Chupanke Ki Saaza
The Man Hopelessly in Love
Walia was in a bad mood.
was summoned by his angry father late last night to be rebuked for
carelessness. It was in his yearning for his wife yesterday, that he signed a
contract without reading the clauses. Now their partnership was at stake,
potential loss of shares and also their reputation which they built and
maintained for the past twenty years. The reason – his one small signature
which he didn't even remember making.
let out a frustrated sigh as he continued working on his laptop, his eyes
aching after hours of staring at the screen. He spent the entire night working
on the mess he made, and just when he was going to catch a few winks of sleep
in the early hours of dawn, he was called to a meeting about new and more
demanding deals he was suddenly made in charge of. It seemed as if his father
was forgetting he was still human and not a machine. He definitely needed more than electricity to function.
he didn't complain, because one he deserved it – there is no excuse for
slacking off at work and two because he knew his father only thought the best
of him. Of course, on certain occasions this led to more harm than help (look
what happened with Pia!) but he adored his father too much to object. The same
father was now so disappointed with him, that he was giving him the silent
add to his already too-full of a plate, he didn't have a morsel of food since
last night and his head was once again caught in a splitting ache. So all in
all, he was not to be blamed for being ill-tempered when his wife, about who he
completely forgot about after their unexpected kiss the previous night, barged
into his office without knocking.
she greeted in a chirpy voice.
looked up, his tired brain not registering her expectant looks. He just nodded
and went back to the file at hand.
was taken back at the lack of response she received. "Won't you reply?" she
didn't answer, stopping the urge to yell in frustration with great difficulty.
heart fell at seeing his grumpy face, and more so as she looked around the room
hopefully. But what was she expecting? A big bouqet of roses hidden in a corner
or a bunch of red balloons with "Happy Valentines!" written on them? None of them suited Jai, who in the past
years was always elegant and grand about his surprises
"Do you know what day it is today?" she asked,
willing herself to believe that maybe his surprise was not in the room.
the calendar," he replied curtly, confirming that he really had nothing planned for the day, and he was
truly ignoring her from last night.
felt rejected as she was inwardly reminded of that last time she came to his
office, where Jai openly flirted with Annie. Irritation spread as she snapped, "I
know what day it is. But im asking you!"
"I don't have time to sit here and memorize
what day it is."
wave of cold fury hit, as her hopes came crashing down. She was like a wounded
animal, angered by its wrongdoer and yet, being able to do nothing but yell,
pretending to be the stronger one. "Of course you don't," she replied, her
voice dipped in heavy sarcasm. "If you did, you wouldn't be the great Jai Walia."
ignored her. He had more pressing matters to deal with than his wife, who
seemed to be welcoming the onset of a tantrum. But his silence only infuriated
So, he doesn't
want to even listen to me!, she thought. If this was two days ago, she would
have probably ignored him, returned the 'silent treatment', but after last
night, after letting her heart fly for too long, there was no turning back. Right
now, she felt like a puppet whose strings were pulled by Jai Walia, and even
though she didn't hate him (no matter how much she wanted to), there was no way
she could tolerate him affecting her like this.
the hell is your problem?" she asked. "Would it hurt you to atleast pretend
that you don't mind me being in the same room as you?"
didn't look up, being least interested in her questions.
Bani answered herself. "I guess it would. I guess you are being tortured by
just seeing my face."
do you want?" he asked, exasperated. "Skip the drama."
felt as if she was rudely woken up from a nice dream. And ironically, the more
she thought about it, the more their kiss seemed a pigment of her imagination.
"You," she said, her voice icy. "I want you to give a damn about me. Can you
give me that?"
looked up at that, finally noting the anger visible in her eyes.
hua?" she asked. And then she hit her head and said in mock sarcasm, "Sorry! How
can you ever give me that? Main toh
bhool hi gayi, ki yeh shaadi aab toot chuki hai. Warna, yeh thodi ho saktha
hai, ki the great Jai Walia, who is always so right, doesn't care for his
wife. Hain na?
course," she continued. "Because he is always
correct, it is okay for him to flirt with his secretary. Its okay for him to
ignore his wife, sorry – ex-wife,
and its completely alright for him to kiss her and expect her to not build up any
hopes again. Right?"
didn't reply and stared at Bani, a million thoughts running hazily through his
the ever so righteous Jai Walia,
doesn't take into account things like feelings, which we lowly people tend to
get carried away," she said, glaring at him. "But tell me, does that heart of
yours ever beat? I know, I should know by now, but kya hai na, I'm not as smart
as you. I learn slow. Issi liya, dekho na, I came running to you after last
night, forgetting that we are going to be divorced. Forgetting that you can't
stand me. Forgetting that afterall, I mean nothing
her words were affecting Jai, he didn't let it show on his face.
main bhi kya bol rahi hoon," Bani said, shaking her head. "Expecting you to
understand, is like hoping the wall to start talking. Hmm… maybe it will one
day, but you will never know what it feels like to be on the other end, hoping and
waiting for you to finally say something."
continued to look a Bani, her every word hitting him like a bullet. But yet, he
couldn't get himself to say anything…
you know what?" she said, her voice louder. "I'm tired to your games. I'm tired
of trying to understand everything you do. One second you are angry, and the
next, you are nice. Its like being on fire and ice at the same time, and you
may be having fun with this, but I'm not.
So, please just end it."
not answerable to you," he finally said. He had no interest in explaining
himself , when the woman in front of him did not even begin to understand his
you are!" Bani said, her voice rising with each word. Somehow, lashing out on
him gave her some relief. "You owe me
closed his eyes, wishing Bani would stop yelling. His headache didn't do well
with loud noises and her tone was close to being called screeching.
don't even care what happened last night, do you?" she asked, interpreting Jai's
silence to be his attitude and not his over-worked brain. "It doesn't matter to
you that we are married, right? It doesn't matter that were going to be
divorced in a few days? As long as you have something, rather someone for entertainment, you are
eyes snapped open. Entertainment?
let out a laugh. "So that's it," she said, misunderstanding his expression. "It
all comes down to whether me or Annie is the better source of entertainment.
Tell me, are you both going to dinner tonight? Is that why all this time you
didn't even bother to tell her that we are married?"
bubbled inside Jai, as he gritted his teeth. He vaguely remembered the times
when he worked on his projects, day in and out, only for them to be rejected
and at the end of the day, all he felt like was ripping apart those pages and
burning them to ashes. Atleast, such was his personality. And right now, with every word she uttered,
he felt exactly like that; tearing apart his hardwork and smoulder it into
hai," she said. "As you wish. Waise bhi, aab main hoti kaun hoon kuch bol ne ke
Jai asked sarcastically. All his feelings for her were suddenly replaced by
anger. He didn't have the energy to think through her words, to see the hurt
she hid behind them, because truth was he was just as frustrated. "Itna saab
kuch toh bol chuki ho tum. Finish your thoughts, so that you can have some
peace and get a good night's sleep on it. Atleast that will make one of us."
do you mean?"
mean what you heard," he replied. "I mean that you are the one to talk about
love and affection, when all you have done is hate me."
Jai," she said. "I hate you. That's why I
was the one to kiss you yesterday. That's why I went out of my way to find that
dress and wear it, even though you practically said Annie looks better than me.
That's why everyday, without a fail, I make sure you eat on time. That's why,
everytime you have a headache, I will be the first person to stand in front of
you with a cup of coffee. You right, I do
hate you. But I don't see you showering me with endless love either."
let out a laugh. "I don't love you, that's why I worried myself sick yesterday,
when you literally disappeared off the face of this earth. I don't love you
that's why I practically threatened Neil to never touch you again. I don't love
you that's why I forced you into a divorce so that atleast for a month, you
will be infront of my eyes."
frozed upon hearing the last bit.
keh rahi thi tum," he said, standing up from his chair. "You hate me, that's
why you kissed me yesterday, right? Then I guess, I hate you more for wanting to kiss you everyday,
even though all you do is pretend that I'm the worst thing that happened to
you. You think I don't notice anything? I don't notice that everytime you look
at me, all you can think about is how I ruined your family? Well, I do. And do
you how it feels, being able to do nothing about it?"
averted her eyes. "But atleast I don't go around hitting on other people," she retorted.
However, as soon as the words were out of her mouth, she wished she never said
stared at her, the anger in him reaching an all time high. "That's right," he
replied, in a dangerous voice. "You don't because, Bani Dixit is so ethical, right? She is so courageous that she walks away from her marriage
without having the guts to listen to the truth? She is so honest that she calls herself Ms. Dixit, when in reality she is Mrs. Bani Walia? She is so pure that she doesn't feel jealous of a secretary,
who has no competition with her!"
Bani stuttered, scared to see his glowering form. "I didn't m-mean tha-that."
WHAT DID YOU MEAN?" he roared. "Mujhe khushi
hoti hai, tumse door rehke? That I enjoy pretending like you don't exist? That
I don't give a damn if someone wants to go out with you?"
flinched at the outburst.
guess what? It hurts me Bani and it hurts me bad," he continued. "So the last
few days have been painful for you right? One second I smile, the other second
didn't reply, causing Jai to take a step forward. "Well, it hasn't been raining
happy here either. Do you think its easy, changing everything about me to
convince you that I stopped caring?
Do you think its easy, pretending that I hate you, when I can't even stay two
minutes without wanting to talk to you?"
didn't answer, half scared by his fierceness and half shocked by the what he
was spilling in anger.
main bhi kya bol raha hoon. Tumhe toh Annie ki padi hai na? Haan, main flirt
kartha hoon uske saath. Even though I struggle every minute, trying to make it
look half as believable, I flirt so that you will stop sitting on the fence and
pick a side. Khush? Jawab mil gaya?"
picked a side," she quietly reminded.
let out another sarcastic laugh. "of course," he said. "I completely forgot.
You picked a side – silence. That's your favourite answer to everything isn't it? Silence?!"
she looked at the floor in answer, he walked up to her and grabbed her
shoulders, forcing her to look into his fuming eyes. "Well wake up Bani. Hiding yourself for one month didn't make you hate me
like you wanted it to and shutting up now, is not going to help you pretend
everything is okay."
was the truth. He said it so painly and so simply that it stung like a bee.
"You… you don't understand," she replied, feebly. Admiting him to be right
would make it so much harder to accept that she must choose and that too soon.
don't I understand?" he asked, his grip on her shoulders tightening. "How much
you want to love your sister or how
much don't want to love me?"
couldn't get herself to speak. Everytime she thought about how much she loved
her husband, she would only be stabbed with guilt, for not loving her sister
enough to hate her killer. And her predicament seemed to be obvious.
her confused eyes, Jai released her. "Tumse baath karna hi bekar hai," he said,
turning around to face the windows overlooking the city. "Because if you could understand all this, then we
wouldn't be having this conversation right now."
overtook the room as Bani stood rooted to the spot. So many things were said
and so many thing she wished were never brought up.
Jai said finally, his tone extremely low after his yelling. "What do you want
prove? That I don't care?"
just stared. Anger still sparkled in his eyes and saying anything at this
point would not be safe for either of
he continued. "You are right. I don't care for you and this all but a game for
me. I guess I'm just that sadistic because no matter what happens, I will
always be the one who ends up taking the blow."
suddenly wished she never walked into the room. Though she heard, what she was
dying to hear for the last couple of days, she felt nothing but remorse. The
anger in Jai's eyes, the disbelief that she
could say such horrible things… it was enough to make her curse herself.
thank you," Jai said. "I hoped that when all of this is over, the reward is
worth ten times the pain. But you proved it today, that there won't be a
reward. Because I quit this game, as
you call it."
with that, he resumed his seat and began reading a file.
I-" Bani said, wanting to apologize. She could tolerate anything but his
even before she could begin, she was cut short by Ranveer, who then entered the
you finish the report?" he asked, not noticing the silent figure of Bani.
nodded, and handed him a file. "The other one is done too. Do you want to look
Ranveer asked, surprised. "But we have till next week."
shrugged, and began typing on his laptop.
seemed to finally notice the dark circles under his brother's eyes. "Did you
even sleep last night?" he asked.
didn't answer, but the answer was obvious.
are you even working here?"
called coffee Ran," Jai answered.
seemed to understand the look on Jai's face. He was one fo the few to have witnessed
Uday's anger this morning and knew that it hurt Jai a lot more than he was
showing. "Jai," he said, quietly. "Its okay. Kabhi kabhi ho jata hai. Don't
worry?" Jai asked, looking up from the screen. "Ran, I screwed up a million
sighed. "I know, but its not your fault. Kaka understands!"
snorted. "Don't sugar coat it. Dad is pissed at me, and he has the full right
to be. I neglected work for someone, who doesn't even deserve it."
scrunched his eyesbrows in confusion. "For who?"
started typing in reply. "Do you want anything else? I have a lot of work to do
we are going home right now," Ranveer answered.
Annie tells me you haven't eaten anything from morning."
was surprised to hear the news and was immediately plunged deeper into regret.
How did she have the heart to hurt him when he was so stressed out?
sighed. "Besides, its valentines and you and I have orders to be home by 6pm."
looked up at that comment, as he finally deciphered Bani's anger when she
walked in. But it only ended up infuriating him even more. She thought I was celebrating Valentine's with Annie?
Don't. Care." He replied, looking straight at Bani, his voice full of venom.
stared guility at Jai, before quietly slipping out of the room, determined to
somehow make it up to him.
Hopefully, I have caught you guys off guard!
But i just wanted to draw some parallels: In the beginning of the story, its Bani who goes into a shell and Jai is the one who comes and demands for answers. Now, however, it is the complete opposite. Jai locked himself up and Bani is the one who wants answers. But the difference is that Jai reacted completely opposite to how Bani did in the very first chapter. She kept silent, and he burst out, which I think is very interesting.
Anyhow, i loved you comments from the last part and am definitely waiting for your reactions this time!