Hi guys!!! I am so excited to write this one!!! I am posting this early for you guys!!! Dedicated to my awesome readers!!!
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Dev: Now, I am working on the toughest part of challenge…
Mamaji: Do well and win their trust soon! Only 10 days left… Okay?
Dev: Okay Mamaji!
GKB listens to this… ~GKB’s pov~ Whose trust? Something’s cooking here… I really should find out…
Seeing Mamaji coming out, GKB rushes back to her room…
Nikki: Bhaiyya is so awesome!!!! I have never seen this side of bhaiyya….
Ria: Me neither…
Neha: For the first time, I felt truly loved by bhai… ~feels emotional~ Today, I have decided that no matter what happens, I am totally with bhai… I will ensure that he gets his love…
Ria: Haan di… Not just you… All of us will ensure that!
~Dev’s home – Dev’s room~
Dev calls Tina
Ishwari about to enter Dev’s room, but stops near door
Dev: Tina, shift all the meetings to the later part of the day… I’ll come there by 2.
Tina: Okay Sir. I’ll reschedule as requested.
Dev: Thank you Tina. ~cuts the call~
~Ishwari’s pov~ Dev is leaving late today… It means he’s planning to spend time with me… Badmash! Worrying me unnecessarily…
Ishwari: Dev beta… Come on… Let’s have breakfast…
Dev: Haan ma… I am coming…
Dev and Ishwari have their breakfast
Ishwari: Dev… Shall we go shopping now? I want to buy few clothes…
Dev: Ma… Not today… Today, I have work… I’ll take you during the weekend… Okay?
Ishwari: ~feels slightly sad; composes herself~ Okay beta… Shall I pack your lunch?
Dev: Ma, don’t strain yourself… I will eat outside… I’ll leave now… Take care…
Ishwari: Bye beta… ~Ishwari’s pov~ How come he has work, when he’s going to office at 2? I hope Ria beti is right… I should be proud of my son for working so hard… But why am I feeling so insecure?
Dev reaches quickly after Sourav gives him directions.
Sourav: Welcome Dev… This is my shop.
Dev: ~feels slightly awkward~ It’s huge shop.
Sourav shows around his shop and all the stocks he has…
Sourav: ~glances with pride; but feels slightly sad~ But, I wish I could really make more profits. The business isn’t churning out as much profits as I had expected.
Dev: Why? What’s the matter?
Sourav: There are two broad kind of customers. One kind prefers only branded goods. Accordingly, I’ve stocked them. The other kind of customers prefer less price ones. Unfortunately, there aren’t many less priced ones… So, the second kind customers complain and come less… Though I make good profits from sale of branded inner garments to the first kind customers, those customers are few compared to the other kind. Sometimes, due to expense incurred in branded inner garments, I stock one or two brands. If the first kind of customers don’t find the brand they wanted, I have loss again!
Log bhi ajeeb hai… They’ll spend so much on alcohol; behave silly and even kill people in intoxication… But they do kanjusi when they want to buy the very thing that saves their izzat!!!
Dev: You are right Sourav… But didn’t you try reducing prices for the second kind of customers?
Sourav: Beyond a point I can’t really reduce the prices na Dev?
Dev: What about your competitors?
Sourav: Well, they have been in this business for a long time… So, they get good deals from the distributors. Hence, they can afford to give at discounted prices. So all my customers end up going there. That’s why I wanted help in promotion. I felt promotion will help more.
Dev: Sourav… I am slowly understanding the problem here. Can I have your quotations for the different companies?
Sourav: Here ~hands him few sheets~
Dev: Great! Give me few days…. I will come up with what to do. Don’t worry Sourav! I am there.
Sourav: Thank you Dev! Sometimes, I do doubt myself… What if baba is right?
Dev: Don’t give up Sourav… Work can neither be big nor small… Work is work… I will work on this.
Sourav: Thank you!
Dev: ~checks his watch~ Oh it’s 1 pm already… I think I should leave now…
Sourav: Wait for 5 mins… Sona will be here…
Dev: Sona? Here?
Sourav: Yes, I told her that you will come here. We all can have lunch together.
Dev: ~smiles~ Done!
Sona and Elena arrive with Rithvik carrying huge lunch parcels.
Elena: Rithvik, keep it there… Hi Dev!!!
Rithvik: ~keeps it down~ There are two kinds of people in this world – one who start suffering after marriage and the other who start suffering before marriage… I fall under the second category!
Sona, Dev and Sourav laugh
Sona: Dev… Why didn’t you tell yesterday? That aloo poshto had no salt in it?
Dev: Really? It tasted so sweet… Very tasty… Didn’t notice!
Sona: Dev Tumi!
Dev: Ms. Bose phir se tumi tumi!!!
Sourav: ~coughs slightly~ Shall we eat now? I am very hungry!
Sona: Dada, you are always hungry!!!
Sourav: ~pouts~ I am not!
All laugh and have lunch…
Dev: That’s yummy lunch! Elena and Rithvik, next few days, we can finish Elena’s marriage shopping. Simultaneously, I’ll work on Sourav’s punishment too… What say?
Elena: ~feels excited~ Yes!!!
Rithvik shakes his head
Dev: I got to leave now… See you guys later… ~gazes at Sona~
Sona: I’ll walk him to the car and come… ~goes out with Dev~
Elena, Rithvik and Sourav smile
Dev: Now, I can start working on Sourav’s punishment…
Sona: ~smiles~ Don’t you feel awkward?
Dev: At first, I did… But now, I don’t mind… I want to help him out…
Sona: Thank you Dev… This means a lot… Even I’ll work hard to win your family’s trust… ~feels nervous~
Dev: ~cups her face~ Sona… Don’t worry… I am with you in this…. I realized this when I almost lost you… I promise Sona… I am not letting you go this time… As much as I need my ma… I need you in my life… I love you Sona ~kisses her forehead and hugs tight~
Sona: ~getting teary eyed~ I love you Dev ~hugs him close~
Elena: Sona, come fast!
Sona: ~suddenly jerking~ I will meet you later…
Dev: Sona, I might not come to your home for the next few days… All the shopping… And I need to work on Sourav’s business as well … Is it okay?
Sona: ~pouts, feeling sad~ Are you sure about that?
Dev: Awww… Ms. Bose misses me? I didn’t know my khargosh loves my presence so much!
Sona: ~going slightly red~ Not like that… I was telling on my ma’s behalf… She’ll miss you…
Dev: ~gazing mischievous~ Means you won’t miss me… It’s okay…
Sona: No I will miss you… ~ feels embarrassed~
Dev: ~smiles~ Join Elena… I will need your help during shopping ~scratches his head~
Sona: ~remember shopping trip with Dev and Ishwari for Neha’s wedding~ Okay, I’ll come too…
Dev: Awesome! Bye Ms. Bose… See you tomorrow…
Sona: Bye Mr. Dikshit!
For the next few days, Dev works very hard on the inner garments business; enlists Tina’s help and speaks to various concerned people. He also helps Elena with her marriage shopping which mostly included Sona and Elena giggling and walking in the front while Dev and Rithvik following them both, carrying most of the bags.
~Last day of the punishment! ~
~Dev’s home – Dev’s room~
Mamaji: Today’s the last day! Everything done?
Dev: Haan Mamaji… I hope that they’ll forgive me… And accept me
Mamaji: I am sure they will… Don’t forget, you still have to tell Ishwari.
Dev: ~looks worried~ I have to… I hope ma will accept… She won’t fall sick na, Mamaji?
Mamaji: Don’t worry Dev… We will explain her… You are not alone… Me including Neha, Ria and Nikki are with you… Bring our Sona home…
Dev: ~smiles~ I will Mamaji!
Dadi: How one month passed? Nobody knows!
Dev: ~smiles~ I loved it here too… Sourav, here’s the entire plan… I want to discuss about this now…
Sourav: Sure… What is it Dev?
Dev: Based on your business requirements, I have a suggestion for you. You told me that your competitors have great deals with distributors and hence can give at discounted rates, right? Sourav, if you see that way, people don’t care where they’re buying their inner garments… They worry only about quality vs cost.
Sourav: Yes… You are right Dev babu
Dev: The second kind of customers don’t really bother about the brand. What we need to do position ourselves as better than other shops. There’s a place down south… Tiruppur. It’s a hub of textile industry. In fact, most of the branded t-shirts we see, get manufactured there. They even get exported to foreign countries. So, what I want to suggest is, procure non-branded inner garments from Tiruppur at reduced prices, affix your shop brand and sell them.
Sourav: Wow… Is it possible?
Dev: Yes… What I would suggest is get around 100 pieces of samples with inner garments with your shop brand. And give one piece free along with normal sale. Ensure that quality is premium… Ask your customers to provide feedback after sometime. Give offers on your brand inner garments.
At first, the demand will be slow… But once they’re convinced of the quality, the sales will pick up easily. Since you are procuring at cheaper rates, you can allow discount margins. I have managed to procure few contacts at Tiruppur for you. ~hands over few contacts~
Apart from this, here are contacts of some of the key players in the inner garments industry. They like your quotations and want to meet you.
Sourav: ~feels emotional~ You did so much for me? I didn’t expect… I…
Dev: Sourav… Relax… I didn’t do anything big… Businessman na… I know the difficulties….
Bejoy: What is this Dev beta? I hoped you would discourage him from pursuing the business…
Dev: Bejoy baba… First even I felt embarrassed… But now I realized something… Business is business… Irrespective of what you trade… Besides, people can stop buying mobiles… Yes, we have made it look like mobiles are necessity… But if you see people will never stop buying inner garments! That way, his business is a lot superior!
Bejoy: You are right Dev babu… Still, I don’t feel comfortable about his business…
Dev: That’s true…
Dev: Jokes apart, I have something for all of you… Bejoy baba, here…
Bejoy: What is this Dev babu?
Dev: An autobiography by Sourav Ganguly – “A Century Is Not Good Enough” and tomorrow, the cable operator will fix set top with recording facility… That way, you will never miss any cricket match! You can even rewind and watch.
Bejoy: Wah! Thank you so much Dev babu… See Sourav! Beta ho to aisa!
Dev: Here Sourav, traditional Bengali dresses for you and Bejoy baba… A gift from my side for Elena’s marriage!
Sourav: thank you!!!!
Dev: Here’s gifts for Asha ma, Dadi and Elena – Bengali traditional sarees with jewellery for Elena’s marriage! Elena, you can wear this whenever you like…
Asha: Wow… ~touching the sarees and jewellery~ This is so beautiful… But this is so expensive… How can we take?
Dev: You are my Asha ma and this is my dadi too… Can’t I give out of love?
Asha: ~smiles brightly~ Achcha teek hai!
Elena: Nothing for Sona?
Dev: ~rubs his hair nervously~ I… Have… ~looks embarrassed~
Dadi: Chal ja… Give her your present…
Dev: ~goes to Sona and hands her a parcel~ Here…
Sona: ~feels embarrassed~ I’ll open later…
Asha: Elena… Let her be… She’s feeling awkward to open in front of us…
Dadi: Today, officially… We forgive Dev for whatever happened in the past… And we welcome Dev into our family…
Dev: ~smiles~ Thank you…
Asha: Today’s the last day na, Dev babu come with me… I need to buy few vegetables… Let’s go to the market…
Dev: Sure Asha ma…
Elena: I’ll come too… ~calls Rithvik~
Asha: ~smiles~ Chalo… Sona? Do you want to join?
Sona: Nahi ma… You guys go and come…
Dev signs her to follow… Sona nods no and shows the gift parcel…
Dev smiles and leaves
~At the market~
Asha bargains near a vegetable vendor… Dev carries the bags and thinks of Sona… Behind them, Elena and Rithvik walk hand in hand; talking to each other…
Elena: I am so excited… So our marriage card is going to arrive…
GKB (Radha Rani): Finally! Aha ha The vendor was thinking to cheat me! Radha rani herself… ~listens to Elena’s voice and turns~ ~GKB’s pov~ Ye awaaz… Suni suni si hai…
GKB spots Elena and Rithvik walking together… ~GKB’s pov~ Hey… That is… What’s her name… Alina… She’s walking with that ~gasp~ This guy is the same rishta guy which jiji sent for that Bengalan… These both are together? ~turns slightly~ ~gasp~ That’s Benagalan’s mother… And Dev, following her, carrying her bags? Hey bhagwan!
~hides herself~ Radha Rani… This is the best news in so many days!! Jiji’s obedient son is in the market… Carrying bags of that Bengalan’s mother…Wah! No wonder, he’s very happy nowadays… Rishta phir se jud gaya hai… Did it ever break? I have to tell jiji… Ab hoga tamasha…
GKB rushes out
Ishwari: Bhabhi… Bhabhi, what happened? Why are you rushing like this?
GKB (Radha Rani): ~pants~ If… you listen to what… I saw… You won’t believe either…
Ishwari: Bhabhi… Calm down and tell… What is it? ~gives her water~
GKB (Radha Rani): ~drinks water~ Jiji, you know I went to market na… There, you know what I saw? That guy we sent for that Bengalan… What is his name? Hrithik? Haan Rithvik… walking hands in hand with her…
Ishwari: Bhabhi… Is mein kaunisi badi baat hai? Sona and Rithvik are getting married… So, they can walk like that…
Mamaji comes down and listens
GKB (Radha Rani): Arey jiji… Nahi nahi… If that was the case, why will I rush like this? That Rithvik was not walking with that Bengalan… He was holding hands and walking with that Bengalan’s sister… What’s her name? Haan Alina…
Ishwari: ~gets up~ Kya? Alina aur Rithvik? What about Sona’s rishta?
GKB (Radha Rani): Jiji… Not just that… Unke aage, I saw… I saw…
Ishwari: Boliye na Bhabhi…
GKB (Radha Rani): Dev… carrying bags of that Bengalan’s mother… Wo aage aage… Dev peeche peeche…
Ishwari: Bhabhi! You are mistaken… ~feels uncomfortable~ Bhabhi, you know Dev na… He is very helpful… Maybe she was crossing road and helped her…
~Mamaji’s pov~ Oh my god…. Before Radha worsens the situation, I should inform Dev. ~goes away and calls Dev~
GKB (Radha Rani): Arey jiji… You are so innocent… If it were on the road, would I be telling you this way? It was inside the market… Does that mean Dev and Sona are still together? How come our marriage broker didn’t tell anything…
Ishwari: ~worries~ I’ll call the broker now! ~calls broker and asks him to come immediately~
Asha: Thank you Dev beta…
Dev: My pleasure ~gazes at Sona~
Dev: Hello Mamaji! I passed successfully! What? I am coming immediately…
Asha: Ki holo? Dev babu… Everything alright?
Dev: Ya… Everything’s fine! I have to hurry… Will come later…
Bejoy: Teek hai Dev babu
Dev rushes out
Ishwari: What happened to the alliance I sent to Sonakshi?
Marriage broker: Yes, I did take that alliance… At first, they started matching their badi beti Sonakshi… Phir baat bani nahi…
Dev comes but stops at the door
GKB (Radha Rani): Oi… Aage bol…
Marriage broker: ~looks nervous~ Phir, the guy liked choti beti, Elena… Elena beti also liked and alliance fixed…
Ishwari: ~looks angry~ Means that the alliance didn’t get fixed with Sona? Why didn’t you tell me?
Marriage broker: I thought badi beti or choti beti… What difference that makes? Rishta fixed na?
GKB (Radha Rani): Now, do you understand jiji?
Ishwari: ~ignoring her~ It’s not the same… You should have told… Go away now… I will call you later if ever I need…
Marriage broker: Okay memsaab.. ~rushes out~
GKB (Radha Rani): Jiji… Call Dev… Aaj hi ho jaaye – doodh ka doodh; aur paani ka paani ~GKB’s pov~ Poor jiji… Ab jiji ka kya hoga?
Ishwari: ~nods~ ~Ishwari’s pov~ Dev… He lied to me? He didn’t break his relationship? Dev, kya ma ke mamta se bhi badkar us Sona ki pyaar ho gaya hai tere liye? ~remembers Dev’s words “I am requesting some time, a month to be exact… Once I finish the tasks, I will reveal everything… You don’t even have to ask…” Was he talking about this? I should ask Dev…
Dev: ~feels shocked~ ~Dev’s pov~ Ma sent Rithvik’s proposal for Sona… Thank god, she wasn’t interested… Elena and Rithvik, fell in love… What if Sona had accepted Rithvik’s proposal? Why did ma hide such a big thing from me? If I hadn’t rushed here, I would never have known… Was ma so desperate to take Sona out of my life? What problem she has with my Sona? Sona was right when she told ma doesn’t like her…I need answers ma… I need them now
Oops… The secrets are out… It’s confrontation time!
What will happen next?
Will Dev ask his ma?
Will Ishwari finally understand?