Khushi came to the office after her Raizada House duty hours. She looked up at his cabin angrily and started working, putting her head down. He smirked.
“Bhai.. Invitations are over… a very few are remaining..!” Aakash gave him the update. The office was decorated and a lot of changes were made. The carpets, vases and interiors were changed. The office looked different. Festivity was in the air. People just had no interest in work and were discussing the power packed program the next day. ASR for a change refrained from yelling at people. Khushi was the only one doing her job putting her head down. By now everyone had got the invitation except Khushi. She knew the reason. She was not an employee. She was a temporary arrangement. Everybody knew she was not invited. All her friends invited her as their guest. Of course the guests were allowed. She shook her head in refusal.
By afternoon the office looked empty. Only a few were roaming around aimlessly. Khushi waited with bated breath…! As the time passed her anger mounted the peak. The humiliation tormented her. She was determined not to show it on her face and smiling at everyone.
“Khushi…!” He called late in the afternoon seeing Khushi getting ready to move out for the day. She looked up and started climbing the stairs. He opened his drawer… the invitation with her name on it was gaping at him. He smirked and closed the drawer. “You will not attend the celebrations..!” he thought resolutely. She came up and stood before him with her bag hanging across her shoulder.
“So? Going home?” he asked contemptuously. She nodded.. but said, :After office hours Sir!” he gazed at her from head to toe. And to stab her further, curled up his lip and said disdainfully, “Enjoy the Holiday Khushi.. You need not come to the office tomorrow!”
She looked up at him. “Yes Sir!” she said. He saw a faint contempt in her eyes. His eyebrow furrowed in his forehead.
“And for a change, there will be no stalking..!” he said staring at her. She smiled. “Thank you Sir! Even if you plan to, you won’t stalk me tomorrow!” she paused, looked at him and turned to leave.
“What do you mean?” he got up from his chair. She knew his next step and inched backwards towards the door.
“I mean, I am attending Foundation Day celebrations of a company!” she said gauging him. He came a step forward.
“For your information.. It is only by invitation and I haven’t invited you!” he said disdainfully hurting her more. She froze for a second. The next moment, putting her hand in her bag fanned out five invitation cards…! He gaped at her..
‘You stole them?” he could think only the negative things about her. He looked shocked.
“No Mr Raizada… She came forward, placed one on his table. See? These are all personally signed! This is from Naniji. She has personally invited me as her guest, with her signature..! Umm.. This is from Mamaji.. who wants me to enjoy the celebrations tomorrow…! A..nd this is from Anjali ji.. who wants me to take care of Lavanya ji.. This is special invitation from Aakash Sir…! And.. This is from Mamiji, who invited all her servants including me and Ram Prakash…!” She placed each signed invitation card on the table one after another. Turned to look at his aghast face and said..
“So Mr. Raizada, Stalking has lost its meaning tomorrow as I will be celebrating the Foundation Day of our company “AR Group of Industries! You may not consider me as the employee.. but for me its my company, as I work here!” she gave him a bitter dose. He stared at her and took a step ahead. She turned, collected all the invitations and moved towards the door.. “And I will be bringing in guest also, SIR!” The next moment he had grabbed her angrily.
“So Ms. Khushi Kumari Gupta, you managed to extracts five gifts…” He couldn’t complete his sentence. She jerked herself free.. “What greater gift one can have, when five people invited me separately for the same event… SIR?” she was out of his cabin. She had nailed him again. His eyes followed her to her cubical.. lingered there for a while and a line of smile appeared on his face.
“Khushi Kumari Gupta..!” he blurted still gazing at her fidgeting with the invitation card in his hand.
******* ******* ******
“Jiji… My dear Dress has an occasion..! We are going to the party…! I am an invitee and you are my guest!” Khushi declared hugging her jiji.
“No! Khushi… you know, I can’t come to such parties… I get scared with the crowd!” Payal looked frightful.
“Oh, come on Jiji..! I will be there..! You don’t have to be scared and you know? Aakash Sir gave me the card and said “Please invite Payal Ji on my behalf… you can bring her as guest!” Khushi perfectly mimicked Aakash pushing the spectacles on her nose and stammering a bit! Payal blushed furiously. Khushi gaped at her sister’s flushing face and held her hand on her heart… “Hi..Hi..! Kya Nazaara Hai..!” she fell backwards on the bed as if dead…!
“Khushi..!” Payal pulled her up in mock anger..!
“Hiiii… Kisi Ke Liye Sharamanaa… Aur Hamarey liye.. gurraanaa?” Khushi lifted Payal’s chin with her fingers and Payal pushed her away..!
“Chup Kar Khushi! Hamain Hamari Hadain Pata Hain! I know my limits!” Payal was serious so was Khushi. “I will do anything for the smile on your face, Jiji! I will sacrifice myself for your happiness!” Khushi turned her face to hide her emotions.
“Chalo Jiji.. So Jatain Hain..!” Khushi switched off the lights.
**** ********** *********
“Hai Re NandKoshore!!! Tanik Dekho Toh! Yeh Titaliya aur Yeh Payaliya..!” Buwaji had tears in her eyes. Her gorgeous nieces were looking stunning..! She placed Black spots behind their ears and kissed their foreheads…!
“Oh..Ho! Buwaji..! Jiji Ki Bindi.. Satak Gayi Na! Kyun Aise Chipakna Jharuri Hai Kay!” Khushi ran away from buwaji’s bear hug. “Jiji, Bhago Yahaan Say, Nahi Toh Buwaji Khaa Jayengi!” Khushi teased her Buwaji. Amma was still stunned. Khushi went to Babuji.
“Khushi, be careful… behave yourself..!” Babuji warned her. He knew, she would go overboard in excitement and land herself in trouble. Khushi nodded puffing her cheeks.
“Jiji… Pataa Hai? Hum Jub Yahain Peheli Baar Aaye They Na…” Khushi was talking nonstop in auto.
“Khushi… Bass Kar! Kitanaa Bologi?” Payal held her hand and Khushi looked at her sulkily. They had reached …
********** ********* ******
The Raizadas arrived an hour earlier. ASR and Aakash were at the venue since morning looking after the arrangements. The even managers and workers worked round the clock and gave the final touches. The Sixth Foundation Day was to be special. This year the AR Group diversified into construction and their first project was to be kicked off soon. The Group now had crossed Five hundred crore turnover. ASR the Managine Director had handled all its wings single handedly with able assistance from Aakash and Mamaji. Anjali being sleeping partner holding a third part in the Group Companies was more than happy with her brother’s success. The only thing she was sad about, was her husband was not present for the function.
The Raizada were at the entrance welcoming the guests..! Aakash was busy welcoming the guests. Every employee was escorted and welcomed with a flower bouquet. The employees were accompanied by their guests. Nani and Mami were busy looking around in the premises. The lush green lawns were decorated artistically. The fountains spread cool breeze everywhere. ASR with Lavanya was busy with the VIP guests, clients, and overseas customers.
Khushi walked in with Payal and Aakash’s mouth fell open. Her Teal color Saree with her own artwork on it, made her look more beautiful. Her long silky hair with flicks on her forehead highlighted her big eyes. Kajal make them brighter. She was wearing simple jewellery with dangling Zumkas and green and silver simple bangle set. A emerald round pendent with a thin chain around her neck highlighted her slender neckline. Her heels gave her a little hight than a normal one. Aakash forgot to leave her hand and Anjali coughed hard to bring them back. Payal looked at Anjali blushing.
“Come, Payal!” Anjali held her hand. Payal looked around. Khushi had vanished. “Aree, Don’t worry about her! She must be busy with her colleagues. Must have forgotten you by now!” said Anjali giggling. Payal smiled. Khushi was already with her gang, giggling and blushing and pulling their legs.
“Hii… I am a dead person…!” Regi teased her pressing his hand on his heart. Khushi blushed and turned her face. Ranjan forgot to close his mouth and blink. Regi winked at Rekha. She smiled.
“Khushi..!” she pulled her hand and introduced her to her husband.
“Oh! This is the one you talk about all the time?” he asked smiling. “Yeah… this is the one… Khushi Kumari Gupta!” she said smiling and Khushi joined her hands. People, her friends, their guests started gathering around her. She was a delight. The young eligible boys were eyeing on her. The girls burning enviously, Khushi was oblivious to the effect she was leaving on everyone. Her giggles made their heart miss a beat and her eye contact stopped their beats.
“Khushi.. be careful! Boys are waiting with their hearts on their palms!” Rekha pulled her legs.
“Be my bodyguard..!” Khushi giggled. “Their will be a long queue to be your bodyguard, Khushi.. Look at the gaping mouths of the boys..!” Rekha winked at her. Khushi blushed. Her eyes were searching for someone. But ASR was not around. He had no time to look at his employees. He was busy with business diplomacy.
“Khushi… you look stunning..!” Ranjan was the first one to complement her. “Thank you!” she look down. Ranjan couldn’t take his eyes off.
“Chamakili…!” Lavanya saw her and came hurriedly. Khushi gaped at Lavanya’s beauty. Her backless Black fitting gown made her tall, slender figure beautiful. Her curves were beautifully highlighted presenting her hot and sexy.
“Lavanya ji.. you look stunning, hot!” Khushi winked at her and then leaning forward asked in her ears,
“When did ASR sir woke up from his trance seeing your stunning beauty?” Lavanya blushed.
“Chamakili.. stop it!” she said holding her hand. “Come with me!” she pulled Khushi and PAM and SIM burned in envy. Khushi had become Lavanya’s friend and these two were nowhere in the picture.
Ranjan still was gaping at her. Regi thumped on his back..
“So Ranjan… how was your lunch date with Ms. Khushi?” he asked laughing. Ranjan looked away in embarrassment.
“Thank you for forewarning us about ASR Sir’s arrival… We both escaped narrowly..!” he said gratefully. Regi nodded smiling and winking at him. “You better hurry up!” he whispered and Ranjan looked around in search of Khushi.
“Khushi Kumari Gupta..!” ASR clenched his fists turning his back on the cluster of Khushi’s friends…!