TPR3 Chap 4 Kuch kuch hone laga…
Sunday Sundae is served :)) So here we are again, Maan is back in control. Geet is back in the running lets see how Jignesh bhai fares ;))) So read enjoy, excuse any errors as I haven’t had much time to edit it and don’t forget to comment nahi tou meri brainwa will think you guys never read it ;))))))
Chapter Four – Kuch kuch hone laga?
Maan nodded to her as took her place beside the other two, raising his hands in applause along with the audience.
Turning back to the audience he spoke again, “Now that we have the three finalists here let me tell you how the winner will be decided. All three will be given a story to cover by the panel in a sealed envelope and the best of those, as judged by the panel will be declared the winner live on DBC in a weeks time.”
“I was supposed to win, bola tha mujhe.” Jignesh muttered in an aggrieved tone whilst throwing dark looks at Maan Singh Khurana. “Why is he getting involved? Now I will have to do more work.”
Geet glared at him, she knew it! This whole competition was rigged from the start. Was Maan Singh Khurana really going to investigate? Or was he just making noise? Would he really follow through with his promises?
A young man brought three envelopes to Maan at the podium.
“Ms Handa would you like to come forward and choose from one of these.” Maan requested holding out the three in a fan like offering.
“Why is SHE getting first choice?” Jignesh whinged loudly moving forward.
Just managing to stop herself from rolling her eyes at his schoolboy antics, Geet offered “Err Jignesh you can choose first if you like.”
Stepping forward he said, “Haan, Yes! I should choose first.”
Maan glared at him hard, Jignesh stopped his advance to the podium, frightend by the look in Maan’s eyes.
“Envelope ke saath brains and manners bhi dena Jigneshbhai ko!” Someone shouted from the audience. There was a huge hoot of laughter and Jignesh fell back in line mumbling that Geet should go and pick one of the envelopes.
As she walked towards him Maan felt his breath stop, stunning came to mind. Her eyes met his and a small smile played on her lips as she picked one of the envelopes and fell back into line with the other two, it took him a moment to form the next words he needed to say.
“Danny, please…” Maan gestured. But Danny took pity on Jignesh and let him go second.
In turn Jignesh and Danny both took an envelope and stood back.
“You can look in your envelopes, but leave the contents a surprise for us.” Maan announced.
Geet tore open the seal and pulled out the sheet. It read ‘You are to cover the opening of the new wing at The Sarabai Memorial Hospital.’ A frustrated groan burst from her and she kicked herself mentally for picking that envelope. Jignesh leaned over and read her assignment and started laughing.
“Geet I am going to cover a political rally and you are going to laal ribbon opening hehehehe!”
“Don’t worry about me, I will still do a better job than you Jignesh” Geet told him.
“Good luck Geet, I am covering the aftermath of the fire last week at The Bar.” Danny told Geet, ignoring Jignesh’s silly antics.
“Good luck Danny.” Geet reciprocated.
Maan stood at the podium again, “Now that they have their assignments lets see which of these talented journalists delivers the best coverage. A round of applause for them again please.”
As the applause died down he continued, “Now the entertainment will continue as advertised, don’t forget to watch DBC for their coverage this week and in seven days time for the announcements of the winner. Thank you and goodnight from me.”
At Maan’s gesture to leave the stage Geet started forward towards the stairs, as she reached the top stair Jignesh pushed right past her so that she stumbled, teetering on her heels right over the edge.
“OMG! Geeeeeet!” Pinky shouted in total panic as Geet hung on the edge, her arms flailing in the empty air trying to get a grasp on something, anything.
Everyone watched in horror, it was all happening almost as if in slow motion in front of their eyes. Maan cursed under his breath, leaping right off the stage he ran towards her reaching just in time to catch her in his arms as she fell.
He held her tight against his chest as he realised if he had not reached her she would have had a serious injury, the stage was quite high and the way she was falling, she could have landed badly.
“Geet! Are you alright?” He rasped out as a collective gasp sounded from the audience.
He was holding her so tight, she could hear the loud beat of his heart. She found herself completely enclosed in his embrace, for a second she just wanted to remain there, it just felt so right, until she remembered where she was and in who’s arms she was finding so much pleasure.
“I am fine Maan..err Mr Khurana.” Geet tried to move but he held her fast.
His eyes blazed with anger at Jignesh, who mumbled something and walked away fast as the audience had started booing him.
“Please…you can let me down…” The spicy scent of sandalwood and citrus washed over her, enlivening her senses, again she felt that sense of disorientation.
He gently let her down and applause broke out from the audience “Well done sir!” And a few whistles bounced around as well, tingeing Geet’s cheeks with pink.
“Are you OK?” Maan asked again, “what an idiot that man is, I have a good mind to disqualify him from the competition.”
“I am sure he didn’t mean it.” Geet reasoned whilst smoothing her dress down, eager to get away from being the centre of attention. Why was his nearness effecting her so?
“I am not so sure he didn’t.” Maan murmured. There was so much going on here that was unexplainable he was sure Jignesh had something to do with some of it.
Her eyes met his and again colour crept up her cheeks without her consent. She had to move, get away from him before she embarrassed herself further. “Err thank you.”
“My pleasure Ms Handa. See you again soon.”
He gave her a lopsided grin and her eyes flared in surprise.
“On the television of-course.” Maan watched as she became increasingly flustered.
“I didn’t mean…” Geet mumbled turning even pinker.
His grin widened, although he would like to see her sooner he thought it wouldn’t be appropriate. Firstly he was on the judging panel and secondly he was engaged, with that thought in mind he glanced at Sabrina in the front row, her face looked a picture. Not at all a pretty one either.
“Congratulations on getting into the final three and now I had better attend to a pressing matter that looks as if she is likely to blow any second.” Giving her a nod he walked over to where Sabrina fumed quietly.
And then she was swallowed up in a huge bear hug by Pinky and many well wishers. After that where he went she didn’t see.
Maan lay back in bed, his arms folded behind his head staring out at the full golden moon that had risen in the dark obsidian sky framed by his window. The events of the evening played again and again in his head like a newsreel. As his mind flitted over the events of the evening his lips pursed as remembered what had been the most shocking this whole evening.
Her face as he had looked up at her after catching Ms Handa had told him that she was near exploding. Smoke was practically coming out of her ears. But she had not said a word to him as they left the venue. And they hadn’t spoken a word to each other as they reached her flat, so what surprised him further was that she ran her finger suggestively along his thigh signalling that she wanted him to come up for a night cap and more.
Anger sizzled through him, after the stunt she had pulled, she should be happy that he had actually been civilised enough to drop her home. For a moment he had thought of leaving her there to make her own way home but his good manners had won out.
Practically pushing Sabrina out of his car he headed home, his mind occupied with multiple thoughts. Who had changed his hand written note? And why would they do such a thing? As far as he knew only one of the other judges had voted for Jignesh Patel..was it someone associated with Jignesh Patel who had tampered with his note? But who? His hand written note had gone from his desk straight to the judges office. So where did it get tampered with? Nothing made sense. And more so why had Sabrina behaved in such a ridiculous fashion? What did she have against Geet Handa. As far as he knew they had not even met before this evening.
The most surprising this evening had definitely been Ms Geet Handa, delightfully so. From the moment Sabrina had thrown wine over her, to her face as she came up on stage, to the moment he had caught her in his arms. Ms Geet Handa, had been as refreshing as cool breeze on a summers day. What a complete anomaly. She did not behave in a way that he was used to. If Sabrina had been in her place, if Geet had thrown the wine over her, he was sure a major drama would have ensued, which would have included crying, screaming loudly, and creating a huge scene. Then there was the push by Jignesh, and he was sure it had been a deliberate push. Still she had maintained her cool and hadn’t caused a fuss even when she had fallen off the stage. Thank god he had reached her in time.
He had watched Geet many times on the news of course, she was always composed, impassioned many times about a story or a cause but always cool. Tonight although she had walked away without causing drama. Only, he had seen her composure crack, the tear that had escaped despite her efforts, he had seen a vulnerability in her eyes, the shock, he didn’t think that she let that facade slip very often, if at all. If he had not sought her out and witnessed it, he would have never guessed at the distress she had been in as she ascended the stairs to the stage. He held nothing but admiration for her.
Somehow Ms Handa had changed to Geet in his mind he mused. A slight breeze whispered over his bare chest and he stretched his arms out pulling a pillow to his chest, it had felt so good to hold her so close. His mind pictured her face, her long golden brown hair, that small smile that played on her lips as she took the envelope from him…she really was beautiful.
Then there were those eyes of hers…
Across town Geet finally managed to get into bed after the impromptu party Pinky had thrown together. Her protests that she had just got into the final three and not actually won was thrown aside as friends piled in with food and drink. All through the evening her mind went back again and again to how it felt to be in his arms. With a self castigating tone, she pushed the thoughts away as quickly as they popped into her head. It didn’t help that Pinky and her friends talked about nothing else all night. How high he had jumped from to rescue her had gone from 5 feet to 15 feet. Maan Singh Khurana had become Ninja Singh Khurana. As the drinking carried on they started chanting NSK …NSK…NSK…Whilst she fought the thoughts crowded her mind. Banging her head on her pillow she muttered curses as sleep alluded her even though tonight’s events had tired her out completely.
“Geet….” Pinky groaned walking no the bedroom with an icebag on her head , “what was the assignment anyway?”
“Have a guess Pinky!” Geet moaned into her pillow.
“Kya? Geet my head is throbbing I couldn’t guess my own name at the moment even if I wanted to.”
Grinning, Geet sat up cross legged on the bed as Pinky fell onto hers face down with a thump.
“Did you need to have so many Appletinis?”
“But Geeeet they taste so good, how can I help myself?”
Rolling her eyes Geet sighed. “Well, we have been asked to cover the opening of the Sarabai Memorial hospital’s new wing which is happening the day after tomorrow.”
“What?” Pinky flipped herself over with a mighty groan and stared at Geet bleary eyed. “Wasn’t that what that idiot Jignesh was telling us to do? How did this happen?”
“I don’t know Pinky, but Jignesh is covering the political march tomorrow that has been organised by that politician who loves to create more friction as long as he gets the votes, Sharma I think his name is. I am sure Jignesh is related to him and Danny has been assigned to cover the aftermath of the fire last week at the Bar. That would have been a great one for us. Covering the human angle of such a tragedy.”
“The real tragedy here is that we have been handed a lemon! How are you going to create an interesting story out of a red ribbon opening? They don’t want you to win. Seriously Geet someone has got it in for you.”
Smiling at her friend Geet lay back down “Pinky when life gives us lemons, you and me Pinky, we must make lemonade!”
Pinky dragged a pillow over head muttering “kill me now!”
“Sharma you told me I would win this? So what happened?” Jignesh moaned unhappily still smarting from all the gaalis he had received from the event.
“Arey I was told by that woman Sabrina that her boyfriend Maan Singh Khuarana was voting for you! I could have persuaded the others too if he hadn’t made such a fuss at the last minute. How was I to know that he was going to do that? Anyway I got you into the final three didn’t I and you got the right assignment.”
“Yeah that bent corner of the envelope was a good idea, I was really worried that Geet would take it when that Maan Singh Khurana didn’t let me choose first but thank god she picked the really rubbish job.”
“Now just do a great story and you will win.” Sharma advised with a grin.
Jignesh ran a hand over his sweaty brow, do a great story sounded good but he didn’t have a clue how to do that. Usually he got his assistant to do the write up but he was ill. There was no way he was going to be able to do as good job as his assistant.
“Maybe I will Sharmaji,” he bragged, “at least that Geet Handa only got a hospital wing opening.” he grinned, “I am bound to have a more interesting story at your rally especially as you Sharma are leading the march.”
“Areey is she going to the hospital opening ceremony? Sarabai Memorial? Sharma questioned laughing out loudly. At Jignesh’s nod he carried on, “Well Jignesh you wont have to worry about her winning anything because waha dhamaka hone wala hai and who knows if she will make it safely back and even better than that, meddling Maan Singh Khurana will be there too as he has donated the largest share of the funds to that place. Two for one!”
“Dhamaka? How do you know?”
Sharma grinned, “Jignesh how do you think you get people to vote for you? It takes effort. Effort and planning. This new wing will be so good for the whole state, lekin my good friend,” he said in a voice that dripped with sarcasm, “Saxena and his party were opposed to it at the time it was planned….now if someone was to try and cause damage to that brand new facility, well we could only say it was caused by the party that opposed it in the first place, hai na. You understand what I am saying Jignesh, it takes effort and planning to get votes. A few planted clues and hey presto! My job done and for you a bonus!”
“Two for one!” Jignesh grinned, that was the kind of deal a Gujarati boy like him totally appreciated.