Ram tossed himself across his bed to yank the phone from his night table. Knowing exactly who was calling him, he knew that this was a call he couldn't afford to miss.
Ram: (breathlessly) Hello...(breathing heavily) Neha!
Neha: Yes it's me. But why are you huffimg and puffing so much?
Ram: (trying to catch a constant, stable grasp of his breath) I was in the bathroom and the phone was on my bed�. So stupid of me, I mean I knew you would call me back but it didn't occur to me to take my phone with me to the bathroom. I am going through mixed emotions right now. You're the only one who can help.
Neha: Alright what is it?
Ram: Neha... I am so happy... Priya just called me like an hour ago and she said that she wants to meet up to talk about Sid and Ayesha.
Neha: That's great I knew Priya would make the right decision. Fatty, this is great news why are you having mixed emotions?
Ram: If you let me finish than I can tell you.
Neha: (bit her tongue) Sorrry. Please continue
Ram: first promise you won't laugh...
Neha: okay I promise. (Laughter already building up inside of her)
Ram: Actually I am in a bit of dilemma with regards to which tie I should wear with my suit? I have an emerald green tie and a jade green tie. You're one of Priya's best friends right? Which one do you think that she will like more. (Neha muffles her chuckles with the palm of hand) Nehaaa? I don't have much time. I have to meet her at 6pm in my office and it's a mess. I have to go ahead of time and make it more homely, there are files scattered all over the place. (he paused) Wait?? Are you laughing? Neha you promised.
Neha: Sorry RAM. I was just laughing because I am happy for you (Ram sulks knowing that this wasn't the truth but he needs her help so he's careful not to tick her off) Okay (she settled down) First of all why are you meeting in your office? Are all the restaurants closed down? (she holds back an outburst of laughter, concealing it within herself)
Ram: It was Priya's suggestion. And I think she is right. Last week when we met in the restaurant, things got a little carried away. The last thing we need is the media secretly watching for us to slip up and given the current situation they might get what they want. At least I can go and arrange my office to make it look less intimidating and also set up some drinks and dinner for us there.
Neha: Not bad Fatty, you continue to impress me. Well all the credit goes to Priya for melting a rock. No...Sorry... that's an understatement a rock is to tiny right? More like a mountain... mount everest. Chale ga?
Ram: NEHA!!! This is not the time for fun and games. I need to know. Jade or Emerald?
Neha: (Smiles coyly at his silly request) well given the fact that the stone on her wedding ring is emerald, you should wear the emerald tie.
Ram: OMG Neha you are a genius. I was debating from the moment Priya called me, and you so simply and logically cleared the cloud of confusion floating over my head. Thank you so much.
Neha: You're welcome Dude. Now go and get ready fast it's 4:30. Best of luck!!
Ram: (states hurriedly) okay okay! Thanks. Bye!
Instead of getting dressed Priya focused all her attention gazing at the lamp positioned dead center on her night table. She sat on her bed clad in her old blue jeans and plain yellow salwar top. There was nothing interesting about this lamp and she had seen it several times before but today she gazed at it in a new light. Even this lamp belonged somewhere; it served a purpose and was by no means a burden like Priya. It was needed not wanted. "I really need to get a job." she thought. " I should swallow my pride and accept Mr. Metha's job proposal assuming that is offering it on the basis of my merits and not because of Mr. Kapoor. Karthik and Natasha have been stepping up to the plate in the last three months when I was unraveling the mess that was made of my life. (she paused taking a deep breath in through her nose and than immediately expelling it through her mouth.) Priya you need to get a job. If Ayesha and Sid do end up getting married I need to contribute financially and give Karthik and Natasha a break."
Ayesha: Di you are not ready yet???
Priya: (panicked by the sound of her shrieking voice) ummm... Ayesha I still have time.
Ayesha: (hopped on to bed next to Priya, resting her weight on her knees) Really di? (she handed Priya her phone clicking it on so the time flashes in front of her eyes)
Priya: OMG it's 5:00pm. (She jumped out of bed scrambling around her room frantically not sure what to do first. Suddenly her appearance became all the more important to her but the time was ticking away mercilessly.)
Ayesha: (walked up to Priya and hugged her tightly from behind wrapping her long arms loosely around her flustered sister's neck) Thank you di for doing this for me.
Priya: (turned around taking both her sister's hands in hers. The same hands, which she had held when Ayesha took her very first steps.) I am sorry. In the past week I hurt you so much. I should've done this a lot sooner.
Ayesha: (stated as if she was exhausted) Oh No Di please dont start crying now. Remember you used to say All's well that ends well. So forget all that previous stuff, I have forgotten it a long time ago. (she paused mischievously) But there is one thing that I want.
Ayesha: I want to pick out the outfit that you will wear tonight.
Priya: No Ayesha� look at the time. Besides who do I have to look good for?
Ayesha: (she thought, "jiju") It's not about looking good for anyone. It's about looking good for yourself. please Di please please please (she begged)
Priya: (fed up with her pleas, she finally gave in. Secretly she wanted to look good for Ram but overtly she would put on a charade) okay fine. But hurry up.
Ram sat in his limousine irritated with the length of the traffic jam in which he was sitting for approximately 30 minutes. He had purposely chosen this luxurious ride to pamper his angry wife by offering her a ride, as one of the many steps in molding her heart back to forgiveness. Even if she were to reject his decent and heart felt proposal he knew he had to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Unfortunately, this evening he would be late, stuck in traffic. "So much for first impressions." He thought.
If a miracle occurs and she reaches his office before him, she would be greeted by a cold, dark and empty building, which he had ensured was clear of employees for their special encounter. His office was a disaster, blanketed in an avalanche of files scattered in every direction. On any normal day this would be acceptable. But even this evening was not normal, their meeting, which she had initiated was not normal. Yet the only thing that remained constant was the excitement that radiated in his heart. The passion in his drive was fueled only by the anticipation of their meeting.
Driver: (slammed the door shut and peeped at him through the sunken privacy window) Sir... (Ram propped up properly in his seat, alert and ready to hear the update on the status of the jam from the most fearful driver) We will be stuck here for about an hour more. There was a huge accident and the police officers have blocked of the road leaving free only a small space from where even the average sized car cannot squeeze through.
Ram sighed and covered his face with the palms of his hand. His phone buzzed in his pocket, he quickly pulled it out glancing in a state of panic... New Text Priya: I will be there in 10 minutes... Gripping the phone tightly he slammed his hand on the door and hollered, "This damn traffic". Pulling open the latch he stepped out of the car and looked around for a solution.
Ram: (thinking with an elated state of mind) It's true what they say, if god throws you in a problem there is always a solution nearby. (he smiled ear to ear as a red ducatti zoomed in his direction. He stood in between the stationary cars blocking the path of the rider by immitating a stop sign with his left palm in the air.)
Ram: Stop please stop!!!
Ducatti Rider [DR]: (came to abrupt halt in front of Ram nearly running him over) Watch it dude. (Kicking down the kickstand he balanced himself off the motorcycle. He looked like he had just hit his teens standing up in front of Ram who stood intimidatingly tall in comparison.) Why have you blocked my way? (He squeaked trying his best to appear confident)
Ram: Listen brother I really need your help (ram's eyes widening bilaterally to indicate the desperation in his plea) Let me be frank in my request. (he cleared his throat and swallowed) Can I borrow your motorcycle..?
DR: (appalled) What??? No way Dude. This is the love of my life...
Ram: I know...look...(he stepped up to the rider scaring him unintentionally) My name is Ram Kapoor... You can rest assured that if anything happens to your love I will thoroughly compensate. But right now your love is the only option for me to get to my love on time. (Ram took out his personal card and offered it to the rider)
DR: (took his card) Okay man. But this is not your average motorcycle it's a ducatti. The thing runs like a beast and only experienced people can tame it when they ride.
Ram: don't worry I have riden a few in my days... My younger brother is a fan of ducatti so I understand it's performance very well.
DR: (states sadly looking at his ride) Alright than just please be careful.
Ram: trust me I will. You can get into my limo and my driver will take you to Kapoor Industries where your ducatti will be safely parked. Deal? (he put his left hand forward inviting a shake)
DR: Okay deal (he shook Ram's hand apparently giving away his most prized possesion)
Ram narrated the deal to his driver instructing him to bring Sumit, the owner of the ducatti, to Kapoor Industries with him once the traffic jam clears. His heart did cartwheels in excitement of hearing the ducatti engine roar as he revved it a couple of time before he zoomed it past Sumit who watched biting his fist, unsure of his decision.
Natasha leaned on her cream shaded Mercedes Benz with her arms folded loosely across her chest gazing forward with much concentration. She watched Priya pacing back and forth in front of her, checking her watch after each round and shaking her head in dissatisfaction.
Priya: Natasha your brother is so careless, taking his sweet time to come.
Natasha: (Priya knew Ram too well, he would never be late. Her concerned pacing for Ram was evidently her love disguised as her frustration of time wasted.) Priya bhabhi relax... It has only been 3 minutes since our arrival here. I am sure he is right around the corner, don't worry nothing has happened to bhai.
Priya stilled her movements thinking, "Is it that obvious that I am worried? I better tone it down. If Natasha can see my concern for Mr. Kapoor than Mr. Kapoor might be able to notice it as well and I don't want that to happen..." She walked next to Natasha and smiled meekly copying her stance, she glanced in the direction that Ram might be coming from and thought worriedly, "But what is taking Mr. Kapoor so long? He is never late. In fact he is always lecturing me for being late. And look at him now, he's late but he still does not have the decency to text." Watching Natasha from the corner of her eyes, she discretely checked her phone to her side for any new messages.
He saw Priya from a distance as soon as he made the turn around the corner. Speeding up with the rush of being next to her, he revved loudly, forcing her to look up annoyingly, unable to see Ram's face behind the tinted visor of the helmet.
Priya: Some people are so annoying... (Natasha nodded in approval, equally displeased with the arrogance of the incoming motorcyclist.)
Ram swerved to the side of the road parking in the small space right in front of Natasha's Benz, the one he bought her as a wedding gift. Shutting off the engine he glanced back at them with his helmet intact. "sorry there was a lot of traffic."
Natasha and Priya looked at each other. Surely this person has mistaken them for someone else. But before they could clear his doubt Ram pulled of his helmet presenting himself.
Natasha: (shocked yet happy) Bhai??
Ram nodded slightly acknowledging her before his eyes unconsciously glared Priya from top to bottom. She enhanced the beauty of the emerald green and silver Saree that was wrapped neatly around her, pronouncing her vivacious figure and defining it seductively in his mind. Suddenly he felt like the temperature just doubled as if a heatwave instantly blanketed Mumbai. He was forced to loosen his tie fractionally making her eyes follow in wonder. It was unplanned, but they matched perfectly. This colour on him was beautifully unfamiliar to her eyes, which met his eyes, nervously the next second
"He has never worn a green tie before, could it be possible that he wore it today for me?"
"Wow, she looks amazing. Could it be that she wore this saree for me this evening." He gulped nervously at the thought.
Natasha looked at Priya and than at Ram before she looked up at the sky, "God these two are clearly meant for each other. Please show us a miracle so that these two can become one again. Please god please."
She cleared her throat loudly making them look in her direction. She stuttered, "O-okay well I guess I will be leaving now."
Ram: Okay Natasha Bye.
Priya: (Stated pushing aside the nervousness she felt in his presence and at the thought that now she is going to be alone with him again) Thanks Natasha, I will call you when I am finished here.