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Phone startled me as I was packing my bag for a trip to Manali.

It was my aunt calling, “ Raghav, can you please come here to help me? You know that Swati is getting married next month.Anuj has gone to Bengaluru for his job interview. There is no one to help me.”She sounded desperate.

“But, Isn’t uncle there to help you?” I tried my best to reason with her.

“ Your uncle ! Huh, had he been of any use I wouldn’t have asked you to come.”she retorted.

I knew there was no escape.Aunt won’t take a no for an answer.I abandoned the idea of my long-cherished trip with my friends.

“No one understands responsibility,”she grumbled,” they think I will manage. As if I have six hands.”

She expected me too to have six hands.

Anyhow,it wasn’t as bad as I had thought.Swati was full of stories about her fiancé and kept me enthralled with the anecdotes of his idiosyncrasies.

And friends who frequented their house kept me sane  Especially the girl who visited twice or thrice under the pretext of helping aunt and Swati.

She wafted like a whiff of fragrant air.Her bashful expression and light brown eyes mesmerised me.
She was damn cute and I had a feeling that she too had a crush on me as she hovered around me.

“ Who is this girl ?” I couldn’t resist asking my aunt.

”Who? Ruhi ? She lives in the neighbourhood. Nice girl.” She answered casually and gave me another list of tasks to be done.

I often saw her smiling at me in a strange intimate way. I thought it would be rude not to answer back and so I gave my best friendly smile to her.

 Who can  resist the charm of a femme fatale.

“Will you care to come with me?”She almost dragged me one day finding me alone in the room.

She seemed exasperated with my behaviour. I wondered what was wrong.

I was intrigued, but couldn’t resist the temptation of accompanying her.

She immediately shed her gentle demeanour and almost roared ,” Have you talked to your mom about us?”  

I tried to grasp the situation and blurted out,”What?”

That incensed her even more.

She kept her hand firmly on my mouth “Now listen,I don’t want to hear a single excuse, Anuj.I can’t wait any longer. My parents have already finalised a match for me.  If you won’t talk to your mom,I will.”

I tried to speak,”I don’t want to hear your usual nonsense about not getting a job.Enough is enough.” She declared.

She was about to go off in a huff when reality finally dawned on me . I blurted out. “ I am not Anuj. I am Raghav.”

“ What ! Oh my God !” She stood there stupefied. She blushed the deepest shade of crimson.

She had certainly heard about Anuj’s cousin. But had no idea that his cousin was his identical twin, adopted by his mom’s sister.


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