The group of girls piled into the SUV after enjoying a day of pampering themselves. They had each treated themselves to an exotic spa and were in a good mood as it's also one of their dearest friend's birthdays.
Zenny looked at her nails and inspected them just as Sharitha Di screamed out as Vannyrounded a corner too sharply, eliciting ruptures of giggles from Hashi. We were meetingEris and Penny at the venue for the grand celebration of none other than ZenerDiode'sbirthday!!!
"Do you think we're early?" Sharitha Di asked, as we pulled into the parking lot and noticed that the way we expected the place to be looked uncannily different.
Zenny, ever the drama queen exclaimed, "OMG!!! It's the wrong place? Where are we? What happened? This is my worst birthday!"
Hashi, rolling her eyes, consoled, "Darling relax. I'm sure it's the right place. Vanny can't be lost and this will be your best birthday! Promise!"
Getting out of the car, they all headed to the entrance of the large expanse of a reception hall, which was Penny's idea. As they neared the entrance, they noticed that the light is very dim inside.
Zener started laughing.
"What's wrong?" Sharitha Di looked concerned.
"What did Penny and Eris think? That it's a surprise? I helped them with the menu," Zenecontinued to giggle.
Vanny just remained commentless and proceeded to crack the door open; as we stepped into what seemed like a Dandiya festival. One could not miss the stacks of tables laid with traditional Gujarati and Indian foods and dessert. What surprised them were the added two tables laid with English, Italian and Chinese exotic cuisines, with a few South Korean dishes.Hashi forget everything the minute she laid eyes on the kimbap, a traditional Korean rice cake.
Eris and Penny rushed over to us gave us bear hugs, which we all didn't mind despite having to take ten minutes afterwards to fix our sarees properly! That's true! We all wore sarees of different, colourful designs. What's a Dandiya function withsarees na?
As they started mingling with the very few friends that were invited to grace the occasion,Vanny made an announcement.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to take this wonderful opportunity to extend warmest birthday wishes to a dear friend, ZenerDiode. Zene baby, you know we love you and hence, we've got a little surprise for you!" she concluded as she attempted to wink. [Everyone knows that this Vannitis infected person can't wink.]
Zenny looked confused, "Surprise? What's she talking about?" she whispered to Hashi who had just returned from eating four kimbaps.
"You'll see," Hash replied mysteriously.
"Is it the food that's the surprise?" Sharitha Di is beside herself at her own jokes, "But seriously guys, is it really more food? My mouth is watering already."
Before anyone can comment, the lights went out, whatever little light there was anyways. And a huge disco ball descended down the middle of the ceiling and very dim pub lights of the primary colors glided across the hall in a kaleidoscope. Everything suddenly fell into perspective as they noticed that the women are no longer wearing sarees, but fashionable Indian skirts and kurtis, except the guest of honour of course, as she remained rooted at that spot and gaped as the scene unfold.
"Welcome to DISCO DANDIYA!!!!!!!" Vanny shouted into the microphone as Penny andHashi crushed Zene and screamed, "SURPRISE!!!"
"No no Zene baby, it had nothing to do with SriShank!! We know you wanted to meet them in person, but how can we take such a risk?" Penny exclaimed and all cracked up at this.
Eris joined Vanny on stage and took the microphone, "We know you love Dandiya as you're very traditional. But we also know that you're open to changes and we would love to have the opportunity to show you how to party rock at a club"
Zener teared up a bit at her friends' gesture as Sharitha Di placed an arm around her shoulder.
Hashi joined Eris and Vanny on that stage and said, "Zener sweetheart, we want you to have the best birthday and so *shouts* Yo Mr. DJ, pump the musiccc."
"Wooohooo," Penny exclaimed, "Happy Birthday Zenny darling."
All joined the two of them and shared a huge group hug that marked the beginning of a memorable birthday party, Disco Dandiya.
Decorators were doing the finishing touches in Garg Nivas. Shayl was supervising, It's Rachna's engagement in the evening.
"Di, you want even the minutest things to be perfect", Sangeeta was pulling Shayl's leg. Seema kept laughing.
"Yes, go on. Make fun of me. After all, how can you people know, what is the tension of being a brides mom?", Shayl pretended to be angry with them. But they were not in a mood to stop.
"Mausima, Rachna is no their only daughter. But definitely their dearest daughter", Pihu said sarcastically. Shayl went a little dull. Seema decided to cheer her up.
"After all, who won't be happy with a daughter like her? Her college results came yesterday. She is the first gal from Garg family to finish graduation". Pihu, who was never good at studies was silent.
"So true Di. Do you remember? Her college was hesitant to admit her, she had joined through sport's quota. See, how she came winning now", Sangeeta joined in.
It lifted the Shayl's spirits again.
"Haan, Sangeeta. She is an example, anything is possible with perseveration."
Pihu felt even bitter. "That is her habit since her childhood. She was always stubborn, even when as a child."
By now, Dayal had returned from last minute shopping along with Gunjan and Mayank. Mayank was checking whether the car was parked correctly, Dayal was unloading the items. Gunjan got curious with their talk.
"What are you saying? Can't believe Rachna used to throw tantrums when she was kid", exclaimed Gunjan.
By now Mayank also had entered the house. "Oh, you don't know how she used to be when she was a kid. And, uncle never said "no" to her. Do you people remember the ice cream incident?"
As soon as he reminded them of the incident, everyone burst into laughter. Dayal felt embarrassed and diverted their attention.
"Where is Rachna, now?"
"She has gone for work. She said, she will return before the function starts", replied Shayl.
"Why does she have to go to office today? She is not the head of that company. She just works there", Pihu's mouth never stopped spitting poison.
Seema came to Rachna's defence again. "We know, she is not the owner. But the owner is quite dear to us. His Dadi used to treat Rachna like her own grand daughter. Since he is shifting to US today; If Rachna is there to help him, what's wrong?".
Sangeeta joined her. "Haan, Di. Have you seen the Khandani ring she gifted to Rachna? She was not sure whether she could be there for Rachna's wedding. Since there were no women in their house and her grandson has no plans to marry, she thought that ring would go waste. She gifted it to Rachna."
"I know. I wonder how much it would cost." She mused.
Shayl reprimanded. "Stop thinking about the price. It is only her blessings that matters".
"But not all will get such precious blessings mummy, especially someone like me", Pihu was upset. Nobody could beat her in self pity. Dayal did not want anyone to loose their cool, especially on this day.
"Anyway, it is getting evening. People will start coming. You ladies start dressing up, I will wish Nanhe and bring Rachna back", he stepped out.
It is the last working day in KT creations. KT is finally shutting his Indian branch and moving back to New York. His only reason to stay in India, his Dadi, left him a month ago. As per her last wish, her Asti Visarjan went on the banks of Ganges. Now he is absolutely free in this world. Alone.
He has packed and sent all his stuff. He would carry the sketches Rachna is making, along with his personal belongings. Rachna was working on the templates. Everyone else had left. She would also be leaving, ... very soon.
KT looked at her admiringly. Her focus was on the sketches. She raised her head to look for something. KT noticed immediately and looked away. It's exactly two years since that bloody incident happened. She had accused him of making advances with her and his mission in all these years was to prove, his relation with her is purely professional. He never dared to get close to her. Never called her to come alone for the field trips; never gave her his hand when she fell.
Rachna looked at the sketch one more time, she was still not satisfied. She added the lace pattern to the neck, but didn't like it. It felt something was incomplete. What was it? All she knew was, she was not happy. "When have I ever been?", she questioned herself. She could not understand the agitation within. After all, she should have been the happiest person today. She has finished her graduation, completed her internship under KT creations, had a new job offer in hand. To top it up, she was getting engaged to the person who is her Mummy, Papa's choice. "Not yours?", she got confused who spoke. It was just her mind. "Oh! Yeah. Mine too. After all, Mummy, Papa's choice is my choice as well". She has already answered herself hundred times. But the idiot brain was just so dumb.
"Mausiji, first I want to listen to that ice cream story. Tell me what happened?", Gunjan did not want the conversation to abruptly end there.
"Gunjan beta, you are no way less than Rachna in stubbornness", everyone laughed when Prabhu said that. Mayank had a teasing smile when Gunjan pretended to look away from him.
"I think Rachna was 3 year old then".
"No. Two and a half", Shayl corrected.
"Bhabhi, why are you getting possessive? We are not blaming your daughter. But don't I have the right to make fun of my brother, at least?". Shayl realised, she was getting cornered. She willingly gave in, with a smile.
"It was mid night. Don't know 12 or 2. We woke up by Rachna's scream. When we ran to her room, she had got up from the bed because of a nightmare and she was crying".
"The poor darling. What was it? Was she able to sleep again?", Gunjan asked worryingly.
"Gunjan, you spoil the fun with too many questions. Just listen", Mayank was in playful mood. Gunjan did not react. She was more curious to know what happened.
"She was eating ice creams in her dream. One chocolate and another vanilla cone in her hand. Suddenly a monster appeared and had snatched her ice cream. She wanted her Papa to fight with that monster to get her ice cream back."
Gunjan started to laugh. "Wow, what a cute dream. Rachna's fondness for chocolate ice cream was since she is two year old? What a way of asking, is it not? How did you convince her?"
"I tried telling her, monster would be hiding at night. Daddy will fight with him in morning and will get her ice cream. But she wanted daddy to fight then only. She was worried ice cream would melt by morning", Shayl had gone back to her memories.
"Bhaiyya was one mad person; Shayl bhabhi could have given some explanation and would have put her to sleep. But he started his scooter and went all the way to get the ice cream. At that time, only shops which used to open at mid night hours were near city bus stand. He went all the way there".
"Was Rachna awake till he came? Or had she slept?"
"She was awake, but... ", Gunjan did not realise why they started to laugh again.
"Miss Garg. It's getting late. I will take the unfinished sketch with me and see what I can do later. You may leave now. "
His last words stirred her soul. "Leave, from where? To what destination?". She recalled her past. There was a time when her mentor shielded her from the goons, inspired her to play her game. She adored him, he was her hero. But she moved on, within weeks. Then there was this brat, who tamed himself just to win her heart. She was his ego, he could do anything to win her. She moved on from him too, in few months. But here he was. Doing nothing to impress, never even gave her a proper look. But still she is stuck from the past two years, refusing to move.
Yes, she was impulsive. She didn't care what he felt at that moment. But, she has been regretting it since. For the past two years she has stayed in this office taking his snubbing, swallowing his humiliations and still delivering her best. Today also she is there. She wants to be there, till he stays in front of her eyes. Just to prove one point, she cares. She has a heart which understands his feelings. But all in vein.
"I failed", she sighed.
"What?", Kabir got puzzled.
"Nothing. I couldn't complete this work".
"No problem Ms. Garg. Bye"
Rachna gathered all her strength. "KT, both of us are venturing into new paths in our life. Can't we at least bid each other with a hopeful note? Can't you be able to say "See you, Rachna", once? I would preserve that note in my heart for the rest of my life. I know, moving on will not be easy. But I know I will, eventually".
"But I know, I can't", Kabir said with heavy heart. Ignoring her surprised look, he continued.
" I tried to behave as professionally with you as possible. But my heart was mocking at me "it's all fake". Finally when you gave me the wedding invitation, I realised. I didn't have the strength to see you getting engaged to somebody, in front of my eyes. Dadi's death left me all alone. I decided to leave."
Rachna was struggling for words. She was trying to get out of shock. "Then Dadi was not the reason for your leave? Do you even know why I kept postponing to have my wedding till I finish my graduation?", Rachna's heart was racing faster.
"What?" Kabir almost screamed. Rachna could not respond in her excitement.
"You mean?", Kabir started getting close to Rachna. Rachna started to hear her heart beat. She closed her eyes.
Dayal just entered the door.
"Papa, chocolate ice cream?", screamed the girl.
"Yes, I fought with the evil monster and warned him, "Never ever dare to snatch chocolate ice cream from my darling daughter. I am sure, he won't do it next time. Now, you can eat it and go to sleep"
"But Papa, he never took my chocolate ice cream"
"What?", almost everyone there screamed.
"Didn't I tell you, I had two ice creams in my hand? He didn't take the chocolate cone, he snatched the vanilla one", Dayal felt like collapsing.
Prabhu immediately realised, why she had that dream. He had got the ice creams for Mayank, Pihu and Rachna. Since Rachna was in bed, Seema had kept it in fridge.
"Oh, that vanilla one? The monster was so scared of you that, he left it in our fridge". She immediately got it.
Gunjan couldn't stop laughing listening to the incident. She was imagining how Dayal's face could have been then.
Dayal could not believe what he saw, just looked away. Unable to control himself, he got out of the door, kneeled on the corridor wall and started pondering. He recalled Kabir's Dadi's face, when she gave that ring. He and Shayl could feel her pain. But it was not in their hand. Even though they were willing, they concerned person had never shown any interest. Now this recent discovery, which makes his entire calculation fundamentally wrong. But at what time? When groom's family is coming for engagement? What to do? Would he be able to convince his daughter? Dayal slowly started to walk towards the door again.
Rachna could feel Kabir's presence with her closed eyes. His breath was warming up her cheeks. She turned red. She held the table which she was leaning on, tightly. He leaned on her, with his arm also resting on the table, beside her. He started to caress her face and gently fixed the streak of hair coming onto her face into the hair pin. When his lips moved towards her, she felt she had lost balance. Kabir held her waist tightly. Rachna's arms wrapped around his neck. Their lips got nearer. When he was about to plant the kiss, she came to her senses. She immediately snapped out of his embrace. Kabir saw her nervous. He sensed her hesitation and decided to let her go. When his eyes fell on the sketch she had made, he had a smile.
He took the sketch in his hand. "Remove all the lacework Ms. Garg. The problem is not that the work is incomplete. It is just overdone", he winked. She realised and smiled.
"Hope you know, she can't remain as Ms. Garg for ever, Mr. Tripati." They looked towards the voice.
"Papa", Rachna's voice shook. She tried to move away but Kabir had held her hand tightly. His confidence overpowered her nervousness.
"I know it Sir. Please grant me permission". Dayal looked at their face. He was polite, but firm. She was gentle but she had made up her mind. Dayal realised their intentions. There was no point in raising any objections now.
He started to wonder, what he would answer to those people, who will be arriving soon. Whatever he says, does it matter to them? "When I don't have any clue what I should say, when people will be least bothered about what I would say, why the hell I am searching for the words?", he made up his mind.
"You people just stay here, till I call you", Dayal left the place.
All the time Kabir had worked hard to prove her how professional he was, finally to accept his defeat. She was struggling to prove him, how much his feelings mattered to her, without knowing his feelings. Dayal was trying to get the best for his daughter without being aware, what is best according to her. All of them had a winning smile, even at their defeat.
Never matter, Dayal's daughter did not have the chocolate ice cream, she had a peaceful night.
Dearest Zener ,
wish u a very happy b'day
You and us are all friends
You laugh, we laugh
You scream, we scream
You spam we spam
You jump, we jump
You jump off to gutter
U appreciate ,taunt ,criticize all in one...
Is that a talent that is heavenly one...
...Zene Darling..wishing you a very very Happy birthday...
May all your dreams come true..as well all Rabirian's too...
Sorry for so unrythmetic poem...see my heart not words...
Baby on this special day what do I say ?? Happy Birthday darling..
I just want this b day to be your best as I remember you were very pissed on your last ; that time I was not so close to you. In one year we did come a long long way ! I realized you and me not only have the same choices but we think on almost the same wavelength so its not difficult to confess my shameless deeds to you as you are always in the same boat. Coz they say a best friends is not one who bails you out of jail but its someone who is sitting beside you in the lock up and whispers Dang that was soo much fun , we should try that again !'that suits us to the fullest .
You and me started chatting when we were crushing on RajNa. who thought such passionate and heated discussions would gimme a friends as sweet as you . My first impression of you was that of a warrior. You single handedly used to fight with people and I would end up feeling bad that s when the pm exchange started and slowly we got close.
Gosh I had some of the best kameena times on IF with you . u remember when the only emoticon u used was that s when I got super close to you the whole day I was msging you // Hashi // Penny. Bas you people had become my life then I dont remember why we decided to move to FB .. OOh those days we were on fire . no eating no sleeping only chatting .. You have always been my partner in crime be it irritating a certain group of people along with hashi *na penny s too sweet to think like us *
You are the most dedicated passionate and committed person I know . and your love and enthusiasm to learn new things is beyond commendable you have mastered PS soo freaking fast . we al r surprised now you r our master Miss Grainless avis
I love you a lott and trust me making those gifts and those tags were a pain coz m used to showing u everything and then asking for ur criticism . there were times I really wanted to show you those tags and ask which one to choose Gosh I m handicapped without you (and Hashi )
SO on this super day I wish you get everything what you want , desire and deserve in you personal life .. Love you a lott my twinno and all my wishes n prayers are with youEdited by -Eris- - 8 years ago
Topic started by No2Pencil
Last replied by Colt.Pixy