Part 3Ram: (interrupted angrily). The only person I was ever unfair too was Priya.. I bent backwards for my family. After Papa passed away I took over this business and that became my life. Vikram, I am 40 years old and when I look back at my life I have no regrets.. You know these things don't phase me... It's my duty to work for my family and I will still provide for them today. But I can't get Priya out of my mind and I don't want to try. And for once I am thinking about myself and putting Priya above my family, a status that she deserves. I want Priya back!! Is that too much to ask for??
Vikram: yes it is! (ram scrunched his eyebrows confused and appalled with the answer he received from his best friend, who was supposed to be supporting him). Why are you looking at me like that for? hmm? What did you expect me to say that yeah you deserve Priya? After all that you have done to her and her family do you really truly believe that you "deserve" her? (ram stood stunned at his thought provoking words) You know what Ram, even your heart does not believe that you deserve Priya and that is why you made no attempt at getting her back in these past 3 months. Quite frankly, now it's too late. Next month your divorce will be finalized and than everything will be over. If you felt that you deserved her than you would not have been sitting around in the dying seconds simply watching the soul leave your lifeless relationship. You would have been resuscitating it with your countless attempts. So suck it up now and move on and let Priya move on to someone that she deserves, someone who will actually love her and not pretend to love her.
The emotion displayed on Ram's face through his expression conveyed a mix between shock and anger. He did not understand what was more frustrating for him, the fact that his friend was rubbing salt in his wounds or the fact that he gashed his own flesh some time back, ripping open a wound with his own bare hands and turning his love into a victim of suspicion. However, he quickly realized that what irked him the most was the bitter truth in Vikram's words, he really did not deserve Priya and Priya deserved someone better than him. But the thought of life without her after their divorce was finalized made him short of breath, triggering a sick sensation in his stomach and a new feeling of weakness in his knees. He slumped down lethargically on his authentic leather chair, resting his bent elbows on the hard wooden desk and his forehead on the mesh of his intertwined fingers.
Ram: (asked in a soft tone that projected a perfect, bold blend of disgust and anguish) are you my friend or my enemy?
Vikram had thought that in the 10 years of their deep friendship he knew Ram inside out. But these past few months he felt like Ram was a new person, someone who he did not recognize. The Ram he knew was more concerned about money because money meant luxury for his family, a goal that he actively strived towards for the greater portion of his life. But suddenly, his family and money came second to his love for Priya, an emotion that he mocked and a woman that he despised. The pain was audible in the tone of his voice and clearly visible in his subtle demeanor, a pain that even the most skilled actor could not portray without projecting a pin drop of fabrication. Vikram slowly slouched down on the chair placed on the opposite side of desk, while continually staring at the defenseless man sitting in front of him. This was an avatar that Ram rarely displayed, instead he would hop on one foot if he had too with hopes that one day he would be able to run again.
Vikram: (the soft tone of his voice was dipped in sympathy before it formed into words for Ram to comprehend) Dekh Ram, only a true friend will tell you an honest answer that you don't want to hear�Just leave her Ram, there are many fish in the sea you just have to � (interrupted by an enraged Ram who stuck up his left palm signaling an immediate halt to Vikram's words)
Ram: (angrily) What the hell are you talking about? Before I forget that you are my friend, you better stop telling me to move on. I LOVE PRIYA� DO YOU HEAR ME?? I LOVE HER!!
Vikram: (responds equally enraged) You love her?? Huh??? Do you even know what love means? Aacha chal theek hain, let's accept for a minute that you actually love Priya. Just explain one thing to me though. Kyun pyaar ke naatak kiya uski saath??
Ram: BECAUSE I WAS A DAMN FOOL!!! (he burst out loud) I was blinded by rage and driven by revenge. But kissi ne sahi kaha tha, when you seek revenge dig two graves, one for the person who you wish to avenge and one for yourself. But Vikram in my case, it's different, I dug three graves, one for Priya, one for myself and the other for my unborn child. (Vikram was about to interrupt, sensing Ram's instability as he spoke. But Ram refused the aid instead he stated) Please Vikram, bol ne doh mujhe. If you are going to judge me than atleast do so after you know all the facts.
Vikram: but Ram�
Ram: Nahi Vikram� (He forced a gulp down his throat, which was choked with despair, before he let out a deep sigh with hopes to alleviate the burning in his heart that the thought of his enraged actions of the past automatically ignited. The gods in the heavens above rested on glimmering stars in their cloudy carriages to witness a confession that was long overdue)� I met Priya in Singapore; we were both at the same hotel. She was there for her political conference against big enterprises that were capitalizing on the vulnerability of their employees and I was there for a business conference enhancing strategies to monopolize on these very same vulnerabilities that drive profit. From the moment that I laid eyes on her in the lounge of the hotel, I knew that she was the same Priya Sharma who had been working round the clock to ruin the image of industries like mine. She had never met me before, and I have never done public interviews before for her to recognize who I was. But I had seen her many times through this very window (points to the window in his office) protesting with her group outside my company. The resentment that I had towards her rushed to my head and the alcohol that I had consumed got the better of my judgment. I went up to her and we casually started talking. I told her my name was Ram and began praising her initiative. The waiter brought several rounds of drinks to us, she told me that she did not drink alcohol. So I excused myself to the restroom and took that opportunity to tip the waiter a substantial amount of money on the condition that he mix some booze in her drink. I wanted to ruin her image before she could ruin mine and so I watched as she got drunk slowly and before we both knew it she was mentally gone. We went back to my room, just as planned, she was very comfortable with me and I felt a strange feeling of joy in her presence. On the way to my room I felt guilt building up at the pit of my stomach, but my rage was enough to subside it. (he paused) Vikram� whatever happened that night was not supposed to happen. Yes, I took her to my room, taking advantage of her drunken state. But I was never going to actually sleep with her; I just wanted the media to see her leaving my room in the morning. This way she would never be able to say a word against the work of my life, Kapoor industries. And if she did, what value would her words hold after she was seen leaving my room early in the morning?
We sat in the room talking for hours, and she got me to open up about my deepest secrets. How dad had a relationship with another woman. How mom, Sid, Natasha and I were kicked out of the Kapoor Mansion and how that woman for whom dad left mom ended up leaving him after sucking all the money out of him. My mom took my dad back but by than Kapoor Industries was nothing more than just an empty building. I had just graduated from college at that time and had made it my goal to breath life into my dad's company. Although I hated him for betraying us at a time that we all needed him the most, I had to do this for Mom, I had to get her back into the Kapoor Mansion where she belonged. My dad tried his level best to make a place back into everyone's heart and he succeeded. I never got a chance to tell him that I forgave him because the day that I was returning home to share good news to my family about a deal that I had managed to get for Kapoor industries that guaranteed success, I came home to the bad news that he had passed away.
Vikram: Ram? You never told me this� We have known each other for 10 years and although I knew that Kapoor Industries was your baby, I never knew the reason why you held this company so close to your heart.
Ram: It's the only way that I can hold on to my dad, It's the only way that I can keep him alive and it's the only way that I can show him that I forgave him. (he swallows and shuts his eyes for a split second, praying that he does not become weak, he has to tell the story and so after inhaling deeply he continues) I only knew Priya for three hours but that night I cried in her lap and for once I felt satisfied, like a boulder had just been lifted off my shoulders, I was free of all my sorrows. Her closeness, her warmth, the sense of security that she effortlessly facilitated made my night. We got closer but I don't remember how it happened, all I know is that when we woke up in the morning in each other's arms, neither one of us had an explanation. I cursed myself after, for what I did next�
"Hold on a second" I yelped pushing the pillow hurled towards me to the side with one hand, while securing another pillow over my groin.
"How dare you?" she screamed between sobs and picked up a piece of clothing off the bed to throw at me. Her gaze caught a glimpse of what she was about to throw and she quickly put it behind her back while firmly grasping the end of the duvet, which was wrapped around her naked body.
"Have you ever heard the expression, it takes two hands to clap? How the hell can you blame this on me, I'm just as confused as you are." My heart knew that this was the half-baked truth but my mind knew that this was not the right time to reveal that I had gotten her drunk and brought her to my room. Besides, I honestly did not understand how we ended up in this mess; I had no intention of actually sleeping with her, so how can I comprehend what had transpired between us last night?
"What are you trying to say, that we entered this (she waved her hand in a small circle over the bed)� this� equally? I am not that kind of a girl."
I mumbled, "Well you're in my room so�" I bit my tongue before I said anything further.
"What did you say?" she glared at me�
"Nothing, just�" she interrupted before I could finish. I guess it's good, because I was going to tell her to calm down but these two simple words could have enraged her even more.
"I am going to the washroom to change and than I am gone. Hopefully by then you can care to explain how this happened."
Just as she said that, I remembered something�Her continuous streams of tears warmed my frozen heart and awakened a hint of pity that was buried deep within my soul.
I protested, "WaIT!" She halted her steps and turned around to face me slowly. I saw her tighten her grip on the duvet, fearing what might follow. "You can't leave" I said as I inched towards her which made her involuntarily creep backwards.. Realizing my boundaries I stopped moving and began speaking instead, "There is going to be media packed outside my room and if you are seen leaving than..." I didn't have to complete my sentence the shocked expression on her face told me that she got my message loud and clear. She looked around the room for an escape, as if it was hidden in the creases of each corner, while patting dry a hint of newly formed perspiration above her lips with the palms of her hand.
I continued, "Listen Priya... Just relax..."
"Relax???I don't know who you are and how I ended up here. I know what we did but... Who the hell are you, some kind of celebrity? Why the hell do you have media outside your room? "
"Priya I am Ram... Ram Kapoor" Her jaw dropped and her eyes widened at the sound of my full name. "We met in the lounge and i introduced myself to you, so why are you shocked?" I lied once again freely, since the walls of the room was the only witness to my schemes� I never told her that I was Ram Kapoor; THE RAM KAPOOR who's company she was actively protesting against.Ram: I ended up getting dressed and than leaving the room first so I could distract the media. Vikram you know that I have always been careful in hiding my identity from the media in fear of becoming a gold digger magnet but I rejected this belief to protect her image that day, which I had initially set out of destroy. As soon as I set my foot out the door, they jumped on me like hounds with camera's flashing desperately in my face, trying to be the first media channel to get an exclusive, never before seen picture of Ram Kapoor, the sole owner of the multibillion dollar Kapoor Industries. When I got back to my room that evening, she was gone. It's strange because I knew that she wouldn't be there when I got back but still my eyes searched for her. And my eyes pined to see her in my presence for two weeks when I got back to Mumbai.. I never saw her again but I continued to look out the window every time I heard an angry mob of protesters lining up in front of the company� But as fate would have it, she wasn't amongst them. A month passed by in this passive search, which ended on that dreadful day when I stopped yearning for her and once again, entered the vicious cycle of hate.