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A universally acknowledged fact is that, a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
However, little known would be the feelings or views of a man of such kind on his first entering the neighborhood, this is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered a rightful property of some or the other of their daughters.
Mrs. Bhushan was mother to three beautiful young ladies namely, Gunjan, Nupur and Dia.
"Did you hear that, the plot next to the society garden is been taken over, at last?" inquired Mrs. Bhushan on a bright sunny morning from her husband, who had been peacefully reading the daily newsletter.
Mr. Bhushan replied that he hadn't.
"It had been a reason of conflict for all the society people for so long. None of the society member is to maintain it anymore! What a relief!"
To this, Mr. Bhushan made no reply.
After silence for about a couple of minutes, Mrs. Bhushan impatiently started speaking, "Do you know who has bought it, do you?"
"No, my love I don't. You want to tell me, I have no objection to hearing it."
This was an invitation enough.
"Mrs. Verma says that it has been taken over by a young man of rich fortune. Though, he doesn't have much to do, whatever his father has left is enough for him and his sisters to spend a comfortable and luxurious life,"
"What is his name?" Mr. Bhushan asked, folding the newsletter.
"Is he married or single?" he asked.
"He's single. Certainly! A single fellow with such wealth, what an amazingly fine thing for our daughters!" she exclaimed.
"How is that going to affect three girls who are still too young to get married?"
"My dear, I know for a fact that Dia is quite young but what do you have to say about Gunjan and Nupur? Gunjan is already a graduate. ."
She was interrupted by her man, "Gunjan wishes to study further and Nupur by no means is going to be interested in your scheme." He said.
"What scheme? I just want at least one of my daughters to be well settled." She pouted.
"All your daughters would be well settled married women in future, be sure of that but why do you have do think about that all that time?"
"Nonsense ' Might as well be possible that during his stay here, he falls in love with one of our daughters?"
"I see no occasion for that, Shanti and believe me; none of your daughters are going to be interested. Do you really think Nupur, with such wit and intellect would be interested in a man who does not earn his living but lives on the money his father left for him?"
"Well, I am sure Samrat Shergill works too. Why only Nupur, she is not half as humorous and cheerful as Dia is and not a quarter beautiful as much as Gunjan is. Why do you have to talk about her all the time?"
"They are both silly and ignorant like rest of the girls whereas Nupur has certain quickness than others."
"How can you abuse your own daughters, I do not understand. Do you get pleasure in vexing me?"
"You are mistaken. I am neither vexing you nor am I abusing my own flesh and blood. I am just trying to get your facts clear." Mr. Bhushan said, getting up from the chair.
He abruptly left the room and his lady went to the kitchen, heaving sighs. He does not know what I suffer. She thought.
Mrs. Bhushan was a woman of uncertain temper and little information. The business of her life was to get all three of her daughters married to rich men and its solace was news, gossip and visiting. On the contrary, her man was a mixture of quick parts, sarcasm, reserve and caprice. Besides, even after twenty-three years of marriage, neither had known each other well, especially Mrs. Bhushan.
As she stepped out the classroom, she could see around a dozen of girls. Some whining about god knew what, others simply gossiping about things she wasn't interested in.
Clad in a beautiful full sleeved blouse and a denim skirt, she looked at herself in the mirror and did her hair up. Making way, out of the washroom, she bumped into a class mate. "Hey, I need help." The girl pouted. She nodded and smiled at her.
After she had helped the girl and attended the last lecture for the day, she made way out of the college campus into the parking lot. She searched for the car keys in her bag. She unlocked the car and sat on the driver's seat. On the passengers seat was kept a green t-shirt. She held it to her face and the familiar smell immediately struck her. Grief knotted her stomach and pulled at her heart. Tears washed her face as she held the shirt close to her chest. There wasn't any sound around but the car honks and the closing and opening of the main door of the campus, both occasional.
After a while, she replaced the t-shirt on the passenger's seat and threw her bag at the back seat.
After about twenty-minutes, she reached her place and greeted her mother who was cooking and simultaneously talking over the phone. She climbed up the stairs and headed straight to her room. She would go to her sister's room and catch her red-handed, reading a fashion magazine instead of her Math textbook and then, reach out for the phone so as to call up her father but today, she did not do either of them considering she was all gloomy.
She looked at her reflection in the immensely long and broad mirror that hung on the blue painted wall of the master bedroom of the house, the room that she and her elder sister shared. Fat and salty tears ran down her blue eyes and washed her pink cheeks. It was all coming back to her, the past. The mistakes and circumstances to which's outcome she had become so course.
She was Nupur Bhushan.
She switched her laptop on, as she scrolled down a webpage, she found some twenty beauty tips. They're all useless, man. Why would I do them all for one bloody date? She thought and at last, picked one which hid her pimples perfectly.
She was dressed in a gorgeous purple short dress with tons of make up on. With all that makeup, the actual and beautiful features she had were practically invisible. Her hair was short and brown in color, her eyes were black colored and they reflected a lot of vigor and charm.
Absolutely stunning was her appearance and the cheerfulness in her behavior was dazzling. Though, tended to be irritating at times, she was the perfect person to be with and cheer up when feeling low.
She was Dia Bhushan, the youngest Bhushan sister.
Stepped out of the auditorium and started looking for an auto rickshaw, she left a group of boys sitting on the steps in awe. She was one of the most beautiful creations of the Almighty, hear lips spoke less and her eyes spoke more. They spoke unheard stories and often, left people enchanted.
Simple in nature, sweet in behavior, she was the perfect blend of mannerism and morality. She talked less and was reserved like her father. In her shadow, her sister inherited the same. What she did not inherit and perhaps, the only not-so-good thing about was that she was adamant about her beauty and had a low self-esteem, both at the same time. Queer!
She was as innocent as a mere five year old. Not dreamy, not princess-like, she was a simple and studious girl who had every quality in the world to be admired for.
She was Gunjan Bhushan, the eldest Bhushan sister.
Mr. Bhushan was one of the earliest people who went to meet the Shergill family, not because his wife wanted to but because, he was one of the council members of the Society and needed to get some paperwork done.
Gunjan, Nupur and Dia were soon told about what their mother
was up to. Gunjan, who had by now got used to it wasn't bothered much. She was
told she would be meeting a single man and had to behave nicely. She obeyed her
Nupur, as her father had already said was not interested in neither of the man and his fortune. However, she wanted to get to know him as she had heard a lot of him, lately.
Dia on the contrary, was neither apprehensive nor uninterested, she was excited about the party the Shergill's had thrown, obviously because she was interested in hitting on some new guys now.
Nupur went through all three of her closets but could not find anything to wear at the party. Lately, she found a brown chiffon sari. I thought I lost this. She thought.
She changed into the sari and wore her heels. Her hair was wet, so she left it open and left the room. She saw Dia dressed like she was going to attend the Oscars, her father sitting on the couch with a book in his hand and her mother, shooting disgusting looks at her.
"What is it, Mama?" she asked.
"Your appearance, dear." She groaned.
"You only gifted me this sari, how come you dislike it now?"
"It's not the sari; it's your face, young woman. You are wearing no make up right now and we are supposed to go to a party." She scolded her, upholding the invitation card and showing it off to her.
"Mama, I told you I am not interested." She pouted.
"I have two more daughters, Nupur. I need to get them married and with such simple and ugly looking sibling, who would want to marry them?"
"Fine, I'll wear some make up."
Nupur made way back to her room. She knew she wasn't as beautiful as her sisters but she still liked being who she was, precisely the natural way. She was not fond of make up and fashion. She was a way too ordinary and simple girl, what made her stand distinct were her presence of mind, intelligence and clean debating skills.
Nupur smudged a little eyeliner on her eyes and applied some cream on her face which was Gunjan's. She tossed her hair back which was now dried and made a puff out of the hair that disturbed her eyes. She was finally ready for the party and wasn't as simple and ugly as before, like her mother put it.
Everybody else had gone, only Dia and Nupur were left. When asked, Dia replied that she wasn't ready yet and all the spoiled and hunky guys would turn up late.
Nupur who was quite annoyed, as usual made way out and walked. The party was at the penthouse Shergill's owned. She reached the place, though the house was in her locality itself, she had been witnessing it closely for the first time. There was a tall Ashoka tree outside in the little garden and it reached up to the second floor. The party area was decorated with white lilies and blue heart shaped balloons. It looked beautiful.
As soon as Nupur entered the house, she could hear a lot of annoying sound, voices in chorus; that was exactly why she hated attending parties. I think I should go back; this is hard for me to stand for like SO much time. She thought, turned around to go but bumped into a tall and broad figure that caught her fall in his strong and manly arms.
She was startled to be semi-standing there, semi-lying in an extremely handsome man's arms like in the movies. This cracked her up and she wondered if filmy stuff happened in reality.
The man broke her chain of thoughts abruptly as he made her stand on her feet and passed a smile to her. Before, she could reply or thank or make any move, he vanished into thin air.
She did not think about him much and made way out only to bump into someone again but this time, it wasn't another tall and broad figure but her own younger sister, Dia.
"Where are you going, Di?" she asked, looking for something in her glittery pink purse which pained Nupur's eyes with the all the shining.
"Back home," she replied. "This is not my kind of place."
Nupur had to listen to her sister, like always and accompany her inside. As soon as they went inside, just like the guy she met, Dia too vanished into thin air. But unlike him, she knew where her sister must have gone.
Nupur sat at a corner, annoyed of the crowd and the noise. She was approached by Samrat for a dance. He was quite an agreeable and kind fellow, there wasn't a doubt about that but Nupur was not really sure if she could say the same about his sisters, Mrs. Ray and Suhaani Shergill.
Samrat danced with all the Bhushan sisters but with Gunjan, he danced thrice and that was more than enough for Nupur's mother's intention of getting him paired with her eldest daughter to strengthen even more.
After the dance, Nupur sat back at the same corner. She noticed a guy entering the party who happened to be the same guy who she met at the door. Everybody around was in awe after seeing that tall and broad manly figure. He had green eyes, with shades of blue and brown. Nupur hadn't seen such eyes before, they were enchanting and different, and so everybody believed he as a person was, Mayank Sharma. He was five times richer than Samrat yet made the best of friends with him.
Mayank had the perfect kind of mannerism and seemed like a fine fellow. It was only after his stay in the party for some thirty to forty minutes that the hint of arrogance in his nature was visible to everybody around. Just like Nupur, he sat at a corner quietly though reasons for him and Nupur were not the same.
Nupur noticed Suhaani trying to start a conversation with him but all he did was nod or speak a word or two in reply.
Within an hour of introspection, Nupur had started believing him to be a proud, curt and disagreeable fellow. But he was undoubtedly a hunk of a guy and "extraordinarily" rich, and this even she could not deny.
Dia had danced with nearly every guy at the party, while her elder sister danced only once. Nupur continued sitting in a corner, staring at the dark velvety sky. She felt a hand on her shoulder and turned around to see who it was. To her surprise, it was Mayank and he had approached her for the last dance of the evening.
He looked square in her eyes and squeezed her hand; she stood erect and smiled at him. "My name is Nupur Bhushan." She introduced herself as they walked toward the dance floor.
They started dancing, and Mayank hadn't uttered a single word. Mayank's hand was placed on Nupur's bare waist while she had her hand kept on his broad shoulder. They danced in silence; Mayank would spin her around and hold her by the waist again. After fifteen minutes of silence and making the same moves, Mayank spoke, "My name is Mayank Sharma and we've danced enough."
"What?" Nupur asked, soon after she realized that they'd actually been dancing since quite a lot of time. "Oh, yes!" she flatly said as they stopped dancing and Mayank escorted her back to her seat. He did not speak any further and left.
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