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~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

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~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by lashy on 2014-04-29, 14:47


~*FF Not just a Passionate Affair*~
A GLIMPSE into parts 1 - 12 


Following a brief exchange of formal smiles with them, Jodha finally met eyes with him on close quarters - the 'I-pad man' as she'd already nicknamed him. Well, he deserved no better for having sided with Shareef and Anand in demeaning her and her friends!
'Fair, rich, well-groomed, arrogant and spoilt' she'd surmised all of him within a second.
Jalal observed her watch him. If eyes could kill, he realized he'd have been dead and buried by now. However, little did she know that he loved a fight just as much. Slipping his favourite glasses off , he returned the favour and gazed back - mischief prevailing his eyes!
Armed with an eye-lock that'd obviously gone on for a few moments longer than needed, Jalal then followed it up by taking a step forth and putting his hand out for her to shake 'Hi Jodha...we're doing our 2nd year MBA here...my name is Jalal...if you need any help around campus you can approach us...'
'The gall!' she thought to herself
Eventually snapping out of her quiet stupor, she returned his gesture with a sarcastic smile 'THAT I don't know about...but, I surely know who NOT to approach if I need any help around campus!'
********


She'd messed with the wrong kind - the kind that'd have no qualms SCREWING UP her moment - the kind that knew enough 'important' people to be able to do so! For him, watching her agape expressions was enough to make it all worthwhile! So what if she looked positively captivating in that figure-hugging navy Patiala suit - he wasn't one to let her get away with it! With his bruised vanity finally laid to rest, Jalal concluded their ongoing eye-battles with a mischievous wink before leaving the team to resume his place in the crowd. That instant Jodha'd been force-fed a lesson the hard way - 'popularity' 'ego' and 'devilish vices' were not very favourable traits to discover in an opponent!

********


Index


Parts 1 - 9
Page 1 


Parts  10 - 12
Page 2
http://dhwani.mytvsoapforum.com/t43212p10-ff-not-just-a-passionate-affair-part-10-updated-11th-june


Parts (To follow)


Last edited by lashy on 2014-06-11, 12:38; edited 15 times in total

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by lashy on 2014-04-29, 14:48

9th september 2013
Part 1   

***UNIVERSITY GROUNDS***
'Here take this..take it Meera...'
The nervous young lady stared at the large colourful dupatta in her friend's hand for a second and decided to accept the gesture from her quick-thinking pal thereafter. Walking around in a DRENCHED white blouse during her first week at campus was as far from ideal as could be.
Tying the dupatta in the form of a scarf to preserve her modesty, Meera swiftly returned her attention to the scene of the face-off between her friend and the two brutes.

Having deliberately bumped into the timid lady with an open bottle of Aquafina the two men flashed her a lop-sided smile before moving on to the more-daring one - the one who was now glaring at them. Deriving perverse pleasure from their act and the reactions it'd caused, the taller of the two provoked the seemingly dauntless hazel-eyed beauty with a grin 'Now that we know your friend is Meera...why don't you tell us who you are?'
He couldn't help but give her a more thorough survey her as he did so - dressed in a snug-fit maroon salwar, the manner in which her waist-length black hair cascaded all the way from her shoulders to her curvy hips looked delectably sensuous!

She snapped her fingers to bring an abrupt stop to their evident ogling 'Why? What is it to you?' - her voice was unfaltering and her stares unbroken!
Fresher-Senior clashes were an accepted norm during 'under-graduation', but to come across this form of ragging in a Private post-graduate 'B-school' campus seemed too petty! Besides, bullies deserved no respect and she had no qualms depicting her stance!
Unbeknown to her, the confrontation was beginning to draw the attention of quite a few students around them. After all, something as unusual as an altercation between the two petite ladies with two seniors twice their size seemed to justify giving their first classes of the day a miss!

Like the remaining onlookers, it was when her boisterous group was making their way to the main University buildings that morning that Renu'd caught first sight of the amassed crowds around the front gardens. Intrigued to know what was going on, she tried peeking through the gaps in the crowds while walking past. Just then, she managed to get a clearer view of the spectacle and brought her pace to a swift halt. Nudging her best-friend with a half-giggle, she indicated in the direction of the lawn 'Isn't that Shareef and Anand? What are those two up to now?'
Having been thoroughly engrossed in sync-ing the mp3 in his I-phone all the way from the college car park to the grounds, he'd remained unperturbed by the brewing commotion in the front gardens - that is, till his friend had drawn his attention to it. Slipping the head-phones off his ears thereafter, the young man finally drew away from the screen of his Iphone to watch the commotion that was taking place a slight distance away.
*****
'Her name is Jodha Singh...now can you please let us go...we're late for our first class, as it is' the exasperated Meera'd nearly pleaded there - hoping this would bring the entire drama to an end. She'd had enough! On one hand; the two rogues were clearly in no mood to let go -and on the other hand, her friend seemed to be sticking to her anti-bullying resolute just as stubbornly too.
'Hey Shareef' the stouter man with the gruff beard quipped 'What sort of a strange name is Jodha?'
'Bah! Doesn't really suit her, does it?' the taller one agreed. He then dropped his voice to an audible whisper so that none else could hear him 'Now something like Sheila...Munni...Chameli would be more apt for you...spicy and zesty too!'
'Its a RAJPUT name' she finally spoke up - ensuring she was loud enough to be heard by at least half the crowd surrounding them 'Jodha is a Rajput name that means fearless! And trust me, my name suits me far more than 'Shareef' suits you!'
Meera could watch the creases on their brows deepening into furious frowns. Wasting no time, the gentle lady instantly slipped her hand around Jodha's elbow and begun dragging her away from the area 'Let's go before the lecturers get here Jo...we don't want to spoil our impressions the very first week...come on now'
*****
His interest had been piqued now. Eventually removing the slick cooling glasses that sat on the bridge of his nose so long, he continued looking ahead - to get a better look of her before she left!
'Wow! She's got a lot of guts for a fresher' Abdul remarked aloud - echoing the thoughts of his group who'd silently observed the events so long.
'And she's really cute too!' Salim joined in - letting out a hushed wolf-whistle as he did so. Following the comments, the male-dominated group broke out into a bout of raucous laughter - with no intention of toning down their typical boyish frolic till Renu interrupted them with a dismissive smile 'That's enough guys...come on...let's try to make it in time for Corporate Finance class! Come on... Jalal!'
Stylishly folding his Ray ban, the handsome young man slipped the glasses into his pocket. He couldn't help but let out a soft smirk 'Jodha? Fearless?'

***UNIVERSITY LIBRARY***

'I think the library that Professor Shantaram told us about is that way...' she suggested to her two friends - pointing in the direction of a mid-sized building tucked away at the very end of the campus. Scanning the serene green vista of their new university as they sped along, Jodha let out a pleasant sigh as a sudden gust of wind blew past her face. That breezy September evening was definitely a welcome respite from the unexpected heat-wave that'd just hit Hyderabad.
The spirited 22 year old was evidently enjoying it all and why not? Everything seemed to be working in her favour of late. While the lectures and the facilities had exceeded her expectations, she'd also managed to find the company of new-found friends - friends, who had similar backgrounds and interests as hers. After all, there were not many who shared a modest upbringing like that of hers in that affluent campus. In fact for a long while she'd been unsure if her aspirations of pursuing an MBA program in the prestigious Shri Rama Krishna Institute of Business would be economically viable for her family at all.
However, being the youngest and being the only girl amongst 4 siblings DID have its advantages too. Her brothers had eventually pulled out all the stops they could to fulfil her wishes of enrolling in the reputable yet expensive two year program. This in turn had only made Jodha all the more determined to make it through and make it well!
Therefore, while she'd briefly slowed her pace to savour the sensation of the chilly air en route the library, she once again thanked her stars and her family for letting her long-standing aspirations take shape in a college of her choice.


'Tip tip barsaa paani...Paani ne aag lagaayi'


Her brief reverie was brought to a rather unpleasant halt by the echoes of the discordant lewd lines coming from behind. Instinctively, the three ladies turned around at once - spotting the all-too-familiar faces of the two miscreants flashing them absurd grins.
'Here we go again!' she hissed
'So, how did you like our song? It was a dedication to the incident this morning...you know...the shower of water...the drenched dress...'
Following a few moments of horrified silence, Jodha came back with a none-too-sweet reply 'Tuneless and cringe-worthy - just, as expected...so please spare us the agony and never sing again!'
'FINE!' he was obviously irked by her attitude now.

Raising his voice a notch, the crude man turned his attention to the group of students stepping out of the library 'Hey...does anyone have a music player or Ipad that I can play some tunes on?' He was not going to let this impudent fresher get away with it yet again 'Anyone? I need the original tune for TIP TIP BARSAA PAANI since my rendition is apparently 'besura'! ANYONE?'
The group of ladies began to grow increasingly unnerved - for starters, they knew not what further humiliation they'd be subjected to!

Immensely worried, Meera stared at Jodha with let's-leave-from-here-now frowns! Her luck HAD to be cursed - it was the second time that she'd been cornered into an awkward situation that day.
Swiftly sensing her companions' state of angst Jodha decided to reason with the bullies in an attempt to moderate the situation. However, her words were suddenly interrupted when the erotic lines of the original song started playing in the backdrop - loudly!

'Tip tip barsaa paani...Paani ne aag lagaayi'
Aag lagi dil mein to...Dil ko teri yaad aayi'
Teri yaad aayi to...jal uthaa mera bheega badan
ab tum hi batao sajan main kya karu!'
Flabbergasted; Jodha searched for the source of the music and quickly noticed the culprit - a sleek white Ipad casually perched in the hand of an otherwise decent-looking young man standing a short distance away. She watched in disgust as the unperturbed 'Ipad' man adjusted his swanky cooling glasses, before exchanging wry smiles with his own group!

In a matter of minutes, a growing audience had joined in to participate in the seemingly harmless fun - at the expense of the three young ladies - clapping and cheering for the 'sexy' lines of the tune!
Feeling bad for Meera who was now nearly in tears, Jodha grit her teeth in anger as she tried to put a stop to the ongoing silliness 'Stop this...what DO you want?'
'Hey...hey...calm down...we're just ragging you...' Anand continued,  nonchalantly  justifying his petty actions 'We're seniors... you're freshers... don't forget that!'
'This is a post-graduate institute for heaven's sakes!' she had to remind them 'Grow up!'
'So, Miss Jodha Singh doesn't know how to have fun? Or take things sportively?' Shareef quipped 'Maananeeya Madamji...THIS is how we break the ice here...'
'Ya right! With lewd insinuation and songs' she thought to herself. Letting out a vexed sigh, she grew ready to take the bait 'Fine! Tell me what do I have to do to get you to stop this?'
Pleasantly surprised by the new-found humility in her tone, Shareef paid her a mock-compliment 'Now THAT tone is better!'

While Meera and Payal weren't too happy about Jodha challenging the rogues thus, Jodha went on to confirm her stance 'And if I complete this task, you promise to get off our backs? No further ragging?'
'Promise!' the men sneered
She then nodded her head with a stern frown to show her compliance. In reality, though she'd charged ahead with all gusto - only she knew how fervently she was praying that their 'task' shouldn't turn out to be anything too awkward!
As the song in the backdrop was switched off, Anand indicated in the direction of the building's entrance 'You'll have to flirt...sweet-talk...with the next male student that walks out of the library!'
Hurling her nervous friends an aghast frown, Jodha rebelled unhappily 'You've gotta be kidding!'
'No we're not...' Shareef rejoined 'It could have been a lot worse!'
She cast a perturbed glance at the spectators. They were obviously intrigued - waiting to see the outcome of this. Exhaling deeply, Jodha tucked her handbag on her shoulder and consequently set off towards the entrance. Well, she had none else to blame - she'd accepted the challenge, so it was up to her to complete it too.
From the distance, it was obvious that she'd met her victim in less than two minutes - a lean pleasant young man who perfectly fit the the description of what one would call 'studious'!
'Hey! Isn't that hamaaraa Maan?' Salim quickly commented with a surprised chuckle as he observed the student who'd just stepped out
'Yes...you're right Salim...it IS Maan!' Jalal verified with a smirk as he slipped his I-pad back into his bag. The unexpected turn of events had spiced up an already fascinating spectacle.
Breaking out into amused giggles the group eagerly awaited what would be an uncomfortable meeting between the junior and senior. However; it didn't take too long for onlookers' grins to turn to confused frowns. While the enthralled crowds had unanimously expected the pair to appear flustered and rattled, the unusual duo appeared to be absolutely at ease with each other on the contrary - making pleasant conversation - in fact beaming, as they did so!
'Do they already know each other?' Renu wondered aloud
'If they do' Abdul nodded 'Then she's gutsy, cute AND lucky! Tut...tut'
'Gutsy, cute AND lucky'  His friend was right indeed! 
Jalal couldn't help but smile to himself as he studied the fascinating lady who'd flashed Shareef and Anand a victorious grin before making her way back towards his gang - alongside Maan, of course!
Having briefly caught up with his friends, Maan decided to acquaint them with the guest he'd brought along 'Hey guys...she's Jodha...an acquaintance...a family friend of mine...' the cordial man then introduced his group to her too 'Jodha this is Abdul...Salim...Renu...and this is Jalal.'
Following a brief exchange of formal smiles with them, Jodha finally met eyes with him on close quarters - the 'I-pad man' as she'd already nicknamed him. Well, he deserved no better for having sided with Shareef and Anand in demeaning her and her friends!
'Fair, rich, well-groomed, arrogant and spoilt' she'd surmised all of him within a second.
Jalal observed her watch him. If eyes could kill, he realized he'd have been dead and buried by now. However, little did she know that he loved a fight just as much. Slipping his favourite glasses off , he returned the favour and gazed back - mischief prevailing his eyes!
Armed with an eye-lock that'd obviously gone on for a few moments longer than needed, Jalal then followed it up by taking a step forth and putting his hand out for her to shake 'Hi Jodha...we're doing our 2nd year MBA here...my name is Jalal...if you need any help around campus you can approach us...'
'The gall!' she thought to herself 'After having humiliated us with his Ipad-version of Tip Tip Barsaa Paani, he now offers us his help?'
Eventually snapping out of her quiet stupor, she returned his gesture with a sarcastic smile 'THAT I don't know about...but, I surely know who NOT to approach if I need any help around campus!'
Ouch! It was his turn to lose the smile now. As her comment spurred a round of startled sighs and murmurs amongst his group, Jalal retracted his hand with a disapproving stare.
'Come on Jodha...' Meera stepped forth to prod her friend 'Payal said Professor Ram Charan will be waiting for us in the reception'
'Yes Jodha...Ram chacha will be waiting for us let's go!' Payal reiterated - referring to her uncle who was also a professor in the campus.
Grabbing their friend by her elbow they begun leading her away from the crowds of seniors. Basically, both girls had had enough of the altercations!
Observing the retracting figures of the three ladies, Renu finally broke her silence 'Such crappy attitude! What does she think of herself?' turning to read the calm face of her friend, Renu advised him in earnest - aware that he must be secretly nursing his wounded pride 'Let's not waste time mulling over this arrogant female...we have better things to do Jalal!'
He let out a subtle smirk. The quickest cure for bruised vanity was bitter-sweet revenge and this fact was something Jalal wasn't entirely unaware of!
********************
Hope you enjoyed it... :)


Last edited by lashy on 2014-04-29, 15:08; edited 3 times in total

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by lashy on 2014-04-29, 14:48

20th September 2013
PART 2

***THE SINGH HOUSEHOLD***


'Where is my ironed shirt beta?' he had to strain his gentle voice to ensure he was heard over the typical 8 am commotion that prevailed in his mid-sized living room everyday!
'Its on the bed papa' Jodha replied on a vivacious note as she stepped out of the kitchen with her hands full - beginning her precarious trek towards the table at the other end of the room. After successfully snaking around the sideboard, a pile of unfolded clothes lying at the foot of the sofa and two large office bags, she gave herself a mental pat-on-the-back 'I should receive an award for this! Making it from one end of this disaster zone to another with all these hot dishes in my hand still intact - is nothing short of a feat in itself!'
Eventually reaching the crowded table with a relieved sigh, the graceful young lady placed the plate of hot parathas and its steaming accompaniment in the centre. Barely a moment later and the breakfast was already half its way through being ravaged by the three famished men seated around it. Just as Jodha grabbed her share from the platter, she noticed something lying on the floor.
PAT! She instantly gave the younger of her brothers a hard slap on his arm. Not surprisingly, her sudden act of mock-violence was met with his annoyed frowns. 
In response, Jodha pointed to the now sorry state of her new blue dupatta - he'd obviously flung it on the floor before taking his seat at the table 'Bhaiyya...this dupatta is brand new...I'd just ironed it...'
'Behna dearest' the casual brother replied - brushing her accusations off while he stuffed his mouth with another morsel 'Who's bothered about dupattas looking ironed these days?'!
'I'm singing the invocation song at the fresher's party today...' she retorted unhappily as she picked up the beautiful multi-indigo-hued shawl and straightened it 'Besides, I don't walk out dressing up like you do!' She was undoubtedly referring to the semi-faded Skull pictorial Death-by-the-hour t-shirt he sported every third day!
'Don't mind their words Jodha...you're looking exceptionally beautiful today!'
The adorable manner in which those words were uttered brought an instant smile to her lips. Oh! How she thanked her stars everyday for being blessed with at least ONE sane person in that mad household who would take her side! Responding to the friendly tap on her shoulder, Jodha spun around to give her sole-sympathizer an impish wink - ensuring her brothers caught it too 'Thanks bhabhi...you're a star...as always!'
Having finished with the somewhat daily routine of expressing undying gratitude to her team-mate, she then swiftly moved on to organize her bag - while simultaneously munching on her paratha.


'JODHA! Why don't you ever sit down properly and finish your breakfast?' came a less-cordial warning her way 'By the way, I put away your Harmonium for you, but I'm not going to tidy up all the art & craft mess you've left scattered on your desk!'
'MAMA, please it's GLASS PAINTING! ' the engrossed student whined in rebellion 'Besides, I don't have the time to clear my paints now - I have to reach the auditorium on time ...I need to practise my song at least once before the crowds assemble...I'll clear it this evening...promise...'
Aware that her evasive answers would only be met by disapproving stares, Jodha glanced up to blow her mother a quick flying-kiss in defence - it was the perfect ploy to get the lady to calm down and this instance was no different.
Hastily shutting her handbag thereafter, she waved to her siblings with a mischievous I'm-the-star look 'Bhaiyya 1, bhaiyya 2, bhaiyya 3, bhabhi...bye' she then rushed rushed forth to touch the feet of her parents - while still munching through the final bits of her paratha 'Papa...mama...bye...' 
'Bless you beta' the grey-haired man wished her warmly as he wrestled with the shirt buttons around his rotund belly 'Hope your function goes well...'
'It will ji' her mother added - a sweet smile finally making its appearance 'After all, our beti is singing the praises of Lord Ganesh...he's bound to bless her...'
Casting a glance at the time in her studded watch, Jodha grabbed the keys of her scooty on her way out 'Papa...I better do well...I don't think the seniors here are going to be very forgiving if I didn't'
'WHAT! Why?' Her near-exit was abruptly interrupted by the grim enquiry
'Jodha! Hasn't the ragging stopped yet? Should I visit the university...should I speak to...'
Putting a hold on her vanishing act, she replied instantly to placate her bade bhaiyya's volatile temperament 'NO...NO...NO...bhaiyya...it has...it has...besides, who can win when they're pitted against YOUR sister...DEFINITELY not a couple of immature post-graduates!'
Her eyes twinkled with joy as she concluded that last bit with self-confidence!


***THE AUDITORIUM***


Inundated would be a light term to use when describing the handful of 'orange-badged' organizers who'd been frantically running about to get things sorted so that the programmes could kick-off. At this point, the jam-packed air-conditioned hall was nothing less than a hotbed of vivid mayhem. While the calmer front seats were occupied by a handful of professors, the rest of the hall was filled up by business students of all ages and temperaments - the most riotous of the lot establishing their dominance over the last rows.
Peeping from the green room, Jodha spent a few seconds taking the boisterous sights in! True, these were scenes she wasn't entirely foreign to. After all, she'd graced many-a-stage in the past. Yet, there was something about the whole affair that made her the slightest bit uneasy. Dispelling her thoughts thenceforth, Jodha slipped backstage to return to her batch-mates once again.
Just as she did so, she overheard a familiarly encouraging voice addressing the unnerved group of freshers 'Ladies... gentlemen ...are you ready?'
More-than-pleased to welcome the handsome professor in their presence, the preoccupied group greeted him with warm smiles. A widower in his early forties, Prof Ram Charan had been one of the few sources of support and help for them during their first week in the alien environment.
'Good morning Sir' Jodha cordially approached the tutor - who she'd also had the good fortune of knowing through his niece, Payal 'When will the programmes start?'
He couldn't help but chuckle at how tense their faces appeared 'Don't worry...you'll all do well... Jodha, you're first on stage right?'
He'd barely completed his statement when an organizer barged in 'Jodha Singh! Are you ready? You're first...come...quick!'


***ON STAGE***


Here she was finally - mid-stage - in the glare of spotlights - facing scores of sceptical faces - all by herself! Overcoming any pangs of stage-fright she felt, the positive young lady muttered a quick prayer to the Lord and took her position in front of the microphone with elegance. Making a swift mental revision of the verses and notes, she was about to begin her rendition - when she realized the instrument wasn't working. Unruffled, she attempted switching the button on it, but it proved futile. She followed it up with a few taps on its head, only to hear no sounds produced out of it.
'Strange! It was working a second ago when they made the announcements' she pondered
Following a few failed trials, she then peeked around to locate the organizers - all the while trying to pay no heed to the rising murmurs that had started floating around the hall. When she could spot none backstage, she diverted her attention to the sound department that were situated on a right-hand corner in the hall. Two carefree 'tech-savvy' seniors appeared to be casually tuning the complicated instruments that sat in front. Right then, her confused glances fell upon the familiar face of an organizer who stood beside them. It was Renu - the senior who'd been part of the group that'd ragged her the previous week. She seemed to be in charge of the sound department - yet, Renu looked oddly unruffled about the momentous 'sound' failure that'd just befallen a participant.
With Jodha's 'Something's wrong' feeling amplifying with every passing second, she self-debated for a moment - not knowing what to make of the situation 'Could this be a deliberate ploy? No...why would they...no...'
Suddenly, her thoughts were cut short and alarming suspicions proved true when she recognized the other person who was now walking towards the techie group. It was HIM - the 'I-pad' man!
Though a short distance away and semi-blinded by spotlights, Jodha made no mistake in observing the exchange of cynical smiles between the vindictive pair. Why, it was quite obvious by now that the spiteful group were entertaining themselves at her expense. It had taken her a short while to surmise it all, but she was SHOCKED when she eventually did 'So, they are sabotaging my song because of our squabbles last week? How petty...how disgusting!'
Following this, the unabashed Jalal proceeded to face the stage and meet glances with her - wholly aware that he was a subject of her not-so-kind scrutiny all along. She'd messed with the wrong kind - the kind that'd have no qualms SCREWING UP her moment - the kind that knew enough 'important' people to be able to do so! For him, watching her agape expressions was enough to make it all worthwhile! So what if she looked positively captivating in that figure-hugging navy Patiala suit - he wasn't one to let her get away with it! With his bruised vanity finally laid to rest, Jalal concluded their ongoing eye-battles with a mischievous wink before leaving the team to resume his place in the crowd. That instant Jodha'd been force-fed a lesson the hard way - 'popularity' 'ego' and 'devilish vices' were not very favourable traits to discover in an opponent!
While most seated there knew not what was REALLY happening, what they did know was that they were growing increasingly impatient at the tardy progress of the show so far. Their rebellious whispers had steadily transformed into not-so-subtle disapprovals 
'Hey get off the stage...' 
'Move on...' 'Booo...' 
'This is BOOO-ring'
Stranded alone on a stage in the midst of discouraging cries and hostile faces was not a mild nightmare to recuperate from. Like most others would, she could let the humiliation get to her - let the tears well up and make a dash for the exit - let herself be buried in the embarrassment of it all for hours to come. Or, she could do something else about it - for, it was not about them winning any longer, it was about her NOT failing!
From the corner of her eyes, she could spot her professors and friends signalling her to get off the stage for the time-being in an attempt to save her from further awkwardness.
'Thank God for small mercies' she thought, but she'd decided to take matters into her own hands. After all, she'd not joined the university to be remembered as the fresher who had a mammoth failure on stage. Her frustrated frowns giving way to resolve, the determined young lady stepped away from the podium and advanced to the end of the stage - in fact, the very tip of it.
An abrupt lull fell over the auditorium - what with her confounding actions leaving most curious!
Why, even HE had to admit that she had him intrigued.
'Are you planning to jump off?' A rowdy group yelled just then
Nodding her head to interrupt the laughter that followed, the charming lady spoke aloud - ensuring she could be heard by most 'No...but, I've realized that the sound system shall not switch on for now! So, I'll finish what I'd come here to do WITHOUT a mike and let the other programmes start...' she motioned to the impish gangs in the last row 'For those of you who can't hear me at the back, I apologize...but, trust me - its in no way my fault!'
Strangely enough, the boys who'd been booing her so long, actually quietened down.
'Damn!' he exclaimed in restrained awe, as Jalal took it all in 'She has spunk!'

*************


Her invocation song 'Sharanu Siddhi Vinayaka' lasted for all of about three minutes. Those who could hear her were enraptured by the resonating notes in her melodious voice, while those who couldn't had to keep themselves satisfied by admiring her beauty and grit! Therefore not surprisingly, when her song reached its conclusion it was received with a spell of silence - followed by a long round of applause from her audience.
Consequently letting it all sink in, an obvious 'I did it!' beam adorned her face. She let herself revel in her sense of achievement for a second or so till her gazes unwittingly began scanning faces for him. The competitor in her HAD to watch his reactions to her comeback and it took her no time to zero in on his proud persona. No wonder there - he did stand out from the rest of them.
Turning the 'haughtiness' in her expressions a notch higher, she went on to read his expressions. Strangely enough, he seemed to be enjoying the game. Why, he was even clapping along with the rest of them as he obliged her conceited stares with a partly-amused partly-vengeful smile!
She knew then that it wasn't the end of it - in fact, far from it!


***BACKSTAGE***


'Now I understood why you found my song so besura the other day...I should get YOU to sing Tip tip barsaa paani for me' the awkward Shareef blurted clumsily
'God!' she exclaimed under her breath in response to his 'supposed' compliment while she continued to thank the passing students for the volley of compliments that kept coming her way. Her brief rally on stage had definitely made her popular!
Watching Jodha's growing disinterest in him and the subtle signs of disgust in her expressions, he instantly attempted a bit of damage-control 'Hey... I was only kidding...lighten up...'
She flashed him a mock-smile 'Its ok Shareef...I understand...anyway, I have to leave because...' she stopped her sentence midway - she'd just observed his group emerging from the green room - and HIS striking profile right in the midst of them. They hadn't noticed her yet.
Ignoring Shareef's ongoing queries, Jodha waited to make sure the 'Ipad man' was within ear-shot and then spoke loudly - a victorious smirk gracing her lips 'What goes around...comes around, doesn't it?'
At once, his group stopped in their tracks - Jalal'd instantly recognized the voice and whom the challenge was intended for! Turning around in a jiffy, he left his group behind with no warning whatsoever and approached the duo till he was right in front of her. Stylishly adjusting the strap on his Tag Heur watch, he dismissed her words with a smirk before going on to pick a packet of gum from his pocket. Coolly popping one in his mouth, he proceeded to offer her one - which the dubious young lady obviously refused!
'Oh...I thought it'll help you chill!' he shrugged his shoulders. No one could get to him unless he intended it and he planned to keep it that way!

***SCOOTER-PARK***


'Phew!' She'd FINALLY managed to get over both - the annoying Shareef who'd been hovering around her for the past twenty-odd minutes AND the nearly-flustering actions of the other senior! Letting out a relaxed sigh, she sprinted along to the scooter-park. Her pace brisk and spirit joyous, the young lady opened her handbag enroute to remove her keys when she heard a vibratory 'message' alert on her mobile. Fishing the phone out, she tapped the buttons to open her inbox
'You have always been lovely...but, today you were nothing short of scintillating...you have found yourself a new fan - a fan of your music and your beauty, both!'
Her smile faded away when she realized she didn't recognize the number the message had been sent from.
Not too sure how to react, she responded with a straightforward reply 'Thanks! But, who's this?'
She waited for a few minutes - but the inbox showed no signs of activity.
'Who could it be?' She thought to herself 'Shareef? Jalal? Someone else? How did they get my number?'


Last edited by lashy on 2014-05-08, 15:41; edited 4 times in total

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by lashy on 2014-04-29, 14:48

24th september 2013

PART 3

***UNIVERSITY CANTEEN***

'There is no hunger like the one we feel at 5 pm' any wise man would have said. No wonder that the very moment classes reached their final minute at 4:30, the canteen saw a steady influx of students flooding its well-equipped dining hall. Be it sports enthusiasts, lovers, friends or the studious - what better means to catch-up than over a cup of garam chai! 


This group was no different.

Having gone through their usual routine of perusing through a menu that'd hardly changed over the past year -the group had zeroed upon the very dishes they ordered everyday. Drumming his fingers on the long serving counter as he waited for his usual order to be brought, Jalal briefly surveyed the crowds that'd begun pouring in. Noticing a few flirtatious giggles being pitched his way from a particular group, he flashed the three fetching ladies a suave nod - before casually returning his attention to the counter.
The strikingly handsome chiselled face and muscular physique alone would have been enough to attract many such glances his way. With smooth charms and a fat wallet additionally working in his favour, those glances predictably enough turned to gazes and giggles! Strangely enough, even the longish hair and the unconventional moustache only seemed to add to the 'novelty factor'. Simply put, he had the charisma women craved and he knew it!
Stretching his hands out lazily, Jalal muttered under his breath 'Darn...I feel lethargic...I haven't been to the gym this morning'
No sooner than he'd made the statement, he felt her gentle fingers tapping the taut biceps in his arms 'Don't worry Jalal...they definitely haven't disappeared in a day' 
Letting out a half-hearted chuckle, he nudged her playfully 'Silly female'
She was possibly the only lady who could taunt him a million times a day and yet not rile him up. After all, she was one of his closest pals - so close in fact that many mistook them to be a pair. The duo had grown so used to the 'Jalal, are you dating Renu?' 'Renu, are you dating Jalal' comments that they didn't even bother laughing it off any more. He'd met her during his Bachelors degree four years ago and they instantly hit it off - it remained that way ever since. Abdul - on the other hand, was his 'chaddi buddy' right from school. Even though he'd enjoyed the company of many good friends all along, none could be an 'Abdul'. With Maan and Salim being the most recent additions to this close-knit triangle, post-graduate life had turned perfect!
The fivesome had fun like none other. In fact all their meet-ups outside campus - which were at least once a week - were nothing short of riotous! Needless to say, coming from similarly affluent backgrounds helped with the 'comfort-zone' element too. They could afford to indulge in their collective interests - whether it was sports, movies, gossip, fashion, partying, dates or even expensive gadgets. 
However, come exam time and this otherwise wild gang weren't entirely oblivious to the importance of cranking up revisions and researches! After all, they were all present in that University to front their careers! 


**************
SHE'd joined the university to front her ambitions too. However, in a way - her group seemed to be a part of a totally different world. More grounded in their lifestyles, Jodha and her friends shared less-extravagant interests. It didn't mean they didn't know how to have fun - it just meant that their version of fun was something different. Nature-walks, Sunday movies at home, mama's delicious lunches, romantic novels, Diwali shopping and chai-pakoda to name a few!
Granted; the chai bit - aka the 5pm garam chai - WAS a common factor!
Taking a brief sip of the piping-hot tea in her hand, she shrugged with an unconvinced frown 'Nah! Not as good as the one I get at home...'
'Yes...yes we know Jo...' Meera argued lightly 'But, we rush home every evening and never get time to catch up' she paused to indicate to the precious cup her friend was safe-guarding 'Besides, you were the one who were so desperate for a cup...so make do with your canteen-waalaa chai for a day!'
Swerving every now and again to avert the passing crowds, the three ladies traipsed around in search of an empty table. Just when Payal'd spotted an unoccupied one, Jodha heard the sound of a single beep coming from her purse. Instantly passing her tea to Meera with a soft smile, she proceeded to check her phone.
Observing her pal's sense of urgency, Payal teased aloud 'Barely two weeks into university and this madam's already receiving text messages from silent admirers...she can't even wait to get to a table to read the message!'
'No Payal' Jodha grumbled 'I wanted to check if its from home...I'd told mama I'd be late!'
'Imagine!' Meera cut her dramatically - ignoring her friend's explanations on purpose 'She abandoned us and even HER TEA - all for the sake of this anonymous person!'
'Stop it you lot' She stretched out to give her friends a little-more-than-just-a-playful pat.
In a swift attempt to evade the friendly assault that was coming her way, Payal ducked down and unintentionally ended up bumping into Meera. Jostled forth without any warning, Meera was pushed off-balance - causing her foot to get wedged in the leg of a nearby table and the hot tea to spill over 'Ouch, you idiot!'
Jodha and Payal watched in alarm as the spilt beverage was now dripping down a partly soaked backpack. Unsure if the incident had been noticed by any, the guilty party scanned a few faces to locate the owner of the lone Reebok bag.
'What are you both looking at?' Meera had to shake them from their momentary stupor 'My foot...it's hurt'
Snapping away, Jodha turned to inspect her friend's foot at once. The front strap of her slipper had snapped and her toe-nail had begun bleeding 'Payal...she is hurt...you take her to the incident room to have it dressed...I'll clean up this mess and try finding out who this bag belongs to!'
'So much for catch-up time' Meera sighed with a light smile
'We'll do it another day...first tend to your leg...' Jodha indicated to her foot 'Sorry for this!'
'Yup! Sorry Meera' Payal added
'Don't be silly' Meera let out a painful giggle 'All three of us are to blame!'
Before long, the young ladies had bid adieu and Payal was helping Meera on her way out.


Once her friends had disappeared, Jodha hastily spun around to return to the serving-area. Bustling with students who were awaiting their orders, she had to literally glide through to be able to reach the counter and grab a few tissues.
Rushing back, the preoccupied young lady started dabbing the bag dry 'Hope none of its contents have been spoilt'
Moistening a few more napkins thereafter, she went on to wipe the sticky mess off the bag. Once it'd been done to near-satisfaction, she was about to give it a final check when she suddenly realized that the tea had seeped inside too 'Damn!'
Finding no signs of its owner even after another search-attempt, Jodha finally decided to open the bag - her worried curiosity getting the better of her. Just as she took note of its semi-drenched contents, she heard a harsh voice from behind
'WHAT are you doing with MY bag?'
Startled, she turned around immediately and spotted HIM staring down upon her - with his entire army flanking him, of course.
'Nooo please' she almost uttered a silent cry. Forty tables, 160 seats, scores of students - and THIS place was the only one Meera had found to topple her tea over!
Their sudden appearance having thrown her off-guard she stammered to explain herself, as she looked away from their evidently displeased expressions 'I...I...was only...trying to..to...' God! This looked so bad.
Impatiently moving ahead to thump his plate on the table, Jalal picked his stuff out from the bag 'Yuck! You've dropped something on it...TEA?' he looked up at her indignantly 'How dare you open it! What were you intending to do?'
'It...it...was only an accident...trust me' the perturbed young lady explained 'My friend slipped and...'
'What friend? I see no one with you here' just then, his eyes fell upon the sorry state of his precious I-pad 'My Ipad...f**k...its ruined'
He furiously tried pressing the starter button a few times, but it showed no response - just when she thought her predicament couldn't get any gloomier!
Ensuing a few failed attempts, the spiteful senior handed it over to his friend for inspection - making no effort to hide his displeasure as he did so 'Damn ... Maan...it isn't switching on...she's deliberately destroyed my Ipad!'
Having borne enough false allegations, swear words and angry glares in the past two minutes, Jodha could literally scream out in protest - but, sensibility prevailed and she continued with restraint 'Meera...Payal...my friends...they were here not long ago...Meera slipped and spilt the tea on your bag...it was unintentional...and I was only trying to clean your bag...I'm sorry...'
'Your friends?' Renu butted-in after placing her plate down - her tone unsympathetic They are nowhere in sight and I see only 1 teacup sitting here...was this a dare...did they do this and run away or something?'
'No...no...she's hurt...so...' Jodha's desperation was beginning to show
'Oh! A new excuse...'
The insinuations were getting annoying now. REALLY annoying 'Well...believe me if you want to...and why did HE have to leave his expensive stuff lying around unattended?'
A momentary lull fell upon the gathering. The cheek of it! Their 'senior' mind-sets couldn't believe it - not only had she ruined his stuff, she was now pinning the blame on him.
'I should have known' he fiercely defended himself a second later 'Its mayhem at the counter at this time...I've always left my bag behind the past year and nothing ever happened to it...first time you walk in and its been tampered with!'
'Stop with the accusations please...I'm not so petty to go about vandalizing other's prop...!'
'Listen...Jalal...' her objections were interrupted by the one person she hoped would give her some positive news. Anxious, she glanced at him for support - but it was obvious luck continued to evade her. Maan appeared quite pessimistic 'The tea's slipped in through the back of the system...I think the internal components are shot'
He'd expected it - still, it was doubly aggravating when the news came. Running his fingers through his hair in exasperation, Jalal fumed on it for a second before stepping in front of Jodha 'You are NOT going to get away with this!' he moved closer so he could glare directly into her restless eyes 'THIS is what you meant when you said what goes around, comes around, didn't you?'
'NO!' this is definitely NOT what she'd intended, anyway!
'Come along with me...'
'WHERE?'
'To the AD's office...NOW...I want to lodge a formal complaint before he leaves!'
'WHAT!' Great! She'd seen him being snarky, ruthless and arrogant. Anger was the only emotion he'd spared her so long and that was about to change too!


***THE ASSISTANT DEAN'S OFFICE***


What an obstinate jerk she'd been pitted against! Totally unconcerned about the distressing attention their confrontation had been receiving at the canteen or through the corridors, all he seemed to care about was getting back at her. Why, he'd gone so far as to slap his fingers around her wrist and pull her along to the AD's office when she'd refused to budge from her spot in the canteen!
It was only when they'd reached the sparkling office corridors that he'd relieved her from his powerful grip. While he went on to knock on the door, Jodha resentfully viewed her bracelet designs that had now been imprinted on her aching wrists. Never had anyone offended her such before! Yet, her undying spirit refused to give up - even as she silently cursed him 'I've done nothing wrong...still, you keep belittling me...I've been waiting to have a word with the AD about you too...' she paused to rotate her recovering wrists 'If only bade bhaiyya was here...he'd have single-handedly made mincemeat of you for having dared to grab me with your...' her bitter glances subconsciously trailed up from his fingers to catch his evidently robust arms as she said so. She begrudgingly amended her plans 'FINE!' She grit her teeth 'Fine! Bade bhaiyya AND Kranti bhaiyya maybe...but, both together would definitely have made mincemeat of you for having dared to...'
Just then, they heard a majestic voice from inside 'Please come in'


**************
It was all but a matter of few minutes! Jalal had seized the opportunity to go first and spew an entirely one-sided version of the story - which was backed-up by his friends, as predicted! No wonder then that when Jodha's turn came, her account suddenly seemed to appear less convincing. Try as she might, there was no one else to verify her narration. Meera and Payal weren't attending their calls. She knew none else in the canteen. When even citing prior 'recognitions-of-character' seemed to prove futile, she knew not what else to do!
In a final ditch attempt to stay afloat, she was about to bring up other instances from the nasty history they both shared in the past two weeks. However, her words were cut short when she saw the senior professor arise from his seat 'Jodha...I think that's enough...I have to leave on an urgent matter now...firstly, I am not very familiar with you, so I don't know what really happened...but, when you say you opened his bag without his permission, it doesn't reflect well on your intentions...' he paused to let out a deep sigh 'However, I know Jalal well for the past year...I can confidently speak for myself and my colleagues when I say I've never seen him knocking our doors to complain about any other student so...in fact, I've never seen him or his friends being involved in any wayward activities in the campus...'
'What!' This hail-Jalal verdict was far worse than what she'd anticipated!
'Anyway, you're all not teenagers any more...I request you to put this all behind yourselves and start afresh...' he turned to address her once again 'Jodha, the least I'd hope from your end is a proper apology for all the inconvenience you've caused him and thus, the university ...your behaviour in this matter is sorry-to-say, poor!'
She could feel her heart sink as she heard those words. For someone who'd been an exemplary student in past institutions, this was as demeaning as it could get! Without even turning in THEIR direction, she knew what their expressions would be. She'd expected life at university to be challenging, but this was something else altogether!
'Sir!' Jalal spoke up once again in a modest tone - as though the damage done wasn't enough 'Only an apology? That Ipad cost me 40,000Rs ...as it is, I've lost the Investment Analysis projects I had in it! The least I would expect is for her to monetarily compensate me...'
'Jalal' the professor interrupted him 'That is something you and your families will have to resolve amongst yourselves...the university cannot get involved in it...'
To say the silent Jodha was thoroughly shaken would be an understatement. She wasn't expecting this fresh blow -NOT AT ALL! 40,000? She'd be in deep deep trouble with bade bhaiyya. Her repute at college would be ruined. Her parents would be devastated by the news. Feeling a lump in her throat, the miserable young lady tried hard to fight back the tears that were welling up in the corner of her eyes.
At THAT moment, she could have happily strangled him - with her bare hands - and wiped off that victorious stare from his face forever. The only thing that stopped her was lack of OPPORTUNITY and MIGHT - because, she definitely had the WILL to do so!


Last edited by lashy on 2014-05-05, 13:48; edited 4 times in total

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by lashy on 2014-04-29, 14:49

27th September 2013


OSR PART 4


***CLASSROOM***

'Hey Nikita' he called out to the chicly dressed young lady, who stood a short distance away. Drawing away from the conversation she'd been embroiled in so long, she looked up at him with an engaging smile. Barely a second later, he passed her a shiny large book 'The Business Law textbook you'd asked me for...that's the one!'
She glanced at its cover 'Thanks Jalal...you're a star...'
Tucking the book in her bag, she approached him- her feminine appeal at its charming best. Obliging her with nothing more than a dubious smirk, he popped a gum in his mouth - while she continued enthusiastically 'By the way, your birthday comes up some time soon, right? What are your plans for it?'
'Not for another month Nikki' he corrected her - his smile dismissive 'Haven't given it much thought yet...' he paused to glance at his watch 'Anyway, I have to leave for football practise now...so, ciao!'
'I expect you'll be late though Mr. Popular...looks like you have a few fans to deal with first...'
Fans? At first, Jalal didn't understand what was being hinted at. It was only a moment later that he noticed most of his classmates' gazes fixed on the entrance door behind him. Turning around to figure out the cause of the stir, the curious man was initially taken aback by what he saw. For starters, he hadn't expected HER and her troupe to come seeking him in HIS classroom. Not after what had just transpired between them two days ago. 
Gradually leaving behind the company of his classmates, he took a few steps towards the silent trio
'What do you want now?' he asked 
The answer took a while to come 'A word in private...'


 ****THE CORRIDORS****


 He observed her soft eyes. Even in the depths of misfortune, they were still the most enthralling pair he'd set sights on - such dewy long lashes highlighting those almond shaped hazel coloured attributes. However, the usual sparkle he'd witnessed in them had now disappeared to give way to rue.
'Tsk tsk...what a pity'' he thought to himself observing the remorseful tale her eyes seemed to narrate - it was obvious she hadn't had much sleep the last two nights. 
Pity? Ya right! He'd pretty much steeled himself even before stepping into the corridors that he wasn't going to be swayed by any form of apology or plea. He was going to make her pay for his loss, come what may! So, while the ladies were busy coming up with differing heartfelt versions of 'sorry' he'd been amusing himself by reading her eyes instead.
That is, till he observed a slight shift in the scenes unfolding in front. Shaken out of his short reverie, he straightened himself and studied her actions closely as Jodha proceeded to remove something from her purse. He watched in alarm as she fished out various broken bits of old jewellery!


'What the hell!' he swore under his breath - wondering what she was planning next.
'This old anklet...this broken ear ring...and this bent ring together...should fetch you a good price...' Jodha explained - her voice evidently choked as she did so 'Please accept this...its all genuine and hallmarked! My parents will never realize they went amiss...'
'Are you kidding?' he exclaimed with a sceptical frown 'No way...I'm not taking all this' For a moment he had to thank fate that none of his pals had arrived yet.
'There is no other way I can pay...' tears began trailing down her cheeks 'How can I afford such a large amount?'
This was beginning to get quite embarrassing 'I don't know...' he shrugged with an annoyed frown 'Take it to the brokers yourself or something...'
'No I cannot...' the young lady appealed - her cries growing more desperate and audible 'I don't know any such person...please understand!'
''I am NOT accepting this' he suddenly curtailed his outburst - he'd just spotted his soccer-mates waving to him from the other end of the corridor. He had to end the nonsense ASAP 'I have to go...let's discuss this later... maybe in the AD's office...'
Jodha's plight having deteriorated to a point of no return, Payal and Meera instantly stepped in to speak up for her - in a way blocking his exit too 
'NO! Please don't take the matter to the AD...' 
'She'll get into severe trouble with her family! As it is her father doesn't keep too well...' 
'Please reconsider...' 
'Don't ruin her educational prospects...' 'Please don't ruin her life...'
The ridiculous farce and tear-jerking dialogues were exasperating now! When he'd agreed to have a word with them in private, he hadn't signed up for this loud sob-a-thon! Seniors who'd been ignoring the 'happenings' in the corner were soon enough becoming increasingly intrigued. Jalal trying to calm three distressed ladies? This was an amusing sight to see!
With the heightening tension drawing greater attention than he'd anticipated, the cornered man grit his teeth 'STOP it now! The three of you! I know what you're up to...'
Wiping her drenched face with a kerchief, Jodha protested amidst her sobs 'My family have just paid hefty tuition fees...they can't afford to pay such a large amount again, so please accept this instead!' She handed over the jewellery to him once more 'I'll fall at your feet if it satisfies you, but please don't take it to the AD!'


'STOP it...' he shouted, thoroughly flustered by the spectacle playing out in front of the pooling crowds. He'd nearly had terrifying visions of the ladies falling at his feet just then. With his team-mates having begun walking towards him, he had to act quick - his reputation was at stake  'Ladies...I'll drop the issue...for now...'
'Only for now?'
'Whatever! I...I mean for later too...' he stammered angrily, noticing the slightest hint of a gleam returning in her moist eyes
'For later?' she quipped
'FINE! Let's forget any such thing happened, ok? You don't have to pay me...happy?'
There! He'd bit the bullet and finally said it! However, this temporary blow was better than being ragged by year 2 batch for the next 12 months about the Bollywoodized scenes of tragedy he'd just been subjected to. He could always vindicate himself another day!
No sooner than he'd given them his supposed word, Jalal grabbed the opportunity during the ensuing momentary lull to free himself from the trio. He HAD to rejoin his friends before they could reach the scene of crisis and find out what'd happened. Thankfully, he'd made it just in time!


 ****SCOOTER PARK****

'E...e...enough...please'    'S...stop...it J...Jo...'
Having undergone yet another bout of seemingly unstoppable guffaws, the ladies clenched their tummies in support. It was ACTUALLY beginning to hurt now! As though her earlier dramatics weren't entertainment enough, she'd been impersonating her victim ever since their trek back to their vehicles!
'All worth it girls...all worth it...' Jodha chuckled in reply 'Just for the 'deer-in-the-headlights' look on his face!'
Jalal had guessed it right when he'd assumed she hadn't slept in a few nights. How could she? The issue was very serious and its repercussions grave. She HAD to think of some other way out after he'd refused to listen to her the other day. Besides, she had to avenge the humiliation he'd caused her too. What better solution to achieve both than to ambush him using his own weakness as ammunition! Knowing how much he prided himself on his social standing in the university, Jodha had deliberately picked the right time and setting for the drama! At the end, the hard work had paid off handsomely!
Tucking her handbag in the seat of her two wheeler, Meera tried recovering from the nearly-breathless spell of laughter she'd sustained for the past fifteen minutes 'You are too much Jodha...'
'Yup! She is TOO MUCH!' PAT came the retort!


The hilarity of the situation was dragged to an abrupt stop! Looking up, the three ladies caught the source of the discomfortingly harsh voice. Oops!
Jodha had charted out a plan for everything else, but not for 'how to react when being caught in the act'! He was supposed to be in football practise. How the hell did he get there?
Advancing to where she was standing, he stopped when he was barely a hair's breadth away from her. He instantly noted how the twinkle in her eyes had returned 'Did you think I didn't understand what you were trying to do in the corridors?' he whispered bitterly
She didn't answer. She'd just resolved not to mind any of it - neither the curt interrogation, nor the presence so intimidatingly close that she could smell the brand of his cologne. Turning around, she pursued with casually slotting her vehicle keys in.
However, her actions were returned with an abrupt response. He'd firmly placed his hand around the handle bar. He wasn't about to let her leave without a reply!
Letting out a deep sigh, she faced him again 'What else could I have done...the drama might have been exaggerated, but not the facts...my family's not like yours...I can't just barge home one day and demand 40,000 out of the blue! If you still want me to pay, I have no other go than to make you the same offer all over again...without the tears, of course!'
While the silent young man studied her expressions with a suspicious frown, she returned the favour by folding her arms and staring back 'What?'
'Part II of the drama, is it?' he smirked 'I don't trust you one bit...'
'Why am I not surprised?'
'No she's right...she's done nothing!' Meera eventually found her voice - after all, the battle had gone on too long 'I was the one who spilled the tea on your bag because of a silly tussle we had...but Jodha refused to let us be dragged into this mud-slinging match...' quickly recapping all that'd happened, she stepped forth so he could get a clearer view of the bandage on her foot 'I was in the incident room when all of you had ganged-upon her...what further proof do you want-even my sandal's new...see...'
Shuttling his wary glares from one friend to another, he took his own sweet time to appraise the motive behind their forthright expressions. However, a few minutes on and he had to concede - almost begrudgingly - that it didn't seem like a sham this time around 'So, it wasn't the what-goes-around-comes-around vendetta, after all?'
Of course, he wished he hadn't been wrong - but, alas! His ego still reeling from the shock of it all, the disgruntled man remarked 'You could have showed me your friend's injury in the first place... instead of putting on that stupid show in there...' No doubt he'd stuttered there - because he knew too well her answer to it anyway.
Noticing him look away that instant, she understood she'd well and truly won the game. She went on to remind him nevertheless 'I'd mentioned about Meera being hurt the other day, but you didn't have the patience to listen... besides, if I'd dealt with it all so sensibly how would you have known how embarrassed I'd felt when you dragged me through the corridors to the AD's office!'


Ouch! Though his arrogance let his face give away nothing, it was very rare a moment when he'd been UNABLE to come up with a snide retort to counter an adversary. With her finishing it all off with a confident smirk, Jalal had finally been made to realize how it felt when the shoe was on the other foot. By any means, he was still undecided if he felt frustrated or amused by it all - possibly, a strange mix of both!
'Now, can I leave?' her words shook him out of his stupor 'And yes...about your Ipad...we're all truly...sorry'
With no intention or the time to wait for a reply from him, Jodha tugged her vehicle away from his presence. While he witnessed it all in silence, she popped her helmet on, waved to her friends and took off - all just as calmly as she'd spoken to him a minute ago.
As part of his colourful student days, he'd met many-a-girl - the smart, the straightforward, the spunky, the sensuous, the smooth and the self-respecting. However, he was yet to meet one with such a tantalizing dash of ALL of the above. Indeed, she was something special!
*********************************************************************************

****THE LIBRARY****

Scanning through the well-stocked shelves in the air-conditioned aisles, his eyes lit up. He could happily be caged in here for the next two hours - its quiet indoors a much-needed respite from the sultry noon and the crowded grounds outside! With Lecturer Venkatnarayan's class having been unexpectedly cancelled, Maan had decided to catch up on some much-needed reading. It was already the first week of October, and the famed Inter-college business seminar was due in 2 weeks time!


Having eventually decided upon a bunch of reference books, he walked towards the end of the aisle to grab an available seat - and that was when he noticed her sitting by herself - absorbed in whatever it is she was reading!
'Hello Jodha' he wished her as he walked up to her table
Following a brief glance and a casual nod, she delved right back into her notes.
'Oh! Not being very friendly, are we?' he mused 'Hey I'm sorry about the whole thing that happened at the canteen last week...it wasn't deliberate on my part...but, I heard its all been sorted out now...'
Taking a deep breath in, she gradually put her book down 'Forgive me Maan...but, don't you think just being a part of THAT gang is enough for me to want to avoid you ...'
He was taken aback. Dragging out a chair opposite hers, he took his seat without invitation 'Judgemental much? Just because we're snobby with you doesn't mean we're like that with everyone else' he paused - knowing too well he was treading on dangerous ground 'It was only harmless fun!'
She had to nearly laugh at the ridiculousness of it 'By sabotaging my song on stage? Look Maan... if I'm being judgemental, its because you guys have given me enough reason to be...'
With that tone of hers, Maan decided to let it go. Either way, she did have a point. Breaking out into a friendly smile thereafter, he let his curiosity take the lead 'So, you accept you have been judgemental about us, then...tell me what your views on us are?'
Aha! She knew where this was heading. A second later, she flashed him a You-don't-want-to-hear-this smile
'No...its ok... I'm no sissy...I'd like to hear this!' he reassured her with a wink
'Well, you asked for it...' she said mischievously, watching his amazed frown turning up a notch 'You're ok Maan...bearable...I don't know about the rest of them much...but, the leader of your gang...'
'Leader? Who? Jalal?' He'd nearly burst out laughing there 'You make it sound like we're an underworld gang!'
'Well, he DOES act like a don! Anyway, we've nicknamed him the Ipad man!'
'Ipad man? Oh God!' Maan was now trying very hard to shush his chuckles - this was definitely getting interesting 'Go on...'
'OK! Don't tell me I didn't warn you!' Spurned on by his amusement, Jodha shot off 'Hmmm, Jalal seems like an insanely competitive, egoistic, short-tempered show-off!' she paused with subtle disdain to note his laughter die down, 'He seems to possess an arrogant I-can-never-be-wrong attitude...maybe because he's a rich spoilt laadla who got into the college as his dad knew the senior faculty...he comes across as selfish...as a guy who prides himself on a contact list full of sexy girlfriends...as a guy who likes spending his dad's money...as...'
She slowly brought her ongoing tirade to a halt. Watching the now not-so-amused  expressions on Maan's face she realized she might have gotten carried away - just the slightest bit!
'Thank God Jalal's not here' Maan remarked
She had an I-don't-care smirk 'Why? Because he'd have dragged me to the AD's office again?'
'NO! But, he'd have been quite disappointed...' he shook his head 'You got him right with the rich, egoistic and short-tempered bit...but, everything other than that is just cruel!'


Last edited by lashy on 2014-05-08, 15:40; edited 3 times in total

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by lashy on 2014-04-29, 14:49

3rd October 2013


OSR Part 5


***THE SINGH HOUSEHOLD***
Leaning against her palm, Jodha let out a bored sigh. It seemed like the subject of her 'marriage' was fast becoming her family's preferred topic at the dinner table every night! With her thoughts gradually beginning to detach from their ongoing spirited discussions, she stared at the floating coriander leaf in the katori of dal that sat on her plate. Dipping a finger in, the silent young lady began playing around with the lone leaf while her mind subconsciously returned to something Maan had mentioned earlier in the day  
'Its not been all hunky dory for him, you know... he's been unfortunate too- his dad passed away when he was 12...he's doing this course to prep himself before taking over the family business from his uncle ...' Maan'd paused with a grin 'By the way - he got into the university just like you and I...by passing entrance exams...he might not look it, but he IS quite good in some subjects too!'


***THE MUHAMMAD HOUSEHOLD***
'I can't help but be anxious for him Bhai Saheb!' the compassionate mother confessed as she set her spoon down. Dressed in a chic organza saree and age only amplifying her inherent beauty and grace, Mrs. Banu was what one would call the quintessential image of a dignified socialite. However, beneath all those layers of geniality was an eternally-lurking concern for the welfare of the one person she could truly call her own- her son. If she was his lifeline, he was her life 
'Jalal stays out so late over the weekends!' she continued 'When he doesn't pick his calls, I...'
'Why do you worry so much bahu? He's nearly 24! All boys these days like to party and have fun - Jalal is no different...' the greying man refuted - sporting a comforting smile as he did so 'What matters at the end of the day is that he's a responsible boy...he's the one beside you when your rheumatism flares up...he accompanies you on your medical appointments... he knows what he wants in life...he scores well in his exams...' passing over his empty plate to the servant, the old man received the dessert dish with apparent pleasure 'Once he completes his MBA I'll be more than glad to train him and  hand him his father's business...then, I can happily retire from all responsibilities.'
'Taaya Abbu...' their conversation was interrupted by his light-hearted rebuttal 'Trying to  convince Ammi that I'm not all THAT bad is not a very easy task to achieve - trust me!'
He paused -  he'd caught her expression of mild reproof from across the glass table. Shrugging his shoulder, the young man turned on the 'cute look' by flashing his mom a sheepish smile - it was something that generally succeeded in placating her and this time was no different!
Once his mission had been accomplished, he started off from where he'd stopped 'Anyway, could you both please pass the kheer this way too...by the way, Taaya Abbu hadn't the doctor advised you to cut down on  all this - you shouldn't be having any of it in the first place!'
'Jalal...' his mother stopped him 'Bhai Sahab has come home after so long...let him have what he wants...'  
With little support from his mom, he turned to the teenaged niece sitting beside him - the one who'd been eating his brains for a good half-an-hour now 'Shazia...why don't YOU stop your daadu?' he was hoping the temporary distraction might divert her.
'He's right Daadu...you shouldn't be eating the kheer' she agreed. Less than a moment later, the 15 year old instantly reverted to picking at her young uncle - dropping her tone back to a whisper as she did so 'There! I've told him...now please continue with the college stories and stop avoiding the question, chachu...any new crushes yet?'
He wished he could slap his forehead in frustration, but that'd only attract too much attention 'NO!'
'Kyaa chachu...' she whined 'Ever since you broke up with Karishma, I don't have any name I can tease you with!'
Unfortunately for him and very fortunately for Shazia, her friend's sister studied at Shri Rama Krishna Institute too - through whom she ended up tapping on the hot college gossip -and through whom she'd learnt of this name too! Even though he'd broken up with Karishma a while  ago, his niece seemed to be in no mood to let go!
Frowning with mock-annoyance, he reminded her in a low tone 'I'm your Chachu for heaven's sake...kuch to sharam kar...Ammi and Taaya are sitting just across...' He loved her to bits but 15 was definitely a very annoying age. Strange, seeing how it hadn't been too long since he'd crossed the teens himself!
'So no one interesting then?' she pursued 'Even amongst the new batch?'
Immediately, HER images were the first ones that came to him - totally out of the blue! He knew not how or why they came - but they did! Come to think of it; when the words 'interesting' and 'new batch' were put forth together, there weren't many others he could be reminded of!
'Jodha'
'Its a Rajput name that means fearless!'
'I surely know who NOT to approach if I need help around campus'
He suddenly felt a hand tug at his elbow - forcing him to snap out of it
'So, there IS someone then? What's her name?'
'There is NO ONE Shazia...' Jalal reacted at once 'Now you better stop nagging me...warna, I'm going to tell Daadu that last week you've bunked school twice to go to the cinema...'


***THE SINGH HOUSEHOLD***
'Many sexy girlfriends? Well...he doesn't mind girls flirting with him if that's what you mean...but then, which normal 23 year old guy would? Hmmm...as for serious ones... well...he's been in two relationships in the past 4-5 years...' Maan'd abruptly paused with an embarrassed chuckle 'Wait a second... Jodha...it seems sorta odd that I'm discussing my friend's exes with you...he'd kill me if he found out...I better stop now!'  
'Jodha...what are you doing?'
She looked up - and then back down at her plate that her family were now staring at. She'd been busy drawing interesting patterns on her jhoota plate with the coriander leaf taking prime spot!
'Have you finished?' Bade bhaiya went on to enquire sternly 'We've been asking for your opinion about this new rishta...why don't you give us your answer?'
'The guy even has a modern name' the youngest brother chipped in mischievously
'No bhaiyya...no mama' she ultimately spoke up to voice her disinterest 'Not now please...not till I finish my MBA!'
'I don't understand beta...' her mother resumed the debate 'What harm in...just speak...the family once...you can... continue...your course...you're 22...'
Jodha couldn't help but smile at her mother's relentless pursuit of the matter. Nevertheless; Soon enough, the steady stream of words had begun metamorphosing into background noise once again. After all, Jodha had more important issues to deal with for the time-being!
For starters, why the hell had she been delving on words from THAT conversation! Why'd they been plaguing her mind unknowingly? Could it be due to that elusive feeling called g-u-i-l-t? Was it her conscience pricking her that she'd judged him too harshly?
'Bah!' the resilient young lady bounced back in less than a moment 'I don't have to feel bad for having judged HIM harshly. Thanks to the horrid manner in which he's behaved with me-he ASKED for it! Yup!'
There! She could smile again.


************************************************************
EN ROUTE THE COMPUTER LAB
Tucking her dupatta daintily, Jodha checked the time as the three girls made their swift way towards the rear of the main building - it was nearly 5.10 pm. Classes for the day had ended more than half an hour ago. The massive sports grounds that encompassed them were now dotted with many teams indulging in different games on respectively demarcated  patches. While a few cheerful ladies battled out a badminton game nearby, the main turf saw a large group of uniformed cricketeers taking their match quite seriously. Further away and players were vigorously scurrying with the football between two goalposts.
Observing the lively sights as they strutted towards the computer lab department, Jodha suddenly recollected something she'd meant to ask her friend 'Payal...were you able to get the copies of the marketing projects from previous batches?'
'Oh yes...' she flicked open the magnetic catch on her bag and withdrew a large envelope in no time 'Here you go!'
Meera was elated! This blessing-in-disguise would really help them with the upcoming assignment 'Payal...we love you...mwah!'
'By the way, thank professor Ram Charan on our behalf...' Jodha added 'This should really...'
'JODHA'
She stopped. It seemed like someone from the grounds had called out to her. Initially spotting none, she was about to resume her sentence when the voice was clearer the second time around
'Jodha...ONE sec...'
'God!' she swore under her breath. It was HIM - no mistaking that.
Scanning the busy scenes, she caught his looming presence from the corner of her eye. She was in NO mood for this now whatsoever. As it is, she was tensed about the project. To top it, she had very little time to wrap up her work at the lab. Another altercation with the troubling senior at this unseemly time was the LAST thing she needed.
She cast an exasperated 'What now' glare at her puzzled friends as he approached them. Jodha was in nearly half-a-mind to scoot off from the grounds so she could avoid him altogether.  Alas, the panting athlete had made it to her spot before she could act on her impulses!
No sooner than he'd arrived, she let out an restless sigh and  looked away - she wasn't the kind to have any problems expressing her hostility when the need arose!

'I'd shake hands with you, but they're really grimy now' Jalal spoke up - his manner seemingly cordial
'Huh?' his sentence compelled her to look at him - just for a moment.
His auburn hair was ruffled all over and sweat was trickling down the contours of his face on to a muddy red t-shirt that now clung to his body. The brusque sport had definitely made for a different visual from his usual 'pristine' presentation!
'We started off on the wrong foot...' he explained 'I'd like to make amends...'  
'Why?' her tone was as cynical as could be
Taking a sip from the bottle of water in his hand, Jalal smiled to himself nonchalantly -he'd expected the animosity 'Lets just say I'm impressed'
She waited for him to continue - wary of what was to come. 
He quietly watched on to observe Jodha's expressions and then broke out into a subtle smirk - she was annoyed, but she was curious too! He just loved being such a tease.
'Impressed with?' she prodded him, making sure she didn't sound too impatient.
'Kyun? Fishing for compliments, are we?' he paused to reign in his grin 'Well...I have to laud the manner in which you've handled everything the past few weeks - I like your wit and your presence-of-mind' he stopped himself there - that  was enough - for now, at least!
The silent young lady was taken aback - how ironical that while he'd just praised her presence-of-mind, she found herself tongue-tied for a second there. Well, she'd prepared herself for an argument - not for applause. Worse, she'd noticed how her friends were not really helping in any way - what with their 'unfriendly frowns' having transformed into something more along the lines of 'amused smiles' now.
After some quick thinking, she finally found the right words 'So, what do you plan to do to make amends?' 
'I can start by apologizing...'
She raised her eyebrow quizzically 'Fine! Start...'
It was very rare an occasion where he'd conceded defeat - let alone apologize to an opponent. Nevertheless, the situation and the contestant were an exception this time. So; not letting her attitude get to him Jalal ate his humble pie 'I'm sorry...for all the inconvenience and the problems I've caused you...'
Ensuing a few awkward seconds, her answer came - but, it was favourable 'Accepted!'
Acknowledging her response with a playful 'Thankyou'  he hurled a slick glance at his watch. Just then, obvious signs of worry abruptly clouded his handsome features 'Damn...gotta go now...I would have asked you all to join me for coffee...but I HAVE to be in Secunderabad by 6:30...' his tone dropped to a mutter 'Shit...totally forgot about this...'
'In Secunderabad?' Meera exclaimed 'By 6:30 pm?'
'Through this evening traffic?' Payal added 'No way'
Nearly forgotten in the new-found excitement, Jodha watched how her 'traitorous' friends suddenly appeared over-enthused about burying the hatchet with her arch-nemesis!
'It'd take longer by car' Meera surmised with genuine concern
'I know...but, I have to take my mom there...' Jalal explained. Running his fingers through his hair, he started mumbling  pensively 'Amal doesn't allow visitors after 7:30...she's not going to be happy...'
'What?'
'Oh nothing...' he looked up - realizing he'd been speaking to himself 'Its a charity my family supports...an old age home' he jogged a few steps backwards to make up for lost time 'Anyway...bye...catch up sometime later...'
With not a second more to squander, Jalal dashed off from the scene in a jiffy with a hurried farewell - his mind now caught up in some other issues altogether.
Having remained defiantly silent through it all, Jodha couldn't help but mull on the last bits she'd just overheard. Chauffeuring mom? To a charity? She'd definitely not take him to be the type. Maan's words came to mind. However, her spell of empathy was short-lived when she recollected the anonymous texter  
'Could it be him?' she mulled 'He knows so many around here, he could have EASILY got hold of my number! Maybe that's why this charade of sudden decency!'
'He's got this air-of-authority about him when he speaks' Payal interrupted Jodha's deliberation - unable to take the odd stillness following the the unexpected-turn-of-events any longer 'But, I can't deny - he's really smart, isn't he?'
Meera instantaneously broke out into a fit of giggles - Payal had just said what she'd been DYING to say too!
'WHAT!' Jodha yelled in mild dismay. Watching them gush - like two high schoolers would when approached by a popular guy - was disappointing to say the least.
'Kyaa yaar...he IS sexy!'
'Ridiculous!'  she muttered to herself as she dismissed the seemingly silly doses of admiration
'Don't look at me like that Jo...' Payal shrugged 'Both, Maan and Jalal are definite 'lookers'!'
'Oh! So Maan too, huh?' Meera teased
'Jo!' Payal nudged her reserved pal 'Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about...like you haven't NOTICED him...'
'NOTICED?' came Jodha's defence right away 'Thanks to him, I NOTICED we've just lost another fifteen minutes...and we can't complete our assignment this evening!'
Her retort was a sure damper because the hysteria steadily fizzled out.
'Sorry guys' she quickly made up for her rudeness. For some reason, the jesting had riled up the generally-sportive young lady and her statement had turned out a tad bit more animated than she'd intended it to be!
***


Last edited by lashy on 2014-05-12, 12:25; edited 2 times in total

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by lashy on 2014-04-29, 14:50

October 9th
PART 6 


***ON THE WAY TO THE UNIVERSITY***


Leaning forth to turn down the rock album that was playing on his cd player, Jalal swiftly adjusted the volume on his Samsung bluetooth 
'Courier? Yes Taaya...I HAVE sent it by courier...it should reach the Mumbai office by tomorrow...don't you worry' he continued, as he shuffled the gear back to 1 - YET AGAIN! It was the tell-tale morning traffic at the crossroads- anything quicker than gear 2 would be considered a blessing anyway!
Waiting for a response from the other end, he cast a wary glance at the digital clock on the dashboard '8:40 already!'
Difficult to believe his elegant Jubilee Hills bungalow was barely 8 kms away from the Institute when it took him nearly 45 minutes to get there every morning!
'Taaya..I'll do the needful don't worry...' he prompted his engrossed uncle at the other end - attempting to conclude the conversation so he could concentrate on speeding up his journey 'I'll catch up later...I'm getting late to college now...please take care of your health...bye!' he abruptly paused there. His attention had just been caught by the slow-moving silhouette of a person, some distance away. Switching off his bluetooth, he watched closely.
A young lady appeared to be struggling to drag her scooty around street vendors and stray dogs, as she made her way alongside the congested traffic. It was HER! There was no mistaking it - that graceful demeanour, that striking form and most notably, that typical display of self-reliance. So what if her face was now mummified within a petalline pink dupatta and an oversized helmet?
Obviously, her situation was nowhere near ideal for this sort of exercise though - considering the lack of time, the October heat, the barrage of fumes or even the assortment of  in-your-face horns. Not to mention, the flowy Anarkali dress with all of its frills and open toe sandals to match!
While both, the 'unconcerned' and the 'concerned-but-too-busy-to-help' passerbys just drove past the lone college girl - his reaction was something different altogether. Ironing out the sly smile that'd just escaped - Jalal pushed his coolers back on to the bridge of his nose and switched on the left indicator. Snaking from middle to left lane in no time he finally made it to her spot.
Unruffled about the 'gaalis' and 'honks' being directed his way by irate drivers, Jalal let the passenger-side window glide down. Still inching ahead with her back to him, she hadn't noticed the silver Audi that'd just stopped beside her.
So, he sounded a brief honk followed by a quick call-out 'Jodha'
When she DID eventually respond to the voice and turned around, boy was she in for a startle!
'What!' she exclaimed under her breath. 
EXACTLY what she needed then - HIM pitying her sorry fate - staring at her through those dark coolers, while seated in the air conditioned comfort of his fancy car!
'You? Here?' she stuttered.
'I study in the same university too, you know...so yes I take the same route too' he jested
Despite her face being hidden by the helmet, he could read the momentary perplexity in her eyes and that was gratifying enough. Unfastening his seatbelt, he leaned from the driver's seat towards the passenger window so he didn't have to holler over the noisy traffic 'Need some help?'
Not-from-YOU was what Jodha felt like instantly retorting. However, thanks to her aching limbs, the reply turned out meeker than usual 'N...no...I can manage myself...'  
She had to stay determined. She had to keep up that facade of bravado!
'Fine...' he smiled to himself and shrugged lightly 'Just in case you aren't aware, the nearest petrol station is about 15 minutes that way...and the university another twenty minutes in the opposite direction...but, if you feel you haven't had enough exercise for the day...suit yourself!'
Ugh! Did he have to remind her about the distances again? As it is, she'd towed her vehicle for the past twenty-odd minutes!
Worse, it looked like he had no intention of sparing her any more 'thinking' time. The nonchalant young man had already returned to his driver's seat and re-fastened his belt. In fact, he was about to press the controls to shut the window.
He was going to leave? Just like that? So, it was just a show of sympathy to miff her? 
The annoyed junior wished she could come up with some other solutions at that moment, but truly she had none. He'd definitely jinxed her by calling her a quick-thinker since she was increasingly running out of words and ideas around him!
With not enough money to pay an auto fare AND petrol - and her friends' phones out-of-reach - Jodha begrudgingly yelled out to catch him just as the window was about to seal shut 'ONE sec'
Ego was definitely a very strong emotion, no doubt. However; when lack-of-time, heat and exhaustion teamed together they could quite easily overcome it - even in the strongest of personalities. Now, who would have thought that?


***IN THE SILVER AUDI***


It'd taken her a few initial moments to familiarize herself with the seatbelt clutch, but she'd managed to click it in place thereafter. Leaning back on her seat, Jodha cast another quick look out her window to ensure her scooty was parked properly.
'Don't worry...' he assured her, as they moved off 'That is a pretty safe parking spot...the police beat is just on the other side of the road...'
'Hmmm' she nodded once
Now, that was the first bit of conversation they exchanged within the confines of that car - and the last! Strangely, never before had she had the pleasure of sitting in such a comfortable vehicle and yet never before had she been so uncomfortable either. For all of the fifteen minutes that the ride lasted he continued to listen to his rock album and keep his eye on the road, while she deliberately restricted her glances to the sights outside her window.
Anyway; despite all of that intentional self-restraint there WERE some things about him - some 'traits' that were difficult to not-notice.
First off, why was everything on and around him always so immaculate - much like the crisp white checked shirt he was wearing now? Why, even the shiny surfaces in his car were all streak-free!  
Subconsciously straightening out the odd-crease on her dupatta, Jodha had a quick visual of her messy desk at home. However, she dispelled the comparison it in no time 'Bah! It's too much work...there are better things in life to do than trying to keep everything so sterile! Waise, he must be having a trail of servants to do the job for him!'
Just then, the traffic ahead cleared and Jalal was able to shift up the gears. Her swift glimpse unwittingly fell on his wrist as he did so.
'Lord!' she exclaimed mentally as she took note 'Even his fingers looked manicured!'
She cast a subtle glance at her nails - thankfully, she'd just been to the parlour a week ago and they were looking pretty good too! Pleased with herself, Jodha returned her attention to the window-scenes as she came to an amusing conclusion 'He must take longer to groom himself than most ladies do!'
Having surmised her few random observations about the senior and having dismissed it all off just as quickly, there was ONE annoying fact she couldn't seem to shake off. This 'charisma' and this aura of 'class' he was so proud of wasn't an act he put on to impress people. That's how he was NATURALLY programmed!


***UNIVERSITY CAR PARK***


No sooner than the engine had been switched off, Jodha unfastened her seat belt and stepped out of the vehicle in relief.
'Phew' she murmured. In spite of all of her misadventures that morning, they'd managed to reach the college in time to make it to the first class.
Picking his bag from the back seat, Jalal got out and shut the door. While beeping the key to lock his car, he removed his coolers and looked at the lady who was now standing on the other side. They'd spent nearly twenty minutes together, but that was the first time they'd ACTUALLY met eyes.  
'Didn't check your fuel before leaving?' he asked -something he'd been meaning to do for a while now
With the awkward silence between them ultimately broken, Jodha glared at the helmet hanging from her hand and let out a vexed sigh 'I'd filled it only day-before, so didn't check before leaving ...chote bhaiyya...' she looked back up at him 'I mean my brother's bike's in the garage...so, he took my scooty out for a ride yesterday evening and disappeared for hours...and the rest is obvious...'
A slight grin broke out on his lips. For a variety of reasons, he'd already begun liking this 'chote bhaiya' character! Any enemy of his enemy would have to be his friend, right?
She watched his expressions and knew PRECISELY what was going on in his mind 'Don't worry... bhaiyya'll pay for this...I'll make sure he gets my vehicle back home...this evening!'
'Oh! I have no doubt you'll make him pay' Jalal mocked. He'd had enough experience in the matter. So much so, he could already visualize the scenes of sibling wars that'd play out in her house that eve.
'You got that right!' she smirked.
Just when she thought he was being civil, his tell-tale quips and grins had made their appearance after all 'Urgh!'
Poised as ever, Jalal observed the frustration-driven fury in her expressions. He didn't know of many other women who appeared so delightful when provoked! There was just something about her that made him revisit his devilish tendencies more than usual.
'Hey Jalal...what are y...'
The duo's glare-a-thon was brought to an abrupt end. Turning around, she caught the puzzled faces of many-a-senior she recognized. Renu, Abdul, Maan, Salim, Sharif, Anand, his friends from the football team and quite a few others that she was by now, familiar with. Incidentally, they were all on their way to seminar room for a special presentation and had spotted the duo in the car park!
Having taking his group no time to realize that the warring twosome had travelled to college together that morning, the expressions on their faces thereafter - was nothing short of a spectacle!
Amused by their flummoxed reactions, Jalal waved to them like he'd on any other Wednesday morning 'Hi guys...I know...I know...I'm a bit late...'
She, on the other hand - was obviously a tad bit more flustered by the group's sudden turning-up. Their last meeting in the AD's office wasn't pleasant by any means. Its no wonder that they weren't particularly affable this time either. She watched Renu's part-alarmed part-disapproving stares and decided it best to get going before something else embarrassing happened.
'I better be on my way' she said -giving them a courtesy nod and flashing Maan a hasty smile  'I'm late for class anyway...bye!'
Saying so, she took a few steps forward when she heard him call out to her 'Hey Jodha...you've forgotten something...'
She paused in her tracks. What had she forgotten now? She made a quick check - handbag, dupatta, helmet - it was all on her person. Sceptical, she turned around 'What?'
'Jab fursat mile...tho THANKS bol dena!' he turned to his friends a second later 'Chal guys...we better be on OUR way...we're late for OUR class anyway!'


***JODHA'S CLASSROOM***


She let out an peeved groan 'Are you kidding? So what if its an Audi...I pray that I NEVER have to utilize his help ever again...'
This supposed-to-be welcome break after two hours of lectures was turning out to be not-so-welcome any more. She failed to understand how something as mundane as a car ride to university warranted so much curiosity! If only she hadn't told the girls anything about the 'lift drama' - but then they were curious why she was late and she couldn't lie to them. So here she was - bearing the brunt of it - thirty five questions later!
'But a silver AUDDDIII' Payal sighed dreamily 'Even if I hated the guy, I'd still get into the CAR anyway!'
Jodha rolled her eyes 'You're nuts!'
'Waise what DID he say to annoy you?' Meera added - obvious her questions hadn't been answered satisfactorily yet
'Nothing specific Meera...ermm...you know...' her brows knit into a livid frown 'He...er...he's just...er...such a show off...with this superiority complex...it just gets to me everytime...I regret I took help from him - he's going to keep rubbing it in my face now...'
Her friends eventually let out an empathetic smile in unison- they understood where she was coming from.
'Fine...chal chodo ye sab...' Payal nodded slowly 'Waise, do you girlies  have your suits ready for the Inter-collegiate competition? Its next Friday right?'
The Inter-collegiate Business competition was an esteemed symposium - basically, a convention where senior students from Business Institutes pitted their wits through 'academic' contests. Annually held in  prominent commerce universities on a rotational basis; this year, was Sri Rama Krishna Institute's turn to host the show!
'I do' replied Meera
'I don't' Jodha mulled - as she reverted to her lively self 'I have to pop over to Lifestyle or Shoppers Stop this weekend to pick one up...' she quickly paused. 
Looking up, she indicated towards the door. The next lecturer - Mrs Uma - was making her way towards their classroom. Soon after, the girls picked their phones from the desk to switch it off for class. Just then, Jodha realized that she had an unread text message in her inbox that'd come in just a few minutes ago. Deciding to give it a swift read before shutting her phone down, Jodha casually opened the message
'Do you even know how classically sensuous you are?'
It took all of a horrified second for it to sink in, but when it did, the weird words filled her with utter disgust! It was from the same unrecognized number as before. She instantly dialled the number back to have a stern word with the anonymous texter, but his mobile was switched off!
'Pervert!' she chided the idiot while switching off her phone. Who WAS it? Was it someone who was just trying to rile her up? Was it some guy who really liked her? Was it some psycho stalker? How she wished she could get to know the answer!
She inadvertently made a quick mental scan of all possible suspects and once again; Jalal, Shareef and Anand were the only faces that came to mind.
'Jalal' she surmised angrily - he definitely had more reason to be up to something like this than anyone else she knew for then!


Last edited by lashy on 2014-05-12, 12:25; edited 2 times in total

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by lashy on 2014-04-29, 14:50

18th October
PART  7


THE INTER-COLLEGIATE DEBATE CONTEST!
SEMINAR HALL-GREEN ROOM


'Hey does my hair look ok?'
'Listen...has anyone seen my mobile...it's a red Sony Ericsson...I'd kept it here...'
'I look so fat in this dress...I've put on weight'
'Does anyone here have pink lip gloss?'
'Girls...its getting really late we need to get going! It's going to start in 20 minutes!'
The sort of chaos when you had about 12 ladies fighting for dressing space within a smallish green room, was always a difficult one to describe - especially when the said green room was nothing but a glorified store room! As though rows of spare chairs stacked alongside one wall hadn't cramped the place enough, a large part of the remaining floor space was also taken up by unused projectors and other equipments! Adding to the mayhem, the internal latch on the door was dysfunctional. So, everytime an unwitting person attempted to make a grand entry - the ladies in their not-so-modest-state of dressing had to literally scream 'NOOO...DON'T COME IN' in unison to drive the intruder away!
'I can't understand why you girls couldn't just wear your suits at home?' Payal complained - seeing how she'd been reduced to a hair-brush bearer for more than twenty minutes now 'It's only a tailored suit'
'Your chacha brought you here by car, so you're fine...I travel by the Govt bus - imagine wearing this in the bus...' one of her classmates debated
'Payal, its not too comfortable riding a scooty in a suit either' Jodha added, as she helped another friend tie up her hair
A second later and the ladies could hear the speaker announcements reverberating through the adjacent seminar room - an indication that the programmes were about to start soon.
'Jo...' Meera stepped forth to whisper to her engrossed friend 'Now, can you please stop assisting others with their hairdressing experiments and get yourself ready...we need to be in our seats within the next 20 minutes!'
Her friend was right. She'd spent too much time pinning and braiding her classmates' tresses. She better get ready soon. Finishing up on the last bits of a french bun, Jodha slowly nodded her head in approval 'Meera...do one thing...you girls carry on...I'll join you!'
Meera frowned 'Are you sure?'
'Haan...pakka!' Jodha smiled
Before long, most of them had finished with their mini-makeovers and were beginning to make a dash outside the door. Pressed for time, Jodha followed suit by moving to a dim corner screened off by a high stack of chairs to get herself ready. Within the confines of the limited privacy she had, the young lady hastily shed her dupatta and thereafter her cotton salwar kameez. Swiftly dumping the discarded clothes into a plastic cover, she flung the cover aside. Just then, she heard her rushed friends bidding her a quick farewell on their way out
'Jodha...we're leaving now...be sure to make it there soon...we'll reserve a seat for you!'
'And yup...we've taken all the make-up bags... so, don't worry... just get dressed and come soon...'
'Fine yaar...' Jodha acknowledged 'Meet you there...ab tum donon jaldi chalo...'
'Ok...dokie..'
After they'd shut the door on their way out, Jodha stepped away from the the isolated corner to grab her Lifestyle cover - the cover that she'd brought her brand new suit in.
Strange! It wasn't where she'd left it. Unnerved, Jodha made a quick survey of the small room, but it was NOWHERE in sight. It was MISSING!
'What!' she exclaimed. How could her dress go AWOL suddenly when it was here barely a minute ago?
A moment later and she realized what'd happened. Along with other miscellaneous covers and bags, her over-enthused friends had scooted off with the very bag she needed too!
Slapping her forehead in alarm, Jodha swore under her breath 'God! these two nut-cases' This setback would cause her additional delay now!
She decided to give Meera a call and summon them back at once - so she could retrieve her dress. However,  just as she was about to do so - ANOTHER sordid reality dawned upon her. The bag that they'd taken, had her purse AND her mobile phone in it too!
The colour slowly beginning to drain from her face, Jodha cast an anxious glance at the place that she'd tossed her old salwar at. That bag was missing too!
'Nooo! Damn...' she let out a low scream as the reality hit her hard.
What the hell did they think they were doing when they took all her belongings and ran off like headless chickens - and they were apparently 'helping' her!
'IDIOTS!' the furious young lady chided her two supposed friends as she reflected on the sorry spot they'd put her in. Thanks to their mindless act, she was now stranded in this murky room, behind a latch-less door, with no way to contact anyone, with no clothes to wear - and in NOTHING beyond a transparent short chemise!
Finding herself immensely self-sympathetic, the exasperated junior knew not what to do for a short while. As the minutes flew by, there were brief spells where she felt like breaking down into a few frustrated sobs. However, identifying that throwing a pity-party served no purpose, Jodha fought the urges to cave-in by taking in a few deep breaths every now and again.  
She thought long and hard to find a way out of this mess. There were no spare clothes in the room - in fact, the closest thing that even resembled a cloth was a dusty rag lying at one end. Neither was there an emergency phone. The only option left was to wait it out. Either her worried friends would eventually come looking for her or someone else would come by - through whom she could get her message to them.
'Someone else?' Jodha surmised anxiously just then 'If the 'someone else' passing by was a lady - fine... but what if it turned out to be a guy?'
Her thought processes went into a sudden stupor when she stumbled upon THAT possibility.
'GOD!' she let out a low cry. How would she even begin explaining her condition to a male stranger? It would be mortifying! How would she ever face him if she met him in college thereafter? What if he tried something untoward with her?
Her fingers turning numb with the very thought, Jodha stared down to view the exposed state she was in and then looked up to observe the broken lock on the door 'Please help me God...please don't let anything wrong happen to me!'


SEMINAR HALL - THE CORRIDORS


Adjusting the cuff-link that was coming undone, the young man picked up pace once again. With fifteen minutes for the events to start, there was just about enough time for a quick nip to the washroom that was situated behind the seminar hall auditorium. Unlike many other batchmates, the quietly-confident Jalal was not one to get himself worked up over last minute revisions.
The debate topic 'Business ethics in a failing economy' was something he and Maan had researched well-enough the past couple of weeks. Besides, their team weren't novices - they'd always been strong contenders when it came to challenges that required presence of mind and skill.
Ensuring the sleeve of his classy blue shirt and suit had been straightened out, Jalal looked ahead as he reached the final stretch of the long corridors. Just as he was about to take the right turn towards the Men's restroom, he heard what sounded like muffled sounds coming from somewhere nearby. For a second, the perplexed senior didn't understand the 'hows' or the 'wheres' of the noises - so, he waited to see if he heard them again. Surely enough, he did - it was a lady's voice. 
Since they seemed to be coming from the store room he'd crossed a few seconds ago, he retraced a few steps to enable him to hear the words better 'Is someone... there... green... store...'


SEMINAR HALL-GREEN ROOM


'Is someone there? I'm calling from the green room...the store room...' she started tapping on the door loudly to get the attention of the person whose footsteps she'd just heard 'Is someone there? Is someone there?'
'Yes..yes' eventually came the voice from the other side 'Who's this?'
Dejected and debased, she shut her eyes in vexation. Just as she'd feared, it was a MAN she had to explain her pathetic state of affairs to. Nevertheless; since beggars couldn't be choosers, Jodha plucked up her courage and went on to plead to the stranger thereafter - praying nothing adverse befell her 'I...er...erm...I'm stuck in a very awkward situation...can you please help me out...I beg you...'
There was a short spell of no answer. Growing increasingly agitated by the ongoing silence, Jodha wondered what was going on on the other side of the door - and then came the troubling reply
'Jodha, is that YOU?'
The colour that had barely returned to her face drained away just as quickly - ONCE AGAIN! She cupped her face in utter shock as she she realized the identity of the person on the other side of the door!
'Jalal?' Like, really? REALLY?
'Arrrgh'  she let out a loud mental scream and then took a few deep breaths to deal with the sudden influx of panic attacks. This HAD to be another one of fate's cruel jokes - and fate seemed to be playing a lot such with her lately 'Arrrgh!'
'What happened Jodha?' he'd come back soon after. However, how was she to elaborate on her present condition to him? To HIM? Especially when she could already envision the relentless snubs he'd subject her to as a consequence of this!
'Speak up...or I'll leave now...' his calm forewarning came a minute or so later
Fighting her inner demons and having to gather immense resolve, Jodha ultimately spoke up - explaining all that had transpired.
'My dress...' she winced in dismay - as she reached the end of it all 'My dress is with Meera...can you please give my friend a call and convey my message to her?'
In less than a second, she could hear a bout of stifled chuckles from his side - succeeded by his typical jibe 'How do you ALWAYS manage to get yourself stuck in some weird issue?'
EXACTLY as she'd feared - he wasn't going to assist her in any way. Au contraire, he could make the situation worse - far worse by humiliating her about it for months to come!
'Damn! what do I do now?' she mulled, nearly in tears - seeing how her situation felt worse than it was a minute ago.  
Ensuing a short lull in the sequence of events; just as the lone lady'd wiped her moist eyes, she could hear the amplifying noises of shuffling footsteps in the verandah. Apprehensive, she listened on and it suddenly seemed like many male voices were coming from the other side of her door.
Petrified, she wondered what was happening. What was he up to? What was going on? What were so many men doing outside her door, out of the blue? She began dreading the worst. Were they meaning to come in? Were they planning to do something horrible?
Her skin turning a ghostly white, Jodha's heart began racing in trepidation. Her voice parched and her senses in a daze, a thousand daunting scenarios bolted through her mind. She inadvertently recollected random magazine headlines and news articles of horrid things that befell college girls - and prayed no such thing happen to her.
Then, she FINALLY heard his voice.
Pressing her head against the door, the anguished young lady strained her ears to hear the conversation. It seemed like he was talking to the group of men
'The green room is occupied guys...' he was telling them 'My friend's in...so, please use the men's restrooms if you need to change...udhar hai...thanks guys!'
Wait! Did she hear it right? Did he actually do that? Did HE actually say that? For her? With it being the first good thing happening to her in the last fifteen minutes, Jodha just breathed a MASSIVE sigh of relief there!


SEMINAR HALL - THE CORRIDORS


'What have you been doing? Are you going to help me?' her question had resurfaced just as the batch of juniors had left the verandah 'Please...' she paused 'Jalal...are you there...'
He was compelled to look up in the direction of the voice that'd just uttered his name. For a moment, he gazed at the door that stood in between them. Those last two words of hers truly revealed her vulnerability. Her voice was beginning to break. She was desperate and oddly enough, that knowledge only made him feel uncomfortable - 'empathetic' to be precise! While her angry-desperate was fun to watch, this sad-desperate wasn't. 
With his smirk having vanished, he realized that he definitely preferred the 'feistier' version of this rival!
'Fine...give me the number quick...I need to be on stage now' he replied - wasting no further time
The answer came to him just as hastily '0...9...9...'

********************************************************************************



SEMINAR HALL - THE AUDITORIUM


The generally imposing seminar arena had assumed a very sombre appearance for the convention. With its fancy lights having been dimmed down, the focus was now entirely on the teams participating in the first round of contests. A spontaneous silence prevailed in the hall as the sea of audience - a blend of students from various universities - watched the unfolding proceedings with interest, while silently rooting for their own teams.  
Having only managed to take her seat a few minutes ago in the wake of the distressing tribulations - the displeased young lady had ignored her friends' apologies for the best part of five minutes. However, keeping up the grumpy look any longer had proven to be too tough - what with their long faces appearing so irresistably adorable. Needless to say, the girls had swiftly apologized and patched up thereafter.
Relieved that their oversight had ultimately been pardoned, Meera resumed the conversation on an enthusiastic note - ensuring her voice stayed low 'By the way Jodha...I've been meaning to ask you this...had YOU asked  Jalal to wait in the corridors...till I arrived or something?'
She turned to face her pal with a curious frown 'No! I...I mean...I didn't even know he was waiting there!'
'He waited till I arrived...' Meera informed her 'Then, he left...obviously, he was in a rush'
'B...but why? I mean... he didn't mention anything after he made the call...so, I assumed he'd left' Jodha was confounded. HE'd waited outside all along - and didn't even rub it in her face about it?
'Don't know' Meera shrugged her shoulder with an unsure smile 'Maybe...he didn't tell you because he didn't want to embarrass you any further...but, I think...he was sorta... watching out for you...you know...till I came...'
Rather taken aback by this additional bit of information, the silenced young lady gradually faced front again - reverting her attention to the happenings in front - in fact to one particular young man in front.
Her friend's matter-of-fact statements had unintentionally nudged her into a myriad of thoughts - mostly about him. His approach to the problem she'd just faced had turned out to be different from what she'd expected of him - and in a positive way! Albeit begrudgingly, Jodha realized she owed him for this - and BIG TIME!
*****************


Last edited by lashy on 2014-06-01, 12:59; edited 2 times in total

lashy
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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by lashy on 2014-04-29, 14:50

PART  8

18th October


SEMINAR HALL - THE SEATS



It'd been more than an hour since the first round of contests had started off. Not surprisingly, ISB - the top management university in Hyderabad - was still leading. However, Sri Rama Krishna had been close on its heels all through. With six of the ten teams now eliminated, it was barely a matter of time before the final round would come to its end - thus revealing the winners of the 2013 Inter-collegiate Business Debate Symposium! 



While all eyes were on the eight engrossed participants seated on stage then, Jodha continued to primarily observe one certain debonair senior. 

The fact that HE stood out despite being surrounded by the most 'exclusive' of the lot was something even SHE couldn't refute - not then, not before. Nevertheless, that day there were certain other things about him that seemed to surface too - be it his knowledge of current affairs, his quick-witted arguments, his elan or his confidence! 
She let out a sceptical smirk 'Maybe Maan wasn't being totally partial towards his friend when he'd said that the Ipad Man wasn't ALL THAT BAD?' 




On that note, she was compelled to wonder what this 'organized freak'  thought of her - seeing how he'd always caught her in some crisis or the other! Her inadvertent thoughts flew back to the awkward twenty minutes she'd somehow spent with him - her semi-clothed self cooped up in that green room with him on the other side of the door. The recollection made her wince in mortified agony for the nth time 'Urgh ...how embarrassing...that a stranger..a guy had to guard my room till my clothes arrived ...if mama came to know of what had happened, she'd have a mini-heart attack!'
Still looking ahead, she studied how he'd just concluded the debate with an exceptional set of arguments. She knew it'd be too much to ask that she NEVER faced him again. So, she only wished their next encounter - wherever and whenever it'd be - be 'bearable'!


'He's cute, isn't he?' her friend suddenly interrupted her thoughts with a subtle nudge

'Huh?' Jodha turned to face Payal - somewhat lost
'MAAN...he's really cute yaar...'
'Oh, Maan?'
Payal's face lit-up in part-realization 'What do you mean 'Oh, Maan?'...were your gazes fixed on someone else, then?'
'What? No!' Jodha refuted in semi-annoyance 'NO! Shhh...look ahead... the results will be announced soon...looks like we may have a good chance of winning...'




2013 INTER-COLLEGIATE BUSINESS DEBATE SYMPOSIUM - THE CONCLUDING CEREMONIES


The dignified uproar hadn't ceased for more than fifteen minutes now. Students from all represented universities clapped in unanimous appreciation as the winning participants were being awarded their certificates and medallions. ISB had been declared the winners and Sri Rama Krishna Institute the 1st runners up - the difference only by a few points. 

While their university had always  managed to make it within top five, coming in at 2nd place was still a rare feat! Therefore,  not surprising that all members of Institute were revelling in relentless joy! 


'Come on...let's go and congratulate them' Payal reiterated as she stood up from her seat - watching the groups that were gradually beginning to disperse towards the exit of the hall

'Yup...let's go' Meera added, picking up their bags and belongings
What! Jodha was taken aback - she hadn't expected they'd want to meet the winners personally! Well, she was in no frame of mind to meet HIM after what she'd just been through, especially not amidst such a large gathering. 
'Ermm...why now?' Jodha tried stalling 'Its too crowded now...dekho tho...'
'What do you mean?' Meera was puzzled 'Don't you want to wish them? Everyone's wishing them...' she paused 'Don't you want to thank him?'
'I do...but, maybe...some time later!' 
Noting her friends' puzzled frowns, Jodha let out a uncomfortable sigh and looked away. She was in no mood to give any further explanations.
 
Following a brief clumsy spell of silence between the trio, Payal decided to take matters into her own hands. Abruptly grabbing her unwilling pal by the wrist she started dragging her away 'Come on Jo...let's wish them now...even if you don't want to, I WANT TO!'




SEMINAR HALL - ON THE DAIS  


The scenes on the dais and about were quite chaotic - what with the finalists being swamped by photographers, staff and students alike. Having swam through various such clusters of juniors and seniors, her group had finally made it to the steps of the stage too. All along, her ongoing protests had had no effect - making Jodha pretty certain by then that Payal's eagerness to wish them was only so she could avail a chance to meet Maan at close quarters. 





Throwing her friends a couple of irked glances as they mounted the dais, Jodha checked out the lively scenes ahead with a wary frown. Flanked by the usual faces, Jalal and Maan seemed to be at the receiving end of a LOT of recognition and praise from all quarters. After all, they'd exceeded everyone's expectations that day. However, it was also quite apparent that they took pleasure in hogging all that extra attention! 
Noticing how a couple of charming ladies in their 'perfect' suits and their 'exaggerated' smiles chatted with the two young men, Jodha couldn't help but scoff the male psyche. How could it be that every time she'd met him, he was entertaining a new set of females?


Prodded by her pals, Jodha reluctantly walked on - forcing a smile as she passed by Prof Ram Charan and Prof Shantaram who were on their way out. No sooner than they'd reached the boisterous assembly of seniors, their raucous laughter and excitement evidently dropped down a few notches. 



Increasingly flustered about the impending encounter, Jodha took her fair share of time to look up - to meet eyes with the man, who by then had stepped forth to greet the new arrivals. 

 
Wow! So, she'd come to meet him? SHE? He was surprised and pleasantly so. The cordial beams on his face took no time to metamorphose into a softer grin - the mischievous kind - the one that seemed to be reserved for HER more and more lately. He hadn't expected her arrival, but now that she was there his gazes had to give her a swift head-to-toe once over - especially to observe the tell-tale suit that'd gone 'amiss'! 


Her uneasiness showed. For someone who always submitted to the 'salwar' dress code, this tailored suit was not exactly comfortable. Yet; while she was no Kingfisher Supermodel in that attire, it was that very discomfort that brought about a quirky charm to her personality - something not many others could replicate!



'Hello' he broke the odd bout of silence between the two parties that had gone on long enough 

'Congratulations' the affable Meera spoke first
'Congrats...' Payal chipped in - obviously bursting to get into the conversation 'You guys were amazing...BOTH of you' she grinned at Maan as she said that last bit, who was quite happy to return the favour, of course!
'Congrats' her words came eventually 'Both of you!'


He waited a few seconds for her to go on. However, seeing how nothing was to follow he decided to prompt her 'Jab fursat mile tho araam se thanks bol dena!'


Damn! Her face instantly became a deep shade of crimson as she stared at him in distress. She would have thanked him later when he was alone. Why did he bring it up then, in front of his friends? Obviously, to berate her - and to think she'd nearly concluded he wasn't ALL THAT BAD!



With neither of the two quiet starers explaining anything, one of his amused classmates spoke up for the rest 'Why Jalal? Why the thanks?' 

'Yes...please enlighten us too...' Renu added curiously - observing their silent exchanges 


Meera and Payal stared sympathetically at Jodha, who was clearly unhappy now. The LAST thing she wanted was for the disgraceful incident to come out in the open! Unsure of how he was going to go into the details, the speechless young lady continued watching him - unaware that her glares were both, part-intimidating and part-pleading!

  
'Well...she was stuck...' he finally begun explaining with a smile -  deciphering the myriad of messages in her piercing eyes  'She was lost..she couldn't find her way to the seminar hall...I helped her out...'   
Oh, so THAT was it? He was teasing her and taking pleasure in it - again! Nevertheless; with that cover-up of his, Jodha couldn't deny she'd just breathed another MASSIVE sigh of relief. Noticing the proud you-owe-me-again expressions in his eyes thereafter, she looked away with an edgy frown. 


'We're all on our way to the canteen now...' he resumed in his usual chirpy tone 'Maan and I are treating those who can join us, to a round of Samosas and chai for today's success...why don't you three come along?' 

Jodha suddenly looked up once again 'W...what...n...n'
'Oh yes...kyun nahi...' Payal quickly interrupted her. She was not the type to turn down such offers from two handsome seniors!
'Sure...we'd be happy to...' Meera shrugged gladly
Jodha cast a sullen glimpse at her friends for having subtly shut her up. She was not too certain where all of this junior-senior interaction was heading!


Having received their approval, he turned to face the remainder of his group to get going. Straightaway, he caught Renu staring at him with a cynical frown. Breaking out into a nonchalant smile, he dismissed her scepticism with a playful wink 'Ab chalo yaar...it's getting late!'





THE CANTEEN


'THAT is where the entire fiasco had happened' Payal pointed to the fateful table that she'd spilled the tea on 'And the rest as we know is history!'

'Well, only his IPAD is history now' Maan corrected her while sipping on his tea 'RIP IPAD!'
'You still miss it don't you?' Abdul teased 'Tell me Jalal, do you still get dreams of her?'
'Her?' Meera wondered aloud 'You referred to it as HER?'
'Of course we do! He used to 'sleep' with it!' Salim joked
'Sleep?' Payal choked on her tea 
'Guys...thanks for telling them all my secrets on our very FIRST meeting ' Jalal laughed at the jokes they were cracking about his Ipad.
 
The series of guffaws barely seemed to stop - everyone was having fun and laughing louder than the other! Everyone, but her! She'd been the quietest of the lot so far. However, amidst the riotous jests that had been going around their table for the past hour or so, even she had unawarely erupted into a smile more than once - and this was a fact that he hadn't failed to notice!


'Jodha told me that you'd lost your Investment Analysis projects...' Meera spoke up after the laughter had calmed down a bit 'Did you manage to complete it...'



The group fell into an abrupt lull of silence. It seemed like the query had brought everything to a standstill. Unaware of how to react to the transition, Jodha, Meera and Payal stared at each other in worried confusion for a whole minute. 

Just then; Jalal, Renu, Abdul, Maan and Salim exploded into a slow crescendo of uncontrollable chuckles. 
'He'd lied' Renu admitted ultimately
'Baap re' Meera was shocked as the reality sunk in 'You'd lied to the AD about losing your project?'
'He had a backup copy in a pen drive' Renu grinned
'You didn't think I'd type out an entire project and NOT have a backup copy...' his smiles were impish




So, he'd fibbed about it? To sway the AD in his favour? His gang might be sniggering about it now, but Jodha wasn't impressed in the least. In retrospect, if there was one thing she'd felt REALLY guilty about, it was the fact that he'd lost his project - and it turned out that it was all a lie. In fact, Meera and Payal failed to find the humour in it too! 
Viewing the smiles fizzle out from their juniors' faces, Renu swiftly tried justifying his actions 'Hey ...don't mistake us...Jalal was mean because he was super-annoyed that his Ipad had been destroyed ... it was his Ammi's gift to him..a memento for having scored very well last semester!'
'Don't worry' Jalal tried lightening the situation 'I've done well today...so, I'll demand another one right away!'


Ammi's gift? Jodha didn't look convinced. What if this was another fabrication? Either way, she wasn't happy he'd lied. 

A second round of perplexing pause ensued. With each gaping at the other's face and not knowing how to move on, Meera made a faltering attempt to cease the sudden silence that'd cropped up in their otherwise fun-filled session 'Wow! An Ipad every semester? If I score well, my papa thumps 500Rs in my hand... and ..I...I... used to think even that's a lot!' she giggled 'Ham log tho seedhe saadhe hain...you guys are...erm...super rich...' she paused - she'd caught on to the fact that her words were only amplifying the awkwardness. 
For starters, THEY didn't know how to respond to her 'super rich' comment and her gang were now looking even more bewildered than before. She'd somehow embarrassed herself and downplayed her pals unintentionally. Jodha realized that this is where their groups contrasted from one another - their comfort-zones and families were leagues apart.   


Displeased with how things had turned out in the last five minutes, Jodha made a quick glance at her watch 'Shall we leave girls? Its getting really late...'

A second later, Meera and Payal nodded in response - it was getting quite late anyway. 
'Thanks for the treat' Jodha concluded diplomatically 'Congratulations to you two once again...'


Just as the trio rose from their seats to make their way out, Jalal stood up to face the juniors - Jodha to be precise 'Hey I meant to ask...would you lovely ladies like to join me for my birthday party...in two weeks time? Its on November 2nd - a weekend! Its only my buddies and I...'



'WHAT are you doing?' A visibly alarmed Renu thought to herself, as she heard his words.

 When she'd wanted to arrange a blast-of-a-party for him - like she did every year, he'd specifically refused stating he only wanted it to be a private affair with 'close' friends. So, why was he extending his invitation to this group that he hardly knew? Even if it was his effort to make last minute amendments for the delicate episode that'd just gone by, she felt not-too-happy about it!
 
Aware of the marked transformation in Renu's expressions, Jodha gently looked up to meet eyes with him 'Thanks ...b..but...I can't...I mean...we barely know each other...you haven't even invited your own classmates, right?'
His smile gradually disappeared. For some reason, her mild rebuttal stung him - maybe because, he'd taken it that she wouldn't turn down his invite 'Who I invite is my wish...its my party...waise, I call people for the company they give me...not for other reasons...'
 
Company she gave him? They hadn't even shared a civil conversation yet!
'Thank you Jalal...' she replied thereafter - reading the frowns on his face 'But, I'd have to respectfully decline...my parents will not be pleased if I stay out late partying...' 
She started walking away from the silent man, but then turned back. She better say it before it appeared like HE had to remind her again. So she did - in a not-too-arrogant, but not-too-empathetic tone 'By the way Jalal, once again... SORRY for the whole Ipad fiasco...THANK YOU for the lift the other day... and THANK YOU for your help today!' 


There! Hopefully, with that their account books had now been balanced out!

*****************
Hope you enjoy it


Last edited by lashy on 2014-06-11, 12:34; edited 9 times in total

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by lashy on 2014-04-29, 14:51

November 10th


PART 9


THE SINGH HOUSEHOLD - THE KITCHEN


'Nope Jodha you still haven't guessed it right..' she nodded her head playfully, as she placed the last of the leftover Diwali sweets into their designated containers 'Hmmm...I thought you were smarter!'
Blowing away the stray lock of hair that kept tickling her cheek, Jodha cast another glance at the piece of paper that had been closely guarded for more than fifteen minutes now. Dejectedly turning back to face the kitchen sink, she resumed washing the soap off the dirty dishes she'd scrubbed so far 'I told you bhabhi...I give up...ab to bataa hi deejiya...what's in the paper' 
Her bhabhi was undoubtedly the most adorable thing on Earth, but this guessing-game had gone on for long enough now!
Tucking the pallu of her saree, bhabhi walked up to her young nanand to assist her with the washing up. Noting the frowns on her victim's face, the lady's smile widened into an affectionate beam 'JODHA! It has very valuable information in it! It has HIS phone number on it...he's asked you to give him a call whenever you have the time...'
She looked up with renewed curiosity 'WHO?'
'Rishabh!' came the puzzling reply 'The boy we were referring to the other day...after coming to know that your kundalis match, his family have shown a lot of interest...I've heard that he...'
'Oh No! So, they've not given up with this rishta business, after all!' zoning out from the conversation in seconds, Jodha let out a hushed groan 'Hey Bhagwaan...mujhe bachaao!'
Just then, the soft ringtone on her mobile phone started ringing - much to her relief 'Oh! A call...a life-safer'
Washing the soap off her hands, she rushed to pick the buzzing mobile from the kitchen countertop. It was Payal 'Hi yaar!'
'Hiii' came the high-pitched greeting from the other end 'So, how's the Sunday been so far?'
'Good...' Jodha answered with a lazy smile 'Nothing exceptional!'
'All right...listen...want to join us for coffee and then the evening show of Krish 3?'
'Coffee? Krish 3? WOW!' Jodha uttered in surprise. She looked up at the kitchen clock - it was past 5 pm 'But, I've heard its not great!'
'Tho kyaa hua...' she was beginning to sound disappointed 'Join us for the company na...you rarely come out to restaurants or movies...did you never go out with your friends in college...'
'Errr...no...I...I mean yes I did...but...' she stuttered to come up with an appropriate answer. Her friend had a point - but, she was no killjoy either. Like any other college-goer, she loved hanging out with pals too. However, the fuss her brothers kicked up whenever she'd requested permission to stay out late was so unrealistic that she didn't even bother half the time!
With no proper response from her friend, Payal resumed from where she'd left off 'You didn't join us last week for Jalal's birthday party either...it was such fun!'
'Oh!'
Now THAT was something she had no intention of asking her family permission for anyway. Apart from the fact that it was Diwali eve, she was quite sure she couldn't be bothered. Her friends had decided to go ahead - good for them.
'The guys are just too good...' Payal continued 'GOD...they're just hilarious...especially Jalal...'
'Uh huh...' she acknowledged with exaggerated disinterest as Payal shot off into the details
'The food was amazing too!'
'GOOD!' Jodha grumbled 'Seems like you guys really enjoyed...' she tried to recall how she was quite happily gorging on sweets and savouries too! So; she didn't miss out on much, right?
'Maan...he was wearing this red shirt...he was awesome...and Jalal...'
'You've lost it' She cut her friend. She convinced herself that she just wasn't interested in knowing more!
Sensing what sounded like mild irritation in Jodha's voice, Payal veered the topic back to its original course 'Fine...come with us this evening!'
'I'll have to ask mama...and bhaiyya...'
'Ufff! Its not like you're clubbing every evening...I'm sure if you asked, they'd agree...'
'Payal...er...I'm not sure yaar!'
'Fine...I'll get there and ask them myself if you're going to be such a kaayar about it!'
'What?'
'Now open the front door!'
'WHAT?'
'You heard me...'


THE LIVING ROOM


Leaning against the wide-ajar front door, the flabbergasted young lady folded her arms in mock disdain as she observed the delightful mischief in their eyes. While Payal and Meera looked at each other and back at Jodha with sheepish frowns, Jodha went on to interrogate them - pretending to be peeved 'Badtameez...both of you were standing here all along while making that call to me?'
Meera spoke up with a timid smile 'Jo we have to tell you something...'
'Mama... papa... bhaiyya sab ghar par hain...' she interrupted them - breaking out into a wide grin as she did so 'First come in and meet them all'
Even before the two friends could object to this daunting formality, they found themselves dragged right into the middle of her living room - subsequently coming to face with six new faces. Shortly thereafter; a quick round of introductions were carried out, smiles exchanged and the two new guests ushered a seat!
'FINALLY...you both decided to visit us' her mother stated pleasantly as she brought forth two plates of snacks for the two visitors 'Here...help yourselves...I've brought some malpua and bhujia...'
Confounded, the two young ladies silently accepted the offers. Having been overwhelmed by the initial welcome, it was a good ten minutes before one of them could find the nerve to do what they'd ACTUALLY come to - i.e. seek approval!
'Actually a... aunty...' Payal stuttered - watching Jodha every now and again 'We'd come to ask you if Jodha could come with us for a movie...we friends are going for the evening show of Krish 3'
A spell of unsettling silence fell upon the room as her brothers and parents hurled each other AND Jodha questioning frowns.
'Movie? Now?' came the question eventually 'It'll be well past 10:30 pm by the time you girls return home...were you planning to go alone?'
'No' Meera explained slowly - darting Jodha a fidgety look 'We are a large group...so you need not worry bhaiyya...the rest of them are waiting in the car downstairs!'
This time it was Jodha's turn to be ALARMED!
'Why are they waiting downstairs?' her dad smiled affably thereafter 'Ask them to come up too beta!'
Make it DOUBLY ALARMED!


****************************************************


The modest three bedroom apartment was lively enough with its usual seven residents traipsing around - add seven more and it was now nearly chaotic!
Glaring at her friends with disapproving looks, she could feel her 'discomfort' antennae stand up in attention as HIS gang walked through the front door. Granted, her Sunday evening had been quite boring and she'd hoped for something exciting to happen - but, NOT this!
HIM at her home? Putting up with his antics at college was bad enough!
As expected, Maan took the first initiative and greeted the familiar family - followed by Salim, Renu, Abdul then finally Jalal. Dapper as always in a casual green polo t-shirt, he came across her 'gharelu' avtaar for the first time as he strutted into the living room. Who would have thought a dull blue cotton salwar teamed with a messy bun could look adorable - and at that instant, THEY locked glances too. It was only for a few seconds, but it was enough to convey enough fiery words to and fro. Not surprisingly, HER messages were mostly queries and HIS totally unfazed answers - messages only THEY could gauge!
'You here?' she stared on, not-very-hospitably
A cynical smile emerged on his lips that translated 'By the way, thanks for wishing me BELATED birthday greetings ...and that too through your friends!'
Her frowns deepened 'Whatever! But, how did you manage to land here on a Sunday evening?'
His eyes silently indicated in the direction of Payal and Meera 'Bringing you along to this movie was your friends' idea...not mine...I just went along!'
She looked away. The scuffling around the couch had brought their animated exchanges to an abrupt end - that and the fact that she didn't want her family catching their animosity.
While her mother and bhabhi swiftly disappeared into the kitchen to top up the refreshments, Jodha stood back numbly -  marking the inconvenience on Renu's face as the majority of the 'Super rich' gang were trying hard to squeeze into her mid-sized settee.
A minute later, it was becoming evident that there wasn't enough seating space on the settee to accommodate all. So, Jalal and Abdul decided to very modestly accept bade bhaiyya's suggestion and pull themselves two dining chairs to sit on instead. She'd anticipated his snobbish attitude to show through during this - but it didn't! On the contrary, the 'spoilt brat' appeared quite comfortable at her place! Truth be told, Jodha ironically felt more 'out-of-place' than anyone else there.
What's more, they even seemed enthused about tasting the home made delicacies her mother had brought - something she'd assumed they wouldn't.
'Hmmm this is delicious' Maan complimented the mother as he took a bite of the malpua 'Love it!'
'Yes Aunty...' Jalal nodded - thoroughly enjoying the fare 'Wayyy better than ANY other sweet I've tasted!'
Though she didn't exactly agree with Jalal's sentiments, Renu chipped in nevertheless 'Yes it's lovely aunty, thank you!'
All along; Jodha watched in silence. Despite her scepticism, she had to admit she was surprised by the lack of fuss from their end - especially his!
For a brief while thereafter; conversations flew back and forth. The topic steadily shifted from 'university' and 'subjects' to 'Jodha' and 'friends'. Needless to say, the progressing subjects only made an already awkward situation worse - especially, with her proud father revealing far more of her life than she'd hoped.
If only she could stop the revelations or even get away from it, but alas! So, here she sat by helpless - witnessing her dad go on forever - avoiding Jalal's gazes throughout, while he grew increasingly amused by the unfolding scenes!
'Oh yes...' Mr. Singh pursued 'My daughter has always been a class topper...'
'All my children love reading books, but Jodha is a bookworm!'
'She's very talented too!'
'She's won many awards'
'Uncle...' Jalal eventually spoke up many minutes later - when he got the chance to, that is! He pointed to a beautiful glass painting in the showcase, wholly aware that he was being observed by her 'So, what about that one? Is that Jodha's work of art too?'
'Definitely...she's a skilled artist!' Mr.Singh turned to his wife - he'd finally realized he'd been the only one talking for a while now 'She loves glass painting too, doesn't she Malti?'
'True!' the mother nodded - joining in with a typical maternal whine 'She is very talented, but sometimes it's too much... her messy desk is a testament to that...she tries her hand at so many things ...I've lost track!'
'Mama!' Jodha looked at her mom with a confounded frown - she didn't know if this was meant to be a compliment. Jalal had to nearly bite his lip to restrain himself from erupting into a chuckle there.
Sensing the tension, Meera attempted to make the conversation more bearable for Jodha 'Jo hasn't told us the rest, but we know she sings well...we've heard her beautiful voice in the University!'
'Oh not only does she sing well, she loves dancing too...' her younger brother deliberately butted in 'In the weekends, she switches on the music in her room and starts dancing like Madhuri Dikshit...' By this point, nearly half the room was giggling.
'Urgggh!PLEASE STOP!' If only she could scream in protest! However, she couldn't - so, she chose the diplomatic way out 'Bhaiyya! Mama...papa...they must be getting late...they wanted to go for a show, remember?'
'Thank God for that!' Renu breathed a sigh of relief 'Yes aunty...uncle... we should get going...' this entire consent-seeking affair was becoming too elaborate!
'So, can Jo come along?' Payal pleaded soon after
'Pleaseee!' Meera chipped in
Jodha watched them with an unconvinced frown. When Payal had called her half an hour ago - she was desperately hoping she could go. Now, she wasn't so sure!
Nevertheless, her mother and bade bhaiyya seemed to be somewhat 'taken' by the entertaining lot! Ensuing a short pause, they gave her friends the nod
'Jodha...ja...jaldi...go get ready...don't delay them...don't forget to take your mobile along...'
'Yes...and remember after the movie, you get back home right away... all right?'


THE STAIRS


The stairwell of the 1980s residential apartment block was filled with echoes of a different kind - the kind when a bevy of chattering college-goers seemed uber excited about a forthcoming outing. Giggling and jesting amongst each other, her gang were at their spirited most - they hadn't expected Jo would be able to make it, but here she was! While the young ladies dashed down the two flights that lay ahead, the men had to pick pace to keep up. All men, except one. HE was the last to follow and he couldn't care less. His mind continued to be in a bit-of-haze. He'd been observing her for a while now - in fact, ever since she'd stepped out of her room decked up in that red embellished anarkali salwar.      
The dress she was wearing was more beautiful than anything he'd seen her in - its deep shade only highlighting her flawless skin. Even without exclusive attires and expensive accessories, she was a diva in her own right. She had subtle elegance and Jalal knew to admire 'subtle'. Well, he'd been thronged by the dipping cleavage-miniskirt in-your-face partying types for so long, this reserved traditional beauty was fast becoming a welcome difference. Besides, their colourful encounters had helped him see beyond the superficiality of it all - got him to NOTICE her for what she was - and this was not the 'wink and nudge' 'wolf-whistle' variety of notice. This was silent admiration of someone truly 'different'.
Moreover, Jodha was the first woman he'd encountered who showed no interest in him whatsoever - literally unmoved by his looks, bank balance, wit or charm! Now, that wasn't because she was obnoxious. After all, she was sweet to all else. It was because her 'masaaledaar attitude' was only reserved for him - and he HATED it! 
No...no...no - he didn't hate her. He didn't even hate her obvious dislike of him. He hated the fact that HE hadn't been able to change her obvious dislike of him, YET!
'Jodha' he called out to the oblivious lady who was rushing ahead
Somewhat startled, she stopped on the step she was descending and turned around to face him.
Moving down a few steps to catch up with her, he silently waited for the rest of his gang to move ahead. They took the hint and continued proceeding on their path down!
Once everyone was out of earshot, he told her 'Your duppata...its been sweeping the stairs!'
'Oh!' glancing down, she picked up the beautiful drape and dusted it before readjusting it on her shoulders. Looking back at him, she could fathom that he had more on his mind - 'stuff' he was holding back 'What?' she asked him sceptically
His soft eyes playing with hers, he didn't take very long to say what he wanted to. He smiled tenderly 'Madhuri Dikshit, haan? Glass painting? Jodha...I've been meaning to add to that long list of qualities your dad talked about...you're a classical beauty, do you know that?'
Any other woman would have blushed at the husky whisper and the unanticipated compliment. SHE would have dismissed it off. However at this instance she didn't do both - since those choice of words reminded her of something else - the message sent by the anonymous texter! Both were eerily close!


'Do you even know how classically sensuous you are?'


**********************


Last edited by lashy on 2014-06-11, 12:36; edited 3 times in total

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by lashy on 2014-04-29, 14:51

November 10th
PART 10


THE STAIRS contd...


'Jodha...I've been meaning to add to that long list of qualities your dad talked about...you're a classical beauty, do you know that?'
His choice of words reminded her of something else - the message sent by the anonymous texter! Both were eerily close!
'Do you even know how classically sensuous you are?'
'THANK YOU!' he prodded her - she'd been silent for long enough
'What?'
'I mean people generally react to compliments with a thanks'!' he grinned
The words of the text message still playing in her mind, Jodha wasn't so sure how to react. If he WAS the anonymous texter what was he trying to achieve, anyway?
'Er...ye...yes...thanks..' the preoccupied young lady stuttered
She could have brought up her suspicions then
She should have brought up her suspicions then.
However with six other pairs of eyes impatiently fixated on them, she realized that it was neither the time nor the place for a showdown of sorts!
'Let's leave...we'll get delayed for the movie' she brushed him off a second later  
Waiting for no further reaction from him thereafter, she left the frowning young man to himself - rejoining the group that'd been waiting for them for a short while now.


THE CINEMA HALL - LOBBY


Queues for English movies. Queues for Telugu movies. Queues for Hindi movies. Queues for fizzy drinks. Why, one had to queue up even if they'd to make a quick visit to the bathroom! Not surprising in the least - Sunday evenings at popular cinema halls were always a busier-than-usual affair.
Noisy children, groups of teenagers, couples oh-so-in-love, large families, the elderly - the generous carpeted lobby was crammed with all sorts!
Thankfully, THEIR group could fast-track SOME of the queuing issues that evening - they'd sorted their tickets well ahead through advance reservation. Unfortunately, for salted popcorn and coca-cola there was no such short-cut! So, while the women had gone ahead to take their seats in the cinema hall, the men had chivalrously decided to brace the long lines, pay for the movie-munchies AND bring it to them!
As pre-decided, everything was progressing according to plan - till Jodha had suddenly realized that she'd forgotten something. Therefore, halfway into the dim movie hall she'd left behind her friends with an 'I'll be back' message and returned to the crowded scenes of the lobby.
Examining the long rows in front of the food counters, she ultimately managed to spot his green polo t-shirt amongst the horde of customers a good distance away. However, he hadn't noticed her - and it wasn't because of the crowds or the noise or that he was busy chatting with his buddies. It was because he was engrossed in something else altogether!
Holding on to a large tub of popcorn in one hand and drinks in another,  Jalal seemed to be happily entertaining a young lady - a very very good looking young lady. Now, this unfamiliar babe wasn't the typical clubbing type she'd seen in his circles. Something about this lady spelt 'sophistication' - just like it did about him. 
Jodha subconsciously observed the duo's overtly cordial manner for a few seconds 'Acquaintances maybe...they're not cousins...they don't look related from any angle...' 
Just then, this beautiful newcomer burst out into a volley of giggles - Jalal had obviously said something funny enough. What's more - he was thoroughly enjoying her reactions to his jokes!
'WOW! Does he know all the females in Hyderabad or what?' she mocked Jalal with mild contempt
A brief spell of chirpy conversation and laughter later, the pair finally appeared ready to part - with a hug, of course. Frowning upon their friendly embrace, Jodha rolled her eyes - she didn't know why she was standing there and watching their exchanges - both, verbal and physical!
Looking away shortly, the young lady continued waiting at her spot - knowing he'd be coming her way soon. She was right.
Just as she went on to adjust the silky dupatta that had slipped from her shoulder, she heard his voice calling out to her 'Hey what are you doing here? I thought you'd be inside with the rest of them...'
She turned around to face him. He noticed that she was holding out something for him - 2 Rs 100 notes
'For what?' he asked, puzzled
'For the movie' she nodded casually 'I heard you'd paid'
'I know that...but, there's no need...' Jalal paused to study her expressions - but, they gave away nothing. He let out a sigh 'You don't have to pay me back now...baad mein kabhi...'
'Because I want to pay for it now...' there was no convincing her otherwise
After a moment, he shrugged his shoulders 'Fine...fair enough.'
Since his hands were full, he handed her the drinks before taking the notes from her 'By the way...these drinks are for Meera, Payal and yourself...' he broke out into a faint smile 'And PLEASE don't pay me back for THIS!'
'Thanks' she nodded - compelled to return his smile with at least half-a-smile 'I understand'
He raised his brow in surprise - he hadn't expected that pleasant acknowledgement from her 'Ok... chalo the movie's about to start...Abdul, Maan, Salim will join us soon...'
Just as he was about to reach out to his wallet to tuck the cash in, he unknowingly ended up moving a step back and BAM! He'd knocked someone behind him in that crowded vestibule.
'Oh' Jodha gasped, witnessing the result of his momentary carelessness.

Swiftly spinning around, the startled young man observed a boy dejected by how half his tub of popcorn was now scattered on the floor. A second later and the little one broke out into a loud bout of sobs.
Wondering if she should try to calm the child, Jodha stepped forth - but, then stopped. Jalal had already half-kneeled to apologize.
'This should be interesting' she thought, as she stood back and watched the twosome.
'Hey...I'm so so sorry...' he started off on a kind note 'Don't cry...'
However, the child's wails only seemed to escalate following the apology. The young man then went on to placate the lone kid with a few kind words. Why, he even offered him some of his popcorn.
Alas, nothing could really cheer up a kid whose popcorn bucket had been ruined - except for another NEW popcorn bucket of course!
With the snack-queues being long enough and them being late enough for the movie, Jalal decided to give in a minute later. He handed the boy his 'mega' bucket of popcorn in exchange for the smaller one that'd been toppled 'Here you go...I'm quite full...can't eat all of this anyway...'
As though by magic, the boy's tears seemed to stop instantaneously! She was impressed.
'Thanks' the boy cheered up, wiping the nearly dry tears from his cheeks. With typical childlike innocence he handed his own small carton to Jalal 'Now, you better not start crying... here...you can have this instead!'
Glancing at the nearly-empty carton thumped into his hand, Jalal let out an understanding smile 'Thanks...this should do...aur chinta mat karo... I will not cry!'
It was her turn to bite her lip so she didn't erupt into loud chuckles. The whole scene had turned out more enjoyable that she'd anticipated!
With the kid scooting off from the scene soon after, he had to alert a passing attendant about the mess that'd been created in the lobby. Owing to the entire fuss created, it was a good ten minutes before he could revert his attention to the lady who'd been waiting for him so long.
Jalal noted the hidden amusement in her expressions. He quite liked it 'Found it funny, ha?'
Careful not to give away too much, Jodha reined-in her smile. Instead, she indicated to the empty carton in his hand 'Are you sure you don't want to get yourself more?'
'I've gorged on plenty of malpua and bhujia anyway...' he winked 'The popcorn was just to help me sit through a snooze-fest like Krish3!'
A full-blown giggle made its way on to her pretty lips. FINALLY! She'd held it back for too long anyway.
'Wow...' he exclaimed, studying her laughter. Losing his popcorn was TOTALLY worth it now!


THE MOVIE


Laughing with the jokes, laughing at absurd scenes, commenting on the heroines' wardrobes, drooling over Hrithik's well-toned body, humming popular tunes, fighting over the snacks - the ladies did it all. Occupying the first four seats in their premier row  they were quite a noisy bunch. The men who were seated on the next four were a lot quieter in comparison as their discussions remained restricted to CGI effects and Kangana Vs Priyanka debates!
Nevertheless; during the course of the film there were at least a few instances when Jalal cast a side-glimpse her way. It was inadvertent - he'd never seen such a of myriad adorable expressions and reactions from her side. SHE on the other hand, deliberately tried to avoid looking his way - something she was not entirely successful with! Without intending to do so, she'd managed to notice his grins, his frowns, his spirited manner and his regular glancing-at-the-watch habit too. Why, during an especially boring scene she even caught him stifle a small yawn. For a good portion of the first half, her thoughts somehow kept swaying between the adorable-popcorn scene and the not-so-adorable scenes with the 'stranger'!
At some point, the theatre lights came back on with the 'INTERMISSION' sign flashing in front - bringing her back to her group's conversations that she'd been mentally absent from for a while now. 
A host of advertisements for upcoming movies started playing on the screen. While most of the spectators stepped out for a break, his gang decided to stand up in the aisle to stretch their legs. No sooner than they did so, the promos for Ram Leela started playing on-screen - with all of its steamy routines obviously. 
Left speechless by the smooch-scenes and double-meaning dialogues, the girl-gang broke out into embarrassed chuckles - especially when noting the men's typical boyish responses to it!
Despite having pre-decided that she would refrain from doing so, she cast a quick unmindful glance at HIM to detect his reaction to the scenes. By chance, he caught her observing him and she realized that he'd caught her! 
Marking the return of mild playfulness in his eyes, Jodha then quickly looked away - half a shade pinker than before their silent 'hide-seek' game had started.
'Damn!' she self-cursed, for letting herself get into that situation. She should have known better than to look his way - specifically during the steamy ads. Why did the mind have to be such a stubborn mule with a will of its own? Anyway, thanks to the briefly embarrassing debacle she'd learnt her lesson and kept her eyes transfixed on the screen for the remaining half of the movie!


THE PARKING LOT


Keeping pace with the crowds trickling through the exit of the movie theatre complex, the ladies huddled themselves within their shawls and wraps as the chilly night breeze grazed their faces. They'd had fun that evening and it showed on their faces. However, it'd been a long evening and the Monday blues had already set in - specially for her group. So, they squandered no further time and progressed towards the semi-full parking lot.
As the parties split towards the two cars, Jodha ended up crossing his path.
Since the opportunity had landed his way, he decided to take it. Stopping her with a smile, he went on to enquire on a cordial note 'Had fun?'
She'd wanted to avoid this meeting. Since she couldn't, she let out a subtle sigh and nodded affirmatively.
'We should hang out together more often...maybe next weekend...' he continued 'Ram Leela will release by then, if you're interested...'
For some reason, she suddenly felt irked by his suggestion. She knew not why, but she did. It could be because the movie on offer was too lewd for her taste. It could be because the 'Ram Leela' topic reminded her of their awkward game a short while earlier. It could be because it felt like he was using the movie-card to ask her out on a date. Maybe a combination of all, but she didn't feel gladdened by his approach. The question now was how to wiggle out of this offer.
'So, shall I take your silence to be a yes?' he prodded her gently
The uncomfortable young lady could see a glimmer of anticipation in his eyes. NO! She had to squash it then and there. She didn't want to give him false hopes - definitely not when she didn't feel like hanging out with him or his gang 'No I don't want to come out with you any more...please don't ask me out again...'
For a second there, he thought she was kidding and laughed to himself. However, soon after -  it became quite clear her rebuttal wasn't as a joke 'May I ask why? Because of your family's reservations?' though disappointed, he ensured his tone was still courteous
'Not only that'
'Then?' his smile had vanished by now
'W...we're very different Jalal...our families...our circles...' she looked away uneasily
Woah! He was taken aback - he hadn't expected this. Realizing she was referring to the differences in their societal statuses, Jalal retorted unhappily 'Neither have such thoughts crossed my mind, nor do I have any such prejudices...why, your friends don't either...so, YOU'RE the only one that has a problem with this then...' 
'I'm not your type...' she cut him - she hadn't intended to spell it out then, but it was better to confess at some point and be done with it!
Evidently offended by her attitude, he pressed on for an explanation 'What do you mean by YOUR TYPE? What TYPE am I?'
She muttered under her breath 'The flirty kind'
'What? come again...' he didn't hear what she'd said, but he knew very well what she was hinting at
'I'll explain later' This wasn't looking good. Thank God their friends were waiting inside the cars - not out witnessing this showdown.
'No...' he insisted 'I want to know now!'
FINE! If he was cornering her into it she'd oblige him with the truth just as well. She'd withheld everything long enough anyhow. Looking into his eyes once again, she came back with conviction 'I'm not as diplomatic as you, so forgive me for not mincing my words...' she paused 'The real reason I don't want to hang out with you is because I don't trust you, Jalal!'
'Don't TRUST me?' He was aghast. This was possibly the most insulting thing anyone had ever told him till date. Little did he know worse was to come. Tempering his rage, he studied her actions closely as she proceeded to grab the mobile from her handbag.
Scrolling through the inbox, she handed him her mobile to show him the messages 'I was referring to these texts...' she paused restlessly 'YOU sent these, right?'
Having taken a brief glimpse at the texts, he glared at her with subdued ferocity 'You've gotta be kidding me...you assumed I was sending you these?'
******************
Hope you enjoy it


Last edited by lashy on 2014-06-11, 12:30; edited 2 times in total

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by lashy on 2014-04-29, 14:51

Res for Part 11

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by lashy on 2014-04-29, 14:52

Res for Part 12

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by Jiggy on 2014-04-29, 15:33

*peeps to see if you've reserved for part 12 already*
*gasp*
yay...!!! me first...
thanks a lot for sharing this amazing fanfic here lashy... big wala hug... long hug
gosh... i love these two characters already on screen and you make me fall in love with the two again here... Starry Love
oh... what the hell...
ek aur big wala hug long hug
*now that the senti fangirl is sated the impatient one resurfaces...*
aack...keep 'em coming woman... Wink
looking forward to more... :D
-jiggs

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by neha on 2014-04-29, 21:05

Wow !! This is brilliant, totally loved it Clap 

Please update soon  hpee 

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by lashy on 2014-04-29, 21:05

Jiggy wrote:*peeps to see if you've reserved for part 12 already*
*gasp*
yay...!!! me first...
thanks a lot for sharing this amazing fanfic here lashy... big wala hug...  long hug
gosh... i love these two characters already on screen and you make me fall in love with the two again here... Starry Love
oh... what the hell...
ek aur big wala hug  long hug
*now that the senti fangirl is sated the impatient one resurfaces...*
aack...keep 'em coming woman...  Wink
looking forward to more... :D
-jiggs
Thanks so so so so so much Jiggy  long hug  thanks a lotttttt you made my day dear....  hpee

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by --sumana13-- on 2014-04-29, 21:12

Res for  commenting later ..
 hpee  long hug
Edited after reading the fan fiction ....
First of all i welcome our New. Fan fiction writer  to Dhwani once again ..
 long hug 
Absolutely a pleasure to read you my friend .. And this is so much like. M&B !  It is so real so natural .. You are an awesome writer Lashy . I am going to follow this. ff. right uptill the end ...

Loved the college settings .. And the first meeting of the leads 
 Thumbsup  Dance  Clap 
Just one query ..what id DID. ..as in .." However, being the youngest and being the only girl amongst 4 siblings DID have its advantages too...."

Sometimes Do confuse common terms with something else so wanted to clarify 
Thank You Lashy


Last edited by --sumana13-- on 2014-04-30, 11:43; edited 1 time in total

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by lashy on 2014-04-29, 23:25

neha wrote:Wow !!  This is brilliant, totally loved it Clap 

Please update soon  hpee 

Awwww thanks soooooooooooo much Neha... grizzly bear hug  long hug

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by lashy on 2014-04-29, 23:27

Just one question dear mods - am I allowed to use profanity as part of the story (it is a story of a bunch of college-goers so the requirement) and how hot in the hot-0-meter is permissible here?  Embarassed 
Its only as part of the story - my other posts will be as decent as can be - promise! 
Also, it does deal with a sensitive issue of inter-religious love story, but that's something I will be taking extra care with.... Question

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by pollyanna on 2014-04-29, 23:53

lashy wrote:Just one question dear mods - am I allowed to use profanity as part of the story (it is a story of a bunch of college-goers so the requirement) and how hot in the hot-0-meter is permissible here?  Embarassed 
Its only as part of the story - my other posts will be as decent as can be - promise! 
Also, it does deal with a sensitive issue of inter-religious love story, but that's something I will be taking extra care with.... Question

Go ahead Shraddha.....as informed adults we all know the story of bees and birds Wink we have grown up reading M&Bs and Nora Roberts....:)

But at the same time all of us here know the lakshmanrekha too....

Only thing which is not allowed in the forum is use of un-parliamentary language/ derogatory words which involves region, creed, caste or religion.

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by lashy on 2014-04-30, 00:01

pollyanna wrote:
lashy wrote:Just one question dear mods - am I allowed to use profanity as part of the story (it is a story of a bunch of college-goers so the requirement) and how hot in the hot-0-meter is permissible here?  Embarassed 
Its only as part of the story - my other posts will be as decent as can be - promise! 
Also, it does deal with a sensitive issue of inter-religious love story, but that's something I will be taking extra care with.... Question

Go ahead Shraddha.....as informed adults we all know the story of bees and birds Wink we have grown up reading M&Bs and Nora Roberts....:)

But at the same time all of us here know the lakshmanrekha too....

Only thing which is not allowed in the forum is use of un-parliamentary language/ derogatory words which involves region, creed, caste or religion.
No dear...none of those words will be used when referring to religion/caste/creed etc....you have my assurance... :)

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by sunshine99 on 2014-04-30, 11:21

Awesome.. I love this Jalal and jodha if ekta plans a leap plzzz fwd this story to her...

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by lashy on 2014-04-30, 12:39

--sumana13-- wrote:Res for  commenting later ..

Edited after reading the fan fiction ....
First of all i welcome our New. Fan fiction writer  to Dhwani once again ..
 long hug 
Absolutely a pleasure to read you my friend .. And this is so much like. M&B !  It is so real so natural .. You are an awesome writer Lashy . I am going to follow this. ff. right uptill the end ...

Loved the college settings .. And the first meeting of the leads 
 Thumbsup  Dance  Clap 
Just one query ..what id DID. ..as in .." However, being the youngest and being the only girl amongst 4 siblings DID have its advantages too...."

Sometimes Do confuse common terms with something else so wanted to clarify 
Thank You Lashy
Hi Sumana,
Thanks so much firstly for the warm welcome and making this place everyone's home... such a sweet person you are... I am glad you liked the setting and the first meet... Hope you'll like it more as the time passes by...
As for the capitalizing... I've picked the style of writing that Julie James follows (no I haven't read novels.. I'm not a prolific reader...but before I wanted to start writing one, I wanted to see how its written so chose one that'd most suit my story).. wherein, capitalizing is an emphasis on that word as you read it
like Even SHE didn't know how much it mattered or Why was there so much pain in her HEAD? etc etc
Hope it was clearer now  Embarassed 
Thanks once again Sumana... big big hug again my dearest mod..  long hug

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by lashy on 2014-04-30, 14:53

sunshine99 wrote:Awesome.. I love this Jalal and jodha if ekta plans a leap plzzz fwd this story to her...

Awwww thanks so much sunshine  long hug

lashy
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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

Post by harrybird on 2014-05-01, 11:44

Dear Lashy,

Brilliant piece of writing !!!


 Thumbsup  Thumbsup  Thumbsup ....


Your writing style is smooth and effortless!


You simply captivated my imagination with your very first chapter....Eagerly waiting for your chapter 2!

 long hug 
I liked your Jodha more than the serial version. Rocking Intro for Jo & Jallu. I-pad man? cute nickname ( inspired by Rajat?)


Harry


PS: Are u an aspiring writer or just hobby?


Last edited by harrybird on 2014-05-01, 12:03; edited 4 times in total

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Re: ~*FF-NOT just a passionate affair ~* Part 10 updated 11th June

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