“Baby, please wake up.”
“I said WAKE UP YOU SNORING IDIOT!”
Lakshya Maheshwari, my gorgeous and irresistible husband, fell from the bed with a graceless thud as I screamed at him. He looked around wildly, obviously trying to figure out what happened. When his sight fell on me he gave a low groan of irritation. “That, my dear, was plain rude.” He said as he bit back a yawn. I twisted my lips in anger.
In a few hours, we would be off to our highly anticipated and much delayed honeymoon, for which Lakshya had lovingly bought the tickets. He was insistent on staying in the best 5-star hotels, visiting the best tourist destinations, hiring the best professional photographers for our photos and of course, going in his exclusively-bought-for-us, insanely expensive private jet Dassault Falcon 2000 priced $22 million only (arrey Meena Deol, I had been thinking of buying a bigger one with an office and all but then I will live with you only na, after all I love you so much! So I bought this one. Abhi ke liye it is sufficient, I guess). Of course, I had promptly fainted on hearing the price. Sometimes, I forget how rich my husband is and how much he loves splurging on me……………
“Why did you wake me up NOW?” Lakshya asked as he rubbed his fascinating bum while standing up. I tried not looking at his butt as I replied, “We need to meet Swara before we leave……..”
“Aye haye, you woke me up from my peaceful slumber for that hairy orang-utan who wants us to buy her parents daaru? Such a free-loader, if you ask me……….”
Swara had, in a fit of insanity I presume, gotten orange highlights on her hair. While she looked pretty even now, Lakshya had gleefully started calling her an orang-utan whenever they met. Of course, such meetings always ended up in a near bloodbath.
“Lakshya, you know she could not go for her own Europe trip as Sanskaar got a leg fracture a day before they were to leave. The least we can do is bring her some gifts, the poor girl!”
“Why is it that your heart bleeds for that sister of yours and not for poor old me, your husband? I had also requested you to buy both the pink and the blue dress but you ended up buying that red one…………….”
“Lakshya, that was different. Stop being a baby about it. Do I not look good in the red one?” I whimpered, knowing the effect it would have on him. Sure enough, Lakshya now was hugging me, rubbing my back in a pacifying manner.
“Arrey you look gorgeous in that red one, ekdum hot! But that is the point na, everyone will look at you only and then I will grow jealous and beat up someone and then there will be blood and my clothes would also get stained and you know na baby, how much I hate stained shirts?”
“And not to forget, your reputation too. You would be deported!”
“Haan haan, that too.”
“Back to our discussion, we need to go to Swara’s place. Just for fifteen minutes, we would partake in some tea and collect the list of things Swara wants.”
“Arrey I hate the tea they serve at the Singhania Mansion. So much cheeni they put, I start vomiting chashini after having it!”
I gave a bark of laughter as Lakshya complained about the biscuits he had been served which had stuck to his teeth and made him look like he had cavities. I kissed his nose soothingly as he pouted.
“See Ragini, that day toh, I went with you to see Sanskaar after his fracture. Thank you for the experience, it was fun watching him being coddled by Goldie and Gaddu-brat as he sat on the bed. But the tea service was horrible. You know na, I am on a strict diet, so how can I drink that chai?
Yeah, what a diet it is! He has been having mango milkshakes in the name of ‘fruit-power’ and also eats nutty ice creams daily. And let us not talk about Chinese takeaway………
“Okay, so you ask for green tea. Swara takes only Tulsi green tea, I am sure she won’t mind giving you a tea bag when I am around, she would anyway be too busy instructing me on the correct shade of lipstick to be bought. Okay? And don’t eat the biscuits, just take the cold sandwich. Okay?”
“Since you are so insistent……”
“Great. Get fresh and come out, I have prepared mango shake for you!”
The smile on Lakshya’s face creeped me out as I hurried out of the room.
I suppressed my groan as I saw Ragini and Swara hugging and talking. I will NEVER understand their relationship. I know my Ragini is an angel, she has a big heart and she can forgive anyone, but it is SWARA, whose behaviour confuses me. When did she become so nice? She actually looks forward to meeting Ragini and spending time with her, whining about the lost years. She routinely sends Ragini gifts which, I hate to admit, are rather nice. Heck, she actually loves Ragini, if I have an opinion. Sometimes, I am afraid it is all a farce. She is just using Ragini for her gain or is looking for a spot where she could hurt her, and I grow worried that Ragini’s heart would break. And then she will cry and my heart would also break. And then I would probably crush that Swara under my car and her nose would get flattened and not look like Shekhar Gadodia’s at all………………….
“Mr. Maheshwari….tea?” asked Sujata Singhania. I flashed my pearly whites at her as I replied smoothly, “I am on a very high diet. So only green tea for me. Preferably herbal.”
From the corner of my eye, I could see Ragini’s lips quirk as Swara rolled her eyes. She signed the maid to bring green tea for me while Ragini smirked fully. I sat back in the sofa, feeling victorious.
Sanskaar was brought down on a wheelchair by his nurse. He looked positively dead, with his pale lacklustre skin and oily looking hair. Well, if you ask me, he always looks rather dead, the man has NO vibe at all, he keeps on sulking like a petulant child whose mother refused to give him his favourite pink coloured candy……………. . He smiled when he saw Swara and Ragini and then frowned when his eyes fell on me, sitting regally on top of his favourite armchair, smirking at him. His eyes narrowed as he asked his maid to take him closer to me. My smirk deepened as he said, “That is MY favourite place.”
Now let me tell you, my relationship with Sanskaar Singhania may have improved after we formed a team to help daddy in-law dearest Shekhar Gadodia, but I still believe him to be a rather useless character. When in his own house, he can be found sprawled across his bed in a pose similar to Mithun’s ‘I am a disco dancer’. I am unable to come to terms with the fact that my lovely wife once had a crush on this creature whose mind seems to be in a permanent state of ‘Snooze’.
My chain of thoughts was rudely broken when I heard Sujata Singhania screech, “He is a GUEST, Sanskaar. Behave!”
I controlled my guffaws as Sanskaar pouted petulantly like a child. My gaze went towards Ragini who had her eyebrows raised at Sanskaar while Swara had a look of disbelief on her face after hearing her husband’s tantrums.
“It is fine, Mrs. Singhania. He is an invalid and must be cranky from having to be inside the house, on his bed 24X7. I understand his frame of mind, I will remove myself from this armchair….” I said smoothly as I made a great show of kindness(fake obviously, Sanskaar isn’t my wife after all). Sanskaar blushed deeply as the ladies gave him a look of disgust and pity.
I sat beside Ragini who pinched me slightly. “You are such a drama queen Lucky!” she whispered with a smirk. I gave her my most innocent smile as I daintily took another sip, winking at the now sulking Sanskaar Singhania. If looks could murder, I would have been long dead a multiple times by now, since everyone seems to be looking at me angrily for some reason or the other!
“Arrey Ragini, not rose wine baba, it tastes bad. Bring me a bottle of nice red wine, and if you don’t understand na, ask Lakshya. He must know all about it, he has one of the best wine cellars in our country.” Swara prattled on. Abbey, what the f? Why should we buy wine for this joker? Especially after the money I gave her for………………. Thank God Ragini doesn’t know anything about wine and is also a bit kanjoos, I will make her buy the newest wine edition which will also come in cheap. New wine……..heheheiuiuhiiii, let’s see how Swara likes it’s ‘taste’. Poor woman’s seven births would also be complete by the time the wine becomes fine-tasting!
“Lakshya? What is so funny?”
I looked at Swara whose big nose was crinkling towards me in a rather funny manner. I gave her my toothpaste-ad smile as I said, “Nothing.”
By the looks everyone in the room gave me, I am sure nobody bought it.
“Ohho, we are getting late! Hurry up or we will miss the flight!”
“What flight Ragini? We are going in our private jet. Of what use is a jet if it leaves without its owner, LMAO!”
“Oh, I forgot. But still, we should be on time, tardiness is unappreciated!”
“Who do you want to appreciate you? I could do it all day long through words and all night long through my actions………”
“Arrey shut up idiot, focus on the road!”
Lakshya sped up as we drove through the lanes. My eyes widened as when I saw the speedometer.
“Arrey why are you driving so fast?”
“You only said to drive fast a few seconds ago.”
“Not THIS fast!”
“Define fast for me then. Stop disturbing me Ragini, if I lose focus na, then we may both end up losing our lives!”
I shrieked and clutched my seat as Lakshya laughed and entered the small airport. He drove all the way towards his ‘beauty, only second to Ragu Darling’ where staff members were waiting to load our luggage into the plane. As the car stopped, I let out a breath and quickly removing my seatbelt, hopped out of the car. Lakshya followed me out and shook hands with the pilot and got our passports verified while I supervised the loading of our luggage.
“Meena Deol? I have a surprise for you!” Lakshya said with a big self-satisfied grin. I smiled as he held my arm and took me inside the jet. My eyes widened and my jaw dropped when I saw the interiors.
The interiors of the place could at worst, be described as “classy, chic and uber cool”. Again, Lakshya had left no expense to make it a luxurious yet comfortable space. The plane was covered with white walls in contrast to which was placed black mahogany furniture. Black comfy leather couches took space in the corners while a big queen-sized bed was situated in the middle, above which there was a glass chandelier. The floor was brown Maplewood, carpeted with pure wool in maroon. There was a small yet clean and modern washroom and five airplane seats were situated near the cockpit, where we would have to sit during landing and take-off. There were also Oak furniture cupboards and tables to the side one of which had a TV and music system. Towards the end of the plane, in a different room, was a small round dining table.
I was mightily impressed. Lakshya has always been better at decor than I was and he also has impeccable taste. However, it was an assortment of beautiful fairylights with some of our pictures clipped on it, arranged on the wall in an aesthetic manner, that caught my interest. While the rest of the interiors were largely similar to our house’s and also in sync with Lakshya’s taste, this was something I never thought Lakshya would have. I expressed my admiration for the same and Lakshya grumbled.
“Is this the only thing you like about the interiors?”
“I love the interiors but I relate them to your personal style. These fairylights aren’t something I have ever seen anywhere in any of your properties. This is why it caught my interest.”
“First of all, they are OUR properties, not just mine. Second, it was Swara’s idea”
“Oh, okay……….WAIT WHAT!?”
Lakshya rubbed the nape of his neck sheepishly. “Umm, actually I recalled how you were worried about Swara’s clientile since she didn’t have experience. I was chalking out the interiors for the jet then, so I thought, why not help her? My good reference and word-of-mouth publicity as well as my name on her clientile would boost her career. So I enlisted her help. Most of the interiors were already decided, she just helped with the positioning and the tiny detailed decorations. She earlier wanted an ugly painting made by the paws of the dog of her best friend to be put on the wall but I told her to get lost, so she came up with this idea. Fairylights arranged in an aesthetic manner which also had our pictures. It looks beautiful in the dark when the lights are switched on. I admit, even I was impressed.”
“You……helped Swara……….for me? SWARA SANSKAAR SINGHANIA, the bane of your existence? All for me?”
“Is it that unbelievable?”
“It isn’t. And yet………..”
My throat constricted. I do not deserve this man. He works so hard to provide both of us with a luxurious lifestyle and yet, always has time for me and my silly needs. He is attentive, funny, caring, kind and loving and is always looking out for me. Swara’s clientile was something I was a little worried about but not a lot, she is a Gadodia after all and has good connections. But of course, he couldn’t have seen me worried, even if a little bit and had to step in. The whole world knows how much Swara and he despise each other and yet these two individuals came together just to give me a beautiful and comfy experience. My eyes became wet at the thought.
Instantly, Lakshya was by my side, rubbing my back soothingly. I controlled myself to hear his words.
“Arrey Ragini, don’t need to get so emotional baba. It wasn’t that sentimental, Swara and I didn’t become friends. In fact, that orang-utan of a woman took 2 lakh rupees as her payment for these services! Imagine, 2 lakh rupees just for helping with a little bit of decoration, that too of a plane! But we did agree not to tell you anything so that it remains a pleasant surprise. It is a pleasant surprise na? You see, Swara and I almost tore each other’s hair off while working together and it would be injurious to know that it was all for nothing!”
An image of Lakshya and Swara moving around in a circle while holding each other’s hair came to my mind and my sobs turned into snorts of laughter. Lakshya smiled widely at me.
“You like it?”
“I love it but I love you more.”
“I love myself too……..oh!” his next words never came out as I sealed our lips together. The feel of his rough albeit mint-tasting lips on my soft strawberry lips felt so right, I wanted this moment to never end.
The pressing human need of oxygen separated us but I didn’t want to lose contact yet. I kept him in the hug as I joined our foreheads smilingly. Lakshya gave a self-satisfied smile.
“Good start to our honeymoon, I say! Now, if it culminates into a session of passionate lovemaking……..”
“Here, in a plane?”
“Arrey Ragini, we will become a part of the exclusive Mile-High Club! In fact, we can even role-play. I will be your airhostess…umm, air-steward and you seduce me and then we go ghapaghap!”
“You have weird fantasies.”
“My only fantasy is you and you are definitely not weird, Meena Deol.”
I smiled at the earnestness and sincerity in his voice. As the pilot’s voice boomed through the loudspeakers, telling us to put on our seatbelts for the take-off, I whispered in his ear with a sly smile.
“Bring it on!”