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Joined: 30 June 2005
Bani was for in some surprises once she landed in Bombay. It was a young man who had come to receive them. At first Bani thought it was Jai who had sent him to collect them. But as they got talking she came to know it was Pia who had arranged for it.
Pushkar: So it's your first time to India.
Bani: Absentmindedly ehm yes. She and Rano both were looking out of the window and were quite surprised to see the crazy traffic. In-between all the chaos so many people moved around the big malls.
Pushkar: Pia too in the begining found the city not that great but you get used to it. The city grows on to you.
Bani: So you are Pia's friend.
Pushkar: Kind off. You see we have some business dealing with Mr. Walia in Pune. And we are neighbors too.
Bani: Mr. Walia's
Pushkar: Oh no please. Adi uncle. Mr. Walia's sister's family.
Bani: Oh I have never met them only just heard from grand pops.
Pushkar: Pia used to stay in their out house. Also we go to the same college but different stream and year too. She stays in the hostel while I go from home. Initially in the weekends she used to come but now you know she is quite busy.
Bani: Busy but her classes started only about a month and half back.
Pushkar. Not college her assignment. She is really lucky to land up with a contract.
Bani wasn't getting a cream of were the conversation was heading. First she gets picked up by a stranger in a strange land she was expecting to see Mr. Walia or Pia. But when she came to know from Pushkar that Mr. Walia was out of town she felt quite natural for him to send someone to pick them up. And he had clearly identified them and he was holding their name placards too. But Pia not showing up was a surprise. They have never been apart for so many months. And what was it that she couldn't avoid.
Bani: What contract?
Pushkar: He realizes that Bani did not have a clue of what he was talking about.
Oh no looks like I let the cat out of the bag.
Bani: Could you be more specific.
Pushkar: I guess I ruined you sisters surprise news. Well she has signed a modeling contract with one fashion house. For a first timer on the ramp it's very good.
Bani: what about college.
Pushkar: Oh this is just going to be weekend shoots and they have some holidays coming up so she should be able to manage that's what she said and she is sure excited about it.
Just then they arrive at the out house. Pushkar like a true gentle man helps them with the luggage. And he seems to be quite at home. Bani don't like the arrangement but she has no say as he was helping them around in a new place. He seemed to know more about her own sister is what got her all rattled up. Pia had never mentioned about anything like this.
Bani was waiting for Pushkar to leave, but he showed no signs of moving out. And top of that he was busy over the phone and Bani could not figure out who he was talking to in such a hushed voice. Bani felt some what odd to be staying in a place were they knew no one. Rano was in awe seeing the outhouse. It was a luxurious one with a private pool.
Pushkar: Tony normally brings the food and sets keeps it in the kitchen there should be something to eat for all. And no point going to the house on a Sunday as no one is usually there. And I will come and pick you both up at six. Pia has a surprise for you.
Bani: Was that she on the phone.
Pushkar: Ehm well yes and no.
Bani what do you mean by yes and no.
Pushkar the thing is she told me to say it was not her on the phone. But looking at your anxious face as to meet her I did not feel like lying.
Bani: Where is she? I would like to see her now.
Pushkar some how did not like the tone in which she spoke and knew Pia was in trouble.
Pushkar: Listen Bani I am not sure were exactly she is. And more over you can see her in another few hours so why don't you guys relax enjoy the lunch and I will pick you up later in the evening.
After Pushkar left she vent out all her frustration on poor Rano.
Bani: I just don't get it what is wrong with that girl. She wanted to do fashion designing when that turn into modeling did. And what is that guardian of yours Mr. Walia thinking sending her on assignments. And I come to know now she is in the hostel. When he said that, she was with the sister's family. And the out house and the main house seems to be miles away.
Rano: Now sis that's height of exaggeration. And you know Pia she loves to try out new things. This must be a temporary face. She will get over it like usual.
Bani: Oh please not you too. Don't tell me we came so many miles away from home for all this.
Rano: Listen sis there is no point stewing that brain of yours. We can hear it from Pia herself to night.
Bani: Ya and she is going to get an earful.
Rano: So I better take the bedroom at the further end of the room then.
Bani: How can you be so trivial Rano? Your sister seems to be up to fun when she was sent to study out here.
Rano: You know how serious she is about her studies. And it was your choice to stay back and send her ahead. So now let's hear out and I don't think Mr. Walia would do something inappropriate.
Bani: Oh please that is another enigma altogether.
Rano: Have you got to be suspicious of everything.
Bani: You know somehow I don't have good feel about all this that it.
Rano just gave up talking to her big sis. She knew her sister was one big mother hen and she loved to fret on them. Yes she loved her to bits at times her sister can be frustrating too and Pia is always there to provocative her. Don't know what she is doing between these two bull headed people.
In the evening Bani and Rano were shocked out of their wits. Pia had invited to the exclusive launch of the fashion house summer collection. She was seen in a lovely shimmering bronze dress which showed off more of her lovely perfectly tanned body.
Rano knew Pia had out done her this time and she was in awe too with the kind of crowd Pia mixed with. Just as the show concluded, Bani left a message for Pia, that she was heading home taking a cab. This got Pia so frantic that she sent Pushkar behind them. Pia wanted to surprise them but looks like it back fired.
Pushkar too was upset as he had to go away from the party. He was looking forward to meet up with pretty girls. He had offered t pick up her sisters in return for an invitation to the party and now that was ruined just because they decided to leave early. He had tried to rationalize with Pia saying may be they were tired but Pia was adamant and she was blackmailing him telling him about the bunking lessons and the other mischief he was up to in college without a choice he had to go.
That night what followed was a verbal match between two sisters. Bani couldn't help notice how much Pia had changed. It seemed to her that Jai had spoiled her rotten giving in to anything and every demand of hers. She had a mobile. There was a car at her disposal, though Pia hardly sued it as she was staying in the hostel and whenever she went out she had friends to take her. It was almost a week when they got a call fro Jai's office informing he is back in town. And he would be doing up Rano's admission this week and a car would be send for the next morning. Bani and Pia also tagged along just to see the school were Rano would be attending. In fact Pia had heard a lot about that school from her friends it was were the socially high people sent their children. Also it was a residential school. Bani found it strange that Pia knew a lot more about things than her. She felt kind of left out. And Rano seem to be mesmerized with all the attention she was getting and also she was kind of apprehensive too as she was not so socially out going. But Pia now took her to places to see and Jai had earlier itself set aside some money for a new wardrobe and supplies for school. Bani found things to be too expensive and she said not to forget that they cannot live off their trust.
Pia than gave her the shocking news that this Jai was spending for them and from the trust only the tuition fees was being paid up. Why was the man being so benevolent? She knew he was a hard core business man. So what is his gain? Though they were still not as paly as they used to be as Pia was miffed over her sister Bani being so over protective she tried to convince that Jai knew what she was doing. Bani felt somewhere they were drawing apart. Things were not as it used to be in London.
Finally the day came in where she got to see Jai. Pia as usual just ran up and hugged him. Bani found that very strange.
Pia: Hello Mr. Walia and today I'm on time.
Jai: So who woke you up before sunshine?
Pia: That's mean. I know I take time to get ready. But I have to look good you know now that I'm model.
Jai: Yes beautiful you look great always. So ready to get your sister admitted.
Bani found their interaction quite strange for a guardian and ward. She wanted to know what was happening in her absence so as they were getting in.
Bani: Mr. Walia are you busy today after this.
Jai found it strange the girl who always ran a mile fro him wanted to see him. So she wanted something form him.
Jai: What is it that you need?
Bani: It's not what I want rather I want to discuss something with you if possible.
Jai: Fine today evening at five come to my office Pia knows where it is.
Pia: sorry I got classes tomorrow and I have to join the hostel today in the evening you know she is a terror.
Jai: Or with the likes of you she wouldn't survive a day there.
Pia: Oh please stop patronizing her. Have you seen the looks she gives you when you came the other day to get me home?
Bani: Pia mind your manners she said in a soft voice.
Pia: Oh sis please grow up.
They got Rano admitted into the school. Bani was impressed by the choice of school but she was quite worried about the cost and how Rano would adjust. But looks like she found the literary club and music activity great. And she seemed to feel great about going to a place like this.
That evening Bani had tot go alone to meet Jai as Pia had left for her hostel. And Rano was not feeling too great because of the heat and traveling around.
She had to wait for half an hour as Jai was in a meeting that her some what frustrated it seemed that he took things granted with her.
And he did not even apologize for being late. He just asked his sectary to send her in and ordered some coffee for both of them.
All she could say was thank you.
Jai: So tell me what was that you wanted to discuss.
Bani: Eh first I should thank you for putting Pia and Rano in such reputed institutes.
Jai: It's a part of the deal so I have to see that the other party is pleased with my choices.
Bani: anyway we appreciate the effort though I did not like the fact that Pia has developed a varied interest into modeling…
Jai: Are you questioning my decisions taken as a guardian.
Bani: she was taken back by that question. Mr. Walia it's just that I know my sister too well I don't want her to get side tracked from getting the degree and completing her studies. She is quite let's say a bit childish and loves to jump into things but many time she doesn't complete it
Jai: It's my job to see that she does her education and I don't think so far anyone has complained about the tasks that I have undertaken.
Bani: In a raised voice clearly indicating she was angry about that remark. This is not a job we are talking. We are talking about my sister.
Jai: Miss Dixit I don't see the harm in her getting exposed tot eh industry she wants to work in later. And one more thing over protecting is not good. One learns form ones mistakes don't you think so. Also as far as I can recollect you too worked in a bar to support your studies so when it comes Pia does it have a different set of rules?
Bani: Why drag my working into all this.
Jai: Because I have been hearing all the accusations quietly so let's get down to other issues. Leave Pia and Rano to me I know they are my responsibilities. And I can assure you under my care no problems will happen and if anything happens I know to get it sorted out too. And I appreciate if there are less interference from other parties.
Bani understood she was being dismissed now.
As she was going to thank him and leave he asked when she was planning to leave which had her confused.
Bani: Leave where to
Jai: I mean back to London.
Bani: I have come down here to be with my sisters and I thought that was the deal.
Jai: Not exactly the deal was your cottage would be rented out. And your sister's studies and things would be taken care off. I never knew I had to take care of the eldest one too.
Bani understood what he was getting at and she felt mortified of herself to think that this man would be of help in some way all he would be was a trouble in her life.
Seeing Bani not responding.
Jai: Till Rano's school starts you can stay with her. But after that I need to hand over the keys of the out house to Adi. You see that property is not mine. Since the kids go to the same college and school as Pia and Rano Adi was willing to give them a place to stay and see to it that their needs are taken care off…
Bani knew she was getting side lined in her own sister's life.
Bani: Mr. Walia I assure you that I will be looking out for another place to stay and you will not have any kind of interference from my side.
Jai: I hope you stick to your word.
Bani understood the underlying threat in that statement.
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|Dark Shadows||shakthi258||110||9097||06 September 2008 at 2:23pm