“Muhurat Ishq kameena shot four take 12,” the spot boy screamed and clapped.
“ACTION” the director yelled from his high chair as Kajal watched in awe at the proceedings. She had never been to a live shoot despite accompanying Shipra for meetings with the celebrity’s lawyers where the directors and producers would also be there to decide on PR strategies pre and post-release of the trailer or the first few episodes in the series.
Kajal saw the heroine Alina Marfatia who was beauty personified, standing in a figure-hugging gown that accentuated her curves. Kajal could only gulp as the lead lady walked along the makeshift lane. Alina’s character Ketki is madly in love with KB’s Aadarsh. However, he is poor, and she eventually leaves him for another man who abuses her regularly. Ketki suffers and puts up a brave front at her workplace because she doesn’t want Aadarsh, who had landed a lucrative job, to pity her.
In that scene, Ketki was supposed to be abused at a party, and Aadarsh was to follow her and comfort her, following which their explosive reunion was to materialize in a hotel room depicting Aadarsh’s bedroom.
But every time Aadarsh walked behind her in the ‘alley’, he couldn’t hug Ketki…and there would be a re-take.
Kajal wondered why an actor of KB’s caliber wasn’t able to complete the simple scene. Given his array of work, this was a cakewalk. She kept seeing the dial of her wristwatch click away, her anxiety mounting every minute. Krunal was at home, and she had insisted he be home instead of the library today so she could spend time with him. And then she also wanted to read that folder.
At the director’s cue to the actor, she looked up and saw KB stare into her eyes even as he moved to hug Alina.
“CUT…” the director yelled as expected, and Kajal was startled. The director stood up in a huff and walked towards the lead actors. Even as he spoke with them, the director’s animated body language in congruence with his annoyance, KB wasn’t paying heed. Instead, he was looking at her, a smirk pasted on his face as if challenging her patience. Surprisingly instead of anger, she felt her heart thudding out of her chest.
She looked away. This was ridiculous… KB was the industry’s bad boy, and she didn’t have the time or energy to focus on anything except her upcoming exams and career…
The director declared a half an hour break, after which they were to resume. KB rushed to his vanity van, Mr. Mehta close on his heels.
Kajal’s frustration levels were high, and she could take it no more. After ten minutes or so, she saw a fuming Mr. Mehta walk out of the van. Irritated, she walked to the vehicle and knocked. Finding no answer, she used the codes from earlier, and the lock clicked open. The interior was dark… what on earth was wrong with the guy. He loved messing up everyone’s lives. She sighed.
“KB, sir are you there…? May I come in, please…?”
There was no answer. Clutching her folder to her chest, balancing it with her handbag, Kajal climbed into the van and shuffled her way into the dark insides.
She touched the wall trying to reach the switches from the location she remembered from earlier. Suddenly someone held her hand and pulled her towards the wall. She dropped her things in fright even as a scream froze in her throat. She didn’t have to know whom it was given the cologne that swarmed through her senses to the point of dizziness.
He plastered her to the vanity van wall, the same that held his posters. He had left her hand, but she could feel his silhouette close… very close, and her breathing fastened.
She heard a piece of shrill music… where had she heard it earlier? He opened his lighter, and in the light of the bluish orange flame, she saw his smoldering eyes boring into hers. The tsunami in those orbs was ready to consume her totally if she wasn’t careful.
She blinked back tears. “K…KB sir…what are you doing?” Then she moved her eyes a little lower, and …oh God… he was topless.
She had seen him like that in his photo-ops, but at that moment, he held a raw appeal. How could she be so shameless? Didn’t she have any self-respect? She looked away.
“What on earth are you doing in here when I am changing clothes…eh…?” he spoke, barely a whisper.
“…I…sorry… I… Please sign this, and I shall leave… please, I have to go soon….” She found herself pleading.
Hearing no response, she looked back at him. It was as if there was a staring contest.
“…What if I don’t sign it…?” he spoke in a voice that sent shivers down her spine. He moved closer, those browns burning with lighter flame reflecting its fire.
“…But … why…?” She asked tried to find her voice amidst her pounding heart. She could now feel his breath on her face as he placed a hand on the wall above her head, bowing his head as he towered above her.
“Just because I desire so…” He whispered, engulfing her overloaded senses with his cologne… was it vanilla? Whatever it was, it was drool-worthy…
Just push him away and make a run for the door… her inner practical voice screamed. But she stood rooted to the spot, unable to take her eyes away from his charismatic orbs. He was so close and breathing heavily that not only could she feel his warm wheeze but also, she also saw that tiny mole near his left nostril that only enhanced his charm.
She had seen one of his old TV series where he had performed a similar scene, and he had then kissed the woman, which of course was blurred as the scene ended.
But this wasn’t a drama. This was reality… would he kiss her? Would the Casanova… the man on whom women fawned over everywhere he went, kiss her… a nobody? A plain-Jane? Her heart was now almost leaping out of her chest.
He bent further, closing the few inches between them, and almost touched her lips. Her heart stopped. It was a feathery peck, and he moved apart a bit, looking into her eyes as if asking her permission. It also meant she had another chance to end it before it went ahead. But that was her rational mind speaking from some corner, and at the moment, all her rationalism had gone for a toss.
She licked her drying lips, and it was as if the cue he wanted. He slammed her soft mouth, his tongue raging out of its verge as it pried her petals open. She gasped at the feel, and he got the needed invitation as he plundered her mouth. His warm tongue wandered around her wet contour, sucking and nipping at her lower lip. She didn’t know when her arms moved up his bare torso and held his solid shoulders for dear life even as he continued the oral rampage.
The lighter was long forgotten, and the interiors had long plunged into darkness. She had squeezed shut her eyes as her senses were lambasted. Her toes curled as she felt something take root in her abdomen… feelings she never knew existed.
One hand remained on the wall while his other held her at the hip, pulling her close to him. She felt something prod at her belly even as her supple chest touched his hard one.
She gasped and pulled away from the kiss, her hands still on his shoulders, as she struggled to breathe given the emotional onslaught. He placed his forehead on hers as he panted, his hand still holding her while he pushed his body further towards her.
Suddenly there was a knock at the door.
“KB sir, are you there…?” Mr. Mehta’s voice sprang into the van’s quietness. “…the shot is ready, and the director wants to get it done soon….”
Kajal felt someone had thrown ice water on her even as she jolted to reality. What on earth was she thinking? She inhaled a swift one and turned around her back to him. He let go, swearing expletives she had never heard before.
The lights in the van came on, but she couldn’t turn to look at him, embarrassment caressing her soul every passing minute. She had acted so unprofessionally. Did she jeopardize the deal for her company? Of course, but to her utmost bewilderment, she was more concerned about his opinion of her. Would he think she was an easy woman? She shuddered as she heard the van door open and shut with a bang.
She turned around to see he wasn’t there. Did he leave just like that? It was then that her eyes fell on her folder. He had picked it up sometime during her procrastination.
She saw he had signed the required places. Relief set in along with a sense of disappointment, and she couldn’t understand why…
She bent over the papers touching her tingling lips. Tears filled her eyes and rolled out, falling on the shut folder, and she had to keep it aside. She couldn’t like this… not at all… she had no right to get out of character as she had just done. She crumpled her kurta at the chest as it threatened to constrict.
Why was this feeling of attraction so painful? After all, he was just a womanizer, and she was easy prey today… he would probably find someone to go all the way by evening. Just yesterday, she had read an article online that spoke about his ‘a woman every night’ rule. He hated repeat telecasts, it said. Even his rumored girlfriend Hetal didn’t seem to mind so long as he came back to her once in a while!
What was she even thinking? She inhaled profoundly, making a firm decision. She will talk to Shipra tomorrow. She would help out in any way except handling this account directly. She was never going to meet KB again.
But then why did her heart just splinter into a thousand pieces?