Anusha16 thumbnail
Anniversary 10 Thumbnail Group Promotion 5 Thumbnail + 2
Posted: 2 months ago
#1

Hey guys! A long overdue OS based on the photoshoot. Got sick and had to do multiple rewrites as I wasn't satisfied with how the draft turned out. Ended up expanding the story in the end lol! A whopping 4.2K word count... whew smiley44


Anyways... dedicated to everyone who wanted to see Rahul in the story. 

Mainly @ALUJNA21, @Fruitbae, @Starship1


Tags: Jealousy, S***** tension, slight smut, and lots of introspections with some fights sprinkled in. Hope y'all enjoy! Please read it and let me know of any improvements!


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Flashing bright lights and the sound of photographs filled the studio. The subject was striking poses as if inviting everyone around her to fawn over her beauty.

Anirudh was watching the photo shoot with rapt attention. He marveled at how Jhanak took to the stage like a peacock, showing off her finesse. Bangles and anklets clinked as she moved her body to a joyous tune, dancing and posing at the same time. Her eyes were magnetic, beckoning him to come forward, like an enchantress to her hypnotized prey; set to destroy him. He was more than happy to join her in the devil’s tango; only sheer willpower and the knowledge not to disrupt the shoot made Anirudh stay rooted to the spot. All he could do was watch from the sidelines and assess the stills taken as the shoot proceeded. He vaguely recalled his family’s response to the shoot.

“Now this maid will model for Surya Jewelries?”

“This is all your fault Ani, you gave so much importance to her in the beginning, now reap the fruit of your labor.”

“Kaakimaa, I am telling you all, this girl will become even more arrogant than she is now. Already she talks as if she is the head of the house, now she has done an ad, her ego will shoot through the roof.”

“Ani, how come she got selected? I have been trying for this ad for a long time. They never came to me. Tell me the truth, did you help her in this in any way??”

His family members and Arshi were livid upon hearing that Jhanak was selected for the photoshoot. But somehow, he swayed them to let her do the ad by heaping lies upon lies. The lies … it became easy for him as each one rolled out of his tongue smoothly, but it never lessened the guilt he had tricking his family and mainly Jhanak. The fact that this would help Jhanak take the first step to her independence was the only truth that gave him the courage to keep on going. But with fortitude also came apprehension, worry that the day Jhanak leaves the house will come sooner. A part of him dreaded the fact that she might even exit the house after earning from the shoot and he would not be able to persuade her to stay.

Somehow, lying to Jhanak exhausted him the most. She never missed a beat when it came to his lies, always catching him in the act and making him feel the weight of his deceit. That there are consequences to his lies. Ones he did not want to think about. Their thoughts pulled him away from the present.

I’ll cross the bridge when it comes to that. Anirudh sighed to himself and focused his thoughts back on the shoot. It appeared that the specific part of the photo session had concluded; he saw Jhanak taking astride toward him. Confused as to how to respond, he readied himself to be stern with her to maintain the façade. But to his disbelief, she breezed past him as if he did not exist at all. She politely gave a smile to the other artists and sat on a chair close to the wall.

Ouch. She didn’t have to ignore me.

Ani spun back to walk towards her and made an aborted attempt but decided against better.

It’s okay. This will only make her work harder. As long as she succeeds. That’s all that matters. Don’t get disheartened.

Ani could only mentally pat himself on the back. Knowing that Jhanak had not eaten or drunk anything for the past couple of hours, he called the Spot boy to get some Juice for her and turned his interest towards the newly taken stills. Arnab was his friend; he had made extra sure to suggest to him about Jhanak and it helped ease his conscience a lot. As he noticed the spot boy bring the juice to Jhanak, he slowly turned his head and took a peek to see whether Jhanak was consuming it or not. To his dismay, he saw her glare daggers at him and ask the spot boy to get something else. Anirudh got irritated at the gesture and turned back to his conversation with Arnab.

How stubborn is she? What would she lose to have the juice? Refusing just because I gave it. Humph. One should not have this much anger and stubbornness in them.

Initially irritated, his thoughts soon took a somber turn. Jhanak seemed incredibly quiet since the announcement of the shoot. Almost too quiet. It upset Ani to no end. He sensed a change in her attitude towards him as if he was air. She never answered him unless absolutely necessary and that too only one-word answers in a clipped tone.

I’ll have to make it a point to ask Jhanak later… Something doesn’t seem right.

As he was concluding the next course of action, he heard his friend Arnab wave his hands in front of him.

“Ani... hey, hey?? Are you okay?”

“Yeah. Yeah... I am fine. You were asking something?”

“Yeah. What do you think about the stills? Does it suit the theme of “Fresh in Love”?”

“Looks like it.”

“Arey… see properly and tell na? Anyways…. I was pleasantly shocked that you suggested your housemaid for the ad. But you hit the jackpot huh? She is so beautiful... not only that but also graceful and elegant. Her eyes dance to a tune of their own…Where did you meet her anyway? Rumor is that she is Arshi Mukherjee’s cousin…. Is that true?”

Arnab was shooting questions at the speed of 100 miles an hour. More than that, his eyes looked starstruck, as if he were entranced by Jhanak’s beauty. Alarm bells rang in Anirudh’s head. He quickly wanted to cut off Arnab’s train of thought. Any other man viewing Jhanak that way made him squirm.

“Yes, yes, and yes to all your questions. And by the way, she is married. If you know what I mean?” Anirudh tactfully supplied.

Yeah. She is married. And I. Am. Her. Husband. He thought haughtily.

“Oh, okay…. She looks so young though. Any interesting story ??”  His friend asked with curiosity.

“It’s a long story, I’ll tell you in detail some other day. For now, shall we discuss the rest of the shoot plan?” Anirudh had to distract his friend. He was taking far too much interest in Jhanak.

“Acha fine then…  Chalo. Here is the schedule for the rest of the shoot. Take a look and let me know if this works out...”

Minutes passed as Anirudh & Arnab discussed poses, backgrounds, and filters for the theme "Requited love". As he was observing the notes, Anirudh spotted that a male model was supposed to cohead the shoot with Jhanak for this part. He felt a little hesitant about the notion but wanted to maintain a professional spirit and not interfere with the plan.

Both Anirudh and his friend looked up at the sound of heavy footsteps. A handsome guy, about 25, a good height of about 6”, and with caramel skin was approaching the duo. He was wearing a tidy black and white suit, which made him look very elegant. The clothes seemed complementary to the ones Jhanak was intended to wear for the next part. Which meant, he was the male model accompanying Jhanak. As Anirudh was eyeing him from head to toe, the guy stretched his hands towards Anirudh for a handshake.

“Hi...”

“Haan Ani, Meet Rahul Chakraborty. Jhanak’s colleague for the Ad! He is good-looking, right? He’s an up-and-coming model in the modeling circuit this year… Do you know? It took a lot of effort to get him booked for the shoot. He is practically running on wheels these days. He only said yes to the shoot due to Jhanak… We sure got lucky for real… “

As Arnab rambled on, Rahul patiently waited to shake hands with Anirudh. However, Anirudh's attention was caught when he heard that particular name: Rahul.

Rahul...Rahul… Rahul??!!!

Anirudh quickly turned his head towards Arnab, attempting to gather his thoughts.

“Rahul?”

“Haan...Rahul Chakraborty. I just told you. Up and coming male model? See he is waiting for you to shake his hand. So rude Ani, where are you lost??”  Arnab chided him.

Rahul…really? Did it have to be this name? This name does not leave me, does it?

Anirudh slowly took Rahul’s hands to give a formal shake.  He suddenly had a premonition that the day was about to take a turn for the worse. As soon as he finished introducing himself to Rahul, he noticed Jhanak also approaching them to start the next segment of the shoot.

 As soon as she saw the three men, Jhanak stopped and introduced herself to the new member of the trio.

“Hi, I am Jhanak. You are?”

“Rahul. Rahul Chakraborty. Nice to meet you, milady!” Rahul greeted the person with a warm smile and courteously introduced himself, bowing down like a prince.

“Nice to meet you! I am Jhanak Raina.” Jhanak gave a shy smile and motioned Rahul to stand up. Her face turned a shade of red at such a regal introduction. Rahul’s smile reminded her of her best friend. Her Rahul. A nostalgic smile spread across her face at the thought of her friend and unknowingly the three men next to her became a witness to something rare and precious.

Aah… keep calm Ani. This is not her Rahul. Don’t think too much. Concentrate on the shoot.

“Hmrrph...Hmrrph”  Anirudh coughed to break the serene atmosphere as an unbearable headache formed in his head. He couldn’t wait for the day to end. Unfortunately, it wasn’t so, and he had to tolerate a couple of hours of shooting and edits.

“Yeah... Ani it’s almost time for the shoot to start right? Okay, Jhanak, Rahul, let’s go. I’ll brief you on things to do…”

Arnab pulled Jhanak and Rahul, urging them to begin walking towards the shooting area. Anirudh grinded his teeth and walked in the opposite direction. He could only wait, leaning on the wall as he officially wasn’t a part of the shoot. And what he heard only made his headache even worse.

“Milady? Shall we go?”

“Yes Milord, we shall…”

Jhanak was brightly grinning and hooking her arms with his, sauntering to the shooting area as if her day suddenly turned for the better.

She never smiles when she is with me… But if it’s anyone named Rahul her smile comes so quickly. WTH? Am I some villain? Frowns are reserved for me, but smiles are for everyone else?? Not done Jhanak.

Anirudh was seething in rage. He already hated this Rahul, even if he didn’t know him personally. For him, the name itself evoked unfound displeasure.

And what is with this Rahul? Milady and all? Total Flirt. Not even leaving a chance to touch Jhanak. Are all Rahul’s like this? Kashmir Wala was better than this guy. Uggh… I never thought a day would come when I would defend him. What has my life become??!!

“Yeah, what has your life become Jaanab?”

Anirudh turned to face the source of the voice so identical to his. It was his other self. What an auspicious time he chose to make an appearance.

“Jahannam, that’s what.” Anirudh rudely stated.

“It just starting. How will Jaanab feel in a couple of hours… shall we bet between ourselves?” His other self smirked at the thought of a bet.

“No Thank you. Not interested” Aniruddh replied dryly.

“Okay, Killjoy. No fun at all. Fine. Let’s enjoy the next couple of hours of torment, shall we?”

His other self was not short of pulling any punches today it seems. Anirudh resigned himself to the circumstances and decided to view the shoot.

Seconds turned to minutes and minutes to hours… but for Anirudh, it felt like he was trapped in a black hole. Neither space nor time were moving. He stood rooted on the spot, watching the scene unfold before him. All the while, he was just a mute spectator unable to voice anything that crossed his mind. He could only feel unbridled rage, increasing by the minute, witnessing Jhanak and that damned Rahul. They appeared lost in each other, embodying the theme of "Requited love".

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Something like this....


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Anirudh clenched his fists to feel something other than rage. He could already feel the wetness of the blood seeping from the spot where his nails dug into his skin.

Good. This is much needed.

Jealousy soon replaced rage. Unfound Jealousy. At that moment in time, Anirudh deeply regretted letting Jhanak sign the contract. As quickly as the Jealousy exploded, it also simmered down. While wrestling to maintain control, he felt a tap on his shoulder. He swiveled his head sideways, seeing his other self give a knowing smile, half mocking, half pitiful.

“What?”

“You are jealous, aren’t you?”

“Of what, the model or the photographer?”

“Both. I would say. But not going to since I know you’ll only refuse.”

“ I am not jealous of anything. Just annoyed.”

“Don’t lie to me Jaanab. I know you more than you know yourself, I am you and you are me. Remember that.”

His consciousness chose the perfect day to play the saint. Turning away from himself, Anirudh could only grind his teeth and stay mum. And stay mum he did. He frequently kept checking his phone to see if the hour had gone by, and after an excruciating wait, it seemed to be so. The phone displayed 3:00 PM finally and Anirudh had never been thankful to God as he was at that point.

Taking a step forward, Anirudh felt his phone vibrate. Glancing at the number, he frowned with annoyance. He had hoped to catch Jhanak and question her about her changed demeanor.

He also had to call right now. Ugh… Today is not a good day. At all. he muttered, thoroughly baffled.

There, displayed in big block letters was the name “Rahul Kashmir.”  Anirudh felt his headache spike up. Against his better judgment, he slid the green button on the screen for Jhanak’s sake.

“Hello? Anirudh ji??” Rahul piped in a sunny tone.

“Yeah. What is it?”

“Nothing much. Just wanted to talk to Jhanak. The exams are coming closer, I wanted to run by Jhanak to see what her plans are...”

“Okay, one minute. I’ll give her the phone.”

Anirudh strived to walk and give Jhanak the phone much to his annoyance. The irritational hate for Rahul was superseded by the need to make Jhanak happy in his eyes. But as soon as took the first step, what greeted his eyes were pure laughter and banter. Jhanak and Rahul Chakraborty were laughing as if their bellies would split, her playfully punching fists onto his chest. That was all it took for Anirudh to snap.

That’s it. I need answers from Jhanak. Now.

“Rahul, I’ll call you back later…. I need to go now”

“But Anirudh…. What about Jhana-?”

Without hearing the rest of what the other Rahul had to say, Anirudh strode towards Jhanak like a predator stalking its prey. He took powerful strides and immediately closed the gap between them. He took a dirty look at Rahul and quickly clasped Jhanak’s hand.

“Hey Rahul, Jhanak got a call. She needs to speak to her friend. Do you mind?” He gritted out involuntarily.

“Oh, okay…Jhanak, I ordered your favorite Mudar Pulao and Yakni from that Kashmir restaurant I mentioned. We’ll eat once you finish your call. Okay?” Rahul chimed.

“Pucca”

“I am waiting milady…” Rahul replied with a wink.

Anirudh felt like a pervert, privy to their intimate conversation. It only made his BP shoot up. He wasted no time in pulling Jhanak to a more private location. He was so intent on leaving there that he didn’t notice the anger building up within Jhanak.


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What happened to Sirji?

Jhanak was talking to her new friend Rahul when Anirudh suddenly pulled her out without any regard. The pain shooting up through her arm only made the frown stronger on her face. She was happy to find someone with the same name as her best friend and also part Kashmiri. Jhanak felt gratitude at the chance encounter with a kindred spirit. However, Anirudh abruptly cut their conversation and hauled her out, leaving her wondering why.

“Sirji, what are you doing?”

“Stay quiet. “We need to talk somewhere where others are not present” was the only reply she got in return.

Huffing in annoyance, she remained silent and let him manhandle her as they entered the area behind the staircase door, secluded from the main space.

“Sirji, it hurts…. Leave me! Leave me, I say!!”

“Alright. Fine”

Jhanak slowly caressed her reddened wrists, feeling immense pain. She immediately darted her head to face Anirudh, rage evident.

“Why did you bring me here?”

“Why were you so close to him?”

“Don’t answer a question with another. This is not the answer to my question.”

“Give and take Jhanak.”

“Fine, close with who?”

“That… Rahul”

Anirudh looked like he could spit poison. Jhanak felt stunned at his perplexing attitude.

“What Rahul? I am not getting you”

“That Rahul Chakraborty Damit. Don’t pretend as if you don’t understand.”  He snorted.

“What business is it of yours?” she snapped back.

“…….”

Not hearing any response, Jhanak concentrated on examining the wound on her wrists. She was concerned about how it would affect the shoot and if she had to cover it up with makeup. What she did not notice, however, was the pair of hands, out of view, immediately clasping each of her wrists within its own, pinning her to the wall behind. She sharply felt the strong male body on top of her, caging her in a human prison. A hint of amber, musk, leather, and something masculine invaded her nostrils, rendering her motionless. Deep eyes the color of dark chocolate peered upon hers, probing for something. Jhanak could not comprehend the response his eyes searched for. Coyness or Defiance? Or a bit of Both?

 But Jhanak didn’t show either. Only another probing gaze in response.

They both felt the time halt around them. They lay in a standstill, both not moving. Anirudh finally broke the pact, slowly leaning towards the crook of her neck. With bated breath, he asked again.

“What business is it of mine? Do you really not know? Who I am to you?”

“No. I don’t. would you kindly do the honor and tell me?”

“…….”

“Jhanak…don’t play with fire,” Anirudh warned her.

Jhanak could feel Anirudh’s breath within inches of her skin. Each breath he took sent small shivers through her. Trapped and unable to move, she wrenched her hands forward to try and shake his grip on hers. Due to the motion, Anirudh was forced to look into her eyes. As soon as he did though, his grip on her hands tightened even more. He slowly inched closer, enough that there was not even a hair’s breadth; his lips close to brushing hers. Sensing his intent, Jhanak felt like she was doused in cold water, the spell broken between them. With strength she never imagined she had, she pushed him enough that he staggered backward, releasing her wrists.

How dare he? How dare he do this to me again?

Jhanak fumed in an icy wrath. She was done. Done with his puzzling attitude. Push and pull. Everything. All she wanted were clear indications, actions, and answers. And she will get them. By Hook or Crook. It was her time now. And she planned to make sure he grasped the meaning behind the saying “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” today.

Seeing Anirudh steady himself from the almost fall, Jhanak hardened herself. She wanted to ask and know about everything enigmatic that simmered underneath the surface between them. The fake-real marriage, their concern for each other that transcended anything, this attraction that came unexplained. All of them.

“How dare you?? With what right do you ask me this question? Forget who you are to me…WHAT.AM.I.TO.YOU??” she seethed through her teeth. Punctuating each word with a poke to his chest.

“I am tired of the BS you do. Always dancing around the issue, lying…. blowing hot and cold. Who do you take me for? Some Dandy that will smile for you as you speak flirty words and do machismo? That I don’t see what’s beneath? YOU.ARE.WRONG.MR BOSE. DEAD WRONG. Do you hear me?”

I am ending the issue of rights and Who am I/ Who are you once and for all.

“……….”

“ I am your husband. Mrs. Bose”

Anirudh had finally uttered the definitive words. Straight to her face. But it did nothing to quell the wrath and misery Jhanak was feeling that instant.

Oh, that’s how you want to play it huh?

A corner of her lips twisted into a bloody smile, all mangled like her insides. Anirudh flinched at the sight of it, sensing something going horribly wrong. But before he could put a finger on it, he sensed Jhanak poking his chest with her index finger. There was no warmth on her face. With a voice that could freeze the seven seas, she started saying the words that condemned him to true hell.

“Oh. I think otherwise. Now, I will tell this only once…. listen very well and remember it by heart. Do you hear me??”

“YOU.ARE.NOT.MY.HUSBAND.”

She retreated while Anirudh stilled at the hurtful words. Turning to leave, she slowly walked toward the door as she heard Rahul calling her name. But before she opened the door, she gave one final glance at her fake-real husband and decided to twist the dagger even deeper.

It’s better this way. He reaps as he sows.

“Who I talk with is none of your business… it’s only my husband's and as far as I know. RAHUL.IS.MY.HUSBAND. Kashmir Wala?? Rahul Gadwa. Him.”

“So…. Stay away from another man’s wife. Doesn’t reflect well on you.”

Without waiting to glean Anirudh’s reaction, she swiftly closed the door and briskly treaded toward Rahul. He smiled widely as she approached him.

“Jhanak, you took a long time Yaar! Come let’s go. The food is getting cold! Let’s eat. My mouth is watering thinking of the food… “

“Haan… I am hungry too. After that, we also have to finish the shoot na?” Jhanak chimed in. She just wanted to forget everything that happened and complete her work in peace.

“You know one thing? The minute I saw you, I felt you were family. I am so happy that I met you today, Jhanak.”

Rahul jumped in joy and put his hands on her shoulder. She felt like the best friend/sister he never had. He wanted to remain in touch with her.

“Acha… Do you have a phone number? I want to stay in touch Yaar!”

“No, I don’t have a personal mobile phone right now. But I can give you the number of my Badomaa” Jhanak responded sadly.

“Arey… why are you sad about this? You’ll get a salary na? Buy one. If not, I’ll buy it for you! What’s in this?”

“Okay… Pucca. I’ll get one and text you first of all. Now leave all this, let’s go… Food is waiting”

Jhanak motioned Rahul to move faster, happy in her heart there was one person in this strange city who genuinely cared for her. She felt it was a happy end to an otherwise tumultuous day. Although she felt a pair of burning eyes, she paid no heed and proceeded to leave for the shoot.


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Anirudh tousled his hair, watching the two leave from the back. He felt frustrated at the turn of events. Jhanak revealing about Rahul had scared him to death. He wasn’t sure how to respond.

Damnit. How did Jhanak know about this? I never meant what I said about Rahul. Shit. Shit. Shit….

“Yeah, well that’s not the main problem, is it?”

It was his other self again, leisurely sprawled across the set of seats with legs wide open.

“You again. Do you only appear to stir trouble?” Anirudh shot back.

“Me? When did I do that? You got into trouble through your half-truths and words. Why bring me into the mix?”  His other self grumbled in response. He looked unperturbed, irking Anirudh even further.

“Quit it. Will you? You smug B*****!”

“’ Kay. I will. Now what are going to do about her?”

“Not sure. Have to come up with something to get her to listen, stubborn as she is.”

Noticing his other self beckoning him to come closer, he sat next to him on the adjacent seat.

“Leave that for later. Did you forget that there is one more segment with the theme of "Marriage”?”

“Ready for another round of misery?” His counterpart chuckled in wretched mirth.

Right. Another round of misery, eh? Might as well face it head-on. It will at least give me time to formulate a reason to talk about Rahul. Sigh… It’s going to be an exceedingly long day.

Anirudh could already feel his temples throbbing. But what to do? Only one thing. Follow her. As he always does. Like an iron to its magnet. Concluding his next action, he stood up, straightened his jacket, glanced at his alter ego quickly, and briskly strode tracing Jhanak's footsteps.

After all, he didn’t want anyone named Rahul near her. Of that, he was sure. 


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Sorry for the delay! Took some time to decide my central theme for the story... 


PS: Took the liberty to name Rahul's last name as Gadwa based on his profession. smiley36


Have a Happy day y'all! Toodles...smiley31

                                                             

Edited by Anusha16 - 2 months ago

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Anniversary 10 Thumbnail Group Promotion 5 Thumbnail + 2
Posted: 2 months ago
#2

Originally posted by: Anusha16

                                                             


Tagging others...

special mention to @_VIHU. @Artemis7

Edited by Anusha16 - 2 months ago
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Visit Streak 90 0 Thumbnail Anniversary 5 Thumbnail + 2
Posted: 2 months ago
#3

Is it an os? May be u shud continue... It's interesting...

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Group Promotion 4 Thumbnail Visit Streak 90 0 Thumbnail + 2
Posted: 2 months ago
#4

Originally posted by: Anusha16

Hey guys! A long overdue OS based on the photoshoot. Got sick and had to do multiple rewrites as I wasn't satisfied with how the draft turned out. Ended up expanding the story in the end lol! A whopping 4.2K word count... whew smiley44


Anyways... dedicated to everyone who wanted to see Rahul in the story. 

Mainly @ALUJNA21, @Fruitbae, @Starship1


Tags: Jealousy, S***** tension, slight smut, and lots of introspections with some fights sprinkled in. Hope y'all enjoy! Please read it and let me know of any improvements!


                                         XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Flashing bright lights and the sound of photographs filled the studio. The subject was striking poses as if inviting everyone around her to fawn over her beauty.

Anirudh was watching the photo shoot with rapt attention. He marveled at how Jhanak took to the stage like a peacock, showing off her finesse. Bangles and anklets clinked as she moved her body to a joyous tune, dancing and posing at the same time. Her eyes were magnetic, beckoning him to come forward, like an enchantress to her hypnotized prey; set to destroy him. He was more than happy to join her in the devil’s tango; only sheer willpower and the knowledge not to disrupt the shoot made Anirudh stay rooted to the spot. All he could do was watch from the sidelines and assess the stills taken as the shoot proceeded. He vaguely recalled his family’s response to the shoot.

“Now this maid will model for Surya Jewelries?”

“This is all your fault Ani, you gave so much importance to her in the beginning, now reap the fruit of your labor.”

“Kaakimaa, I am telling you all, this girl will become even more arrogant than she is now. Already she talks as if she is the head of the house, now she has done an ad, her ego will shoot through the roof.”

“Ani, how come she got selected? I have been trying for this ad for a long time. They never came to me. Tell me the truth, did you help her in this in any way??”

His family members and Arshi were livid upon hearing that Jhanak was selected for the photoshoot. But somehow, he swayed them to let her do the ad by heaping lies upon lies. The lies … it became easy for him as each one rolled out of his tongue smoothly, but it never lessened the guilt he had tricking his family and mainly Jhanak. The fact that this would help Jhanak take the first step to her independence was the only truth that gave him the courage to keep on going. But with fortitude also came apprehension, worry that the day Jhanak leaves the house will come sooner. A part of him dreaded the fact that she might even exit the house after earning from the shoot and he would not be able to persuade her to stay.

Somehow, lying to Jhanak exhausted him the most. She never missed a beat when it came to his lies, always catching him in the act and making him feel the weight of his deceit. That there are consequences to his lies. Ones he did not want to think about. Their thoughts pulled him away from the present.

I’ll cross the bridge when it comes to that. Anirudh sighed to himself and focused his thoughts back on the shoot. It appeared that the specific part of the photo session had concluded; he saw Jhanak taking astride toward him. Confused as to how to respond, he readied himself to be stern with her to maintain the façade. But to his disbelief, she breezed past him as if he did not exist at all. She politely gave a smile to the other artists and sat on a chair close to the wall.

Ouch. She didn’t have to ignore me.

Ani spun back to walk towards her and made an aborted attempt but decided against better.

It’s okay. This will only make her work harder. As long as she succeeds. That’s all that matters. Don’t get disheartened.

Ani could only mentally pat himself on the back. Knowing that Jhanak had not eaten or drunk anything for the past couple of hours, he called the Spot boy to get some Juice for her and turned his interest towards the newly taken stills. Arnab was his friend; he had made extra sure to suggest to him about Jhanak and it helped ease his conscience a lot. As he noticed the spot boy bring the juice to Jhanak, he slowly turned his head and took a peek to see whether Jhanak was consuming it or not. To his dismay, he saw her glare daggers at him and ask the spot boy to get something else. Anirudh got irritated at the gesture and turned back to his conversation with Arnab.

How stubborn is she? What would she lose to have the juice? Refusing just because I gave it. Humph. One should not have this much anger and stubbornness in them.

Initially irritated, his thoughts soon took a somber turn. Jhanak seemed incredibly quiet since the announcement of the shoot. Almost too quiet. It upset Ani to no end. He sensed a change in her attitude towards him as if he was air. She never answered him unless absolutely necessary and that too only one-word answers in a clipped tone.

I’ll have to make it a point to ask Jhanak later… Something doesn’t seem right.

As he was concluding the next course of action, he heard his friend Arnab wave his hands in front of him.

“Ani... hey, hey?? Are you okay?”

“Yeah. Yeah... I am fine. You were asking something?”

“Yeah. What do you think about the stills? Does it suit the theme of “Fresh in Love”?”

“Looks like it.”

“Arey… see properly and tell na? Anyways…. I was pleasantly shocked that you suggested your housemaid for the ad. But you hit the jackpot huh? She is so beautiful... not only that but also graceful and elegant. Her eyes dance to a tune of their own…Where did you meet her anyway? Rumor is that she is Arshi Mukherjee’s cousin…. Is that true?”

Arnab was shooting questions at the speed of 100 miles an hour. More than that, his eyes looked starstruck, as if he were entranced by Jhanak’s beauty. Alarm bells rang in Anirudh’s head. He quickly wanted to cut off Arnab’s train of thought. Any other man viewing Jhanak that way made him squirm.

“Yes, yes, and yes to all your questions. And by the way, she is married. If you know what I mean?” Anirudh tactfully supplied.

Yeah. She is married. And I. Am. Her. Husband. He thought haughtily.

“Oh, okay…. She looks so young though. Any interesting story ??”  His friend asked with curiosity.

“It’s a long story, I’ll tell you in detail some other day. For now, shall we discuss the rest of the shoot plan?” Anirudh had to distract his friend. He was taking far too much interest in Jhanak.

“Acha fine then…  Chalo. Here is the schedule for the rest of the shoot. Take a look and let me know if this works out...”

Minutes passed as Anirudh & Arnab discussed poses, backgrounds, and filters for the theme "Requited love". As he was observing the notes, Anirudh spotted that a male model was supposed to cohead the shoot with Jhanak for this part. He felt a little hesitant about the notion but wanted to maintain a professional spirit and not interfere with the plan.

Both Anirudh and his friend looked up at the sound of heavy footsteps. A handsome guy, about 25, a good height of about 6”, and with caramel skin was approaching the duo. He was wearing a tidy black and white suit, which made him look very elegant. The clothes seemed complementary to the ones Jhanak was intended to wear for the next part. Which meant, he was the male model accompanying Jhanak. As Anirudh was eyeing him from head to toe, the guy stretched his hands towards Anirudh for a handshake.

“Hi...”

“Haan Ani, Meet Rahul Chakraborty. Jhanak’s colleague for the Ad! He is good-looking, right? He’s an up-and-coming model in the modeling circuit this year… Do you know? It took a lot of effort to get him booked for the shoot. He is practically running on wheels these days. He only said yes to the shoot due to Jhanak… We sure got lucky for real… “

As Arnab rambled on, Rahul patiently waited to shake hands with Anirudh. However, Anirudh's attention was caught when he heard that particular name: Rahul.

Rahul...Rahul… Rahul??!!!

Anirudh quickly turned his head towards Arnab, attempting to gather his thoughts.

“Rahul?”

“Haan...Rahul Chakraborty. I just told you. Up and coming male model? See he is waiting for you to shake his hand. So rude Ani, where are you lost??”  Arnab chided him.

Rahul…really? Did it have to be this name? This name does not leave me, does it?

Anirudh slowly took Rahul’s hands to give a formal shake.  He suddenly had a premonition that the day was about to take a turn for the worse. As soon as he finished introducing himself to Rahul, he noticed Jhanak also approaching them to start the next segment of the shoot.

 As soon as she saw the three men, Jhanak stopped and introduced herself to the new member of the trio.

“Hi, I am Jhanak. You are?”

“Rahul. Rahul Chakraborty. Nice to meet you, milady!” Rahul greeted the person with a warm smile and courteously introduced himself, bowing down like a prince.

“Nice to meet you! I am Jhanak Raina.” Jhanak gave a shy smile and motioned Rahul to stand up. Her face turned a shade of red at such a regal introduction. Rahul’s smile reminded her of her best friend. Her Rahul. A nostalgic smile spread across her face at the thought of her friend and unknowingly the three men next to her became a witness to something rare and precious.

Aah… keep calm Ani. This is not her Rahul. Don’t think too much. Concentrate on the shoot.

“Hmrrph...Hmrrph”  Anirudh coughed to break the serene atmosphere as an unbearable headache formed in his head. He couldn’t wait for the day to end. Unfortunately, it wasn’t so, and he had to tolerate a couple of hours of shooting and edits.

“Yeah... Ani it’s almost time for the shoot to start right? Okay, Jhanak, Rahul, let’s go. I’ll brief you on things to do…”

Arnab pulled Jhanak and Rahul, urging them to begin walking towards the shooting area. Anirudh grinded his teeth and walked in the opposite direction. He could only wait, leaning on the wall as he officially wasn’t a part of the shoot. And what he heard only made his headache even worse.

“Milady? Shall we go?”

“Yes Milord, we shall…”

Jhanak was brightly grinning and hooking her arms with his, sauntering to the shooting area as if her day suddenly turned for the better.

She never smiles when she is with me… But if it’s anyone named Rahul her smile comes so quickly. WTH? Am I some villain? Frowns are reserved for me, but smiles are for everyone else?? Not done Jhanak.

Anirudh was seething in rage. He already hated this Rahul, even if he didn’t know him personally. For him, the name itself evoked unfound displeasure.

And what is with this Rahul? Milady and all? Total Flirt. Not even leaving a chance to touch Jhanak. Are all Rahul’s like this? Kashmir Wala was better than this guy. Uggh… I never thought a day would come when I would defend him. What has my life become??!!

“Yeah, what has your life become Jaanab?”

Anirudh turned to face the source of the voice so identical to his. It was his other self. What an auspicious time he chose to make an appearance.

“Jahannam, that’s what.” Anirudh rudely stated.

“It just starting. How will Jaanab feel in a couple of hours… shall we bet between ourselves?” His other self smirked at the thought of a bet.

“No Thank you. Not interested” Aniruddh replied dryly.

“Okay, Killjoy. No fun at all. Fine. Let’s enjoy the next couple of hours of torment, shall we?”

His other self was not short of pulling any punches today it seems. Anirudh resigned himself to the circumstances and decided to view the shoot.

Seconds turned to minutes and minutes to hours… but for Anirudh, it felt like he was trapped in a black hole. Neither space nor time were moving. He stood rooted on the spot, watching the scene unfold before him. All the while, he was just a mute spectator unable to voice anything that crossed his mind. He could only feel unbridled rage, increasing by the minute, witnessing Jhanak and that damned Rahul. They appeared lost in each other, embodying the theme of "Requited love".

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Something like this....




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Anirudh clenched his fists to feel something other than rage. He could already feel the wetness of the blood seeping from the spot where his nails dug into his skin.

Good. This is much needed.

Jealousy soon replaced rage. Unfound Jealousy. At that moment in time, Anirudh deeply regretted letting Jhanak sign the contract. As quickly as the Jealousy exploded, it also simmered down. While wrestling to maintain control, he felt a tap on his shoulder. He swiveled his head sideways, seeing his other self give a knowing smile, half mocking, half pitiful.

“What?”

“You are jealous, aren’t you?”

“Of what, the model or the photographer?”

“Both. I would say. But not going to since I know you’ll only refuse.”

“ I am not jealous of anything. Just annoyed.”

“Don’t lie to me Jaanab. I know you more than you know yourself, I am you and you are me. Remember that.”

His consciousness chose the perfect day to play the saint. Turning away from himself, Anirudh could only grind his teeth and stay mum. And stay mum he did. He frequently kept checking his phone to see if the hour had gone by, and after an excruciating wait, it seemed to be so. The phone displayed 3:00 PM finally and Anirudh had never been thankful to God as he was at that point.

Taking a step forward, Anirudh felt his phone vibrate. Glancing at the number, he frowned with annoyance. He had hoped to catch Jhanak and question her about her changed demeanor.

He also had to call right now. Ugh… Today is not a good day. At all. he muttered, thoroughly baffled.

There, displayed in big block letters was the name “Rahul Kashmir.”  Anirudh felt his headache spike up. Against his better judgment, he slid the green button on the screen for Jhanak’s sake.

“Hello? Anirudh ji??” Rahul piped in a sunny tone.

“Yeah. What is it?”

“Nothing much. Just wanted to talk to Jhanak. The exams are coming closer, I wanted to run by Jhanak to see what her plans are...”

“Okay, one minute. I’ll give her the phone.”

Anirudh strived to walk and give Jhanak the phone much to his annoyance. The irritational hate for Rahul was superseded by the need to make Jhanak happy in his eyes. But as soon as took the first step, what greeted his eyes were pure laughter and banter. Jhanak and Rahul Chakraborty were laughing as if their bellies would split, her playfully punching fists onto his chest. That was all it took for Anirudh to snap.

That’s it. I need answers from Jhanak. Now.

“Rahul, I’ll call you back later…. I need to go now”

“But Anirudh…. What about Jhana-?”

Without hearing the rest of what the other Rahul had to say, Anirudh strode towards Jhanak like a predator stalking its prey. He took powerful strides and immediately closed the gap between them. He took a dirty look at Rahul and quickly clasped Jhanak’s hand.

“Hey Rahul, Jhanak got a call. She needs to speak to her friend. Do you mind?” He gritted out involuntarily.

“Oh, okay…Jhanak, I ordered your favorite Mudar Pulao and Yakni from that Kashmir restaurant I mentioned. We’ll eat once you finish your call. Okay?” Rahul chimed.

“Pucca”

“I am waiting milady…” Rahul replied with a wink.

Anirudh felt like a pervert, privy to their intimate conversation. It only made his BP shoot up. He wasted no time in pulling Jhanak to a more private location. He was so intent on leaving there that he didn’t notice the anger building up within Jhanak.


                                                    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


What happened to Sirji?

Jhanak was talking to her new friend Rahul when Anirudh suddenly pulled her out without any regard. The pain shooting up through her arm only made the frown stronger on her face. She was happy to find someone with the same name as her best friend and also part Kashmiri. Jhanak felt gratitude at the chance encounter with a kindred spirit. However, Anirudh abruptly cut their conversation and hauled her out, leaving her wondering why.

“Sirji, what are you doing?”

“Stay quiet. “We need to talk somewhere where others are not present” was the only reply she got in return.

Huffing in annoyance, she remained silent and let him manhandle her as they entered the area behind the staircase door, secluded from the main space.

“Sirji, it hurts…. Leave me! Leave me, I say!!”

“Alright. Fine”

Jhanak slowly caressed her reddened wrists, feeling immense pain. She immediately darted her head to face Anirudh, rage evident.

“Why did you bring me here?”

“Why were you so close to him?”

“Don’t answer a question with another. This is not the answer to my question.”

“Give and take Jhanak.”

“Fine, close with who?”

“That… Rahul”

Anirudh looked like he could spit poison. Jhanak felt stunned at his perplexing attitude.

“What Rahul? I am not getting you”

“That Rahul Chakraborty Damit. Don’t pretend as if you don’t understand.”  He snorted.

“What business is it of yours?” she snapped back.

“…….”

Not hearing any response, Jhanak concentrated on examining the wound on her wrists. She was concerned about how it would affect the shoot and if she had to cover it up with makeup. What she did not notice, however, was the pair of hands, out of view, immediately clasping each of her wrists within its own, pinning her to the wall behind. She sharply felt the strong male body on top of her, caging her in a human prison. A hint of amber, musk, leather, and something masculine invaded her nostrils, rendering her motionless. Deep eyes the color of dark chocolate peered upon hers, probing for something. Jhanak could not comprehend the response his eyes searched for. Coyness or Defiance? Or a bit of Both?

 But Jhanak didn’t show either. Only another probing gaze in response.

They both felt the time halt around them. They lay in a standstill, both not moving. Anirudh finally broke the pact, slowly leaning towards the crook of her neck. With bated breath, he asked again.

“What business is it of mine? Do you really not know? Who I am to you?”

“No. I don’t. would you kindly do the honor and tell me?”

“…….”

“Jhanak…don’t play with fire,” Anirudh warned her.

Jhanak could feel Anirudh’s breath within inches of her skin. Each breath he took sent small shivers through her. Trapped and unable to move, she wrenched her hands forward to try and shake his grip on hers. Due to the motion, Anirudh was forced to look into her eyes. As soon as he did though, his grip on her hands tightened even more. He slowly inched closer, enough that there was not even a hair’s breadth; his lips close to brushing hers. Sensing his intent, Jhanak felt like she was doused in cold water, the spell broken between them. With strength she never imagined she had, she pushed him enough that he staggered backward, releasing her wrists.

How dare he? How dare he do this to me again?

Jhanak fumed in an icy wrath. She was done. Done with his puzzling attitude. Push and pull. Everything. All she wanted were clear indications, actions, and answers. And she will get them. By Hook or Crook. It was her time now. And she planned to make sure he grasped the meaning behind the saying “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” today.

Seeing Anirudh steady himself from the almost fall, Jhanak hardened herself. She wanted to ask and know about everything enigmatic that simmered underneath the surface between them. The fake-real marriage, their concern for each other that transcended anything, this attraction that came unexplained. All of them.

“How dare you?? With what right do you ask me this question? Forget who you are to me…WHAT.AM.I.TO.YOU??” she seethed through her teeth. Punctuating each word with a poke to his chest.

“I am tired of the BS you do. Always dancing around the issue, lying…. blowing hot and cold. Who do you take me for? Some Dandy that will smile for you as you speak flirty words and do machismo? That I don’t see what’s beneath? YOU.ARE.WRONG.MR BOSE. DEAD WRONG. Do you hear me?”

I am ending the issue of rights and Who am I/ Who are you once and for all.

“……….”

“ I am your husband. Mrs. Bose”

Anirudh had finally uttered the definitive words. Straight to her face. But it did nothing to quell the wrath and misery Jhanak was feeling that instant.

Oh, that’s how you want to play it huh?

A corner of her lips twisted into a bloody smile, all mangled like her insides. Anirudh flinched at the sight of it, sensing something going horribly wrong. But before he could put a finger on it, he sensed Jhanak poking his chest with her index finger. There was no warmth on her face. With a voice that could freeze the seven seas, she started saying the words that condemned him to true hell.

“Oh. I think otherwise. Now, I will tell this only once…. listen very well and remember it by heart. Do you hear me??”

“YOU.ARE.NOT.MY.HUSBAND.”

She retreated while Anirudh stilled at the hurtful words. Turning to leave, she slowly walked toward the door as she heard Rahul calling her name. But before she opened the door, she gave one final glance at her fake-real husband and decided to twist the dagger even deeper.

It’s better this way. He reaps as he sows.

“Who I talk with is none of your business… it’s only my husband's and as far as I know. RAHUL.IS.MY.HUSBAND. Kashmir Wala?? Rahul Gadwa. Him.”

“So…. Stay away from another man’s wife. Doesn’t reflect well on you.”

Without waiting to glean Anirudh’s reaction, she swiftly closed the door and briskly treaded toward Rahul. He smiled widely as she approached him.

“Jhanak, you took a long time Yaar! Come let’s go. The food is getting cold! Let’s eat. My mouth is watering thinking of the food… “

“Haan… I am hungry too. After that, we also have to finish the shoot na?” Jhanak chimed in. She just wanted to forget everything that happened and complete her work in peace.

“You know one thing? The minute I saw you, I felt you were family. I am so happy that I met you today, Jhanak.”

Rahul jumped in joy and put his hands on her shoulder. She felt like the best friend/sister he never had. He wanted to remain in touch with her.

“Acha… Do you have a phone number? I want to stay in touch Yaar!”

“No, I don’t have a personal mobile phone right now. But I can give you the number of my Badomaa” Jhanak responded sadly.

“Arey… why are you sad about this? You’ll get a salary na? Buy one. If not, I’ll buy it for you! What’s in this?”

“Okay… Pucca. I’ll get one and text you first of all. Now leave all this, let’s go… Food is waiting”

Jhanak motioned Rahul to move faster, happy in her heart there was one person in this strange city who genuinely cared for her. She felt it was a happy end to an otherwise tumultuous day. Although she felt a pair of burning eyes, she paid no heed and proceeded to leave for the shoot.


                                                  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Anirudh tousled his hair, watching the two leave from the back. He felt frustrated at the turn of events. Jhanak revealing about Rahul had scared him to death. He wasn’t sure how to respond.

Damnit. How did Jhanak know about this? I never meant what I said about Rahul. Shit. Shit. Shit….

“Yeah, well that’s not the main problem, is it?”

It was his other self again, leisurely sprawled across the set of seats with legs wide open.

“You again. Do you only appear to stir trouble?” Anirudh shot back.

“Me? When did I do that? You got into trouble through your half-truths and words. Why bring me into the mix?”  His other self grumbled in response. He looked unperturbed, irking Anirudh even further.

“Quit it. Will you? You smug B*****!”

“’ Kay. I will. Now what are going to do about her?”

“Not sure. Have to come up with something to get her to listen, stubborn as she is.”

Noticing his other self beckoning him to come closer, he sat next to him on the adjacent seat.

“Leave that for later. Did you forget that there is one more segment with the theme of "Marriage”?”

“Ready for another round of misery?” His counterpart chuckled in wretched mirth.

Right. Another round of misery, eh? Might as well face it head-on. It will at least give me time to formulate a reason to talk about Rahul. Sigh… It’s going to be an exceedingly long day.

Anirudh could already feel his temples throbbing. But what to do? Only one thing. Follow her. As he always does. Like an iron to its magnet. Concluding his next action, he stood up, straightened his jacket, glanced at his alter ego quickly, and briskly strode tracing Jhanak's footsteps.

After all, he didn’t want anyone named Rahul near her. Of that, he was sure. 


                                            XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Sorry for the delay! Took some time to decide my central theme for the story... 


PS: Took the liberty to name Rahul's last name as Gudwa based on his profession. smiley36


Have a Happy day y'all! Toodles...smiley31

                                                             

Nice story , i so loved it .

Wished to see it on screen with Krushal...

Rahul , Rahul was soo good .

Anusha , pls write more ..

Instead of showing this bunch of family members and drama why not do something like this .

It was so perfect ...

Lollolika thumbnail
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Posted: 2 months ago
#5

Sooo good Anusha! smiley32I am somewhat relieved from the stress from today's episode and the upcoming toxic dramasmiley37

Anusha16 thumbnail
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Posted: 2 months ago
#6

Originally posted by: vimeo

Is it an os? May be u shud continue... It's interesting...


Yes. I intended it to be one. I just tend to love mine open-ended since I want people to imagine their own stories from the end of mine.

Anusha16 thumbnail
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Posted: 2 months ago
#7

Originally posted by: Fruitbae

Nice story , i so loved it .

Wished to see it on screen with Krushal...

Rahul , Rahul was soo good .

Anusha , pls write more ..

Instead of showing this bunch of family members and drama why not do something like this .

It was so perfect ...


Thank you. Hope you did not get confused by too many Rahul's smiley37. I changed to ending seeing yesterday's episode lol. That's why no analysis of the episode smiley36


Too much whiplash!


Let me know if there is any way I can improve!

Anusha16 thumbnail
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Posted: 2 months ago
#8

Originally posted by: Lollolika

Sooo good Anusha! smiley32I am somewhat relieved from the stress from today's episode and the upcoming toxic dramasmiley37


Yes. Coincidence that it got timed perfectly smiley36

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Posted: 2 months ago
#9

Originally posted by: Anusha16


Thank you. Hope you did not get confused by too many Rahul's smiley37. I changed to ending seeing yesterday's episode lol. That's why no analysis of the episode smiley36


Too much whiplash!


Let me know if there is any way I can improve!

I loved it than the rushed on screen epiosde ... They could have just shown something like this on that epiosde followed by yesterday's Rahul jaap of Anirudh . It would have been a treat ro watch ...

Pls write more like this and reading it with Krushal and Hiba in mind is a treat♥️♥️ 

Anusha16 thumbnail
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Posted: 2 months ago
#10

Originally posted by: Fruitbae

I loved it than the rushed on screen epiosde ... They could have just shown something like this on that epiosde followed by yesterday's Rahul jaap of Anirudh . It would have been a treat ro watch ...

Pls write more like this and reading it with Krushal and Hiba in mind is a treat♥️♥️ 


My first one was a 5 page document on the word. This one came to a huge 11. Even I was surprised I wrote so much lol. No wonder it took time to complete, edit and proofread! Glad to know you liked it!


I wish they explored more on Ani's attraction/monologues about the different avatars on the shoot. But nope, the cut shot the bridal attire and Bharatnatyam one which was the best of the four. Especially the bridal one... Hayeesmiley43 Hiba looked so innocent and beautiful in that.  I wanted something akin to the pink saree scene! It was simple, and elegant, and displayed her beauty so fine. She would have looked like Ani's type. I want to see and imagine Ani's expression of pure physical attraction to her.  I get that the attraction between them is more than skin-deep. But they have this insane chemistry of pure sensuality and lust that is super under-explored. These creatives are talented enough to give an episode like the one before yesterday! They can tastefully show more of the sensuality!