The constant pounding of the door woke him up. He ignored it at first, sleep clouding the source of the irritating noise. There was a long pause and a thick silence fell over the bedroom.
Shivaay Singh Oberoi, Elite number 6 in Kolkata woke up to find the early morning light washing over the room, softening the masculine room with a golden glow.
He lay back on the headboard, eyes closed, until the pounding began again.
Shivaay’s eyes opened and he shouted at the door, prepared to terrify the unwelcome visitor into leaving him alone at this unearthly hour. He threw a shirt on himself, and opened the door with a hard vicious pull.
His twin brother, Mahi stood before him, completely dressed and neat as always. He stood outside the door as though it was normal to meet his brother every day at dawn. Shivaay scowled and Mahi laughed.
Mahi : So you’re certainly not a morning person.
Shivaay : What on earth could possibly bring you here at the crack of dawn, Mahi? I’m tired and wanted some sleep.
Mahi smiled knowingly.
Mahi : So, rumours of Actress Natasha and you being together aren’t just rumours are they?
Shivaay walked into the washroom and began splashing water on his face.
Shivaay (rolling his eyes) : Tell me why you’re here before I throw you out for being an annoying younger brother.
Mahi (chuckling) : Ah, Shivaay Singh Oberoi, Elder twin by 15 minutes, The main Elite number 6…. As it happens, That’s the reason I’ve come here at this moment.
Shivaay lifted his head to meet his brother’s gaze as droplets of water coursed down his face.
Mahi : You see, Shivaay, it appears that we have a sister.
Shivaay : A half sister?
Shivaay looked at his attorney, a small bespectacled man of about 50. He waited for the man to get over his nervousness and tell him about the circumstances.
Shivaay had perfected the intimidation tactic in business meetings, poker rooms and other places across Kolkata and expected that it would work quickly to get the little man talking.
He was correct.
Attorney : Well… Mr…
Shivaay : Oh, For God’s sake, spit it out, Pandey! I haven’t got all day.
Pandey (wiping the sweat from his brow) : Yes, Mr Oberoi. The fact is your mother…
Shivaay : Our mother, if you could call the unloving shrew by such a word abandoned us several years ago, more than two decades at least. What on Earth does she have to do with this? How do you even know if this girl is our sister? Maybe she’s simply trying to latch on to the Elite.
Pandey : Excuse me, Mr Oberoi, but she has no reason to lie. Her father was an extremely wealthy Italian merchant. She has her own money. She does not need yours.
Shivaay (surprised) : She’s half Italian?
Pandey : Not exactly, Mr Oberoi. Her father’s father was an Indian who settled in Italy after marrying an Italian, I suppose. Her name is Swara Alessandra Bose.
Mahi : Swara Alessandra Bose? She sounds like quite a woman.
Shivaay (succintly) : So, If she is wealthy, Why is she here? She’s not a minor, is she?
Pandey : No, Mr Oberoi. She’s 21. Her father wished for her to be near family, and so she’s come here even though she wanted to remain in Italy with her friends. Apparently, her father said that your mother promised him that Swara would be family to you both. That you’ll never turn away… blood.
Shivaay looked at his brother with an ironic smile.
Shivaay : Hypocritical, Isn’t it? To be told that we have a familial obligation by someone who never cared about that herself?
The solicitor did not pretend to misunderstand the comment.
Pandey : I agree, Mr Oberoi. But this girl is very sweet. She’s here and I don’t know what to do with her.
Shivaay : Why did she come to you before coming to us, Pandey? Why a solicitor?
Pandey : It’s not that easy to gain access to the Elite. She knew she would have to prove that she was half Oberoi before being allowed to stand next to you.
Shivaay nodded curtly.
Mahi : Alright, Pandey, Bring her in. I would like to meet this woman who has you so entranced.
Shivaay : Mahi! I’m still the elder brother, Aren’t I?
Mahi (nodding) : Ofcourse. But you won’t turn away blood, Would you? If she’s our sister, She is.
Mahi was, of course, correct. Shivaay Singh Oberoi would not deny his sister, regardless of his deep desire to do so. Raking a hand through his black hair, Shivaay wondered at the anger that still flared at the thought of his mother, whom he hadn’t seen in decades.
She had been married at a young age—barely twenty—and had borne twin sons within a year. She had left 8 years later, escaped from India, leaving her sons and their father in despair.
For any other woman, Shivaay would have felt sympathy, would have understood her fear and forgiven her desertion. But he had witnessed his father’s sorrow, felt the pain that the loss of a mother had caused. And he had replaced sadness with anger. It had been years before he was able to speak of her without a knot of fury rising in his throat.
And now, to discover that she had destroyed another family, the wound was refreshed. That she would bear another child—a girl no less—and leave her to a life without a mother infuriated him.
Of course, his mother had been correct; he would do right by his family. He would do what he could to atone for her sins. And perhaps that was the most maddening part of this whole situation—that his mother still understood him. That they might still be connected.
Shivaay : Ask her to come in. Where is she?
Pandey : I believe she is in the outer corridor. I shall go fetch her.
Shivaay stood as the door opened, his eyes narrowing as he met the eerily familiar brown gaze leveled at him from across the room.
Mahi : Oh God!
Shivaay mirrored his brother’s reaction exactly. Other than her eye colour, Swara seemed to be all Oberoi. Though the twins had inherited their father’s coloured eyes and Swara, her father’s, she shared the twins’ strong jaw and dark, curling hair. She was the image of their mother—tall and lithe and lovely, with an undeniable fire in her gaze. Shivaay cursed beneath his breath.
Mahi recovered his wits and smiled charmingly at the young woman.
Mahi : Good morning, Miss Bose. I hope I can call you Swara? I am Mahi Singh Oberoi and this here is OUR brother, Shivaay Singh Oberoi. We are Elite number 6 in Kolkata.
Swara smiled and nodded gracefully before attempting to talk in Hindi.
Swara : Good morning. I’m sorry. I knew the two of you were brothers but I did not expect.. I don’t know the word in hindi for twins.
Mahi : Judwaa? No one does.
He smiled crookedly and Swara smiled again.
Pandey : Well, Mr Oberoi… I can take my leave then?
Shivaay (coldly) : Leave Pandey, Before you drown in your nervousness.
The man couldn’t move fast enough as he scurried away after whispering a hasty good bye to Swara and Mahi. Shivaay turned to his sister who was looking at him with a mix of fascination and skepticism.
Swara : Mr Oberoi…
Shivaay : Please, Call us Shivaay and Mahi.
Swara (nodding) : Shivaay then. May I please leave?
Shivaay : Ofcourse. One of the servants will take your belongings to your room. Mahi will show you the way.
Swara : Non, I mean no. I would like to go back to Milan. I don’t wish to stay in India. I have no idea why Papa asked me to meet you both.
Shivaay raised and eyebrow as he perused her indignant posture.
Shivaay : Who do you have over there? Any family?
Swara : No. But I do have my friends. They’ll be happy to help me until I get settled.
Shivaay shook his head firmly.
Shivaay : I’m sorry, But I can’t let you go then.
Swara (in a frustrated voice) : But I can’t stay here in… India.
Mahi (amused) : You are half-Indian, My sister.
Swara’s eyes flashed, her brown eyes almost golden.
Swara : I choose to be Italian though.
Shivaay (smiling slowly) : You certainly have the famous Italian temper but you look exactly like our mother.
Shivaay almost missed the sadness and pain that flashed in her eyes before it settled on an outraged expression.
Swara : Don’t ever say that again. Our mother was a soulless woman who…
She struggled against saying more. Shivaay understood that it wasn’t only Mahi and himself who had suffered, but his young sister as well. He offered her a genuine smile and spoke gently.
Shivaay : I see you despise the woman as well.
Swara : I am 21. You can’t ask me to stay here if I don’t want to.
Shivaay handed over a sheaf of papers that were in his hands.
Shivaay : In this, Your father has given me custody of you until you get married. It clearly states that you are not to depart for Italy under any cause.
Swara : But.. I’m over 20. How can you have custody of me? Besides, I have no intention of marrying. My college in Italy starts in January. I need to go there before then.
Shivaay : There are colleges here as well, My dear. By the way, What do you mean by you won’t marry?
Swara’s eyes hardened.
Swara : To marry someone, You need to love them. I am not capable of loving anyone. I have my mother’s blood in me.
Mahi : But that’s nonsen…
Swara : Maybe, But I have no wish to hurt others.
Shivaay went to her, his decision made. He placed a palm on her cheek and she looked at him, her eyebrows raised.
Shivaay : You are our sister. We would like to get to know you. Why don’t you give us a chance? It’s August now. Your college begins in January. That gives us four months. At the end of four months, If you still want to leave, you can.
Swara stood for a long time thinking, and then nodded.
Swara : Alright Shivaay. That sounds like a good plan. But I will leave, don’t be sure that I’ll stay here.
The two brothers chuckled and Swara was escorted to her room by a footman.
Mahi turned to Shivaay and frowned.
Mahi : This wil become a huge scandal if we don’t introduce her to scoiety.
Shivaay : It may become a scandal anyways. A young, half Italian beauty, sister to the Oberois? A christian girl will never belong between the Bengalis unless we try and groom her.
Mahi : If we want Swara to be accepted in the Elite, Our reputations will have to be clean as well. We should be immaculate from now on.
Shivaay bit a curse as he realised Mahi was right. His companionship with Natasha would have to come to an end.
Shivaay : She cannot be allowed to suffer any more. It seems our treachourous mother has hurt Swara more than she did us.
Mahi : So you caught the brief flash of sadness too then? I wondered if you would.
Shivaay : She’s our sister now and we will protect her with all we can.
Mahi : She has to learn our customs and practices.
Shivaay : She will. We will find someone to teach her the ways of our society. That someone can also help us ensure Swara’s acceptance in the Elite.
Mahi : She’ll never be completely accepted. But.. As long as she’s not the subject of gossip, I concur. Who will teach her though?
Twin gazes locked. Held. Their determination matched, their commitment equal.
But Shivaay was the elder. His words left no words for question.
Shivaay : I shall find someone.
I’m so sorry to post this so late. But it will be slow updates until December 10th… After that, I will be more regular..
Do leave ur opinions..
Hope you like it 🙂 🙂