Sunday, May 24, 2009

1. h

It is a house just around the corner. A few steps from my house. Not a long walk. Then a right turn. A few steps more into the large arch formed by two Gulmohur trees. You will stand before a gate. You have pull out your mobile and call the number. Someone will appear on the terrace of the bungalow and will ask you to wait. And then, within a span of five to ten minutes, Shamita will appear at the gate.

How she looks, depends upon the time you visit her. If it is early morning, she comes as untidily as she can to appear sexy. The collar of her top sliding to her shoulder. One of the Victoria’s Secrets peeping out. Shorts or Pyjamas, depending on the season, creased and crumbled. She comes tying her hair, her waist flashing the silver chain around it glows in the morning sun with her belly, as she raises her hands to hold the silky mass in place.

If its breakfast time, She comes with wet hair and radiant face, the splendour that usually surrounds a freshly bathed girl. But this woman makes it even more special. She comes out softly drenched. Like hurriedly dressed up after her bath, without caring much about wiping the water off. And in this dampness, her wear holds on to her closely. You do feel like watching a miracle.

If it is afternoon, her loose hairs curl up on her top. A plain light colour with a dark shorts below it. It’s a lazy afternoon after all.

But it’s the evening that tops it all. All make up. All high end clothing. All high end footwear. Everything that is created to make a woman look beautiful. To top it all, a perfume, that acts as a pheromone driving the guys crazy. It is the time when guys like Harshad and Piyush are struck in the heart. And motorbikes pass innumerably on the road before her room. It’s the time, when the middle-class girl from Mumbai becomes a Cinderella. And Princes contest to have a single glimpse of her. Nobody had ever turned their head when she used to pass by when she was graduating with me. Even I had to hang around, owing to my set up with Sonia. Maybe she had discovered her beauty at this place or she had improved with time. But for me, she has always been the old Shamita. The mediator with unexpressed sensuality. I stand before the gate of the house.

It’s breakfast time. I am expecting the usual wet marvel. It’s the everyday breakfast together and then going for lectures. The lectures part I avoid. And I am successful in holding her back from doing so, at times. These are the times when she doesn’t want to attend the lecture. It’s her decision and not my skill. At these times she doesn’t even want to be around the campus. We have many places to go in such situations, places which I had explored last evening or last night. Other times, she resists the temptation and attends lectures. At these times, I get back to my regular pastime like hanging around somewhere in the campus.

I had called her up around three minutes ago, and Preeti, her roommate had appeared on the terrace to deliver the message that the princess will be descending from the castle in five minutes. I have to wait two more minutes for her now. But that is just a theoretical statement. The truth is she can come down in any lapse of time ranging from two minutes to half an hour. And all I can do is wait. Another phone call can be made, but holds the eternal risk of you being signed off as impatient.

I am prepared for the delay. The repressed have no voice. They only can resent.

I pick up a Champak flower fallen beneath the small tree in that bungalow’s courtyard. The tree had grown enough to shower its flowers across the compound netting. That is a thing I like about trees. Thy grow with their own mind and decide it on their own, if the flowers or fruits have to be given to the owner of his neighbours. It is one of the simpler ways nature can slap human faces.
The flowers are so pretty that I cannot resist picking one up. I smell it. The fragrance is enticing. It has been an unknowing habit by now to give the flower I pick up, to Shamita.

I stand looking at the flower. I know she would take time. And suddenly I see her coming. I stay stunned. Not just because she is early. Also because she isn’t in her breakfast look at this breakfast hour. It’s her early morning disarray. Unkempt top and creased shorts.She comes to the gate and smiles forcibly. I find it odd. This is unusual. Not as unusual. It does occur. But whenever it does, it does mean there is something that has gone wrong.

“Good Morning!” I greet her with the flower.
“Good Morning!” She smiles sadly looking at the flower. I get the usual partial bear hug in return.
“What happened?...u haven’t taken a bath?” her Victoria’s Secret on the shoulder catches my eye. I try hard to get my eye off it.
“No yaar!”
“Don’t feel like re!” She ties up her hair. The waist chain glitters with the belly. Another Victoria’s secret peeps out. My heart begins racing. I turn my eyes away.
“Nope” She pulls her top to cover her belly. That stretches her top over her attributes. Another lovely moment.
“Don’t feel like that too…”
“What happened re?” I ask with a false concern. But there is an evident disturbance on her face.
“Tell me yaar…come on….something has happened…It’s on your face…You can’t hide it from me…” I can be aptly phony when it comes to women. Or maybe I am truly concerned about them and I don’t recognize it.

She just nods.

“Come on…tell me…” I place my hands on her head.She suddenly hugs me and starts crying.

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