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Friday, August 16, 2013

Arhi SS: Chamkili. Part 9- 'Laying the Groundwork'

Hey Guys, this has been written in almost one go and I have not even read it twice, so please forgive the typos. Anyway here is the update, hope you guys like it, please do let me know.

                                 Laying The Groundwork...

Samay noticed Khushi’s bent head, her continuous mumbling and her nervous fingers wrapping and unwrapping the duppata around her fingers, she looked adorable and he couldn’t help a slight smile from taking residence on his handsome visage. He saw James’s twisted smirk and right then he knew what was to follow, well ofcourse he did, after seven years of his friendship with James he would know at least that much, wouldn’t he?

James then turned towards Celina, who herself was sporting a slight smile on her face. Lavanya had told her that they could trust Khushi on this project, but Celina had had her qualms about this recruitment and they were valid ones, considering Khushi didn’t have any form of formal training or degree, in fact even Mr. Singhania had shared her doubts but he had had to put his guns down in front of his much younger and if you asked Celina much shrewder fiancĂ©e. But she would have to give it to Lavanya, Khushi seemed promising and the best part was, the promise in her was so very unique, one of a kind probably and the no formal degree thing probably played a part here.

“Okay guys now as our colleague Khushi has very accurately pointed out, the fact is that there is indeed nothing extraordinary about these clothes.” James paused for a moment, smiling at Khushi as she stared at him wide-eyed. He then continued,
“So that’s the challenge people, we have to find a way to add that missing bit of extra to the ordinary.” James finished his little speech as others busily took down notes.  

“But remember these clothes are daily-wears so the fancy frilly stuff has to be to the bare minimum, we’ll probably have to invent some new techniques here, its not gonna be easy. Other factors that we need to keep in mind are the climatic conditions of Europe and particularly Spain and choose the textile material likewise. Also the fact that our clients want to hire an Indian firm for this job means that they obviously want some Indian ethnic touches to these designs.” Celina finished highlighting some of the major pointers of the project and then signaled Samay to takeover from there.

“Now James and Celina have already said most of it, so I am just going to add a little bit here. Now as you all know the project is quite profitable, and not just financially but otherwise too, as this would mean opening of a new market for us. The Armada’s is a huge firm and is perfect for launching KaLa into the Spanish markets, and this stands true for many other Indian firms as well, so it goes without saying that we have very tough competitors in the run for this project. And well it goes without saying that the contract goes to the lowest bidder.  Hence, apart from designs and textile and other such stuff we also need to focus on cost management. So guys we need to hunt for cheaper stuff but the compromise on quality has to be minimal and designers we’ll need your special assistance over here for whatever little flaws the textiles might have the supremacy of designs needs to cover it. In short we need to get the best designs done on okayish textiles.” he bestowed a sexy smile particularly on his female companions sitting in the conference room before continuing further,
“Okay people I am not going to bore all you creative types with my bland money talk, Celina and I will be handling the financial aspect of this project so we’ll be in constant touch with you guys but for now moving ahead I would now request my co-project manager, the lovely lady in blue to start with her presentation.” saying that he winked at Khushi making her realize that she was the lovely lady in blue. She blushed a little feeling somewhat uncomfortable but then moved to the centre and started with her presentation,
“ Samyji, Jamesji, Celinaji, Koyalji, Rishabji, Sonalji…” all the eyes were now rounded and fixed on Khushi, Koyal and Priya were in fact trying hard to control their erupting giggles, while a playful smile played at Samay’s lips… and surprisingly this time it reached his eyes.
“…Abhayji, aap sab ko hamari taraf se namaste.” Khushi smiled broadly at all he co-workers before continuing further.
“So my presentation is about the Indian ethnic wear and frankly speaking I don’t really know a lot about designing and I am really nervous right now.” she said while wiping a thin layer of sweat off of her forehead, and resumed once again whilst stammering a bit initially.
“So… I… I… Oh yes I am here to talk about the chicken-kari, an exquisite Lucknowvi specialty. Okay so the basics first, two most important things about Chicken-kari are, the compatibility as well as the contrast between the thread used and the ground fabric. What I mean is you cannot use very thick thread on a silk cloth, while on cotton almost all threads work, also the color contrast between the base material and the thread is indeed very essential. And I won’t speak much about color coordination for all of you sitting over here would have better knowledge of such technical intricacies than me, as for me, anything that appeals my eye, mostly clothes with gotas stitched to it.” She then started pairing various fabrics with suitable threads, while talking about the uniqueness of each. A few minutes later Celina interrupted her,
“Khushi don’t you think this silken fabric a little fragile gor this thread, it might rupture the cloth.” Celina said pointing towards a particular combination.
Khushi instantly realized her mistake.
“Oh I am sorry Celinaji, this must have slipped unnoticed, I’ll be more careful next time.” Khushi apologized and corrected the combination, while Celina smiled and patted a shoulder lightly. The meeting then continued as everyone pitched in their ideas for the project. Khushi sat there a little excited and a little bewildered…

“Are you hundred percent sure about this?” Sheetal frowned slightly as she heard whatever the person at the other end of the phone line was saying.

“Okay just keep track of all the happenings around this and keep me informed.” She said in a conclusive tone and then kept down the phone before dialing once again,
“Yes Sneha, could you please tell me whether or not Arnav is free right now, I need to discuss something important with him. Please set up a meeting at the earliest possible.” she asked Arnav’s PA. She knew better than to call him on his mobile or his office line directly, she needed to maintain a completely professional front, it was very important for her plan.
“I am sorry ma’am but he is not in his office.”
“Does he have an appointment or a meeting some place else?”
“I am sorry ma’am but I have no idea as he got his schedule cleared for the next two hours, so its probably not work related, I guess its personal.”
Sheetal felt a little sting in her heart on hearing this, for she had a faint idea what this ‘personal thing’ could probably be. Well there was nothing she could really do about it and so she decided to wait those two hours, she’ll see him then, and anyway she needed to think this through, her plan needed to be flawless, the stakes were too high. But the real question was, did she really want to do this…

“Hey Khushi, Mr. Singhania wants to see you in his office.” Samay informed Khushi who was busy discussing the design plans with Koyal and Abhay.
“Oh! Okay! Koyalji Abhayji I am sorry that I have to leave in the middle of this but we can continue once I get back, until then could you both please think of some color combinations for the chicken-kari garments and we can discuuss the cuts and designs once I get back.” Khushi asked a little apologetically.
“Yeah sure!” Koyal replied while Abhay just nodded his assent. Khushi then moved towards Mr. Singhani’s office and soon Samay catchedup with her.
“Samayji I know where the office is, you don’t need to follow me, I won’t get lost.” Khushi smiled at Samay walking beside her, not too close but not far as well.
“Oh right! I just keep forgetting that you are not eight anymore.” he smiled at her before quickly adding,
“Nothing much has changed though.” he then winked at her.
“Ji?” Khushi frowned in confusion. He smiled and said,
“Nothing.” Well flirting with someone who had no clue about flirting was actually kind of lame.
“ So, how is Payal?”
“Jiji is fine. She is also married now and the best part is we are both married in the same family. It’s like a dream come true, you know I always thought that we’ll both be separated once we got married but…” Khushi kept rambling on but Samay was no longer with her, he was sixteen again and back in Lucknow, and lost in those beautiful dark eyes that were looking down coyly as she struggled to control her deep blushes and that shy smile that lingered on those beautiful lips despite her best effort to control it. She was a vision, a vision so enchanting and breathtaking that his mind was often tempted to conjure her image when he was alone. He wondered if things would have been different had he not left Lucknow all those years ago or had come back sooner to claim what was his. Well it was useless wondering and Samay Joshi did not indulge in anything that utterly useless. He was brought back to present as the peon’s shoulder crashed into his, Khushi was still busy rambling about her in-laws and her sister, he cut her in,
“So Khushi, what did you say your husband’s name was?”
“Ji Arnavji.” she blushed a little at the mention of his name.
“And your and Payal’s husband’s are brothers, you said right?”
“So do all of you live in the same house?”
“Yes. Maniji, Mamiji, Di, Jiji, Jiju, Arnavji, me, Hari Prakashji, Om Prakashji and lakshmi. Actually there is also mamaji, Jiji’s sasur, but he has been away for quite sometime now.” Khushi chatted happily.
“Oh that’s must me nice, I am sure. So what are your husband’s like, I can tell your Arnavji is really amazing by the twinkle in your eyes.”
Khushi smiled coyly at this, she couldn’t bring herself to talk about Arnav at this point and so she just started talking about the awesome life, she was pretty sure her Jiji and Jijaji had.
“Aakash Jijaji is also great, he loves Jiji so much. And he is a very nice man, level headed and very dedicated towards his work and family, he also helps Arnavji with the business.” Samay couldn’t help but feel a slight pang of jealousy, they all had each other while he was alone in this world, all alone.

Aakash sat beside a conscious and fidgety Payal, truth be told he himself was no less nervous. He looked at his wife and squeezed her hand trying to reassure her, she struggled to smile at him… to smile for him.
“Mrs. Payal Singh Raizada.” the peon called stepping into the hallway.
“Yes.” Aakash replied on her behalf.
“The doctor will see her now.” the peon said signaling towards the cabin. Aakash and Payal stepped towards the cabin.
“Hello doctor. Aakash Singh Raizada and this is my wife Payal.” he shook the doctor’s hand and took his seat while Payal folded her hands n a quite namaste before taking her seat.
“So Mr. and Mrs. Raizada, how can I help you?”
Payal’s head was still bowed as she felt her husband give her hand a comfortable squeeze once again.
“Well the thing is that we have been trying for a child for quite sometime now but…” he felt a little uncomfortable and so left the sentence hanging.
“Ok, how long have you been trying? Well the thing is the younger generation nowadays is so habituated to everything instant that they don’t realize that somethings just take sometime and its just normal.” she looked at the couple sitting across the table.
“Well I know that Dr. Sinha but it really been a while now, in fact we have been trying for almost six months.” Aakash looked a little exasperated and did a very poor job a hiding it from the two women in the room.

Khushi realized that she had been continuously rambling and apologized for it, Samay just smiled at her and joked about how it was just a side-effect of womanhood. Truth be told, Khushi was actually beginning to feel very comfortable around him, so very herself in such a short span of time that thinking about it now, she was quite surprised at herself. And to think that just yesterday she had almost literally ran for her life on seeing Samayji in KaLa. Was it a sense a familiarity and belonging you felt when you met another brown skinned Indian in a far off country, say England. Well she did realize that it indeed had a lot to do with her Arnavji. In fact the way he had maturely handled her little panic attack last night had made her realize just how stupid she was being about this whole crush thing. Wow she did it again, she smacked her head mentally as she realized that this entire morning she had been calling her Laad Governor names for the same mature response that she was praising right now. As she neared Mr. Singhania’s office she wondered if everyone’s brain was as messed up as hers or Devi Maiya had shown her some extra love in that department. Well, the latter seemed more probable.

Lost in her thoughts Khushi didn not see the slightly raised ground near the cabin door and stumbled on it. She closed her eyes anticipating the fall, as well as the physical pain and the social embarrassment that would normally follow a fall, but none came. To her astonishment she felt two strong hands grasp her around her waist…

That was how Arnav Singh Raizada saw his wife when he turned towards the door following Mr. Singhania’s gaze… he saw his wife in the arms of ANOTHER MAN…

To Be Continued…

Author's Note: Ok so while at home I have nothing much to do and so I started watching IPk from the beginning for the fourth time (oh yes I have all the episodes saved on my Lappy :) ) and thats when I realized that there are many factors and many plots and sub-plots and major and minor characters that made IPK a sensation. And I wanted to attempt to bring that back... if I am successful to bring even one percent of the old IPK back , my work's done :) So this chapter was mainly about laying the groundwork for all that is to follow and believe me friends there is a lot. So please do let me know what you thought of this update, your response keeps me motivated :)

Srija :)


Anonymous said...

LARA 3110 - Absolutely great but you stopped at a crucial moment. Anyways, thoroughly loved the confusion in Khushi's mind, insecure feeling when her Arnav is not close.

What is Sheetal upto??? What does she plan??

Poor Samay, he has been really hit hard and he does care for Khushi. I do hope this does not pose a problem in the long run. Celina and the others are going to eat her up, if she does not confide with Arnav. Arnav should help her out, here.


Ramya said...

It was an amazing update. Samay knew that Khushi have the ability to bring smart ideas and she really impressed James . But this is just the beginning. She have to prove she is good in her job too.
I like Samay khushi interaction. Khushi is clumsy . oh God and Arnav saw her in the arms of another man. How will he react? What is the news which Sheetal want to discuss with ASR? Waiting for next chapter. Thanks for the PM.

bablubli said...

Hey Srija, I just came across your story on IF & saw a reference to your blog & came in here. I have bookmarked your blog & promise to read your stories soon. I do hereby solemnly promise to follow & comment regularly! I could not resist reading a part of one of the chapters of Chamkili & I love the storyline. There is so much promise to it & among the Arnav/Khushi stories, I love the ones that show a strong Khushi & one that makes Arnav take note of the woman that she really is...

Keep writing & as I said, i look forward to following your work! Much love...