As Payal honked at the private gate, a security rushed to open the large gate, to the left of which "Sharma House" was engraved in a large golden plate. She parked her car in her house parking lot.
As she walked to her house entrance, she noticed the other gate which was normally used by the public to access her father's office was pretty crowded.
"namastey Babyji" It was Shulka, her father's personal assistant.
"Namastey Shuklaji... father has announced another movie is it?"
"yes babyji... People are waiting to meet him"
"Is he not at home?"
"He is there Babyji.. Madamji and he came a little while ago"
"Not you Shuklaji'" She said annoyed at her situation. Arnav had told her strictly to not create any doubts on their mind'She had hoped to reach home before her parents came home. Making up her mind on how to react to their interrogations, she stepped into the house, soon to be intrigued by the conversation between her parents
"Sharad, Why is he calling you now?" Susheela demanded her husband as he finally ended him call with his surprise caller.
"Nothing Sushee.. It's about someone he knows... He wants me to give that person a chance in my next new movie venture"
"Oh.. I thought- he called you for you know- Payal- Akaash thing"
"I thought too.. it is surprising you know... when you think a person is staunchly your opponent's supporter- he gives a call and talks almost in a very friendly tone.- May be doesnt know that we are not in talking terms"
"But I should urge you to be careful with him- I dont get a good feel about it..."
"I know... I only asked this person whom he wanted me to give a chance to come and meet me in a week's time... We will see about that later... "
They both were diverted as they saw Payal coming in
"Where were you all this time Payal?" her mother asked her
"To meet a friend- to invite her for my engagement" Payal answered coolly without even looking at them as she went into her room and banged it close.
"She is lying- she went to meet that Akaash" Susheela told her husband "Just like she lied to us about that cut in her finger that she got suddenly from yesterday evening- Knowing that her engagement is tomorrow"
"I know... She thinks that she can fool us- We are her parents- we know her better" Sharad replied back.
"How can you take this so lightly, Sharad? I am so scared if she will elope one day with that Akaash- just like that"
"She won't have a chance Sushee-She wouldn't have expected the bombshell that I am going to drop on her tomorrow- nor would Akaash or Arnav- who is advising her on this game would expect it- they all think they can stage this drama and get away with it' they are all merely small fishes- How can they expect to win people like me who are sharks in playing this game?"
Arnav glared at Kushi as she stood there biting her lip.
"I mean, when I was waiting at the reception, I heard the women folks referring to you as Arnie bwoy" Kushi explained him "I thought maybe you preferred to'"
"SHUTUP" Arnav shouted at her, as she simpered standing there
"I said Shutup" Arnav shouted again
"I stopped talking long back"
"Why are you smiling at me then?"
"Excuse me' Is smiling at someone a crime here?"
"NO! Smiling is not' but you were smirki---forget it" Arnav told her exasperated, "Why did you come here? Have you got my papers ?"
"No I haven't' I tried to speak to my father.. but"
"But what' He didn't tell you' isn't it? Is there anything new?"
"Look, don't be so rude- He keeps telling me that"
"I don't have all the time in the world. If you came here to tell me that you haven't got the papers still then"
"Will you let me speak?" Kushi asked him as he kept glaring at her
"It is not my fault- I tried to get the location of the papers- but He wants to meet you badly- he has something that he wants to tell only you'I told you this before ' but you sent your lawyer and he refused to speak to him- Can you come once to meet him?"
"I went to meet him this morning"
"You did?" Kushi asked surprised "Are you serious?"
Arnav went around his desk, as he removed his coat and put it on the back rest of his chair and switched on his laptop.
"Did he speak anything?" Kushi asked him expectantly.
Arnav didn't answer. She had to repeat the question again.
"No he was under sedatives"
"oh.." Kushi sighed disappointedly "Will you be able to come today evening then? "
Arnav didn't tell her anything for a while. Kushi was getting irritated and controlled herself from going forward and snapping his laptop shut. She hated it when someone didn't answer her.
"Did he say something to you about how he got the property?" Arnav asked her after a few minutes of silence
Kushi stared at him, that he looked up at her and repeated his question. She pretended to be busy looking for something inside her shoulder bag.
"When I am asking you something- Answer me dammit" He shouted at her as she faced him
"Now you know how one feels when their question is unanswered..." Kushi told him, as he looked at her stunned with surprise.
"No he didn't tell me anything"
"Didn't he tell you that my father was his childhood friend?" he asked scrunching his eyebrows.
Kushi raised her eyebrows in surprise. Wondering how he knew this, she nodded
"yes, he told about some childhood friendship" she told "but he didn't say much after that but how do you know it by the way?" Kushi asked him
"That's none of your business- but still you kept this away from me" The anger was evident in his voice.
"Oh the lawyer overheard it"
"Good that he heard, otherwise, I wouldn't have guessed the level of your honesty"
"look- I didn't mean to hide this from you... He just started but, I don't even know if they went to the same school or grew up in the same neighborhood'." Kushi told him "If that is the attitude that I would get for helping you'"
"Helping me? You owe me this- for my timely help" He told her, sounding a little towards the haughty side of his, though he didn't mean to be arrogant.
"Timely help? He was in that situation because of you'you got him arrested and he suffered an attack because of that." She retorted back at him, her own ego raising its head- though all she felt towards him for that gesture was gratitude.
Both of them stared at the other, their eyes throwing draggers at each other.
"I can give you only a day's time- I need my property papers by tomorrow- I don't know what you will do to get it to me" He told her in a menacingly slow voice "I don't want to waste another half a day at the hospital expecting him to wake up- it's all a waste of time"
"Are you threatening me? Don't forget you have nothing to hold against me if I say no to you" Kushi told him as she went and stood in front of him, both her hands on the table "Nothing at all- You can't get anything out of me with this kind of an attitude-Not even my hair!"
"How dare you" He growled at her as he stood up and advanced towards her, she didn't flinch nor did she move back. She stood there, glaring at him with a rage equalizing his.
"I should have guessed" He told her in spite, "I can expect nothing but this from the likes of you and your father- Gold diggers and cheaters"
He was in his vindictive best and the words were said to hurt and wound the receiver and it did find its target successfully. Her eyes reflected the hurt that she felt for a moment before she guarded herself.
"What else could we humble and poor expect from the likes of you 'other than arrogance, imprudence and animosity?"
"What else do you or your father deserve for taking advantage of my father's weakness?"
"My father wouldn't have imagined anything on those lines- You have no rights to humiliate my father- Another word from you about him'"
"What will you do?" Arnav asked her, not even realizing as he clutched her arms hard.
Kushi shoved his hands away from hers as hard as she could. He released it, realizing his folly and stepped back.
"I realize there is no use talking to you anyway. Before accusing my father, if you have a working brain, think if your father was more foolish than you to have written away crores worth of property to anyone whom he called a friend"
Arnav stood there stupefied by her words as she moved towards the door.
Arnav's landline started ringing. She turned to look at him. He picked up his call in anger.
"If you want anything from us anymore- you come to us- I wouldn't come to you nor would I let my father to" she told him as she picked up her bag and swung it across her shoulder.
Arnav who had been listening into the call- opened his eyes in surprise
"Whom did you say?" he asked into his receiver, paused to listen for a moment "connect me" he called out and switched on the speaker.
Kushi stopped in surprise as she recognized the voice coming out of the speaker.
"Hello am I speaking to Arnav Singh Raizada?"
"yes" Arnav said as he looked at Kushi triumphantly
"Father" Kushi gasped in surprise.
"I just came to know that you came to meet me at the hospital" Shashi's voice blared from his mobile
"I did- you wanted to talk to me"
"Yes, it's is very important." Shashi told him "Arnav, you would have known by this time that your father and I were childhood friends. You would also know that almost 50 crores worth of your family property is in my name. I had thought you would be smart enough to come to me in present situations- Nevertheless-I will be proactive here and let you know my precious secret. Don't you want to listen to it?"
Kushi blinked at the landline and then at Arnav. It was surely sounding like Shashi's voice, but she didn't recognize the coldness that it harbored. Arnav looked bemused at the tone too.
"Tell me" Arnav called out looking at Kushi sarcastically.
"I and your father were high school mates' Your father owed his life to me- I saved him once from a life threatening accident- and that day, he promised me anything that I would ask him. Years later, when I met him finally, he was true to his words- He said he owed me still. My request was simple- I asked him to help me fulfill my promise to my wife at her death bed- A affluent and wealthy married life for my daughter. My friend was reluctant when he came to know that I was asking for one of his son's hand in marriage for my daughter- He was struck in between being a good father and a gentleman- He finally signed off some of his property in my name- as a compensation for what he couldn't fulfill."
"I understand that you are badly in need of these property papers- I will put forward my terms and conditions- Marry my daughter- and get the property back"
As Shashi's voice coursed through the conversation, Arnav saw Kushi's face ashen in disbelief and suspicion.
"If I don't?" Arnav asked Shashi bitterly
"if you don't want to- I still can find an equivalent highborn groom for her- with this property as a bait- the choice is yours"
"Would your daughter agree to this condition of yours?"
"Oh she doesn't know yet- I Know how to deal with her- it is you who have to decide on this- you have time till tomorrow evening"
"I will get back to you" Arnav called out and ended the call
Kushi looked too shaken to speak.
In the neighborhood where the Guptas lived, Sameer felt strangely dry as he saw the car leave the place. He was a popular face in that locality for his ability to mimic famous film personalities. He was desperately trying for an opening in the film world- and today- when the opportunity knocked its door- He couldn't believe his eyes. The man boasted to have huge connections in the film industry and not only did he offer him to get him a chance ' he also got the great SS - Sharad Sharma- a big shot film producer to give him a chance'He made Sameer speak to SS'which itself was a dream come true for Sameer. But all things didn't come for free' He had to pay for this. At first he was not ready to sell his talent for his opportunity- but then, like all frantic and desperate poverty driven aspirers, he gave in to his temptation.
Now he stood after he accomplished what was required of him- in the process, witnessing his self-respect lose shamefully to his ambitions. He waved off for the so called gentleman, who had asked for something which was far from gentlemanliness... He knew he had stepped on and defamed the morality of that someone to reach his ladder of fame and even if that person forgives him in future, he would never be able to forgive himself.
Topic started by abavi
Last replied by Khuarv