The Oberoi Empire
Chapter 1 : Maha Shiv Ratri
13th February 2018
The security is tight and you have set up one of your best teams to track her down. To track Roop down. TSO has just talked with you a while ago. He had concluded by saying,
“Nothing must go wrong”
That is what you wish for also. You keep your fingers crossed 🤞, and you are a bit anxious about today though you’ve been perfect…but wait…you have absolutely no backup plans.
“This must be a special day for you guys”, reckons Shakti. Om looks at his wife who has a broad smile on her face.
“Of course, it is, she says, her eyes twinkling, this is our first festive occasion after our marriage”.
She clutches Omkara’s hand and slides her fingers between his.
Om puts on an impossibly weak smile as his fingers twitch. He just couldn’t stop thinking about his love, his jaan. If only had he been a little stubborn, he would’ve had Gauri Kumari Gupta clasping his hands instead of – Svetlana Kapoor.
“So hows our beti “, asks Pinky.
“Maa, how do you know it’s a girl ?”, asks Annika in amusement.
“It’s just insects, you know”
“Haan, vahin, insects”
“INS-TINCT, Mrs.Oberoi”, chimes in Shivaay.
Colour drains out of Pinky’s face as she heard Shivaay call her – Mrs.Oberoi. But she quickly recovers.
“Ins-tinct….ah ! Instincts !”, Pinky claps her hand in joy. She had got the word right after all. Pinky had always wanted a cute, charming girl, who would play with her locks of hair and pee on her granddaddy’s kurta as he lifted her.
“She will be mys granddaughters, you know, pothi”, as Pinky says this Shivaay looks at Annika. Annika meets his eyes and couldn’t say whether they conveyed pain or anger, but she feels completely uneasy with his look. Amidst all the unhappy 😔 feelings, she has left space for hope. She will uncover the truth soon after today and she hopes Shivaay will understand or rather accept it.
“Mrs.Oberoi, how are you so sure that you’ll even have a grandchild, I mean, what if you don’t”
“Shivaay, says Pinky in horror, how anap-shanaps you talks”
Annika then meets Shivaay’s eyes again.
Om knows that he has let Gauri down. He had promised her that he would be there for her and be with her forever. He has broken that promise. And with this promise broken, he has broken all those vows that he had made to Gauri. He feels sick and guilty.
Flashback : RiKara
A Few Months Ago
The Oberoi Garden
The atmosphere was pleasant. Omkara had let his hair loose and it was waving imperceptibly to the blissful zephyr. He had his glasses on and was filling in the final details to his yet another dazzling sculpture.
“Om”, someone called.
Omkara couldn’t hear it. He was lost in his own paradise.
“Om”, said the voice, which had become a bit restless.
Omkara heard it now. The voice was as sweet as honey and it came from behind his back. He smiled. It was Gauri.
“Haan”, he said in an undertone, his eyes still fixed to the sculpture.
“Look at me”, ordered Gauri politely.
Omkara didn’t oblige and didn’t reply. He didn’t want to get distracted.
Gauri trod impatiently towards Omkara and sat on the desk to the left of Omkara. Now Gauri was quite close to Omkara.
Though he tried hard to stay focused he couldn’t help but get distracted to Gauri’s fragrance. He still hadn’t looked at her. His sighed and placed his tools on the very little space left of the desk upon which Gauri had been seated. Then, he looked down.
He looked up at her and took a deep breath. Gauri looked bewitchingly beautiful. She was wearing a stunning black gown and had let her hair cascade down – over her shoulders.
As Gauri saw Omkara gulp, she got up.
She cupped his face into her hands and caressed his cheeks. She then messed his hair up and grinned broadly. She saw that Omkara was enjoying it. Her hands now travelled behind his ears and tickled him. She slowly took his glasses and dropped it down. She then, lifted his chin as he was seated and brought her lips close to his forehead and she kissed gently.
Omkara now got up. Gauri looked up at his face as he put his arms around her waist. Gauri’s gown was backless and Omkara’s hand had found her bare back. A sweat trickled down Gauri’s face and it was her turn to take a deep breath. Omkara kissed Gauri’s neck with a strong passion. Their eyes locked, and when they closed it, so did their lips. This magical moment lasted for a while. When it ended, they didn’t speak but everything else did – their eyes, their hands, their bodies, that silence – ‘kehne lagi dono se vo khamoshiyaan’.
But then, suddenly, Gauri started giggling.
“Kya ?” asked Om in disappointment.
“Nothing…just sit down”, said Gauri and pushed him back into his chair.
“You spoilt everything”
“Ooooh !!! What did I spoil”
Gauri saw Omkara blush and smiled. She sat back on the desk and then yelled,
A sculpting tool had just hurt her and blood had started oozing out from the side of her left palm.
“Gauri”, shouted Om with concern. He took her hands into his. He quickly took a jug of water and a cloth to wipe off the blood from her hand. He then tore a piece of cloth from his cotton kurta and started tying it around Gauri’s hand.
Gauri observes him as he mended her hand. He had tears in his eyes. He was crying. He was literally crying for her. ‘Dard usse ho raha tha’
Gauri stopped Om. He looked into her eyes as she wiped his tears by rubbing it against her wound. She no longer felt the pain in her hand. His tears had healed the wound.
“Why are you so careless. You just put ‘my life’ in danger”.
Gauri simply smiled.
“What if something happens because of your carelessness ?”
“Nothing will happen”
“How do you know – “
“Tum ho na……”
“Why did you say that to Maa ?”
Shivaay looks annoyed and answers,
“First of all, she is not my mother…”
“Second of all, I only, almost told her the truth”
“Chup…I don’t want to hear anything from you, you get that ?”, saying this Shivaay leaves. Annika controls her excruciating emotions by saying to herself, Shivaay will not behave like that anymore once I say the truth. At least she hopes so.
“Dad, Rudra hasn’t come yet”, complains Omkara to Tej.
“He will, beta”, Tej assures and looks around. He notices that a woman had just entered the temple. He immediately recognises her and says,
“Lo, Kaamini has come. Om go greet her”
As Omkara leaves to fulfil his father’s orders, Tej looks at Khanna and gestures him to come. Khanna obediently approaches toward Tej and stands before him, his head bent down.
“Roop ke baare mein kuch pata chala”
Tej frowns. Roop has been continuously sending him threatening messages through multiple means for the past one month. She had said that the Oberoi Empire will get destroyed the very day her husband had died – The Maha Shiv Ratri.
Just then, Tej gets a message, it says,
“Maa !, exclaims Shivaay and touches her feet, so good to to have you here”
“Kaaminiji”, says Omkara walking towards her. She blesses him and enquires,
“How are you kids ?”
“We are all perfectly fine, aap kaisi hai ? It’s been a long time.”
“I am doing great, and where’s my sister”. Her eyes scan the whole place.
“Mrs.Oberoi is with her bahu”, says Shivaay.
“Tej Singh Oberoi” bellows a disembodied voice. All eyes turn towards the direction from where it had come from. It had come from the entrance, which was now crowded with media and people.
The number of flashes and the sounds of the clicks increased instantly.
It was the estranged sister of the senior Oberoi(s) – Roop Narendra Chadda.
Tej and Jhanvi are horror stricken as Khanna says,
“Phel Gaya Raita”
The woman is wearing a black sari and her hair was let open. She saunters toward TSO and JTSO and smirks.
“You were half expecting me, didn’t you ? I hope I have satisfied you”, says Roop to TejVi.
You are trembling with terror and so are the Oberoi couple. You don’t know what’s gonna happen, but you definitely know something bad is gonna happen. Something unheard of.
“Hello, everyone, says Roop comically addressing the media/press, I had brought you some hot news”
Roop rubs her palms together and you see that her face displays a sense of triumph. She was feeling euphoric as if she had won over the whole universe. You continue to gape at her as she walks towards the camera and poses.
“I am here to take my revenge. And I will have it by revealing some of the dirtiest secrets of the Oberoi (s)”
This is it. TejVi look desperately at Roop, but she doesn’t give in. Whatever had happened with her must’ve caused her deep sorrow, because along with the excitement that you see on her face and also see tears.
“So let me start, one by one”
TejVi let out a breath, they knew they can’t stop Roop and the truth from being disclosed.
“The Oberoi(s) were responsible for my hus -“
Roop didn’t complete instead something unbelievable happened. She dropped down DEAD.
Someone had just shot her. The bullet had come from nowhere. You suddenly witness the whole scenario turning chaotic. People start moving helter-skelter. You hear things being dropped, shouts of horror, laments, screams and yells.
Though things have gone a bit silent within this one and a half hour, the atmosphere is still tense. Of course it is. The police are here now and the investigations are on full swing. Roop’s body, yourself and the Oberoi(s) are the only people around here inside the temple.
Murder in a temple is something ‘unheard of’. But what else do you expect when you work for the Oberoi(s). Suddenly someone shouts,
“Happy MAHA SHIV RATRI”
The voice seemed excited. A person has just entered the temple. He feels awkward now and realises ‘all is not well’.
“What’s the matter ?”
You know who it is. It is none but – the RSO.
PRECAP : CHAPTER 2 : Nothing Is Alright
IT’S BEEN FIFTEEN YEARS SINCE SHIVAAY HAS TALKED WITH HIS MOM NORMALLY – SHIVAAY, THE TRUTH IS THAT – SOMEONE WANTS TO GET INSIDE THE OBEROI MANSION
Abhi toh kahaani shuru hui hai !!
So guys, the FIRST CHAPTER, a pretty long one, I know.
Umm…I hear that many of you are apparently -confused- but trust me it’s going to get better and hopefully you guys’ll like it. I promise that there’ll be no more confusion, but there’ll definitely be suspense and loads of drama. Do comment.
And then one last thing ☝️-
Happy Diwali Folks !!!!