now, Sunny, you are forgetting the sixth rule in my first aid. Never re-open old wounds."
"Oh yes. My bad." Ishaani gave Ranveer a sheepish look and they silently ate the samosas, sipping along their cup of tea. After 10 minutes, they took their bowls of butterscotch ice-cream and began eating spoonfuls. Ranveer now turned his attention towards Ishaani and raised his eyebrow in question.
"Just out of curiosity, how did you get the idea of this whole snack party?" Ishaani looked slightly embarrassed and spoke quickly.
"Back when we were kids, Kaka would always bring you samosas for your birthday and Kaki would make the loveliest cup of tea to go with it. That used to be your birthday gift. And a cup of ice-cream with me would be the cherry on the cake. So I thought, why not might as well have Kaka and Kaki's love and blessings on your birthday in an indirect way? You haven't met them in three years but you've fulfilled all your duties as a son even from this long a distance. So I only felt it right for you to have a part of their love and blessings on this day. Afterall, our parents' blessings and love will always remain unparalleled."
Ranveer stared at her stunned for a moment before he spoke slowly.
"I just realized something." Ishaani threw him a confused look.
"What is that?"
"I just fell in love with you all over again." Ishaani smiled and Ranveer took her hand in his own while Ishaani rested her head over his shoulder.
"Did you like your surprises?"
"Totally. And just so you know, you are the most amazing person I've ever met. Insanely mental at times, yes, but still amazing." Ishaani separated herself and gave him a playful punch on his shoulder while she took away the empty dishes and deposited them in the sink. Sitting back on the sofa, she let Ranveer cuddle her and rubbed her head over his chest comfortably, a small yawn escaping her lips.
"Thank you for making this day so special."
Ishaani gave Ranveer a peck on his lips and grinned goofily while Ranveer gave her a loving look. Settling her head back over his chest, she sighed contentedly and shut her eyes as Ranveer gently began stroking her head. He continued to stroke her head for some time before he knew that she had fallen asleep. Letting out a yawn of his own, he cuddled Ishaani securely within his arms before he felt his interrupted sleep reclaim him once again.