The Oberoi Empire
Chapter 2 : Nothing Is Alright
16th February 2018
The Oberoi Garden
It’s been two days since the Maha Shiv Ratri, two days since the Maha Catastrophe. Everything has come back to normal, but really ?
It’s been two years since you first joined to serve the Oberoi Empire. You, Mithun Khanna, grandson of Deepak Khanna and son of Vaishnav Khanna most unfortunately and unknowingly chose – trouble – as your career. But did you even have a choice ? Your family has been loyal dogs to the Oberoi(s) since time immemorial. Your father himself has served these people for over 22 years. But still, you are unaware of the Oberoi(s) complete and EXACT history.
Kalyani Pratap Singh Oberoi, is the oldest person alive of this family today. She, being the senior most Oberoi, has secrets of HER own – unknown to you.
Her eldest son, Tej, rose to fame as a result of his unfaltering and incredible hard work and is one of the topmost businessmen in the country. He is married to the lovely Jhanvi, with whom he shares all HIS secrets with – unknown to you. They have two sons together. Omkara and Rudra.
Omkara is the heir-apparent to the Oberoi throne, as he is the eldest of his generation (Yes, Older than the Great Wall). But, Omkara, isn’t interested in money and power but is rather behind nature and flowers. Well, well…He is an Artist. A creative artist, a self-made man (just like his father), smart and young chap married to a lady called Svetlana from the well-known ‘Kapoor’ family. You smell that he isn’t quite happy with the marriage because he had loved a girl called Gauri from the less-known ‘Gupta’ family.
Coming to Rudra, he is the youngest of his generation and just maybe the most ambitious. He looks cool and you’ve always imagined him in a fair and handsome ad alongside SRK and the girls in the background going – hi handsome, hi handsome. But Rudra isn’t some guy who would pose for ad films. He is too much into politics. Well, he is a politician representing the opposition and is very famous inside the very circle. Though being very young, he has achieved great heights and has made himself a mark in the political field. He is a voracious speaker who can move the commoners with his words. With him in the party, the opposition might actually win the next elections, such was his efficiency. But something terrible has happened with his past and you always felt sympathy for his misfortune, his loss.
And now, Shakti, Kalyani’s youngest child, is a gentle guy with no secrets at all. He tries a lot to take part in the Oberion activities but…., never mind. You know better about TOE than him. Such a simpleton. In fact, God has always been cruel towards Shakti, and the fact that he is married to loud-speaker Pinky, proves the point. Poor Guy ! Their son, Shivaay, the great wall is married to a gorgeous woman called Annika who belongs (belonged..!?) to the powerful ‘Raizada’ family. They met, they fell in love and they wed. But now, you sense tension between the two.
‘Khanna’, someone calls for you. You jump and swiftly turn to find Kaaminiji approaching towards you. She is Pinkyji’s sister and often visits the mansion to spend time with the (sad) family. Shivaay, refers to her as Maa. Well, Shivaay – for reasons unknown – does not share – an amicable bond with his actual Maa, and you’ve seen many incidents where Kaamini TRIES to sort out the differences between the mother and the son.
‘Annika kahan hai ?’
You had a strong urge to say – ghar mein hi hogi.
‘Umm…ji, who, Annikaji apne kamre hongi’
‘Nahi. I checked everywhere in the house. I can’t find her. Ghar waalon ko bhi nahi pata hai’
‘Ji, aap ne terrace mein check kiya ?’, you ask. You’ve observed Annika frequently visiting the terrace of late. Again, you have no idea why.
‘Uff, I forgot about the terrace’, she says and leaves slapping her palm to her forehead.
You then, watch RSO,TSO and JTSO as they enter the garden.
The Oberoi Mansion
Ground Floor – The Great Hall, Kitchen, Laundry, Guest Room I, The Great Room (Kalyani)
First Floor – The Living Room, Room No.1 (TSO, JTSO) with pool, Room No.2 (SSO I, PSSO), Room No.3 (SSO II, ASSO), Room No.4 (OSO, SOSO), Room No.5 (RSO, -) with pool.
Second Floor – The Cinema Hall, The Guest Room II, The Guest Room III
Basement – Car Parking, The Workers’ Room
Terrace – Open Air Pool, Sitting Area
14th February 2018 1:00 pm The Oberoi Mansion Ground Floor The Great Hall
(The entire hall is filled with deafening silence. Obros are standing together. Dadi is sitting on the couch with Svetlana standing to her right and Annika standing to her left. Pinky is standing beside Shakti and Jhanvi beside Tej. The investigating officers had just left)
Shivaay, breaking the silence,
‘Bade papa, jo kuch bhi mandir main hua –‘
‘I am not responsible for anything that happened in the mandir’, Tej erupts, cutting out Shivaay.
‘Bade papa, just hear me out –‘
‘Do you doubt me on something ? You –‘
‘No but –‘
‘Oh ! But your tone doesn’t sound good –‘
‘Dad, why are you being so restless’, asks Om.
‘I am not being restless, it’s just …’, Tej doesn’t complete the sentence.
‘I think Roop was simply trying to frame me. All of us know that she has always been jealous of our success, of my success –‘
‘She was talking about some dirty secret –‘
‘Of course, she was trying to defame me and thereby the whole family –‘
‘She was also about to say something about her…..husband –‘, says Shivaay. Tej and Jhanvi look terrified. Jhanvi somehow gulps her fear down and says,
‘Shivaay, I for sure, know that Tej has done nothing wrong –‘
‘I know that –‘
‘Roop was killed. Point blank. A perfect shot. Seems to me as though, the killer, was a professional shooter…a sniper, maybe. A hired one. Hired by somebody…….here’, says Om and looks at Tej, Jhanvi and SVETLANA as if suspecting them.
‘What do you mean, Om ? And why are you looking at me like that ?’, asks Svetlana
‘I just mean….are you sure that you have no hand behind Roop’s death….Dad ?’ asks Om, looking back at Tej, avoiding eye-contact with Svetlana.
Tej is shocked unable to answer his son, while Jhanvi shoots,
‘How insensitive of you to think that, Om ? Are you out of your mind ?’
Omkara shrunk. He has never spoken against his parents, but today, some kind of energy inside him impelled him to speak out.
‘Sorry ? Tumne apne Dad par itna bada ilzam laga diya, bina kuch soch kar ke –‘
‘Jhanvi, don’t make it a big matter now –‘ , Dadi joins the discussion.
‘Jhanvi’, says Dadi sternly, and the next moment Jhanvi has her mouth shut.
‘Kids, I want you all to go and take rest now. Please drop this cursed discussion for now . It’s been a sleepless night for all of us. Forget –‘
‘Shivaay’, Dadi booms and the very second everyone disperses.
Dadi on the other hand proceeds toward her room. Dadi is actually relieved, as one of her wishes has actually come true, by a lucky chance. At last, Roop’s chapter is closed.
PRESENT : 16th February 2018 11:00 am The Oberoi Mansion First Floor Room No.4
(Omkara is lying in the bed, recollecting the disastrous event when Svetlana enters)
Omkara sits straight and prepares to leave seeing Svetlana occupying a portion of the bed with her laptop.
‘Om’, calls Svetlana stopping Omkara.
Omkara looks uncertain and says without an eye contact,
Svetlana looks dejected realising that Omkara isn’t comfortable with her around.
‘No…., um nothing, I just wanted the pain balm, it’s inside the my study drawer, and I just…..wanted it’
Omkara opens the first drawer when Svetlana says,
‘No, the second one’
Just as Om was about to close it back he catches a glimpse of something inside the drawer. He thought he saw a trigger. His face went red and he opens the drawer again. Yes, it is a pistol. He takes the pistol into his hands and looks at Svetlana dubiously.
‘Uh…umm…it’s f-for safety, you know like pr-protection, like de-defence, self-defence, so nothing at all, not that serious, she stammers, and now my balm ?’
Omkara is doubtful but silently places the pistol back to where it belonged and hands over the balm to Svetlana.
‘Thank you’, says Svetlana as Omkara quietly retires from the room.
11:20 am The Oberoi Garden
(Rudra, Tej and Jhanvi enter into the garden)
Jhanvi starts the conversation,
‘So, how was your campaign ?’
‘Couldn’t be better, the people were cheering like hell for me Maa, it’s definitely one of my greatest experiences’, says Rudra cheerfully.
‘My happiness knows no bounds to see my boy joyful again. Afterall the great pain you’ve gone through…’, says Tej.
Suddenly Jhanvi starts nudging Tej. She directs him to ask something to Rudra.
‘Um…And Rudra, I had received your message, that one you sent during the Maha Shiv Ratri, suggesting that you had arrived, it said – IAM HERE – but then, you turned up hours later………..’
Rudra’s face goes taut but also he looks puzzled.
‘Papa, I had just landed then and it obviously took me time reach the temple’
‘Ah, Of course’, says Tej looking at Jhanvi. Tej is convinced but Jhanvi is still sceptical. She feels that her son is lying.
11:30 am The Oberoi Mansion Terrace
(Kaamini is having a conversation with Annika)
Annika says, ‘Shivaay will not listen to me.’
Kaamini sighs and then says, ‘ Annika, it’s been 15 years since Shivaay has talked with his mom normally’
Annika gasps, ’15 years ?! But what happened ?’
‘Shivaay thinks that Pinky was responsible for…Mahendra’s death’
‘Yes, late Mahendra Singh Oberoi, Shivaay’s twin brother’
12:00 pm The Oberoi Mansion Ground Floor Kitchen
(Om is cooking himself lunch when Shivaay and Rudra enter laughing heartily)
‘What’s up bro’, says Shivaay trying to be cool and punches Om on his shoulder.
‘Doesn’t suit you Shivaay….’, says Omkara still cooking.
‘…though he tries very hard’, adds Rudra. He starts mocking Shivaay and the elder one starts chasing him throughout the kitchen. They run around the kitchen and the most expected happens –one of the brother stumbles upon Omkara, the vessels topple to the floor, thus spoiling the dish.
‘Shivaay was the one who pushed me –‘
‘Liar, admit the truth –‘
‘You should’ve been more careful –‘
‘Well, you were the one who started chasing after me like a dog –‘
‘You made fun of me –‘
‘Okay, stop it guys’, says Om in a strict tone. He looks at his brothers intensely and the starts laughing,
‘Can’t believe that you two still behave like kids…..okay now, I am feeling hungry and here goes your punishment, COOK FOR ME’
‘Arrey, Bhaiyya, Shivaay ko cooking nahi aata hai…in fact, he was never interested in cooking, it was Maahi who was…’, and there he stops abruptly. Rudra nervously looked at Shivaay. He knows that Shivaay was always sensitive when Mahendra’s topic was taken.
Shivaay doesn’t pay heed, instead leaves the kitchen.
12:10 am The Oberoi Mansion First Floor Room No.3
(Annika is in the room when Shivaay storms inside. Shivaay looks surprised when he spots Annika. It has been a month since she has even entered the room. She has been using the guest room in the second floor all the while)
‘Shivaay, mujhe aap se kuch baath karni hai’
‘I don’t want to listen to anything…’
‘Shivaay, it’s about the….Shivaay, the truth….Shivaay, the truth is that…’
‘What kind of truth ? You have more to tell ? You want to break my heart more ?…..’
‘I don’t want to hear anything from your mouth, you understand….’
‘But why can’t you spare –‘
‘Why ? Spare time for YOU ? You, the woman who bears another man’s child in your womb ? You, the woman who played with my weakness ? You, who mercilessly cheated me……’
‘Shivaay –‘, by now gallons of water was flowing down her eyes.
‘You, who has been a cruel, manipulative b*t*h…..you treacherous – ‘
‘SHIVAAY….’, bellowed Annika. Her scream reverberated inside the room for which Shivaay’s mouth snapped shut.
There was silence for a while, when Shivaay slowly started again,
‘Do you want to justify your act ? Do you want to justify the illicit affair that you had with Daksh –‘
‘I WAS FORCED SHIVAAY……’, SHE SCREAMED
Everything went blank suddenly, for Shivaay. He didn’t want whatever he thought just now, to be true.
‘DAKSH USED ME SHIVAAY, HE…HE A-ASSAULTED ME……’
‘Khannaji, someone wants to enter the Oberoi Mansion’ says an employee to you. You immediately rush to the gate to find a familiar face.
It was the beautiful – Gauri Kumari Gupta
ISS HAFTHE : CHAPTER 3 : ONE MONTH AGO
-Shhrika ? ? ? ? ?