“Damn, how did you decide which ring to buy?”, Daniel asked Rook,  fluttering the pages of the brochure of antique rings soon up for auction at Sotheby’s, “There are so many cuts, Princess cut, this cut that cut, aw aw aw paper cut”, he winced when the page bit into his skin. ” See we could narrow down the rings according to Mira’s choice, regal, elegant and sober”. “Well that narrows it down doesn’t it”, Daniel stared at Rook, handing rather shoving it into his hands. “Rook all engagement rings seem to have a basic design don’t you think”. “We can eliminate those with gemstones,  besides don’t get so angry I didn’t buy the ring for Ev, it was Mira’s idea, didn’t she tell you that”. “No she didn’t,  but I wished she had so I’d not be here wasting my time”. “Hey, hey we could look at the ring she bought for Ev and may be get an idea”, said Rook. “Well and you have become useful again”. The ring on Evelyn’s hand did give Daniel some idea to pick a few rings out of the entire lot.

At the auction, suddenly all the rings weren’t up to the mark. They just couldn’t meet Mira’s brilliance. All his previous picks were slowly bought bu others and the hall was beginning to get empty and he also had begun to get up, giving up the hope of proposing to Mira witha ring that would sweep her of her feet on their one year anniversary, he would have to settle for those love bands. Then suddenly another ring was announced, probably an urgent addition to the items up for sale. It wasn’t anything like the others, rather it pretty much resembled the rings that the ladies in Mira’s favourite movie wore,something to do with a Moghul king and his Hindu wife, the dialogues and story of which she explained in excruciating detail, going over everything in the movie from the lineage of the king and the queen respectively to pointing out every flaw in the movie and what happened actually. In a nutshell, the Mogul dynasty was a her stronghold of the Indian history and obviously a topic of great interest. A blue diamond in the centre, mined originally from Golconda mines, another some place about which Mira had told him, really rare and pricey diamonds had been mined from it, one of which even adorns the crown of the Queen of England. Around it white diamonds were arranged in a sqaure compartmentalised into four quadrants, set in platinum. He knew immediately that this would surely win her heart and prove to her that he wasn’t after all an idiot in the matters of the heart.


She picked out the gown, she had carefully selected just for the occasion. Daniel was waiting for her at the Westland hotel, which wasn’t like Daniel, because he didn’t like taking her out to his hotels. But it really didn’t matter what mattered was making tonight special.

Daniel had been preparing for the past one week,  practicing the line over and over, but he knew it boiled down to the moment, and so he thought being at a familiar turf while doing it might keep him calm. She would walk in any moment so he was eagerly looking towards the door. She came in and his heart skipped a beat she was dressed in her trademark white, a gown tight at just the right places. The concierge showed her to the table and she sat down it front of him in one fluidic motion and said “Hi, Daniel, ah everything’s all right, you seem kinda dazed”. That jolted him back to reality and he realised it was going to be more difficult than he had thought. His phone rang but he ignored it and put it on vibration mode. “So what’s up?”, asked Daniel and immediately regretted it. “Daniel, if not seeing each other face to face, we talk at least twice a day and practically discuss everything from breakfast to bed and you ask me what’s up, seriously honey are you alright?” said a rather irritated Mira. The table suddenly shook, which surprised Mira that she had spoken with such intensity, thankfully it turned out to be Daniel’s phone and he again silenced it. “I am sorry, I seem to have a knack for ruining good things please just take the call, I have been so agitated due to work, my life seems to have gone haywire”. “Mira, I understand it completely, and I deliberately have kept the phone silent, I don’t want anyone intruding on my time with you tonight”. They held hands and just smiled at each other, and Daniel calmed a bit and promised himself that nothing could bring him down tonight not even Mira herself.

They ate the dinner and talked now thankfully of varied mature things but behaved if they were a new couple, wanting to kiss at even the smallest brush of the hands. Daniel ordered champagne, as he had decided to be old school. “Mira there’s something I wanna ask you”. “As if I’d my saying no would stop you”, she cracked a smile, but Daniel didn’t flinch “You are not breaking up with me are you”, Mira too became grave. “Don’t be silly, what made you think this, I know I am an idiot but letting go of the best thing that happened to me, no”. This time Mira’s phone rang, it flashed Rook, “Sorry gotta pick this up”. ” So, James, what is it?”. “Why isn’t Daniel picking up the phone”, his tone was serious too. ” So what is it with today, World sulking day, he is serious made me serious for a minute and you are speaking as if someone just died”, she looked at Daniel who was fumbling with the inner pocket of his coat. “Someone actually did, Mira” said Rook. “Who?”, the suddeness of Mira’s tone alerted Daniel and then her face almost became ashen. “Daniel get up”, Mira said sharply, “I’ll get the car, pay the bill and wait for me at the door”,  “But why….”, before he could complete his question she had already made a move for the door .

She took a street took a totally different route, something that did not lead either to Daniel’s house. “Where are we going?”, she did not answer. Only one thought came to his mind: Rook had told him about his plan, damn him. She entered a hospital parking and while parking her car, she said “Go straight to floor number 44, I’ll be here”. “What is it and why aren’t you coming?” . “Just go”, she pushed him out of the car. After about an hour, Daniel turned up on the passenger door of the car, opened it and just propped on the seat, his face towards Mira , but seemingly he was looking somewhere beyond her and then he turned towards her and said “They tried me all evening and I kept ignoring it, messages, calls, even emailed me but I was not here when he breathed his last”. “Daniel it is not your fault please”, she took up a hand to his face. He pushed it aside but held on to her hand, using it to pull himself towards her and kept his head on her lap and started crying “He’s dead Mira, Dad’s dead”.

(Catch the entire story on the ONCE UPON A FAIRY TALE page)




It had been 3 months since Mira had moved to her official residence and she and Daniel had patched on the condition that he would never do anything like this again. She did not want the benefit of being the boss’ s girl. It was thanksgiving today and she was at Jamesson’s place to enjoy some turkey. She and Rook turned out to be outright James Bond fans and were having a heated debate on who played it best. Rook was more Sean Connery and Mira loved Pierce Brosnan. Rook’s phone rang somewhere but he did not flinch. But when his mother said that it was Evelyn, he lunged towards the phone and answered it with such sweetness as if the debate had never taken place. And when he was done, Mira said “You love her don’t you?”. “More than anything earth”, replied Rook, “but it doesn’t matter anymore,  she’s moving to Washington”. “What”, Mira was shocked at how dumb could men be. “She collected her coat and began to leave,  “I realised that I didn’t get you guys’ thanksgiving gifts”.

She came back late in the evening and till then Evelyn had also joined them. She took Rook to one corner after saying her greetings, ” Would you marry Evelyn?”. “Ofcourse”. “I pretty much guessed that just remember it”. Rook did not pretty much understand it but she would have to mean something. They enjoyed the turkey over a few drinks and just talked about this and that and then they brought out the gifts. Mira had bought a beautiful white gold necklace with a nice pendant for Sophie and for Rook’s mother a ruby necklace but strangely for Rook, a women’s ring, in white gold and a huge diamond on it and for Evelyn, a pair of earrings that went with the ring. It took some time for Rook to realise what it meant but when she said “When she leaves”, everything was crystal clear. She was asking him to propose to her. He wasn’t sure but he did knew that this probably was his last chance. When she left, Rook offered to walk her down. He did not come up till about half an hour. In this time Mira filled the ladies with the information and practically held her breath. When he came back, she pounced on him. His face was sullen, she almost died. Then suddenly Evelyn came from behind and said “Thank you because I know him well enough to guess that this couldn’t be his idea,we owe you”.


The wedding was just 2 days away and Evelyn and Mira were at their fitting. Mira was done early, Evelyn was still getting her gown fitted. Mira started looking at a few wedding gowns herself. She found one that was just perfect, with arms and neckline made with a net like fabric,with embroidery of flowers and below that it was pretty much like a Victorian ball gown. She was mesmerised by it and decided to try it. She looked terrific in it, she was checking herself out in the mirror when Daniel came to announce that the men were done and would be waiting outside. But the only words that came out of his mouth when he saw Mira in the wedding gown were “I gotta go”. Mira ran behind him to explain the situation to him but he kept going and Mira was reminded again that she wasn’t made for skirts. Daniel did not take any calls not even Rook’s. Mira, Evelyn and Rook decided to wait for a day before taking any action. Mira blamed herself for everything, how could she not see that trying a wedding gown would freak Daniel out. After half a day, Rook went out to look out for him.

Finally Daniel came back in the evening and a Mira began explaining what had happened at the tailor’s. But Daniel just said that she had to understand that may be he was not ready and she should not try to rush things. She said that she completely understood his predicament and was just looking at the dresse, “I’ll go and call up Rook, he went out looking for you”. When she left the room,  Rook materialised from behind Daniel and asked, “Did she buy it?”. “Ofcourse she did”.



She was getting promoted. She came to know about it 3 days ago. She called Daniel to give him the news. She didn’t know the time of her arrival in London, but with the tickets in hand, it was the first thing she did. And her a limo pulled outside the airport to pick her up. She showered and had her breakfast and left for office. She greeted her new staff and her new secretary, who was asked to show Mira to her new office. The corridor that went up to her office smelt like a thousand roses and before she comment that her secretary used a very effective perfume, she opened the door of her office and there sat on her table a huge bouquet of roses neatly arranged in concentric circles of red, yellow, pink, white and a singular blue rose in the centre. The card with the bouquet said

“Red roses to confess my love,

Yellow to wish you success in your present and future ventures,

Pink to wish that may you always be in the pink of health,

White to say the peace and tranquillity may always be with you,

And blue, well because blue is your favourite colour

Love Dan ”

She was overwhelmed by this gesture of Daniel. She went to his office and asked his secretary if he was in “No ma’am, but I hope you liked the roses”. ” You know about them?”, asked Mira. “We had to deal with the roses here in the office because we did not want Mr. and Mrs Westland to know about this”, replied the secretary. “But I must say you are very efficient arranging all of this in just 2 days”. “Two days!?, that blue rose took three weeks to procure ma’am”. “3 weeks huh” was all she said.

After 15-20 minutes Daniel arrived into his office and where he had expected to see a happy girlfriend he was met by her murderous stare,”Seems like the white roses weren’t good”, he tried to be jovial. She got up and kissed him and said, “No the flowers were wonderful but I don’t like beating about the bush, you knew about my promotion since long which makes me think that you had something to do with it”. “Why would I do anything you are wonderful at your job”, “And that is why I know you are lying, the blue roses are not easily found you see”. “I thought it will make it easier on you and me moreover they were alredy considering you I just gave them a push”. “Well if that is the case I am not taking the promotion, Dan it has been 8 months and you didn’t realise that I wouldn’t like this, I believe Rook knows me better and the lines also were probably his idea”. Daniel knew that both the statements were true.

Over these 8 months not only had Mira and Daniel come close but she and Rook had become like brother and sister. They checked each other regularly and shared almost everything and Daniel was happy about this as well. Rook had been a sweetheart. She also tried to return the gesture. Like when it was Rook’s birthday, Daniel decided to give him a pen that was pretty expensive. Mira considered it to be a cliché. She knew about the detective, Evelyn Rivers, he was following for his next report. So she knew that the best gift would have been a bullet proof vest that said ‘WRITER’ and a botlle of a pretty old wine, which Rook was a fan.

And so she knew that this was the best way to torture Daniel for what he had done, “I am going to New York”.

When she entered his lavishly adorned loft in a skyscraper of New York, his mother opened the door, she was a bit stunned.  Rook was wearing a paraphernalia on his body that culminated into a gun that looked like a laser and it looked as if he was playing with his daughter Sophie and she said “That is why you are Daniel’s best friend “.