Joined: 17 February 2012
FF: It all started with 300 Rupees:
It all started with 300 rupees
Oberoi Banquet Mumbai
Too many things were going on there. People setting up the stage, fixing the seating arrangements, lights being lit, and decorations were discussed. Baskets of flower were brought in the venue, too many people going in and out with different things in their hands. The event manager was yelling and screaming at everyone. "We have to get everything ready by 7pm, it's already 6:30, what the hell is going on here? Everyone take charge and make sure everything is up and running by 6:45. The guests will start coming at 7 and I want everything to be ready now. I mean NOW. Do you have any idea who will be coming here tonight, the who and who of Mumbai will be here, all the business tycoons, Bollywood celebrities, politicians. Do you guys have any idea how much pressure I have to organize the PERFECT evening. Everybody; get going, NOW."
Her phone rings, she turns to look who is calling, it was her business partner ' Karan. Khushi picks up the phone almost not wanting to talk to him, "Khushi, are you ready? Should I pick you up? I will be leaving shortly, I can pick you up and we can go together, since it's a big night for you, I know the event organizers have booked the limousine for you but I want to be your escort on your big night. Should I?" asked Karan. "I don't know if I want to come. I don't feel good, I feel sick, I don't feel like going. I don't think it would be a good idea to go like this, I feel like crap" answered Khushi. "But'this is ALL for you, everyone is expecting you, you have to go, even if it's for a little bit, you should definitely go." Karan said trying to convince her. "But I don't want to go' "Wait, is it because'", asked Karan, "STOP IT", Khushi yelled, "you know I don't like to talk about that, Karan you are my only friend and I have told you lot of things about me but that doesn't mean you can bring it up anytime you want. Do you get it? You have no right talking about my personal matters'.I am sorry Karan, I didn't mean to yell at you'I was just'(holding back her tears) I was just'.tired and sick'.you know. "Of course, I understand" said Karan thinking he knew what was going on in her mind, just because she didn't want to talk about it doesn't mean he didn't get it.
So should I pick you up? asked Karan again, "No, that's fine, I will manage. But I will definitely see you there" replied Khushi. Alright, I will wait for you, Karan replied, sounding worried and little disappointed.
Event Manager: "Are all the team ready to welcome the guests?" Let me see, checking the Ladies in lavender dresses with Hawaiian garland (to go with their tropical theme), the waiters with their floral shirts with Hawaiian drinks, another set of women with Hula costumes ready to dance to the Hawaiian music to welcome the guests, it all went perfect with the sea shore outdoor set up. "Good, everything looks good so far, where are the ushers? We need them RIGHT NOW, the VIPs will start entering and we need Ushers to show them their seats. WHERE ARE THEY?" Another set of team arrives, they are dressed in pure black business suits and looked as professional as they should with their head phones and radios. "Why are you guys late, you don't want to get paid?" yelled the event manager, "well now that you are here, take your places, as soon as all the VIPs enter, the Hawaiian team will welcome them and then your team will take them to their respective seats.
The phone rang, she picked it up, "ma'am the limousine is outside waiting for you, the driver is waiting at the door outside, please come whenever you are ready". She hung up, looked at herself, making sure she was dressed properly for the occasion. Karan had her clothes designed by the best designer in Mumbai and made her swear that she would wear it, she wasn't too fond of all these designer clothes, she felt more comfortable in her salwar kameez with pom poms. She smiled, looking at her salwar kameez, how all her clothes had pom poms and how it used to annoy him'.. Why am I thinking about all this? Why now? I shouldn't. It was my past, I have moved on, I have'.haven't I? Of course I have'..anyway, forget it, it's not the time to think all this. She was getting late. She got her phone, her clutch and came downstairs and walked outside, escorted by the driver, sat in the limousine and left for Oberoi Banquet.
Karan was outside, still waiting for Khushi. He looked around - the lights were lit, everything went so well with the dcor. The white tent, the lavender sashes on the white chair cover, the orchid centerpieces with candles, the big stage, the Hawaiian welcoming team, the food, the VIP section with center tables and the perfect moon light with sound of waves from the ocean. Everything was just beautiful and perfect. He smiled thinking Khushi would love this, since this was all for her. The TV reporters with their camera crews from all the channels trying to catch as much as possible in that few seconds of entrance, recording each and every second of it, trying to interview as many VIPs possible, trying to get glimpse of all the Bollywood stars, limousines kept coming and dropping one big shots after another.
All of sudden all the reporters with their camera crews from all the channels rushed towards the entrance, someone BIG must have arrived, maybe some Bollywood celebrity, thought Karan, still waiting for Khushi to arrive, too much chaos going on, all the TV reporters pushing each other around, trying to get a glimpse of the big shot who had just arrived, "was Khushi here"? he wondered, and went outside to find out, as he was walking outside he heard one of the tv reporters say "All the single ladies, control your heart beats, the most handsome, the most wanted, one of the richest hunk in the country, the most eligible bachelor, please welcome Mister Arnav Singh Raizada". Karan stayed back, obviously it wasn't Khushi who had arrived. He saw this "mister most wanted" walk in with his attitude all over the place and avoiding all the TV reporters and their personal questions. But obviously, if you can't interview the "most wanted eligible bachelor" in the country, you can't be a good enough of reporter, can you? One of the reporters was able to stop him with her questions. "Mr. Raizada, would like to say anything to all those single ladies out there who would do anything to be with you?" He just looked at the reporter, not saying anything at all, just kept walking. The reporter surprised at his attitude. He continued walking towards the entrance when suddenly he stopped, he felt the wind blow, he felt the breeze, the same one he always felt anytime Khushi was around, he was surprised, more like shocked, he stopped walking, stood still, didn't move, actually couldn't move, went numb. That's when he heard the same reporter say, "Finally, we have the guest of honor here, Miss Khushi".
ASR was shocked, thinking, thinking hard, too many thoughts jumbled up together, is Khushi really here? Is she here? Is that the same Khushi they are talking about? Is MY Khushi here? MY Khushi? What was he thinking? He wanted to turn around to check but couldn't get himself to do so. Wanted to keep walking and enter the reception area, couldn't do that either. Too many thoughts crashing his head, he finally turned around to check if Khushi was actually there. Too many reporters at one place, he couldn't see anything past the stupid reporters blocking his view. He was escorted to his seat by some ushers.
Limousine parks. Karan walks towards the Limo to greet Khushi, the driver opens the door, Khushi comes out, looking dazzling. She was wearing a red sari, the one Karan had gifted her, it was simple but elegant. She looked oh so pretty, her hair down, high heels and her long earrings. She came out of the Limo, Karan was there to greet her, he offered her his hands, she gave her hands in his and walked towards the entrance. All the reporters climbing and tripping on top of each other, to get her glimpse, to record her entrance and to interview her. She was stopped by a reporter in the mid-way, asking her how if she is excited about tonight. Khushi answered "yes" and that's it, she started walking forward. She stopped, she froze actually. She looked around, she felt the breeze, the wind blowing, her hair moving, she felt him, he was there, Arnav was there, Hey Devi Maiyya, how could this be, how could she still feel him, why? This wasn't fair, she stood still, couldn't move, didn't turn around, didn't want to move her head, she didn't want to see something she couldn't handle right now, she just stood there. Karan was wondering what is going on? He asked "what's wrong Khushi, are you ok? What happened?" Khushi just held him, for support, she felt dizzy, she hasn't even seen him yet but she felt dizzy.
Karan could figure out something was wrong, he asked, "Khushi, did you see him? Is he here? What's going on? Tell me." Khushi just looked at him blankly and said "I am ok, I had prepared myself but I guess not enough, I didn't think I could still feel'., never mind, I am fine, let's go in".
The host welcomed everyone, thanked everyone for coming to the most prestigious business award functions of Mumbai. Khushi was just sitting there, ignoring all the announcements, all the awards, all the applauses, all the noise, she had her eyes closed, she still couldn't muster up courage to see him, to face him, to remember all the horrible things he had done to her, to go through the same terrible feelings again. Karan gave her water to calm her nerves down and asked her "are you prepared to go up there and answer all the questions by the reporters? Have you done your homework on the new project? I had forwarded the email to you yesterday, did you read it well? You have your award speech ready, right? Since it's your first award, you will say a thank you speech, you remember right? This event is a big deal for you, you are getting "The most promising Entrepreneur of the year Award" of the year, and the first female to receive it. You do realize it's a BIG damn deal, right? Are you listening to me? Khushi just looked at him and said "yes, I do realize, I will be fine up there".
Finally, after sitting there long enough, she heard the host announced; the prestigious Mumbai Entrepreneurship Awards is a world-class awards recognizing and honoring business leaders who have shown outstanding performance and tenacity in developing successful businesses within the region. Organized by Oberoi and Company and supported by local governments and businesses, the awards aim to band leading entrepreneurs across the region to spur greater innovation, fair practices and growth in entrepreneurship. It hopes to be a platform to encourage continued leadership towards sustainable economic development for the region. For the first time in history of this award, we are honored to announce that the most promising entrepreneur of the year is an Indian woman. She doesn't come from a business background, she has not received a MBA from Harvard Business School, she is not a millionaires' daughter, she is just a commoner who dreamt big and reached the heights of her dream turning into reality. Without wasting any more time, please welcome the winner of most promising entrepreneur of the year; Miss Khushi.
His eyes shot up, shocked, he looked around to see where she was. He couldn't see her, were they talking about the same Khushi? He had felt her presence but wasn't sure, how did she? Where did she? Too many questions but no answer. He then realized why he was requested several times to attend this function, they kept calling him and emailing him about honoring new talents and he was supposed to give away the award, he was giving the award to Khushi? MY Khushi? MY? What was wrong with him?
That's when he saw'..
Khushi heard her name, heard all the applause, breathed in and out and got up from her seat, only to feel the breeze again, not trying to look around, she kept walking straight to the stage. The host escorted her to the stage. He took the micro phone and announced again, "And to honor Miss Khushi, we have amongst us, the most reputed businessman of the country, a self-made mad, an inspiration to all the young generation, all the way from Delhi, please welcome to the stage Mister Arnav Singh Raizada."
Khushi froze, stared at the MC, couldn't move, her eyes as wide as it gets, shocked, standing still, motionless, the MC looked at her and announced with a smile "it seems like Miss Khushi can't express her contentment to be receiving this award from one of the best businessman in the country" and turned her around to face the audience. There, she saw it, her worst nightmare, the love of her life, the ONLY love of her life, walking towards her, kept coming closer and closer. She stood there, still, frozen, shocked. He kept walking towards her, closer and closer. There he was, standing in front of her, she felt her head spinning, her brain almost exploding, she was dizzy, she felt the stage shaking, it was all dark, her eyes trying to remain open, she felt her body go numb, she lost her ability to control her sense and fell'..BUT he caught her, again, just like he had caught her on their first meeting at the Fashion Show. She fell right in his arms.
He held her, looking at her face, it was the same face, same innocence, same Khushi, his Khushi. Everyone started to panic, the host ran to the back to get water, he sprinkled water on her face while ASR was still holding her. She moved her closed eyes, she tried opening it, she was in shock, she opened her eyes, there he was, holding her in his arms. She tried to compose herself as fast as she could, got up, moved away from him, and apologized. The MC announced, smiling, "well this has never happened before, we have seen lots of shocks and sentiments but this was brand new, the most eligible bachelor holding the most beautiful woman in his arms, like they are made for each other. But without further delay, I would request Mr. Raizada to honor Ms. Khushi with the award, he stood there staring at her, she brought her arms out to receive the award, he handed the award to her, they touched each other's fingers, feeling the sensation, Khushi was first to move her hand away and walked towards the podium.
Khushi spoke, "first of all I would like to apologize for this unnecessary episode of mine. I would like to thank each and every one who has worked with me and believed in me. Thank you." MC announced that the reporters could start their questions for Miss Khushi about her new merger with Oberoi Group. First one asked, "Ms. Khushi, we have never heard you use your last name, what is your last name", Khushi looked at ASR, sitting right in front of her, she wasn't angry, she was just sad, she replied "that's because I don't have a last name, I don't believe that you need to have a last name in order to achieve success in life".
NEXT "Miss Khushi, are you in a relationship?" Khushi looked at ASR again, replied "no personal questions please", NEXT "Ms. Khushi, how did you decide to get into business, since you don't have a business background, you are a pretty woman, you could have done anything else like modeling, movies, like many other girls, why business?",
Khushi looked at ASR and then back at the reporter again, smiled this time and replied "it all started with 300 rupees, I had borrowed 300 rupees from someone to buy Holi colors for my sister, I didn't have the money so I signed a contract saying that I will return the 300 rupees ASAP but I didn't have any means of returning it. I was terrified thinking what will happen if I am not able to return that amount. After thinking a lot, I started my Tiffin service, since the only thing I was good at was cooking, I used to love cooking and feeding everyone around me. That's what I did for my first business, I cooked and delivered Tiffins to office employees, they used to love my food. She was still smiling. The reporter interrupted, "who would make you sign a contract for only 300 rupees? Khushi still smiling, replied, "A very good business man I knew, he could make any kind of deals with anyone. He thought of himself as god, he thought he could buy anything from his money and power, he could even buy peoples' lives with his money, their feelings, their dreams, their respect, their lov'..but to be honest, he didn't make me sign the contract for 300 rupees, I did it voluntarily, only because it was the easiest way to get him to give me the money without much explanations, he understood the contract language very well, be it for 300 rupees or six months'.tears started flowing out of her eyes, she sat there quiet, wiped it and said NEXT. Everyone was quiet; they wanted to give her some time to compose herself, NEXT "Miss Khushi, did you give him his 300 rupees back?" Khushi smiled again, wiping her tears, replied "No, I never had the chance to, I don't know how I forgot to do that, since that was the reason why I had decided to work and earn money. I guess deep down I never wanted to, maybe I was hoping that one day he would realize that I didn't have to return his money, I was worth his 300 rupees, but that never happened. But I promise you, whenever I see him next I will return his money with interest. And I will also thank him for lending me that money, if he hadn't done that, I wouldn't be here standing on this stage receiving this great honor from Mr. Arnav Singh Raizada."
ASR just looked at her, listened to every SINGLE word she said, he wanted to talk to her but this wasn't the time. He kept staring at her. NEXT "Ms. Khushi, with your new project, the big merger with Oberoi Group, what can we expect in the near future", Khushi replied, "our new venture is to encourage the woman of this country to utilize their talent and their hard work. I come from a small town, from a middle class family where I worked to help my family financially. I would like to be able to employ as many women as possible who are in dire need of jobs to support themselves and their families. I would like that every single women in the country should be treated with respect regardless of the fact that they come from middle class families and don't have enough money. I don't want them to work at places where they are mistreated due to their background. NEXT "Mr. Khushi, what was your first job?"
Khushi replied, smiled again, "my first job was in a fashion house, I was hired as an assistant, but to be honest, I still don't know what my job description was, I was asked to correct typos of my boss' name on 500 pages, I was asked to be a parking attendant during heavy rain, I was forced to hold a model's FUR COAT like a hanger, I was also forced to wear a mini dress because the model had stopped the shoot because of me, I was forced to get out of the office and to work from the guest house, I was kicked out from my boss's car several times in middle of nowhere, the list goes on and on''sorry. My boss was horrible, he mistreated me, disrespected me, degraded me, and I would have been okay with it if it was for the job I did, but it was merely because he didn't like middle class people and I came from a middle class family. My boss always thought of me as a gold digger just because I wasn't rich like him. That's why I am hoping that with this new merger I am able to open many job openings for women who wants to work hard to earn without compromising her self-respect and self-worth, like I was forced to do. NEXT
NEXT "Ms. Khushi, have you ever thought of walking the ramp or entering Bollywood since you are beautiful and you just received your award from the biggest fashion house owner? Khushi replied "ohhh I don't think so, I don't think I can walk the ramp, I would probably mess up some big shots' prestigious show and would have to regret it ALL my life, looked at ASR blankly NEXT "Ms. Khushi, if you ever meet that horrible boss of yours again, what would you say to him", ASR looked at her expectantly, replied Khushi, "nothing, I would have nothing to say to him because he doesn't like to hear what other people might have to say, he just likes to tell other people what he wants."
NEXT "Ms. Khushi, our viewers would like to know the real you, not the business woman you are but the real you ' what is your favorite abroad destination for holiday?" Khushi replied, "I have never been out of the country, EVER but someone I knew, the sweetest person on earth, brought Bali in my home. I know it sounds funny but she went all out decorate the whole house and make it look and feel as close as Bali. NEXT "Ms. Khushi, do you believe in love?" Khushi replied, "yes, she closed her eyes and said, I think that's the most wonderful feeling in the world" NEXT, "have you ever fallen in love?" Khushi looked at ASR who was still staring at her, replied "Yes" NEXT, "what kind of husband do you want?" Khushi replied, "like any other girl, a husband who loves his wife more than anything and trusts her, that's it, I don't have too many requirements. Smiled again NEXT "last question Ms. Khushi, we have heard a lot about you and Mr. Karan, are you guys just business partners or there is more to that? Arnav stared at Khushi, shocked and jealous, Khushi replied, "Karan is the one person who has always believed in me more than I have believed in myself, he has always supported me, he has been there when nobody was, he has the best heart and I would actually like to request him to come on the stage and share this award with me. Karan, please come up." Khushi looked up''.
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