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Joined: 17 March 2006
The following 1 member(s) liked the above post:
Joined: 17 March 2006
...Finally some progress.
"Haan beta, everything appears bad right now, and most likely it will seem that way for some time. But soon you will suddenly realize that things are getting better, and one day you will understand that everything is okay. It may not be the same as before, but it will be okay."
Sanjay had thought about what Rajeev Uncle had said to him every single day since the accident, and had waited and waited in hopes that Uncle had been telling the truth. In the first days Sanjay didn't know if he should believe him: you see all of the grownups were so upset with both Daadi and Mama in the hospital. They had been hurt badly, and everybody had been worried. No-one had wanted to leave the hospital, so he and Aryia had been sent home with Rajeev Uncle and Pari. And once there, it had been Rajeev Uncle who had to tend to them at first because Pari was so sad and worried herself, that she could barely stop crying. Over and over Rajeev Uncle had to tell her that she had to calm down and be careful because of the babies still in her belly. And that had Sanjay worried. You see, before they had left the hospital, Sanjay had heard his papa say that the doctors had to take the baby out of mama's tummy to make sure it hadn't been hurt too, and although Sanjay had been so happy to hear that he and Aryia had a new baby brother, he had been sad because he wouldn't allowed to see him for a while - only papa had, and that too only for a minute before the baby was whisked away to the baby section of the hospital. He didn't want this to happen to Pari s babies as well.
It was such a bad time.
Things did change, but not right away, and hardly any of the changes appeared good at first: The baby was still not doing well, and Mama too had gotten worse. The few times that he had been allowed to go to pay a visit to the hospital, it was only to see Daadi, never Mama and never the baby either. No matter how much he asked, he was never permitted to do so. Mama was very sick, he had been told, and the baby was still being watched over in the baby section of the hospital.
Then one day a decision was made that it was time for him and Aryia to come home . Sanjay thought that this must be what Rajeev Uncle had been talking about: that things would finally get better, but it did and it didn't...although Daadi had left the hospital and come home, which was good, now she was in a wheelchair and needed a nurse to help her. And Mama and the baby were still not ready to come back yet. Despite being back at home, neither he nor Aryia had been completely happy and late at night Sanjay would hear his little sister crying for Mama. It made him want to cry too, but he knew he had to be brave as not to make more problems. Papa was worried enough.
Then one day he got the word that Mama and the baby would be leaving the hospital. This was it, Sanjay thought - finally the end of the bad times, but again it didn't work out that way at all. Mama had gone home to Naani, and Papa had decided that it was best that Aryia go as well. They would have to wait for a while longer until their family was united. In the meantime, they would focus on getting Daadi well again and then bring Mama and Aryia, and his new baby brother Piyush home.
No-one ever said it directly to him, but Sanjay overheard the weirdest news: that somehow Mama had forgotten them: Daadi, Papa and even Aryia and him. She had something called amnesia, whatever that was. He didn't know if he should believe something so crazy, but time went by and still she did not come home. Papa had promised him that soon he would bring her home personally. And one thing was for sure, and that was that Papa always told the truth. However even Sanjay had stopped asking when it looked like it wouldn't happen for a long time.
Today though: something was different about today, of this Sanjay was sure. For one, Papa was smiling a lot more today and secondly, he was eating a lot, not just drinking coffee like he usually did most mornings. This made Daadi really happy, and she had to ask Robin to bring in more parathas because Papa had eaten so many already. And it wasn't only that, the five year old lad reasoned. Daadi was already dressed to go somewhere. When he asked her where she was going she had smiled and said that she was going out to see two special little ones. He wondered if that meant that she would be going next door. He hoped not as that would mean that he would miss out on finally visiting his sister and brother because he had to go school.
"Daadi," he began, stopping immediately when his grandmother began shaking her head.
She must have been reading his mind, because she then reassured him with her words.
"Nahi, Sanjay beta, I wouldn't dream of going to visit Aryia and Piyush without you, so don't worry thik hai. Actually beta, I will be spending the day with Pari and finally meeting the twins. And then beta, we will all come to collect you from school and then all of us will visit your sister and brother."
"And Mama too," Sanjay asked disbelieving that he would finally have the opportunity to see her.
"Perhaps, but that depends entirely on your Papa, beta, and how long he lets your mother work today."
The little boy's eyes widened and he turned to face his father on hearing the news. This was definitely the day that things would become better. If anyone could convince Mama to come home it was Papa. Perhaps she would be home by tonight even and they would be a family again.
Somehow she had managed it all, and still was on schedule to leave and be early for her first day at KT Creations. Actually she had made sure that she had awoken earlier than she needed to as she wanted to ensure that everything was settled with the children before she left. That Gunjan was not feeling well, had been a source of worry, and Rachna had almost decided that she would see if she could change her start date.
"Absolutely not," her sister had protested the suggestion, as she drank the chai that Aunt Shail had sent to her. "I'm feeling better with every sip" she insisted. "Plus I have relied on you far too much on you already, Rachna. The children are my responsibility, and it's time that you move on with your life, " Gunjun determined. "All the best, thik hai," she said dismissing her sister.
Rachna smiled and nodded. She walked over to the crib and checked on last time on the chubby infant who contently lay there. "Have a good day, beta; I will see you later," she whispered affectionately. She then turned to the toddler who lay in the bed. "And you, Aryia..."
"I be a good girl Mama," the toddler interjected with a grin. "Bye, bye Mama."
Amazed how much these two tugged at her heartstrings, Rachna hesitated once at the room's doorway, before she nodded one last time at Gunjan, and turned to leave before her sister forced her to. She had barely gone three steps before her mobile rang.
"Namaste Ra; have you left yet," asked the sleepy voice on the other end.
"I'm just about to, thank you. But why are you calling; you sound exhausted this morning."
"I am a bit, but I wanted to telephone to wish you good luck on your first day. I'm certain that you will be exceptional at whatever task Kabir puts you to."
"Kabir is it...one meet and you're on a first name with my new boss," Rachna pondered with a laugh. "Hmm should my Sir be worried about you getting so familiar..."
"Eww; gross much," Naomi responded at the suggestion of such closeness with the designer she thought of as a brother. "He's so not my type, Ra...in fact you can definitely have him if you want."
Rachna went silent as she considered the oddness of that comment.
"Anyway," Naomi continued, "I really do hope you the very best day. I can't wait to hear all about it."
"We will definitely talk this evening," Rachna promised, as she waved goodbye to her mother, and left home to hail an auto.
KT Creations' offices seemed to be a friendly environment, Rachna observed as she took a seat in the waiting area. Despite being of a similar age, the receptionist who greeted her had treated her with the utmost respect, as too had the staff she encountered arriving for their day. She wasn't there long before Pratima, KT's assistant, had come and met her, guiding her first to the breakroom for a cup of chai or coffee should she wish, before escorting her to the meeting room where she would have a brief orientation. There were two people present already: one of the successful college students and Kunal Tiwari. Both had looked up in anticipation when the door opened, and once again Rachna was struck by a fluttering sensation in her stomach, when the elder of the two males sent a welcoming smile in her direction. He stood to greet the two women, and Rachna chuckled to see the young intern follow his lead.
"Rachna, may I introduce Raj and Kunal. Raj is one of our new interns and Kunal is our new..."
"Digital Marketing Director," Rachna said, completing Pratima's sentence.
"Correct," the PA replied slightly surprised, but she recovered quickly and continued her introduction. "Gentlemen, this is Rachna...she will be spearheading a special project for the company in..."
Whatever she had hoped to relay, remained unsaid, when the door opened and two young ladies were escorted in by the HR facilitator of the session.
Rachna took the opportunity to grab a seat beside Kunal, who welcomed her company.
"In charge of a special project is it Rachna, or should I be referring to you as Rachna Ma'am, since of the four of us here you probably have the most seniority," Kunal teasingly whispered.
Rachna dismissed his banter with a smile, and gave it right back to the man who was just as easygoing as when they had first met. "So did you have to overemphasize that you share the same initials with KT Sir to secure your post Kunal?"
He chuckled. "I'd rather think that Kabir Tripathi recognizes quality when he sees it; after all he has retained the pair of us. Imagine the team we would make if we get the chance to work on the same assignment."
Was she imagining things or was there a hint of flirtation in his tone, Rachna wondered. She hoped it was just her imagination. It was one thing to be secretly enchanted by his smile, but for now it would be better for her to focus completely on the fantastic opportunity that had been given to her. She was grateful then when the HR Administrator moved to the front of the room and introduced herself and gave a brief overview of the presentation to come. She paused - her hesitation- brought by the door opening one last time, just as she was about to start, had all of them turning to see who had entered.
Kabir nodded for the administrator to continue when he entered the room and quietly took a seat at the conference table. It wasn't the first time he had attended a new employee orientation session; in fact his attendance had become the norm in recent months after he had established the downtown annex of KT Creations and had taken on additional staff. However there was nothing magnanimous about him being here this morning. He knew, as did the HR Facilitator, that Rachna was the main reason for him coming today.
She was a vision, Kabir thought as he observed his wife who was listening keenly to the presentation being given. Again, this morning, she was dressed in more modern attire than the norm for her, exuding confidence in the professional outfit, which even seated , he noted looked incredible on her. It wasn't unexpected - this apparent new self-marketing- Rachna had fashioned, as she sought to find her footing again post recovery. Nor was it wasn't surprising that she and their new Marketing Director were seated together. Of the group gathered, the two of them were on a closer professional level to each other than the new and younger trainees, and would naturally have gravitated to each other. Kabir hoped that eventually that Rachna would come to believe in the young man's competencies, especially as he would be handling the marketing aspect of both KT Creations and Banaras Beauty. This had been an element of his and Rachna's evolving plan for Banaras Beauty which had spread globally when Rachna had signed off with a UK distributer nine months ago. Reluctantly, Naomi had agreed to give up her informal position as her hands were to become literally be full, but not until they had taken on a full time staff member. Unfortunately due to the tragic circumstances, Rachna hadn't been a part of the hiring process, so to see a developing rapport between Rachna and Kunal bode well in Kabir's eyes.
It was not until Kabir realized that the group had turned their attention to him, did he become aware that he had missed his cue to offer some remarks to the new employees. He plastered a wry smile on his face, and came to the front of the room, where he expertly covered for his inattention with a witty spiel on the creative process leading him astray at the most inopportune moments.
The interns were totally captivated, Rachna noticed, as Kabir Tripathi continued to speak: particularly the one girl, Tanya, who blushed furiously when the designer cast a look in her direction. For some reason this reaction irked Rachna, although for the life of her she couldn't comprehend why. She cleared her throat delicately which had the result of Kunal passing her one of the bottled waters that sat on the table. She thanked him, and then turned back to meet KT's gaze that had settled on her in the meantime. He paused in what he was saying for the briefest moment, and then concluded his welcome to the new batch of employees.
The interns were directed then to accompany Pratima, while the obvious senior pair were asked to follow KT. They were to have their own individual cabins in the vicinity of Kabir's office suite. While Kunal's need was self-explanatory, Rachna couldn't comprehend what had warranted her such, but in a short period time she found herself sequestered in a well outfitted office adjacent to the head designer's own.
"We will be conferring quite a bit," Kabir had said bluntly justifying his decision to afford her the private space, when she questioned why she hadn't been consigned to the main studio with the other personnel. "Rachna: why don't you get settled, while I just have a brief meeting with Kunal. Pratima will be by momentarily to check if there is anything we may have overlooked that you feel you need , thik hai?"
Rachna nodded and watched as the designer exited and closed the door behind him. She turned slowly a full 360 degrees; plotting the space she had been given. It was too much, Rachna thought. There was no way she could - or should- be deserving of any of this. Sure everyone had a dream job, but this... this was beyond believable. She walked over to the drafting table, all set up and ready to go. She was so ready to begin her work - who would not be given such an opportunity?
Kabir had taken longer than he had hoped, but in hindsight, he had a very productive dialogue with Kunal. The young man knew his stuff, and was eager to share his ideas with Kabir. Granted, he had been somewhat taken aback when Kabir had made the video-call to Naomi so that she couldj informally meet the person who would inherit the Banaras Beauty website she had designed. But once Kunal got over his astonishment that the former model, whose image he most associated with KT Designs, was the brains behind the site he would be managing, he quickly made the most of the rather limited time he had to converse with the young woman today. Kabir had stayed for a while longer, but soon realized that he was not needed and hastened to get back to his first priority.
The door to Rachna's office was just being closed by Pratima as Kabir approached. He watched as his assistant referred to the list she held and approached her.
"What has she requested," he asked, and listened as Pratima prattled off the actually longer than expected list of items. Kabir nodded when young PA pointed out that she was certain that most of the items could be sourced in the main studio. He dismissed her and continued towards the cabin, eager to see how Rachna was making out.
How his wife could not hear the heavy pounding of his heart Kabir couldn't understand. The mere sight of her at work had it thumping so loudly in his chest - in his ears, that it was unfathomable that she wouldn't notice. She had him spellbound, as he had been so many times in the past as she sat already engrossed a sketch. He swallowed when that telltale furrow of her brow appeared, signifying that Rachna wasn't quite satisfied with what she had done. He had to actually to close his eyes against the sudden influx of emotion that threatened to overwhelm him. If for no other reason than to have her utilizing her talent once more, Kabir should have been satisfied with the arrangements he had made, but standing here now, he knew it would never be enough. There were only two solutions to the problem at hand: either he aided his wife in regaining her memory somehow, and given the probable difficulty of that, Kabir thought as he opened his eyes... the second option seemed much more doable - that he make her fall in love with him all over again. And since he couldn't live without her, Kabir knew exactly how he needed to approach the situation.
He approached her finally and spoke.
"Personally I am hesitant to show my work before it is perfected, but may I take a look with what you have so far, Rachna?"
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