College mess was bustling with all kinds of sounds, utensils clattering in the kitchen area, students inflated voices, traffic in the nearby road, it was total chaos. Most awaited holidays of the year have been announced today Tim for students to rush back to their homes.
Anshul and Pranav were roommates, best pals more like brothers. Despite coming from contrast backgrounds and lifestyles, they clicked well during the entrance process at the Medical college. Pranav is the only son of the country’s well-known businessman, the future heir to a pharma giant, Anshul belonged to a humble family of farm owners in the nearby town.
In the second-year college break, Anshul visited Pranav’s luxurious villa, his eyes turned sour seeing the absurd wastage of wealth. “Do you really need such a huge house for just three of you?” he asked Pranav looking at the massive swimming pool and billiards table with other wealthy irrelevant things.
“Not three, just one. My mom doesn’t live here, she is more like you in that way.” Pranav shrugged his shoulders in dismissal. “Like you, she also feels this luxury is absurd. In fact, she tried to persuade Dad on numerous occasions to sell this property and share the wealth for humanitarian causes.”
“Wow! She really said that?” Anshul was curious to know more.
“Of course, this is one of the biggest reasons my parents don’t live under one roof. They are poles apart, buddy! One believes in amassing wealth and the other one is sharing.” Pranav said rolling his eyes.
“What do you think? This is required or an overindulgence?” Anshul quizzed his buddy gesturing towards the huge expanse of luxury ahead of them.
Pranav didn’t say a word, just shrugged his shoulders with a petulant dismissal. His typical reaction for – it doesn’t matter!
Anshul isn’t going home this vacation, he told Pranav about the part-time job offer he received last week.
“Are you sure about that? Let’s enjoy the holidays man, we slog our ass off for the whole bloody year.” Pranav asked him one last time, still trying to convince for a change in plan.
“I am good, and stop it before I myself throw you out of this room,” Anshul declared.
“Okay! I give up.” Pranav he picked up his bags, made a rude gesture to Anshul and left for the airport. He is traveling to Singapore to meet his father and venture the Lion City. “One country every year, that’s my current philosophy of life,” he told his roommate while flashing the flight tickets.
Anshul is selected as a healthcare-worker by a famous NGO, a part-time job might not give much money, but the exposure and advantage of CSR activities will add extra credits to the score-board.
He entered the new office, which is a sprawling villa turned into a child orphanage cum education and medical center. He was perplexed to see the commotion between a bunch of young kids and the lady smiling back to them wholeheartedly. The kind of smile that makes your day bright.
“She is Mrs. Dewan, your boss, and NGO founder,” a voice came from behind. He turned back to find a familiar face looking back at him.
“Mr. Pandey! Good morning, sorry I didn’t notice you coming,” Anshul said to his reporting boss clearing his head from the serene view he just witnessed.
“Cut the formalities, call me Shantanu. Let’s get moving, I will introduce you to the center staff and if time permits, we may catch Mrs. Dewan for a quick introduction.”
“Yes, Yes! Sure, right away.”
The day proceedings were quite a handful, Anshul didn’t realize meeting everyone and understanding the mission, vision and philosophies of the NGO have consumed his entire day, well almost!
He still has two more hours to go, Shantanu waved at him urgently. “Come we have just 10 minutes. You know if you meet the lady on your first day, you are blessed.” He chuckled and directed him towards a closed door.
The inside office was done with bare minimalistic design, with the only cane and recycled wood furniture and walls full of planters or hand portraits. Anshul was absorbed looking at the stone walls defeated by the vines, how beautifully the green runners have taken over the stone expanse and made it their home.
“Do you like them?”
Anshul fumbled his balance listening to the sudden breach of solitary, he turned around to see Mrs. Dewan looking back at her with summoning eyes.
Bewitched! Anshul was dumbstruck with the beautiful face looking back at him, she is definitely the most stunning lady he has ever seen. Calling her beautiful would be an insult, she is poised, serene and peaceful like river.
“Are you okay? I am Chandni Dewan, how can I help you?”
“umm…. Mrs. Dewan, I am Anshul Malik (stammering) joined today as health-worker, I mean…. Part-time health expert, like a doctor. Today is my first day, Shantanu Sir asked me to meet you.” He was a nervous wreck under those scrutinizing deep grey eyes.
“Pleasure to have you onboard, Anshul. We don’t follow sir/madam here, please use first names. We all are equal.” She replied forwarding her hand to him.
Anshul greeted with wobbly hands, the touch of her skin made him shiver. He tried hard to hide his ridiculous infatuation, but a smirk on her lips made it away.
“Thank you, Ma’am, I mean…. Chandni ji.”
“Only Chandni,” she said while moving towards her desk. “Please close the door while leaving, Anshul, please.”
Getting the cue, he left the room holding his right hand tight to his chest.
The post is written as part of #A2ZChallenge & #BlogchatterA2Z. To read the previous post, please click here. My theme this year is Short Love Stories.
Disclaimer – This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Reader discretion is advised.
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