Natasha accompanied Madhumita to her new accommodation, a paying guest in Model Town. It was a single sharing room. They both moved the luggage into the room on first floor. The room was painted light pink in colour with a cot lying in center under the fan and a study table near the window. It had an attached washroom too. Mess was on ground floor. Natasha said “nice room Madhu” .
“Yaa, I liked it too at first glance” Madhu replied.
“Whats the rent of it” Natasha inquired further.
” 12000 per month including meals” Madhu did reply.
“Good yaar, its really nice. Shall I come as room mate again” Natasha flashed a smile.
“Yaa, we will create some more good memories here, nice idea” Madhu reciprocated.
“That room memories are with Rohit’s discussion, this room memories will be with Aarav’s” Natasha tried to get some information from Madhu, regarding what did happen between the two.
“no…no…. not at all…. Now I don’t care about anyone, I have to prepare for my CAT and nothing else is on my mind. Neither Rohit nor Aarav…. no one…its now only about me and myself” Madhu replied.
“Will you let me know what did happen between the two of you…..please” Natasha wanted to help.
“It’s not about what did happen…… what matters is that now nothing is left and Natasha I don’t want to go through all that pain again. Even if I tell you what did happen, will it change anything?….Infact, it will bring to my mind all those awful moments that I am trying to overcome”
“Atleast tell me what did happen. As far as I can feel you both were physically involved , weren’t you. You both were doing good. When I left for Asian Games you were together. What did happen among you that none of you are ready to even talk about each other. “
“Nothing did happen. I was a dumb to fell in love him, as I was dumb with Rohit. He insulted me , not only once but a number of times. He did humiliate me in front of others too. May be I was only for meeting his physical needs only. I can’t understand why it happens only with me….or may be boys need that only Natasha….. we girls are too fussy about emotions and love and bla bla. Boys love means only fu#k and their emotions flow out through their di#k only. They just can’t think beyond sex ..I guess. There was no respect, so better to be away from such person. You saw it by your own, how he reacted in canteen. I was there to be with him in time of grief. At such critical time , his ego was ruling his head. cant you see that. Why do suffer because of him. You only said once, Life goes on….. It was really difficult to come out of Rohit’s betrayal…. Then I got close to him… But now it’s over and it won’t be difficult for me to get out of it… You know i am now experienced…….” Madhu tried to conceal her pain of being separated from Aarav.
“Hmm, actually he was stressed at that time. Please understand him. Do you know what did happen to his mom…..” Natasha tried to tell her but Madhu interrupted ” No, I do not want to know anything about him” Madhumita was very stern in her voice . But in her mind she was ‘ go on…… please tell me what did happen……… Is he alright now…………when is he leaving…………..I want to be with him……. Please tell me everything about him……..’ But she was not courageous enough to accept in front of anyone that she still cares for Aarav. She knew that it will bring only grief to her life and now she and Aarav can never be together. Pretending that she is emotionally strong will help her in long run because her mind will react the same way. She is confident enough that with time she will overcome her feelings and weakness too.
Natasha stopped talking about Aarav as she understood that it will cause discomfort to Madhu. Moreover Madhu is now upto CAT. She needs to concentrate on it rather than Aarav. Aarav will leave for Mumbai tomorrow morning, so no point in discussing past, specially if it brings unpleasant memories.
They both arranged the room. Natasha and Madhu did dinner together and Natasha left for her home. She will be joining as DySP in Haryana Police. Although Natasha is a star now, but she is still the same for her friends, a support system on call available whenever you need her. Madhumita hugged Natasha while she was about to sit in the car. Madhu’s eyes were filled with tears. She managed to wipe them off before making eye contact with Natasha . “You are a brave girl Madhu….. Give your best now….. Be in touch…. ye sale sare launde ek jaise hote hai…sabko bas ek hi chez chahiye…ladki ke dil ko koi na dekhta… “
Madhu smiled “baja do in sab ki jab mauka lage….CAT nikalke bajaungi mei inki” both of them laughed and Natasha left Madhu in her new place to discover her share of peace and enjoy solidarity leaving all memories behind.
While on her way to home, Natasha called Aarav “Hi Aarav”
“How are you now”
“when is your flight tomorrow”
“ok , I will come to pick you up at 6 in the morning”
“why are you taking pain Natasha, I will book a cab”
“I did not call to seek permission, I am telling you, be ready by 6 in the morning” Natasha disconnected the call.
She reached by 5.45 am at Aarav’s room. Aarav was ready with all his packing. They left for the airport. On the way, Aarav was looking outside the window, away from Natasha. Natasha initiated “So, you are a man now Aarav”
“Where will you stay there?”
“What will you do?”
“Will meet Varun Mehta today afternoon. He contacted me 2 days back, when I revealed my identity. Earlier too, he used to like my pics. He sent a message to meet him. He even sent me his contact number to call. Yesterday I talked to him. He told me to meet today afternoon at his studio”
“Great….. By the way who is this Varun Mehta?” Natasha asked.
“He is among the top 10 fashion photographers of India. He is also recipient of Fashion photographer of the year award. He is youngest to receive this award. He is also acknowledged in international fashion world. He is the only Indian to receive the International award for fashion photography this year. You know, he is only 30. Every fashion magazine wants to work with him. He has worked with international models as well. In a nutshell, he is an icon in himself, and I am honored to even receive messages and likes from him”
“Hmm” Natasha replied
“You know Natasha, I talked to him yesterday. When I introduced myself, he was like so polite and asked me when I am coming to see him. I told tomorrow I am coming to Mumbai. He said come to my studio at 3 pm and don’t worry about the stay. He is such a gentleman” Aarav was excited to tell.
“Hmm, will you stay with him? I mean be a little careful, why is he so much interested in you” Natasha tried to caution Aarav.
“No, I will not stay with him. I don’t want to take any favors from anyone now onwards. I will behave in a professional way now. I did some mistakes in past. Will try not to repeat them. I will take a hotel”
“Hmm …good. If you please don’t mind, may I ask you something”
“Yaa of course, you can ask me anything except that Madhu…please”
Now Natasha was mum because she wanted to talk about his relation with Madhu only. Aarav already showed his displeasure in the topic. “I wanted to talk about you and her only”
“No please… Natasha … She is past. She was my biggest mistake. Now I am trying to prove myself. You know, I am left with nothing now. I don’t want any slutty distractions. I am starting my new life….please don’t talk about her. You know i lost my mother because she was supporting and encouraging my passion. Will any one believe that she was killed by her own husband. He is such an influential person, he proved it a heart attack. I have a great responsibility now that I will prove my father wrong. This is the only thing I am upto now and it will be my tribute towards my mom”
Natasha was anguished by the statement of Aarav. But as he was now determined to chase his dreams and make himself recognised, she did not say a word to correct him. Moreover he needed a support and not an instructor at this point of time. He needs to make his own decisions and beliefs and such cant be imposed. Natasha was now confirmed that none of them is interested to be in a relationship.
Aarav took a cab directly from airport and reached the studio. At the reception he informed about his arrival and appointment with Varun Mehta. He waited for around 90 minutes and the most awaited moment came. Varun Mehta walked towards him and shook hands. Varun Mehta who is a brand in himself is iconic in looks as well. He is around 5 feet and 11 inches in height. Thin to moderate built with broad shoulders. Fair complexion with black hairs and black eyes. Hairs little receding at temporal area to make him even more attractive. He has beard and mustaches trimmed to give him a look which is magnetic. He was wearing blue and white check shirt with sleeves folded till mid forearm paired with blue denims. He is hairy which is visible on his forearms covered in black dense hairs and chest hairs also visible near neck. His look was completed by blue sneakers. He is such a personality that no one can overlook. On professional front, he is a big name in himself. Very professional in attitude. Although worked with amny models and actresses , bollywood and hollywood both, but he is never linked with anyone.
“Aarav…. How are you”
“ohh… Call me Varun” said Varun keeping his left hand on Aarav’s shoulder. He took him inside his cabin. Aarav was astonished to receive such warm welcome. “Sit” Varun indicated on the sofa in his cabin. They both took the seats. Aarav flashed smile towards Varun.
“How did you reach here” asked Varun
“I took a cab from airport” Aarav replied
“ohh.. You had your lunch?” Varun enquired further
“no… Not yet” Aarav was in state of euphoria so he did not feel hungry.
“I too did not take” Varun ordered the girl on reception to order pizzas for the duo. “It was very hectic since morning. Let’s have lunch together” Varun raised his eyebrows in anticipation and Aarav was indeed delighted by Varun.
“I am also from Delhi” Varun said
“yes sir” Aarav replied
“again sir. Do I look so old” Varun raised his eyebrows
“no… No” Aarav was quick
“call me Varun… Only Varun. I was following your account since last year. Your pics are amazing. You have a great potential” Varun praised
“Thanks sir…. Ohh sorry Varun” Aarav smiled
The receptionist brought the Pizza and they continued to talk. While having the bite of his favourite veggie lovers pizza Varun asked “Photography is your hobby only or you have some plans too”
“Sir….Varun, its my hobby, my passion and I want to make it my profession too. I want to have a life where I work for my passion.”
“Thats great. So, have you done any course or diploma in photography?”
“No, I just finished with my graduation from DU”
“Thats amazing, I mean your skills are self developed. What are you upto”
“I just moved to Mumbai today. Lets see …..”
“Where does your parents live”
“They are no more in this world’
“ohh!! I am sorry”
“Its ok sir “
“Again Sir…My anme is Varun”
“I think I have something for you” Aarav was looking at Varun with anticipation. Varun continued “Join me”
Aarav was awstruk to hear this ” Really!!!”
“Don’t you want to work with me”
“It will be a great honour to work with you. Its like a dream come true”
“Oh come on… you have talent and I need an assistant. You deserve it”
“Thanks sir…I mean Thanks Varun”
Aarav was ecstatic to even think about the opportunity. He thanked God and also his mother in prayers. Varun interuppted his thoughts ” when will you join “.
Aarav could not resist his excitement “Now only “
“Thats like a professional and a true passionate. I like your attitude. I knew you have it in you ” Varun was impressed by Aarav “Where are you staying?”
“I came directly from airport. So will take a hotel today and will search for an accomodation soon”
“ok. My best wishes with you and welcome to my team” By this time they both were done with their pizza and Varun got up from his chair. so does Aarav. Varun shook hand and also hugged Aarav. “Come let me introduce you to my team” Aarav followed Varun.
At the reception , “this is Aarti, receptionist and my personal secretary as well as HR head. She will explain you about your job profile and the remuneration”. Varun introduced Aarav to Aarti ” Aarti , this is Aarav. I told you about yesterday. He joined as my assisstant today onwards ”
“Ok Varun ” Aarti smiled back to both and shook hands with Aarav “welcome to our team Aarav” Aarav smiled back.
“She will give you all details and you may take her help to find accomodation as well” Varun told to Aarav.
“Ok Varun ”
“Aarti, he is from Delhi. New in Mumbai. Please make sure that he adjusts here soon. Its your responsibility” Varun instructed to Aarti “
“Sure Varun. Leave everything on me. He is my responsibility” Aarti convinced Varun. “Aarav when you are free , come and meet me here. I am here till 8 ” Aarti told Aarav.
Aarti is charming lady in her late 30s. But looks like in her late 20s. She is well maintained. Dark complexion skin tone. shoulder length brown curls. Although her features are not sharp enough, but her smile and well maintained figure makes her attractive and her presence pleasant. Aarti work for Varun Mehta since he was not even recognised. She is the first person who started working with Varun. She takes care of all his appointments, meetings, account related work , his diet and also responsible as HR head of Varun’s team.
Varun headed towards the studio. Aarav followed him. “I have 3 assistants and 2 make up artists and 2 hair dressers. You will be my 4th assistant”
There was a shoot going on in the studio. Varun called Abhinav, one of his assistants. ” Abhinav , this is Aarav, my 4th assistant. He joined us now” .
“Hi Aarav, welcome bro”
“He is from Delhi. Just finished with his graduation”
“ohh cool, I am from Chandigarh” Abhinav was cheerful
“Abhinav , I am giving you his responsibility. Take care of him, he is new to Mumbai”
“Sure Varun. You leave everything on me”
Aarav was ecstatic to be there. But he was not feeling comfortable. ‘how’s it possible?………… I mean is it so easy to work with Varun Mehta?……….. I never thought that I will get work the same day I come to Mumbai?………….Is it really happeneing or its a dream?’ His mind had too many questions which were making him anxious.
Abhinav interrupted his thought process “Aarav, work here is almost done. The other two will handle. Lets go to Aarti ”
Abhinav is around 25 years old and he was working since past 3 years with Varun Mehta. He hails from Chandigarh. Average looks but smart body language and confident enough to leave an impression. Aarav was very dull , his shoulders drooping down with anxious eyes. “You seems to be tensed Aarav?” Abhinav asked him when they reached Aarti’s desk.
“Yaa, little bit…..Actually very much…”
“Ohh!! why? what happened?” Aarti asked
“Actually, I am not able to make out , its dream or reality…. I just landed in Mumbai few hours back to prove myself…and..now, I will be working with Varun Mehta… Top most fashion photographer of India”
“Ohh!.. don’t worry. He is a cool guy”
“Yaa, but i am concerned weather I will be able to meet his expectations. It all happened so fast”
Abhinav and Aarti laughed “You are taking too much tension. He is the coolest guy. He can make anyone take best of pictures. Just enjoy working with him and try to learn as many things as possible. You will never fel like AT WORK with Varun” Abhinav tried to relieve his worries.
Aarti explained him about his work in brief and also about the payment part….”These are the forms you need to sign at these places where I have marked” said Aarti ” Go through them and then sign” she completed with a smile. “Abhinav , he is the same guy Varun used to talk about his instagram pics @passionatefotografer
“oooooo teri…..really… wow” Abhinav reacted
“Where are you staying” Abhinav asked
“Will take some hotel nearby”
“ohh! you can stay with me. My flat mate moved with his girlfriend last week. I am looking for a new partner. why dont you move in?…. its not too far” Abhinav offered him.
“Wow!. That will be fine I suppose” Aarti reacted to the idea “I will be relieved as well. Otherwise I have to contact the dealer to find some other accomodation for you”
“Ok” Aarav replied.
“Hey Aarti , lets go out tonight to celebrate Aarav’s entry” Abhinav proposed
“I have a meeting scheduled tonight , you people go on” Aarti showed her inability to join.
“Ok, Aarav we are going out tonight. First we will go to my flat…i mean our flat…. and then I will take you out. Party is on me” Abhinav was excited to have a new entry in the team.
Aarav was happy to find a path to reach his goals. All this happened so fast that it all seemed unbelievable.