Madhubala A New venture – Part 6
“Madhdoo how are you its Steve.”
“Hi Steve, I am fine, how are the arrangements going for the premier?”
“Very well, all is arranged, your flight is arranged for tomorrow, actually I thought it would be easier for you to come with one of the major sponsors of the film. He is in London at the moment. You will get to travel in first class luxury, I believe he has his private plane on hand.”
“Steve…I would be happier just taking a regular flight on my own.” Madhu declared a frown creased her face. “I…I will be happy to of-course meet them there she repeated trying not to sound ungrateful.”
“Madhoo that will look bad, we don’t want to upset the sponsor do we? He is a really nice guy, I have met him on several occasions.”
“Madhu…” Aryan interrupted.
“Looks like a film star himself,” rattling on, Steve laughed, “I have been trying to get him into acting. In fact you two would look great together!”
“Steve!” She didnt want Steve to start pairing her off with people she had never met.
“But joking aside you should come with him Madhoo, he really is a nice guy.”
Frowning at Aryan who was buzzing like a fly around her. She said, “ok…so who is this sponsor and where should I meet him tomorrow?
“His name is Aryan Shekhwat, he has been…” Steve rattled on with all what Aryan had done for her.
Madhu’s world spun….For the last year Aryan had already been in her life…backing her film…paying for her to live in this luxury. Her eyes rested on his face, so when he had said I couldn’t keep away, he really meant he had never really left.
RK nursed his drink, so she was coming with her sponsor in a private jet. How biwi’s circumstances had changed. Now she was flying high, so high he couldn’t even think about reaching out to again. It was too late, everything had changed, he had let it all slip from his hand and now the gap had become unbreachable. He pulled the divorce papers he’d had drawn up and stared at them. Why had he had them drawn up, he really didn’t know. They hadn’t spoken, she hadn’t bothered to contact him at all, and it was clear that she had moved on. He wondered if she had started another relationship.
Smirking at his glass, he thought most probably not, Madhu was quite the straight serial biwi type, all principles and rules. She wouldn’t take up with anyone like that, especially someone she had just met. She didn’t have much luck with men, in fact she had detested him, he had dragged her kicking and screaming into his life, but she had adjusted and their relationship had changed for a while into something beautiful. Not any of his doing, it had been her…all her. At every step she had shown him the value of right over wrong. But the devil was too strong in him, he had ruined it all because of his ego and now how the tables had turned, she had walked away and made something of her self and he remained behind an empty shell.
Damn her! He threw the glass right across the room, it smashed against a red wall the dark liquid smearing across the painted surface so reminiscent of spilled blood. He had to laugh at that, the only blood that had been spilled and was spilling everyday was his.
Madhu stared at him from under her lashes. Since take off she had pretended to be asleep just so she wouldn’t have to make conversation. He had gently placed a pillow under head, reclined her seat and tucked a soft blanket around her. Ever since they had boarded the flight he had been busy tapping away at the keyboard, noting and scribbling in a notebook next to him. Completely relaxed, he sat, legs sprawled in front of him, working away at his computer. Yesterday evening he had left her in the flat to dwell on what he had said about himself, the faked death, the whole wanting to be friends thing she had been on tenterhooks.
But the thing that worried her most was the thought of seeing RK again. It made her feel all sorts of emotions she really didn’t want to feel. She had become accustomed to holding her emotions in such a tight grip but that control was slipping so fast it left her wrung out like a dishcoth. Somehow having Aryan close by made her feel safe, although that thought was completely at odds with what her mind was screaming at her. Her mind was telling her she should have never let them talk her into going back to India. Feeling completely boxed into a corner by everyone, she wondered if he would notice if she tried to break the window and climb out?
He looked up suddenly as if had heard her thoughts, a don’t even think about it look came into those green depths. He closed his laptop with a definite click and put it aside.
“Are you hungry? You must be.” It wasn’t really a question, it was his statement of intent, he waved his hand and as if by magic an attendant appeared. Madhu glared at the way the attendant fawned over him, and then as a grin dimpled the corners of his mouth she realised what she was doing and pretended to look at anything and everything but him. Within moments a meal had been set up before her.
His words brooked no argument but she felt like arguing. “I am not hungry.”
“You haven’t had anything since we left, and at a guess…’ he ran his eyes over her pale face, “probably not even yesterday evening.”
She looked at the food, various dishes that included fresh poached Salmon coated with dill sauce, side of superbly cooked dauphin potatoes, green beans and a light salad were placed before her. The delicate fragrance wafted up to her and her taste buds came tingling into life. Her tummy rumbled and her cheeks flushed as she heard him chuckle. Glaring at him she deliberately didn’t pick up her fork, still grinning he stood up shrugged his wide shoulders and walked off towards the washroom.
As soon as he was out of sight she attacked the food with gusto, polishing it off in record time. It tasted so good, and she told herself she hated wasting good food. The ever smiling attendant came back to clear her tray and presented her with a desert of chocolate mousse, she was just drooling over it when he came back into view saying he also wanted one of those as the attendant walked past him swaying her hips.
“Yes sir, of-course sir.”
“Three bags full sir!” muttered Madhu under her breath.
Aryan grinned the dimples dimpling on his cheeks. At least she had eaten even if he had to move from there to get her to eat.
His desert arrived and he attacked it with obvious enjoyment.
“Funny, I would never have taken you to have a sweet tooth,” she blurted out as she watched him eat.
“There is a lot you don’t know about me Madhu, when you decide we could be friends
and if you are willing to find out I will be happy to tell.”
Did she want to find out more about him? Really hadn’t she had enough of the one man in her life that she had trusted, and look what he did to her. Deciding silence was her best friend she carried on eating her desert.
“How do you feel about seeing RK again?”
Annoyed at being reminded of RK again ( not that she needed reminding he was always there at the back of her mind) her eyes flew back to him.
“Don’t you just go for the jugular?”
“I have never been one to beat about the bush.”
Shrugging her shoulders she said, “I am indifferent, RK is in my past, I don’t intend to let him effect me in any way.”
“That sounds well rehearsed.”
His observation grated. So what if she didn’t even believe it, but she had decided that she wasn’t going to let RK ruin her life ever again or effect her in anyway.
!You can see it whichever way you want to, I know what I am saying.”
“Uh..huh…” his non committal grunt had her squirming in her chair with anger.
“Madhu I am not trying to make you angry, but I can see that you are really worried about seeing him again. If…if you need me I will be here for you.”
For a long time she just stared at him. “Aryan thank you…I’m very sorry that I am being such a gripe, and thank you for being here for me and offering help. But no, I have to learn to stand on my own two feet. I will be fine, RK is no longer important to me.”
His biwi, technically she was still his biwi, looked amazing. A long oyster pale sari draped her contours lovingly. Not in your face, but elegant, classy. The press were out in droves as she stood alone on the red carpet beaming her 100 megawatt smile at them. Confidant, assured, smart, she was being all those things and more. He couldn’t do anything but stare…where had this woman emerged from, when she had been with him, she had been so scared about everything.
The media were throwing all sorts of questions at her, she took them all in her stride, answering confidently about the film and co stars.
“Are you shooting for another film?”
Giggling she replied, “let me have some rest please, you want me to come on screen with bags under my eyes?”
“Who will be your co-star in that film?”
“Haven’t even decided on doing a new film yet!”
“What if RK wanted you to be his heroine in his next?” It slipped out from him.
Everybody turned towards him. Shouts of ‘RK, RK, RK is here!’ resounded all around them.
He hadn’t meant to say anything, just slip by into the theatre, but now the whole focus shifted to him. Once again Madhu and RK stood on the red carpet, but this time she was facing him, as his equal in this unforgiving harsh industry.
Hell no! He muttered to himself, not equal she had sailed well past him and left him standing.