Joined: 05 July 2007
Joined: 03 October 2009
Joined: 21 June 2006
Joined: 07 May 2007
Joined: 27 September 2006
Joined: 21 June 2006
Bani was not the one to give up. She had seen a lot of ups and downs in her life. What all things she had to endure with her mother's illness, her father's alcoholic behavior which leads them to deep financial crisis. Then Uday Walia coming in as their savior or was he trying to redeem or doing penance for all the wrong decisions in his life. Yes Bani knew he was a very disturbed man. He had wanted to reach out to his kids towards the last days of his life. But by then it was too late. The barriers were so high that no one could cross them. Then there was his mistress Branalini whom she had met one or two times. God only knows what the men saw in her. But seeing so much of things in a short span of life she knew you had to fight and make a place for yourself or else you would get lost.
Yes her sisters were not happy that she would be moving out of Bombay to Lonavla Bani had fallen in love with that place as just the weekend she had come Pushkar and his family had asked the girls to join a trip planned to their farm house. She found the weather also pleasant and better than Bombay. The place also was not so crowded. She some how felt at home. It was easy to travel down to Mumbai any time. She was also looking for some MBA program she can do part time along with the job at the hotel she had just joined. She was just a graduate with no training in the hospitality industry but the only factor that got her the job was she was quite fluent in various foreign languages and they had lot of foreign guests coming into the resort. And the resort was getting a makeover drawn up. The manager felt she would be an asset. The old manger Mr. Sharma found an instant liking to her and gave her the job. So Bani was quite happy with the ways things were going. Yes the sisters did miss their cozy home environment. As Bani was staying as a paying guest close to the hotel she worked. Their weekend meetings used to be cramped up as now Pia and Rano had a lot to study and Pia was very keen and serious about this modeling thing. She got enough encouragement from Jai too. Bani never interfered but Pia always went to her to see if she liked what she was doing she waited for her sister's approval before committing to anything. Similarly Rano too even though Jai Walia was their guardian to before approaching Jai for anything she always asked Bani her opinion. And Jai was aware too of the fact. Yes the three of them may be living in different parts but hey had a bond and no one came in between.
One evening as Jai walked into Adi's house he couldn't help hear the laughter and the fun coming from the garden. He was surprised to see his sister's kids, Pia Rano Pushkar and some other kids from college along with Bani enjoying a game of anthakshari. They also had dadi in the middle of it as the score keeper.
On seeing Jai Adi greeted him.
Adi: Oh Jai I think its better we moved to the study at the further end of the hall.
Jai: Ya sure what's happening in the house is it someone's birthday all are at home.
Adi: Oh that's because you haven't been her for a month now. This is a normal Sunday out here.
Jai: You mean to say that everyone has stopped their club visits.
Adi: They do go dancing some time. But after the girls have started coming regularly on the weekends and Bani too joins them it seems like a home now.
Jai: So other days it is a dungeon you mean. Don't let your wife hear that.
Adi: Oh she wouldn't mind she is very happy now weekends are for herself she doesn't have to worry about mother and the kids they are at home. You know after Rano has joined the school Anu's and Sahils grades have improved. And Ran veer he seems to be more involved into the house. And not to ask my mother she has found a great fan for the Hindi movies in Bani. They both sit till wee hours of the morning to watch movies. Don't ask it's a racket out here. Now I just wait for the Sundays.
Jai: Well now you can kiss them good bye.
Adi: Oh please Jai no another acquisition. Just tell me one thing for whom is it that you are making so much of money.
Jai: Let's not get into all that. I love what I do and I do not interfere into your affairs.
Adi now knew Jai was back to the business man mode. Initially they had lot in common and they could talk about lot of things just about anything under the sun. But as time went by things started moving away from them that now they hardly spoke and usually it was business.
Jai was quite thrilled about this new project he had acquired the land that he was eyeing in Lonavla for some time. As he was explaining the proposal. Adi interrupted him to say
Adi: What you have approached Mr. Sharma for what.
Jai: Adi you know that belonged to the hotel group which we acquired last year.
Adi: Well that's news to me.
Jai: Oh it was not in the list of the hotels because it was a joint family holding and there were lot of settlement issues. Also they had some dealings with the bank over the expansions plans as the land was mortgaged anyhow it took over year to solve all those issues. And now I have acquired also the adjacent plot. By the way how do you know Mr. Sharma I have met him that to last month only once.
Adi: Oh Bani works for him.
Jai: Oh really and he had a smile on his face which Adi missed to see. While Adi was looking through the files Jai walked towards the garden side and was just looking out with a cigar in his hand Jai felt the thrill as it was an interesting development which he had not for seen. Yes he knew she worked in the hill station but as he was out of town he did not come to know where she was working and how she was holding up. But he did come to know that she knew how to live up to the challenge but now she would be willing to work for the new boss. She would not be reporting to him.
Adi then walks in with the file saying I need some time to go through all the details of this. So are you planning to stay for dinner?
Jai: No I think I will just let the girls know I am back in town and going to be here for a while. Also I have told Sonali I will meet her for dinner.
Adi knew as usual Jai would refuse and he always wondered what he saw in the woman that he dated. The latest flavor of the month seems to be Sonali she is a designer whom he had met at one of the recent fashion shows. All Adi knew was the woman seems to be head over heels over him but for Jai t was just another endeavor. Like his business deals He lived on the thrill of acquiring things but once he got them and molded it he would soon loose interest and he is on the hunt for something new. He is always excited by a challenge. Would there be any woman like that who could hold his interest and be a challenge for him so that he would tie himself down. Massi had come last month and enquired with Adi what was happening in Jai's life. Once she quite an important person in his life but as time went by like all his relations that too got side lined. They spoke rarely and always it was to the point. It was so formal. To think that once upon a time they used to be inseparable like mother and son.
As Jai was approaching the garden Pia notices Jai and jumps with delight and goes and hugs him. Rano follows suit but she is very demure and says a polite good evening.
Jai: So what's up now?
Pia: There is so much to tell.
Jai: Don't worry me will be here for a while. Bani doesn't miss the look he gives her as he says that.
Pia: Really. Then may be one day when we are all free we could...
Jai doesn't let her complete: I have something for you in the car.
Pia is all excited about hearing that she wants to know what it is.
Jai just hands the keys of the car and tells Rano: I have got the books you have asked for. Knowing Pia that packet would never come out of the car unless you go to get it.
Rano just smiles. Pia and books were like water and oil they would never gel.
His sister's kids all of them had moved away when Jai had come in now it was dadi and Bani only.
Dadi: Jai Puttar so how long now you are in town.
Jai: Oh that depends on a lot of things and some people looking at Bani. It send s shiver down her spine. She felt something was not right and she had a feeling in the pit of the stomach things were going to change once again.
Dadi: Oh business as usual I guess tell me the day you get a dream girl.
Jai: Why dadi and break the heart of so many.
Dadi: You are devil.
Jai: Of course as some of them would vouch for it too looking at Bani.
Just then the butler calls for Dadi enquiring something about the dinner she goes to check that it's just Jai and Bani.
Jai: So Miss Digit how is India and I see you have made friends. Jai's eyes did not miss the closeness Pushkar shared with Bani as he was leaving he said that tomorrow he would drop her as he did not have his morning lectures.
Bani: India sure is interesting and I believe in a good social life and love to make friends.
Jai: Oh that's nice but I think you have found a special friend in Pushkar.
Bani: Mr. Walia I am not one of your wards so I guess I owe you no explanation.
Jai: Fine by me. So how's work?
Bani: Great now if you will excuse me I think I better help dadi to set for dinner. Have a nice evening Mr. Walia.
Jai knew he was being dismissed now. He held little importance to her. But for how long Bani. The pieces have all been set for the game and now it is show time.
To all my readers I don't think I will be able to do lengthy updates. But I will try to do an update every week.
Joined: 20 August 2006
Joined: 30 June 2005
If Bani thought that ignoring Jai Walia was the best way to get rid of him she was in for a big surprise. Moreover the looks he gave her always evoked a kind of restlessness in her. It was as though she couldn't explain to herself what she felt for that man was it anger fear contempt...
She kept looking at he faces of her sisters Pia was excited to get the new make up kit it was a Givenchy set. And Rano had already started of reading the book and she was oblivious to the things Pia was trying to show her. Bani now a day hardly commented or said anything about the gifts he gave them. Though she never approved the expensive things he got for them. She made sure that Pia and Rano always thanked him and reminded them to be reasonable. Pia always had her answer ready for that.
Oh please he is always out of town and it's not like we have asked him to get it for us. He does it voluntarily and once Rano had said that it was not required he said it was doing it for himself.
Bani: For himself.
Rano: Oh that he said Adi uncle looks into the day to day affairs even though he is not our guardian so he has to do something hence the gifts.
Bani in her mind when the man will realize materialistic things are not the ways to compensate for emotion and time spent with your family and friends. Is he really Baba's son is now a big question itself.
Everyone was back to work. But just before she was to leave for her weekend she got the biggest surprise or the shock of her life. Jai Walia was in the office with Mr. Sharma. Bani was summoned to the office as she helped him at times with the letters and things like that.
Mr. Sharma: Mr. Walia this is Bani Dixit. She actually works here as the tour operator as she has a flair for foreign languages. Since we are a bit short staffed in the office she helps with the secretarial work and she has got training in that. Bani Mr. Walia he is now a co owner of this property.
Bani felt as though the floor beneath her had suddenly moved away.
Jai: hello Miss Dixit so we meet again.
Bani: Good evening Mr. Walia.
Mr. Sharma was surprised that they knew one another.
Mr. Sharma: I never knew you both were acquainted with one another.
Jai: Oh not exactly she knew senior Walia he resided mostly in London. And she was with him in the estate house. Though Mr. Sharma missed the underlying meaning of the sentence Bani knew he was trying to pass judgment on her relationship with his father. God help her how was she going to work here now. She couldn't even resign as after her probation period she just signed the contract last week for 1 year or else she has to pay up a good amount. Also the salary was good and to top it Mr. Sharma had arranged for a scholarship too. Now just leave everything and go was next to impossible. It was like a night mare the man never left her in peace.
Mr. Sharma: So Bani now you get to work for his son too. Mr. Walia I will see to the arrangements of viewing the resort for tomorrow morning and he makes a move its just Jai and Bani there now.
Jai: So a small world I would say Miss Dixit.
Bani: I guess so.
Jai: Well since you are Mr. Sharma's sectary I guess you wouldn't mind being mine too for the time I'm here.
Bani: Mr. Walia I am not sure of that. Mr. Sharma would be the best person to tell you that and my job description is not of a sectary out here as per the employment contract. It's only that I help him out as he finds it trying to go through the mails and is not so familiar with the computers.
Jai: So you are willing to help the old man out here. Are you trying to be a Florence nightingale here?
Bani: Excuse me
Jai: It's just that you seem to be very much interested in how I shall put it older men.
Bani: Mr. Walia I may be your employee. Like any other person I too work hard for my monthly wages and I am not here on favoritism. You can go through the probation period report done by the other managers. If they are not up to your satisfaction then citing reasons perhaps you could ask me to leave the position but till then I believe I have a job to do so please excuse me.
As Bani left Jai had a smile after the initial shock of someone actually trying to answer him back wore out. He was used to all the people abiding him and always very careful not trying to cross the line or make mistakes. Here the girl was all ready to stand up for herself. It meant that he was the thing least important in her life. But Jai had made up his mind yes a day would come Ms. Dixit that I would be the most important thing in your life and what ever I say would matter to you. This sure is going to be fun.
Bani left that evening for Bombay and seeing her face down Adi enquired what happened.
Pia: Nothing she is upset with the new boss.
Adi: New boss. But I believe Mr. Sharma still handles the operations there.
Bani: So you knew Adi uncle that Mr. Walia was going to take over that place.
Adi: Well not exactly it was not initially written in the take over that happened last year as there were legal issues but yes just last week he mentioned something to that effect and some revamp work is going on.
Bani: How long is that?
Adi: So I guess he has already got on to everyone's nerves there.
Bani: That I am not sure but defiantly he knows to make my life miserable there.
Pia: Oh please I thought I was the biggest drama queen out here.
Bani: Pia just shut up and not everyone likes to be a cling on.
Pia: I don't get it what's the problem if I am trying to be friendly...
Bani: Friendly don't put words into my mouth Pia.
Adi: Al rights the both of you now. I know Bani Jai is a tough task master but working with him you will get to know lot of things. He is very good at business that I can assure you he has an eye for things which no one can perceive into.
Bani: Hope he had the same eye for people.
Adi: Guess the first meeting in office did not go well.
Rano: Oh uncle none of their meetings have gone too well. So let's not talk about it.
Pia: Just resign and look out for something else.
Bani was now at her limits she wanted to hit Pia with something she was trying to explain her problems and her sister found the whole situation humorous.
Rano: Pia can you keep your ideas to yourself and please use that brain of yours once in a while.
Pia: getting annoyed I am going moreover all of you think that I am the dump one of the lot.
Bani was like oh my god here they go again what was with her sister she failed to understand she never saw things seriously and that worried her a lot she seemed to be a real carefree person and a big dreamer. She never tried to understand the seriousness of the things. Bani's worry was that because of it people would take advantage of her and that would spell big trouble. She needed to talk to her sister may be to night before going to bed.
But that too ended in a fiasco with Pia reminding her that she is not that dim wit may not so practical like her but she too would like to learn and do things and be independent and why did she always keep interfering and try to be over protective and how was she supposed to learn then.
So as she signed for the day she was very disturbed and the day did not start on a good note. Mr. Sharma felt Bani would be a good choice to show around the place along with the house keeping manager. To make her life difficult Jai had so many questions to which Bani could hardly answer finally after the tour.
Jai: I think so Ms. Dixit it would be very nice if you would like to continue working for the group you better get a good knowledge about the place you work for. As the sectary to Mr. Sharma I at least expect you to know all the employees and their job description I do no think that is too much to ask for.
It had Bani seething with anger but she could not complain. She did not know many things about the resorts running about who handled what. That was all Mr. Sharma foot age and she never bothered to learn them.
Bani had her work cut out that for the following two weekends she couldn't visit her sisters and then they had exams. It was going to be a real long grueling working hours. Bani never knew when the day started and ended Adi uncle forgot to mention to her he is the worst task master he kept everyone on their toes and the way he gave orders she felt like commenting that we are not slaves. But then there was a rumor running that there may be certain cutting of staffs and transfers Bani couldn't afford both those things. And knowing Jai he would make sure she had a hell of a time.
Today she was looking through the letter that had required his signatures. The man was good at finding mistakes it was like he had a third eye for it. Just then Jai walks in with the engineer and he has the designs for the renovation work.
Jai: Bani get some coffee for both of us. May be some sandwiches from the confectionary, at the hotel lobby.
Bani was now like if she could pour down the coffee over his head nothing like it. The man just gave orders there was no please and thank you.
The engineer gave a sweet smile and said thank you to her when she brought the coffee but all Jai had to tell her was.
I hope the letters are ready and just keep them in order as we will be done her in five minutes. Bani felt like banging the tray onto his head.
Jai knew by the look she gave him that she wasn't pleased at all working for him. And he liked the way she stood her ground. First day was a fiasco but the next onwards Bani was well prepared she had done her homework and she gave it good to him if he was to pass any comment jus the other day he had been waiting in the lobby for her to come he was a bit early and getting impatient as Bani had all the papers to go and meet the legal team.
Jai no good morning or anything the first thing as she came down he barked.
Jai: What took you so long? We are not going for a social event.
Bani was like can this man say something good if not good at least stop being a barbarian for a minute. Also by now she was fed up with the way Jai took things for granted
Bani: Mr. Walia the clock in the lobby says eight and I guess in your watch too is says the same.
Jai was like why is talking about the time.
Bani: So I was asked to join you at eight and was here on the dot. Moreover you can check the register and confirm that I signed in at 7 and assigned the tour details for the guest before leaving and personally saw that they have a guide. I believe we are here to serve the guest and not the resort owner.
Jai was surprised with the retort and seeing? Jai transfixed Bani knew she had him there.
Bani: Mr. Walia aren't we getting late now as the driver waits for Jai to tell him to move and give the destination.
The engineer had walked off and now Jai was looking at the letters when suddenly he gets a call and Bani starts to look at the new designs. Jai ends the call and sees Bani looking at the drawing intently when he goes behind her and bends down very close to her and he speaks very softly into her ears.
Jai: Ms. Dixit so what is your opinion on the new designs.
Bani was bit taken back by the close proximity and she could feel every breath he took as she was not in her uniform today and she had worn a dress which exposed quite a bit of her shoulder. It was her off day. And she was called for work because of the letter that had to be send and the engineer coming in. She had some plans to go and meet Pushkar and the family that had come down for the weekend. And Jai had successfully ruined all those plans. She had thought may be by afternoon she would be free but with the looks of it she would not be able to step out of this damn office before six as one thing after the other came up. Now to top it he was interested to have small talk with her about the designs.
Jai: I am waiting. Bani felt as though Jai was trying to get too close to her.
She was finding the situation quite uncomfortable now. He had his hands resting on the sides of the arm rest of the chair and with his head bending down it was like Bani was trapped. She just moved her head to tell him to excuse but the moment her eyes met his eyes she felt a spark it was like those eyes haunted her. It had a mysterious look and she couldn't say anything.
Jai slowly: So Ms. Dixit like what you see.
Jai: The drawings and Bani just moistens her lips and she feels as though her whole mouth had gone dry and she was at loss of words and suddenly Jai comment
Jai: Cat got hold of your tongue Ms. Dixit
Bani: Oh coming out of her shocked state and still she could feel Jai beside her and now she was fumbling Ehm I don't know.
Jai: Don't know I thought you had an answer and opinion to everything out here.
Bani: just gave him a look.
Jai: Oh don't give me the looks Ms. Dixit and he moves slightly away though I sit in the close confines of my office I do know what my employees think of me and the opinions they have.
Bani: Well you have set of team to provide you with all the inputs for the drawing I don't think mine holds much insight.
Jai: Can't say as an outsider may be you can see things with another perspective.
Bani: Well if you say so the resort has good facilities but nothing much for kid's entertainment. It would be nice to have a kids clubs close to the small garden and play area. And that cottage down towards the lake I guess should be exquisitely may be for honeymooners not for family with set of kids, then the lobby could do with a change of dcor something to blend with the natural light coming in that would add charm also there could be a bar coming into the pool instead of it being at the outskirt of that huge pool.
Jai; Wow woo hold it there I just asked an insight to the current design you are asking for a complete make do now.
Bani was now royally pissed first the man asks for an opinion and now he doesn't seem to give any importance to it forget that he is not even willing to hear out.
Bani: I guess then I should make a move as your next appointment for the day is to arrive in another 5 minutes and you have to go through the letters.
Jai knew he had offended her but he always like to have her shaken up.
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