ONCE UPON A FAIRY TALE: CH-6

Chapter – 6

She cried inconsolably. The guards, though reluctantly told her to leave the premises. She got up, picked and her purse and began to leave. ” Mira”, she heard her name. She turned back. Nothing. She realised it was her imagination and was probably tired. “Mira”, she heard again, but this time decided to ignore it. “Hey stop there, Mira”, that was a pretty long sentence for her imagination, she turned and there he stood, with a puzzled expression on his face, an overcoat in one hand and a duffel bag in the other, “I thought it was you, what are you doing here?”. “Daniel”, she hugged him nice and tight”. “I just realised what it was, it’s a love knot and I was dumb or rather an idiot to not realise this and taking my own sweet time.”. He was still a little shaken from something but Mira continued without a pause. “I am a fool yes, but please don’t go away like that”, she looked up and said,”I love you too”.

When Daniel was sure that she was done, he asked “What did you just call me?”. Now it was Mira’s turn to be confused, “No, no you are getting it all wrong, I am the idiot I did not say anything to you”. “No before you broke into your fit of words, you said a name”, did Daniel. “I called out your name Daniel, that is it right”. He let that duffel bag and the coat fall, grabbed her and kissed her deeply and passionately as if he did not yearn for anything else in the world. She today did not actually care for anyone around her and knew that even if she would fall, he was there to hold her.

Everyone around became a little uncomfortable, save one “Congratulations bro”. Daniel looked up, “James, what are you doing here”. “Does it really matter now ?”. They bear hugged, “And I might say that you are more beautiful and bold than my friend here had described you, Jamesson Rook by the way”. “Who doesn’t know you Mr. Rook, flying off to Australia are we”, said Mira. “And informed might I add”, said Rook. “My girlfriend here knows more about you than me.”. She felt elated on these words. “I survived four years of college with him you see, he is like my brother”, said Daniel. “Well brother or not, I am a big fan of your work Mr. Rook”. “Oh please it is James” said Rook.  “”Don’t bother, she took my first name for the first time today”. They talked for some time and then they asked for his leave.

“Ofcourse, moreover, I couldn’t see that face tear streaked anymore”, said Rook pointing towards Mira. But then she thought some thing and said, “Wasn’t your flight and 11:55, you would have missed it, oh my god , I am so sorry”. “You found me at 12;10, honey, my flight got delayed and I did not know that because I was listening to music and I went to check in at the time for the bus, but now who cares for a silly flight when I have you”. “You know what wasting a Rs. 74000 British ticket then throwing such a cliche qualifies a s a crime but now it is kinda cute”.

Then they left for Mira’s home.

ONCE UPON A FAIRY TALE: Ch-5

CHAPTER 5

He did not realise it until she kept the paper on the lunch table and slightly slid it towards him. He picked it up and there it was, her itinerary that said she was going from London to New Delhi, this Saturday and today it was Wednesday. He realised that it was going to take him some time to come to terms with the truth, he would miss her and these clandestine lunch meetings. The way he could just be a Daniel around her, (though she still refused to call him that and stuck to calling him Mr. Westland), and the burden of his surname wouldn’t tag along. Every morning waiting at the door just to enter as the same time as her and listen her say “Good morning, Mr. Westland”, and now it seemed that mornings could never be as good without this ritual. She knew she had to go back, rather she was waiting for it since the incident, but now it seemed hard for her. She was confused whether to be happy on going home or be sad on parting ways with a friend she had found after so many years.

When the recess got over, she was approached by her boss, Anand and Nitin were there as well, “Hey, guys, well you have been working your ass off why don’t you take a break and enjoy London these few days you are here”. “That is so thoughtful of you, sir”, said Anand. “Then in that case, we are throwing a party on Friday, we would be very happy if you brought your wife as well, sir”, said Mira. “Sure”, said their boss and when he went, “Party, are you sure”, said the boys in unison. “Yeah and may be give something as a return gift as well you know, small silver coins embossed with gods of good luck”, said Mira. “You know there are chances we might come back”, said Nitin. “Chances right, that is the whole problem”.

In the evening they all went out with Mira as the mother hen and bought the stuff they needed for the party, chicken, veggies, drinks, return gifts and Mira quickly slipped off while guys were busy with the wine and brought a stylish and sleek Tommy Hilfiger watch for Daniel. Everyone had a blast at the part. They did not have something groovy at the party, just sat and they all talked. They had all brought gifts for them, but she wanted to give his gift to him and see his reaction. When they all went away she asked if he would like her walking him to his car. He got into his car, then got back out again with a box in his hand “I had bought this for you but I don’t know how you would like it, so I was kinda scared”. “Silly”. She took and they said their goodbyes and all that was left was a very uncomfortable silence.

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They had now been in India for a while now, it was difficult for her not to slip into the thoughts of him and the gift he had given to her in her free time which with time had become very scarce. It was a necklace. Set beautifully in gold and diamond and  below where there should have been a pendant was a very complex knot, she knew that design but couldn’t place it and then she just let it go.

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While having her coffee, Anand approached her, “Hey, you free tonight?”. “Yes, why?”. “I was thinking that if you are free, you will come out with me for dinner”. He had her in a tight spot, she had said that she was free, so she gave in “Well, alright then”. She wished for more work tonight, not that she despised Anand but she couldn’t go out with him, it just did not feel right. But all in vain, rather she got free early.

As and when it was time for her to leave, she suddenly saw him there, waving wildly to her. She thought she was hallucinating but he came to her and said “Hi, Mira”. She was shocked, “Is that you, I thought I was imagining things”. He was very happy “Hey, you are wearing that necklace I gave to you”. And before she could reply, “Is that you Mr. Westland, what a pleasant surprise”, it was Anand. “How are you, sir?”. “Fine, you?”. “Completely perfect, and shall we, if you don’t mind, sir”, he asked looking at Mira. “Yeah, let’s”, she said rather reluctantly and Daniel’s face also became ashen.

There was a lot of traffic on the road, “Hey,I don’t know if you would like it or not, but I am seriously hungry and I know a shortcut to the Delhi Westland from here”, said Mira. Her temper had already become famous and Anand for the fear of upsetting her agreed. They were eating in silence, well they were in once of the most coveted dining halls of the city, totally not what Anand had in mind. But he did make and attempt at conversation, “That necklace”. “Yes, what about it?”, asked Mira. “I hope none of your Ex- boyfriends gave that toy you”. “Huh”, she kinda lost that. “Haven’t you seen Casino Royale, I thought you are a huge James Bond fan”. “Yes, like a hundred times”. And that is when it dawned on her. “I am really sorry, Anand I have to go, I suddenly remembered something, I’ll pay my half at the office, I am so sorry for ditching you like that, I swear it wasn’t meant to be this way”.

She ran to the hotel desk,”Mr. Daniel Westland, please, oh wait he’d be in the Presidential suite, thanks.”. “He was, ma’am”, he said. She retraced her steps “What?”. “Ma’am, he just left for the airport”. “Airport, but hadn’t he landed today, which flight”. “Sorry ma’am, I can’t give you that info’. “Dammit, I work for the group and have some very important information that if did not reach him in time, could cost you your job”. She said this while thrusting her ID in his face. He thought and then said “Lufthansa, 11;55 p.m”. “Thanks a ton” , it was still 10, she could get him.

At the airport, she was having a tough time with the security and pleaded to talk to the head of staff who reiterated the same point “Sorry, ma’am we can’t let you in without a ticket”.”You are not getting the gravity of the situation, his flight leaves in 30 minutes and he is not picking my phone and buying a ticket would take some time, have any metal detection test you want, tie my hands with a rope or put me in a body suit but let me in”. And with this he relented, he knew he could lose his job but she had such a genuine look in her eyes. “OK, but you have got 20 min only”.

She ran like idiots checking the VIP lounge and then went to the boarding gates, the security guards sent in with her were having a tough time keeping with her. He wasn’t anywhere to be see. He had gone, gone away and he was not returning her calls, she was doomed to death. She sat down on a chair to steady herself. Was this actually happening, had she been so dumb that she couldn’t see that he loved her and now she was alone repenting her idiocy.

(You can catch the entire story from the beginning at the ONCE UPON A FAIRY TALE PAGE)

ONCE UPON A FAIRY TALE: Ch-4

Chapter-4

 

Well he wasn’t that bad. Never tried to take advantage of his position. But they never talked to each other at the cafeteria, she pretended to read her novel and he read his e-mails on the mobile. So soon the employees lost masala to gossip.  This went on for about three weeks, then Daniel plucked up the courage to ask her out again. “I had gone out one day on my own but the food they serve is atrociously bland for my taste buds. I cook it much better myself. ” “You cook?”, he looked at her suspiciously. “It might be a little harsh on your tongue but”, and she grinned. “I am a hotelier, and food is something we do serve at our hotels, you see and each of them is tasted by the board before it gets a yes to be added on the menu. “Alright so stop by this Sunday, Anand and Nitin are going to see some match, so we’ll have he house to ourselves” 

She cooked the best of her dishes as if trying to impress in a Masterchef audition.  Only her cake was left which she thought would taste best when served fresh. So she put it in the oven and set the timer for a nice 45 min. The bell rang. There he was standing on the door, smiling at her, with bottle of wine. She showed him in but couldn’t help noticing how normal he was, even though he came from a lot of money. How flawless and humble, he was actually coming down to dine with her. 

She always worked in kitchen with her mp3 player connected to speakers gently playing Hindi music. She went to switch it off, he told her that there wasn’t any need. She brought the starters and he did nothing but say some form of tasty on each bite. Then came the main course. All of it was Indian, but he couldn’t help relishing the taste. Then when she got up to put the dishes back and switched the timer on, Mamma Mia began playing and she just danced around a bit and soon was joined by Daniel. They danced their heart out, the songs changed, some Hindi Some English but they went on.

Suddenly her arms came flailing, bounced on his head and rested on his shoulders, she laughed. “You look beautiful when you laugh, you should do it more often”. She laughed again, but when she looked up, the words froze in her throat. His eyes were intently gazing at her, looking at something deep inside her.

He did not know what he was doing. He felt possessed by that beautiful face of hers. He had not realised how much he loved her till today, how much he wanted to find her on his bedside every morning when he woke and sleep while breathing in the sweet smell of her hair. His arms clenched her waist and soon they weren’t dancing to the music but to the rhythm of their hearts that rose and fell together. She felt embarrassed that she was enjoying this, she knew him for just a month.  But the energy in the air pushed all of these thoughts out of her mind and she resigned to the passionate gaze, reciprocating it submissively. She hated taking anyone’s help but even the next step was seemingly difficult without him.  She brought her arms down on his chest and felt the strong muscles beneath his shirt, that gave her the sense of security in his embrace. 

She was feeling dizzy when he suddenly brought her closer, bent his head to kiss her, her heart raced and fingers dug into his chest and pinnnggg……. went the oven timer. 

ONCE UPON A FAIRY TALE: Ch-3

Chapter-3

She was siting in her favourite corner of the cafeteria, eating the ripe tomatoes coated in spices that had off-late become her lunch. A loss of an inch at her waist propelled her all the more to eat tomatoes the way she actually liked them. Suddenly a young man 28-29 came up to her table. His walk and mannerisms spoke of money, elegance in slightest movement of the hands.

“Is this seat taken?”. “Well no but….”. And he took it while expressing his gratitude. She surveyed the room, a few chairs here and there were empty but were with groups that regularly sat on their respective tables, which meant he wasn’t part of any of them and she had also not seen him so he had deigned to sit in the common cafeteria. She did not notice anything further or she would have realised that almost half the eyes int the room were staring at the her and encouraging the other half to do so. She settled back into her seat and finished her lunch and went back to her work station and as she later came to know the man was staring behind her.

“How was it?”, asked Anand. “how was what Anand?”, she asked back. “Don’t pretend you don’t know anything.”. “I don’t know Anand, please enlighten me”. “Don’t tell me you don’t know you don’t know with whom did you share your lunch table today”. “The guy looked familiar but I was not able to remember who he is”.  “Well, now you wanna behave that ways, your wish, he was Daniel Westland, the Daniel Westland”. “Oh, well I’ll say hi to him tomorrow, happy, now I have got wok to do.”

She said that only to shut Anand up. Poor Daniel came and sat everyday for a week across Mira but she didn’t even say a word. But, Daniel did not such patience, “You either believe that novels talk or humans don’t”.

“Sorry”. “Well you should be, I have been sitting across you for a week now and you did not speak even a word”. “I was checking how long could you hold fort Mr. Westland”. “Huh, what?”. “If you would have been an arrogant spoilt brat, probably you would have gotten me thrown out of job for ignoring you, but you did not means you are a good boy”. “So, are you free tonight to go out wit this good, sweet boy”. “That is why they call you all business, have a good day Sir”, and with that she left the table.

In the evening a mail from the boss told her that she might have to stay late to get some job done, while she was at it, suddenly a figure towered above her, “You did not answer my question”. She took a few seconds to realize what had just happened, “You are weird”, she said with a tinge of irritation. “You did not tell me that you will come tonight or not”. “I have work Mr. Westland, for god’s sake, it is your own company’s work, wait, is it you who made all of this happen, how mean could you be”. “No, no, you are getting it all wrong I did not do it”. “So why are you here?”. ‘If you don’t know, my dad owns one of the largest hotel empires in the world, I also have work to do. I thought that the talks in the office of you being mean and rude were rumors but probably not, you really find it difficult to make friends don’t you”.”Please, Sir I need to submit this tomorrow, so if you don’t mind can I get back to it”, she said looking at him with fierce eyes. “I don’t know how people get scared of such gorgeous eyes”, he said winking at her and left.

Back at her place she sat down to beat coffee with hand, she preferred it that way and thought. Rude and mean she, she wasn’t even arrogant, well may be a little, but never to the extent of hurting someone. She ofcourse liked things, if they went according to her, who didn’t but she always took the opinion of everyone involved. He was the one being mean, forcing her to go out. Did he FORCE her? Well no but pressed when she had expressed her disinclination. Was it really difficult for her to make friends, was he just being nice to her and she was unnecessarily expecting foul play.

Next morning she went up to the office of Daniel Westland to give him a piece of her mind. She knocked and entered and began without any prologue, “I don’t find it difficult to make friends”. She put forward her hand, “Hi, I am Mira Pirzada”.

ONCE UPON A FAIRY TALE: Ch-2

CHAPTER -2

Anand Thyagrajan called his mom, “Ya, mom I am alright and the flight has landed as well. We are soon going to the apartment hired for us by the company don’t you worry Ma.” Nitin Gill said something same to has wife and then questioned the lost Mira “You not going to make any calls”. “Yeah, will do”. They did not know about the bigger apprehensions she was dealing with. She was scared that any Britisher if ill-treated her in matter of her antecedents, she might leave London without a job. An otherwise calm and peaceful mind once she got angry she was the epitome of Hell Hath No Fury. It was a tough and go just three months yet she did not feel good about it.

“Dad, is this office, getting smaller each time I see it or i it just me.” “No son, we are hiring new staff as we speak, the office space i falling short I know. I was thinking of calling up the architect”. “You are still thinking and wasn’t the Indian team supposed to land today ?”. “Yes, Sir”, said Martha, William Westland’s assistant. “What are their names again?”. “Anand Thyagrajan, Nitin Gill”, said Martha Simmons with her southern drawl. “Let us hope, they are not too touchy on pronunciations”.  “They are even sending a rookie sir, Mira Pirzada”. “Got a regal ring, don’t you think, Dan ans well don’t worry Whitaker will deal with them and report to us”. “What I am thinking is that what has happened to Roy Miller that he is sending a newbie, in any case, I gotta go, bye dad, good day Mrs. Simmons.

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Three weeks into the new office, Mira was having fun, after all people there were not like what she had thought they would be. Nice, sweet, helping, accommodating, keeping in mind the fact that her two Indian comrades need guidance even to go to the nearest grocery store.  That day when she thought of going to the nearest Walmart to get some tomatoes, the boys asked “How do you know where to go?”, negligent of the present day technology as they were, she had to show them the route on her smartphone.

But today, she was upset, the clause she had worked on, expending 3/4 th of her Sunday was being slashed off and she wanted an answer but as it seemed her boss wasn’t in a mood to give one. “The clause is important and you can’t just remove it”. With his beer belly and slick hair, Peter Ravengaurd said” I feel it will be harmful, so it goes”. “It is not up to you, it is important, don’t you get it, Sir”.”You keep your volume low Ms Pirzada, this is a corridor, not a fish market of your land”. “Sorry Sir, but it’s removal can cause a great loss to our client”. “You don’t get it or what, I decide what is important and what is not”. “Dammit, I spent My Sunday and on it and that what makes it important, do you get it”. “Well, lady even dogs follow orders better, Oh and well that reminds me that you belong to that same class”. That was it. The hot coffee in Mira’s hand found it way easily on the face of Ravengaurd. She held him by his collar, slapped thrice and would have broken the mug on his head but Whitaker came to his rescue.  “You are fired, bitch.” said Peter. “As if I care, well Mr. Whitaker I hope you company will be in a position to fight on two flanks, your employee made racist comments and well you are firing me without a 90 day notice”. Then she smiled, and Whitaker with a resigned gesture of his hand asked both the parties to go in their respective offices.

Daniel watched all of this standing at the door of the office. She was beautiful in a very different way. He had gone out with many different women since his school days had some of them had been top models but she just perused above all of them. Albeit, right now, she was angry as hell, yet she carried herself with such grace, almost regal. An unstoppable force was coursing through her body which gave a vibrant glow to her face. She just needed a tie to complete her immaculate James Bond like appearance. Even with such manly attributes, Daniel suddenly knew that she had a completely different side to herself that was compassionate, selfless and caring. “Sir, Whitaker has broken the fight” . “Huh, yeah well where do I have to sign?”. “Here, sir”, mentioning to the bottom of the page. “Who is she” asked a rather ecstatic Daniel.  “Sir, she is on of the Indians, Mira Pirzada , Sir”. Now, he knew, why his dad felt that name would be related to something royal. But what he did not was that he was falling in love.

(You can catch the story from the beginning on my once upon a fairy tale page)

ONCE UPON A FAIRY-TALE

CHAPTER 1

She wore her finest suit, not that it was the only one, her tastes in clothes were a little unconventional. Her dislike towards Indian style of dressing was well bordering on loathe. She always felt cramped and controlled by some unwritten norms that came with the saris and salwar-kameez.  But today, with her confidence and the perfect marks over her 5 years of law college, she knew she was gonna get selected for the job.

“Good morning, sir”

“Good morning Miss Mira Pi…”

“Pirzada, sir Mira Pirzada”. “Yes, Ms. Pirzada, so you are a corporate lawyer. Why Westland Group of hotels?”

“The profile of the job includes travelling, something I enjoy, and when you enjoy what you do it is not work anymore.”

If the interviewer was impressed, he did a fair job in hiding his emotions but Mira had not done extensive research on body language just for nothing. Judging people from the slightest move of the eye was her hobby and a powerful secret weapon. The interview went on for another 45 mins and she went out of the office with a smile broader than one she had come in with.

Two days later her appointment letter was waiting expectantly on her mail to be opened. She was welcomed to the Westland Group of hotels as junior General Councillor, Delhi, the only place in India where they had a hotel.

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He woke up with a hungover head. Ruffled hair, crumpled shirt and practically no recollection of the past night, Daniel Westland woke up to his  first, and by the looks of it his last, hangover on his solid walnut wood bed set perfectly against the plush interiors of his room, so much so to compel Arab sheikhs to find interior designers. “Can please someone get me some aspirin. My head is Mount Fiji waiting to explode” .

“So, you are up”, came the voice of William Westland and he said it like he was a father of a naval officer receiving the Navy Cross. “Dad”.

As always dressed in his Brooks Brothers custom suit and his trademark roadside Joe  tone said, “What, you finally had a hangover, man you are 26, mine was at 15. I was starting to get worried that you won’t mix up with the other spoilt kids of my business acquaintances. ”

“Dad, it is a hangover, not Nobel prize, that we are comparing records”. “Here, son have this it’ll calm your nerves”, said Monica Westland, even in the early hours of the day, she was dressed poignantly enough to have come straight from a ramp. “And, please William, stop irritating him, he is already worked up over this whole thing. Aren’t you getting late for your meeting with the Korean clients of yours. honey” and gave him the roll of the eyes. “Just trying to be helpful and I am just a phone call away kiddo, if you need some man talk about hangovers.”

“Moreover, he doesn’t need those spoiled brats in the name of friends, he is Daniel Westland, my son, destined to be a successful and prolific businessman. He hasn’t got time for such……..”. Rarely things dared to stop Monica Westland in her tracks but this was something that couldn’t be helped. Daniel was snoring slightly again.

(This is a story I am working on, because of which it I did take a little time to write next. Just stay tuned for more to come. All your comments are welcome. I look forward o any suggestion you have to make. Believe me they are invaluable.)