Posted: 24 October 2006 at 11:37am
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Title : Fading Autumn
Category : JW/ BD romance and separation, UST, maybe RST (not sure). Mostly Sadfic, with chances of a character death. So people offended by these ideas, may please turn back.
Rating : Undecided as yet, but may or may not steer to strong R, as the case may be. But mostly its G as in General.
Spoilers : Episodes following disclosure of the Park Road Secret.
Disclaimers : Characters property of Balaji Telefilms, Ekta Kapoor, Ram Kapoor, Prachi Desai and others.
Ours to play with, ours to love - not ours to profit from!
No copyright infringement intended. And don't prosecute me – I'm broke anyway!
Please feel free to comment and send me flowers or flames as you wish!!! U r free to send howlers too ;)
'Music, when soft voices die, vibrates in the memory
Odours, when sweet violets sicken, live within the sense they quicken
Rose leaves, when the rose is dead, are heaped for the beloved's bed
And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on'
- Percy B. Shelley
02 August 2006
Walia House, Juhu
Jai Walia's bedroom
The table clock alarm goes off with startling punctuality at 4.30 a.m. on a Wednesday early morning, jolting Jai Walia out of his sleep. His body wanted rest for some more time, but his mind was ready and alert. Ready to don his tracksuit and wear his jogging shoes and hit the early morning trail near his house. He had returned home late last night from a business meeting and had gone to sleep only around 1 a.m. and so his body yearned for the comfort of his bed, but his mind was up, wishing 'Good Morning' to the entire world. Only catch – there's nothing Good in his Morning today and this has been so for the last couple of days. And the mighty Jai Walia wasn't even aware of how long this numbed state would continue in his life, where he welcomed physical pain and exhaustion to wipe away the agony that was splitting his heart into two.
Jai quickly got up from bed, went to the washroom, his 'private space', he thought wryly and busily readied himself for going on to his usual morning jog. Over the years, he had put on a lot of weight, maybe his sedentary lifestyle didn't allow him much time to put in as much physical exertion as was desirable. So he decided to do something about it and took to the roads early morning. In fact, Bani had suggested so …
The entire Walia House was enveloped in the warm blanket of sleep, peace and dreams as Jai made his way down the steps, almost like an apparition, not wanting others to be disturbed so early in the morning. Very few members of his house knew of his early morning jaunt and he has been careless enough not to mention it to anybody barring Masi.
As his feet hit the much familiar trail, Jai noticed that it was drizzling lightly. He mused that if the drizzle turned into a full-scale shower then it would mean that he would have to retrace his steps. And he didn't want to do that. Every morning he welcomed this exercise session, since it helped him to start his day by trampling the most important part of his life, or at least by trying to forget the reason for his existence, and by allowing the stilled blood to recourse though his veins once again. He was alive but barely so – God knows how much he wants to live, but how could he do so when his life has been taken away from him. He looked up at the cloudy sky and it seemed that this very morning, the sky was also ready to cry with him over his loss, and the teardrops in form of rain would be copious enough to match his life blood bleeding out of a wound in his heart.
The horizon is getting darker, just like my life, Jai thought and increased his speed. He cursed softly under his breath that he still had more than an hour to go before he could return to the superficial trappings of his so-called sophisticated lifestyle.
Jai reached home exhausted and all sweaty, he thanked God that the drizzle had not turned into a steady downpour. Otherwise, he would have had to desert his morning jog schedule and return back to his room early – the room whose silence seemed to engulf his very senses and threaten to test his willpower to contain his feelings within himself. He hated returning to his room every single day, either after returning from the morning jog or from his office, and spent most of his time, when at home, in the Study, going over office files and papers. Over the past few days, he has led his Office persona completely take over his personal life – whatever that was left of it anyway. He spent most of his time drowned in work and often had his meals alone. He could not bear Bani's absence from the dining table every time the family sat down to eat and spend quality time together. Night times were usually harder especially when his hand encountered the lonely space at the other end of their bed, his heart crying out for Bani.
God, if only he had enough sense to tell her when it still mattered how much he loved her and how much her presence in his life was everything that he had hoped for, dreamt about and cared for. He had in fact shown her once the mirror of his true feelings; one magical night when the world stopped for both of them and they lost themselves in each other's arms, but maybe that was too little. He needed to speak out also and that's where he faltered. But, now, it's probably too late, Jai mused and dragged himself to his 'private space' to freshen up. Little did he know on that fateful day, when he lambasted Bani for entering the bathroom with a bucket of water when the water supply to his washroom was off, that the entire house would turn into his 'private space' one day with nobody to barge into his Study, into his life and into his heart? He felt cold and numb and realized with a start that the hot water had given way to cold water, the 'coldness' of which seeped into his veins more and more with every single day. Standing in front of the mirror, while dressing, he looked at the ghost of his reflection and thought as to how long he would he be able to maintain his sanity and continue with his miserable existence and yet put up a brave face in front of the world. He wished he wouldn't have had to be such a hypocrite. But continue he would, with the hope that one day Bani would come back into his life and bring with her the autumn showers and blossoms … The worst part was that he was not aware of his wife's whereabouts and he was getting restless and angry with himself with every passing day. Initially, he had tried to find Bani through an agency and had succeeded but his wife requested him to leave her alone for time being. He respected her wishes and moved back to allow her space and time. After that, everything was lost. 'Bani, how could you …' Jai's heart cried.
'This is going to be a long day' he thought. 'God, please give me strength and patience …'
02 October 2006
Carrying a clutch of files in his hand, Jai hurriedly came down the stairs and looked at his watch anxiously. Like any other day, he had woken up pretty early at 4.30 a.m. and followed his usual morning routine in toto, but had forgotten that he had promised Mr. Rafeeq that he would be in his Office by 9.00 a.m. for discussion regarding future business investments. It was only when he came across the Confidential File lying carelessly on his dresser, while staring at Bani's photograph, that he was jolted out into reality and he immediately busied himself to reach office within the committed time. He thanked God that he had called Mr. Rafeeq over to his Office for discussion since otherwise, it being Gandhiji's birthday, he would have had to spend his entire day at home, in presence of Bani's absence. Sundays were killing enough, Jai thought as he passed the hall with the car keys in his hand.
'Jai, where are you going today?', Masi's words cut through his thought process carelessly.
'Oh Masi, I am going to Office for some discussion with Mr. Rafeeq on our Company's future development prospects. Nothing to worry about. You know I hate staying at home …' letting the remaining words trail off, Jai replied.
'But Beta, today is Mahatma Gandhi's birthday and it is a National Holiday', Masi replied back incredulously.
Not willing to waste any more precious time, Jai said 'I know Masi, but its very important that I go and meet Mr. Rafeeq today. But, I will try to be home early. And I will definitely eat something at Office, believe me, but I have to hurry now'.
Before Masi could say anything more, Jai was out of the house and a few minutes later, a silver coloured Chevrolet Optra meandered out in the street. This car was his favourite and he did not let anyone use it, since he had wanted to gift it to Bani on her birthday on 12 September. In spite of Bani's absence from his life, he went ahead and bought the car and used it himself, treating it as a part of his wife's paraphernalia with an idea of returning it to its lawfully intended owner, when she returned. If she returned at all …
The drive to his Office was smooth and he reached well within time since there was not much traffic on the road due to the Holiday. He found Mr. Rafeeq had already reached Office before him and was waiting for him in his own room. Jai asked Mr. Rafeeq to join him for a light breakfast following which they would get down to work.
Mr. Rafeeq was a mild-mannered man of about 50, who shared a great working relationship with Jai Walia for quite some time now. In fact, he had advised Jai on a number of business decisions which have affected the fortunes of the Walia Empire positively and Jai had come to respect his opinions and suggestions a lot. The hotel business of the Walias' was booming right now and everything was going on as planned. Jai felt that this was the perfect time when his Company could think of diversification into other related areas of business.
After breakfast, he discussed with Mr. Rafeeq how he was thinking of purchasing hotels and restaurants in various parts of the country, which had great tourism potential, and not keep the Walia chain restricted strictly to the Metros only. He told Mr. Rafeeq how he had received an offer from his long-time acquaintance, Mr. Tony Joseph, to consider taking over Joseph's hotel in Munnar. Joseph was about 76 years old and his son and daughter-in-law mainly looked after the hotel. But after these two died in an accident about five months back, Joseph was finding it extremely difficult to manage his hotel business, what with the added responsibility of a sixteen-year old grandchild on his fragile shoulders. He was hence trying to sell of his hotel and move to the city with his grand-daughter so that he could make available all facilities to the kid. He knew Jai when Jai was not Jai Walia, but a struggling hotelier trying to make it big in the hospitality industry. Joseph was very fond of Jai from the heydays and had seen Jai start from scratch to building an Empire of his own.
Joseph had sent all the necessary papers to Jai for his perusal and Jai had promised to inform him about his decision within 2-3 weeks time. He had handed over the photocopies of the papers and financials to Mr. Rafeeq for study and his expert opinion, and was here today to discuss about the proposed takeover.
Mr. Rafeeq mentioned that although the hotel did not bring with it any debts or similar worries, yet the profit figure was not upto the mark. The infrastructure and facilities offered to the guests were also not of high-quality and so big-budget tourists have more or less stayed away from Joseph's Hotel – Nature's Home. Also, renovations would have to be considered if the market presence of Nature's Home had to be elevated. The two of them delved over a number of other issues regarding Nature's Home till evening and Jai finally decided that he, along with Mr. Rafeeq, would go a-visiting Joseph and his hotel, for a couple of days, before taking any decision. The time of the visit was fixed on 10 October 2006.
While driving back home, Jai thought as to how Bani would have loved to visit Munnar with its rolling greens, sprawling tea estates and spice plantations. He decided that he had had enough and would start searching for Bani once again. He was more or less aware of the place where she was at present, not exact location, but had refrained himself from going out full throttle to bring her back.
She has always been so exuberant about mountains, he smiles warmly at the thought. The next moment, it hits him that during the few months of their togetherness, he had not taken her anywhere, leave alone a honeymoon, except for a much-jaundiced attempt to have dinner at his Hotel, which was transformed into a nightmare by Roshni. Suddenly Jai felt all gall and wormwood in his mouth, and concentrated heavily on the road. He had to speed up to kill time.
Edited by sangitadas - 24 October 2006 at 11:38am