Arnav had been in a exuberant mood all morning. Well, it has been a good morning, he reflected; he had received the news that he had won the “Businessman of the Year” award by YoungGuns magazine second year in a row; the supermodel who his PR had been chasing for months had finally given in to feature as the show stopper in his next fashion show, and thanks to his charms she had even accepted to have dinner with him for the night; and he had fired his creative director after finding out the ass had been sneaking off ASR’s ideas to his rivals; yes a good morning indeed, he thought smugly as he sipped his coffee.
The intercom rang.
“Mr. Raizada,” his secretary said, “I’ve a Ms. Gupta for you on line one.” The happy bubble that had been inflating inside Arnav all morning suddenly burst as he realised who it was.That woman! The nerve of her to call me while I’m at work! Arnav ground his teeth angrily.
“Tell her that I’m currently not available in the office and you do not know where I am. Take a message if required,” Arnav replied curtly. His secretary understood from the tone of his boss that this was someone who he was in no mood to talk to.
“Very well, Sir,” she replied. “Do you want me to screen her out in the future too?” she asked for the next request that Arnav usually made of her.
A sudden idea struck him. Well, he wouldn’t be bothered by her during the office hours if he couldn’t be reached, right? His lips curved into a smirk. Ha! Take that, Ms. Annoying!“Do it,” he snapped crisply and replaced the receiver on the cradle. As he relaxed on his armchair, a feeling of victory flooded his senses. That’ll teach her –
His mobile starts ringing.
“So, Mr. Raizada, you think having my calls screened by your front desk would stop me? Really?” Arnav’s sat upright on his chair as he recognized that sweet voice, that annoyingly sugary sweet voice. He held his mobile at a distance, staring at the screen in disbelief. How the hell did she get my private number?
“Hellooo? Did I lose you, Mr. Raizada? And to think you paid a frikkin fortune for AR towers to get crappy cell phone coverage,” her teasing voice came from the other side. Arnav clenched his fist.
“Ms. Gupta. How did you get this number?” he spoke in a contradicting calm voice.
“Oh well, I have my sources,” Khushi chirped. “But really? You thought you could bypass my rules? Wasn’t I clear when I told you that you need to be available on the phone at all times?” Khushi asked admonishingly. Anger was bubbling inside Arnav.
“Yes you were,” Arnav asked gritting his teeth together, “and I’m indeed not at office as my secretary must have told you?” he added, not ready to give her the satisfaction of winning. “Is that why you called me on my cell phone?”
“Oh well if the donkey won’t come to the water, the water needs to be brought to him, doesn’t it?” Arnav eyes widened. Did she just call me a donkey? What the Hell?
“What did you just say?” he growled.
“Your secretary told me you weren’t in the office but surprisingly she had no clue where you are,” Khushi replied disbelievingly. “You know if I were you, I’d fire her. She’s pretty dumb to not know where her boss is during the office hours.” Arnav’s jaw dropped in amazement. Not only had she referred to him metaphorically as a donkey, but she just blasted one of his best employees, all within a time frame of just one minute!
“Ms. Gupta, I’d appreciate if you kept your views about the competency of my staff to yourself,” Arnav replied bluntly.
“So you aren’t at office?” Khushi asked him, obviously having ignored his reply.
“No.” he replied cautiously as he frowned. What is she thinking of now?
“By when can you get here?” she asked.
“Here? Where is here?” he asked irritated.
“Your office, obviously!” Khushi rolled her eyes. For a successful businessman, he didn’t seem to have much of a grasp over a simple logical conversation. Arnav looked around his cabin. He was sitting in his office on the 18th floor of AR towers. How quickly could he make it there? In the blink of an eye? But then his attention went to her words. She saidhere, not there. Which meant-
“You are at my office?” Arnav spluttered in shock and sprung up from his chair, spilling the remnants of his coffee on his lap. He cursed violently, “What the f-” and immediately grabbed some tissues from the tissue box to soak the liquid off his trousers.
“You’re cursing!” Khushi exclaimed. “You know, that’s not a wise thing to do in front of your anger therapy counsellor,” she continued conversationally. Arnav stood still, trying to calm himself. Seriously it hadn’t even been one day since he had met her, and she was already driving him crazy. How the hell was he going to survive for 8 weeks!
“It’ll take me 5 hours,” the lie came instantly out of his mouth.
“5 hours! Have you flown to another country?” Khushi laughed at her own joke.
Arnav’s mind started working in overdrive. For the first time, he was thankful that she had given him an idea without realising it. Beaming a smile he replied, “As a matter of fact, I’m in Dubai since morning for some business related work. I’ll be returning in 5 hours.” He sat down on the plush leather sofa in the lounge in his cabin, smiling satisfyingly at his brainwave. There was no way that Khushi was going to wait for him for 5 hours at his office.
“Ohh, I can’t wait for you here till 5 hours,” His smile became even more pronounced as he heard Khushi confirm the very thought that crossed his mind. Awww, the poor thing, he thought smugly. “Meet me at the Avlon tonight at 8 P.M. You’ll be back from Dubai by then, won’t you?” Khushi’s words stopped his smile midway.
“Wh..What?” he stuttered, not sure if he heard her correctly.
“Rule two Mr. Raizada! I call you and you come. Tonight. 8 P.M. Avlon. Don’t be late. Have a wonderful day,” Khushi gushed happily on the phone and disconnected the call. Arnav was still holding his phone in his hand, his body still with shock when his secretary walked into his cabin.
“Sir, I’ve confirmed the reservations you made at Avlon for your dinner date with Ms. Vanshika. Would 8 P.M. suit you fine?” Arnav’s secretary couldn’t hide her surprise as he growled loudly in frustration, walked to the attached restroom and banged the door shut in reply.
What were the odds of a guy landing a date with one of the hottest supermodels of the season Vanshika Khanna and meeting the loony anger management therapist Khushi Kumari Gupta on the same day at the same place at the same time? Well, if you were Arnav Singh Raizada, those odds were pretty darn good!
Arnav was standing in the walk-in-closet of his apartment, his eyes scanning the numerous suits as he struggled to decide which one would dazzle Vanshika. Of course he hadn’t cancelled his date with her. You don’t cancel on a hot model when you finally get hold of her after weeks of pestering, and especially not when after-dinner prospects seem verypromising. What about Khushi you ask? Well, Arnav had come with a brilliant plan to tackle her. Her rule was he needed to meet her anytime anywhere she wanted. However, she never specified whether he needed to come alone for those meetings. Business Strategy 101, there’s always a loophole in any arrangement. All you need to do is find it and use it to your advantage, Arnav thought smugly to himself. Also, it will be a treat to watch Ms. Gupta’s reaction when she realises who my date for the night is, he smirked just imagining it.
He finally decided on his attire for the night – a crisp white shirt open at the collars and a sleek black Dolce and Gabbana suit. That and oodles of his charm and Arnav Singh Raizada was good to go!
Avlon was one of the most hip new joints in town. Anybody who was a somebody hung out there. The ensemble included movie actors and actresses, supermodels, rock stars, teenage kids of the rich and the famous, and even the geeks working with Google. The place was defined by the elite class, the Who’s who of the city. And so, as his limo pulled into the driveway of the brightly lit portico of the club, Arnav was faintly confused as to how could a public anger management counselor like Khushi even think of suggesting a place like this. But his thoughts were wiped off as he watched the bare legs of the Vanshika peeping through the thigh high slit of her dress as she followed him out of the car.
He offered his arm to her, which she held smiling a little. Arnav didn’t want to leave any doubts to any of the other men at the club who Vanshika had walked in with. He confidently walked inside with the long legged eye candy hanging on his arm. As they reached the lobby, he realised that a party was being hosted in the club tonight. A red carpet was spread out leading the guests to another portion of the building.
“ASR! Look! It’s the launch party of Rahul’s new movie! Do you think we can crash?” Vanshika exclaimed excitedly. Arnav didn’t give two hoots about the party or Rahul, the actor starring in it, for that matter. However, he didn’t want to do anything that would make him lose heat in front of the gorgeous young thing he was planning his late night escapades with. So he smiled charmingly at her.
“Of course sweetheart, no one can say no to ASR. But you know that already don’t you?” he winked at her, obviously referring to how she too gave in to his charms in the end. She laughed in reply. On reaching the bouncer who was checking people off from his list, Arnav nodded once at him and slipped him a thousand rupee note. The bouncer was so shocked at seeing the denomination that he didn’t even notice Arnav walk by him.
The inner alcove of the club was reserved for private parties like the red carpet one happening there tonight. People had started noticing Arnav as their awed eyes drew to Vanshika. The smirk on Arnav’s face was getting more and more pronounced with every passing minute. He casually flipped his sleeve to check the time on his Rolex. It was 8:10. He was there on time as promised. But apparently, she is not punctual. Tch tch tch, Arnav thought to himself as he led Vanshika to the bar.
“Oh my God! Arnav look! It is Rahul!” Vanshika suddenly gasped, squeezing Arnav’s hand. “He’s… he’s walking towards us! Oh God! Do I… Do I look alright?” she flustered consciously, patting her low cut dress and feeling her face.
Arnav smirked at her amusedly. She was a supermodel for crying out loud! But the reassurances these ladies wanted! He picked up his glass of white wine and leaned in close to her, “Of course sexy, you look fabu-” Arnav’s elbow slipped from the counter and his drink threatened to follow suit.
Standing right in front of him, looking dapper in a suit was Rahul Mehra, the handsome new actor. And hanging on to his arm, a surreal vision in a revealing navy blue body hugging evening dress was an absolutely gorgeous Khushi Kumari Gupta.