Part one :- Page one
Part two :- page one
Part three :- page 8
Part four:- page 17
Part five :- page 24
The man walked in to the lobby of Hilton Hotel, Mumbai.
The marbled floor of the lobby, with its cream colored walls and overhead lighting gave the effect of a soothing ambiance. A historic colonial era fused perfectly with modern architecture, it was sophistication at its best.
But all of these were forgotten once the man entered the lobby. All heads, women and men, turned to look at him. Walking with a long, easy, no-nonsensical stride, he looked like he belonged.
And yet like he didn't.
He couldn't be called good-looking in a pretty boy way.
No, he had a classic cut face. With a straight nose and a strong jaw line, firm lips which looked like they rarely if ever smiled, and a barely noticeable scar above his left eye, he gave out a dangerous appeal.
But the thing that drew him to you were his eyes.
Molten chocolate brown eyes, with flecks of gold in it.
Which could turn into a dark coffee color, if he was angry or aroused.
The eyes were right now indifferent, scanning the lobby for somebody. He checked his watch again for the tenth time that night, gritting his teeth in anger.
Where was she?
He turned and saw her enter the lobby. Dressed in a black gown ' Valentino, if he was not wrong- she turned the heads of all the men in the vicinity. The gown was off shouldered, with a slit that was almost indecent, reaching to her right thigh. A Rolex and black f*ck me shoes completed the ensemble.
The overhead lights of the lobby made her dusky skin all the more beautiful, almost giving her an exotic appeal. She looked sinful and she knew it, if the smirk on her face and the extra sway of her hips were to be believed.
"You are late."
"Thank you. You look amazing too."
And with that, Arnav Singh Raizada and Lavanya Kashyap turned around and walked in to have dinner.
AN :- This story will be loosely based on the play Pygmalion written by George Bernard Shaw.
Notice that i have used the word loosely. This idea just got struck, and i figured what the hell, lets give it a try.
Again I am not at all sure how this is going to turn out. I am good at reading, writing not so much. Also i am NOT very good with regular updates, so well, if there is an interest, i will continue.
Richa.Edited by richa1792 - 7 years ago
Arnav Singh Raizada thrived on challenges.
He knew he wouldn't be where he was now, if it wasn't for his inherent need to conquer everything that he saw and liked.
And sometimes even the things he didn't like, just to prove to himself that he could.
No. He did not care about proving himself to the society. He didn't give a tiny rats ass to what people thought about him. In fact, he took great pleasure in sometimes scandalizing them by his not-so-gentlemanly actions.
No. He did not take upon challenges to prove anything to the society.
He did it for himself.
To keep pushing himself to do better and better. So much so, that sometimes he didn't even have time to breathe.
If some one knew of his past, they would say it was his way of running.
A way of escapism.
But hey, what did those psycho-analysts knew anyway??
He was filthy rich, had one of the most successful business empires in the world, was very good looking- no point being modest about it- and had a sister whom he adored.
What more could a man want??
Money, sex and family.
He had all three.
And he was content.
Yes that was the word.
He was content with his life.
So it came as a surprise to him, one morning, the feeling of restlessness that suddenly engulfed him.
His morning alarm clock had woken him up. He opened his eyes and instantly knew he was not at his apartment.
Looking on his right side, he saw Lavanya sleeping beside him.
He untangled his limbs from her, got up, ready to go home. His clothes were strewn all over the apartment.
Last night was his last try to inject some of the initial passion in to his relationship with Lavanya which had slowly started to fade away.
He had kissed her in her private elevator before the doors to the elevator had even shut.
And he had undressed her completely even before any of them had reached the bedroom.
But he had to be honest with himself. It was time to end this. He might have even saw it coming, may be that is why he had taken het to dinner twice this week and even had lilies delivered at her home.
The thought suddenly caught him by surprise.
When had he ever cared if his relationships ended?
He was a firm believer in the adage of being a lot of fish in the sea.
Then why this sudden maudlin feeling?
He suddenly remembered the time when his uncle had thrown them out on the streets after the death of their parents. His parents had never made a will. They didn't think they would need to.
Who would have thought they would have died in a plane crash at such a young age, leaving an eighteen year old Anjali and a fourteen year old Arnav all alone?
Arnav remembered the despair he had felt. The fear of being alone, without the comfort and warmth of their parents.
He remembered the cold they had felt when they had to sleep on the streets, and how his Di had to go without her medicines because they didn't have enough money to buy them.
That was when he had first stolen.
He had stolen the medicines and given them to her Di, who, when she had come to know how he got them, had scolded him while tears were running down her face,
And that was when he had decided.
Never again would his Di cry for the basic necessities of life. Never again would he be so weak, that some one might have an advantage over him. Never again would he show any vulnerability.
He had seen what relations did to you. What love did.
Either they left you all alone in this world, like his parents had done. Or they would show you their true face and make you realize that love was just an illusion. Like his uncle had done.
No. What mattered was money.
Money was the language the world understood.
And he had spent his life collecting as much of his as he could.
Never again would he have to face what that fourteen year old boy had faced.
He suddenly felt two arms hugging him from behind, and a pair of lips kissing his neck.
"Good Morning." Lavanya rasped in her just out of bed voice.
And the fact that he felt no tingle of excitement at her touch any more, only reinforced his belief.
This had to end.
"Not now Lavanya." Arnav stopped Lavanya's hand, which had been sliding down his chest to his abdomen.
He needed to break up with her, but he couldn't possibly do it right now. Not when he had just spent the entire night at her apartment, sleeping in her bed. He would ask her out for a meal- lunch, not dinner- and then tell her that it was not working out.
He would soften the blow by buying her something. May be from Tiffany's. she had been hinting about that diamond bracelet that had caught her eye.
It would make things a lot more easier.
"I need to leave now. Have some work."
And with a perfunctory peck on her cheek, Arnav Singh Raizada stolled out of her apartment.
"Meet me today at Rico's. Seven pm."
Sending this text, Arnav pulled his silver Mercedes Convertible out of Lavanya's driveway and went on his way, a sudden smile gracing his lips.
"Now remember, you go out there, serve the drinks and come back. No dilly-dallying with the customers. I don't take kindly to that kind of behavior.", the lady in the crisp white suit droned on.
"Yes ma'am." Khushi replied for maybe the hundredth time that night.
She had just secured-or may be pleaded would be the right word-herself a job as a waitress at Rico's.
Rico's was one of the most famous joints in the city. A modern club-cum-restaurant, it catered to all the high and mighty's of Mumbai's crowd. No wonder she had to beg her friend to get her a job here.
Run by an Italian named Rico-duh!-it had become the place to be. The food was good, the drinks were better. Also, the waitresses moving around in their skimpy outfit helped spread the word about the club's fame.
And so here she was, being lectured since an hour, about the do's and do not's of the oh so exclusive club. And she was bored out of her mind. But she needed this job. She could not afford to get fired. Again. Or to resign. Again.
So she nodded her head, put on her best sincere expression and said that yes, she would efficiently serve the drinks.
No, she would not chat up the customers.
No, she was not a kleptomaniac.
And yes, she understood this was her trial run, they were doing her a favor in this economy, and she would be grateful to them.
She just stopped herself from saying that may be they would like to be named on her epitaph?
Utterly uncomfortable in the tight black skirt, which skimmed her knees, but looked like a second skin, highlighting her thighs thoroughly. And a white shirt, which was a size small, because surprise-surprise she had a chest. Which was apparently not in vogue. You had to look like a stick with no curves if you wanted to be in.
But Khushi had never been cool. She was the studious types in her school, with great potential. If only she could have gone to college. But life had dealt her a bad hand. And she wasn't some wussy to cry on her fate.
No, she did what she had to do, and survived.
Even if it meant wearing a too tight shirt with a too tight skirt and sheer stockings.
And don't forget the stilettos. Four-inch stilettos. How was she supposed to serve if she couldn't even walk properly? Gracefulness was not one of her strong points. She had literally stumbled through her life. She hadn't worn heels ever.
But she wasn't fool enough to tell this to the dragon lady who was breathing fire down her neck.
And really, how hard could be walking in a pair of four-inch heels really be?
Very hard, Khushi discovered just fifteen minutes into her shift. She had already stumbled thrice, narrowly missed crashing into a table and has stepped on a guys toes. If this continued, she would be out of here. The dragon lady was already giving her the stink eye.
Okay. Breathe. You can do this.
You just have to be calm, and walk without stumbling. One foot in front of the other. Left then right.
See? This isn't so bad. She was doing it. May be she won't be fired after all.
And then she made the mistake of looking up.
And the world suddenly stopped moving.
All breath was sucked out of her body.
She stood there, afraid that she would blink. Blink and find out that this was just her imagination.
In front of her, sat the most beautiful-there was no other word she could use-man she had ever laid her eyes on. He was sitting, almost lazily, seeming laid back. But Khushi saw that it was a ruse. The man was like a predator. Never calm. Never laid back. Always on the hunt.
If some disaster were to strike right now, she knew that he would be the one in command. She didn't know how she knew it. She just did.
The man gave out almost a dangerous appeal.
She didn't know what to look at first. She wanted to take all of him in, not miss a single detail about his face. She didn't know where to start.
His hair, combed back from his face in an elegant manner. She wanted to run her hands in them and see if they were as soft as they seemed.
His nose, which was slightly crooked. How did that happen? Sports injury? Suddenly it was imperative that she found out.
His jaw, with his day old stubble. She wanted to run her hand over his jaw, and see if it was prickly.
His lips- oh, his lips- so firm yet sensual. How would they feel? How would they look if he smiled?
But most of all his eyes. She couldn't see their color from this far, but she knew, that it would be different. Like him.
Was this what attraction felt like?
She had no idea. No experience. She just knew she had to talk to him.
Once. Just once.
She would go, take his order. He would have to speak for that, wouldn't he??
And no, she wouldn't be chatting up the customers. She would be just doing her work. So smoothing a hand over her shirt and skirt, she made her way across the floor, to his table, careful not to stumble.
And then Khushi Kumari Gupta did, what she did best.
She stumbled and fell face down on to the lap of Arnav Singh Raizada.
Arnav was having dinner with Akash at Rico's. It had been months since they had last met.
Akash Malhotra was the only man Arnav would call a friend. A tall be-spectacled man, with calm eyes and a ready smile, he was a software engineer, and as different from Arnav as anyone could get. He had first met Arnav at their college dorm. While Arnav was doing masters in business, Akash was preparing for his engineering.
Akash had a calm aura surrounding him. And Arnav had a restless energy with in him. Both complemented each other.
For all their differences in their looks and behavior, they were very similar to each other.
Both wanted to prove their name in the world. Both of them believed in hard work. And both of them preferred silence to inane chattering. So when they had first looked at each other across the hall, measuring each other up, and then nodded, both of them had known, that here was a man they could respect and maybe be friends with.
That was all it had taken. A look and a nod.
And now they had been friends for over a decade.
But there was a huge difference between the two.
Akash was a family man. Happily married to his wife, Payal, for five years now, and the proud daddy of a one year old son, Moksh.
"So, are we going to sit here having idle chit-chat, or are you going to tell me what's wrong? Mind you, I am okay with both. You know I love talking about Moksh. I can tell you all about his teething and his crawling. For a Godfather, you are very much absent from his life.", Akash drawled, looking at Arnav.
"Why would you think anything is wrong? Everything is okay. And you know business has been hectic this past few months. I love Payal and Moksh. Tell them I will be coming for lunch soon.", Arnav replied.
"I sure will. She will be very happy. Now, about the matter that's bothering you.", Akash again asked, knowing fully well, that something was bothering him.
Arnav clenched his jaw, and then forced himself to relax. Maybe this dinner had been a mistake. Akash was like a dog with a bone tonight. And nothing was bothering him. It was just, that the felling of restlessness since the morning hadn't left him. He had thought maybe drinks and dinner with Akash would relax him. But this was turning out to be difficult. And no way was he spilling his guts to Akash. Even if he had known what the problem was.
"I am breaking up with Lavanya." Arnav blurted out.
"I was wondering about that. It has been six months now, that you have been together. A long time by your standards." Akash said, wondering why was this a problem.
"Its not working out." Arnav said in a defensive voice.
"When has it ever Arnav? Tell me, don't you want to meet someone whom you can one day love? Have a family? Or do you want to die an old lonely man with no one by your side?" Akash tried to instill some sense in to him.
"I know. We have had this conversation a number of times. And your answer will not change." Akash blew out defeated.
"Exactly! There's no way Arnav Singh Raizada will ever fall in – what the!!!!" Arnav screamed as something just landed on his lap.
No not something. A lady. With her face down. On his crotch.
With a growing sense of disbelief he looked at her raising her head up.
And then he got a look at her face.
Molten brown clashed with hazel green.
Ahhh...and as expected, I loved it! :-)
Topic started by richa1792
Last replied by FAYKHAN29