5. Taking credit isn't everything

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“Are you sure you didn’t see anything ? Anything means anything ?” He asked, in a tone she had never heard. He was still not convinced afterall, it was the question of his dignity. “He was scared ? or embarassed, perhaps ?”She thought and prayed for her safety.

“I know you won’t but please trust me this time, I didn’t see anything, I left the room before you could remove the towel and...” Anika blurted anything and everything and Shivaay looked at her doubtfully, with wide eyes and she nodded her head furiously and shut her eyes tightly, her hands placed on her mouth, giving him the sight that made him smile. She opened her eyes slowly when she didn’t hear his voice and he hid that smile behind his usual strict face.

Shivaay left from there, not willing to show his smile to her, which was was getting out of his control and she left towards her room. Unknown to both of them, the legendary smile of Shivaay Singh Oberoi, that was yet to be discovered even by his own family, was seen by his siblings, who couldn’t stop themselves from uttering, “Yeh ho kya raha hai ?”

The afternoon brought another challenge with it, for the servants of the house as Shivaay called and barked an order at them to prepare in lunch, some of the best dishes of Indian cuisine as his business associates were to visit Oberoi Mansion with him in an hour or two. Half the servants were on a holiday, especially, one of the cooks who knew how to cook Indian food. Janvi, Om and Rudra were out for some work, Priyanka didn’t know how to cook because it was always Shivaay who would help them in doing so.

Anika heard the servants discuss the matter and she, very quietly, slipped into the kitchen and prepared everything that would please anyone with mere a look at it.

Even before she could get out of the kitchen, Seema, the cook, entered and saw her and then the food. She as well as the other servants disliked her from the very first day of her in this house and the reason need not to be mentioned. After their master, Shivaay, ousted a maid because of this girl, they started to dislike her even more and didn’t want to take a risk on their on job.

Before Seema could say something to her, another servant informed her that Shivaay has just arrived with his delegates with him and he wants the lunch to be served as soon as possible. “The food is all ready, serve it.” Said another servant.

“We can’t take a risk, What if the food is spiked, or something harmful done by her to take revenge on Shivaay sir and the family ?” Seema vocalised her thoughts and denied to serve this food to the guests and at the same time, she was scared of Shivaay’s reaction on learning about their inefficiency.

“I’m ready to taste it before you serve it, to make sure that the food is safe.” Said Anika, ignoring the hurt Seema’s words caused to her. “and what if you have spoiled it’s taste deliberately, to make Shivaay sir’s guests angry ?” Seema voiced out another concern of hers, “then let me taste it so that you get to know that it’s safe, and then you taste it yourself to make sure it’s good enough to be served.” Replied Anika and this time, Seema was convinced, although, she didn’t show it to Anika or anyone else.

The food was served and guests, delighted at such hospitality by Shivaay and the delicious food, went on praising it. Even Shivaay, who had never appreciated or praised anyone for anything except the Kheer made by his Dadi, couldn’t stop praising the food and Seema, as he thought the food was made by her.

Priyanka who had witnessed the entire scenario occurring in the kitchen before an hour, was surprised at the way their cook was being selfish, how conveniently she took the credit of taking all the pains of making the food and making the lunch, a success. Not that she cares about that girl but what’s wrong is wrong, and it bothered her very much, her Dadi had not taught them such things. Her gaze travelled up towards a corner, on the first floor, where Anika stood and smiled a little to see everything going on so smoothly. She thought, may be she’ll come and take the credit of helping them, afterall, no one leaves a chance to get a credit of doing a favour, but Anika didn’t do anything of that sort.

Priyankal left the dining table, then went upstairs, where Anika stood and watched everyone smile. Priyanka didn’t want to know anything but just an answer to her question that was bothering her, would do good to her mind.

“Why did you help us, I mean, why did you help Shivaay bhai, by preparing the lunch, and then, what are you trying to prove by not telling everyone that it was you who prepared the food and not Seema ?” Asked a confused Priyanka, who tried to sound as rude as she could, so as to mask her confusion with hatred and anger. “Do you think your brother would have even touched the food, let alone serving it to the guests, if he had known that it was I who prepared it ? When you know the matter, you may also know that your brother would’ve thought the same way as Seema did.” Said Anika, as a matter-of-fact.

Anika smiled seeing Priyanka silent and left from there after giving a simple and small reply to Priyanka’s questions, “Not everything is done to get a credit and applause, what’s done to get it, is not a work but a mere, show off.”

Priyanka left towards her own room, quite baffled by the answer given by Anika. Not only Priyanka, but one more person had had his mind messed up by hearing Anika and Priyanka’s conversation, unintentionally though. Shivaay. But, unlike Priyanka, he shrugged his thoughts off calling it a way to get attention, despite his gut feeling was saying it was much more than that.

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