Understanding and tenderness would arise among us no
matter how bad things got, and we found redemption in the very places we hurt
"Famous business tycoon Keshav Desai was arrested on charges of embezzling. He is presently out on bail..."
"Shareholders devastated as their idol Keshav Desai is implicated in the biggest scam since the 2G 15 years ago..."
"Thousands of crores of public money stolen by Keshav Desai, alleges his former business partner..."
He was burning in humiliation as he saw his stoic face being splashed across the 72-inch plasma screen in his living room. His silence, usually taken as a sign of his humility by the media was now being interpreted as a sign of guilt.
"Keshav..." his best friend and lawyer Ranveer Shergill said, sitting on the couch opposite him, "It's okay."
"I thought it's KD for you," he said with a hurt look on his face. Ranveer remained impassive. "I can't afford to be your friend right now Mr. Desai. They don't allow surgeons to operate on their own family members, and you know why. As a lawyer I have more freedom, but I need to be objective right now okay? Because if I become your friend Ranveer-"
"You won't be able to do it. The pressure will be too great." KD exhaled. "Pass me a cigarette please."
"I don't smoke anymore, you know that," Ranveer frowned.
"Since when?" KD asked with a wrinkled forehead.
"Since I and Panchi got engaged. She said she doesn't want our kids to inherit yellow teeth," he laughed. He saw the look on KD's face and went silent.
"I'm sorry," KD said after a while, "It's just that...ermm, that's a surprise to me. Like I thought you said the concept of marrying your high school girlfriend was boring."
"Not when she follows you into college and then into your office as your boss. I mean dude, look at me. I'm the guy who snagged the Dominatrix. Just imagine how much my colleagues respect me now."
"Karma," KD said, shaking his head. "You're going to get your crack whipped for a lifetime you know that?"
"Worth it," Ranveer said with a smile.
Once again, there was an uncomfortable silence. KD could almost feel static buzzing in his ears.
"Listen, making small talk isn't gonna help-"
"Just let it be Ranveer...I'll...I'll talk about this later, kay?"
Ranveer nodded his head. "Give my love to Panchi. And don't worry, with any luck your kids won't inherit your douchey-ness either."
Ranveer rolled his eyes and walked away, leaving KD alone. As soon as he was gone, KD regretted his decision. It would have been good to have someone to share the vibes coming off him with.
"You have lots of bad chi in you," a yoga guru had said, when they'd met at a high profile party before the scandal had taken place. KD had restrained himself from giving the guy a middle finger. Now he wished he would have sought advice for it.
"Sir, there's somebody here to meet you," the butler said, interrupting his thoughts. KD started. Who could it be? Not a representative from the board of directors? He was going to be sick. He'd just finished with the journalists.
"It's a woman," the butler continued. KD swallowed. Okay, so they'd sent a woman. What did that mean? That they wanted to make it softer for him? If she was anything like Panchi though, he was screwed. But then Panchi would be patient. Maybe she would be a Bobby type, all rough and tough even in a pencil skirt and high heels.
Stop it KD, he told himself, that woman out there is not one of your friends. So don't expect her to behave like any of them.
"Send her in," he said curtly. His hands were shaking. He was not ready for this. He thought of asking the butler to send the woman back, but it was too late.
"KD?" came the sweetest voice he'd ever heard. He froze. He hadn't heard that voice in 15 years, except on the radio and on his I-pod. Even though he listened to her everyday, Kiya Gujral's vocal chords never failed to unnerve him.
"Hi," she said shyly. "I guess I've come at a wrong time huh?"
She still looked like a diva. She'd got red highlights done, like the ones she'd had in school. Her face was devoid of any makeup though. The jetlag was evident on her face. She was wearing track pants. But he still found her more beautiful now, than when she was on the stage, her cheeks govered with grease, the mascara taking away the attention from those chocolate brown eyes, her body struggling to breathe in an outfit two sizes too small for her.
Right now she looked content, even though she was messy. He always liked her best when she was content, especially after the pain he had put her through earlier. It always made him feel a bit redeemed.
"Hi," he said weakly. "You come here to make fun of me too?"
She frowned, her upper lip curling up.He found the sight particularly enticing. He also noticed with pleasure that she hadn't had a lip job done like her contemporaries. Her elder sister Anya had been destroyed years ago after a plastic surgery gone wrong. But Kiya's lips were still innocent, like her. I owe this all to Jaitley. Without him, she would have landed up like her sister. If it wasn't for him, I would have destroyed her too.
"KD, I know you're in trouble right now. Why would I possibly want to make fun of you?" she asked, sitting down next to him. KD shivered as her fingers ran up and down his arm. Her touch was awakening something inside him, something that he definitely did not want to indulge at a time like this.
"Kiya...I'm a tainted man .It's no use hanging out with me," he said, his shoulders drooping. Kiya rolled her eyes. "That's your problem KD. I still trust you. You're my Buddy, and overall, you're a man of principles. You would never hurt so many people like this."
"I hurt you," he said looking away.
She threw her hands up in the air. "KD, why don't you understand? I've been trying to get close to you for years, and yet you keep trying to push me away just because you hurt me once. I forgave you okay? We patched up right? It took me years to rebuild my trust, and yet here I am. Just believe KD. Believe that you are capable of more than what you think you are."
"I believe you," he said seriously, "but you deserve somebody who-
"Loves and respects me, and who inspires love and respect in me? It's you KD. It's you, even if you think otherwise."
"You should go home," he said. "You're tired..."
Kiya sighed. Just as she was about to get up to leave, he put his hand on hers.
"Kiya, thanks. I really...I really appreciate this."
It was the first time he had reached out to her in years.
"You wanna go out, once this all is over?" he asked sheepishly. Kiya smiled, and he could feel the warmth in his heart. "Sure," she said.
After she was gone, he went up to his study, his mind already working out a plan to clear himself to discuss with Ranveer. Keshav Desai was back.
ermm, so how was it? Writing on KiSha after a long time. Hoped you liked it!