Picture Perfect

Published On: 2012-05-24

Author: Aalia

Media Link:


Jai Malhotra- Hrithik Roshan 

Diya- Aishwarya 

Vicky: Arshad Warsi 





She was the very best in her field- the best- Diya Manjrekar! She shone light into people’s lives- well to be exact- the lives of stars. She sat at the airport and waited to board her flight to first Japan and then Paris. She was assgined to do two shoots. That was the easy part- the hard part was the model she was working with- Jai Malhotra. Her biggest success story had been Abhijeet Kapoor. She was the industry’s most successful and experienced stylist and at 29, she was also the most desitable. Dubbed 'The Ice Queen' for her refusal to get involved with the men she worked with, she could have been a model- even a beatuy queen herself but she preferred the nitty gritties behind the camera to being in front of it. When she was given Abhiskhek to handle, he was an overweight, hairy ape of a man. She had transformed him onto a slimmer, better looking version= he was still hairy but a great make over it had been. There was so much to do with him that the transformation was glamourus, very obvious and well versed. She loved the work- he tried making his moves but she was no love sick fan- she did her work and even when she touched these men- she felt no lust or even attraction. They were a product- a brand whose name she had to increase- a product she was helping to sell by making it look its best. Abhi was easy. Jay was harder-he was perfect- and it is difficult to improve perfection. They had worked together on one campaign before this- a campaign for milk but he was raw and unsure of himself. She had organized his make up, hair and he hadn ' asked any questions. He was very quiet but very stubborn; they had both got stuck over the colour of the shirt and had argued for three hours over it. Now he was a star. and one that was not easily satisfied. When she looked over at him- sitting at a distance, she marveled at Gods artistry. He had taken his time with him- curly hair, sharp nose, well defined lips and a great body. She wasn’t clothing him much this time. The two back to back campaigns were of Macroman and Cinthol soap and she was not looking forward to it The Jai of today was finnicky, fussy and had a view on everything. He had fired make up artist after make up artist, hairdresser after hairdresser. He often touched up his own hair- sometimes even changing the stye that the poor workers had done in hours with his fingers and then grumbling that it didnt look quite right. He touched up his own make up applying layes after layers of bronzer even as poor Vikki sat by wringing his hands. he had stayed becase of the loyalty to Diya or else he would have disappered too. He was handsome yes! But after taking him in for a chest, underarm and bikin line wax- the sheen wears off! With Abhi, she had to convince him to take a facial- with Jay, the energy was spent on telling him to stop the grooming as he went from manicures, pedicures, facials and removal of blackheads. Abhi was the worst case of adult acne she had ever seen- Jai had the best smoothest skin but still found problems when he stared at himself in the gigantic miror he carried around in his back pack Even now she eyed the back pack and imagined the mirror that would torture her and throw up criticism of the hard work and her and her team. Her fanstay was not to kiss or sleep with Jay at all- it was to break that damn mirror into two and dance with both halves in her hands. It had been dubbed the 'Mirror. Mirror on the wall' or simply 'Snow White' by the team or to be more exact by her. She was not gonna enjoy this trip- not one bit.





Jai had worked his way up. He had struggled and struggled hard. He wasnt a star son like his closest competitor and very good friend Abhijeet. He was an outsider looking in and he had loved the glitz and glamour that his best friend lived by. The parties, the wealth and the girls. He was a good looking boy but not very confident. Whereas Abhijeet was surrounded by girls and would have a different eye candy on his arm every birthday party, he would yearn for his first love. He wanted to really fall in love. His friends laughed that he would lose his virginity on his 50 bday by this rate and he would just smile hoping for that specail girl- that special love. She had come when he was 20 and he loved her with his heart, body and soul. She was his first time and the next day, she heard her brag about how she had got the 'good' boy to be bad! She told her friends his most intimate details and he was shocked and embarassed at how a girl could be so crass. Wasnt that a guys role? and he could not even imagine being that inconsiderate- how dare she? She laughed about his awkwardness, his shyness and the fumbling on their first date. How he hated her when she said that he wasnt that good looking and the cover was definately better than the book. He had gone home that night and had taken a good look in the mirror. He looked at his features, his lanky body and dcided that that would be the last time he was ridiculed. Yes, he knew that now as a star, people sniggered at him. They called him ' a perfectionist', 'probaby gay' and he had heard 'Snow White' somewhere too but he was adamant that never again would he step out looking anything less than perfect. He had climbed the ladder slowly and knew exactly what he looked best in and damn those who thought otherise. Damn Diya! He had come a long way- now his well toned body adorned bill boards ad his face sold millions of products but when he looked in the mirror- he just saw that girl and heard her laughter. He knew that Diya laughed at him too. He knew that she niggered behind his back; he knew that she thought him to be 'difficult' in his quest for perfection and her stubbornness was the biggest reason why the milk campaign had not worked in his eyes. Why the MM and Cinthol people wanted her was beyond him. But now the truth was that they were gonna have to work together for the next two weeks and he was not looking forward to it. It was unbelievable how head strong she was. He didnt like to have affairs from his own crew and sometimes he looked at Diya and wished she wasnt part of the team. She was so beautiful- a real conquest. But he was not interested-he would find his fun along the way. The first was nearly alway a pretty air hostess and he eyed the air crew. Diya noticed this and sighed. She had heard about Jais roving eye. He had never got serious with anyone in his life. He was 31 and she hated that he didnt even have a steady girlfriend. This was an attitude that irked her but the she thought that it was his life, his health and his business. Maybe she should look into his backpak to check for his stock- the last thing she wanted was for him to come back with perfectionism, an ego and Aids. She laughed out loud at that one and saw him looking at her. 'Are you ok?' he asked. 'Well- yes- just thinking about world health, the population and ways to curb all that!' 'Sorry?' he asked totally amazed at the stupidity of the answer. 'No- nothing really! What time is the flight?' 'In about an hour- you still have time to powder your nose. For a stylist, you dont look that good when you travel'. She just stared at him open mouthed. Yes it was true that she was wearing no make up but it was also true that he was wearing enough for both of them. 'Well i kinda guessed that with the amount of tanner you have one- at least one of us should enter the plane looking normal.' Now it was Jai's turn to drop his chiselled, stubbled jaw ' I didnt expect a stylsit to say something so stupid. I sure as hell hope your work proves to be more contempoaray than your attitude!' Diya looked at him her eyes burning but she didnt say anything. He took that to be a sign of defeat and carried on. 'Dont forget Diya- I am the best in my field and it is your job to help me make these two campigns the most successful yet..............' 'and you dont forget Jai that I am the best in my field. I have never gone wrong, your friend Abhi will have told you that' He flashed his million dollar smile at her 'Yes he did and that is why you were hired for the job. He told me a few other things too about you. You are an interesting woman it seems' 'Is the interesting the latest word for intelligent nowadays?' she fumed. 'No- interesting is just that- interesting' he said, ' and I have a feeling these two weeks are gonna be just that- interesting!' Just then the coffee came around the plush first class waiting room. As Diya picked up her coffee, she got up to get some sugar and lost her balance. Jai shrieked and she realised that she had dropped the coffee onto his lap. 'What the hell are you doing? Are you blind woman?' he said also rising. ' I am so sorry for that Jai- i didnt mean it'. ' For Gods sake, What do you want to do- kill me?' 'No! she thought- 'but making you infertile would be a damn good start. The world can only have one Mr Malhotra' 'I have said I am sorry- please dont make a fuss', she pleaded. He glared at her- his green eyes raging. ' You had better be good at your job. Miss- otherwise these two weeks will be hard on both of us' he snarled as he picked up his backpack and walked off towards the bathroom. Diya wondered of he wanted an air hostess in there to lessen the pain but then smiled at the irony of it. This trip would be interesting afterall.





In the bathroom, Jai was fuming. 'How can anyone be so bloody stupid?' It was so embarassing for star to be walking around with a wet patch on his groin! Not just a star, but any self respecting man. He washed his jeans as best he could and pulled out his shirt to cover the wet stain. His jeans were a mix of coffee and water and soap and he smelt and looked terrible. 'Ok madam stylist- sort this one out' He phoned her on her mobile and said- 'Diya, get me a new pair of jeans- now!' Diya sensed the urgency and sprang into action. She was carrying a spare set of clothes for him like mums carry for their kids. She took them out and feeling very proud of herself went to the mens room. She knocked on the door and heard him muffle something. Maybe he wants me to go in, she thought? Stars have such tantrums and this must be one of them She brazenly opened the door to find him shirtless. jeansless and maybe even boxer shorts less too. She didnt wait round to look that far down as she closed the door and waited for the reaction. 'What the hell are you doing woman?' she heard him yell. 'Is this the official embarass Jai time or something?' She pondered that and said 'Oh cmon. i am your stylist and you are a star. a) i have seen it all before and b) it will not be the first time i see in next to no clothes and nor will it be the last' He opened the door wearing a towel 'I am not sure what terms you and abhi were on but i dont make it a habit to walk in front of strange women naked'. 'Yeah right-' she thought 'Mr Casanova doesnt walk around naked infront of other women he doesnt know!' She would have rolled her eyes if it had not been Jai standing infront of her 'Now can i have my clothes or shall i get down on one knee for them' he asked his voice laced with sarcasm. 'Yes you can have them- and i am genuinely sorry. And for the record- i dont know what Abhi has told you but i wouldnt let his dirty hands on me even if i was his wife' she said defensively. Unexpectedly he smiled and said ' We dont discuss you when we talk. we have better things to do'. With that he turned and went back into the bathroom. She momentarily thought of snatching the towel from his hips as he walked in but knew that would mean getting sacked from this prestigious assignment. 'You can wait Jai Malhotra' she thought plotting all kinds of kiddie revenges on him from spraying extra strong hold hair spray on his hair insted of water to feeding him heavy calorie food in the pretext of a new diet. Then she smiled at her own silliness. 'Why stoop down to their level and why get so worked up? He was just a client- an annoying one but still a client.' She vowed to let it go and left for the lounge. Inside the bathroom, Jai got changed and was ashamed at the catty comment he had made before he shut the door. It was just an accident and anyone can have them. She was a good stylist- one of the best and if they were gonna work together- he might aswell hold out the white flag. He went back to the lounge and sat down leaving one chair between them. ' I am sorry for what i said. Abhi always speaks highly of you and I am sure we will make two great campaigns' At first she thought he wa gonna say 'make two great babies' and she laughed. 'It is ok Jai- i am sure we will have a great time'- or not she thought. 'I wouldnt take it that far- a good campaign will be sufficient.' With that he left and settled down again. If his nose wasnt so god damn cute, she would have loved to break it she thought as she picked up her book again. He also glanced her way and knew that if she wasnt so beautiful he would not have bothered with her. She was a damn good stylist but she was also so pretty. The thought crossed his mind that maybe he could make an exception with his golden rule and see if he could melt the Ice Queen just once. Abhi couldnt do it- but Jai Malhotra had the charm and sensuaity of the Greek Gods. But first it was his work. He quickly pushed the thought out of his mind as he heard the announcment for his flight.





She sat as far from him as possible. She knew it looked odd and the concious desire to stay away from him would probably lead people to speculate an affair or something but she didnt want to be next to a man who would speand the next few hours engrossed in himself and the air hostesses. Yes- he flirted and he flirted well. But the real entertainment was when Snow Whiute came out. He first checked his hair- practicaly every curl was put into place. Then his teeth- what that was for was beyond her! And then he smoothed his face with his hand- she wanted to go over to see how many kilos of bronzer had come off but resisted! Thje rest of the trip passed without commotion and they arrived at the hotel. She was assigned the room next to his and what a room! Travelling with the stars had its perks and she enjoyed them. She settled in her luxurious room. It was a gorgeous suite with a lounge area, big bedroom and a bathroom complete with tub. shower and jacuzzi. She had a large plasma tv which she switched on as soon as she arrived. She sat down with Vickki to discuss the shoot the next day and they planned the style that she wanted to give him. MM had great campaigns and for this, they wanted water and a wet Jai. Make up was tough with these shoots and so was the hair. It was not gonna be easy as the stress was on looking sensuous and he was particuklar about his sex appeal and his image. She thought about dinner in her room but wanted to dress up and go to the dining room intsead. Tokyo was gorgeous at night and she wanted to enjoy the sights. She showered and put on a long, black figure hugging dress. She felt rather silly getting dressed up without a date to admire her but wanted to do so anyway. She tied up her hair and put on some perfume. 'You Diya are gonna make a man very happy one day' she giggled as she left her room. When she arrived, she noticed Jai was there too- strangely alone. As soon as she walkd in, his head turned and their eyes met. He was not dressed formally but he was still very attractive. He walked over to her and marvelled at her appearance 'Wow Diya- who is the lucky guy?' he asked her eyeing her from head to foot. 'Well ...i am waiting for him- he has promised to meet me' she lied . Why she lied she didnt fully understand herself but she did. 'Oh!' he sounded surprised..'and we all thought you were some frustrated virgin......' he laughed. She also laughed sarcastically. 'And why are you alone tonight? she said cattily... 'the charm didnt work tonight?' 'No i wanted to get in an eary night. I dont mess around before a shoot- it isnt professional. I prefer to go to sleep early and wake up looking a million dollars' he explained. 'Oh..' she said 'well i wont keep you then ' and hoped that he would now leave her and her imaginery date to dinner , dance and dessert. 'No it is ok. I want to see your date- yknow meet him and see if he is good enough for you or not' Oh God- this should not be happening, she thought! Who the hell would she introdce him to- there was noone. She would have asked Vicky for help if he wasnt stupid enough to turn up himself as the date. He led her to a table and seated her like a true gentleman. Then he sat himself and waited whist drumming is fingers on the table. 'Maybe we shouldnt be seen like this- it will start off rumours' she said hoping that he would leave. 'Oh- it is ok! i am a star- people expect me to have female company'! he replied rather arrogantly. 'Oh God- please go and reduce that ego before it gets stuck in the door on the way out' she thought desperately. 'Well I have my repoutation to think of- i dont want to be linked with you' she said before she could stop herself 'You could do alot worse than me Diya. i am not that bad am I' he said helf seriously, half jokingly. 'No but you are not exactly Mr Right' she said with a sense of urgency in her voice. 'Excuse me' he answered. 'what do you mean not exactly Mr Right? I am the most eligible bachelor in town' he said with genuine surprise. 'Yeah right- with an attitude to match!' she replied angrily- angry that he wasnt leaving and she was stupid enough to lie in the first place. 'What is wrong with my attutide' he said his nostrils swelling. 'How about yours- you pour drinks over me, walk into the mens roon and now have got stood up on probably what is the first date you have ever had in your life!' 'I have not gotton stood up- he will be here' she snarled. 'Ok then i will wait- all night if I have to for the poor sucker who is about to dine with the Wicked Witch of Narnia'- he said crossing his muscular arms as he leaned back in his chair. 'How dare you?' she said. 'You may think you are Gods gift to women but sunshine if I am the Ice cold witch of Narnia- you are nothing more than Johnny Bravo on heat' she houted thankful that she thought of atlest Johnny Bravo at that time He sprang up incesned at that comment. 'There is noone right?- No date and you are taking it all out me. I am right arent I?'





Diya was stung at the question. He was so bold and he just stood there eyes highlighted out of his handsome but damn hateable face! What should she do? She looked at the ground. Maybe the earth would open up any second and swallow her inside it. She waited..........ok, that wasnt gonna happen! What were the other options? She could faint- but that would mean falling into his arms and she didnt him to touch her. That thought made her sudder! What else- she could die- ok that didnt seem like happening either! Ok- Vomiting! Yes, that was a workable option. She could just vomit- and better if it was over him. He would be punished for standing there like a curly haired green eyed buffoon asking very dumb and embarassing questions. ok- so how was this done? How do you vomit on purpose? Damn it- she had seen model afer model, actress after actress doing it- it couldnt be rocket science. Why didnt she get tips but it is not exactly lifes most essentail trick. She closed her eyes waiting for the moment when she heard his voice- maybe he was dying? 'Oh please- oh please,' she thought. 'When i open my eyes, let him be crouched around my feet either foaming at that arrogant mouth of his or begging forgiveness for being rude giving me time to take the essential-high-road-for-women road out of there.' 'What are you thinking?' he said, folding his arms. "It is an easy enough question- is there someone or will you cuddle up to your stuffed teddy again tonight?' She was actually thinking why she didnt just have dinner in her room like every night instead of standing infront of him but she answered 'No- I have no teddy. I am a woman not a sad little girl. But you wouldnt know would you- the only women you come across are those who cant tell the difference between a stuffed emotionless teddy and a real man- which is why they are with you.' And with that she turned and walked straight out. She raced towards the lift in tears now and quickly pressed the button. She was glad when it arrived and she swept inside sobbig slightly but adamant that she would not let him get to her. At last she arrived at the floor and she went to her room- angry, sad, hungry and lonely. Jai was not angry. He knew that she was without a date but seeing her race out of the room most probably in tears was the last thing he wanted. He was actually abit embarassed and angry at himself for being so aggressive. He made his way to his floor, went towards his room and stopped at hers. Maybe he should just go and see if she was ok. He felt terrible that he had upset her.He knocked on the door and as he did so, he picked up a rose from the flower vase in between the rooms. He heard her ask who it was and he said his own name expecting an excuse like the age old 'I am washing my hair' so as to not let him in. Strangely she opened the door, and he gave her the rose quickly. 'I am so very sorry Diya. i didnt mean to embarass you but i just ..............anyway lets drop it...please forgive me for being such an ass.' 'Yes- you were that alright.' Diya thought but instead heard herself apologise too. 'Ok' he smiled. 'Maybe i should go to- afterall, we dont want people to talk- right?' 'Yes' she smiled. 'We dont'. 'In the morning then............' he trailed as he started to walk off hands in pockets. 'Yes- sure. see you!' she said and she shut the door. She smiled as she touched the rose. 'Maybe he isnt so bad afterall' she thought to herself.





'Maybe he isnt that bad afterll............' that was her last thought and yeah right! Maybe Jaya Kapoorwas the tallest woman in the world, maybe Abhi was this good looking irresistable sex magnet, maybe Shahrukh khan was not gay afterall and maybe Aamir Khan was gonna have ten releases this year. As she sat down with him on the morning of the shoot, Snow white had taken on a life all her own. He just could not put that damn nmirror dwon. It was like it was a precious lover or maybe the face he saw inside it was the priceless one. He had fussed over his hair first. Seeing as MM wanted him in the water, it made sense just to spray his hair with water, brush it and then finger comb it. but no- this was Jai. First he had it sprayed, then blow dried, then sprayed again and then he tried setting it himself all the time mumbling at Vikki and glaring at Diya. When at last the hair was done and the bronzer was applied, his hair was dry and the whole circus started up again. He didnt yell or be rude- he was just toooo particular about every strand on his head, every lash on his eyes and if he checked those pearly whites one more time, she vowed that she would spary them with paan juice! Atlast he got himself into the water and just as the camera started to click, he would yell "break', call for Snow white and the whole thing would start all over again- the hair spray, the make up, the 'action' which would be followed two mins later by 'break' which set the wheels in motion again. Diya felt the morining pass by as if her life had just run ionto slow motion. She had never seen anyone like him. He was so fussy- it was literally unbelievable. She was overseeing little curls at the back of his head for petes sake and she marvelled at how observant he was. She honestly expected him to have named every hair on his head and would command Vikki to set which specific one. She supervised make up, the vests he was modelling and helped to edit the shots. But at the laptop, she had to admit that he was infact unbelievable. His shots had the attitude, grace and sensuality which could sell ice to the eskimoes. Hell- even she was tempted to buy a Macroman vest and live like a macrman- he was THAT good! She felt something stir as she watched him recline in the water and watched the wet clothes cling to him. 'What the hell are you doing Diya?' she admonished herself.'This is totally unprofessional. He is nothing but a model- who you make look good'. But she still watched. He was standing on the beach, spraying himself with a bottle of water and she couldnt help but envy those drops kiss his face and chest. She watched without eyelieds batting as he concentrated on his work, his own look and she felt like forgiving him all his arrogance and the difficulty he put his crew through. He was very specific but it showed in his work. He was very careful too with his manners- he would wrap himself with a towel when he got outta the water reminding her of the embarassing time at the airport. He was polite with his fans and would enquire about the refreshments of his crew especially Vikki who he has tortured throughout the morning. Every time he stepped back into the water, she felt little sparks of lust which she didnt want to. As much as she stopped herself, the feelings got stronger and the guilty pleasure was too strong to put aside. 'What the hell Diya- you are not an angel so just get it out of your system'! she laughingly thought. So she turned around to watch him 'at work'- purely for professional reasons! He was sitting on the side with just his upper half visble but it was not lust she felt this time. It was a much more pure feeling- like if one would watch a swan or an animal equally beautiful in tranquil waters. He was wearing white and his wet har was swept off his face. His green eyes sparkled in the water drops and he parted his lips almost suggestively. He sat patiently as the camera played with him. The camera loved him and she could see the results infront of her- the camera made love to him like to no other. Atlast when 'pack up' was screamed out, she looked at him with a strange kind of respect. In his vanity van, she gave him her full feedback as he sat down to look at all the shots- those which would be shortlisted and the ones which would be scrapped. He listened patiently to her advice and they scrutnised the pictures together. 'Ok Diya' what do you think? They have asked for my opinion and I would like for you to help me with that. Would you like a drink?' "No thanks- Ok how about this one?' she asked about the shot in red as he drenched himself with water. 'Yes- that one is good. The vest looks great and I also look good' he smiled. She looked at him as he said that and for the first time didnt feel like stamping on his foot! They slowly shifted through the shots. When they finished Diya noticed how close they were sitting almost oblivious to each other. Jai looked at her- he had been watching her all day. He had given her hell initally but then felt bad. He always did but he couldnt compromise. He much preferred to compensate later by taking care of the team. He wanted to do something special for Diya too but as he looked at her, he thought he saw something more than appreciation on her face. He didnt want to push it and neither did he want to break his own rules. As they sat in his van, he was looking at her beautiful delicate features- large blue eys, delicate nose and soft full lips. As she turned to face him, they sat for a slpit second just looking at each other before Jai broke the silence. 'Ok- so these are the final set'?' 'Yes defiantely' she started. 'You look good and muscular whilst at the same time sexy and desirable.............' What was she mad? What the hell was the 'desirable' for? she thought. If ever there was a more desperate moment than the one at the hotel when she had lied about her date- this was it! 'Oh God please- let him not react to that one- plesae God! I promise to call my graanny every day, remind myself that i am of marraigeable age and will vsist shaadi online every day if you get me out of this one.' 'Yes- that is the idea, Diya. I am happy with todays work' he said. 'Thank you God' she sighed and then she caught the look in his eyes. It was not lust or love or infatuation. He was just concentrating on her, studying her. They smiled at each other , somewhat uncomfortably and stood up to go. Diya promised herself that she would not come into his van on her own again but there were other people there too packing up- she just didnt realise at the time. She didnt want to dwell on the reason for that- she knew it too well and she wasnt going to admit it to herself. Jai opened the door to the van and they both got down together. 'Can i buy you a coffee?' he asked. 'Just to say thanks after a hard day'. 'Ye sure- i would like that' she said and they both walked slowly towards the dinky coffee shop on the corner.





Jai was enjoying her company. He had to admit that an intelligent woman whos life only ambition was something other than to touch his biceps was much more appealing than the women who had slept with him coz of his star status. He wasnt in love- far from it. He was not even lusting for her- he just wanted her friendship because she seemed like a friend worth having. In japan, they could do this- just have a cup of coffee freely without raising eyebrows and getting written about. He leaned back in his chair and listened to her talk about past campaigns and expereinces. They spoke but the converstaion was littered with uneasy pauses signalling that it was just the start of a new relationship. Maybe due to the neture of their work, it would not even be a relationship. It would just be a few coffees, few words on the set, maybe some irritated discussions and word wars and that would be it- they would both move on to better things- more camaigns. That feeling made him abit sad as he watched her sip her coffee. She had one hand under herl eft ear and her hair was falling delicately on her wirst. He just sat and watched as she sipped her drink, eyes lowered. This was one of those awkward pauses and it seemed to fill the room. the blaring music almost ruined the mood and the world just rushed by- time went on unaware. At last the coffees were over and Jai went to pay the bill. "No- you gave me that rose Jai' she said as the waiter came to the tabke 'now it is my turn' she said opening her purse. 'No way ' he said "I invited you and besides that rose was free! I am paying...' 'Why?' she smiled "because you are 'the man' she laughed. "Dont be silly- let me pay and then lets go'. 'Ok' he said thinking that he would make it up to her the following day. The following day was more tense than the first. Jai seemed irritated at the slow pace of the work. "Diya- get things started' he said 'Yes sure' she said. 'Cmon guys get along'! 'Oh so lover girl has now started to order us around too' came a small female voice. 'She must be easy afterall- just two days' she sniggered. Diya turned around incensed. "Who the hell said that? Cmon- who was it?' she asked breathing fire now. The crew looked at her speechless as Jai came over. 'Who said what Diya?' he said looking at her. 'What happened?' She looked at him but didnt want to repeat. 'Its nothing' she said ignoring his concerned look. 'Come on- lets get on with it' she urged and the crew dispersed. 'Diya- in my van please' he said wanting to talk to her. As Diya walked to the van, she could feel eyes burning into her back and she stopped. 'No'- she said quietly.'Lets not- I think people are talking.' she said. 'Lets just talk here.' 'Why? We have done nothing and even if we have, we are singe adults. Dont be silly- I dont care what they think. Is that what is upsetting you?' he asked She looked up at him and said 'No- its just that...well its complex...I am quite private and dont like being gossiped about- nothing else...' 'We are stars Diya- we will be talked about- it is ok!' he said. 'No Jai- you are a star. I am not- I am a professional stylsit not some piece of arm candy for you to flaunt in the papers' she said angry at his slack attitude. "Now hang on Diya! I didnt flaunt you anywhere. We just had a meeting in my van and a coffee- I didnt come on to you or flaunt you anywhere and nor is that my intention. Believe me, if i came on to you, you wouldnt resist!' Jai repleid angrily and then stopped. He knew what hje had just said and he closed his eyes for the reaction. He expected even a hard slap and thank God, they were in an empty space. He opened his eyes and watched her gape at him. ' I actually started to like you Jai, I thought you were hard ass professional and a decent guy and could be a good friend but you are not even a good person' she said. 'Women are just that to you nah- a conquest, a bit of fun between the sheets..........' 'No Diya' he said calmy. "No- I was equally angry at what you said about me making you into arm candy. That was never my intention with you. I like you too but if that is what you want - that we only have a working relationship, then so be it' he said strangely hoping she would refuse. 'Ok- that is fine with me' she said disappointed as she played with the strap on her bag. 'Fine' he said and he walked away irritated. "Well get the shot on' he called out. He went into her van and banged his fist on the fridge door. 'Oh for Gods sake! She was not even a close friend- calm down and get into the mood for the shot' he thought just as Vikki came in. They ignored each other on purpose and it strained the atmosphere on set. He posed for his pictures putting all thought of her out of his mind. She was sitting at the lap top and observing his styling as always. She looked calm and collected and he resigned himself to the fact that she would not pine to death for him. He smiled at that and moved towards the end of the day. As the previous day, they sat in the van and discussed the shoot. But there was an awkwardness. He felt an attraction- maybe because she had refused his friendship and it had hurt his ego. But it wasnt that. Her forlorn look gave him the imprseession that maybe she was disappointed too.Her good looks with this strong character had turned him on. He put all thoughts away as he came and sat beside her. She was also having trouble concentrating. It has almost been heart breaking to call off the budding, dangerous friendship but maybe it was better that way. She looked at his shots and felt a pull when she looked at his eyes. They both looked at each other as they talked and slowly they stopped talking and just stared into each others eyes. He looked at her and thought it would be bettr to to just open the door and leave. He walked to the door and looked back at her sitting so delicately and vulnerable. How he wanted to make her feel safe. He locked the door to the van knowing that the crew had left and walked over to her. He traced her fingertips over her lips and was prepared for her to refuse. She once opened her mouth to protest but she hadnt been loved for a long time. She didnt know what she felt about him but she knew one thing- that there was nowhere in the world she wanted to be right now. She looked ointo his eyes and saw a genuiness she thought he was incapable of. He touched her closed eyelids and then kissed her eyes. He kissed her nose tip and slowly made his way down her cheek to her lips. He kissed her lips gently and hesitated. This would be the time for Diya to move but she sat there transfixed. He kissed her lips again, this time parting them with his soft tongue. He kissed her harder and then for longer. She reciprocated every kiss eagerly like a keen lover allowing herself to enoy the intimate moment fully. She had been so lonely and she craved a strong grasp, the gentleness and machosim of a man. She allowed his tongue to explore her mouth and she met his licks with small groans of pleasure. It had been too long afterall. She held him by his strong shoulders as he encircled her waist and touched her on her skin which burnt on his touch. She allowed herself to touch his hair- still damp from the shoot and she slid her hands over his biceps. She played with his hair again and felt his lips over her neck. She was in his arms and as they kissed she felt his hand open her shirt buttons and touch the lace underneath. She wanted to stop him but his touch was too warm and tender. Her heart leapt as his fingers touched her under the lace. She urged his lips there and she wanted to bury herself in his body, feel safe, loved and wanted. But then at that moment, she rememberd his words 'If I ever came onto you- you wouldnt resist.' 'Oh God- is this what it was? He was playing with her- and she was so stupid! They had barely spoken, no promises of love had crossed their lips and what was she doing? She pulled away from him as they were breathing hard. He looked at her shocked and all she could manage was 'No- I am not one of them! I can and I will resist you!!!!!!' With that she pulled her shirt together and walked out of the van.





He was just shocked- it wasnt disappointment or even anger- maybe that would come later. but right now, it was just shock. Jai got up and walked to the van door and closed it. As he turned, he looked at the sofa which had just witnessed his vulnerability. What was he thinking?He had never, never in his life even touched a member of his crew but what was it about Diya that made him forget his principles for that moment? He sat down and sighed still not angry but reflected on her words. What had he done to make her believe that he was just playing with her? His reputation of being a playboy or was it her own insecurty? Or just his stupidity for being charmed by her? Her refusal of his friendship had sparkled something off inside him- the need to be wanted and loved and he had reacted- honestly but rather stupidly. He went back to the hotel praying that he woudlnt bump into her outside her room. When he opened the lift door, he was relieved to see that she want there. But also disappointed. He wanted to know if she was ok but at the same time wanted desperately to be annoyed with her- to ignore her to the point of hatred. Diya had rushed back to the hotel in tears. She rushed to her room and had got straight into the shower to cleanse her body of his touch. She was repulsed at him using her and wanted to forget the embarassment, the passion and the whole episode. Once out of the shower, she pondered how to progress. She couldnt walk out of the shoot- it was highly unprofessional and would cost her too much. She would just ignoe him and cancel all meetings with him alone. But how would she face him? She still had two days of shoot for this campaign and the cinthol one to go. She held her head in her hands as she sat still in the white towelling robe she wore when showered. Then she heard a knock on the door. She was startled and thought- 'Please do not let it be him.' She went to the door and asked who it was and was amazed at the response. 'It is me- Jai- open the door.' 'I am not properly dressed Jai- just phone me' she replied desperately. 'I am not a machine God damn it! Just open the god damn door!' he hissed. She opened it to find him standing there. 'I just wanted to say that you and i will not be speaking at all except for when absolutely neceassary' he stated calmly. We have just about a week with each other after which i wish to never see your face again. I will not speak about what you did and neither do i care.' With that he walked off leaving Diya staring open mouthed. 'Jai- i will not apologise. you were using me' she trailed off. 'I dont care what you think Diya.' he said again calmy as he reached his door to deliver the insult. 'You mean nothing to me- you are a stranger and one i do not care for anymore' 'Goodbye and see you in the morning' he said as he disappered into his room and closed the door. Diya also went into her room feeling teary. What was happening to her- she should have been relieved but she wasnt. She felt bad- almost guilty and felt confused at her own feelings. Back in his room, Jai had no confusions. His feelings were clear- noone but noone played with Jai Malhotra. He had been there with his first girlfriend- he wasnt gonna go there again. 'If i do not get you into my bed before the shoot is done and then brag about to it to whoever cares to listen, I will give up modelling- and that is a promise'! he thought. ' Playing- she had accused him of? Ok- if that was the game, noone played it like him.





She looked at his face as the questions rained down on her. 'Well Diya...' Vikki asked impatiently. 'Cmon, noone here is blind. What is going on between the both of you? Both of you have become the new 'Saifeena' for crying out loud. Your name is 'Jaiya' by the way whilst some prefer 'Dijai'. They are talking about the coffees, your rooms being adjacent to each other and some were saying that you were seen emerging from his van last night half dressed...? he asked her hands on hips. 'It is nothing really- nothing of note is kinda complicated..'.she trailed off. The truth was she herself didnt know what to think. She had felt like she was being played when she was in the van with him but after his visit to her the previous night, she was beginning to think that she could have been mistaken. He did look hurt but they were not in love- that she knew. Yes she was maybe attracted to him abit but he was a very good looking male specimen. She opened up and told Vikki the truth. He shook his head. 'No Diya- do not go there! Everyone knows what he is like. He changes his women like his bedsheets. He gives a whole new meaning to the theory of casual sex. He couldnt love anyone even if it was going out of fashion. And stay away- after you left him high and dry, he will get back.' 'Get back?! Diya laughed. 'Oh for Gods sake, Vikki, this is not kindergarten'!! 'No Diya- it is worse, it is showbiz and he is a sex symbol. Worse still- he knows and believes he is one- stay away! You have hurt his ego and will try and get even.' She shook her head. 'No Vikki. He cant be that immature. Cmon lets go- he has been bad enough all morning. Lets not make it worse for him and us' she smiled... 'and thanks for listening- you are a good friend. By the way, for the record. I prefer 'Dijai- it has a nice ring to it!'. 'Yeah' - he laughed. 'Maybe you could get a tattoo like Saif.' 'Nah- Saif is not in Jai's league and please do not compare me to oh-I-know-I-am-so-thin-and -cant-stop-pouting-Kareena, pleaseeeeeeeeeeee. Maybe we could get matching tattoos like Hrit....' 'Oh so you decided to grace the shoot I see' Jai glared as they walked up. Diya was almost used to it now- he had been like this all morning. She would hate him if he wasnt so damn good to look at. He was wearing a black MM vest and blue torn distressed jeans. His glistening body was already in the water and his eyes mixed with the anger made him look even sexier. Jai had noticed how easy her conversation had been with Vikki and had felt a little jealous although he had intended to play it cool. He would never admit that as Diya was anything more than an animal which he intended to prey on, brag about and forget. Oh so he would like to believe. Seeing her so comfortable and carefree had made him hate her even more. He wanted to ruin that virginal reputation. He wanted to hurt her like she had hurt him. He wanted to phone Abhi and tell him in excruciating detal about his conquest- a conquest he had every intention of making. 'Well- shall we carry on or do you two have more pressing concerns like the weather, eye brow plucking or maybe split ends', he remarked sarcastically. 'No- we will carry on.' Diya whispered. 'Sorry about the delay.' He looked at the mirror and adjusted his hair. He walked to his position and pulled down on side of his belt buckle to reveal the MM logo on his briefs. He had the attitude and he looked at her with a piercing gaze making her shift uneasily. The next picture asked him to roll up his vest which he did with glee wondering the effect it was having on the woman he had a strange relationship with. She was watching and could see the look in his eyes. He was a pro and the fact that he had her attention gave him an extra edge in his performance. The shots were award winners- all of them and she felt the same pang she felt that had got her into trouble in the first place. After pack up, he asked her into his van again to review the days work. This was the last day in Japan and then they would fly out to Paris for the Cinthol ad. Again they were seated on the sofa. Diya was so uncomfortable but was determined to do her job well. She had smelt him from a mile away. He was wearing so much perfume that she almost passed out. She wanted to open the windows but thought it rude. He was wearing a buttoned down black shirt which went to his perfectly sculpted abs. His hair was gelled perfectly and he sat at a distance. He looked at Diya and admitted that she was like a porcelain, delicate doll. She was so pretty with her large innocent eyes and full lips- how kissable they were he knew all too well. They were careful not to glance at each other at the same time- not even daring to look into each others eyes lest they be betrayed again. As she rose to leave, he rose too. 'It is our last night here and the crew is getting together for drinks' he said. 'If you are going, I dont want to' he said very calmly. She was totally taken aback. 'I' m sorry but that is ridiculous. I mean- we cant even be in the same room..' 'No Diya- we cant. If you are going then I wont. he said. 'Ok- then I will stay back' she said. 'Fine- you can go to the wrap party in Paris then' he bartered. 'Ok' she said feeling low.... 'but this is just ridiculous'. 'No I do not think so. How about if you lose control again..' he said knowing the reaction this comment would get. 'Would you please get off your high horse.' she sniggered. 'That was a one off and wont happen again'. 'Good- well atleast we got that sorted out. I will see you in the morning for the flight.' he ended.





Diya spent the evening alone in her room. She had come up with the unoriginal excuse of being sick to her friends and was surprised when Vikki came to see her. 'So you didnt come for drinks.Diya. Neither did Jai. Congratulations my dear! The topic of conversation was the both of you and your.... err..... 'private' celebrations. For Gods sake Diya...your rooms are next door, Can you please be abit more discreet...' he said clearly annoyed. Diya looked at him stunned. 'What do you mean- Jai didnt go? How can that be- he said he would- that is why I didnt go.' she exclaimed with anger and disappointment building up. 'I am telling you again Diya- be careful but your life! So you werent together?' 'No way..... this has to be sorted out'. She stormed to his room as two of the crew girls walked past. 'Still havent had enough of him Diya? they shouted out drunk. 'So was it the bath or the rug this time?' they giggled. 'Good to have a change of scene from the van- not that you would have noticed.......' Diyas eyes burnt ' Oh shut up' she yelled back as Jai opened the door with a smile. 'Oh Diya- what a surprise!' 'Why didnt you go?' she said as she walked past him. She stood arms folded. 'Well cmon then- answer me- what is your problem? You know we are being talked about and then both of us dont go to the party after you ignore me all day- why be so obvious to the world?'' 'Yes I know- master stroke right? he laughed. 'And you didnt think of calling me?' she seethed. 'No- you see I thought that your boring life needs spicing up' he said as he walked over to make a drink. 'You know what your problem is- you just couldnt take the rejection so you are making people believe a lie. But the truth is that someone like you deserves to live and die alone....' she screamed. 'You wouldnt know what respect is even if it came and bit you on your ass which by the way is waayyy too small for your body. Abhis couldnt passed the doorway and yours needs a magnifying glass just to be seen!! Anyway- you cant respect yourself, your body so how can you respect me or even your art? You are so in love with yourself that you leave no room for anyone else...' she spoke calmly but full of anger. He looked at her shocked- again. He had not even made the drink, he was too busy getting insulted- and what was wrong with his ass? But at that moment images of his backside was the last thing he should care about. At the moment, he was looking at this lioness breathing fire onto him. 'You wanna hear more- well I will give it! If you wanna sack me, go ahead. I actually thought you were a nice guy and I might have made a mistake in judging you. But no- you are a self centred little boy. If the thought of me not sleeping with you is making you crazy, then where is the bed? Lets get it on so you can move on. I will just think it is part of my service to you- to pamper your looks and your ego, seeing as your sad life has paused at that moment in the van, maybe you need some charity...........', with that Diya, took off her t shirt and wen