Story of Sathya

Crowning Glory – Life’s Game! – 8

Read Chapter 7  here

Chapter 8

It was the month of May and the evening sky was coupled with purple and speckled red shades as Jennifer observed the scenic beauty of the Arabian Sea. It was the second  time she was visiting this part of the city after she moved to Mumbai. Few weeks ago, she was here to meet a dear friend who was in Mumbai for an official work.  Mumbai was an expensive city to live in, but there was something special about it. She was already impressed with it. She was meandering around the Bandstand area in Bandra, her camera hanging around her neck and she carried a backpack. She stood near the rocks and looked at the mighty vast sea, admiring its magnificence. It was only 6 PM and the sky was showing a stunning display of shades of purple, orange and red.  It was a scene worth to be captured on a camera. She quickly arrested the splendid view of the setting sun on her DSLR. Bandstand was a popular hangout zone in Mumbai where one could witness youngsters loitering around with their friends – girlfriends to be precise! One could even find different mischief mongers strolling around looking out for some fun.

This city is amazing! She thought as she walked into a nearby Coffee shop, her gaze travelling over the interior of the shop that was painted in red, scribbling of different attractive cartoons graced the wall. She had visited this coffee shop few weeks back and then it was painted yellow. 
Such an amazing transformation, she thought as her eyes wandered around the coffee shop. All her  attempts to locate a vacant table seemed futile.  A waiter came to her rescue and led her to a table that was supposedly vacated few minutes ago. It was a familiar face. He was the same young boy who took her orders last time when she met her friend at the same place.

“Thank you,” Jennifer said, to which the waiter acknowledged with a smile.
A young waiter approached her with a menu card in his hand. He handed her the menu card. She quickly glanced through it and ordered a cappuccino.  She was here to meet a dear friend – a friend who entered her life as a cameo and eventually turned out to be an integral part of her life. Their friendship gradually transformed from good to best with time. She smiled every time she thought about him. Thinking about him always dragged a smile on her face.  

“You can never be on time. Like a stupid I’ve been waiting at the coffee shop for you. Already gulped 2 mugs of Coffee: P” She tapped out a quick text message to her friend. Thinking of ways to pass time, she finally decided to transfer the evening photographs from her DSLR to her laptop.  She logged into her laptop and attached her camera data cable to her laptop.  
Her phone beeped. “Gulp 2 more mugs and I will be right there!” Her friend had replied to her text.  
As she browsed through the camera folders, she came across Tara Dutta’s photographs.
“Such an arrogant and proud lady!” she thought.  Her haughty nature was perhaps something that differentiated her from others.  She stared at her photographs for a moment!

Those full dark mascara clad eyes are trying to hide something? What is she trying to hide?  What does those animated smiles suggests?!  There was certainly something unpleasant about her.

Why did Shekar smile at her when Tara spoke about juggling between her career and home? Was he trying to say something through those sarcastic smiles?  

“If you were given this project a few years back, then Tara’s name would have not featured in your list.” Shekar’s words flashed on her mind.

“..she was just a small media professional running some errands. Now with her rise to the top, I am extremely proud of her.”   She started thinking over what Shekar said.
“From a media professional to a successful CEO in a short duration. How?”   She was lost in her own train of thoughts about Tara.

“There is must be something fishy!” she thought to herself.
“Here is your cappuccino, madam,” the waiter arrived at her table. Her fingers combed through the tangles in her long dark hair hanging down her back.
“Thank you! “ Jennifer said, with a bright smile on her face. She soon grabbed her phone and started poking incessantly on it, typing a text message to her phone for whom she had been waiting for a long time.

“That’s it! I’m leaving now,” she texted her friend. She was growing irritated. Men from the other table  were busy leering at her and some how she was feeling uncomfortable.
“Enough is Enough!” she said to herself.

Jennifer glanced up,sipping her cappuccino only to observe a  waiter heading towards her with a bouquet of roses!
“This is for you madam!” the waiter announced to her.
Before the waiter could say anything further, Jennifer asked, “Who gave you?”
“That gentleman!” He pointed his finger towards a man standing next to the entrance. It was her friend Cyrus. And of a sudden, her thoughts about Tara vanished and her lips curved into a pleasant smile. She had been waiting for him for the last 1 hour.
“So, how is my photographer friend  doing?” he asked, smiling at her.
Cyrus was a law student who lived in New Delhi. He did his internship with a very reputed legal firm based in Delhi. He was dressed in a dapper outfit, neatly combed hair. Perhaps his smile and his curly hair were the most attractive feature of his body. But he seldom smiled.
 “I want to strangle you right now.” Jennifer looked at him through her fiery eyes.
“Go ahead!” he said and leaned closer to her. He wrapped his arms around her shoulder and said “Accept my apologies, madam, for I was stuck at some important meeting.”
He looked straight into her eyes, “How come you look so beautiful today?”
“Stop flattering me,” she said, “And yeah apologies accepted.” A smile lit up her gorgeous face.
They both met each other at Jennifer’s office during his business visit to Marie Claire. She found Cyrus boring during those days, a kind of a serious guy with a big nerdy spectacle to define his look. But later her views changed.

“Thank you, Jenny!” he said. There was something which attracted him to her.  Everything about him intrigued her – his way of talking, his smile and the cute dimple on his face mesmerized her.
She smiled at him, displaying the dimples in her cheeks.  As he turned aside, his eyes chanced upon her laptop screen which displayed the image of Tara Dutta.
After attending an important meeting with her Boss, Jennifer directly headed towards her cubicle. She had skipped her breakfast that day. It was only her second day at  her new job and  she was already drowned In so much work that she even skipped her lunch. She decided to take a quick break and left for the pantry for a coffee.
She collapsed as she entered the pantry.

Minutes later when she gained consciousness, she heard a voice.

“Hey, are you alright?” 
 She squinted her eyes and saw a faint reflection of a man patting her cheeks. She swiftly moved away and said, “I’m alright.” 
“Thanks for that,” she said and got up. The stranger stretched his hands forward to facilitate her in getting up.  They both stood  there for a moment, he still holding her hand. She quickly reacted and moved her hands away. She nictated her eyes and discovered the stranger cheerfully smiling at her.

“Thanks once again,” she said and asked, “Do you work here too?”
“No, No.” he said.
“Then?” Jennifer asked.
“I’m doing my law from Delhi University and my company has sent me here for some important work.” The stranger smiled at Jennifer.
“Are you a law student or a Lawyer?” Jennifer asked.

“Law student,” The stranger replied.
 “Then what company work got you here?”
“I do my internship with a famous Legal firm based in Delhi and I am here for an article on Company Acts.”

“Great!” she said , “Lawyers from Delhi don’t have names?!” She joked.
Jennifer winked at him. Through her intelligent eyes she quickly assessed him from top to bottom before she went away towards  the coffee machine.
He followed her from behind. “Oh by the way I’m Cyrus Daruwala!” He introduced himself.
She filled a cup of coffee and asked, “So you must be having liver problems?”
“Sorry, I didn’t get what you are trying to say,” he said like an obedient school kid. The cup of coffee energized her and she was once again in a playful mood.

“Oh forget it, that was a joke,” she grinned and continued, “And I’m Jennifer – Jennifer Joseph, working as a senior photographer here.” He accompanied her to her cubicle.
Cyrus was tall, around 6. He had a milky smooth skin and was extremely fair  like most of the Parsi men. A large nerdy spectacle shielded his eyes. It gave him a nerdy appearance. He was taciturn by nature but seemed like a friendly person to hang out with. He sported a goatee which added to his style factor though his glasses gave him a geeky look. He wore a formal outfit and first he  appeared as a dull guy to Jennifer.

“How long are you in Mumbai?” Jennifer asked him.
“I’m here for a week.” Cyrus replied.

“Great then,” she said and continued, “May be we should catch up later. Right now I’m having some work.”

“That all happened when I went for a quick coffee,” she said with a vibrant smile on her face.

“It’s alright, Jennifer.” Cyrus said with a straight face.

Jennifer was in search of a friend and after meeting Cyrus, she thought that she could befriend him. That was the reason why she even exchanged her number with him.

Later that week they met once again. After completing her photo session at the Dutta’s house,  Jennifer headed to Cafe Coffee, a coffee shop at Bandra to meet her new friend Cyrus Daruwala.

She entered the coffee shop and it looked like another ordinary coffee shop to her. The walls were painted yellow and it was not organized well. She found Cyrus waiting for her at a corner table.  He got up and shook hands with Jennifer as she went close to him. He was wearing a casual outfit,  striped shirts and a blue jeans. His curly hair was frizzy and shabby. But even then it looked good on him. 

“Did I make you wait for a long?”  She politely asked him with a smile. 
“No, I came just now,” he said, “you have such an amazing smile.” Such was the magic of Jennifer’s smile that it even impressed people whom she  hardly meets.

“My boss gave me such a boring assignment,”  she said, her face grimaced.
“I am back from Tara Dutta’s house,” she continued.
“What? Tara Dutta? Really?” Cyrus almost jumped  from his chair.
“Why are you so excited?” She questioned him, looking into his eyes and asked, “Do you know her?”
“Well, who doesn’t know her? Her popularity is beyond reach. She won the young entrepreneur award last year,” he said and continued, “didn’t you know?”
“No,” she said, perplexed.

 “By the way, tell me something about you?” Jennifer asked Cyrus, tapping her mobile phone unremittingly, her eyes focussed on the game that she was playing on her mobile phone.

“There is nothing interesting about my life, Jennifer,” Cyrus said to which Jennifer quickly riposted, “Seriously dude?!”

Now Jennifer’s view on Cyrus being a boring guy got confirmed.
“It’s just that my parents  forced me to take Engineering after my 12th and I had to acquiese to their demands,” he said, sounding low.

“The other day you mentioned that you were pursuing your law,” Jennifer looked at his eyes for once.

“Yes, it finally dawned to me that I had to do what I was interested in. Engineering was never my cup of tea. I quit my Engineering in my 3rd year and joined a Law college affiliated to the Delhi University,” he said and continued, “You might think of me as a fool!”

“No, not really! Its sometimes good to listen to your heart and you did the right thing,” she said and smiled.

“My conscience knocked me hard to make me understand that what I was doing was wrong and I should in fact do something that I loved and yes it was right,” he said and continued, “Engineering would have ruined my life!” He winked.

After sipping a cup of hot tea, he said,”And I am already in my final year of Law.” Their gaze locked.

She smiled at him. They spoke about many things related to their work, passion and interests. They became friends. It was also during one of those days that  Jennifer got to know that he wanted to become a writer some day and publish a book. It was one of the things in his bucket list. Cyrus left for Delhi the next day and promised that he would be in touch with her. Since then they have been talking to each other almost every day. 

“Seems Tara Dutta is not letting you sleep,” Cyrus joked,  referring to the image of Businesswoman Tara Dutta on her laptop.

 Cyrus’s  joke got her out of her reverie and she gave him a startled look.

“Hello madam, where are you lost?” He said, patting her back

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What happened after ? Read the next part  – Chap 9

A Quality Analyst by day and a dynamic blogger by night, Ste is an out-of-the-Box thinker whose thinking cap is never on the resting mode. The real feather on his thinking cap is his creativity which you can see in all his works, be it short stories, poems or sketches. He is a very big fan of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Most of his short stories are inspired from real life and things that fascinates him. His blog “The Solitary Writer” is a central repository of his entire creative spear.”  Did you like this post? Get The Solitary Writers updates via Facebook or Twitter, better yet, subscribe to it via RSS Feed. It’s easy, and free!Also you can discuss in the Forum. Comments are just another way to let me know how you feel.Don’t forget to comment.

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Step right up, it's Ste's show! Join me on my writing journey where I dish out witty tales, thought-provoking poems, and quirky musings on life. I'm a social justice warrior who sneaks in some humor wherever I can. Book, movie, and cultural critiques included. Buckle up, it's gonna be a wild ride!