Mr. Suri, the lawyer, led a grumbling Arnav through the back doors of the Court House. His plan was simple; avoid the sea of reporters who were obviously waiting for the famed businessman to answer their questions about being sentenced to anger management therapy at all costs. Not that Sir doesn’t need therapy, he thought indulgently to himself.
The last time the reporters had accosted him at one of his Fashion Shows, Arnav had thrown down the video camera of one of the journalists and stamped violently on it. The poor guy’s offence? He was focussing his camera way too much on Arnav’s date’s revealing bosom. Suri shook his head in exasperation remembering the incident. They had been lucky that Arnav’s office had offered to pay for the damages in exchange for not pressing charges. It would be a colossal understatement to say that the PR department of AR designs lived in a constant nightmare day in and day out.I wonder if that journo ever came to any of Arnav’s events thereafter, Suri wondered to himself.
Suri opened the double wooden doors to find a sleek black Mercedes waiting for them at the curb. The driver instantly got out of his seat and held the rear door open for his boss. Arnav mutely climbed down the stairs and was about to get inside the car when Suri cleared his throat.
“Mr. Raizada. The judge will be arranging for your counsellor by today afternoon. When can we meet later?” Suri asked courteously. Arnav glared at him. NEVER! He mentally shouted. He absolutely hated lawyers. Reining his irritation inside him, he stood thoughtfully for a moment.
“Today evening 4 P.M., meet me at Hotel Grand Minerva’s coffee shop.” Arnav muttered. Suri raised his finger, wanting to suggest a more formal meeting place for such a delicate cause. However, Arnav’s raised eyebrow made him change his mind instantly.
“Sure Sir. We’ll meet you then.” Suri agreed. Arnav quickly got into his car and the driver drove away.
Arnav Singh Raizada, was a tough cookie when it came to business. He was shrewd as hell and didn’t stand any nonsense from anyone. He took decisions with his mind not his heart and was fondly referred to as “a cold hearted b*stard” by his adversaries. He was a bold risk taker and that is how he had developed his empire from scratch. However, in spite of being one of the youngest and most successful billionaires in the industry, he had fallen prey to his Achilles heel – his anger.
If someone wrote down about all the times that Arnav had kneeled to his anger, the testament wouldn’t be pretty. From brawls at bars to occasional fist fights to shouting matches to destroying paparazzo’s cameras, Arnav had been everywhere and done everything. But I have never been publically reprimanded for anything! Arnav thought furiously to himself. He thought the judge was charmed by him. Obviously not, he told himself sardonically. He took a deep breath; a trick his shrink had told him to help lower his anger. But nothing was working today.
Arnav grumbled to himself, ah, today will just be another perfectly pathetic long day, as his car made way towards the Hotel Grand Minerva where he was holding the annual meeting of the general investors of his company in two days.
The coffee house at the Grand Minerva was one of the most aesthetically pleasing places in the city. The beige walls with the intricate patterns painted in maroon and gold lent it a very soothing look. Bang in the centre of the room, the ceiling was made of glass in place of the usual asbestos, filtering in soft rays of the afternoon sunlight. Arnav was sitting comfortably on one of the plush crme leather couches, one leg folded over the other knee, reading the newspaper. He was distracted by the clinking of china and lowered his paper to see a waitress making him coffee.
“I said, I needed a black coffee without any sugar,” Arnav growled. The waitress looked taken aback to be addressed like that and quickly picked up the tray and rushed to the kitchen. Arnav sighed in frustration at the incompetency of the staff these days and resumed reading his paper.
“You know, we should go and check if she had a heart attack.” A pleasant voice came from behind him. Arnav turned around in surprise to locate the source of the voice – a young woman dressed in a knee length black pencil skirt, with a beautiful filigreed purple blouse. An off white polka dotted neck scarf adorned her collar. She had a pearly complexion, perfectly shaped pink lips now curved in a smile ,but it were her eyes that held Arnav captive; bright, beautiful and breath taking. What a beauty, Arnav thought mesmerized.
“I’m sure she’ll be alright,” Arnav replied back charmingly, finally finding his voice.
“Are you sure? She bolted as if she’d just seen Satan. You know, complete with the red eyes, the pointed tail and the fork,” the woman laughed openly. Arnav gaped at her. What the hell! We haven’t met for two minute and she’s already making fun of me!
“I said, she’d be alright!” he repeated, his voice slightly clipped. The woman stopped laughing immediately and frowned at him. It wasn’t very often that a smart looking beautiful woman just walked up to him and initiated a conversation. They were just too intimidated to do that. And now I’ve put her off. Way to go dumbass! Arnav swore.
“Ahh Mr. Raizada! I see you have met Ms. Gupta.” Arnav turned to his left to find his lawyer walking towards him with a beaming smile on his face. Arnav looked confusedly from Suri to the woman.
“Ms. Gupta?” Arnav repeated enquiringly.
“Yes yes, she is your anger management counsellor!” Suri exclaimed happily. “We are coming directly from Judge Ramona’s chambers.” He walked to the crme couch and sat down opening his briefcase. Arnav stood aghast, now staring at the woman with utter shock.
“B..but you are a woman!” he stuttered. A goofy grin surfaced on the woman’s face.
“Aha! Excellent observation skills,” she replied appraisingly. “Seeing your history of violence with men, the judge thought a woman would be better suited for your case.” Arnav was peeved to hear her words. The woman continued completely oblivious, “Oh, I’m Khushi Kumari Gupta by the way, but you can call me Khushi,” she thrust her hand towards Arnav affably, who shook it firmly.
“Ms. Gupta,” he replied tersely, completely ignoring her words. Khushi shrugged.
“Well, whatever makes you happy, sunshine,” she patted his shoulder and crossed him to join Mr. Suri on the couch. Arnav stilled at her touch. Sunshine? She called me sunshine?Arnav sat down, staring at the happily chirping woman who was starting to get on his nerves. My counsellor is a woman? Ah, if this story gets out I’ll be the laughing stock of the town!
“So Mr. Raizada, or would you prefer Arnav?” Khushi asked Arnav good humouredly. Then seeing the frown on his face, her smile waned a little. “Okay, Mr. Raizada it is,” she conceded immediately. “I understand you have never done this before?”
“Done what before?” Arnav snapped at her.
“Anger management therapy. I’m obviously not referring to your talking to a woman since you’ve displayed your talents in that field already,” Khushi smiled sweetly at him. Arnav glared at her. Suri was silently watching their exchange, enjoying himself more and more with every passing moment. Khushi was supposed to be the best in what she did and she had already started levelling the playing field well before his boss’s therapy had actually begun.
“There are some rules to this therapy. Rules that you need to abide by for the entire duration of 8 weeks. Do you think you’re up for it?” Khushi asked Arnav challengingly. Oh no, you didn’t just challenge Arnav Singh Raizada! Arnav thought furiously.
“Yes.” He muttered bluntly. His body was emanating anger already. Surely any other person would have recoiled feeling the sting of it. But not Khushi. She just went on about her business, not at all intimidated by Arnav’s glares. In fact she wasn’t reacting at all. Arnav was at a loss.
Khushi immediately starts off in a businesslike tone. “Rule number one. I own you for the next 8 weeks so you will always be available on the phone. No, emails are not a mode of communication.” She clarified before Arnav had even uttered a word. “Rule number two. If I need you to come to a particular place, you’ll do it. Whatever time, whatever place, doesn’t matter. You’ll drop everything and come.” Arnav gaped at her in disbelief. What the hell? “Rule number three. You’ll never question my methods. You’ll never talk back neither will you yell. If you do, well… let’s just say Judge Ramona and you will have a lovely date.” Khushi smiled sweetly at him again much to his chagrin. “I’ll be going for an assessment discussion with the Judge every weekend. It is up to you to be present or not. Although, you should know I will not mince my words if you do decide to come. Oh and rule number four. You’ll buy me a slurpee every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.” Khushi ended her monologue to find Suri and Arnav staring at her with their mouths dropped open.
After a moment of silence, she burst out laughing. “Oh you should see your faces! Oh Gosh! You didn’t think I was serious, did you?” she asked, rocking back and forth, gasping for air. Arnav relaxed a little. Damnit, she was just teasing me.
“Of course I was kidding about the slurpee!” Khushi clarified still laughing. Arnav went back to staring at her confusedly, huh? “Don’t worry, Mr. Raizada. I have only three rules!” she beamed at him and stood up. Oh, she was serious about her stupid rules?!
Khushi turned to Suri and shook hands with him. “So long Mr. Raizada.” she offered him his hand again which the angry young man refused to shake this time. Completely unperturbed, she just redirected her hand to pat his shoulder again. “I hope to see you soon!” and she left as abruptly as she had arrived, just like a breeze. Arnav clenched his fist in anger and glared at Suri.
“Out of all the crazy lunatics in the world, I get her as my anger therapy counsellor?” he barked at his lawyer who nodded meekly at him. Arnav looked towards her retreating back in the distance. “Unbelievable!”