The night grew black and cold and the stars gleamed magnificently in the darkened sky. Ishaani made her way to her room that was attached to the lane next to the café she owned. It aided her for nearly a year since she moved to London
The café was located outside the city- quite far from the crowds and worries of the life. People would visit the place and enjoy every bit of the time there. These people were not her friends and nor did they know of her life still their presence would give her a sense of fulfillment and comfort when no acquaintance was around.
This, however, was not the only business she held: after her father's demise Ishaani became the owner of 50 percent of the property he had left behind. She took care of the values and principles that would also have pleased her father. Ishaani felt happy that somehow a few things still connected her to her dad without adding the familiar painful emotion that surfaced every time her mind formed the image of her late father.
It was quite late at night as her phone rang waking her up from a light slumber.
"Hello," she said, yawning.
"How are you, Ishaani?" spoke a lady in a kind voice.
"I'm good, mom. How have you been?" said Ishaani.
"Just fine. I realized I haven't talked to you in a long while, so decided to make a call. You should know Panditji came to fix a definite date for your marriage few days ago," said Falguni, Ishaani's mother.
"Yeah, Baa told me that," Ishaani said rather gloomily.
"What happened? You were supposed to be happy at this news, Ishaani," said her mother kindly.
"Yeah, I know, Maa, but I feel uncomfortable and you know that. I feel I'm not ready yet. I have to look after the business here; and nothing for me is as important as my job."
"Family should be more important than business," Falguni said
"Mom, this is not merely business as you call it: it is my father's heritage. I know it's not as bright as it used to be, but I want to get it to the top again."
"Ishaani, don't act like a 9 year old. You have other responsibilities too, and you can work with your business even after the marriage. Sweetie, it's the right time you get married. Things are turning better now- for you and us; and you know Baa very well. She doesn't hesitate from making a scene whenever she gets a chance to. Please come back."
Ishaani stared at the floor but said nothing.
"I feel safe here," said Ishaani after a while. "It's almost like I'm with someone I know. Maa, this strange city provides me more comfort than my house did. I don't think I'm ready to leave this place yet; please don't force me. I shall not be able to do justice with anything you expect me to."
With this Ishaani hung up the phone and went off to sleep.
The morning, to her, seemed more pleasant as the birds sang merrily even before the sunrise. Upon waking up Ishaani noticed a red glare in the hazy sky heralding the dawn.
At 9 in the morning, the familiar café welcomed her and she engaged herself in her job. Soon the café was filled with various people: few locals while other unknown faces. Within time her employees too arrived apologizing for being late while she prepared to leave for the office.
This was how Ishaani's days usually started.
Among the visitors in her café Ishaani noticed two people who ordered nothing, but upon asking revealed they had some very important business with the owner of this café.
Ishaani went to them and asked how she could be of help. At this they presented her with a deal they thought would be good for the business. According to the deal, Ishaani had to join hands with a business tycoon who had literally taken over the whole stock market within few months and was now the new King of Dalal Street.
She remembered him by reading in newspapers, or watching news channels or people talking about him in almost every business meeting she attended. The stock Gurus revered his business-sense and desired to meet him greatly. Although he was the King of Dalal Street, many considered him be arrogantly ruthless businessman while few still believed him to be a good man: for he possessed a mysterious aura which was impossible to resist. His cunning smile and kind offers won him everything he wished for. He never appeared in newspapers or gave interviews, yet his name was all day there- the businesspersons would start and finish their days with his name in their heads.
Whenever Ishaani heard of him her heart would beat on a faster pace which she never understood why. The possible conclusion she had once come up with was: "This young man now owns the title that belonged to someone who was closest to my heart…my father."
Today he himself had offered her a deal but- why? Should she go for it? Is there anything she needs to work upon? - were the questions that crossed her head first as she was still a newcomer. She remembered Ranveer who was always the best in these decisions, for never once in 8 years his decision regarding stocks went wrong, and it was him indeed who had looked after the business in the Parekh Family ever since he had learned 'how to.'
Ishaani came to the present and asked the guests why in the seven heavens their boss wants a deal with her as her company isn't doing good and that she was rather skeptical about the business.
One of the men replied in a very professional tone, "Ma'm, it's a business and deals are part of that. Everyone knows your father and so do we, and this deal is a chance being given to his company due to its reputation in the past. For the rest, please talk to the boss, as he might have some better reasons to tell you."
Ishaani shook her head as she found it hard to accept the offer and impossible to deny.
"Alright, then," she said giving a nervous smile, "I will see him."
"Sure, RV sir will be pleased to meet you."
And the men left.
Yes… RV. This was what he was famously known as. Today something very unexpected had happened where her destiny had moved to a new tangent.