I try calling Shamita. Her number is busy. The epitome of irritation in inter-human relations is this. A busy number. In modern times, whenever you are at the peak of an emotional state, the first thing you do before contemplating over it is call up someone and bombard them with the excess emotions you are unable to hold within yourself. And at such times, the opposite person is always busy. The next situation when the ‘number busy’ message can be a prime irritant is when you need to desperately talk to someone regarding some imperative matter and you find the message arrogantly being spoken into your ears by some dame in a posh accent. Some crotchety souls also face an impulse to enter the phone through the voice hole and smash the messenger’s head with a semiconductor inside the phone.
“The customer you are tring to call is currently busy!”
Busy my arse!
I have a clear idea of the reason behind this. I try Preeti’s number. She doesn’t pick it up. She comes to the terrace instead. She is about to shout when she realizes that it is dark around. She picks up the phone then.
“Busy…on phone.” She shows it with a hand gesture. It somehow looks funny to me. A real phone in one hand and a gesture in another. I smile.
“Tell her I have to talk to her…and it’s urgent” I say.
It is the same when Shriya joins her. She waves to me. I wave back. She takes the phone away from Preeti. I wish it was bright. I would have enjoyed catching the look on Preeti’s face. It merely passes off as a frown in the darkness.
Hey…Ani Honey…what’s you doing here so late?”
“I should be asking you this”
Shriya is a localite. Just like Dilip’s girl Priyanka. Born and brought up in this crazy city. As crazy as it. That’s the reason, finding her at Shamita’s room stuns me.
“Night out!” she says giggling.
“Cool…how’s it going?”
“Boring!....Shammy’s stuck on her phone…and rest are planning to sleep!”
“Sad!” I just say that. That is the only adjective I can use for a night out like this.
“What are you doing?” She asks. I feel a mild tickle a few inches below my belt.
“Nothing…just wanted to talk to Shammy about something”
“But she is busy…now?”
“Now I will roam around, comeback and talk to her… and then go back to my room”
“Wanna join in?” There goes the indecent proposal in disguise of a boredom buster. I know the assent is on its way. It is not because she is bored. It is a feminine ego clash. And there is an analysis to it.
Shamita calls Shriya for a night out. Excited Shriya comes for a night out. They start having fun. They finish the dinner. And Shamita gets a call. Others expect it to end in ten minutes. It longs for an hour and doesn’t seem to end. They know who is on line. They murmur amongst themselves
Level 1: “Can’t she understand it’s our night out?”
Level 2: “Even we have boyfriends…if we want…even we can talk to them…but it’s a time reserved for us…”
Level 3: “Such a bitch…she spoilt the entire night out”
Level 4: “What the fuck does she think of herself?”
They all decide to go to bed bored and pissed off. Including Shriya.
Shriya’s mind: Bitch is still stuck with the boy on phone. I came here for her…and she’s showing off her man to me. Look here Shammy….I too have got a man now….I don’t need to wait for you to cut that call and entertain me.
“Could be” she says. The analysis is right.
“The roaming could be extended to an Ice Cream treat…” I raised my bid. I still had a last hundred in my wallet.
“Strawberry Surprise…” she says
“Chocolate Seduction…” I say.
She disappears from the terrace handing over the phone to Preeti. I request Preeti to tell Shamita that I would be coming back.
Shriya is at the gate in her night suit. A shirt filled with small teddy bear and matching shorts. He ego trip didn’t even allow her to change.
We start walking.
“So…how come a night out today….I mean tonight?”
“Wanted to live like you guys for a night…”
“Didn’t work out!”
“Well…it works out only when people know you are here…”
“As if it was going to be different”
“It could still be different…”
“And a race too…because the shop would be closing by now”
“On your marks…”
“Wait…I’m not even…”
“Go…” I start running. She follows up. I run slow for her to catch up. She overtakes me. I run behind her. She runs faster. I get near her. I am about to over take her. We are at the shop. The shopkeeper turns the key and locks the outer safety grill.
“Fuck!” she says panting. She is sweating badly after the arduous run. She needs an ice cream.
I go up to the shopkeeper and request him for ice creams. He agrees without much resistance. The smile effect! Also if you provide a shopkeeper with a business of atleast one hundred and fifty rupees per day, he is bound to do it for you.
Two cones. Chocolate seduction. Dark chocolate with Chocó chips and Chocolate filling. Total chocolate. Total seduction.
I pass on the first cone to her. I open mine.
I am impressed” she says taking a bite.
“Me too…dunno how they make it so great!” Get cocky!
“I was saying that for you stupid…”
We walk some steps with our ice creams. I walk by her side.
“That’s it?” She asks.
“What do you want?”
She takes a long pause. And then says….