Joined: 11 November 2007
'For the fear of God, Falak! For the time it takes you to do your eye make-up, people can go to and return from the moon! Can I not convince you one more time, there is no chance of Salman Ansar being there? So there is really no need for you to be so done up!'
Rashna just could not tolerate this any more. She had reached the end of her tether. She used sarcasm and taunts but nothing she said had any effect on Falak. She remained unfazed and calmly continued to apply another coat of mascara.
'Wake up, Falak! We are going to a concert, not to a fashion show. Stop this!' Falak's silence irritated Rashna further. She picked up and slammed shut the make-up kit that was on the dressing table.
Falak snatched the kit from her saying, 'What's your problem, yaar? Can't you wait for a few minutes?'
'I have no problem at all, but yaar, the concentration and focus with which you are applying your make-up is bound to affect you in some way!'
Without responding, Falak continued with her mascara application. Rashna sat on the dressing table and with a faint smile playing on her lips, started observing her closely. Falak focused on her make-up, completely ignoring Rashna.
'Falak, why do you need make-up in the first place? God has made you perfect in every way. Those who have something lacking, or some disfigurement, or some imperfection need make-up. You have no such need!'
A beautiful smile flitted on Falak's face and in an affected and coquettish manner, she raised her right brow and said, 'I know I do not need make-up, but Salman likes it. And if he likes something, how can Falak not like it? Miss Rashna Kamal! I am doing all this for this one person, so that his eyes don't stray. If any face were to remain in his thoughts, it should be this face. If any being is to captivate him, it should be this being.' Falak shut the make-up kit and placed it in the drawer.
'You have already won his heart, now what else is there that you want? He is so intoxicated with you, that even without all this embellishment he is incapable of looking at anyone else,' Rashna said enviously.
Falak was brushing her short hair. With a smug and contented smile playing on her lips, she stood up. If there was a perfect embodiment of beauty, it was Falak Sher Afgan. Anyone who looked at it once was incapable of looking at anything else ever again. Her eyes had the ability to hypnotize. Often when she would look in the mirror, she herself would be mesmerized and would think, 'If as a woman I am incapable of turning away from my own image, then how difficult must be for a man!' This ego made her a Cleopatra and she would spend hours in front of the mirror seeing to her make-up and toilet.
There are many in the world who get or are granted one thing; but just that one thing. Then there are others who get everything. Every single thing. Falak Sher Afgan belonged to the second category. She was the only daughter of Sher Afgan Jalil. And he was a prominent industrialist of the country. She was not just liked, she was adored. If her parents could they would have put her on a pedestal. She was conceited and self obsessed. But she had no other failing. Or, perhaps it was so because her great beauty didn't give anyone a chance to find a flaw in her!
She was admired and appreciated by everyone, whether it was at home, in school, college or university. Even those girls who were jealous of her, in their heart of hearts wanted to be friends with her. If someone did not like her and complained about her to others, just a smile, or an enquiry about their welfare would win them over completely. In fact they would be walking on clouds for the next several days. They would be on the seventh heaven thinking that Falak Sher Afgan had spoken to them, smiled at them and enquired about them. They would never speak against her again. Often she would win over her critics in this way.
In university she was studying for her MFA, but her social circle was not large. Her friends were few and were mostly those she had from her school days. As time passed, these associations were strengthened, but her number of friends did not increase. Rashna was one of her close friends. And it was with Rashna and Mariam with whom Falak had the greatest interaction.
Falak had started receiving proposals for marriage from the time she was in school. But her father had put them all off but very diplomatically. He didn't want her to get married so young. He also knew that there would never be a dearth of proposals for his daughter. She was not only very beautiful, but she was also his sole heir and would inherit all his money. So why would this golden goose not attract suitors?
She had always studied in a co-educational system, and right from the beginning there were many who sought her out. But Falak herself did not bother with anyone. Or perhaps she was not attracted to anyone. In fact she would often make fun of those who were in relationships. Rashna often said to her that those who are beautiful do not care so much for others. And as for love? Well they love even less! Falak would laugh at this.
Falak met Salman Ansar at the wedding of her friend's sister being held at the Avari. She was sitting with her friends near the swimming pool. As usual she was attracting a lot of attention and she knew it too! But she wasn't worried about this. She was listening to her friends and laughing at their when her eyes rested at another table by the pool. Amongst those there sat a very attractive man dressed in black jeans and a black leather jacket. From where she sat she could see that he was very good looking. Sitting at the table he was listening to his friend while sipping coke from a glass in this hand. Falak could not tear her eyes away.
Even while chatting with her friend, she kept glancing in his direction. After a while she realized that she was not the only one who was looking at him. There were others too who kept glancing in his direction from time to time. This realization made her feel jealousy for the first time in her life. She felt a strong urge to go up to him.
She whispered to her friend, 'Rashna, have you seen the man sitting at the other side of the swimming pool in the black outfit? Do you know him?'
Rashna looked in his direction. She shook her head, 'No, yaar. This is someone new. I haven't seen him before.' Falak asked her other friends sitting at the table the same question. They all responded in the negative.
'Ask Ramshah. He must be a friend of his brother-in-law,' Rashna said.
She got up with Rashna and walked up to the stage. There Ramshah was having her photos taken with the bride and the groom. Falak took her to a side and asked about the young man. She went to ask her brother.
'That is Salman Ansar. He is a cousin of my brother in law, Asad Bhai.'
Falak asked to be introduced to him. 'OK, fine. Asad Bhai's younger brother, Jamshed, is also sitting with him. I'll take you to them. I am sure he will introduce you to the others sitting at the table with him.
With pounding heart, Falak approached the table with Ramshah. He looked even more handsome close up. Ramshah introduced Falak to Jamshed. Then he introduced her to all those seated at the table.
Salman smiled and said 'hello,' but then he started looking here and there. Falak was taken aback. He wasn't looking at her the way the other men at the table were. That gave her a jolt and she came back to her table feeling a little disappointed. Till the end of the function she kept looking at him, but she did not see him look at her even once.
For the next few days she kept thinking about him. It was if his face had been embedded in her memory. Even if she tried, she couldn't get him out of her mind.
She met Salman next at Pace. He had shopping bags in his hands and was coming out of the store. She was going in. When she saw him, she stopped. When he came close, she said 'hello'in a nervous and slightly anxious way. He was surprised. He hadn't recognized her. Falak was shocked. Did he not see anything in me that he could remember?
'I'm sorry, I haven't recognized you,' Salman said.
Falak reminded him about their meeting some two weeks ago. He smiled immediately. 'I remember now. How are you?'
His smile removed all her trepidation. 'I am fine. How are you?'
'If it's all right, I would like to invite you to lunch,' Falak said without missing a beat.
'He was taken aback by this sudden invitation. After thinking for a few seconds, he said, 'Lunch? All right. Let's go'
They came out of Pace. Falak sent her driver back and got into the car with Salman. Sitting next to him in his car, her heart started pounding.
'Where shall we go?' asked Salman as he started the car.
'Fujiyama.' He reversed the car and brought it out on the road.
'Are you a student?' he said. He removed his sun glasses that were dangling from the neck of his T shirt and put them on.
Falak told what she did. 'And you?' she asked.
'I finished my education quite a few years ago. I have done my Masters in Economics. My father has a ceramics factory and I work there too.' Slowly he told her about himself. Their conversation continued.
The lunch at Fujiyama was not the last lunch they had together. Their meetings became frequent. And the end result was just what Falak wanted. Salman proposed marriage to her. And without a second's delay, she accepted!
From the first time she met him she realized that he was different from other men. Falak was 20 years old and he was ten years older. Unlike her, he didn't get upset about small things and nor did he give his opinion immediately without thinking. He was a sober and a good man. He spoke softly and in a gentle manner. Falak would be mesmerized byhim and stare at him almost like a devotee. She had never listened to anyone with such devotion and concentration as she did to him. When he proposed to her it was as if her dream had come true. That was the first time that she truly believed in her good luck. But there were still some issues that needed to be cleared.
There was a huge ruckus when she discussed the proposal at home. Sher Afgan did not approve because Salman did not belong to their community and also he was ten years older than Falak. Another objection he had was that, although Salman came from a well off family, it was no match for Sher Afgan Jalil's family. If Falak thought these things to be of no concern, it was these same things that were very important to
Sher Afghan. He wanted a son-in-law who would fit all the prerequisites as Falak was his only daughter. Salman didn't fit the bill.
But Falak was adamant and he could not remain opposed to the match for very long. He could not cope with her tears and silence. He accepted the proposal even though he did not like it.
But he could not hide his feelings from Salman. Immediately after the engagement the objections that Sher Afgan had became apparent. Sher Afgan wanted Salman to leave his factory and come take care of his business. He sent this request through Falak. 'Do you mean that your father wants a son-in-law who will carry his briefcase and files and follow him around? A servant-cum-son-in-law?' His tone was sarcastic.
Falak's face grew red. 'What are you saying, Salman? Do you think my father is going to treat you as his servant? He just wants you to start taking care of his business. You know he has no son. Whoever I marry will have to manage his business.' She tried to explain this to Salman.
'And what will happen to my ceramics factory?' he asked Falak.
'You can give it to your brother, or hire a general manager.'
Salman kept his eyes on her face while he sipped his coffee. 'There are some things that I didn't discuss with you and this was a mistake. I think I should have discussed these issues with you prior to our engagement.' His tone was cold.
Falak was startled.
Joined: 11 November 2007
I-F Crazy Creatives
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Joined: 11 November 2007
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Joined: 11 November 2007
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