Maya confidently signed the papers. Her pixie cut boosts her confidence graph to the other significant level. A woman in western outfit enters in, Maya takes the file and glances the words with her sharp beautiful kohled eyes and the telephone rings.
“Good Afternoon Ma’am, the journalist has arrived for an interview.”
“I will call you.” She returns the files and asked her to wait until she calls.
As the cabin is free, Maya quickly touches up her face with a branded compact, applies bold red lipstick and checks her beautiful ear chandeliers, she drinks half glass of water and clears her throat, dials an extension and orders politely, “Please send them in.”
A young woman in her thirties with a confident face walks in. Maya raises from her chair and reaches out to the reporter in a professionally polished manner.
“Hello, Aarti Dutta. It’s good to meet you.”
“Hi Ms. Maya Rindani. It was quite difficult for us to crack the nutshell around you.”
“Apologies for the inconvenience. I was in Milan for our next design launch and we had to change our schedule for some unexpected meetings.”
“It seems you wouldn’t take a halt on your success story. Would you?”
With her slyest personality “Yes definitely. I am taking a halt right away sitting in front of you.”
“We haven’t heard anything incorrect about you from what I see today. Your words are perfect, exactly as you are!”
“Thank you.” she gives a wry smile.
“It’s been years you are inspiring women across nations, but nobody is aware what inspired you. You have never ever agreed for an interview. Then why now?”
She held her emotions, “I was waiting for the right time and the right question. People were more interested in my personal life rather on how I achieved the current position. Though, I don’t feel this is the zenith I reached onto but this is the point where I feel it’s time to boost those people who are stirred through my success.”
As a kid I learnt that my parents were the caretakers of Aangan, an orphanage in Vadodara and I was one of its orphans! As days passed, my social parents managed to get funds from rich generous people for our basic needs. To earn a bit extra, I started designing good craft on handmade bags, clutches, envelopes, diaries and more.
Out of all those taught at Aangan, my interest was drawing crafts! One day a lady volunteer witnessed me scribbling on my book and she appreciated my work. All thanks to her, a special craft teacher was recruited who had to polish my little known designs. I learnt very quickly, that was the only thing I was good at after all! Months passed in learning elegant designs which I colorfully embroidered on the products we made as a team. In few years I initiated events at local malls, visited shops to get us orders and later I taught other people – the art of handmade embroidery to earn for Aangan.
In my twenties I grew up doing what I loved. I loved my family at Aangan and respected the importance and opportunity they offered me, I was obliged. Time flew with huge wings and I cherished each day packed with prayers, stitching crafts, teaching designs and embroidery to many girls.
One afternoon I was with my team working on our products. I was fitting a piece of cloth in between two embroidery rings and felt a hand on my head. As I looked up, I saw an elegant motherly figure smiling at me affectionately. I stood up and said ‘Namaste’, she smiled again with so much love this time and said, “Will you teach me craft?”
A luxurious car drove in to pick me every evening to Mamta Aunt’s huge bungalow. I taught her the craft and she updated me with all social things and family matters. Uncle Ramesh and Mamta aunty were new donors in the list of contributors to Aangan. She was very loving and so was her 27 year old son Aman, who had just completed his MBA in finance. He always took a moment to talk with his mother so that he can take a glimpse of me.
Aman and I shared several equal interests. He adored my art and respected every individual irrespective of their work, class, religion or social identity. Often he spoke of his interest in the world of Fashion market but all I wanted is hear was his voice, more and more. I felt as if I reside in heaven, whenever he was with me. At times, I caught him watching me for seconds together and it made my eyelids go down. I was in love with Aman but my mind warned my heart, it drew a boundary and my inner soul accepted, “Aman Shah can only be mine in my fantasies.”
I maintained a defined distance and concentrated on teaching craft to Mamta aunty. My heart bled with pain but I was firm. One day, driver wasn’t available to drop me to Aangan. Aman took this opportunity and pleaded to let him drop me. Aman and aunty refused my denials and I had to agree. After ten minutes of silence that we shared in the car, he broke the rhythm.
“Maya, did I do any nuisance?”
“No, nothing like that. I am just tired.”
“Tired of being around me?”
“Then? Don’t you like me?”
“I had no courage to answer his question and turned my face towards the window.”
He parked the car on roads’ left and took my hand in his own.
“Marry me Maya!”
My heartbeats went on swift with heavy breathe intakes “Please take me home.”
He drove me home and said nothing. I couldn’t sleep the entire night and only thought about Aman. I woke up next morning with a clear mind, I will forget everything! I finished my morning chores and was ready to leave for the morning attendance only to be stopped by my social mother, Sharda ma.
“Will you not ask me, why I have come here?”
I said nothing but shook my head in denial.
She smiled broadly, keeping her both hands on my shoulder each “Yesterday night I received a call from Mamta Shah.”
And this took my heart beats on swift again.
“Why are you so afraid? The family is good, I have already checked upon them by dialing few people. Aman is a gentleman.”
I couldn’t control and said, “I know.. but how will they accept…”
Sharda ma spoke interrupted me before I could complete, “You? They have already accepted you. I have seen that motherly love for you in her voice. Maya, you are one of my favorite kids here. We found you on a railway platform and now that you are being blessed with parents and a partner to live, what holds you back? Do not compare the social status my child, just dig into their souls. It’s both of you struck by love, not just Aman. “Is that right?”
I nodded a slight agreement and she hugged me tight.
I was on cloud nine and Aman took me to heaven with his gentle presence. Marriage dates were up and to my happiness it was just 20 days away. Surprises were endless, the Shah family bought me everything they could. Aman never missed to get cozy with me at his house and I loved it to the core. Arrangements were at its peak and the day had arrived. I married a man who loved me as much as I did. I bade a goodbye to Aangan with a heavy heart.
But with a small doubt in my heart… Will I be happily married??
To Be Continued..