okay so this is one of the out of schedule updates because i was bored…weird reason but what can i say. I hope you like it. Thanks – Azure
Ria Khanna – Ragini
Shiv Kapoor – Sanskar
Lav Khanna – Laksh
Shikha Lav Khanna – Swara
Sharad Khanna – Shekhar
Jaya Khanna – Janki
Deepak Kapoor – DP
Aarti Kapoor – AP
Arun Kapoor – Adarsh
Preeti Kapoor – Parineeta
Shiv entered the house, still jogging, with a smile on his face. As had been his ritual every morning, he had just beaten Sam, Arvind and Rohan at a jogging competition. It was the best way to start a day. Though if he was honest with himself, he had only beaten Sam and Arvind. Rohan was never in the race. He was busy gobbling down street food while the other three jogged. Sam and Arvind lived in delusion of beating him every day, only to fail miserably, Shiv thought with a smile, shaking his head.
He made to climb up the stairs to his room, when his mom called “Shivu! You are home! Come have breakfast. You must be hungry” she said
Shiv looked at the table once, deciding whether to join the family right away or freshen up first. If he was in Chicago, he wouldn’t have bothered, but back home, his dad made him think twice about these things. He glanced at his father, his back facing Shiv as he sat at the head of the table. Deepak Kapoor was a man of few words, but when he spoke, everyone listened. The only one who managed to get any word, edgewise into him, was his wife and Shiv’s mother, Aarti.
“Shivu! Come baby” His mom called again
Shiv sighed and walked over to the table, nodding as his elder brother, Arun, who was already dressed and ready for work. Shiv was just sitting down when his father spoke.
“Your brother is already dressed for work and you!” he said firmly, titling his head only slightly to look at Shiv.
Shiv stopped his action of sitting down
“Papa it is okay” his brother told their father calmly “He has been working things right and winning all the contracts since he has joined”
His mother walked over and pushed him into the seat as she turned to her husband, frowing, as she commented “Don’t start this early in the morning. Why cannot you let him be? He is winning all contracts as Arun said. What more do you want?”
His father looked at him sternly before glancing at his mother “He is not a kid anymore. This is not competition. This is life. It is not about winning small contracts. It is about taking responsibility of running the business and his life, just like Arun has been doing” he told his wife as he got up, having finished his breakfast.
It was routine for his father to have early breakfast, then get ready and head to work along with Arun.
“He has just come back home a month back. He is still young” Aarti told her husband “Stop harassing him”
His father shook his head but didn’t counter his wife any more. He knew there was no winning against her. He went up to his room.
“You don’t pay any attention to him” his mother told him, patting his head lovingly “He isn’t allowed to shout at anyone at office, because they will quit, so he is taking it out at home” she added shaking her head
Shiv made a face but smiled at her
“Maa!” Arun said shaking his head “Dad isn’t going to like hearing that!”
“Keep quite! I know you are your daddy’s boy!” his mother said teasingly “Don’t assume Shivu is alone and gang up on him”. She served Shiv with some muesli, him being health conscious about what he ate “You eat your breakfast” she said kissing his head
Shiv loved being pampered by his mom. It wasn’t that his dad didn’t love him. He did. But it was just rare for Deepak Kapoor to show the affection openly. He was an old school father who believed that he had only done his job, as a father, right, if his children were completely lost in their work, shouldering the responsibility of life ahead. Shiv on the other hand was one of those who worked hard when needed, but only when needed. Otherwise, he felt there was more to life, like his competitions with his friends, which he loved to win.
Arun, on the other hand, loved to be number one at everything he did. Right now, he wanted to be the best businessman in each of the industries that they owned a business in. He had been looking after the real estate business to start with, before their father handed over the reins, of other businesses, to him as well. That was also the business that Shiv had been helping him with, after returning back home, after finishing his MBA at Chicago’s Booth school of business.
“Maa! I am not ganging up on Shiv. I think he is doing a great job winning the contracts from Khannas” Arun added with a smile and a proud look on his face “I am happy with whatever he is doing. He just needs to keep winning!” he added, as his wife Preeti got him some orange juice to drink. He nodded at her with a smile, before gulping it down
“Don’t worry Big B” Shiv said, referring to Arun with the loving nickname that he had come up with. His way of saying big brother, in a way. “I always win” Shiv added with a bright smile.
“Of course! My baby is the best” his mother added proudly
Arun shook his head at the mother-son duo. His little brother was enjoying the pampering he was receiving. Arun had no objections to it. He did his bit as well, after all. He gave a quick side hug to his wife, before making his way out.
“See you at the office Shiv” Arun called out as he left “Remember we have the big Rahejas’ contract coming up”
“Don’t worry, Big B” Shiv told him confidently “I have everything already worked out for that one”
Ria skipped down the stairs, still in her pajamas; her hair tied in a high pony with glasses on her eyes.
“Papa! Good morning!” she wished him chirpily, as she hugged him and kissed his cheek.
Her father chuckled “My princess is up! Did you have a good night sleep?” he asked her
She nodded as she sat next to him, opposite her brother who was already busy gulping down his breakfast, and checking his blackberry for work emails. She shook her head, seeing him. Lav had always been competitive, but more than that, he was a man of plans. He had clear plans, milestones and deadlines for each thing he wanted in life. He had plans for the business as well. When Shikha entered his life and they got married, those plans were accelerated a bit, but he was still very organized even with that. He hated it when anyone upset his plans.
Her mother served her some parathas. She looked up at her mother, who looked down pointedly at her. So her mom’s mission “fatten-Ria-up” seemed to have begun. She dug into the paratha without much protest. She had much more important topic to bring up, right then and she didn’t want to get distracted with a different debate.
“Bhai” she called out, trying to get his attention to her. Lav looked up at her, with a questioning look “I want to join you in the business” she declared
“You have just come home. What is the need for all this?” her mother cut in even before her brother or father had a chance to speak
“Mom! I came back home because I want to join the business. I want to make a mark for myself” Ria explained
“What is all this craziness about making a mark?” Jaya complained “You have just returned yesterday. Rest for a while. Besides, what is the need to work. It is not as though we lack anything. There is ample money to go around”
“Mom! It is not about the money. It is about proving myself” Ria said
“Why do you need to do all this?” Jaya countered “Riva was asking about alliance for you. I think Rishabh is interested in you” she said
“Rishabh is an idiot!” Ria shot back annoyed “I don’t want to talk about him”
“What about Rahul then?” her mom continued “You have been friends with him for so many years. Marriage could be the next step”
“Are you trying to kill Rahul and I?” Ria asked widening her eyes in shock “I don’t want to get married right now, Mom! I want to make a career for myself”
“You can also make a career after marriage” her mother countered “Look at Shikha. Is she not pursuing her interest after marriage?”
“Mom! Please don’t compare Bhabhi with me. She has her preferences. I have my way of doing things. And my way involves working now” Ria said annoyed “I don’t want to get marriage right now.”
“You have to get married some time” her mother fought back
“If you only want to talk about marriage, I will go back to US and never return” Ria warned her
“Jaya! Please don’t start with this again” her father cut in, hearing Ria’s warning. He loved Ria a lot and had missed her terribly when she was away. He didn’t want to lose her again.
Jaya sighed. Her glance went to her son and her daughter-in-law. A sadness and worry, enveloping her before she glanced back at her daughter. If only she could make Ria see reason. If only Sharad could understand why she was suggesting this. It wasn’t as though she didn’t want Ria to make a career, but she had some worries of her own, which wouldn’t leave her.
“Bhai” Ria called out to Lav, asking him what he thought of what she had suggested
“Riyu! This is a tough business. It isn’t as easy as in US. People here are more ruthless and underhanded” he said cautiously
“Bhai! People are underhanded everywhere when it is a question of lot of money and heavy competition” Ria countered
“Lav, you know I want you to take over the rest of the businesses. If Ria gets involved in our real estate business along with you, it might be good help for you” her father suggested
“But Papa, you know how ruthless the Kapoors are there. We have already lost some contracts” he said feeling angry as he made the comment “We cannot afford to lose anymore”
“I won’t lose you any contracts” Ria told him confidently “Why don’t you give me that chance?”
Lav looked annoyed and unsure, even as his phone rang. He picked it up answering it with the same annoyed tone “What is it? What? Do you even realize what you are saying? I don’t want to hear excuses! I need the details on my table when I get into work” Lav finally shot into the phone as he cut it
“What happened?” her father asked. He was someone who was really good at dealing with problems. Nothing usually fazed him. It might have been years of experience in dealing with different and tough situations, but Ria really looked up to him.
“Nothing! That stupid Ramesh. He is nowhere close to getting the Raheja contract details finalized and the presentation is tomorrow” Lav said annoyed
“I can do it for you” Ria said, jumping at the opportunity “Let me handle this”
“There is no time” Lav countered
“Exactly! So what do you have to lose? You are not fully prepared as is” Ria pleaded with him
Lav looked at her undecided and unsure
“If you aren’t going to give me a chance, I will go out and look for a job myself. Don’t complain if it turns out to be with someone you don’t like” Ria warned him
Ria always knew that she would have an uphill battle as she tried to prove herself. What she hadn’t expected was that she would find the first piece of resistance right at here at home, in her own family.
She looked at her father with pleading eyes.
“Okay! Okay!” Her father said with a smile “Don’t give me that look” He turned to Lav “Let her handle it”
Lav sighed “Fine! But if you lose this contract for us, don’t expect me to give you another chance” he warned her
“I won’t lose” Ria assured him, with a bright smile.
Links to previous chapters