The place was simply beautiful and to everyone’s surprise, not only did Anita, but Anu and Sanjib turned up too at Gadda-da-Vida, Juhu. The two, who were busy doing up their Worli house, needed a break. Anita came with Swapna and Khush drove Harry, Aneesha and Shamiq to the venue.
Shamiq – a sound engineer – was the host of this grand get-together. He was a millionaire with his 20 per cent shareholding in his late father’s closely-held company. With 50 per cent holding, his sister was the CMD, and her husband Khush held the rest. In the past decade with his ingenuity alone, the company’s worth had risen fifteen times over.
Khush had taken charge of his late friend Shom Bhatia’s company and was grooming Shom’s son to take over from him. Khush’s son was 35 years old and the CEO of his mother’s company.
It was an hour to sunset and drinks were being served. Shamiq was sitting with Aneesha on one side of a big square table, and Anu was sandwiched between Sanjib and Anita at the opposite end. Harry was with Swapna and Khush opted for sitting with his back to the sea, so that Harry and Swapna could sit together facing it.
“Thank you Khush for being so considerate,” said Harry.
“I’d like to know more about your past as it is never enough. More so, your Calcutta stories,” replied Khush.
“We all want to know that bit,” added Swapna.
They all were curious, especially the Calcuttans, Anu and Sanjib. Except Anita, who appeared to be deep in thought. She excused herself and walked out to the beach adjoining the restaurant. She’s probably not comfortable with Shamiq being the host, thought Harry, Swapna sensed this too. Anita walking on the beach reminded them of Raima.
Khush was the only one in the group with his back to the sea. But now Anita did likewise. Was it because she wanted to escape Shamiq’s glare, wondered Harry. Khush felt a gentle touch on his shoulders and turned back to see Anita smiling as she sat beside him.
Anita was no stranger to Khush. He was her very first encounter at the massage parlour before he introduced her to Raima’s heartbroken Shom. She looked at Khush who had cared so much for his friend Shom that he had sacrificed his relationship with her for Shom’s sake. In Natasha’s absence she needed a companion like Khush. All the more because Harry was dividing his attention between Swapna and her. Anita was about to say something when
Shamiq interrupted her thoughts.
To be continued…