All of Oberoi Mansion shone in the shower of myriads of series of tiny, bright, twinkling, white light-bulbs. The grounds were scattered with table and chair settings. Each round table was covered with a white, delicately embroidered, satin table cloth firmly held in place by a heavy sandstone vase with white orchids and sprays of lavender. The cushioned chairs were covered in simple white banquet chair-covers.
Soft instrumental music played in the background. Uniformed waiters moved around the area, carrying appetizers and cocktails of various types. It was the reception function of Shivaay Singh Oberoi and Anika Shivaay Singh Oberoi.
They sat at a beautifully decorated nook on one side of the plush lawn. Every now and then, they got up to meet guests and accept their blessings and good wishes. All the family members were scattered all over the place taking care of the guests. Dressed in a shimmering,long sleeve, ice-blue, mermaid gown, with her hair cascading in waves around her shoulders and up to her waist, Anika looked almost surreal. Simple and elegant, teardrop, diamond earrings hung an inch below the bottom of her her earlobes and a single teardrop diamond pendant on a short, flat, white-gold chain, served as a focal point for the boat-neck neckline of her dress giving company to her lower hanging diamond mangalsutra. Mallika’s bangles rested proudly on her wrists.This was Anika, not giving two hoots about the fashion designer’s advice to do away with the mangalsutra and the bangles for the evening. The result was a unique confident beauty who made a fashion-statement of her own. Shivaay looked dashing in a classic black tuxedo. Even amidst all this hustle and bustle his eyes kept gravitating back to his beautiful wife. He couldn’t wait for the evening to be over so that he could be alone with her in the privacy of their room.
A tall man dressed in slim, black, formal linen pants accentuating his lean, muscular legs and a well-fitted dark-gray mandarin collar jacket, buttoned over his flat midriff walked hurriedly towards Anika. His hair was medium length and stopped at the nape of his neck and he had a casual stubble. He held a glass of water in his hands that he was taking for his twin bhabhi, Anika. Preoccupied with everything else he had to do that evening, he did not notice a petite, slim figure standing in his way and bumped right into her. The glass of water flew up from his hands and splashed all over her.
“What the heck!!” she shouted, her crisp black silk, fitted kurta splattered and wet all over her chest and a little below. ” Can’t you look where you are going?”
“I am so sorry. I did not see you.” said a mortified Om.
But for some reason he seemed to have said something very wrong. She was furious. “Did not see me? You are not that tall, and I am not THAT short.” she said flicking her straight, open, silky, waist length hair as she tilted her head to the right and ran the fingers of her right hand through her hair.
Om was stunned.” Who the devil is she?” he thought.
“Om” called out someone. Om turned around and saw a handsome, tall man about his own age approaching him. “Why does he look so familiar?” Om thought. For some reason, she-devil was also quiet and looking at this guy. “Husband or boyfriend?” he wondered.
“Om. You did not recognize me? It’s been a while so I understand. Shikhar Saxena. I was with you in high school. I went to the U.S. for my undergrad and MBA after that. But I have been hearing about your great achievements in the art-world first and then business world later. So glad to meet you again.” he said stretching his hand forward for handshake.
Om’s brain went into a quick flash back and he remembered a very pleasant and friendly guy named Shikhar from his school days. He was one of the top three students and very active in cultural activities. “Oh yeah!! Shikhar. So sorry man! It’s been so long! How are you?” Om shook his hand warmly. Then said “Oh come on!” and gave him a quick hug. Shikhar laughed.
“Umm, Shikhar, it’s also that you used to be…”
“Overweight?” he chuckled.” I know. I found a great fitness program in college, shed the pounds, and got some muscle tone”
“So where are you these days” asked Om really happy to meet a good memory from his school days.
“I did my undergraduate studies in architecture. I have my own architectural firm here in Mumbai now.”
“Wow!” said Om. “Impressive man! But not surprising. You were the smartest guy around.”
“Eh…You are being too kind.” said Shikhar.
“Wow! Continue with your mutual admiration cultural activity. Meanwhile I’ll shiver and catch a fever. I’ll let you know as soon as I am certain I have pneumonia.” hissed the girl in wet, black, kurta.
“Shikhar , I met she-devil incarnate here. I dropped some water on her by accident and she is ready to bite my head off!!” said Om.
“Ahmm!” Shikhar cleared his throat.” Om, I see that you have met my sister, Aishani. Aishani-Om, Om-Aishani” introduced Shikhar.
Om went through further mortification and petrification. He couldn’t speak anymore and just stared at her fiery, though stunningly beautiful form.
“Umm… Om, Aishani is a top-rated interior-designer and is the chief executive of the interior-designing portion of our firm.”
Om was still speechless and stared at the hot mess spitting fire in front of him.
“He said he didn’t see me , and he says that, that is why he dumped water on me. Am I tiny to the point of being invisible? I would have understood if he had said he was hurrying and lost balance or something. But didn’t see me?” said Aishani through clenched teeth.
“Uh…Om, another trivia about my sister; she is kind of sensitive about her vertical status.”
“Huh?” Om looked puzzled at Shikhar.
Shikhar whispered to Om , “She is sensitive about her height.”
Om was flabbergasted, “No-freakin’-kidding!!” was all he could manage to say.
Hi my dear Readers. Thanks so much for motivating me to write. Please comment to let me know whether you like the prologue of Serendipity and whether you would like to read this story. If yes, I will go ahead with developing it. Due to a busy month ahead, I will be able to start posting this story around last week of January or so. I’ll wait for your response. Thank you so much. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all of you. ??????