Team: The Spellbinders
Here are the links to the previous chapters
Darius Daruwala walked into the 10,000 square foot Banquet Hall of the Trident at Nariman Point. Camera bulbs flashed as he walked in and the sea of people parted for him. His security guards encircled him, but he did not notice the effect he had on the rest of humanity, and why not? He was Darius Daruwala, THE Darius Daruwala. And they were all gathered in this banquet hall for the launch of Youth TV or Y TV as he wanted everyone to call it, the brand new channel of Darius Daruwala Television Network, DDTN. He glanced around to ensure that celebrities, media personalities and even the politicians that he had invited had cancelled their other engagements just to be there. They had.
Tall, slim & dashing, at the age of 48, DD as he was fondly called didn’t look a year over 30. His over priced tailored 3 piece suit, his well gelled straight hair with not a strand out of place all added to the look & aura of the man that was Darius Daruwaala. The shroud of mystery that seemed to surround him just added to his charisma. His success meant that he always walked the talk & did it in style!
He strolled slowly through the enormous hall of the Trident where just a while ago the guest of honor, the Minister for Information and Broadcasting had launched Y TV. Everyone seemed to want to be with him. Some shook his hand, some exchanged pleasantries and some said things which he did not bother to even listen. He always had that million dollar smile plastered on his face.
He scanned the crowd through the orange hue emanating from the enormous overhanging chandeliers, and spotted the woman he was looking for, the woman whom he expected to be present that day. Draped in a green chiffon saree with a sleeveless blouse and her trademark stilettos , Tara and her out of place husband whose name he could never remember were seated at a table. Tara was engaged in a conversation with a lady who looked like a photographer he found vaguely familiar and her husband looked detached, bored, as he sipped his scotch on the rocks. It had been long since he had spoken to her. Too long he thought as memories of the past came flooding back to him. The thought of her soft and supple skin brushing his hands seemed to light up a fire in his heart as well as his loins.
He was lost in memories when she approached him. He smiled. She blushed. He knew what his smile had done to her the last time. Up close Tara looked even more tantalizing. “Great job DD, another feather in your cap” she said. Her lips seemed more interesting the words that were uttered through them. He brushed her navel through the exposed part of her saree with his hand making it all look accidental. She shut her eyes and took a deep breath. “You came for me, didn’t you?” He asked without trying to hide his arrogance. “I came because I am from the media, DD” she said betraying no emotion at all. From the corner of his eyes he could see Shekhar’s gaze fixed on them. He knew exactly what was going on in Shekhar’s mind. And he enjoyed the fact that Shekhar was envious seeing his wife with him. He place a hand on the small of her back, touching her exposed skin above the skirt of her sari & steered her to the bar counter for a drink. She seemed to feel blessed just to be in his company. DD then casually placed his hand over her shoulder and watched Shekhar for his reaction. Shekhar immediately rose from his chair and walked straight to them adjusting his thin rimmed spectacles as if they were falling off due to the shiver his anger produced. He came upto Tara and said “Lets go, its late” She looked at him & replied in a calm tone “I need to discuss some business matters Shekhar, Ill join you later.” Shekhar was now both angry and insulted. He finished off his glass in one gulp and left the venue in rage. “Looks like he’s gonna kill someone tonight” laughed DD. Tara looked into the distance and did not react.
At exactly 11:33 PM DD made a call on his cellphone and said “Yeah meet me in the parking lot, Car Number MH 4135 ” He smiled. Some would have called it an evil grin.
Shekhar absently tugged on his French beard. Some called it a nervous habit. Others said that it meant he was in deep thought. He had been at his desk since the past 2 hours. The keyboard of his laptop seemed to mock at him. His unfinished book didn’t have a single new word added today. His mind kept going back to last night. He could still see the sparkle in Tara’s eyes while she spoke to DD, the easy way their steps fell into synchronicity as they walked to the bar, the shiver with excitement when DD placed his hands on her shoulder. He remembered that sparkle. It was the same sparkle that shone in Tara’s eyes during their college days, about 13 years ago.
He saw her enter the college campus. The hazel eyes, perfect cheek bones, long hair cascading over her milky white shoulders which dazzled through her sleeveless top. And her high heels, yes those long pointy heels prevented every guy in her college from approaching her lest she ram those weapons on one of them. She was beautiful and she knew it. She was short tempered, arrogant and everyone else knew it. Shekhar was in love with her but he was sure that she didn’t even know he existed. As if being 4 years her senior was not enough, him being an introvert, a writer didn’t help either. Her penchant for adventure and danger was known to all. Everyday he saw her hop onto a bike after college with a stranger from out of campus. So to Shekhar, his own love story seemed to be a clichéd bollywood movie script.
That was 13 years ago. What transpired later actually seemed to Shekhar like a bollywood movie. The stranger dumps the heroine and Shekhar was there at the right place and at the right time to pick up the pieces . Some called him her “rebound” guy. The rebound had lasted 11 years of marriage and a child but not the emotions. That sparkle in her eyes had disappeared until he saw it again when she spoke to Darius last night.
He saw Tara entering the living room. The clock on the table showed 12:32 PM. She had not come home last night and he was too angry to call her and ask about her whereabouts.
Tara entered his room. “Where the hell were you all night?” he yelled. “There was an incident last night after the party, I had to cover a story” she said looking tired. “And was that news story about you sleeping with someone?” He screamed.
“A LITTLE GIRL WAS MURDERED LAST NIGHT AT THE TRIDENT, YOU LUNATIC, ITS ALL OVER THE NEWS THIS MORNING and I COVERED IT” She burst out no longer being able to control herself.
Both of them were too caught up in their misunderstanding to notice little Roohi who was standing in her night clothes at her bed room door listening to them.
Click to read Chapter 4 -The Flower That Never Bloomed by Kunal Borah
To know more about all the Authors of this story & for suggestions , Join us here