Rahul did not know what to say. To say he was stumped would be an exaggeration but to say he was merely surprised was an understatement. Though Shaan was no doubt a good man, a great friend and a brilliant professional even his best friend had not imagined him as a groom yet. That too through an arranged marriage!
However, the burden of astonishment lay not in the fact that Shaantanu could well be on his way to riding a horse and leading a baraat procession. It lay in the obvious observation that Shaantanu was not averse to the idea of this marriage. He wasn't ready but he wasn't unready either.
"So let me get this straight: Uncle Aunty ne tujhey kaha aur tu araam se London chala gaya?" Rahul asked, trying to see if he heard it right in the first place.
"Haan yaar. Waise hi sab ko lagta hai mujeh party karnay ke elawa koi kaam nai ata tou meine kaha kyun na sab ko ek samajhdar, suljha huwa Shaan paish kiya jae" Shaan replied, moving his hands in a circular motion in front of him as if summoning a royal personality.
"And what do you think? Kya tujhey lagta hai tu ne 'samajhdar, suljha huwa Shaan' ban ke koi kaam ka kaam kiya hai?"
"Pata nai yaar."
Shaan pursed his lips. Rahul stared down at Shaan's desk. Both men were deep in thought. The former tried to accept the fact that his letter had received a reply. The latter tried to reorganize the information he had gotten in the last half hour or so. Both men did not find their respective tasks at hand easy.
The Khandelwal Group was opening up a branch of its office in London. That was what Shaantanu Khandelwal had been told when his father, Sunil Khandelwal, had told him that he was to accompany his parents to the short trip to London they were taking. Little did he know that his parents planned to add a matrimonial tinge to this "business" trip. Shaantanu was briefed on the Jadeja family a day before the 10-hour flight from Mumbai to London.
Sunil's childhood friend cum brother Chitresh Jadeja, an orphan, had travelled from his village in Gujrat to Sindh, Pakistan, at a mere age of 20. After completing college and gaining some work experience his father's good friend (with whom he was living with in Sindh) helped Chitresh to settle in London.
"And London was where Khanak had lived for as long as she could remember," Sunil had told Shaan.
Now, this Khanak, whom Shaan was supposed to meet and judge as a partner, was Chitresh's eldest offspring. Next in line were Harshit and Manya Jadeja. Harshit and Manya were twins and were currently studying in university. Sunil hadn't met his childhood friend in decades. They occasionally conversed via email or telephone and all else Sunil knew about Chitresh's children were their faces, as seen in a photograph sent by Chitresh a few months ago but Sunil was more than sure that Alpana Jadeja had raised her children well. And to him that was assurance enough.
Shaantanu of course, wasn't that confident. Out of the blue his father had discovered that his best friend from childhood should play an active role in their current lives. Not could, should. His daughter, for some odd reason, was suitable as a Khandelwal bahu. Alpana Jadeja was a miraculously amazing mother whose upbringing needed no witness to give her a five-star review. And on top of this all, his super liberal mother seemed to be okay with this whole plan. Not a single word of disagreement was heard from her kitty party mouth. To say Shaan felt ambushed would not be wrong.
Having organized the first part of the chunk of information Shaantanu had bombarded on him, Rahul turned his attention to his friend who seemed to be deep in thought.
"Kya soch raha hai?" he asked.
"Khanak yaar. Kya karoun mein iss larki ka?" Shaan replied, his gaze still fixed on an imaginary point in midair.
Rahuls eyebrows shot up in mild surprise as he struggled to suppress a smile which found its way to settle of his lips. His expression showed amusement and pleasant reactions to the on-coming change in Shaantanu's life but Shaan was too busy in his thoughts to notice this.
Too busy in Khanak's thoughts, Rahul's mind corrected him.
So, how is it? Thoughts on how Shanak came to know about each other?
Personally, I'm dying to get back to the letter writing and more Shanak thoughts so you can expect to see more of that in the coming update!
Edited by ABlank90 - 22 June 2012 at 10:53am