“You just can’t seem to stop talking about him.” Priyanka said
“Yes Pree, he is just too magnetic.” Selly replied.
It was a nice lazy Sunday evening with cool breeze from west giving the city of Ahmedabad a feeling being a pleasant place to be in. Selly and her room mate decided to enjoy the beauty of the evening by having a cup of tea in their balcony.
This was the same day Selly had done an interview with Anubhav. She was so taken over by him that she couldn’t just stop talking about him. His simplicity, his love for books and gadgets, those little things that he did. So much was her banter about her interview that her roommate Priyanka was literally bored of it.
“Well take care not to fall in love with him. These corporate guys can never be trusted.” Priyanka continued.
“Oh common Pree, I don’t think I am in love with him. It’s just that I am way too impressed. Most of the people I’ve interviewed have a flashy lifestyle. Want to flaunt something or the other. But this guy is different. He prefers to keep things to himself. He is simple, decent, down-to-earth and extremely honest. I think my respect has grown for him since the interview.” Selly said trying to conceal her feelings but in vain though.
Priyanka knew her roommate and her friend too well to gauge the fact that Selly indeed had fallen in love with Anubhav. Selly had the men all over falling for her and she had never even given a second thought about most of them. This was the only time when Selly was talking intently about someone. However, she chooses to keep her knowledge to herself.
Just then Selly’s cell phone rang. It was Richa, InforGleam’s PR head.
Richa: “Hi Selly, sorry to bother you on a Sunday. I just wanted to invite you.”
Selly: “Oh that’s no problem Richa. It’s always a privilege to receive your invitation. BTW, even I have something exciting to share with you.”
Richa: “Oh really, what is it.”
Selly: “Well, I did a cover story interview with Anubhav Bindra today. He is appearing on our magazine’s cover in the next edition.”
Richa: “Not bad Selly, getting AB for an interview is in itself a big deal and the fact that he agreed. God must be very pleased with you. I’ll look forward to your next edition now. BTW I called you invite you for our Party tomorrow evening 7:00 pm at the Taj Ummed. Please be there to cover the entire party it’s a big event for us.”
Selly: “Sure Richa, I’ll be there.” As she disconnected the phone. “Another chance to meet him.” She thought.
At the right place, at the right time Selly and Kedar the photographer of the magazine started to cover the party. Taking bytes from guests, clicking snaps of each one of them as they arrived. They had the orders to cover the maximum of the party and they were just doing that.
The Ambience was jut like it would have suited the Royal lineage that Sanjay and Bhumi had. There were perfume sprays, flowered entrance, white coated waiters, finest blends of scotch, and the most exquisite cuisines. It wasn’t just first class it was Royal class.
“Hi, Selly” came a voice from behind as she sipped her welcome drink. She turned around
“Hi, Richa, it’s so nice to see you. You look gorgeous.” Selly said sweetly greeting Richa with a peck on either cheek.
“Oh thanks, so howz the party.” Richa asked.
“It’s just……Royal class.” Selly replied struggling to find superlatives.
Their conversation was interrupted by a voice on the microphone. It was of Anubhav Bindra. Selly switched on her Dictaphone to record what he said.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, lend me your ears. Today is a great day for us. “
Listening to Anubhav was so magnetic that Selly almost forgot the fact that she was in a public place. She felt as if she was at some alone uninhabited place and Anubhav’s voice her only guiding light. The clamor of applause broke her thoughts.
It was official Sanjay Solanki and Mark Rupertson from NBC signed their respective contracts and exchanged them. They shook hands and struck a pose for the swarms of photographers who just couldn’t take their hands away from the click button.
After the contract signing ceremony there were rounds of cocktail and it was Sanjay himself raised the toast signaling the party to begin. The DJ played the latest music the dancers did the jig like there was no tomorrow. Wines flowed, and Mr. Rupertson could just hide his glee at the hospitality.
Selly was done with her interviewing and picked up a glass of wine. She saw Anubhav; she couldn’t resist the strong desire to talk to him. She started moving towards him but was suddenly interrupted by Sanjay Solanki.
“Hey Selly, so nice to see you here.” Sanjay came and greeted her. “I want you to meet a couple of people.” He took her arm and led her towards Bhumi and the other guests. “Selly, this is my Wife Bhumika and He’s our CEO Anubhav Bindra – the genius as we all call him.”
“It’s so nice to meet you Mrs. Solanki.” Selly greeted Bhumi with a Peck on either cheek.
“Same here Selly, please call me Bhumi.” Bhumi replied sweetly.
Selly turned to Sanjay and said.
“And as far as your CEO is concerned. I’ve met him before; I just did a cover story interview on him yesterday.”
“Oh that's gr8…..so AB you’ve started to take my variety advice rather seriously.” Sanjay laughed clearly he was surpried as well as happy for his friend.
“Well it’s just that I met her by the roadside the other day and…..” Anubhav started to explain
“Oh come on AB, it’ good to be social you need not explain everything you do to your Boss, and Sanju can you for once stop taking a dig at him.” Bhumi said with concern for Anubhav clearly in her voice.
“OK OK Boss no more of leg pulling.” Sanjay said in a voice of mock apology.
“Well Sanju, the Boss is always right. So Bhumi agreed I will be more social from now on.” AB said.
All of them burst into laughter. The party continued to flow in its elements. Mr. Rupertson was clearly stumped with the hospitality that he received. The party ended at 2:30 am past midnight and Selly as usual was waiting for some transportation to reach back home when Anubhav’s accent stopped in front of her.
“What on earth are you doing here at this ungodly hour?” Anubhav asked concernedly.
“Just hoping to get some transportation back home.” Selly replied with helplessness apparent in her voice.
“Come on get in, you should have informed Richa earlier and we could have arranged for something.” AB said rebuking her.
“That’s ok Mr. Bindra I am used to late hours, it’ a part of my profession.” Said replied.
Selly sat inside the car and Anubhav drove on. There were a few silent moments in the car. No one said a word till they reached Subash Bridge. Selly tried hard to conceal her feelings but finally her heart won the battle.
“Mr. Bindra…” she started.
“Anubhav or AB.” Anubhav corrected.
“Ok Anubhav, I wanted to tell you something. “ Selly said
“Go on.” Anubhav replied without looking at her.
“You can call it feminine instincts or a plain banter, but after our interview yesterday and listening to your speech today. I always get a repeated intuition about one thing.” Selly said.
“I don’t think I am getting you.” AB said seeming interested.
“Well I feel that there is some load of energy within you which is waiting to burst. You don’t seem to be satisfied with what you are currently and you want to break free. You want to do something different; something ground breaking, something…….” She would have continued but a strong sound of the car breaking stopped her.
Anubhav just kept looking in her eyes with a look that would pierce the soul. It didn’t take a behavioral expert to gauge the fact that Selly’s banter had touched AB’s raw painful nerve.
“I I am sorry if I’ve hurt you but …..” she said her voice faltering not being able to withstand AB’s stare she lowered her eyes.
“You are right Selly” he said silently. His face expressionless “if only I could explain it to you.” He said regaining his composure driving on. No word was spoken in the car till they reached Selly residence.
“I don’t know if I’d be saying this but would you mind in having a cup of coffee.” Selly said getting down the car.
“Well it’s too late in the night for coffee.” AB said in a tone wanting to avoid further conversation.
“Sir, you’ve given me lift twice now please allow me to return the favor. Maybe a coffee might just be the best thing to help you to pour you heart out.” Selly persisted.
“Well if you insist.” AB said and parked his car. Both of them went to their apartment on the 8th floor.
“So you stay alone.” AB said looking around her apartment inquisitively as he seated himself.
“I stay here with my room mate who is an airhostess. She had an overnight international flight today and won’t be back till day after.” Selly replied from the kitchen as she started preparing coffee.
Anubhav sat there glancing a few magazines as Selly prepared coffee for both of them.
“So now tell me what’s been bothering you.” Selly asked as she entered the living room with a tray carrying two cups of coffee.
“I must say you have fantastic apartment. Can you show me around?” Anubhav asked as if he didn’t hear the question.
“Yeah come along.” Selly said.
“So now can I have my answer?” Selly asked again.
“That’s a nice wind chrime that you have.” AB said avoiding the question.
“It Is, what about my question, I want an answer.” Selly said impatiently.
“Quite a breezy place is this apartment.” AB continued further.
“AB, for God’s sake will you please stop avoiding me and answer my question” Selly yelled.
“Why on earth are you so keen on it? Don’t you see that I don’t want to answer…?” AB yelled back.
“Why?” Selly asked again raising her voice with tears in developing in her eyes.
“And why should I tell you?” Anubhav asked getting irritated…
“Cos….Cos I LOVE YOU AB……….” Selly began to sob “and I can’t see you in the distress that you are in right now. You have forgotten how to smile, how to be happy and I want you to be happy. I want to be happy with you.” Selly sobbed as she hid her face within her palms and sat on the sofa.
“You don’t know me enough to love me.” AB said as he left.
The very next moment there was silence in the room and AB’s car starting could be heard in the silence of the night and Selly collapsed crying on her sofa.
3 weeks ago