SHIVIKA – TEMPTING MR OBEROI
Heyy everyone, I hope you liked the previous post… Thnxx for comments and to my silent readers as well
Shivaay and Natasha’s conversation
Annika : You really think that baggy coat will be enough?
Seema aunty just glared at her and refused to answer.
Annika (sighing) : Please, Seema aunty. You know I can’t do this without you.
Seema : You shouldn’t be doing this at all.
Annika : I just want to try fencing. It’s not fair that the only club which offers it doesn’t allow women. Who says women can’t fence anyways?
Seema : The club does. Annu, This is taking adventure a bit far, You know.
Annika looked at herself in the mirror and bit her lip. Her hair was done in a bun and she had on a men’s wig. Her br*asts were bound tightly by crepe bandage, which hurt like hell but she knew she could endure it. To make sure no one could find out she was indeed a girl, She wore baggy full sleeved shirt and her brother’s trousers which Seema aunty had altered to make it fit her.
She looked different but was it enough? Was she actually going to try this?
Annika : I have to do this, Seema aunty. Now tell me, Do I look like an Elite?
Seema aunty actually snorted and Annika rolled her eyes.
Annika : Fine. Do I look like a boy then?
Seema : A girly boy maybe. But…
Annika (apprehensively) : What?
Seema : Your hands. They’re too dainty. And filled with nail polish. I would love to see you explain that to the guard.
Annika looked at her hands in horror. What a colossal mistake! She sat down and began to remove the nail polish at once.
Gauri (opening the door) : Annika! Are you busy? I thought… AHH, Who are you?
Annika looked at her sister and seeing Gauri about to scream, Both Seema aunty and she ran and brought Gauri inside. Annika locked the door firmly.
Gauri : Who are you? And what have you done with my sister?
Annika took a moment to smile satisfactorily. Her own sister didn’t recognise her.
Gauri (fiercely) : Answer me, YOU KNUCKLEHEAD!
Annika (taken aback) : Knucklehead? Who uses that word nowadays?
Gauri looked at her flabbergasted, then blinked like she couldn’t believe what she was seeing.
Gauri : Annika?
Annika smiled smugly and nodded. Gauri could not contain her curiosity.
Gauri : Why are you dressed like a man? Whose trousers are those? How did you cover your….
She just gestured towards Annika’s chestal region and took a deep breath.
Annika : To answer your questions chronologically, I am going to go to the fencing club. These are Akshat’s old trousers which Seema aunty altered for me and I bound my br*asts with crepe bandage.
Gauri winced at the last answer but then her eyes twinkled.
Gauri : Why are you going to the fencing club?
Annika looked at Seema aunty but then sighed and looked at her sister.
Annika : Can you keep a secret?
Gauri : Ofcourse! I love secrets. Now tell me.
Annika : Some weeks ago, I compiled a list of items that I considered adventurous. Items that may damage my reputation.
Gauri’s jaw dropped as Annika listed out the items barring the kiss with Shivaay. Annika found once she started talking, it was actually easy to tell her everything.
Gauri : So you went to a pub and ordered a whisky. How was it?
Annika : It was horrible. But I suppose it would have been better than smoking something.
Gauri (astonished) : You smoked?
Annika (ruefully) : I wanted to. But Akshat refused to let me know.
Gauri : Akshat KNOWS?
Annika : Shh. Yes, He found out but you mustn’t tell him you know.
Gauri : I won’t. Not unless I need to blackmail him.
She gave an impish smile and then hugged Annika.
Gauri : I’m so happy for you. You look like you’re having fun. And you’re going fencing today. Can I come too?
Annika (shocked) : Absolutely not.
Gauri gave a scowl and pouted.
Gauri : Why not?
Annika : Because you’re too young and pretty. Because you’re engaged to be married and I know Om wouldn’t want you to do this. Because Ma would have a fit if she knew both of us were gone from the house.
Gauri thought about it then gave a sigh.
Gauri : Fine. But you had better tell me all about it. Especially when you meet a man.
Gauri gave a wink and Annika chuckled.
Annika : You’re dreaming. I’m merely going to request a solitary room and I’ll try practising on my own with what I’ve learnt from Youtube. I’m not going to meet anyone. Infact, I’m hoping to avoid everyone.
Gauri : Oh!
Annika couldn’t be sure, but she thought Gauri’s voice was regretful.
Seema : Annu, Make sure you have your phone with you at all times. Do call us if you’re in trouble.
Annika : Alright, Seema aunty.
Gauri (wistfully) : You’ll have fun anyways. I’m so excited for you. And proud too.
Annika smiled. It looked like her sister no longer considered her as passive.
Annika stood inside the lobby waiting as the receptionist looked at her.
Receptionist : Good morning Sir! How may I assist you today?
Annika gulped down a sigh. Luckily no one suspected that she was a woman. She coughed once, then spoke in her deepest voice.
Annika : I wish to access your fencing facilities.
Receptionist : Yes Sir, And your name?
Annika : Anil Malloni!
It wasn’t a perfect name but at least she didn’t have to wrack her brains thinking of what name she had chosen. The initials were the same as her name which made it easy to remember.
Receptionist : Do you have a reference from someone at this club?
Annika frowned. She knew Akshat frequented this club to play poker. Probably many from the Elite did. But would it be safe to give his name? She didn’t think so.
Receptionist : Sir?
Annika : Yes, Sorry. I am a friend of Mahi Singh Oberoi. I believe he is a member here? I’m sure if you asked him, he would be more than happy to give you a reference.
She crossed her fingers and prayed her luck hadn’t run out. Fortunately the receptionist smiled and handed her a card. He beckoned a bell hop who was standing nearby and nodded towards Annika.
Receptionist : Welcome Sir! This man here will lead you to the fencing rooms. Do you want to practice alone or would you like to spar with someone?
Good Heavens, no, She most certainly didn’t want that.
Annika : Alone please. I prefer to hone my skills first.
She followed the bell hop downstairs and into a room big enough to fit 30 men. There was a uniform present for people to change and then practice in. However Annika was confident that if she locked the door, no one would come check and she could practice alone without changing her attire.
She held the thin fencing sword in her hands savouring this moment. She had managed to enter and was actually going to try fencing. She pointed the sword whose edges were blunted but still sharp enough to cause a scratch towards an imaginary opponent and fiercely exclaimed.
Annika : En Garde!
She practiced parrying and sticking the sword edge forward almost as though she was stabbing someone. She was soon laughing and enjoying the time of her life when she heard a knock on the door.
Annika’s insides clenched. Had someone recognised her? Or was this just an accident? She checked her appearance once and satisfied, opened the door and groaned when she saw her visitor.
Shivaay : Good morning!
Annika nodded, trying to school her features into a proper mask. Of course it had to be Shivaay. Few weeks ago, They had literally not known each other. But now, he was everywhere. She wondered if he recognised her. It didn’t seem so. She didn’t know if she was relieved or not.
Shivaay : I had come to do some swimming. When the receptionist saw me, He mentioned that you were a friend of my brother’s. I didn’t recognise your name so I thought I should make your acquaintance.
Annika groaned once more inwardly. The shrewd businessman in Shivaay made him naturally suspicious. She hoped her palms weren’t sweating as she shook the hand that he had reached out to her. She cleared her throat, once more speaking in her deep voice.
Annika : I am Mr Anil Mallone, Mr Oberoi. Your brother and I met in one of his auctions once. I bought a splendid gold lamp from him and we conversed. While I apologise for not asking him before hand, I thought it wouldn’t matter.
Seeing Shivaay’s eyes become relaxed once again, She marvelled at the fact that he had actually believed her. Thank God.
Shivaay : I’m sorry to be so suspicious. I’m Shivaay Singh Oberoi. Nice to meet you, Mr Mallone.
Annika nodded once more, hoping it wasn’t rude of her to look at her sword in impatience, waiting for him to move. He bade her goodbye and Annika was trying to perform a victory dance when Shivaay’s voice tore through her again.
Shivaay : Mr Mallone! I wonder if….
Annika didn’t know how it happened, but the next moment, she had tripped and the sword which was still in her hand had cut a long scratch in her right arm and she exclaimed in pain.
A very ladyish voice of pain.
She froze to look at Shivaay who seemed to be made of wood. He looked at her again, then moved forward and holding her wig, yanked it out hard such that her hair came tumbling out of her bun and fell to her shoulders.
She winced in pain but she knew that this was nothing compared to what was about to happen. She cursed. There was no need to thank God after all. Still clutching her wounded arm, she moved a step back but Shivaay caught her waist and pulled her forward towards him.
Shivaay (in a shocked voice) : Annika?
See you guys soon, hopefully! Hope you liked the chapter!!
SHIVIKA – TEMPTING MR OBEROI