young man turned around to find his new friend with a broad smile. "How did I
do?" he asked. It was just five minutes ago that his presentation ended and
everyone was busy discussing the new proposition he put forward.
were really good," Bani answered. "Didn't even give Jai a chance to grill you!"
god!" Neil said. "Lets keep it that way!"
so fast," came a voice from behind. They turned to find a smiling Jai. "Neil
Desai," he said, extending his hand. "I wanted to talk to you for a quite a
gave a nervous smile as he shook Jai's hand. "W-why Mr. Walia?"
do you feel about joining the Walias?" Jai asked, straight-forwardly.
almost spit out the water she was drinking. Did
he just offer the competitor's employee a job?!
appeared to be shocked as well. "S-sorry?"
smiled, expecting this reaction. "I have heard a lot about your talent. And you
proved it today with that presentation. The Mittals don't even realize what
you do?" Bani asked, incredulously.
ignored her. "What do you say?" he asked Neil. "Want to join me?"
I just can't… leave!"
course you can," Jai continued. "Do you have a contract with them?"
yet," Neil answered absent mindedly. "I am still on observation, until this
Jai said. "Then I will see you at work on Monday morning, 9am."
was fully confused. "But what am I
supposed to do? What are you hiring me as?"
will be assisting our marketing manager here," Jai replied, nodding at Bani.
"She could use the help."
just shook her head, beyond surprised to react anymore.
you soon," Jai said and with that he left.
Neil stared wide-eyed at Bani. "Is he always
nodded. "You will get used to it. So, I will see you Monday I guess." She then
held out of her hand and said, "Welcome to the Walia Industries."
is wrong with you?" Bani fired, as soon as they were back in the car, driving
back to Mumbai.
did you hire Neil?"
he is what we need," he answered. "You saw him today… a brain like that means a
hell a lot of money!"
course," Bani replied. "You need someone to compensate for that stupid bimbo
rolled her eyes. "Speaking of Annie," he said. "What were you thinking today?
Why did you throw juice on her?"
she said, all too innocent. "I didn't do anything!"
saw you bribe the waiter."
smile dropped from Bani's face. "Fine. She got that coming. How dare she ask you out?"
I am available."
mouth fell open. "You are married to me!"
we will be divorced in two weeks."
didn't have a reply to that.
Jai said with a smirk. "So get used to the idea that you won't be sticking
around for long."
will be here long enough to kick that girl out of the company, okay?"
turned to look a Bani. "Tumhari problem kya hai Annie ke saath? What did she
ever do to you?"
khaas nahi," she said sarcastically. "She decided to be born on this earth."
I find her pretty nice," he continued.
you would have gone to a movie with
if you weren't shooting daggers at me, then I would have!"
narrowed her eyes. "Take this as a warning Jai," she said. "If you ever go to a movie with that bimbo, then
I will personally tell Aunty and Uncle what you are upto behind their backs!"
Great, Jai thought
sarcastically. Using my own parents
against me! But he wasn't going to give up either. "Im sure Maa will
understand once she sees how nice Annie is. Maybe I will introduce her myself!"
didn't answer. There weren't words to describe the fire which was eating away
hua?" Jai asked, closely watching the torment on her face. "Maine kuch gaalth
refused to reply, putting the car in silence. Finally, Jai said "I am hungry."
are on a highway," Bani reminded. "Yahan kuch nahi hai."
rolled his eyes. "Its called a turn…"
exited the highway to some small town on the outskirts of the city and stopped
at some random dabba. Bani raised her eyesbrows.
just shrugged in answer and got out the car. Bani followed him out with a sigh.
ek thali lana," Jai said. "Aur madam ke liye nimbu pani."
man nodded and directed them to sit.
pani kyun?" Bani asked, surprised that he understood her dislike for dabba
mujhe pata hai tumhe yahan khana acha nahi lagtha. Simple."
phir yahan ruke kyun? We would have been in the city in another hour!"
pretended to be shocked. "Kya tumhe mujhe bhooke rakogi?"
rolled her eyes.
then their food arrived causing Jai to dig in, savouring the taste of the
authentic Indian food. Bani, who was also very hungry, drained her lemon water
in one go and was watching Jai savour every bite he took. Upon feeling her
gaze, he looked up.
he asked, his mouth full of food.
didn't answer. Not caring what was bothering her, he went back to eating. After
five minutes however, she couldn't contain it any longer.
can you just sit there and stuff your face?" she blurted.
smirked. "Like this," he answered, slowing take a piece of paratha and putting
it in his mouth.
pati ho tum? Apni patni ko bhooke rak rahe ho!"
never stopped you from eating. You
have issues with the food here!"
was annoyed and to some extent upset. Once upon a time, Jai would have
magically made food of her taste appear from thin air. But things were
Kyun uske peeche
her mind asked. He is not the Jai who got
married to you. So stop comparing them both!
Jai called softly.
jerked out of her thoughts to see him holding out a piece of paratha near her
mouth. She watched him for a second, and
then opened her mouth and graciously accepted the food.
laga?" he asked, watching her chew carefully.
smiled. The food was okay in her opinion, but what made it special was that he was the one giving it to her. And so,
all hesitation forgotten, she pulled the thali towards her and began to eat
from Jai's plate.
Toh kya hua agar
woh badal gaya, I can change him back, right?Atleast I can save him from people
grin spread across Jai's face. "itni bhook lag rahi hai toh, ek aur thali order
shook her head. "It wont be as good as this one."
smiled and didn't reply. He understood exactly what that meant.
Dabbe mein aapka pehla experience kaise tha?" Jai asked, once they were
speeding through the highway.
not my first time…"
Jai said, surprised. There was nearly nothing that he didn't know about Bani.
she said. "Joh cheez tumhe pasand ho, aur main try na karoon, yeh possible
kar rahi ho?"
ki kya zaroorat hai?" she replied, looking out the window.
why are you being so nice to me today?" Jai asked.
sighed. "Pata nahi…"
turned to find a smiling Jai. "What?"
"Tum Annie se jealous ho."
would I be jealous of her?"
khoobsurat hai, thodi bahut pad likh thi
hello," Bani said, cutting him off. "Bimbo's pad likh nahi sakthe."
Jai was determined to get to the bottom of this issue today. "So why do you get so frustrated with her?"
kyunki she can do all those things that I can't."
looked out the window. Admitting the things which made her frustrated, would be
admitting her already messed up feelings to Jai.
can go out with you… and I can't."
have gone out with me," Jai said, looking out the window.
I ask you for a movie now, would you
Bani replied. "Shayad… magar Annie ke liye woh ek "haan" tha."
opened his mouth to explain, but Bani cut him off. "Khair chodo… I know you
don't want to be with me. Aaj bhi tum forcefully mere saath aaye."
suddenly applied the brakes and Bani noticed that they were back in the
bustling streets of Mumbai.
scrunched her eyebrows in confusion. "Kya hua?"
niklo," Jai said, putting the car in parking on the side of the road and then
unbuckling his seatbelt.
just got out of the car in reply and began walking. Bewildered, Bani quickly
followed. They stopped infront of an ice-cream stand.
ice creams," Jai ordered. "chocolate."
are you buying me ice cream?"
prove to you that I can go out with
repressed a smile. "You know," she said, watching Jai savouring his cone like a
little child. "For a tycoon, road side food doesn't look very nice."
like food in a dabba," she explained. "where they don't even clean the plates.
Imagine if the media caught you like that!"
then the man at the stand handed her the ice cream cone, but it slipped from
her hands and fell on the ground.
shook his head. "You just wasted good food." He then turned to the man and
asked for another one.
"Chocolate waali saab khatam hogaye hain," the
do you want strawberry?" Jai asked Bani, who shook her head.
okay, tum khalo."
you used to like strawberry na?" he reasoned.
many things, Bani's favourite flavour also changed to match Jai's. "Not
let out a sigh and extended his cone. Bani hesitated, before taking a bite. It
was better than anything she ever tasted!
what was I saying," he said, continuing their conversation. "I just cherish
good food. Who cares what the rest of the place is like?"
me just inform you that agar tum yahan Annie ko le aate, she would have made a
big fuss. I don't think her delicate feet have ever stepped on the road."
Jai groaned. "Phir se Annie?"
am just telling you that she is not compatible with you!"
hate road side food too, how come you lived with me for a whole year?"
I lov-" Bani stopped short and looked away. No,
you hate him, remember?
that he made his point, Jai smile triumphantly. "Chalo, we are getting late."
nodded and followed him back to the car. The rest of the ride passed on in
silence. It was in the parking lot of the Walia Industries that Bani finally
I ask you something?" she said. "Kya Annie
mujhse bhi achi lagthi hai?"