Born Again - Chapter 4
Born Again - Chapter 49 mins 352 9 mins 352
Meanwhile in Ahmedabad.
“You just can’t seem to stop talking about him,” Priyanka said
“Yes Pree, he is just too magnetic,” Selly replied.
It was a nice lazy Sunday evening with the cool breeze from the west giving the city of Ahmedabad a feeling of being a pleasant place to be in. Selly and her roommate decided to enjoy the beauty of the evening by having a cup of tea in their balcony.
This was the same day Selly had done an interview with Anubhav. She was so taken over by him that she couldn’t just stop talking about him. His simplicity, his love for books and gadgets, those little things that he did. So much was her banter about her interview that her roommate Priyanka was literally bored of it.
“Well take care not to fall in love with him. These corporate guys can never be trusted.” Priyanka continued.
“Oh come on Pree, I don’t think I am in love with him. It’s just that I am way too impressed. Most of the people I’ve interviewed have a flashy lifestyle. Want to flaunt something or the other. But this guy is different. He prefers to keep things to himself. He is simple, decent, down-to-earth, and extremely honest. I think my respect has grown for him since the interview. Having said that, there is something really mysterious about him.” Selly said trying to conceal her feelings but in vain though.
"Mysterious, why?" Pree asked
Selly: "There were parts of him that seemed very strange. Like for some strange reason he kept on talking about science stuff, Nuclear Fission and things like that, he didn't believe in flashy extravaganza but then there was a hidden satellite phone in his house, there were hidden security cameras even inside his house, something's strange, his man Friday even mentioned that no one is allowed in his room when he is in the house, he keeps a tight lid on what does in his room, seems like he is up to something."
"I am sure it's just nothing, these guys can be quirky," Priyanka replied.
"Well, I hope it's just nothing, cos I want to know him better. He is just very intriguing" Selly replied
Priyanka just smiled and nodded, she knew her roommate and her friend too well to gauge the fact that Selly indeed had fallen head over heels in love with Anubhav and hadn't realized it. Hailing from the same town they shared every intimate detail of their lives and this was the only time when Selly was talking intently about someone.
Just then Selly’s cell phone rang. It was Richa, InforGleam’s PR head.
Richa: “Hi Selly, sorry to bother you on a Sunday. I just wanted to invite you.”
Selly: “Oh that’s no problem Richa. It’s always a privilege to receive your invitation. BTW, even I have something exciting to share with you.”
Richa: “Oh really, what is it.”
Selly: “Well, I did a cover story interview with Anubhav Bindra today. He is appearing on our magazine’s cover in the next edition.”
Richa: “Not bad Selly, getting AB for an interview is in itself a big deal and the fact that he agreed. God must be very pleased with you. I’ll look forward to your next edition now. BTW I called you invite you for our Party tomorrow evening at 7:00 pm at the Taj Ummed. Please be there to cover the entire party it’s a big event for us.”
Selly: “Sure Richa, I’ll be there.” As she disconnected the phone. “Another chance to meet him.” She thought.
At the right place, at the right time, Selly and Kedar the photographer of the magazine started to cover the party. Taking bytes from guests, clicking snaps of each one of them as they arrived. They had the orders to cover the maximum of the party and they were just doing that.
The Ambience was just like it would have suited the Royal lineage that Sanjay and Bhumi had. There were perfume sprays, flowered entrance, white coated waiters, finest blends of scotch, and the most exquisite cuisines. It wasn’t just first class it was Royal class.
“Hi, Selly” came a voice from behind as she sipped her welcome drink. She turned around
“Hi, Richa, it’s so nice to see you. You look gorgeous.” Selly said sweetly greeting Richa.
“Oh thanks, so how the party.” Richa asked.
“It’s a just……Royal class.” Selly replied struggling to find superlatives.
Their conversation was interrupted by a voice on the microphone. It was of Anubhav Bindra. Selly switched on her Dictaphone to record what he said.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, lend me your ears. Today is a great day for us. “
Listening to Anubhav was so magnetic that Selly almost forgot the fact that she was in a public place. She felt as if she was at some alone uninhabited place and Anubhav’s voice her only guiding light. The clamor of applause broke her thoughts.
It was official Sanjay Solanki and Mark Robertson from NBC signed their respective contracts and exchanged them. They shook hands and struck a pose for the swarms of photographers who just couldn’t take their hands away from the click button.
After the contract signing ceremony, there were rounds of cocktail and it was Sanjay himself raised the toast signaling the party to begin. The DJ played the latest music the dancers did the jig like there was no tomorrow. Wines flowed, and Mr. Rupertson could just hide his glee at the hospitality.
Selly was done with her interviewing and picked up a glass of wine. She saw Anubhav; she couldn’t resist the strong desire to talk to him. She started moving towards him but was suddenly interrupted by Sanjay Solanki.
“Hey Selly, so nice to see you here.” Sanjay came and greeted her. “I want you to meet a couple of people.” He took her arm and led her towards Bhumi and the other guests. “Selly, this is my Wife Bhumika and He’s our CEO Anubhav Bindra – the genius as we all call him.”
“It’s so nice to meet you, Mrs. Solanki.” Selly greeted Bhumi.
“Same here Selly, please call me Bhumi,” Bhumi replied sweetly.
Selly turned to Sanjay and said.
“And as far as your CEO is concerned. I’ve met him before; I just did a cover story interview on him yesterday.”
“Oh that gr8…..so AB you’ve started to take my variety advice rather seriously.” Sanjay laughed.
“Well, it’s just that I met her by the roadside the other day and…..” Anubhav started to explain
“Oh come on AB, it’ good to be social you need not explain everything you do to your Boss, and Sanju can you for once stop taking a dig at him,” Bhumi said
“OK OK Boss no more of leg-pulling.” Sanjay said in a voice of mock apology to Bhumi
“Well Sanju, the Boss is always right. So agreed, I will be more social from now on.” AB said.
All of them burst into laughter. The party continued to flow in its elements. Mr. Rupertson was clearly stumped with the hospitality that he received. The party ended at 2:30 am past midnight and Selly, as usual, was waiting for some transportation to reach back home when Anubhav’s car stopped in front of her.
“What on earth are you doing here at this ungodly hour?” Anubhav asked concernedly.
“Just hoping to get some transportation back home,” Selly replied with helplessness apparent in her voice.
“Come on getting in, you should have informed Richa earlier and we could have arranged for something,” AB said rebuking her.
“That’s ok Mr. Bindra I am used to late hours, it’ a part of my profession.” Said replied.
Selly sat inside the car and Anubhav drove on. There were a few silent moments in the car. No one said a word till they reached Subash Bridge. Selly tried hard to conceal her feelings but finally, her heart won the battle.
“Mr. Bindra…” she started.
“Anubhav or AB.” Anubhav corrected.
“Ok Anubhav, I wanted to tell you something. “ Selly said
“Go on,” Anubhav replied without looking at her.
“You can call it feminine instincts or a plain banter, but after our interview yesterday and listening to your speech today. I always get a repeated intuition about one thing.” Selly said.
“I don’t think I am getting you,” AB said seeming interested.
“Well, I feel that there is some load of energy within you which is waiting to burst. You don’t seem to be satisfied with what you are currently and you want to break free. You want to do something different; something groundbreaking, something…….” She would have continued but a strong sound of the car breaks stopped her.
Anubhav just kept looking in her eyes with a look that would pierce the soul. It didn’t take a behavioral expert to gauge the fact that Selly’s banter had touched AB’s raw painful nerve.
“I am sorry if I’ve hurt you but …..” she said her voice faltering not being able to withstand AB’s stare she lowered her eyes.
“You are right Selly,” he said silently. His face expressionless “if only I could explain it to you.” He said regaining his composure driving on. No word was spoken in the car till they reached Selly residence.
“I don’t know if I’d be saying this but would you mind having a cup of coffee,” Selly said getting down the car.
“Well it’s too late in the night for coffee,” AB said in a tone wanting to avoid further conversation.
“Sir, you’ve given me a lift twice now please allow me to return the favor. Maybe a coffee might just be the best thing to help you to pour your heart out.” Selly persisted.
“Well if you insist,” AB said and parked his car. Both of them went to their apartment on the 8th floor.
“So you stay alone,” AB said looking around her apartment inquisitively as he seated himself.
“I stay here with my room mate who is an airhostess. She had an overnight international flight today and won’t be back till day after.” Selly replied from the kitchen as she started preparing coffee.
Anubhav sat there glancing a few magazines as Selly prepared coffee for both of them.
“So now tell me what’s been bothering you,” Selly asked as she entered the living room with a tray carrying two cups of coffee.
“I must say you have a fantastic apartment. Can you show me around?” Anubhav asked as if he didn’t hear the question.
“Yeah come along,” Selly said.
“So now can I have my answer?” Selly asked again after the small tour of her Cul de Sac was over.
“That’s a nice wind chime that you have.” AB said avoiding the question.
“It Is, what about my question, I want an answer.” Selly said impatiently.
“Quite a breezy place is this apartment.” AB continued further.
“AB, for God’s sake will you please stop avoiding me and answer my question” Selly yelled.
“Why on earth are you so keen on it? Don’t you see that I don’t want to answer…?” AB shot back. "There are things you wouldn't understand"
"Then help me understand" Selly replied her voice mixed with concern and irritation.
“Why?” Anubhav asked as if wanting to put an end to an uncomfortable conversation
“Cos….I like you, I care for you, and it pains me to see you in the distress that you are in right now. You have forgotten how to smile, how to be happy and I want you to be happy. I want to be happy for you. I want to be happy with you” Selly replied with tears welling up in her eyes. Unable to comprehend her feelings she just stopped talking, there was an eerie silence around her living room. No one said a word.
“You don’t know me enough, Selly. I have lived a very tough life and have lost the ability to feel things. It's not you, it's me!!!” AB said as he left.
The silence returned to the room and AB’s car starting could be heard in the silence of the night and Selly went out to her balcony, She kept on gazing towards the sky as if asking her maker as to what had happened to her.