This is a first-person narrative from the point of view of Anahita Sahani – the protagonist of High School Never Ends – a book my sister, Kritika, and I are working on. The story published here is based on the same characters, the timeline matches the events in the book, and the narrative style is exactly the same. However, these stories are in addition to what’s in the book, ergo, exclusive. 😛
May 10, 2014
Film City, Mumbai.
Neel and I saw Nimisha walk out of Vikram’s office.
So that’s where she had been all this while.
I was sure she was buttering him up before the meeting so she would be spared in case J found any faults with our department. I wish she understood that with great power also came the blame. If I had the authority to call the shots, I would also, automatically take the fall when something went wrong irrespective of whether I knew about it or not.
Vikram held the door open for her, and his eyes lit up the instant he saw me and Neel.
“Just who I was looking for. Come on in, I need to have a chat with you before J arrives,” he said and opened the door wider.
“No, no. Just Anahita,” he clarified when all three of us tried to get in.
Neel looked disappointed but Nimisha’s face suggested that she was suspicious. Like something was going on between me and Vikram. As if! I had the same thought when I saw her happily chatting with Anurag, but then she was obviously flirting. This was strictly professional.
“Have a seat,” Vikram said as he shut the door after me and sat on the couch facing me.
I almost thought I was getting fired. At the very least, I was going to be on probation because what else could those piercing eyes and furrowed brows mean? If that weren’t enough, he went on to massage his temple with one hand.
“Are you okay?” I asked. I couldn’t take the suspense anymore.
“Kind of. You see, we are in a bit of trouble,” he said without hesitating.
“Did I do something?” I asked and regretted it immediately. He had said ‘we’ and not ‘you’re in trouble.’
He gave me a light smile at that, though I could see how stressed out he was.
“No, it’s not you,” he managed to continue to smile even though it was obvious that whatever it was, was weighing him down.
I breathed. He didn’t mind that I was relieved that I was not in trouble. At least not for something I did.
“We have been working on a new show that we were hoping was going to be the next big thing. The Channel had agreed to give us primetime slots. We had a great script and we have been working hard for over a month just to get the first few episodes ready,” he said, now pacing. “We pulled out all our big guns on this one – great casting, amazing writers, fantastic directors – and we put in a lot of money into making the first five episodes because it was a done deal from the channel. And now…”
“And now they don’t like it?” I asked.
“They don’t want it,” he corrected.
“What the fu… sorry,” I said.
“No, no. That’s about the same reaction had. They have another show lined up that they want to go ahead with. And do you know who’s idea it was?” he said as I saw his eyes getting smaller as he almost grit his teeth as he said that last bit.
“I don’t think I have to guess. Is that why he called a meeting today? Are they pulling the plug on this one too?” I asked him.
“He doesn’t have a good enough reason to, so I hope not. But I think he’s going to make an issue about something that doesn’t deserve enough attention and I need to know if there is anything he can use?” he asked me. “Anything! Even the smallest, most trivial thing you can think of will be helpful.”
“I have been thinking on these lines, mostly to make sure that my team or I haven’t messed up, but I couldn’t come up with anything. Maybe he’s called this meeting to just mark his territory. He’s new, he probably wants everyone to know that he’s the one calling the shots. I’m not saying it is the reason, but it very well could be.”
Vikram’s phone pinged.
“He’s here and we’re about to find out. Let’s go.”
To be continued.
This blog post is written for Blog Chatter’s AtoZ Blogging Challenge #BlogChatterA2Z