- HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE
Dot at 12:59 Sanchi and her mother were at their door waiting for Kabir and his family to show up at any moment. Sanchi was wearing a long white Kurti with blue and yellow print work on it. Jaya was wearing a simple dress.
Sanchi was nervous and Jaya was holding her hand tightly. Jaya looked up at Sanchi and blinked her eyes in reassurance and Sanchi smiled at her mother’s small gesture. Their moment was soon broken by the bell that indicated the arrival of the lift on their floor. The duo turned their heads to see Kabir and his two elder sisters come out from the lift. His sisters were accompanied by their families and Kabir was alone. Sanchi furrowed her eyebrows in confusion as she did not see their parents coming out of the lift. She hid her frown behind a smile and welcomed all of them into their home.
Once inside, she was crushed in a tight hug by Aarti and Mehek, Aarti was Kabir’s eldest sister and Mehek was his second elder sister. Sanchi smiled and hugged them back though she could feel her bones crack and break. She heard a male voice which was different from Kabir’s.
V: You both will kill her with your hug. Now please leave her.
The sisters let go but still held onto Sanchi’s hand.
A: We are so happy that Kabir is marrying you.
M: You are really perfect for him. Just look at you, what a transformation you had Sanchi! It’s wonderful.
A: You look really beautiful in your Kurti.
Sanchi smiled and nodded her head slightly.
S: Thank you.
She said in a low voice. Her gesture did not go unnoticed by Kabir. He concluded that she was not that good with compliments, something she needed to improve upon because with all the parties that she had to attend as his wife, people were going to give her compliments and she had to accept it and not dodge it with grace.
There was yet another different voice which spoke this time.
V: You two please control your excitement. Just look at her, she looks scared of you and please do introduce us so she can stop giving us the confused looks.
A: Very well, Sanchi this is my husband Yash Suraj Pratap Sindhia and that one is Mehek’s husband Shaurya Khanna.
Sanchi concluded that the noise she heard before was of Yash and the later was of Shaurya. She also noticed a small three year old girl holding Yash’s hand and a six months old boy in Shaurya’s arms.
M: That is Aarti di’s daughter Palak and this is my son Vidhaan.
Sanchi smiled and waved to Palak to which she responded by hugging her father’s leg tightly. All of the elders except Kabir broke into laughter. Sanchi went to Shaurya and gestured towards his arms.
S: May I?
He handed over a healthy Vidhaan to Sanchi. She held him correctly in her arms and he smiled at her, a toothless cute smile.
M: It seems as if he likes you or else he would have made fuzz about going to someone other than his parents.
A: Yes he does not even come to me, Naughty Boy!
Aarti exclaimed which caused everyone to laugh again of course except the great Mr. Kapoor.
J: Please be seated and have some water.
Jaya gestured towards the couch, sofa and arm recliners that were placed neatly in the living room. Water was already present on the teapoy with a jug which was completely filled beside the glasses.
Aarti and her family sat on the sofa, Mehek and Shaurya took the couch with Jaya accompanying them and Sanchi and Kabir sat on the arm chairs that were placed besides each other.
J: Where are your parents Kabir?
The light and funny atmosphere was suddenly changed into a dark and gloomy one. Aarti and Mehek had sad looks while Kabir had an indifferent look on his face but his eyes were distant. Sanchi could not decipher what his eyes were reflecting but they were somewhere near melancholy and hatred? Why would someone have hatred for his/her parents? It could not be the case and hence Sanchi thought that it was sadness.
K: They are no more.
Kabir said in a normal voice. Sanchi felt bad for him, losing his parents at such a young age would have been very painful for him. She could relate partly with his pain as she had lost her father but she was still lucky to have her mother. She could not imagine a life without her mother. Her thoughts were interrupted when she heard Jaya.
J: Let’s have lunch then?
Everyone nodded and they all made their way to the dining table. After eating, the men were engaged in their own talks while the kids and Jaya were sleeping. Sanchi, Aarti and Mehek were in a room where they were sitting and having light talks. Suddenly Aarti cleared her throat and changed her tone to a serious one.
A: Sanchi I know that it is difficult for you to marry someone under such circumstances and when that someone is my brother then we must be speaking of the impossible. I know that my brother is a bit stubborn and hard to deal with but trust me when I say that he was not like this before.
M: We both married and left the country. I live in Canada and Aarti di lives in America. We do not know anything that happened here in our absence but we just got a call from Kabir one day that our parents’ car met with an accident and the car fell from the cliff. The police searched for the car but they were not successful. The investigation team concluded that the car would have flown with the river and reached somewhere deep into the valley. I don’t remember much but we were shattered and Kabir had changed from that day onwards.
A: We know that it will be difficult but we want your help to revive our Kabir. Will you help us?
Sanchi had tears in her eyes. She could not fathom the condition where one could not get the dead body of their loved ones for their last rights. She nodded as she had lost the ability to speak. Sanchi, Aarti and Mehek shared an emotional hug which was broken by Palak who had just woken up from her sleep.
P: Mommy, I want some water.
She stated in her sleepy voice. Sanchi got up and went to Palak.
S: Come I will give you some water.
Palak looked hesitant but she let Sanchi hold her hand and lead her to the kitchen. There Sanchi poured some water in a small glass and gave to Palak who drank quietly. She led Palak into the room where Jaya and Vidhaan were sleeping. She tucked Palak into the bed and closed the door behind her. As she turned around, she came face to face with Kabir. She put her hand on her chest and breathed a sigh of relief.
S: You scared me.
She stated in a small voice. Kabir looked over her head and saw that his sisters were busy talking about something in a different room.
K: We will be leaving soon. I wanted to discuss about the dates of engagement and wedding. I want the wedding to be over in a month as after that I have many internationally scheduled meetings which cannot be changed.
S: Don’t you think it is too early.
She said in a low voice. Kabir understood her predicament but he was helpless.
K: Your friends will also be facing the same thing. Veer, Karan and I are having all the meetings together so you won’t be alone in this situation.
S: Let us talk after Mumma has woken up.
She suggested and Kabir nodded. Just as they were about to go their different ways, Jaya came out of the room she was sleeping in. She smiled at them and Kabir spoke to her.
K: Aunty I was willing to have a talk with you.
J: Yes, what is it?
K: I was suggesting if the wedding would be in the coming month as I am busy after that.
Jaya smiled and nodded positively.
J: I have no problem with it if Sanchi is okay.
K: She was suggesting to ask you.
J: Oh it would be a bit hectic but I am okay with it.
Kabir nodded and soon Sanchi, Kabir, Jaya, Aarti, Mehek, Yash and Shaurya were sitting in the living room.
J: What if we keep the engagement on the day after tomorrow.
M: I think it will be great.
A: Yes. We do not want any big ceremony just a small one.
J: I was also thinking the same.
M: Aarti di, Jiju, Shaurya and I are going to temple along with kids after leaving from here. I was suggesting if Kabir and Sanchi could go for ring shopping if you don’t have any problem aunty?
J: No I don’t have any problem.
A: That’s final then. Once we leave from here, Kabir you will take Sanchi for shopping and we will go to the temple. Aunty would you like to accompany us?
J: No dear, I would love to but I have tuitions in the evening so you all go and have fun.
Half an hour later Sanchi bid farewell to everyone and got in the car along with Kabir only this time they were sitting on the backseat and the driver was driving the car. While they were on their way to the jewelry shop, Sanchi got a close look at Kabir’s behavior with his staff.
K: Satish why are the windows not painted black yet?
D: Sir this car is new and all other cars have gone for servicing.
It was neither a question asked rudely nor an answer given as though pestering the owner. It was a simple professional way of conversing. Sanchi had always witnessed rich people slamming their workers and mostly house help for petty reasons. She was content to know that Kabir did not belong to one of them.
The car was parked in the lavish parking lot of the Mittal Jewelers, the famous jewelry shop in India. Kabir got out of the door and as Sanchi was about to open her side of door, she remembered her deal with Kabir. She remained seated and Kabir came to open the door of her side. He nodded at her acknowledgement of their deal and led her in the shop. All the employees were shocked and they were on their toes as they saw Kabir entering the shop. The manager quickly rushed over to them.
M: Hello Mr. Kapoor. Welcome to our shop. How may I help you Sir?
K: We want engagement rings.
M: What will be your preferences Sir? I mean gold, silver, platinum or mixed?
M: Sure Sir, please follow me.
Sanchi, who was silently watching this entire ordeal take place in front of her, slowly whispered to Kabir as they made their way towards the stairs following the manager.
S: Kabir don’t you think this will be too much? I mean it is an ordinary engagement ring. Why to spend so much for a ring?
K: Sanchi we have to keep up our standards. What will be of our impression when people will see a cheap ring on your finger?
S: Kabir I am scared that I won’t be able to handle such an expensive ring!
Before Kabir could speak anything, they were interrupted by the manager.
M: Here is the best collection of our store for the engagement rings Sir. Please have a look and pick whatever you like. We will get the size adjusted.
Kabir nodded and started looking over all the rings which were proudly displayed in the box. Sanchi roamed her eyes through the glass caskets that adored the wall and a simple beautiful pair caught her attention. Her trance was broken when she felt Kabir lift her hand a keep a ring on her palm. She took a look at it and saw that the ring was flooded with diamond. It was too extravagant and too much flooded for her liking. She was always the simple kind of girl with as less of pompousness as possible.
K: Try it.
Kabir urged and Sanchi slip the ring on the third finger of her left hand. The ring was very much loose and it came off when she tilted her hand.
M: We can get the size fixed Ma’am. What would you like Sir?
S: No. I like this ring but it is single. I want those couple rings that are on the showcase.
The manager obliged and Sanchi returned the ring back to Kabir who had amusement in his eyes. He had thought that Sanchi would like the ring but he could see her slight disdain towards it through her eyes. He liked her quality of hiding her flaws and then gracefully dodging the questions with a relevant and acceptable excuse.
S: The one on the rightmost corner. Please bring that pair.
He heard her say and turned his head to see a simple but attractive couple engagement ring.
He made a mental note of buying simple, elegant and of course royal presents for her in the future. He liked the way she was not materialistic and he also laughed a bit at her silly excuse to change his mind from choosing platinum rings.
Sanchi took the ring and tried it. It was a perfect fit. He also put the one for the man on and it slid on his finger with ease. He admired her choice and nodded his head in positive when Sanchi raised her eyebrows for his opinion.
K: Bill this.
The manager sent one of his staff members to pack the rings. He escorted Sanchi and Kabir down to the main entrance of the shop where the reception area was located. All the young female employees were eyeing Kabir and the young male employees were stealing glances of Sanchi. She felt uncomfortable and leaned close to Kabir who instantly wrapped his arm around her waist to let everyone know that Sanchi was not the one to mess with as she was his. Sanchi’s heartbeat picked up the pace as it was the first time that she was this close to Kabir.
K: I hope that the word of my visit would not leave this shop or else you know the consequences well enough I guess.
The manager gulped and nodded his head.
M: We assure you of the secrecy Sir.
Kabir nodded and paid the bill. By that time their parcel was also delivered to the reception. Both of them made their way to the shop entrance. As soon as the door was opened by the watchman, they were blinded by flashes. There were many reporters outside the shop and they were literally shoving the camera into their faces for a close and clear picture, especially for Sanchi. Under impulse, Kabir wrapped his arm around Sanchi and pulled her closer. She hid her face in his chest and with other hand he held her head securely to his side to block any chances of a clear photo. The security of the shop helped them to reach their car. They sat inside with Sanchi still firmly pressed into Kabir’s side. He had loosened his hold on her but still had his arm around her. Sanchi tried to break free but Kabir held her in place as Satish began to drive.
K: Don’t move Sanchi. The windows are not painted. They might get your picture.
Sanchi nodded and closed her eyes as she buried herself more into his chest. She could hear the flashes sound from the windows. The papz was now following them with their vehicles. Sanchi inhaled deeply as she tried to calm her nerves. Being this close to Kabir, she could inhale his scent and also feel him vibrate as he shouted into his phone.
K: Find out who tipped them and also make sure to remove any clear picture of my fiancé from their records. I want the person in front of me in the next two hours.
He put the phone down and saw that they had reached his house. He was confused to see Karan and Veer’s car outside his parking. He turned to see the papz being driven out by his security guards. After making sure that no one was lurking around, Kabir let go of Sanchi and she drew in a big breath.
K: I am sorry for that. I don’t know who tipped them of our location.
Sanchi nodded in assurance but she still seemed a bit lost.
K: What happened?
S: How do you manage this? They were literally trying to suffocate me!
K: That’s not the case always. You are the new news for them. Once they get accustomed to you, they won’t be much violent. Now about the ring, Sanchi I know that you are responsible enough to not lose this ring.
Sanchi stared at him in shock. She thought that he would have forgotten about it due to this great ordeal but she was wrong. He remembered it and she appreciated that.
S: I just don’t know….
Sanchi trailed off. Kabir sighed as he spoke.
K: Let us get inside first. We will talk about it later on. Now you are pretty much affected with the happenings.
They got out of the car and went inside to see Karan, Isha, Veer and Pragya seated on the couch. Sanchi was happy to see her besties but at the same time she was confused as to why they were inside Kabir’s house. Her silent query was answered by Karan.
KO: We were clicked by the papz.
KK: We were also but I made sure that none of the photos leak in the media. I was not willing to disclose it in this way.
VM: The photos will surely have a negative impact especially with the rising doubts.
KO: We have to announce about our relations but when?
KK: Cruise party. We will invite the business partners on the cruise party and there we will announce our engagement.
VM: Agreed but the ladies will have an impact because of it. They will be known and then it will be risky to let them free until marriage.
KO: That can be handled with the help of body guards.
KK: Okay. Sanchi, Isha and Pragya; we will have to announce our engagement earlier than planned. This will be difficult for the three of you but we require your co-ordination. You will face a bit of intrusion from the press on your way out of the house but we will take care of it.
The three girls nodded and gave their silent confirmation of help.
KO: Now the main question arises that how will we inform the papz? A press conference will not work out as we have to form a story and the photos from today will be out by tomorrow.
Kabir, Veer and Karan were thinking when suddenly Sanchi spoke up.
S: A Photoshoot.
S: Yes. A Photoshoot would be perfect. You can release the photos in the media and they will dig out the information themselves you would not have to work on it or form some story.
KO: What about the curse part?
KK: The school has pledged to keep it a secret and all the associated people are made to sign a contract to keep their mouths shut. If they dare to leak a word, they can be arrested and punished. I think the idea of Photoshoot is good.
VM: Okay then. We will have a Photoshoot tomorrow and I will call Vikram for fixing tomorrow’s date.
Everyone nodded and they left for their homes after making sure that the papz were out of their reach. The first interaction of Sanchi with the media was a horrible experience and she braced herself as there were more to come.
I hope that you are enjoying the story.
Thank you for reading and please so hit the like button and comment.
A very Happy Diwali and a prosperous New Year to all my readers.
I have chosen Mehek and Shaurya’s pair from the Zee TV serial Zindagi Ki Mehek as Kabir’s elder sister and her husband and Aarti and Yash’s pair from the serial Punarvivah as Kabir’s eldest sister and her husband.