Link to previous episode :epiosde 4
Hey there people! Me here with an update. Was busy because of my final exams, that’s why I was absent for a while. Hope this update makes up for the time lag.
“Gini??” Mishka drawled looking at Laksh with a raised brow. Exactly what had happened at the party?
Mishka looked at Ragini’s face and saw trails of tried tears and smudged makeup. Her momma-bear instincts kicked in, if Laksh had hurt Ragini, she will then forget that its Laksh Maheshwari, the guy who could save their jobs, and will go kicking and punching him till he’s really sorry for hurting Ragini.
Laksh had the decency to look sheepish as he replied to Mishka’s indirect question, “I kind of forgot her name, just remember that it ends with ‘gini’ so..”
Ragini shook her head trying to shake off the feelings that Sanskar evoked inside her, “No, its okay. Laksh can we just get done with the interview, I am not feeling okay, so can we?”
Laksh wanted to make sure that Ragini was really okay and its not that he wanted to be nosey but what happened during the dance, well that kind of needs some explanation right?! But for the time being he let it go. “Okay” he replied.
Ragini went inside the washroom to change. As soon as Ragini left, Mishka stepped in front of Laksh with a menacing look on her face. He didn’t want to admit but Mishka looked really scary. “What happened in these 35 minutes that my dear friend was crying?”
Laksh sighed, there was no use of hiding such a thing, I don’t know exactly.” Mishka gave him a questioning glare to which Laksh just rolled his eyes, “Believe me. We entered the party hall, then went to talk to my brother. Soon Gini and Sanskar bhai began to talk and I was just surprised, when I say I was surprised, I really mean it. I mean I have never seen Sanskar behaving so freely with a girl he just met. They then danced, something happened then only but what exactly happened that I don’t know.” Laksh explained briefly.
Mishka was left confused at the end, Ragini had never behaved like that for just a guy. Both Mishka and Laksh settled into complete silence as the waited for Ragini to come out.
Inside the washroom
Bolting the door close, Ragini stood in front of the basin and looked into the mirror. Staring back at her was someone else. Someone that Ragini found hard to recognize. She caressed her neck, the place where Sanskar had kissed her, her eyes closed immediately trying to hold her tears back nevertheless a traitorous tear escaped the confines of her eye.
The tears weren’t the result of sadness or joy, Ragini was crying because she felt so overwhelmed due to the sensations that Sanskar’s mere touch gave her, that left her perplexed. It seemed better to run away than face him, she was so embarrassed of herself for acting like that, letting a man she knows nothing about, touch her and kiss her.
Through the wooden door she could hear muffled voices of Laksh and Mishka. Not wanting to raise suspicions in their minds, Ragini changed back into her clothes, she kept the gown back in the garment bag and other accessories in their respective cases. She removed the pins from her hair and tied them into a high ponytail.
With a serious no-nonsense look on her face, Ragini came out of the washroom, “So lets get the interview started then?!”
Laksh smiled warily at Ragini as Mishka took out a voice recorder, pressed the start button and placed it on the coffee table, around which Laksh and Ragini sat opposite to each other, while Mishka sat on the bed taking notes as Ragini began the interview.
“God-damnit! This thing is huge!” Sanskar cursed. He was trying to find his beautiful girl, the Cinderella who instead of her shoe, left her pendant in the hands of the prince. Well, he was not exactly a prince and this wasn’t exactly a fairy tale. Whatever it was, Sanskar was sure of one thing, that it as so not a coincidence. This time, though unwillingly, he was staring to believe that somehow he and his Miss Beautiful were connected.
He had checked numerous room, wandered through various corridors and still there were places in this mansion that were left unchecked. It surely was a huge mansion.
“What the hell? Why am I acting so desperate to find a girl?” Sanskar ran a hand through his hair, feeling the need to find his girl clawing him. Wait a sec….HIS girl?
Frustrated a himself, Sanskar placed the pendant in the pocket of his trousers and walked away to check the other room. Damn, he need to get some freaking security cameras installed around this mansion. It will save him the time to find what he lost.
“Always the eager one.” An old woman, probably in her eighties, smiled widely as she fluttered open her eyes.
“So it started, huh? Finally? I have been waiting for this day for years.” The old man, sitting opposite to her asked.
“Me too, dear husband. Me too.” the old woman said softly.
Her husband gave her a curious glance, he knew that something was bothering his wife. The frown between her brows indicated the same thing.
“What are you worried about? Everything is going to be fine now.” he tried to console her.
The old woman stood up and walked towards the window that overlooked the sea, “Nothing is fine till their enemies are out there. It’s just like this sea, which is calm now but I am afraid about the disaster it can bring.”
Seriousness set in his features as he remarked, “But along the enemies, they have their friends as well. And most importantly, they have Chintu by their side. That surely lessens my worry.”
The old woman smiled, “Well that boy has it in him.” Together they settled into serene silence as they watched the sea waves.
“Was it really necessary to do that?”
“Yes it was! Or else they would have stood there saying nothing. The little push was necessary. You should be thankful to me little brother”
“I am just a month younger than you Ammu, so not little.”
Ammu chuckled and threw a cashew at her brother who caught it before it could hit him, “One month is long time Addu. By the way Santa and Banta called, they are coming in few days. Its been long I had seen them.” Ammu’s tone turned from excitement to longing.
Addu held her hands in his, “Them or her?”
A tear fell down her cheek. Addu pulled her close in a hug, “It’s difficult, you know na Addu. We all…Why couldn’t it all be normal?”
Addu rubbed her back in a soothing manner, “If it had been normal, it would had not been us, right Di?!” he tried to lighten her mood, teasing her by calling her Di.
It was just as he had expected. Ammu gave him an annoyed look as she smacked his head upside down, “Don’t call me Di! I am just a month older than you. So not Di!”
“But one month is long time..Di…” Addu replied imitating Ammu, making her chase him around as they laughed together.
The interview was over. Laksh had answered each and every question that Ragini threw at him. It was not only Ragini who was impressed with Laksh’s answers but Laksh was also pretty surprised that Ragini had not asked him all those cliché questions like what’s his inspiration, if he hadn’t be a designer that what would he have been etc. etc.
Mishka was thanking Laksh for the interview as she packed her stuff when Ragini came holding the garment bag, shoes and jewellery boxes. “Thanks Mr. Maheshwari. Not only for the interview but for the other things as well.” She indicated towards the garment bag and other boxes that she was holding.
Laksh smiled, “Call me Laksh. And Gini…you can keep this things. A gift from me to my new friend.”
Ragini raised her brow, “I told you my name’s Ragini. And who said we are friends? Please I cant accept your gift.”
Laksh’s smile faltered, “Ragini, I haven’t enjoyed someone’s company like yours. I mean you are great to talk, I can be me with you.”
“And you gathered all that in just a day?”
Laksh rolled his eyes, “See! That’s why I like you. Girls follow me around like puppies just because of the money I have, and the status that comes with me. But you..” he pointed at her, “..you treat me like a regular guy and I want to be that regular guy.”
He looked at Ragini who gave him a smile that explained her now mischievous mood, gesturing him to continue. Laksh scowled, “Now do you want me to spell out a whole essay on Friendship? Can’t we just be friends?”
Ragini laughed, “Eh, aren’t you kind if desperate?”
Instead of feeling insulted, Laksh just rolled his eyes at her, “No, that’s not desperation. Mom used to say when you find a person worth your friendship you should not let him or her go without forwarding a hand for friendship. So I am just following my mother’s advice.”
Ragini tilted her head to the left side and smiled in a child like manner, “Aawww you are cute you know. Fine, we are starter friends.”
“Eh huh?” Laksh was confused, starter friends?
Mishka shook her head, being Ragini’s friend for the past 3 years, she knew how Ragini dealt with stuff like that. So she went towards Laksh and started explaining things to him.
“That’s the “Ragini way”. Actually she
has trust issues so it will take some time for her to trust you completely.”
“I understand.” Laksh said.
“And that is why I can’t accept these gift from you.” Ragini pushed the garment bag towards Laksh.
“Fine by me but one day, one day you will accept this and I am sure of it.” Laksh smiled taking the bag from Ragini.
After thanking him again fir the interview, Laksh accompanied Ragini and Mishka outside the mansion where their scooty was parked. He waved them goodbye as the girls drove away. He had just turned to walk back inside when Sanskar came barrelling into him.
“Bhai..uuhh..sambhal ke!” Sanskar banged into Laksh, they could have fallen dow if Laksh hadn’t been quick in his actions to balance himself and hold Sanskar’s arms.
“Laksh woh…” Sanskar was looking at the driveway. “What happened?” Laksh asked.
Sanskar diverted his gaze to Laksh, his query brought Sanskar out of his thoughts. He had seen his brother talking to two girls, from the window. Hoping that one of the girls must be the one who came to the party with Laksh, Sanskar ran downstairs as fast as he could but he was late. The girls were gone.
He turned around, saying nothing as he walked back inside. Laksh was left alone perplexed at Sanskar’s behaviour.
Late night – 11:15 P.M.
After the party had ended, Sanskar and Laksh came back to their home, “Maheshwari Sadan”. While Laksh went to sleep, Sanskar was too pumped up to do so. The flashes of the girl he danced with at the party kept prodding him. All that frustration of not being able to find her, the anxiousness that her absence caused, the restlessness and the spark that her touch caused and anger at himself for behaving weirdly for a girl, all this energy was making him unable to sleep.
Wanting to work off some of his adrenaline rush and beat down some steam, Sanskar went to his personal gym. He lifted weights, ran on the treadmill, did push ups and other things but it didn’t help at all.
Panting and sweating, Sanskar sat on the floor with his eyes closed tightly. An image of the infinity mark flashed in his mind. Hastily he half crawled, half ran towards the corner to pull a lever. The next instant few curtains raised automatically, revealing a set of full length mirrors, set in a circular formation, leaving space between two mirrors, enough for a person to walk inside the formation. And that’s what Sanskar did.
Once he stood in the centre, he removed the black vest he was wearing and stared at his reflection. Due the formation the mirrors were set in, for Sanskar it was easy to see the reflections of his front and that of his back as well.
Just as he knew, it was right there, in the middle of his shoulder blades, down at the middle of his back, was the infinity mark, an exact replica of what he had seen on that girl’s back. There was no dissimilarity between his and hers mark. If this was just another coincidence, there it’s a huge one of its kind and Sanskar was torn, whether to believe in it or not.
Ragini was sleeping soundly, unaware of what her entrance in Sanskar’s life had resulted in. The window of her room creaked open, letting the light breeze blow in. Ragini turned on her bed as the cool breeze caressed her petite frame.
She was sitting on a tree, enjoying its delicious fruit when she noticed a movement beneath. Moving few twigs, trying to clear her view, she moved down a branch to have a look at the trespasser.
The man below was dressed in black. Black trousers, a checker gray and black coat, and a black hat on his head, hiding his face from her view. Not giving it a second thought, she plucked an unripe fruit and threw it at the stranger. As usual, her shot hit its mark.
“Ah..” the stranger winced, “Who did this?” He raised his head to look around, and spotted her, hidden in the tree, only her eyes were visible. Same was for her, the tree kind of obstruct her view, making visible only the strangers eyes.
The moment their eyes met, she could feel herself being sucked into oblivion.
Ragini awoke from her deep slumber, sweating profusely and panting hard. This wasn’t her usual nightmare, neither had she heard that alluring voice again, but still it felt so real, almost as if she was there watching the small scene unfold.
And those eyes.
The hand wiping the sweat beads off her face stilled. It was a little unusual that she remembered what had happened and the part that caused the sudden restlessness? The man that she had seen in her dream had same eyes as a particular Mr. Maheshwari.
She bend over to grab the glass of water from the small table attached with her bed. A wince escaped her lips as she clutched the glass in her hand. Damn the wound was bleeding again. She had forgotten to redress her wound with a fresh bandage. Damn! it hurt like hell.
Momentarily her focus shifted on dressing her wound but somewhere in her mind, the strange dream and those mesmerizing and captivating eyes were still in her thoughts.
Precap : A wedding, a jobless Ragini and the first painting.
Credit to: Megha