‘Life never felt this good before. There is something new inside me today. It feels like I’ve found something special, like a treasure of my life.’
He looked out of the glass wall, lost in himself, to his reign, his big and most important project, Child Care Home. He felt a new energy building up in him, strangely. He felt a weird tingling sensations embracing his affected body in a pleasant cocoon.
His head snapped back with a knock on the door and a tall man, his manager Paul, entered inside with a ladies purse in his hand.
“Sir, here it is.”
Looking at the leather purse, placed on his table, his eyes gleamed up with a new spark and lips twitched up in a amused smile recalling the last night’s events.
‘How cute, innocent and lively those pair of black eyes were, staring right into my eyes! Her beautiful face clearly mirroring her frown, disgust and fear, every expressions clearly. I had never met with any girl like her before. She is different. It was really amusing to watch her doing every-little-things, whether it would be for her defensive jumping dance in the bar or for her crystal clear expressions hearing my words. Everything, so adorable…’ A sweet smile on his lips widened with the thought, then his eyes clashed with a pair of round light brown eyes, gaping at him weirdly and he felt a need to compose himself.
“OK Paul, you can go now.” He shoot the words to his dumbstruck manager, “And if there comes any girl named Ragini, do inform me without bothering for my whereabouts, got it?” He clipped on a cut tone.
‘God! what’s happening to me? I haven’t behaved in this way ever in my life. And for a girl, never. She is different more to that. A highly maintained nasty girl who stepped inside that sl*tty bar knowing everything, may be for money. But the way I behaved the last night wasn’t feel like me. That was so ridiculous. I helped her out of that bar which I avoid to do for anyone. I drove her to my house and gave her my momma’s saree, really, and most surprising twist was I introduced her as my fiancee, shit, that was so…not of me. OK, I have to stop obsessing over the events, I’ve a motive to focus on only one thing right now, and that’s how to make her agree for this fake status to tag with me as my fiance. I need her to get out of this marriage mess.’
Having himself alone in the room now, his posture gravitated towards the purse on the table and his hand grabbed it up. His nostrils flared to collect a new catchy fragrance in the air as soon as he opened the purse and his head again traced back to last night’s events.
“Think one more time dear, once you walk out of this comforting seat, you’ll walk away from a chance to make your life. I’m giving you a best opportunity and maybe a last one, if you give it a thought for once.” Lucky said quizzically looking at a blank posture beside him, “Look here a best choice and there a worst life.”
“Goodbye Sir.” Flashing a trained smile at him, Swara stepped out of his car.
“What the…” A clear wave of shock and annoyance passed through his face and he also stepped out of his driving seat hastily, “Hey Swara! what’s your problem? It’ll help you too.”
The moving posture of her stopped in the midway and she turn back to him.
“If you really want to help me then, don’t call me that, please. I lost my identity and now I don’t own that name too. So, call me anything else but that.” She said in a pure hurt swirling in her eyes and walked away towards a silver SUV at a distance.
“You are something, girl.” Lucky muttered icily, gaping at her distancing posture.
She look out of the window shield and towards the fainting sunlight of the evening covering the surroundings. Her head aching with hangover.
“Shona, are you alright?” SK asked her concerned.
“I’m OK. Its just hangover.” She, hazily.
“How’s your experience? How’s he?” SK asked in a curious tone.
A gush of unpleasant air passed by touching her face and her aching head went back to the last conversation with Lucky.
“Did you find anything? Did you talk to him?”
“He made an offer…” She said in a pure disinterest, “…to tag along with him as his partner for some time.”
“And what did you say?”
“I just refused him. Well, what do you mean? Why are you taking it so seriously?” She, blankly.
“Shut up.” SK let out an appalling growl, “Don’t you know who was that hot guy with you?” Sharply.
“Whats the matter SK, who was that guy?”
“Your only way to reach your goal.” He clipped in a huff.
“What do you mean?”
“That guy who was with you all this time was Laksh Gouda.” SK, frantically.
“So?” Swara said carelessly and then realisation dawned into her senses, “He is Laksh Gouda… the only heir to… Gouda Empire.” SK’s voice followed her hazy voice, “Oh my god!”
“Yeah. You just closed the door to your own way.” He concluded aggravatingly looking at her blank face.
She opened her drowsy eyes only to be welcomed by a dark hollow surrounding her. Her numb muscles reflexed with a sudden reminiscence as her hand couldn’t find her cellphone on its usual place. With a jolt of electrical waves her body jump out of the soft fluffy mattress and ran to shove apart the thick maroon blue curtain only to get hit by the stream of faint setting solar beams.
Her eyes snapped back towards the wall clock and a remaining little mushiness in her eyelids fade away seeing the time; 5:20.
“God! how can I waste my time like this? I’ve no time to waste. Stupid…stupid…stupid, I’m such a stupid. I’ve to go there again at this time. God! please save me this time…” She hurried inside the washroom and a line of irritation creased on her head recalling the last night’s incidents, “…and if any situation like yesterday also happens this time then please send some sober man to rescue me. Before going to that place I’ll go to that beast to return that saree. Hmmm.”
Ragini slow down her car near the huge signboard by the gate looking over there and a visiting card on her hand, a glint of appreciation sparkled in her eyes.
“Excuse me mam, who are you and what are you doing here?” A broad muscular security guard stopped her there suddenly.
“Actually I want to meet with Sanskar Maheswari.” She said looking back at the other 3 guards on the other side like team of some wrestlers, walking here and there.
“Your name?” He asked looking down at her accusingly.
“Ragini.” She said coldly looking back at another guard gaping at her.
“Ragini?” The guard asked using his heavy tone.
And suddenly the one who was busy staring at her come running there and muttered something in other’s ear.
“God!” She muttered exasperated looking up at his twisted eyebrows, “Can I go now?”
“Yeah mam. Sorry for the inconvenience but you know, we are doing our job.” He said in a formal way.
As she drive her car inside crossing the security zone her eyes sparkled with a satisfaction looking at the new beautiful world, for the needy children, flooding in a faint light of blushing evening. She drove around lost inside the wonderland.
“Excuse me. Do you know, where can I meet with Mr Sanskar Maheswari?” Stopping her car she asked to a mid aged workman ready to leave for his home.
“Mam, go to this direction straight and turn left, there is Boss’s cabin but I don’t know if he is here or not. You talk to his manager, I think he is there.” The man said politely pointing towards a direction.
“Thank you Sir.”
She followed the instructions and reach a white building. Parking her car beside a red convertible she stood there confused.
‘What to do now? He is a cliche, a jerk. Should I go in, or not. But he is a good man, I guess. He is doing this project for poor childrens…’
She heard a manly voice suddenly and a tall frame of a man came near her with a warm smile on his face.
“Hello.” She scan the man in front of her.
“How can I help you miss?” His voice gentle.
A shade of wariness washed off of her face estimating the gentleness in his manner.
“Actually, I was looking for a meet with Mr Sanskar Maheswari.”
“Mam, this way.” Without further investigation she was led inside the building and to the lift.
Her head again blackened with the worse thoughts for believing herself to go meet with the lecherous saviour stranger who made her feel the worst the last night’s encounter. Lift stopped at the top floor and she was again led out of there to an aisle.
After reaching outside a cabin door the man finally stopped his pace and then her already buzzing mind shadowed her posture.
‘I can’t talk to that man again. He is a leecher. He will definitely make me feel like something gross again. No, I cant go inside.’
“Excuse me. I think, I’m feeling a little sick so I cannot meet with Mr Maheswari. Can you please give it to him?” She said in a haggard voice interrupting the man in the middle.
The man’s eyes smiled sympathetically, and then he knock at the door earning a curt voice in reply,
‘OK, then, I’ve to face him again. Don’t worry there isn’t anything to worry about. He is also a man, a human. Maybe a good man enough to know today, here.’
Leaving with no choice her shuddering steps moved inside the cabin and a voice boomed inside her ear shell,
“Welcome.” She saw him near the glasswall facing outside, “So, you are finally here.”
“Yeah.” She said unsure.
“So, what is it, money or something more, that drag you here?” He asked in a mischief, turning back to her.
“For what?” His moved closer to her, his eyes dancing in humor.
“I’m here only to return this.” She said tensed, placing the pepper bag she was clutching on, on the table.
“Whats that?” His steps faltered and his voice broke confused.
“So, you came here for this purpose, really?” He asked suggestively, raising his eyebrows.
“Yes I’m. And well, thank you very much.” She said genuinely, ignoring his quirkier look.
“Let me tell you one thing I believe in give and take, so, sorry and thank you are the rare words for me. I don’t even care to listen to it. I didn’t help you, whatever I’ve done that’s only because I enjoyed your company. I’ve explained you the other night right?” He said rudely, avoiding her warm gestures.
“I’m not thanking you because of that reason I’m thanking you because you are doing a great job. You are building a heaven for those homeless little lives. I’m really surprised knowing that it’s you, doing this Orphanage project.” She, subsiding her frown.
His posture stilled with her contrasting tone and words but then his eyes smoothened looking at the genuineness in her eyes.
“OK, I forgot that I was talking with a heady businessman who knows nothing about warm gestures or emotions. But thankfully, I’m not you. I’ve my manners which makes me to say thank you so much to you.” Saying all in one go she stepped back towards the door.
Something he felt inside him, a pang on his left chest and his head raised up to see her going away from his sight.
“Hey, are you going to that place again?” He asked her in a low voice.
‘Why do you need?’ Her head buzzed up. “Yeah.” She replied against her thought, without turning back.
Then a surprisingly awkward silence occurred there between them. She waited for him to say something more, there was a hope inside her to hear a sorry word from him but nothing like that happened and a bitter taste she felt on her petty thoughts. Her hand gripped on the door handle firmly but morality once again hit onto her senses and she turn back to take a look of him, still in a hope if there is anything he is trying hardly to express to her. Her thoughts completely shattered down seeing him again near the glasswall, his back facing towards her.
‘God!! how brute! such a nasty-beasty-egoistic-creature!’ Her nostrils flared in annnoyance, ‘God! this man will never say sorry or feel anything like that for his behavior, ever.’ She clenched her teeth throwing a deathly glare, “Jerk.”
He turned around and his eyes narrowed on her coldly, it was then realization dawned on into her senses that the last one from her thought slipped out of her tongue. Her posture stilled on the spot and crazy thoughts took a toll around her senses, wildly. Her eyes waited for him to show his actual beasty side he was hiding from the world. She imagined his long blood coated sharp canine tooth ripping her soul out of her body and a shudder shoot up of her.
“What are you doing here?” He asked authoritatively appalling her dread posture.
“Ummm…” She searched for a right word to throw at him but got nothing, “Nothing.” She clipped meekly and turn around cursing her stars.
“Stop there.” She heard him coming closer to her, “Keep it and you can leave.” He said wryly thrusting something on her hand and went away from her.
She looked down on her hand to see her purse to her surprise, “How did you get it?”
“Wo…what?” Her voice stuttered in shock.
“I said, get lost.” He said nonchalantly, again.
‘Mannerless jerk.’ She stormed out of there with one last look at his ghostly posture.
Swara looked out of the little window, her eyes damped with tears. She felt a dominating hollow inside her and find it terrible to get into her now reality. Feeling a great need of someone close she turned back a page of her past life when she was on her teen age and was with her complete family,
One fine morning. Swara entered inside her parent’s room, spreading holy smoke after doing her morning business, to pray to her dear god.
“Momma-papa good morning. Here, take aarti and prasad.” She kept the aarti thali in front of them gloriously.
“Shona, bless you a great life ahead darling.” Sumi said warmly pecking on her daughter’s forehead.
“Shona! Shona!…” A voice screamed on the top range and a shocked smile broke onto their lips.
“Oh god! Shona, is there something special today, I think I heard someone screaming like Ragu?” Sumi asked unsure looking towards the open door.
“Shona, today is your selections result for that musical troupe, right?” Sekhar cleared it before her.
“Oh! that’s why we’re hearing this devil’s voice this early in the morning.” Sumi let out a hearty chuckle accompanied by both father daughter.
“Yes papa but I don’t know whether they will select me or not.” She then said a bit tensed.
“Don’t worry my angel, we know you are the best and they will definitely not leave a chance to have a guitarist like you in this troupe.” Sekhar said patting on her head affectionately.
“Love you papa.” She jumped to hug her father.
“Love you too angel.”
“Partiality!!” A sharp voice boomed inside the room in a complaining tone and Ragini came inside with Tapsi following her, “Its an open partiality. You guys are pampering your goody-goody daughter leaving this beautiful puppy-princess.” Dramatically.
“And what about me?” Tapsi bickered nudging her sister.
“Ouch!” Ragini yelled throwing a glare to her sister but composed herself, “Look at this fatty, OK I don’t think she needs anything except her chocolate chip butter scotch ice cream but I’m a needy one, your princess momma-papa, how can you…” Wiping her fake tears Ragini looked through the corner of her eye.
“You devil! you called me a fatty, I’ll not leave you.”
Before anyone could do anything Tapsi jumped onto Ragini and chased her around the room.
“OK, stop it. Tapu, stop beta.” Sumi.
“Momma, she called me fatty.” Tapsi said in a complaining tone.
“Fatty isn’t a bad word dear.” Sumi tried to calm her down.
“Yeah fatty, momma is right.” Ragini, teasingly earning an angry glare from her mother.
“Ragu, behave. She is your elder sister.” Sumi, curtly.
“No one loves me. You two only love your two daughters. I’m no one.” Ragini, weakly.
“Who told you that, you are my princess.” Sekhar hugging her warmly with Swara on the other side.
“Then what about me?” Tapsi, childishly.
“You too. Come here.” Sekhar hugging his three daughters, “you are my three little princesses, my proud, my honor. I love you for what you are.”
“I love you too papa. You are the best papa in the universe.” All three in a sync.
“Then what about me?” Sumi with a fake pout.
“You are the best mom in the universe.” All three, “When you are not shouting at me.” Ragini adding more earning a good laugh from everyone and a light pat on her head from her mother.
“I miss you all very much. I miss you momma-papa. I miss you so much.” She burst out in tears.
‘You guys are soul sisters, best gift to us from god. You guys came together in this earth on the same day. You guys grew up together. You guys know everything about each other. Don’t ever hurt each other. Always stand by each other’s side beta.’ Her mother’s words swirled around her senses and Ragini’s face dawned in the memory, “Rags, I hope you’ll not hate me. Please don’t hate me. I wish if I would have told you everything then, there will be a different story now.”
Her voice downed hearing SK’s excited cry. Trying hard to compose her vulnerable posture she stilled on the spot.
“Are you crying?” SK, concerned.
“Is there anything?” Swara, haggardly.
“I’ll come after…”
“No, you can tell me now.”
“Laksh Gouda is here. He wants to meet you. But I’ll talk to him, you take rest.”
“No SK. Tell him I’m ready for his proposal.”
Thank you so much for reading.
After a long gap, came back with a long chapter. Pardon me guys, I’m very busy with my projects right now.
SPREAD POSITIVITY, TA…TA…N KEEPSMILING DEA…S.