Opposites Attract11 mins 1.7K 11 mins 1.7K
Zildjian was the name of her dance troupe. She, Arpita Mathur, was the lead female dancer. They performed stage shows and also performed at corporate as well as private events. They were quite a sought after troupe and mostly running full with bookings. Aashay Rawal was the lead male dancer. Arpita and Aashay performed along with other members of the group.
Aashay always danced with Arpita and they danced like a dream. It was almost impossible to tell who was better between the two, at dancing. They both were simply an unmatchable match. Aashay and Arpita met at a dance training academy where they learned various forms of dancing. They performed at the academy's annual show together (for the first time) and eventually when they completed the course, they both got into a relationship, personal as well as professional by forming the dance troupe Zildjian.
The “Time" company shortlisted them for their corporate annual event. Zildjian performed for the annual day while concluding the event and the crowd was completely thrilled. On public demand, they performed a repeat of a small segment.
Post the performance the crew went backstage. Arpita walked-in to see Aashay passionately kissing Kuheli one of the new dancers in the background. Consumed by jealousy and bitterness of being cheated, she grabbed him by his collar and shouted at him. Aashay was taken aback by the insult and was angry with Arpita for the showdown in front of Kuheli. Without thinking he threatened Arpita, that Kuheli will be the new lead dancer and Arpita was now no longer a part of Zildjian group. In her fit of rage, Arpita slapped Aashay & packed her stuff and left. She got out of the venue and was struggling to get a cab.
Naman too was leaving the event to go back home. Naman Shukla was one of the most influential leaders at Time, he had risen to success at a very young age. He was the youngest leader to have reached the top ladder leadership at Time due to his hard work as well as passion. He was the one to finalize Zildjian group for the event and had approved the budget for their fees.
He saw Arpita outside the venue and asked her where she was going. She stayed in the vicinity of his area so he offered her a lift. Arpita politely declined. Naman parked his car and tried to help her to search for a cab. He reluctantly tried to book a cab too, but no avail, for which Naman was thankful because her safety was very important for him considering she was leaving from the event for his organization. He finally told her "I am quite trustworthy. You will be safer with me than a random cab driver."
And then, he smiled. There was something magnetic, something reassuring, and something healing about his smile that warmed her up instantly, despite the heartbreaking situation she had just walked out of.
Arpita agreed and got in his car.
She was eerily quiet during the drive. Which was very opposite to her personality. She had done most of the talking when they were in discussion with the leadership panel at Time which was headed by Naman while finalizing the Zildjian troupe.
During the drive, Naman kept on asking her questions about dancing and Zildjian troupe as this was a different territory for him and he liked to understand people's background while connecting, he was a natural at relationship management. Arpita just answered in monosyllables. He sensed that Arpita was not comfortable. So he casually asked her "Is everything ok?"
Arpita burst out crying and narrated to him what had just happened. He parked aside and consoled her. He offered her water. She cried even more. He felt a wave of empathy for her. He told her that if she wanted he can try to get her a job in his organization.
Arpita thanked him and explained how dance had always been very close to her heart and how she was so passionate about it and how she couldn't see herself doing anything else. He handed her, his business card and told her to give him a call if she ever had a change of mind. He dropped her home. She hugged him lightly, thanked him for his support and concern and took his leave. He went back home.
He got consumed in his daily battles.
She started her struggle to survive.
Throughout the time, whenever she felt low, Arpita looked at Naman's business card. Just holding his business card made her feel better...secure...happy.
A couple of months later, one day Naman was passing by the reception in his office and happened to glance fleetingly at the crowd waiting in the recruitment area and moved ahead. He suddenly experienced a gut feeling of spotting someone familiar and came back to make sure he wasn't hallucinating.
He instantly spotted Arpita in the sea of applicants and signaled her to come over to have a word. Among the sea of nervous hopeful applicants, she sat straight, confident and self-assured.
He smiled and told her it's good, she decided to give it a chance, this job will give her more stability and longer success as compared to dancing and she can always pursue dancing alongside. She confessed that she didn't have much of a choice, she had to make ends meet and to survive alone in the city of dreams for the long term, this didn't feel like a bad choice. She belonged to a city in Northern India, where her parents still lived however she had come to Mumbai to pursue her dream to dance. He asked her why she didn't call him if she wanted to join Time? She looked straight into his eyes and told him that she wanted to join on her own merit and not by his influence. He admired her stubborn streak of self-reliance even while dealing with adversities and wished her luck. Arpita got shortlisted and joined Naman's organization.
Arpita had adapted well to the environment & her roles and responsibilities & both (she & Naman) continued to be in touch professionally in the office. He secretly kept a track of her performance & progress as he wanted to know how she was doing in an entirely different arena completely out of her comfort zone.
A year passed by and there was an upcoming event for Time's employees. There was a need to put up a dance performance by the top leaders. Naman recommended Arpita to choreograph the segment as he was well aware of her dancing prowess as well as her passion for dancing, plus this time her expertise was free as she was an employee now! Perfect win-win.
Arpita was thrilled at the opportunity to be able to dance again, although while choreographing. However, it was a task because, the top leaders who were cutthroat when it came to power-packed boardroom drama, were visibly nervous and stubborn as a mule when it came to dancing. Most of them were non-dancers, including Naman himself. Arpita did some simple warm-up exercises with the group, breaking their inhibitions about dancing. Cracking jokes, giving cheat tips at memorizing the steps and making everyone feel comfortable with their moves, encouraging and appreciating them occasionally to build rapport with the group. Eventually, after a couple of sessions, the group of leaders started to respond better. Some of them even flirted with Arpita blatantly trying to impress her with their moves. She handled it with poise and grace and brushed it off, although enjoying the attention, but still not losing focus on the performance.
Naman's schedule was hectic and he missed most practice sessions. He was finding it very difficult to cope up. Arpita was under a lot of stress on how to get him up to speed as he was the most horrible dancer of the lot. Eventually, Naman told her that he can't be a part of the team that’s performing. She was completely disheartened. Yet she urged him not to give up, reasoning that if she allowed him, more leaders would follow suit and quit. She offered him to check if it was possible to connect on the weekend at her place and practice if Naman was available and if he was ok with the arrangement. She requested him to definitely give it an honest effort and challenged him to step up. He reluctantly agreed because he was not a quitter. Dance was not his forte, but he didn't have much choice as he had already bit the bait. He was glad to get additional support for the practice.
Naman reached Arpita's place on Saturday. They practiced. She helped him with the moves. He was initially very awkward but she was very tough with him and made him practice and practice and practice.
Post practice, they relaxed, she helped him with some stretching exercises to ease the fatigue of dancing. They ordered food, sat on the floor & ate together. They spoke lightly and connected and then he got ready to take her leave, agreeing to practice the next day too. He was almost there and in a few sessions he would be up to speed with the rest of the group and make up for the sessions he missed. He smiled and thanked her. She smiled back and warned him not to be late for practice the next day.
He noticed how her face lit up and her eyes gleamed when she smiled. She was a completely different person when she got to dance. For Naman, Arpita's company was a contrast, it brought enthusiasm, color, and life to his normal, routine, monotonous & stressful life.
She noticed that there was something soothing about his company. Arpita felt calm in his presence, it was quite reassuring and had a tranquilizing effect on her.
She felt stable being with him.
He felt alive being with her.
She sat in her room thinking about him.
He sat in his car thinking about her.
He smiled, she blushed.
The next day Naman reached Arpita's place for practice again... He confessed that although he has been a non-dancer he didn't really hate dancing that much anymore. She smiled and said, "it's a good start." He noticed how she looked radiant when she smiled, he wished she smiled more often.
They both practiced again. She corrected him holding and guiding him in co-ordination between hand and body movements and enveloped him while showing a couple of moves. He tried to match up. Her close proximity to him created havoc in his self-control and dazed his ability to retain the dance steps.
In a sudden movement, instead of turning from right he accidentally turned from left, Arpita was standing to his left. She was not prepared for his unexpected move and lost her balance. In an attempt to steady herself from the fall, she grabbed his collar. He circled his arms around her & held her tight, just in time to save her head from hitting the corner of the chair. There was barely a distance of two fingers between their lips.
It had been ages since someone had held her in his arms like that, that sent her pulse racing.
It had been ages since he had held someone in his arms like that, that made his heart skip a beat.
They melted at each other's touch.
Neither of them realized who made the first move. They kissed. Initially, they kissed softly, deeply, exploring each other, gradually as their hunger took over, the kiss got more passionate, savage, demanding and hot. Their hands exploring soft contours of each other's bodies. Setting off landmines of passion, exploding.
Their lovemaking styles were stark different.
She was wild.
He was gentle.
However, at the junction of their passion, they somehow swapped personalities. He became wilder still retaining the essence of his gentleness, she was more submissive yet demandingly wild in a few ways. Their lovemaking was like thunder and lightning. After an hour of passionate lovemaking they lay in the bed naked... hugging... caressing.. steadying each other... or maybe preparing each other for more.
It had been four hours and they made love three more times until they were completely spent and exhausted, yet charged and rejuvenated and relaxed in each other's company. They lay like that in bed caressing each other, until it was time for him to go back home.
The day of the event came. The leadership team performed. Naman did well too. Occasionally a little out of beat, missing a step here or there and looking around him and catching up. She was in the crowd watching the performance like a hawk. Her hands and body automatically moving into the choreographed sequence on the beats. In the entire group, her eyes were fixated only on him. Adoring every bit of his awkward movements.
Dance was very important to her and she never stood a chance with a non-dancer, yet she was there letting him fling her heart high in the air, still making her feel safe that he will catch it and not let it fall and shatter.
After the performance, there was an award ceremony. Naman was awarded as "The Most Inspiring Leader & Torchbearer of "The Time Values”. He received the award gracefully and reached the dais for his speech. He spoke passionately, making instant connect, acknowledged all those who supported him throughout his journey, he even thanked his detractors for challenging him to prove himself better. The audience cheered him loudly. It was evident that he was one of the most widely adored leaders at Time. He dedicated his award to his team and almost made his team sentimental for working together, and making others envious, who were not a part of his team.
His eyes searched for her as he scanned the crowd.
He finally spotted her.
She was sitting in the audience in the fourth row, looking at him, completely intoxicated, mesmerized and besotted.
He witnessed that look and he smiled as he beamed proudly.
She smiled back radiantly, equally proud!
That exact moment it dawned on him, that he had always been normal and tame in almost all the walks of his life and he never felt he stood a chance with someone impulsive ever, yet she sat there in a crowd of thousands, tugging at his heartstrings, unleashing the wild in him.
Amidst thunderous applause to his speech, their eyes met again.
They made silent vows to each other.
She said, "I will keep you wild!!"
He said, "I will keep you safe!!"