“Life is like a camera. Focus on what’s important. Capture the good times. And if things don’t work out, just take another shot.” ~Ziad K. Abdelnour,
“Khushi, are you in there?”
Arnav tapped on the office door lightly, then opened it without waiting for a response. The second his eyes met Khushi’s, standing still with her hands clutched to the edge of the wooden desk, he stepped in to eliminate the distance between them.
Khushi took a calming deep breath as he pulled her flush against him, his arms firmly wrapped around her. His presence by her side was exactly what she needed as she tried to gather herself.
“Were you out there long?” She found herself looking over his shoulder at the door, holding onto him tightly.
“No, I wasn’t eavesdropping, though I had been tempted to stand guard after you brought Axel in here. Just in case you wanted me to do the honors in giving the asshole a parting gift.” He winked as she looked up at him, her soft laughter had him smile widely, as the tension slowly began to leave her body.
“But, my BFF stopped me,” Khushi raised an eyebrow questioningly, “NK, your father, we’re besties now.”
“Oh God, just what I needed!” She dramatically slapped her forehead.
“Come on, Sweetheart. This is a win, all the way to home base. The man is giving me some great advice that I will carefully adhere to so I don’t end up in the dog house or have you leave me stranded on this island. Alone.”
“Is that so? Interesting, ASR and NK teaming up together for the best interest of KKG. Guess that’s a sure way to not have me run away from New York as I did eight years ago.”
He lifted her chin, his eyes filled with concern, “That’s not what I meant.”
“I know, can’t I tease this budding bromance.” She smiled, “Which I am loving very much. Now, do tell me what you learned tonight from your bestie?”
“You don’t like interference, being an independent woman and all.”
“And, you didn’t already know that about me?” She gasped in mocking surprise.
“Of course, I did. In fact, I knew that from the moment I first met you. It’s why I have kept my opinion to myself about the asshole,” Seeing her look of disbelief, he corrected himself, “Fine, but you have to admit I have refrained from beating the living daylights out of him for his inappropriate behavior. And for tonight, I waited till the asshole left the office before coming in here.”
“Hard to argue with you on that, thank you.” She leaned in close and kissed him gently. “Where’s your bestie, he didn’t want in on the gossip?”
“Nope, he already knew you were about to throw the asshole out.”
“Arnav, stop with the name calling, he has a name,” She sighed, aware he could care less with his dislike for Axel. “Did Axel leave?”
“If you mean out through the front door, yes. Too bad it didn’t hit him on the way out.”
“Don’t Arnav me, I’ve never liked the guy, and neither does your father. He’s alerted the MIB to not let him back in here.”
The satisfied smug expression on his face, had her questioning the sanity of the two men taking such a measure. First Samaira, now, Axel. It seemed the list was growing by the day.
“Was that really necessary?”
“Absofuckinglutely! If you saw the look on his face charging out of the gallery after you axed him, you would agree.”
“Fine, whatever. It’s not how I wanted our relationship to end, but he left me with no choice tonight. The way he waltzed in here, schmoozing with everyone, taking credit for other people’s hard work, including mine, pissed me off.” She grunted, and threw her head back in frustration, “From all people, Axel wasn’t the one that I thought I would have to deal with tonight. My money was on my stepmother to create drama.”
“You don’t need to worry about her, she’s been an angel tonight. What, I’m serious.” He added, seeing her disbelieving look. “Mahini is fine, and hasn’t caused any trouble. And, I doubt she will. Now get rid of that frown,” He ran his thumb over her lip, and instantly a smile appeared. “I’m sorry your evening included this bump, but no more. Promise. The night is still young and it belongs to you.” He kissed her forehead, then took her hands in his. “Leia and your guests are out there celebrating all that Shutter has accomplished thus far with more to follow.”
She looked around the small room that was now turned into Leia’s and her office with the conference room being opened up to host clients. From her living quarters to her workspace, it seemed everything was confined to a compact area. She needed to take immediate action to make changes.
“Arnav, do you think you can help me with something?”
“I don’t think, I know I can. Anything and everything, just say the word.”
There was no questioning the truth his words held. She knew, if there was anyone that could help kickoff her new vision to come to life, it was him, ASR.
“I want to buy this building for a couple of future expansions I have in mind for Shutter. For Leia. For me. Can you make that happen? Speak to the owner, and see if he’ll sell it to me.” Her tone was a bit hesitant given her dealings with the older man, who was stuck on holding onto the property. But, Arnav’s confidence, paired with the fact that he had been the only person to get through to the owner when she had first moved into her loft, had her mind churning with the possibilities.
“Why stop with just this building, when I can get this entire city block.”
“One step,” She paused, shaking her head slightly, “More apt would be, one building at a time, and I am counting on you to make it happen.”
“There isn’t a property in this city that ASR can’t secure, and you should already know that I always get my way.” He gathered her hair on one side and slowly kissed up the side of her neck.
“Arnav, I should get out there,” She said even as her body betrayed her, reacting to his touch.
“I’m a man of my words, KKG, and I’m proving it to you right now by having my way with you. Now that I finally have you alone behind closed doors, time for me to savour that beautiful mouth of yours. Mine.”
As she glanced up and met his eyes, he cupped her neck, and tilted her face up. There was no hesitation on her part, she gave in as he leaned in to seal her lips with his. A much needed passionate moment just for him and her.
“These shots are spectacular!”
NK turned to face the man voicing thoughts that echoed his own at the concrete jungle series that he had been standing in front of for the past few minutes. The series was composed of photographs taken from around New York City.
Ever since his daughter’s first exhibition, he often roamed the gallery alone admiring her extraordinary pieces. But tonight there had been no such opportunity where he had been by himself. Not with his daughter’s new admirers from the Raizada family joining forces with him. First, it had been Arnav, now Arnav’s father.
He smiled at Ashvath who was adorning a smile of his own. Ashvath slid his hands inside his trouser pockets, as the two men stood with their gazes locked in on the aerial photos on display.
“I’ve heard that Khushi took these photos from a helicopter with no doors,” Ashvath stepped forward for a closer look, completely captivated by the brightly captured lit skyline.
“That’s my daughter for you, living on the edge to get the perfect shot.” NK confirmed with pride in his voice.
“I’d say she’s accomplished that and more with every single piece in this gallery. Walking around Shutter, taking in these images, makes you realize these are more than photos.” Ashvath gestured over at the main highlight for KKG’s exhibition, located on the back wall. It had piqued everyone’s curiosity to know what was behind the covered images. “I’m looking forward to Khushi unveiling her main showcase piece.”
NK also felt the same enthusiasm as Ashvath, and like him, he was anxious to see KKG’s masterpiece.
“Did you know Arnav had joined Khushi during her aerial shoot?” NK asked as they eased into their conversation.
“My son wouldn’t voluntarily go up in a helicopter, unless, of course, it was for ARG. The boy’s never been adventurous,” Ashvath paused, “When he was younger it was school and baseball, then once his career kicked off, he’s been at it nonstop, not taking out the time to live life. But now, that’s changed. For the better. My family and I have Khushi to thank for that.”
NK motioned for Ashvath to look towards the back of the gallery as Arnav and Khushi rounded the corner. Their eyes were glued to each other as Khushi had her arm linked through Arnav’s. The deep connection between them was palpable, as was their love for each other which was getting stronger with each passing day.
It seemed the couple were in their own little bubble as Arnav whispered in Khushi’s ear, weaving her through the crowd. If one looked closely, they would see Khushi blushing. NK most certainly had, and as he surveyed the room, it seemed others had as well. Not only were Khushi’s photos the cynosure of all eyes, but so was the man in her life.
“I can say the same about Arnav, when it comes to my daughter.” NK openly admitted, turning to face Ashvath. “It never crossed my mind that the two of them would take a liking to each other when I asked Arnav to help Khushi find a home in the city.”
“Would you have still sought out my son?” Ashvath asked before he could stop himself.
It was apparent by NK’s expression that he was taken aback by the question. NK didn’t need him to clarify it either, he knew exactly what Ashvath had inadvertently alluded to.
“That didn’t come out right, by no means did I mean to be so direct.” Ashvath opened his mouth, ready to deliver an apology, but NK began speaking.
“With all of my children, I have never restricted them, nor do I provide them with a criteria that needs to match our lifestyle or social status. It’s their decision, solely theirs, who they decide to get in a relationship with. Of course as a parent, you want them to find someone that respects them, loves them and who treats them as their equal. This also applies to my son.” NK inclined his head, getting a glimpse of not only his children but Ashvath’s as well. “My parents instilled in me, as I have with my three children, that money isn’t everything. It can’t buy you happiness and it won’t comfort you at a time when you need it the most. And, if you look at our children, all five of them over there, you’ll see how grounded and similar they are when it comes to their values.”
“I won’t lie, NK,”
“I wouldn’t want you to, Ashvath.” NK interjected with a small smile, “This might be our first time meeting, but given our children’s relationship, I believe in an open and honest conversation. There’s no need to hold back, please say what’s on your mind,”
Ashvath stared at NK for a second, then turned his head and looked across the room at Arnav and Khushi. “At first, I was a bit hesitant when I saw that my son was falling in love with a woman whose world was miles apart from ours. Perhaps I was wrong, but I worried about the potential heartbreak should you not have approved of their relationship. Honestly speaking, it scared me because I had never seen Arnav so happy. But, as I saw the two of them together, and spent time with Khushi, getting to know her better, I realized how wrong I had been to make assumptions.” Ashvath placed his hand on NK’s shoulder, “I hope I didn’t offend you, NK.”
“You were looking out for your son’s best interests, so there’s nothing for me to be offended about.” NK paused, the corner of his mouth turning up. “I’m glad we got this out in the open now rather than finding out later when they want to take their relationship to the next stage and make things official.”
“Official?” Ashvath raised an eyebrow.
“Yes, when they want to get married. Though there’s no rush,” NK added seeing the momentary look of surprise flash cross Ashvath’s face. “Speaking from experience, I would prefer they take their time. Though, seeing there’s wedding fever going around with Leia and Rayna’s upcoming nuptials, there’s no telling when the wedding bug bites my baby girl. Might as well be prepared for when the time comes.”
Ashvath kept his expression blank, and grabbed two drinks from one of the servers passing. For now, all he could offer was a slight nod, and a drink. The rest he would leave up to time, and Arnav and Khushi to break the news to NK that there might not be a marriage in their children’s future.
He just hoped that NK would accept and respect the couple’s decision as he has of their relationship as it is today. But then, time will tell.
“Excuse me, Arnav, um, I’m sorry to interrupt, but by any chance have you seen Khushi?” Leia’s eyes continued to scan the main gallery, as she approached him.
“Princess Leia, you’re never interrupting, unless of course I’m with KKG.” He winked, earning him a round of laughter from the young and the elderly woman standing beside him.
“Khushi went down to the lab with a couple of guests a few minutes ago.” Leia followed Arnav’s gaze towards the staircase, then gave him a slight nod.
“My grandson has no filter, never had.” Dadi lightly smacked Arnav on his arm. “Besharam.”
“Oh my God, you’re Gorgeous Dadi?!”
“My grandmother most certainly is gorgeous!” Arnav possessively wrapped his arm around his Dadi’s shoulder, and side hugged her.
“I was referring to her instagram handle, and one hundred percent agree, she’s beautiful.” Leia smiled widely, and pushed Arnav away from his grandmother, then embraced Dadi. “It’s so great to meet you in person after speaking with you virtually on insta and Shutter’s blog for the past couple of years. I’m…”
“ShutterPrincess!” Dadi called out Leia’s username, “I can’t believe we’re finally meeting and at Khushi’s exhibition of all places. The way it was meant to be.” There was tenderness in the way Dadi held Leia in her arms. Despite the age gap between them, it was as if two friends were coming face to face. “I had asked about you earlier up front, but seems like you haven’t had a chance to catch a breath.”
“Unfortunately, not tonight. It’s madness here, in a wonderful way. To see everyone enjoying themselves as well as admiring our KKG’s talent, feeling the buzz through this gallery, is so satisfying.” Leia’s hand covered Dadi’s. “I still can’t believe you’re here, KKG’s biggest fan.”
“It’s a small world, and a dream come true to see these stunning pieces up close.”
“Now if only I can convince you to work here, we could tag team and charm the crowd coming through the doors.”
“I’m in, when do I start?”
Arnav laughed at his Dadi’s instant response that he had mistakenly interpreted as a joke. But seeing their eyes sparkling, silently conjuring a plan, he was convinced they were up to something.
“Dadi you can’t work.” Out came his reply, which had his grandmother crossing her arms across her chest.
“Says who?” Dadi challenged her grandson in a no nonsense tone, which had Arnav raising his hands in defeat.
For now, he thought.
There was a part of him that knew he should stay away, keep his distance at least for tonight, but he found himself approaching his wife as she stood alone with her head buried in her phone.
Lifting her gaze from her phone, Mahini glanced up at her husband.
“What are you doing here?” He asked, then sipped from the glass he had carried with him.
“Now what kind of question is that? I’m here to show my support for Khushi. You know I’ve always liked her work, her style of photography is unique.”
The corners of his mouth twitched, ready to call her out on her blatant lie based on her criticism whenever he would add to Khushi’s pieces hung at the penthouse. But he refrained from doing so keeping in mind why and where they were tonight. The last thing he needed was for his wife to create a spectacle and ruin his daughter’s special night.
“So, when’s the wedding?”
“Khushi and ASR.” She spelled out with a smile, seeing his eyebrows knitted together. “Looks like they have gotten quite close. What’s it been now, three months since they’ve met? The same as us when we decided to get married.”
“Well, our circumstances for getting married were different. There was no choice.” He looked down at her waist deliberately.
Was it spiteful that after all these years he was pointing out the real reason they married was that she became pregnant? Yes, it was. But, did he care? No.
She looked away from him, opting not to retort. She tilted her head slightly, spotting Ashvath and Harika standing with Aseem at the other end of the gallery.
“With all of the Raizadas here, I assume it’s only a matter of days before the good news of the much awaited wedding of the hotel heiress is announced. I’m hoping for nothing but the best for the eldest Gupta daughter. I already know the location, given you’ve dreamed of seeing her married at one of GI’s finest luxury properties right here in New York.”
When it came to Khushi, Mahini might have sweet-talked her way throughout their marriage, showing that she cared, but now, he knew better. Mahini, the loving wife, the caring stepmother, had been a mere facade that now lay crumbled into pieces.
“No need for you to assume anything where my daughter is concerned.” He snapped.
“Niran, you misunderstood what I was saying,” She placed her hand on his arm, and he stiffened. Caressing his arm, she spoke softly. “I truly am happy for Khushi, and I actually really like ASR, always have from when we started working with him. They make a lovely couple.”
Feeling his fury rising, he clutched his glass tighter, then turned so that his back faced the crowd. Somehow anything coming from her irritated him, even if it sounded genuine.
“What makes you think I even want your opinion? I’ve told you before, and am telling you now, I don’t want you near my daughter or in her life. You shouldn’t even be here tonight. Now, leave.” He ordered unable to keep the venom from his voice.
“Please, Niran, I’m trying here to make things better between us. Why do you keep pushing me away?” She squeezed his arm as fresh tears sprang in her eyes, silently pleading with him as they stood there for what felt like a long moment.
“I can’t believe you’re even asking me that question.” He raked his hand through his hair.
His head was swarming with the events from the past, gazing into her eyes. Moments they had shared as husband and wife, as parents to their twins, along with those pained memories of his firstborn child. It was as if someone had stabbed him over and over again. Despite all the enemies he had picked up along the way in business, and there were many, they didn’t come close to the woman who was meant to be the closest to him.
His so-called wife, Mahini Gupta.
The timing might be fucked up, but there was something that he needed to say. Though, not standing in the gallery surrounded by the guests that were here for his daughter’s exhibition. Keeping himself and his anger in check, NK motioned towards the back of the gallery, then began walking without a backward glance to see if she was following him. He didn’t need to look, he knew she would be right behind him as he swiftly headed in the direction of Khushi’s office and conference room.
Seeing Khushi’s office empty, he stood outside allowing his wife to go in before him. Once he stepped inside, shutting the door behind him, he was instantly assaulted by the scent of flowers. His eyes went towards a couple of bouquets at the corner of Khushi’s desk near her iMac. He recognized the jewel-toned bouquet of blooms that he had brought for Khushi, and he presumed the other was from Arnav. Roses. His daughter’s favorite as well as…
No, he told himself with a slow shake of his head as he watched Mahini move closer to the roses. Her fingers caressing the dark red petals.
“They’re so beautiful, reminds me of the ones you would send the girls and me for Valentine’s Day. Did you get these for Khushi?”
He remained cold, showing no emotion, as he leaned against the wall next to the closed door. Getting the hint that he wasn’t going to acknowledge her question, she sighed.
“I’m guessing the roses are from ASR, you probably are staying away from the things that remind you of me.”
Their eyes locked, hers filled with hurt, his blazing with anger.
“Tell me what do I need to do to make things right between us. I, we, can’t go on like this, Niran. I miss you.”
“What’s your definition of us?”
“You and me, of course.”
He made a disapproving sound, “Figured that’s what you would say.”
She narrowed her eyes at him, “Am I wrong in wanting to make things right with our marriage?”
“Before you think about fixing us, perhaps what you really need to think about is Khushi.”
“Now, don’t act all surprised. This,” He waved his index finger back and forth from him to her, “The distance, and where we are today is the outcome of the fucking mind games you played with my daughter when she was a child. You made her feel like she wasn’t wanted, you made her believe that her father hated her. How could you emotionally abuse a child to that extent?”
“I can’t believe it.” She laughed softly, which infuriated him.
“Well, believe it, Darling.”
“You think I abused Khushi as a child?”
“I don’t think, I know you did. As my daughter rightly pointed out not too long ago, not all blows are physical. One doesn’t need to raise their hand at someone, words hurt just as much.”
“That’s just absurd that I’m being held responsible for what bits and pieces of her childhood she remembers. What if it’s made up? You were there, tell me that I didn’t try with her. But, she was jealous of me and the twins after they were born.”
“Are you hearing yourself?” He let out a rough laugh, “Excuses! At least I am owning up to having failed in protecting my daughter, not pushing her to open up to me earlier. Perhaps if I had, I could have ended her agony much earlier.”
“And, probably our marriage. That’s what you want right? To leave me because your daughter has now labeled me the evil bitchy stepmother.” She said in that familiar taunting mocking voice reserved for his daughter.
“You said it, not her.” He shot back at her with equal spitting rage that covered her face.
He knew they weren’t going to get anywhere with this back and forth. He lowered his head, closed his eyes, rubbing the bridge of his nose.
He had no expectations from her, and she had proved it once again. He needed to put as much distance as he could between himself and her again. For the well-being of his children. And with that mindset, he said what he had set out to do in the first place.
“Until you own up to your part in fucking up my daughter’s life, my relationship with her, along with trying keep her siblings away from her, there’s nothing left to say, let alone think about a reconciliation between us. The way I see it, there’s no forgiving you or myself for what has happened to Khushi. I will forever live with that guilt, you on the other hand, can’t even accept what you’ve done. Until then, it’s best you stay away from me and my life.”
Stunned, she just stared at him, if it weren’t for her heaving chest from breathing roughly, he would have sworn she had turned into a hard statue. And, he was certain she would remain that way for a long time to come.
Ready to get back to his children, he placed his hand on the door knob, “Do us both a favor, please leave quietly. Goodbye, Mahini.”
Adrenaline had surged through her body since opening the doors to Shutter a couple of hours ago, and there was no sign of it leaving her. As she walked through the crowd, her heart quickened, reaching the finale of her opening night.
Though, Khushi’s smile faded when she joined Leia, who was coordinating with the team to assemble the crowd near the podium to kick off the finale.
“I’m going to kill him!” Leia declared, frowning as she continued to look from her phone to the gallery in search of someone. “Axel shows up late then fucking vanishes in thin air when it’s time for the finale. I have his speech for your introduction written out, all he needs to do is stand there and read it, how hard can it be?!” Leia gestured to the podium that had been set-up in front of the covered featured pieces that were going to be unveiled tonight.
“I would say, it’s not a difficult job at all.” Khushi shrugged nonchalantly, “I’m thinking, since you’ve written it, why don’t you do the honors?”
“But, Axel always…”
Khushi took the index cards from Leia’s hands, and engulfed her. While Leia didn’t know what had transpired a short while ago, with them being pulled in different directions, and nor was she aware of her future plans, but Khushi knew her friend would support her every step of the way. Just as Khushi would support Leia take a step forward with her career. It had always been the two of them, tag teaming together to make Shutter and each other successful. Tonight was a perfect example of what they were able to accomplish.
“Axel’s gone, I let him go.” Khushi spoke softly as they pulled away.
“You did what?!” Leia exclaimed, causing a few heads to turn but they quickly turned their backs to get some privacy.
Khushi nodded, seeing Leia blinking her eyes trying to take in what she had divulged. It didn’t take long for Leia to gather herself, adorning the biggest smug smile as the news of Axel’s departure sank in.
“I am going to need details, KKG. But that will have to wait, let’s close out the night with a bang, Then the after party, just you and me.”
Khushi laughed, “I’m not sure Arnav’s going to share me tonight after not seeing me for a couple of days.”
“Please, as if he even has a choice. My Khushi. Now, let’s go,” Leia took her hand and led her to the podium.
Khushi’s heart warmed at being surrounded by an abundance of love tonight as she looked out at the assembled crowd. She couldn’t help but wave to the section towards the right where her brother and sister along with the Raizadas were smiling widely at her. And as her gaze shifted to the center in front of the podium in the first row, the bromance was in full swing with the two loves of her life proudly standing tall side by side. No doubt her father had given Arnav the scoop about the best standing seat in the house. As always, her father didn’t hold back sending her a flying kiss with both hands when she smiled at him.
Khushi couldn’t remember ever being as emotional as she was tonight. Perhaps it had to do with her loved ones being here for her. Her nerves spiked noticing almost all of her photos were marked with red tags. How was that even possible?
Leia immediately noticed her silent question, searching for an answer from her. But it seemed Leia had other plans, as she picked up the mic, then greeted the crowd.
“Hello beautiful people of New York! Welcome to Shutter NYC.” The crowd erupted with a round of applause, along with a few wolf whistles bouncing off the gallery walls. “Well, it appears that I don’t have to ask what all of you thought of KKG’s latest exhibition since we are sold out!”
The exuberant crowd coupled with Leia’s announcement startled Khushi as she looked on in surprise. But as Leia began with her introduction, there was complete silence.
“Shutter continues to capture many hearts, thanks to the brilliant woman behind the lens that shares her work with us. Many of you know her professional accolades in the photography world. She is the recipient of many awards globally with her photos. I don’t have to spell out to any of you the rare talent she possesses. It’s right here in front of us.” Leia paused, hearing a humming agreement from the crowd. She then looked over at Khushi, “Traveling with her around the globe and seeing her work at a shot first hand, often leaves me in awe. This woman sees beauty in anything in front of her. Being close to her and knowing her personally, I can tell you that it’s because she’s beautiful on the inside and outside. I am privileged to introduce Khushi Kumari Gupta or as we know her, KKG. Everyone, let’s welcome Khushi back to her city.”
After taking a deep breath amidst the clapping crowd, Khushi joined her friend next to the podium, and embraced her.
Khushi grasped the microphone, then smiled.
“Can we give Leia Ahuja a round of applause? None of this, the gallery, the opening, would be possible without her mastermind. The true hero of Shutter. Thank you my dear friend for everything.” Khushi blew her a kiss, then placed the mic over her heart.
“Thank you everyone for coming to the opening of Shutter’s twentieth exhibition! This one is special for many reasons.” Khushi looked out at Arnav and her father, and smiled. “There’s no better feeling than opening my gallery in my home city, and to top it off, all of my loved ones are here tonight. Let’s hope they’re not the reason I’m sold out.” She raised an eyebrow, then laughed as her family and Arnav shook their heads in denial.
“Photography has been a passion of mine since I was a child. When my beloved grandfather gave me my first camera, a Leica M6 150 Jahre Optik, for those camera enthusiasts, I was ten years old. The moment I held it, and clicked my first photo, I was in love. Many of my fellow peers can vouch how magical it is to be lost behind the lens. A photo serves as proof of how you see the world. The key is finding yourself in that moment, and whatever that is in front of you, it’s perfect.”
The crowd looked back at her, captivated by her words. Unlike her other exhibitions where she was a bit closed off, today she found herself sharing her story openly for the first time.
“When I left New York eight years ago to start my career as a photographer, I had no idea what a difficult journey it would be. But as with any career, it takes dedication and determination to get through the hurdles that life throws at you to be able to reach your goal. I want to believe that with every exhibition, I am closer to accomplishing what I had set out for myself. Tonight, as the doors to Shutter NYC open to the public, I am exactly where I want to be. Home.”
The word home echoed around her as she met Arnav’s gaze. She blinked as Arnav mouthed, I love you.
“Now for the featured pieces, yes you heard correctly, not one but I have two to share, one of which isn’t for sale.” There were a few dissatisfied groans from the crowd, along with anticipation filling the air as she moved to the side, away from the covered photos behind her.
“I had the opportunity to spend a week on a nature reserve on my trip to Africa. Being out there in the jungle, I couldn’t help but compare it to the concrete jungle. Many of you must be wondering what could be the comparison? Open land versus an island with skyscrapers. Well, how about I show you… Meet the King of the Jungle.” Khushi pulled down the cover from the first piece, and there were several gasps of awe, seeing the mighty lion staring directly at the camera surrounded by a starlit sky.
“The next piece is a rarity for me as I don’t take portraits. This was taken eight years ago, my first photo snapped the night I decided that I was going to be a professional photographer.” Khushi locked her gaze on her father’s, “This is for you, Daddy.”
Khushi pulled off the cover, not taking her eyes off of her father.
“The King of the Concrete Jungle.”
NK covered his mouth in shock at the image in front of him. It was him facing out at the New York skyline at night. The brightly lit cityscape at reach in front of him as he seemingly stood atop it, in his office at GI. He had no idea that she had taken that photo. Khushi had come to his office that night to speak to him, but had let it be till the following morning when their lives had changed.
A life changing moment, but they, she, were stronger because of it.
First things first, Happy New Year my lovelies! Whatever the new year has in store, may it be better than the last one ❤ I know we’re fourteen days in but a wish was in order seeing that we are meeting for the first time this year.
This extra long chapter concludes Khushi’s special event, hope you enjoyed Shutter’s opening with all of the characters making their way around the exhibition in the past three chapters. Please do take a moment to preview the collection of Shutter’s photo book at the top in a slideshow format. Breathtaking photos that I imagined from KKG’s lens. Shoutout to the talented photographers sharing their breathtaking work with us on the World Wide Web.
As always, thank you for being here despite my inconsistent schedule. But it’s a new year, and time for me to buckle up to finish Listed! See ya all next week, same time, same place 😉
Loads of Love,