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Oh yes! Uncle and aunty were supposed to be at party. – She remembered as she walked towards the phone. Just when she was about to reach for the receiver, the ringing stopped. She realised that the bell must be ringing for a while, and wondered how much time has passed. As she glanced at the wall clock she was surprised to find out that she had spent almost two hours thinking about him.. or.. whats wrong with him..
She was startled when again the phone started ringing.
Wait , Samrat can also get that.. She thought as she thought about shouting for him. But the ringing got louder and louder, which only increased her annoyance. Finally she picked up the phone just at the last ring.
"Hey Charlieee!!" a loud chirpy voice came.
Gunjan held the phone away from her ears for 2 seconds before speaking, "Charlie? Hello? Who's that?"
"Umm…Hello" the voice said in embarrassment, "Who's speaking?"
"That's what I asked." gunjan said coldly, "Who's speaking? And whom do you want to speak?"
"Is this Shergill mansion?" the voice was confused now.
"Yes…? So may I know your name now?" Gunjan sounded like a stereotyped-telephone-operator now.
"Thank god my money is not wasted in a wrong number", The voice gained confidence, "I'm suhani, Suhani sahay , daughter of Mr and Mrs. Shergill. And I would like to talk with any of my family member. Now may I know who's on the line?" The voice mocked gunjan's telephone-operator voice.
"Ohh! I'm sorry" Gunjan said as the name Suhani hit the chords of her mind, "Hi suhani, I'm gunjan, I am…"
"Ohh gunjan… of course!! I know I know. Mom told me about you…." Suhani said cheerfully."So how did you like life in Mumbai? "
"Its.. Fast.. You wanted to speak to aunty right? Actually she's not home.." gunjan said.
"And dad..?" suhani asked impatiently.
" No they both went to a party." Gunjan said as she heard a sigh from the other side.
"Good. Because actually I wanted to talk to Charlie.. I hope he's home.." Suhani added.
"Charlie..?" Gunjan said in confusion.
"Oops! I mean Samrat….Actually I call him charlie …" suhani muffled as if she was telling a huge secret.
"Haha.. he might be in his room."Gunjan chuckled," but I didn't see him after college." She added hesitantly. She had not seen him since she returned from college; she didn't even wait for him to return home. She was too baffled by the new information she got about him that she didn't want him to confront him before she processes the information.
"Ok, anyways when you see him, ask him to call me. And gunjan.." Suhani added in a whisper, "Don't tell him you know his nickname.."
"Haha.. Sure! I swear to secrecy." gunjan also whispered, and they both laughed.
"Thanks gunjan! It was nice talking to you. Bye…" Suhani said.
"Bye.." She said and disconnected the call.
Hmm… Samrat.. She realized that nowadays she had been doing a lot of thinking on that subject. He seemed like a mystery to her. The more she came close to him the more layers were there to uncover. She didn't fancy herself as his best friend, but still she realized today that she didn't know anything about him when..
.. When one of her classmates knew more about him than her.
She was in the music room checking out various music DVDs available at the library, when , Meghana, her classmate approached her. She basically was impressed by Gunjan's 'boyfriend' for how he picked up a fight for her with RV, the bully. She was also impressed with Gunjan, for she managed to get one of the hottest guy on campus within 2 months of joining university. And when Gunjan clarified that he was not her boyfriend, she looked doubtful, stating the fact that he always waits for her on his Ducati to go home.
"Well, that is because we live in the same house." Gunjan said and felt embarrassed as Meghna's eyes widened at her statement and added quickly," Please, not the way you are thinking! I'm a family friend, and his parents are my guardians."
"Oh ok! But don't tell me he's your foster brother or something. Because he's still so hot.."Meghna said cheesily,"Well, maybe.. even if he is.. then also it works for me. I hope you will help me there.." and she winked at gunjan suggestively. Gunjan chuckled at her expressions while thinking how fast Meghna was.
"No , he's my friend. And even if you are interested, I need to get a confirmation from him, you know..!" She said and Meghna jumped up and down.
"Oh , Yes… Call him right now.. I can even go meet him right now at his department.."She said enthusiastically.
"Oh.. no.. Wait for evening. He might be busy in classes." Gunjan said hesitantly. This girl was really after him..? gunjan huffed as she thought.
"Oh gunjan! Its lunch break and his department is right across our building. It won't take that much time!" she shrieked.
"Right across? But that's Fine arts department right?" Gunjan asked with confusion.
"That's where he studies right, in the Fine arts department?" Meghna said visibly surprised that Gunjan didn't know this fact till the moment,
"But he studies Business administration.. "Gunjan said in low voice.
"Oh come on… I've seen him so many times around here, and my friend Natasha also studies there.. she said.." Meghna paused as she blurted out too much and smiled apologetically at Gunjan, but she was too shocked to notice that. How could he lie to her about such a big thing, oh hell with her! How could he lie to his parents about that?.
After studying Gunjan's furrowed brows and not able to bear the awkward silence between them, meghna added nervously, "So.. I might have done some research on him.. but please.. don't reconsider your decision to introduce me to him.. Pleeese…"
Gunjan flinched with disapproval, but nodded nonetheless as meghna smiled at her warmly.
"Meghna , I need to go! Will talk to you later." Gunjan said hurriedly as she made her way to exit. She just wanted to have a breathing space. She wanted some time alone to process the information she stumbled upon, and then decide what to do with it.
And after hours of thinking she still couldn't digest it.. He was not supposed to lie about such a big thing to his parents. They thought he was studying business administration. He was the heir of 'SJS Industries'. He was supposed to take over the multi-million business of 'Biogen' pharmaceuticals, the dream of his mother, to provide healthcare facilities to the poor and unaided. And here he was lying to them. She just hated the thought of it.
But on the other hand she told herself not to be too judgemental. Maybe, Meghna was wrong. Maybe she was just talking about some other samrat. She knew that there were very thin chances of this possibility as Samrat was a popular guy in university. Most of the people, and especially girls, around campus seemed to know him, waving at him , smiling, ogling or just staring at him. She sighed once again coming to the conclusion that the only solution to put an end to this over thinking was to go and talk to Samrat face-to-face.
Samrat just came out of shower when he heard the sound of opening the door.
"Samrat" He literally jumped as Gunjan called his name. He turned to find Gunjan entering his room.
"Please, Don't come in.." he screamed, but it was too late. She had seen him half naked already. He was only in his shorts.
"Eewww!" she turned her back at him immediately and covered her face with her hands. He immediately grabbed a pant which was lying on bed and turned to other side.
"You're impossible!" Samrat shrieked while stuffing himself in his pants , " Don't you have the basic manners of knocking the door before entering?"
"Listen mister! I knocked three times before entering.." Gunjan said accusingly, "you should have the manners of locking the doors"
"Well, I might have lost the knock in the sound of shower..", he turned to her, "But I can even do strip tease in my room…. You should have asked before entering the room!" he said coming in front of her.
"Yeah well, will make sure next time… as it is I don't like to see you naked" her hands were still on her eyes. Samrat grinned at her last words and pulled her hands away from her face.
"Show's over." He said grinning.
Gunjan slowly opened her eyes.
"Goddd!! Grab a shirt!" she shouted.
"Oops. Sorry!" he ran again to grab his t-shirt and wore it quickly. Gunjan smiled.
"By the way, it's nice to hear the word 'sorry' from you." She looked at him intently, "you know, you never feel sorry about anything, isn't it?."
Samrat looked at her, "Uhh.. Guess what?The Judgy Gunjan is back.." He said mockingly.
"Well, Whatever!" she said finally," Suhani called from London. She asked you to call her urgently."
"Ohh. Ok. I'll call her." He said and turned towards the nightstand to grab a comb.
Gunjan was pondering whether to talk to him or not when she finally took note of the decorum of his room. This was the first time she was in his room. It was surprisingly clean, with minimal furniture, a bed , a nightstand, and a wardrobe. A small chair sat in one corner of the room. There was a balcony attached to his bedroom with a hanging cane chair. But mostly her attention was captured by the mesmerizing landscapes that were painted in acrylic, oil paint, Charcoal capturing different moods of nature. And the best piece was the mural on the top of his bedpost- The beach shining in setting sun.
"Anything else..?" Samrat said nervously as he caught her eyeing his work so intently.
"These painings.. " She looked at them admiringly, "They're very beautiful. Very real! "
"Thanks!" He said proudly and Gunjan stared at him. She couldn't believe he made all of them.
"Did you.." She stumbled for words,"Are they yours?"
"They are hanging on the walls of my room. Obviously, they are mine." He said casually.
"No, I mean, did you make them?" She asked narrowing her eyes.
"Why do you ask so many questions all the time?" Samrat said in an attempt of dodging the question.
She sighed in submission; this was going to be difficult. He was not going to let it out easily. So, there was no point in beating around the bush.
"Are you really studying Business administration, Samrat?" Gunjan's question startled Samrat. His pupils expanded as he stared at her with uncertainty.
"where did it come from?" He said attempting to sound as casual as possible.
"Samrat please answer me!"
"Yes Gunjan, I am studying business management." He said seriously.
"Samrat, Please tell me the truth.. I have seen you around the Fine arts department and then these paintings.."
"Gunjan I'm telling you the truth.." Samrat said firmly," I am studying Business Administration, I'm not lying about that" He said in a low voice. Gunjan could sense the sincerity in his voice. She felt relieved to know that he hadn't lied about it. But then all the things Meghna mentioned and all this artwork in his room…
Samrat read the clouds of doubt on her face and added, "But .. That's not the only thing I'm studying." He watched her changed expression and continued, "I am doing MBA in Pharmaceutical Management, but it's a distance learning course." Gunjan gaped at him as he continued, "And I am studying BFA also.. Full time"
Gunjan stared at him in awe. "Are you serious?" she blurted out, exasperated.
"Common! Don't make it such a big deal!" Samrat said flinching.
"It it a big deal Samrat! Your parents don't know about it, do they? They think you are going to run the family business, when clearly you are sidelining it for.. " She said looking at the mural admiringly, "..For the thing you're so good at! Samrat! You are a fabulous artist, you know that?"
"I know!" He said scoffing.
"You are doing two different things simultaneously. Two polar opposites! Do you think you are doing justice to any of the two?"She said shaking her head ," how do you manage?"
"Well I'm smart!" He said chucking, which annoyed her bit.
"Do you think Uncle or Aunty will be happy after learning this?" He narrowed his eyes as she said it.
"See please don't tell this to mom dad!" He begged her with his eyes, "It's the last thing I want right now."
"Well I won't, but you will have to, someday. And before that, you will have to tell me why are you doing this?" She said, not ready to let go.
Samrat sighed, she wouldn't let go! He thought warily. It was bad that they were on talking terms now, because otherwise he would simply shake her by saying something rude, and she would have never come to him to ask anything. But, now things were different. Damn you Samrat! For being friends with her.. He cursed himself mentally.
"Because dad wanted me to do MBA.." he said slightly irritated.
"And you can't convince him that this is not what you want?" Gunjan said confused.
"Dad always think that I don't know what I want in my life. I actually know, Gunjan. Or , you can say, I knew, once.. I wanted to be an artist, a painter.. But.." he looked away sadly.
"But you are a good painter, samrat! Actually better than good." She said in a comforting voice.
"Dad wants me to take care of his empire. He wants me to be an entrepreneur. An area I know I'm not good at. But he wants me to be that. And I want to make him proud."
Gunjan looked at him disbelievingly. "Didn't you tell him about your ambitions? I'm sure he will understand, Samrat! He loves you way too much."
"Well that's the catch Gunjan!" Samrat said with a sad smile," He loves me too much. And when the people you love disappoint you, it hurts the most. I know if I tell him I don't want to be like him, it will hurt him. And I don't want that."
She looked at him with awe. Till now she was under the impression that Samrat was a free spirited person, the one who listens to none, but his heart. But he actually cared for his Fathers opinions more than his own dreams.
"And for god's sake, Don't stare at me like that !" Samrat said with distaste, "I know what you're thinking about me."
A smile broke on her face as she noticed his flared nose. "And what do you think, I'm thinking about you?" She said in a playful manner.
"That I don't have courage to face my father."He scoffed, "I had once. But I've seen him broken once and I don't want to repeat the mistakes of… " He trailed off realizing he had given out too much information. Gunjan looked at him with confusion. Why did he stop, who's mistakes he was referring to? She wanted to ask him, but decided against it. He already looked distraught.
"Gunjan, I just want to make them happy, and I'm trying to. But I couldn't let go of this.."He pointed at his paintings, his eyes were filled with passion. "I know I'm trading on thin ice. I can easily mess up with both the things, but I'm trying hard to work on both, my parent's ambitions, and my own dreams."
Gunjan nodded understandingly. She was fascinated by the passion in his eyes and it matched her own passion for her dreams. She knew how frustrating it felt to dream about something but not able to achieve it. And she knew exactly why he was doing it. He simply couldn't let go. But she respected him more as she realized that he equally cared for his parents too. And at the same time felt a little bad that she had kept her father away in process of progressing towards her dreams.
"So, you won't tell them?" Samrats voice breaked her chain of thoughts.
"Tell what?" She looked dumbfounded.
"Gunjan! About my little secret." Samrat said desperately.
"No , I wont" She said and samrat let out a sign he didn't know he was holding, "But Samrat, you will have to tell them, the sooner, the better!" She said with finality.
"uhmm.. Ya I know." He said nervously, "I will try"
"Okay then." She smiled at him softly as he smiled back with gratitude. She shuffled hesitantly before speaking"Umm.. I'm hungry. What about you?"
"Dying of hungar." He said dramatically while pressing his hand on his flat toned abs, as gunjan rolled her eyes, "Hey do you want to go out for dinner? As it is it's the two of us today." He suggested.
"Sounds fine, I'll get dressed." She agreed immediately.
"What? I thought you are dressed enough" He said with wide eyes, "Gunjan, I'm not taking you out on a date!"
Gunjan rolled her eyes at his antics. He was impossible to deal with.
"Why do you assume that every girl in the city wants to go on a date with you?"She asked frowning.
"Well because that might be partially true." He said with a playful smile.
"Correct! Partially is the word to be emphasized on."She added with irritation.
"I thought True is the word to be emphasized on."He pouted.
"You!!" She glared at him, as he tried his best to look frightened through the suppressed laughter. He looked cute wearing those expressions, his sparkly chocolate brown eyes grown wider mocking false fear. She did the best to suppress her smile and turned to leave the room.
"Gunjan, Please be quick! You know I hate to wait!" Samrat shouted through his bedroom door she had just closed, and she could picture him grinning wickedly.
She couldn't decide whether she should sulk at him for his mockery of her punctuality or to smile at his ways of charming her.
Press Like if you enjoy.. don't forget to comment J
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Its been a while that I'm thinking of acknowledging your comments an appreciation, but couldn't get the time for it, as things are very hectic at work and at home too. But here am I, to thank you all for sticking around my story.
As I told earlier, I had started to write this story much earlier and there were some differences to it back then, but the main concept is the same, so those of you who've already read it , might not find it very different ,and when its familier, then it's hard to get engaged to the story. But I'm so glad, many of you who have read it earlier, are reading it, liking and leaving a comment. Guys ! really!! It means a lot to me..
So I better mention my gratitude to All of you sweet people…
Ammykhan,OceanEyes,Ar_SajanForever,Sadffi,Trouble,Shafoo,charmee_sammy,ATTITUDEBABY ,additive_monaya,SM_317 ,snowwhite28, SwaNia_2, PRIYA_luvs_MS: Thanks for always leaving a comment behind!
A special mention of Aashi (aashizin), girl, you even PMed to your friends for spreading awareness about… (Scratch that!! That sounds like its some kind of desease J ) .. So recommending it to your friends. Thank you dearie..!!
I also thank for all the new friends who had shown interest in reading this story, considering the fact that the show is off the air now and the Samrat-Gunjan chapter of Indian television history is kinda over now as there are many more other romantic stuff you might be getting to watch. But still , Mohit-Sanaya are definitely not over, and I wish they should be together forever.
I have chosen the timeline of this story very carefully to coincide with the timeline of the show, when it was still on-air(The story starts in August 2009). And I will be moving forward to 2013 slowly… So you still have so much to catch here… I hope I will keep up with the pace and will try to keep you well-entertained. If you have any complaints/suggestions about any part, don't feel shy to leave a comment.
Having said that, I will move to write the next chapter, just to be at your service again.
Ba-bye all you nice people… May your summer be nice and sustainable… I'm sweating profusely already …
A big hug to all of you
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