Saath Nibhaana Saathiya

   

FF: The Roulette of Envy (Part 12) pg.33/Dec. 7 (Page 6)

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Chaccha

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Chaccha

Joined: 14 February 2005

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Posted: 25 May 2012 at 12:34pm | IP Logged

Author's note: I apologize for not updating sooner. The format of Roulette has been changed so that it's an easy-read. When I was rereading the first two parts, I felt it was robotic. Hopefully, this is much smoother. 

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Recap: The younger Modis, Agni and Anita are on a yacht in the middle of Lalpari Lake. With Anita hogging up a lot of Ahem's attention, Rashi asks Gopi to speak up and stop enabling Anita. Agni overhears their conversation.

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Rashi left Gopi standing by the side railing and went in search of her husband. He had the tendency to disappear at the oddest times, but today, she knew exactly what he was doing. He had, after all, brought his camera'her rival. She found him by the yacht's back end, aiming to snap the picture of the tangy yellow sunset and the enveloping waters of Lalpari Lake.

As if sensing her gaze, he turned around and snapped a picture of her without warning. "I knew you'd come looking for me soon. How are they doing?" he asked with a hint of worry. "I knew you'd ask," she replied. Jigar's relationship with Gopi bloomed before her marriage did and this was perhaps the reason why Jigar still took great interest in the well being of his sister-in-law. With Anita's presence at home, it was obvious that there was an imbalance created in his brother and sister-in-law's marriage. Rashi, however, didn't want to bother him with details. He'd worry incessantly and make her fidget as well. She had already warned Gopi about Anita, but the ultimate decision was Gopi's and how she wanted to handle it. And with the new purpose of easing Jigarji's tension, she rushed over towards him. In a teasing tone, she said, "Jigarji, can I ask you for something? It's a sacred privilege". He smiled, which she took as a "yes". "It's my turn!" she laughed. She took the camera and backed against the railing to snap a photo of him. He became conscious all of a sudden and avoided her gaze. "Let's see how you feel when people snap pictures of you. Do you like it, Jigarji? Smile please," she requested. "Rashi, camera mujhe do. Give it back!" he said with urgency, but she just lowered the camera and waited. As he realized that she wouldn't budge, he reached for it himself. They were hustling back and forth when the yacht jerked, forcing Rashi to hold onto the deck's railing. Jigar, however, wasn't going to let her tease be unreturned. He placed his hands on the railing on either side of her and moved closer. She had no where to go or look. "Whh...What are you doing, Jigarji?" she whispered, more worried that someone might see them. "Do you like it too?" he asked with the seriousness of a hangman. After a split-second, both of them busted up laughing. His arms secured around her and she returned his hug.

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Agni made himself a drink, half-listening to Anita as she prattled about one of their college trips. She didn't mention that she had tagged along with Ahem and Agni, uninvited, unwanted and unescorted. Ahem, on the other hand, was farther away from Anita, but he seemed to have zoned out too. And away from all of them, stood Gopi---small and alone. She'd been there for almost 15 minutes.

Her pallu was too weak against the wind and after several tries to keep it in place, she had given up. Now, she stood gazing at the impatient waters with her hands on the railing. Seeing Anita busy talking at Ahem, Agni made his way to Gopi. The goosebumps on her arm caught his attention. With genuine concern, he asked "Gopiji, are you cold? I can get you something from inside". She shook her head, maintaining distance between them by taking a step away. "I'm fine. Thank you", she replied.

"Ahem, why aren't you saying anything?" Anita asked. Gopi looked at Ahem for a second and then, turned away. "It's nothing," he replied back, adding, "I'm just tired." Anita stood up and declared, "I'll make you a cup of tea". Agni watched her enter the cabin and excused himself too, to follow her.

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Anita felt her skin crawl just as she was opening the tea bag. She turned, but saw no one. From beside her, Agni calmly said, "If I were you, I'd stop right now". Anita jumped and then, relaxed. "I haven't made the tea yet, Agni" she replied. His fingers wrapped around her arm and he turned her around. "What the hell are you doing?" he asked bluntly. She feigned ignorance, but he wasn't easily fooled. "Perhaps your memory is due for a tune up, but I'll remind you. Ahem is married and he does have a wife," he added. Anita watched his jaw clench and replied "I know that". "Where's your husband?" he asked suddenly. She gave him a flustered reply that Nilesh was on a business trip and he'd come soon to her. His narrowed gaze made her even more nervous. Her heart thudded loudly. In a low treble that chilled her insides, he warned "I smell lies before I hear them".

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Ahem saw Gopi rubbing her palms together and so he offered her his jacket. "You're cold. Take it," he offered. She looked at him blankly and then, shook her head. "Nahi, Ahemji. You'll be cold yourself," she replied quietly. He asked her again, but she refused him for a second time.

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In one of the drawers in the yacht's suite, Agni found a shawl for Gopiji. It wasn't one he'd personally choose for her, but it would keep her warm. He went back onto the deck and saw that Anita was just giving Ahem his cup of tea. Without further delay, he marched up to Gopi. "This is for you, Gopiji. Please don't refuse it. I already feel guilty for bringing you to such a cold outing," he explained.

Ahem saw Gopi hesitate and he hoped that she wouldn't take it. She seemed to debate Agni's plea for some time before taking the shawl and thanking him. A smile appeared on Gopi's face.

It was such a small and innocent gesture, but Ahem felt violated. He hadn't seen her smile at him for weeks!

Why did she smile at Agni? What does Agni have that I don't? "Everything, Ahem," a voice told him. "Just look at him!" the voice said.  

Agni Jadeja was the only son of his parents. His younger sister was already married to another lawyer in the US. With his persistence, Agni successfully weaned himself away from his parent's dream of managing their architectural firms. He finished his undergraduate work at Columbia, which is where he met Ahem for the first time and befriended him. After graduation, Ahem left to pursue his MBA in India and Agni stayed behind, finishing his LLB at Columbia's School of Law. And at 29, Agni was already made a partner in a multimillion dollar law firm in Buffalo, New York. He was also a well-sought lawyer by corporate raiders because he was undefeated. He hadn't lost a case yet. With his intimidating presence and sharp wit, he found loopholes where there was none. He found resolutions in business where there seemed to be dead ends. That was in his professional life. In person, he also had charisma and at times, a wistful approach to life, which was evident in how most of his abroad trips were planned suddenly. Perhaps this lack of rigidity was one reason women found him irresistible, but Ahem had never known Agni to prefer a woman and commit to her. Agni didn't indulge in womanizing, but he did date women in an unserious way. His fashion style included perfectly-tailored suits and casual wear, when appropriate--far from the drab browns and neutrals that Ahem preferred. Agni...

Ahem sighed.

What am I thinking?

He looked at Gopi again and noticed that Agni was having a conversation with her. To listen, Ahem pretended to scratch the side of his neck, turning his ear towards them.

"If you've never been to Himachal Pradesh, then you should go. It has to be the most beautiful (Paused) one of the most beautiful places in the world," he told her softly. "But don't forget to take your shawl when you do," he added. Gopi smiled again.

Ahem sat in his seat fuming. Of course no one could tell that he was boiling inside. He could feel the capillaries in his cheek dilate and his temperature rising. The jacket he wore felt suffocating, so he took it off. Anita reached out to take it, thinking Ahem was giving it to her, but he placed it on the other side of him, away from her reach. He didn't even drink the tea she had made for him. The cup sat there, frozen by his side, untouched.

"When did you go there?" Gopi asked curiously.

Agni grinned at her, giving himself mental kudos for slowly drawing her out. With her head tilted like a sparrow and her question evident in her eyes, she looked nothing like when he had first seen her, but beautiful just the same. "I was there a few years ago with Swami, Gopiji" he said with a light chuckle. He continued, "He came because Maa begs him to follow me everywhere. It's not that I mind, but that time, he was being very stubborn saying it wouldn't be unbearably cold. We were going there in the winter. Of course, it would be cold! Hai, na? It was 5 degrees there, Gopiji. Swami was so frozen that it wasn't until I bought him a thick overcoat that he agreed to step outside of the hotel. By that time, he was walking around like a himmanav."

(Note: Himmanav means snowman in Hindi)  

Agni was laughing by the end of his narration and little crinkles formed around the corners of his eyes. He turned to face the lake, leaning in with his forearms upon the railing.

Ahem stood up suddenly, feeling too restless to sit. They weren't doing anything, he told himself, but he couldn't calm himself down. Maybe if he tried apologizing again, Gopi would forgive him. He took a step towards her.

Gopi smiled picturing Swami walking around like a snowman. "Does he really follow you everywhere?" she wondered aloud. Agni gave himself a mental hug. "Yes, Gopiji. Swami follows me everywhere" he told her most seriously.

Ahem saw Gopi smile again and he paused. His temper soared like a furious storm.

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Ahem stood drenched by the sofa in his room. He was still pissed off. By the time they had returned to the dock, it had started pouring, not that it helped calm his temper. Everyone had gone to change, but where was his wife? He went to the closet and looked for a towel. Of course, he didn't find it. He never knew where she placed anything. He was utterly helpless without her. He slammed the closet door angrily and then, went into the bathroom. There wasn't a towel there either. He returned to the room, pacing angrily.

He heard Gopi's bangles chime as she entered. She had a towel with her that she brought over to him. "Where were you? And why haven't you changed?" he demanded.  "I was...you haven't changed either, Ahemji" Gopi replied.

He wasn't listening to her because that damned shawl was such an eyesore. Ahem recalled how Agni had offered her the shawl and how she took it. His suppressed fury unleashed itself. And with too great a force, he yanked the shawl away from her, making Gopi stumble.

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The color green has been added to the story. Not only is Ahem jealous of Agni, but he is starting to feel inadequate and insecure. He has started to compare himself to Agni. On the other hand, Agni is slowly managing to creep past Gopi's armor to draw her out. I hope it is clear that Agni has developed an affinity to Gopi. However, unlike Anita, the self-attached trailerOuch, Agni's feelings aren't predatory. He knows his limitations.  

 



Edited by RachP - 06 July 2012 at 9:35pm

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navyab

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navyab

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Posted: 25 May 2012 at 12:46pm | IP Logged
Rach Im enjoying the green eyed monster Wink !!! Well get what you give Ahemji !!!
 
 
But poor Gopi, she has to face the pain !!!...hope Agni brings her out of the shell & understands her...& shows Ahem what it means to have a wife !!!

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doc4everChaccha

varshu27

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varshu27

Joined: 09 September 2011

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Posted: 25 May 2012 at 12:49pm | IP Logged
thank you for the much needed relief Rach...Agni is someone to die for isnt he ...loved how he got gopi to converse with him...ahem is getting a taste of his own medicine...i am loving it...cant wait to see where the story is headed...

thanks for the pm ..


Edited by varshu27 - 25 May 2012 at 12:50pm

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-neela-doc4everChaccha

abbay

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abbay

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Posted: 25 May 2012 at 12:58pm | IP Logged
ooo loved it rACH !!!! I was smiling entirely while reading and having butterflies in my stomach and hope u update sooonnn!!!!!

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doc4everChaccha

ll-Shilpa-ll

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ll-Shilpa-ll

Joined: 08 February 2010

Posts: 13683

Posted: 25 May 2012 at 1:04pm | IP Logged
I loved this part the best of all the one.

Yes I can see Agni be a good friend to Gopi, and Ahem's insecurities and jealousies are waking up so this is another thing. Now he can stop being passive and actually do something constructive.

Very nice update.

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doc4everChaccha

aris22l

Goldie

aris22l

Joined: 24 April 2006

Posts: 2394

Posted: 25 May 2012 at 1:29pm | IP Logged
Loved it, Rach.  Liked the interplay between Rashi and Jigar, and also, Jigar being concerned about his bhabhi.  The green monster has woken up. Can't wait to see what he does next.  Please update the next part soon.

Edited by aris22l - 25 May 2012 at 6:09pm

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Chaccha

Chaccha

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Chaccha

Joined: 14 February 2005

Posts: 5177

Posted: 25 May 2012 at 2:01pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by navyab

Rach Im enjoying the green eyed monster Wink !!! Well get what you give Ahemji !!!
 
 
But poor Gopi, she has to face the pain !!!...hope Agni brings her out of the shell & understands her...& shows Ahem what it means to have a wife !!!


I love seeing him so green, too! Embarrassed He doesn't know what hit him. Evil Smile

Chaccha

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Chaccha

Joined: 14 February 2005

Posts: 5177

Posted: 25 May 2012 at 2:03pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by varshu27

thank you for the much needed relief Rach...Agni is someone to die for isnt he ...loved how he got gopi to converse with him...ahem is getting a taste of his own medicine...i am loving it...cant wait to see where the story is headed...

thanks for the pm ..


I'm so glad you like Agni too, Varshu. Embarrassed

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