Joined: 10 December 2008
Hi Guys, I am new to the forum. Well new to the extent that I have been a silent reader for a month now. A very dear friend of mine introuced me to IF and to DMG. Courtesy a fractured leg, I have been laid up in bed for the last month, downloaded and saw all episodes from the begining.
"Ridhima Gupta" She bit her lips and clenched her fists by her side, as she sought to quell the nervousness that seemed to be rising within her, as she slowly made her way to the podium. This was her first day at the business school, and, the last thing she wanted to do was to make an ass of herself. But the thought of facing a bunch of unknown people, watching her like hawks and waiting for her to introduce herself, made her insides churn.
What had the Vice President of the Students union said?
"Make your introduction as unique as possible. We want to see how good you guys can be?"
"Unique?" She thought hysterically! It was all she could do just to stop herself from trembling in nervousness, let alone figure out anything unique. She hated this first day business, hated being new, having to start from Ground zero, though once she was settled, she knew she would have a ball. And worse still, she had heard the comments that some of the other people's "unique" attempts had evoked. She had no desire to be the butt of everyone's jokes.
She stumbled a little as she climbed up the steps, evoking a quiet round of subdued laughter. Little did she realise, walking up the steps in her pristine white chikan lakhnawi, her hair flowing and her duppatta trailing behind her, she made an adorable picture. Standing in front of the mike, she looked around at a sea of faces and felt nauseous. As she nervously twirled her hands, she closed her eyes and did what she did best. Sang!
naam gum jaayegaa, cheharaa ye badal jaayegaa
meree aawaaj hee pahachaan hai, gar yaad rahe
wakt ke sitam kam haseen nahee, aaj hain yahaa kal kahee nahee
wakt ke pare agar mil gaye kahee, meree aawaaj hee.. ..
jo gujar gayee, kal kee baat thee, umar to naheen yek raat thee
raat kaa siraa agar fir mile kahee
meree aawaaj hee pahachaan hai, gar yaad rahe
din dhale jahaa raat paas ho, jindagee kee lau unchee kar chalo
yaad aaye gar kabhee jee udaas ho,
meree aawaaj hee pahachaan hai, gar yaad rahe
As she sang, Ridhima felt her nervousness ease away. It never failed, singing always managed to soothe her frayed nerves. As her mellifluous voice rang out in the auditorium, a hush settled over the audience. The beautiful notes of her voice rippled across the podium as the song came to an end and she opened her eyes. After a moment of silence, the hall rang out with a standing ovation. Ridhima smiled softly, her confidence back, she was home and dry! As she started walking off the stage, she heard a deep voice say "Well done fresher! Unique indeed!"
She turned to look at the Vice President standing behind and smiling at her. "you do sing very well?and I must admit, a song rather well chosen, very appropriate!"
She mouthed thanks and moved down the steps, acknowledging the many congratulatory glances and words that greeted her. She was feeling a lot more relaxed now. This is who she was, she was going to be fine.
As she slid into her seat grateful that her ordeal was over, she hear a familiar voice whisper in her ear "not too bad babes". She turned around grinning "yeah, not too bad, eh?" Still grinning she sneaked her arm through her neighbour's " I'll see how you fare, my friend, you've still got your turn to go!"
"Rahul Garewal is not scared of anything, babes, let alone a bunch of freshers like ourselves. Just wait and watch, while I go out there and wow them!" grinned the young man seated next to her, a lock of hair falling over his face , as usual..
Ridhima shook her head in amusement. Rahul would never change, which is why she loved him so much. He would always be this young at heart kid, always upto mischief, her partner in crime, and her support in all her trials and tribulations. They had known each other since they were 4 yeas old.
She still remembered how they had become friends. They had been in the same class in Mrs Poppins preparatory school, and she had spat at him when she could not win a physical fight over a ball. You can't but help be friends with someone who spits at you when you are all of 4! They had been inseparable since then. The same school, the same friends, they were always together.
"Muskaan, naam hai mera, Muskaan Chadda!
I can talk English, I can walk English, and I can laugh English, because English is a funny language. Bhairon becomes barren and barren becomes Bhairon because their minds are very narrow. In the year 1929 when India was playing Australia at the Melbourne stadium Vijay Hazare and Vijay Merchant were at the crease. Vijay Merchant told Vijay Hazare. look Vijay Hazare, this is a very prestigious match and we must consider it very prestigiously. We must take this into consideration, the consideration that this is an important match and ultimately this consideration must end in a run. In the year 1979 when Pakistan was playing against India at the Wankhade stadium Wasim Raja and Wasim Bari were at the crease and they took the same consideration. Wasim Raja told Wasim Bari, look Wasim Bari, we must consider this consideration and considering that this is an important match we must put this consideration into action and ultimately score a run. And both of them considered the consideration and ran and both of them got out."
As the pretty young girl on the stage mouthed the famous dialogues effortlessly, Ridhima couldn't stop giggling and watching her with amazement. Muskan was a fantastic mimic. And how could she remember the dialogues and the intonation so perfectly? She turned to look at Rahul grinning away as well, and they both burst out laughing!
"She's a riot, isn't she?" Rahul laughed aloud
"and quite pretty as well" added Ridhima
"Huh? Where did that come from? Frowned Rahul "though now that you mentioned it, yes she is, isn't she? We must catch up with her later once she's decided to come off the stage!"
"Why? " Ridhima grinned at him impishly
"Huh?" Rahul looked her completely bewildered. "Ah, I get it! Look catching up with her has nothing to do with her being cute, ok? I just think she's a fantastic mimic and I love her complete lack of inhibition, unlike someone here who was quaking with nervousness as she went up the stage"
"Really?" Ridhima smacked him on the shoulder
"Shhhh" a couple of people around frowned at the two of them nattering away
Rahul disentangled his hand from her, and winked at her as he got up
"where are you going" she hissed
"just wait and watch sweetheart" Rahul winked at her as he slid out of his seat into the aisle and walked towards the door.
Ridhima wrinkled her nose and him, and settled down to watch the other freshers come up on stage. Rahul was incorrigible. God alone knew what he was upto. She looked at the podium, where in a corner, at a table were seated the 2nd year office bearers of the student's council. One was Atul, the Treasurer, the other was Anjali, the placement secretary, and finally the Vice President Ankit. He was quite cute, esp his voice which had a nice deep timber to it. Hmmm, but shouldn't the student's council have a President? And shouldn't he be here on the first day of college? Well, she figured she would see him around. Anyways, what would she have to do with the student's council's President? She knew these college union types. They all had political aspirations and used the student unions as a platform for a political career. So he would be another one of the long list of political aspirants!
She was shaken out of her reverie as she heard "?and the final newcomer, Rahul Garewal" Her eyes flew to the stage as darkness settled on the stage, and, a single spotlight focussed on a lone figure huddled on a chair. Ridhima smiled as she saw the saxophone in Rahul's hand as he lifted his head and grinned "this is to my favourite girl! Here's looking at you kid!"
Rahul was a brilliant saxophonist and had participated in many a Jazz Yatra as a budding young artist. His aim was to be another Charlie Parker. However, succumbing to the pressure from his parents, he had decided to join business school. But he was dammed if he was going to completely give up his passion.
"Hi! I am Ridhima Gupta, an in first year, and I absolutely loved your act. You're fantastic! How do you manage to remember the dialogues, and, more importantly how did you manage to rattle them off so quickly." Ridhima grinned and held out her hand to the young girl looking at her grinning.
" Hi! I am Muskaan Chadha. Am first year too. Nah, this was nothing. I can do lots other. Cant help it, am a complete Hindi movie buff. Have you ever seen a movie called Sholay? I know the dialogues backward forward. My parents tear their hair out when they show the movie on television coos I rattle the dialogues along with the movie!" Shot back the bubbly Muskaan
" Really? Sholay is my favourite Hindi movie, though my all time favourite is Gone with the Wind. I thought Rhet Butler was the ultimate man. But getting back to Sholay, you know I have watched it some 10-20 times already. Maybe we can watch it together, then we can get to hear too"
Both the girls turned to look to Rahul who had been patiently standing by.
"Rahul, naam hai mera, Rahul Garewal" mimicked Rahul as the two girls burst out laughing.
" I can see I am going to be the silent partner in this three some" he groaned as the two girls broke out nattering again. Then three of them walked towards their classroom, chatting away like old friends.
" Oh God, I am late! I'll not mange to do my complete route this morning. How could I have overslept?" muttered Ridhima as she ran into the toilet to change into her tracksuit. "bye mom, bye dad" she gave quick hug to her parents as she scurried out of the house to the beach on Carter Road, along the sea, trying to get to Joggers Park before it got too crowded.
The early morning breeze was salty and fresh, she loved coming here. She loved the feel of the wind against her face, she loved the smell of the morning freshness, she loved the sight of people walking around and running on the beach, each trying to start their day on a healthy note.
She shut her eyes for a brief second to savour her surroundings when she heard someone yell "oh my god, my child, someone help!" She turned around to see a young woman at the edge of sea crying out for help. She ran towards the woman who seemed to be getting hysterical, crying and waving her arms and trying to run into the water.
"What happened?" panted Ridhima as she reached her.
"My son, he cannot swim. I was talking to someone when he was swept away into the sea. I cant swim either" the woman sobbed.
Ridhima jumped into the sea, slicing through the water, towards the child who was flailing his arms. As she came closer, she dove in to lift the child from his waist, when to her shock, the child suddenly moved up and away. Taken by surprise, she couldn't react for a few seconds, before she gathered her wits. Shaking her head in disbelief, she came up for breath, and looked around to find herself looking into a pair of gleaming blue eyes, and a pair of hands holding the kid.
**************************Part I - Page 1
Joined: 10 December 2008
"What the …?" she spluttered, irritated at the stranger for having scared the life out of her. For a moment, as he had yanked the kid out of the water, her heart had missed a beat, thinking the kid had been swept away by the waves and she had not been able to reach him on time.
Raised eyebrows appeared to mock her, as the stranger turned and swam away with the child to safety.
As Ridhima swam to the shore and walked towards the tearful mother and son standing with the stranger, the young lady called out "Thank you so much for jumping in" as she wiped her tears.
"I did nothing" protested Ridhima, "I guess you need to thank this gentleman", emphasizing the word gentleman. While she was glad that the kid was safe, she could not shake off the irritation with the stranger, which was quite irrational, because he had, finally, saved the child.
"No, no, its also the thought. You did not even think twice before jumping in to save my baby" the woman smiled tearfully, as she squeezed Ridhima's wet hand with one hand holding on to her child with the other. "Thanks you so much both of you. I owe you my son's life. If it hadn't been for you, I shudder to think….." the woman reiterated as she picked up her basket and walked away holding her son.
"It was just coincidence that I was already halfway into the water. Otherwise, it would have been you who saved him, not me" the deep baritone made Ridhima turn her attention from the mother and child walking away, to the stranger.
Fair, well built, with wet hair fingered away from his face, his wet clothes plastered to him, and, a boyish grin on his face, he was kind of cute! And his eyes, were a gorgeous blue, and to be fair, he had done exactly what she had done. Jumped in to save a drowning child. Should she be really miffed because he had gotten there first? Now when she thought about it, her irritation seemed a little childish. The least she could do in response to his comment was to be gracious. It was just that she was all wet, for no useful purpose as it so happened, her morning and her jog was ruined!
"Hi! I am Armaan, Armaan Mallik", the stranger extended his palm with a quizzical smile while she appeared to continue to stare at him.
"Huh?" Ridhima realised that she had been lost in her own thoughts while looking at him. Oh God, and the man was probably thinking she was checking him out! Well actually, he was worth a look, at least one, she grinned to herself. Armaan Mallik, why did the name sound so familiar? She was sure she had heard it somewhere? But where?
"Er…Armaan Mallik", the man reiterated as he cocked his head to a side, smiling.
Oh lord, what's wrong with you Ridhima, now he definitely thinks you're ogling at him. Armaan Mallik, well Armaan was not that unusual a name and Mallik was a fairly common surname? Mallik, Mallik, Mallik? Why it ring a bell? Whom did she know who was a Mallik? She shook herself, trying to remember what the guy had said, reached out to shake hands "Ridhima Mallik"
"Ridhima Mallik?" Armaan raised an eyebrow.
Oh lord, what did she just do? She was so lost in trying to figure out where had she heard that name, that she made a complete ass of herself.
"Oops, I am sorry, I meant Ridhima Gupta. Its just that your name sounded familiar and I was trying to figure out where I had heard it, that I just….."
"Its ok" he smiled, " you had me floored for a sec! I am not without my charms, but they've never been known to work so fast" Armaan grinned at her.
"Well, you could always live in hope!" she shot back
"Of course, and there is always the first time, right?" Armaan smiled enjoying the light hearted banter..
" Oh no, better luck next time buddy!" and they both burst out laughing.
"Nice to meet you Ridhima, and I do mean it! You don't run into a young lady so willing to help, every day!"
" Nice to meet you too, though I am a little miffed at you having stolen my moment of bravery" Ridhima responded cheekily. "By the way, out of curiosity, what were you doing in the water anyways?"
" er..a kid's ball had bobbed away into the water and I was trying to wade in to get it till I heard the boy scream. Unfortunately, the ball got away, but I am glad I got to the kid"
" Me too" responded Ridhima "so do you live around here?"
" I thought the guy was supposed to ask for the number and the address"? Armaan teased her impishly.
" Heavens, you mean women's emancipation passed you by?" Ridhima responded with sweet sarcasm
" Just kidding, I jog by this way to Joggers every single day, but have never stumbled across you. I am sure I would have if you jog every day too" Ridhima questioned as she tried to wring the water out of the wet track suit jacket.
" Nope, I just moved here two days ago. I used to live in PG digs in Juhu. My folks had an apartment here which got vacated this month, so just moved in"
" No wonder. You'll love Bandra, it's a wonderful place. But I must warn you, I am biased because I have been brought up here" Ridhima smiled. " I guess we better head home and change out of these wet clothes before we end up with a terrific cold."
They fell into companionable silence as they started to walk back home. As Ridhima reached her gate, she smiled and turned around "Thank you kind sir for walking me home. Trust me I can make it from here"
" My pleasure. And by the way, I had no intentions of walking with you to try and find out where you…" Armaan started.
" I know" Ridhima cut in gently " its ok. Hopefully shall catch you again one of these mornings. Bye, Mr Boy Scout…"
"Bye…" Armaan waved as he turned and walked away…
Ridhima watched him walk away with a faint smile playing on her lips. He was, a rather nice guy. Nice to chat to, she had enjoyed the light hearted banter without worrying about it being taken amiss. I wonder if I will bump into him ever again, she mused as she looked at her watch. "Oh my God, I am going to be so late for class!" as she dashed into the house….
Armaan smiled as he shaved remembering the look on Ridhima's face as she realised that she had actually said Ridhima Mallik. It had been priceless! But he had to admire how quickly she had recovered her poise, and her quick comeback.
Somehow he didn't think she had made up the reason that she gave for the slip. She probably had found his name familiar and was trying to figure out where she had heard it. In all fairness, neither Armaan nor Mallik were unusual names. But he was pretty sure that he had never seen or met her before. Ridhima was not that common a name, and, he would have surely remembered a pretty face and an unusual name.
Yes, she was quite pretty, notwithstanding her hair pulled back into a tight ponytail, and her wet raggedly look. He grinned as he remembered her look of irritation when she emerged out of the water looking for the child and finding him holding the kid securely.
And she was easy to talk to. He had enjoyed their light hearted banter, at first not sure whether she would take it amiss. He liked the way she responded yet keeping it impersonal. He liked the fact that she did not probe about where he lived. He had enjoyed the companionable silence in which he had walked with her without even realising that they had walked to her house – he had just followed her lead. Like him, she had treated the encounter as just that, and, left it at that. It would be nice to get to know someone in his new locality.
As he got ready, he made a mental note about asking his neighbours where the laundry was and if there was someone whom he could get to come cook, clean and do his clothes. That was the tough part of moving into a new locality. Starting out from scratch. Be truthful Armaan, that's the tough part of being a spoilt child. One of two children of a famous business family, Armaan had not lacked for anything in life. Used to an army of servants looking after his every need, he was completely unused to fending for himself. The last one year had been an eye opener for him. Insistent on moving to Bombay, he had insisted on staying and managing on his own. He did not want to live life as the spoilt scion of a rich family. That's is why he had insisted on staying on his own, fending for himself, and then working for someone else for at least 4-5 years before joining the family business. The only concession he had made was his 2 year old Pajero. He loved the car, and, there was no way he was going to part company with it.
Sigh! It was a lot more difficult to manage on your own than you think, he mused as he quickly showered and changed before stepping out. Looking at the mess of his clothes lying in the other room, he sighed, He really must do something about a house keeper or someone….
Hi ! Have updated Part II, much earlier than I thought. I am not sure how it penned out, I just wrote what came into my head. Hope you guys like it. I wish my writing skills & creativity were even 1/10 of the pen name that I have so audaciously assumed! But I do hope you like the part.
Joined: 10 December 2008
"Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology, proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation, which he subsequently extended to include his observations of humans' innate curiosity…" as the professor talked, Ridhima could feel her eyelids droop with sleep. Three out of the last four weeks of college had been a walking nightmare!
Business school was a completely different piece of cake than Grad College. She could not remember a time when she had worked so much. There were classes from 9 to 3 o'clock and then tons of assignments. She had forgotten that a world existed outside of school and home. Did someone mention the words "social life"? What was that? Clearly a figment of her imagination, a remnant of her not too recent past which she had not been able to give a decent burial as yet!
Her only reprieve through these weeks had been Muskaan & Rahul and her early morning jogs. Surprisingly, she had not run into Armaan again on either the beach or at Jogger's Park. So clearly he was not an exercise buff. No that was not true, he had looked too fit to not work out, but she figured jogging was not his scene. Like most guys, he was probably happier pumping iron.
Rahul nudged her, and, pointed to Muskaan who was sitting in front of her. Muskaan had nodded off to sleep, her lack of sleep finally catching up with her. Ridhima grinned, and they both looked down before they burst out giggling. She envied Muskaan's ability to nod off just about anywhere. Luckily, they all sat at the end of the class, so were safe from the piercing gaze of the professor.
"If motivation is driven by the existence of unfulfilled needs, then its worthwhile for a manager to understand which needs are more important for individual employees. In this regard Maslow developed a model in which basic low level needs such as physiological requirements ( food, water, air, rest, nourishment, sleep etc) and safety must be satisfied before higher level needs like self actualisation are fulfilled…"
Right, thought Ridhima rather sarcastically, didn't someone tell business schools to practice what they teach? She certainly could do with her physiological needs being met, namely sleep and rest, before she could move towards self actualisation. She must have been stoned or fast asleep when she actually opted for this madness!
"Trnnnnnnnnn………." The sound of the bell woke Ridhima from her reverie, and she glanced thankfully at her watch. "Wake up Muskaan, its break time, let's head to the common room to grab a breather, you can continue your beauty sleep there" Rahul shook Muskaan, as Ridhima gathered her notepad and headed towards the door.
"Hang on girl", yelled Rahul, as he ran away from a clearly irate Muskaan "you can't leave me with this mad woman. So much so for all your promises of always being by my side" he added rather dramatically.
"Shut up, Rahul" both girls yelled loudly as they walked into the common room.
"Guys, could I have your attention please?" Ankit's voice boomed across the common room and everyone quietened down as they turned to look in the direction of the student council's vice-president.
"Why only the guys? Does that mean we girls don't have to pay him attention? Muskaan giggled as she bent down to whisper in Ridhima's ears. Unfortunately for her, her whisper was not soft enough, or maybe it was the silence that had fallen across the room.
"My apologies, could I have your attention guys & girls" mocked Ankit "I trust that meets with your approval, young lady?"
Muskan looked down in mortification and mumbled something under her breath.
"I know you guys have been reeling under your workload the last four weeks, it feels like life cant get any worse, doesn't it?" the freshers nodded in heartfelt agreement.
"We used to call it initiation by fire! And I know we were desperate for a break by the end of the first month! I guess so must be you."
"You bet" Rahul quipped up. "It feels like I don't have a life anymore. I am not sure I recognise myself anymore. I wake up expecting to see someone else every morning in the mirror, its a relief to see the same face. At least something's not changed!" there was a general round of laughter at that.
"I know Rahul, I felt like that too, the first few months" Ankit said.
"First few months?" came groans from all over the room.
"Chill guys, in for a penny, in for a pound! But I had not called you here to commiserate with your obvious state of disrepair and over use, but just to tell you that we are planning to give you guys a break. This is the business school's tradition. There will be no school assignments this weekend" a loud cheer and whistles greeted the announcement " instead the 2nd year students will host a freshers bash for you guys, pardon me, girls and guys" Ankit announced.
"It's a dance party, so put on your dancing shoes" smiled Anjali as she stepped up next to Ankit.
"The evening includes dinner and is sponsored by the college and the student's council." quipped Atul as he joined the other members of the student council.
"It's a great evening with lots of good music, good food, and good company. We look forward to seeing you there, and, I am sure you will have fun. Remember, its going to be a really late evening, so come prepared accordingly. " Anjali emphasized as she looked around the room.
"Yup, as the students' representatives, it's our privilege to host this…." Atul added as Ankit quipped "…and yes, we completely appreciate how much you need it!" as laughter greeted his announcement.
"Excuse me, can I ask something that's been intriguing me for a while?" Rahul asked.
"Doesn't the student council have a President? How come we have not seen him in the last four weeks?"
"Well, he's been away for the last three weeks on a secondment with Citibank on a special project. He's back today and you shall see him at the party" Ankit clarified.
Armaan checked his watch for the umpteenth time. He hated being kept waiting especially this late at night, but his neighbour had very sweetly left a note organising a maid to come and cook and clean. The woman would keep a set of keys, and come in the morning while he was away, clean the house, and cook him a decent meal. Plus he was tired and sleepy.
As the clock struck 11 o'clock, he decided he could not wait anymore. In any case, he did not think it was a very good idea to have a maid in his apartment this late at night, no matter what. He changed, made himself a cup of tea and started to flick through a couple of magazines that he had picked up on his way back home.
The Outlook Traveller had carried an article about the beautiful Mediterranean beaches of Europe, and, he was so tempted! He needed a break. It had been a gruelling few weeks of work. As he looked at the pictures, the beaches reminded him of that creature of the sea – Ridhima. He had not met her again after that fateful day, which was really a pity, because he would have liked to get to know her. She had seemed a lot of fun. Plus with hindsight, she was a Bandra local, maybe she could have helped him get a domestic help. Actually, it might just be worth to go for a jog to the beach tomorrow morning on the off chance that's she might be there as well. He could then, ask her for a favour and try and get his house organised.
Oh, how the mighty had fallen, he rued. I think of a pretty young girl in the context of getting my domestic help organised! I need to get my head examined; he chuckled as he switched off the lights and drooped off to sleep…
Ridhima came back from her morning jog, quickly showered and changed, and ran down to grab a bite of breakfast. Shashank, and, Padma watched their daughter tear into the dining room, and pour herself a glass of milk.
"Ready and breakfast, at 7. 30 a.m.? What's up sweetheart?" Shashank smiled indulgently as he watched his only child gulp down her milk.
" Dad, Rahul is going to pick me up at 8 o'clock. I need to get my clothes for the evening organised before that"
"Oh I forgot, you have the freshers party tonight, don't you? " Padma queried. "Are you going to come back home or are you staying the night at Rahul's?"
"Don't know mom, depends on when we finish. The 2nd year guys did say that it was going to be a really late night. If we finish only by around 4 o'clock or so, which is quite possible, then I'll come home straight. By the way, I might get a friend Muskaan back home with me. Tomorrow is a holiday, so we will sleep in late. Ok, bye mom, I am getting late, I've got to go" Ridhima gave them both a quick hug, before running to her room with a toast in her hand.
Padma shook her head at Shashank as Ridhima ran up the stairs to her room. Her child had boundless energy which exhausted her sometimes. But she was glad Ridhima was going with Rahul. She would feel a lot safer knowing Rahul was there taking care of her Ridzie.
"Don't worry Padma, she'll be fine. She's perfectly capable of taking care of herself, and then Rahul is there" Shashank patted Padma's arm.
"I know, I'm not worried, Rahul is there. It's just that at times like this, it's suddenly brought home that my little girl's grown up. It seems like it was just yesterday that she was pulling my saree to cuddle and put her to bed. Now she's a beautiful woman who turns heads wherever she goes. Sometimes, I want my baby back" Padma wiped a tear, smiling tremulously.
"Oh God women! Soon, you'll be talking about getting her married. Padma, really, I never thought you were the traditional get-the girl-married-as-soon-as-you-can kind of mom. She's got to finish her M.B.A and make a career for herself" Shashank rolled his eyes as he gently teased Padma.
"Oh for god's sake, where have you taken the conversation? I was just talking about missing my baby. I would never dream of thwarting her dreams. Plus something tells me, that when it comes to settling down, we won't really have much of a say" Padma shook her head at Shashank as she picked up the tea cups and headed towards the kitchen "And just for this, you get no breakfast!"
Shashank smiled lovingly at the retreating back of his wife. Even after so many years, it was so easy to tease and get a rise out of her. This is where Ridhima got her spirit from; she was her mother in so many ways, yet her own individual.
Ridhima had decided to wear her favourite black dress tonight. Rahul always told her that she looked good in that, and tonight she intended to make a few impressions. No one in particular, but after the past 4 weeks of feeling like an old worn out rag, she felt like looking good!
Joined: 17 August 2008
Joined: 10 December 2008
The party was being hosted in the large hall of the Bschool. Being famous for its Organisational Behaviour (OB) faculty, the BSchool used to conduct a number of training programs for corporates, and this hall had been especially built to accommodate large groups for training.
However tonight, it looked significantly different from usual. The chairs & tables were all pushed back to the wall, there was a long food counter against one wall, strobe lights added an atmosphere to the place, and a DJ set up was in one corner though no one seemed to be at the console, or at least Muskaan could not see anyone.
"Are they planning to play this lobby music for the rest of the evening?" Muskaan quizzed Rahul and Ridhima as she looked around. She looked lovely in a gypsy white blouse with puffed sleeves and a black waistcoat which was nicely offset with a flowing black skirt and black stilettos. Her curly hair was falling softly framing her face, and, the light make-up enhanced her soft features. Rahul had been quite taken aback when she had walked out of the house when they had gone to pick her up. Ridhima had to hit him on the shoulder to open the door for poor Muskaan who waited patiently outside the car.
"But I did not recognise her" Rahul had protested as Muskaan got in cursing Rahul for keeping her standing outside "she actually looks human!"
"Shut up Rahul" both girls had yelled in unison.
"Watch it; this is soon becoming your standard line for me. I might just be tempted to offload the two of you right here, right now" Rahul had threatened. "By the way, I was not being sarcastic Muskaan, you are looking really very pretty, and I seriously did not recognise you."
Muskaan had blushed a little at the compliment. She had taken a little extra care while getting ready tonight, though she really was not sure why. Most of the freshers had already seen her as she was in class, completely bindaas, but tonight was different.
"Nope, its not going to be lobby music for the rest of the evening, this is just to allow you guys to chat a little, mingle with your seniors, before the fun begins" Muskaan was startled with Ankit suddenly appearing at her side. "How are you guys? Must admit, you women are looking smashing. Maybe we should have these dos more often" grinned Ankit as he complimented the girls.
"I'm sorry" mumbled Muskaan, "I seem to put my foot into my mouth?."
"?every time you open it" smiled Ankit as he finished her sentence for her. "Don't worry, its ok, I am slowly getting used to it! By the way, I don't think I ever complimented you on your first day first show performance. You were fantastic with those dialogues. We were all very amused, especially with the speed that you delivered them."
"I thought Ridhima sang really well. You have a beautiful voice" Atul walked over to the group holding out his hand to each one of them.
"Hey guys, I'm beginning to feel that I might as well have been a fly on the wall, for all the attention that I am getting. I was not too bad with the sax, was I?" Rahul whined.
"Nope, I thought you were fantastic"Anjali walked over and gave Rahul a light pat on his shoulder. "Don't go by these guys, they will head wherever they see a pretty face, and if the pretty face can sing and talk and dance, even better! Most guys don't think above their trousers, I suspect?."
A general round of laughter broke out over Anjali's implied innuendo, and broke the ice! "I was kidding guys" Anjali clarified, "you wont find a more decent set of guys than these two. Ask me, I find it so easy to work with the two of them on the council"
"Hmm, I was wondering where is Scarlet Pimpernel?" mused Ridhima
"Scarlet Pimpernel?" five faces looked at her quizzically.
"Well, the President of the council sure is elusive. Works behind the scene, and, is never to be seen. Like the leader of the League of the Pimpernel was only known by a small blood red flower called the Scarlet Pimpernel, we only know of the elusive leader of the student council as the President. Never to get to see or hear him, only hear of him and his name" explained Ridhima with a smile.
"Hmm? that's quite a thought" Ankit laughed" I can just see The President as Scarlet Pimpernel. I would love to see his face if I called him that, or better still maybe you can do that when you meet him" as the three members of the student council burst out laughing "Don't worry, you'll see him soon enough, he should be here sometime soon, in the interim have fun" and the three of them moved away to mingle with other freshers.
"Oh God, this is the last thing I wanted, idiot, cant see where he is walking" muttered Ridhima as someone bumped into her and made her spill her drink on her dress. "Guys, you stay here, I am going to clean this with some water before it stains my dress"
"Need help?" Muskaan volunteered
"Nope, you stay and have fun; I will be back in five minutes. Don't worry"
As Ridhima walked out, Rahul pulled Muskaan's hand and dragged her to the drinks counter. Now that Ridhima was not around, he wanted to have a quick beer before she returned.
"Hi guys, I know the evening is great, and, you are having fun, but I would be delighted if you could tear yourselves away from the food & drinks and your partners to spare me a moment" everyone turned to the the DJ console from where the deep baritone appeared to be coming. "You guys have not met me before, and I plead guilty for being responsible, but I have been away on a special project the last three weeks. I believe someone called me the Scarlet Pimpernel? I wish the task that kept me away was half as noble and uplifting, but I am honoured nevertheless. I am the President of your student council for the current year, the only member of the council whom you have not met. It's my pleasure to...?.."
Good lord, what a long wait to finally get into the bathroom. Sometimes, she thought that this gender equality thing should be burnt at the stakes. Having a single bathroom for a hall this big was stupid. Maslow's theory, take care of the basics first! I think I could teach them a thing or two about the practical applications of Maslow's theories, she muttered to herself, making her way back to the hall.
She took a step back as she the loud music hit her when she entered the hall. She had clearly been gone a while. Gone was the lounge music, the strobe lights were on, and everyone was on the floor. Ridhima tapped her feet to the music while she looked around, trying to find Rahul and Muskaan.
"A penny for your thoughts?" she smiled as she turned around to find Ankit by her side.
"Not worth a penny, actually was trying to find Rahul and Muskaan"
"I suspect they are on the dance floor, as should be you?" Ankit held out his hand.
Ridhima smiled, as she nodded and walked with Ankit to the dance floor.
"So did you finally get to meet or talk to Scarlet Pimpernel?" Ankit asked.
"You mean the man is finally here, no, I did not. Where is he?"
"He addressed all the freshers before the floor was opened; don't tell me you did not hear him? He is kind of hard to miss what with his rich baritone and good looks. Most of the women amongst the freshers were listening to him rather intently" teased Ankit.
"Oh it must have been when I went to the cloak room" Ridhima explained "someone made me spill my drink on my dress, so I had gone to clean it. Oh shoot, don't tell me, I missed him! Sigh, so he continues to remain the elusive Scarlet Pimpernel!"
"No he does not?.he's right here, in flesh. If you don't mind Ankit, may I?
Ridhima turned as she heard the baritone, to look into a familiar set of blue eyes.
Hi guys, updated part IV. Managed to finish my training exercise materials, and since I had finished half of Part IV last night itslef, decided to complete the rest and post it. Hope you like it, please do leave me your comments. Shall also send out the PMs.... Love Sam
Joined: 10 December 2008
Joined: 06 December 2007
Joined: 16 April 2008
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