“Jiji, I don’t understand these rich people!” Khushi blurted out. Payal looked at her puzzled.
“Jiji, I don’t understand, when they can afford full length clothes, why don’t they wear it? When they can afford rich food; why do they want to diet? When they can afford to help poor, why do they hate them?” Khushi went on blurting. Payal gaped at her.
“Khushi… its their life…! And all rich people are not like that !” Payal said reasonably. Khushi looked at her sister.
“hmm… Jiji, you know? If I had money, I would have bought his empire…!” she said dreamily.
“Whose empire, Khushi?” Asked payal. “That Monster’s Empire, Jiji! I wish I had money…!” Khushi said sadly.
“You wish to buy his empire, and what Khushi? Become like him?” asked Payal.
“No, Jiji…! No one can match him.. He is a unique piece… Unique in every sense!” Khushi clenched her fists in hatred.
“Aree? You? Here?” Khushi and Anjali froze seeing each other in the temple.
“Aree, Khushi? After a long time!” Anjali was happy to see Khushi. Khushi smiled.
“Anjali ji.. She is my Jiji, Payal!” Khushi introduced. Anjali nodded with a broad smile.
“Di, your Pooja thal!” came a familiar rude voice from behind. Khushi turned in fright.
“You? What are you doing here?” he snarled.
“Aree, Chote, this is not your office…!” Anjali stopped him from advancing. Khushi flared her nose in anger and opened her mouth to retort back. Payal pulled her hand and said.
“Chal Khushi, we should be going!” Arnav glanced at Payal and narrowed his eyes. He had seen her somewhere.
“Oh! Right!” he blurted recollecting the girl he had seen with Aakash. He looked at Khushi and Payal. They had turned to leave.
“She is Khushi’s Sister…!” Anjali looked at her brother. Realization dawned upon him.
“Oh, I see! So this is the plan. Try to trick rich people together. When I did not budge, her sister is trying with my brother…!” he clenched his fists in hatred.
“KHUSHI..!” he screamed. Khushi turned and froze. “I want to talk to you!” he barked. Khushi looked at her Jiji.
“Umm Khushi, I will wait in the temple!” Payal went putting her head down.
“Kya hai? This is not your office..! You should have known before shouting at me like that!” Khushi retorted.
“Shut up!” he snarled again. “Ok!” she turned to leave. He caught her wrist.
“I said, I want to talk to you!” he said under his breath twisting her wrist.
“Ssss!” She winced in pain. “This is a public place Mr. Raizada, not your office” she wrenched her hand and moved into the temple. He fumed with rage.
“SAARAA MOOD KHARAB KAR DIYA! This monster spoiled my mood, Devi Mayya.. Why do you do this to me? After a long time I came to your mandir, and all you had to do is, bring him in front of me! See, even your prashad is tasting bitter..!” Khushi muttered eating prashad and closing her eyes in front of her Devi Mayya. Anjali and Payal looked at each other smiling. Khushi opened her eyes and said sheepishly..
“Anjali ji.. no offence, but I just can’t stand him….!” Anjali kept her hand on Khushi’s shoulder..
“Don’t worry, Khushi… even he can’t stand you… so you see, you both are same!” she lifted khushi’s face with her fingers and laughed heartily when Khushi puffed her cheeks sulkily. “I am not like him! I can never be like him!” she muttered under her breath.
“Chalo Khushi, lets go!” Payal pulled her. Anjali stood there gazing at the sisters fondly. They saw the white SUV at the bottom of the stairs. Khushi’s rage went overboard.
“Jiji, I wish I flatten his car tires again… She kicked his car tire in rage! .. Ouch! His tires are also like him… hurting…Monster, Rakshas…!” she muttered. “Chalo Jiji… Lets eat chat and jilebees… That bitter taste in my mouth should be replaced with something sweet..!” she pulled her elder sister. Payal was dragged behind her furious younger sister, Khushi.
“So, it was you, Khushi Kumari Gupta…!” ASR came from behind his car clenching his fists. “You will have it, I am waiting for you…!” he muttered like her.
******** ********** **********
“No! We never wanted to come to Delhi. We are compelled to stay here..!” Payal spoke with tears in her eyes. They were having tea in a small tea stall. Aakash had to control his urge to hold her hand.
“We are planning to go back as soon as possible…!” she said.
“But Payal ji, you have a better prospect here. You are a talented person. Your work will be appreciated more in placed like Delhi!” Aakash tried to convince her. She shook her head.
“I don’t want any appreciation or money, Aakash ji! I just want to go back to my parents …!” she said missing her parents badly.
“Payal ji, don’t worry! Everything will be alright. Till then concentrate on your work. I will give you more orders. Try and get a few more people to help you..! You may not be able to handle the orders alone..!” he said giving her the hope. She looked at him and smiled.
“Thank you!” she said looking down. “No, No! I should thank you, for such a lovely work..!” he said genuinely. She smiled at him. “I should be going!” she said getting up. He nodded.
“Umm, Payal ji? Do you know an Auto Garage, nearby?” he asked wanting desperately to stop her.
“Yeah! Its right in front of our house! Happy Singh Garage!” she said.
“Ok. Thanks! I have some problem with the car!” he said walking with her. They had reached the corner.
“See? This is the garage, and that is my house!” she said waving at the direction. He took a good look at the garage and then at her small house.
“Ok. !” she looked at him and he nodded. She went away. “Hmm!” he sighed and froze to see his big brother standing right in front of him with folded hands on his chest.
“Umm.. bhai! No! I mean… I just…!” Aakash fumbled looking at his Bhai’s furious face.
“Aakash…!” His bhai started off sternly. “No more Chikenkaari for our designs!” he declared to Aakash’s dismay.
“No! Bhai.. I mean… I never wanted to come… but you know I had to pay her for the work done…!” He said weakly and realized that he had actually forgotten to pay her.
“I should meet her tomorrow and pay her!” he thought to himself. He was following his brother closely in that crowd. He had to offer some explanation for this.
“Umm Bhai! I mean, her work is really good!” he said from behind.
“Her work or She?” asked his bhai directly.
“Bhai, please… this is my request!” Aakash pleaded. Arnav had a stern look at his younger brother and then said…
“Aakash, you don’t understand. These type of girls can go to any extent to trap rich people!” he tried to convince his younger brother. Aakash looked at him. “No! Bhai! She is not that type. She is a simple innocent girl…! Just keeps to her work..!” Aakash praised her.
Arnav had a hard look at his brother and said. “Beware, Aakash!” “Yes Bhai!” Aakash took a sigh of relief.
********** *********** ************
“I mean, look at this, ASR! This is so shabby!” Lavanya was disgusted.
“This is not work a presentation…!” she declared. “I will get it done from someone else again!” she said. ASR didn’t react.
“ASR, this is a waste. Look at the color combination she has used. Rubbish!” Lavanya said angrily.
“Wait! I am using this…!” said ASR thoughtfully.
The prospective client was from Lucknow. ASR knew he would like the color combination Khushi had used in the slides.
“KHUSHI…!” he called her. “ASR! You don’t have to shout and call her. You can use intercom!” Lavanya pointed out. He ignored her completely.
“You will do today’s design trials!” ordered ASR looking at Khushi. Lavanya looked shocked.
“What? ASR! This yokel girl? You want the trials with her?” she screamed. Khushi did not understand the meaning of trial. She thought she should help the trials.
“Yes!” declared ASR with a smirk. That smirk gave Khushi the hint of the danger coming her way. She looked at him confused. He picked up the intercom.
“Regi, in my cabin, right now!” he ordered. Khushi stood there doltishly. Regi walked in. He saw Khushi there and understood looking at Lavanya’s furious face.
“Now, what has she done to annoy the bosses? And why am I called here?” he thought with a question mark on his face.
“The designs? “ asked ASR. Regi nodded “Ready!”
“Good! So Ms Gupta will try with the designs. We all will gather in our display room!” he said smirking.
Khushi looked up in shock. She looked at Regi pleadingly. Regi had a broad smile. He wanted Khushi to wear his designs. He smiled at Khushi.
“Right! Four in the evening, Ms Gupta!” he said waving at her. She froze. Regi walked past her.
“Jilebee ki kasam..! “ She muttered and he looked at her shocked.
“You may go back to your work!” he ordered Khushi and turned to Lavanya. Lavanya had already wrapped her arm around his and had started talking to him in a bear whisper. Khushi came down muttering furiously.
“You and your big mouth, Khushi! If you had not confronted him in the temple, you would have been saved! Now be ready for another humiliation…!” she slapped herself.
“You do anything, Mr. Raizada! Hang me or bury me, but I am not going to wear those tiny half necked dresses….!” She was thinking hard for the escape route.
“Hey devi mayya! Help me fall sick, or help me with an accident, or let his cabin fall on me or let me fall from his cabin, or do anything… but please save me from that trial..!” she prayed joining her hands trying to send her tears back.
“KHUSHI!” he barked from above and she shuddered in fright.
“Ye… Yes!” she said putting her head down, pretending to be busy with the work. Her heart sank. His smirk grew in a wicked smile.