Monday, July 16, 2012

Great Expectations.

       'That is him. That is himmmm!' - Malati called out. She clutched her handbag tight and brought up her hand to where her heart was. It beat wildly. Loudly. Her magenta suitcases fell down on each other, tumbled and collapsed like a house of cards. But she did not notice. They fell about her, while she mouthed 'That is him'.
'What nonsense' - Reena snorts. 'That was ages ago. At least now toh forget him.'
'But I know it is him....Here, go and ask him." Malati implored.
'It could be him, Reena, What makes you so sure it is not?' - piped up Latifa.
'Arrey you gals are really mad!!'  - Reena retorted.
'Seriously Reena, sometimes you are such a snob. Delhi suits you very well. Now forget him, Malati and let us get on with our lives. Where the hell is the taxi-stand?' - Latifa was irritated now. The sweat trickled down her face.

       'Bhaiyya - Park Hotel chaloge?' The taxi driver spit out his paan, and grinned at them.
'This must be what Yamraaj looks like'.....Reena whispered. The other two giggled.
Reena could pass funny comments with an absolutely serious face. Only Reena.
'It is sooo hot, I don't know why we had to come to Goa in this heat? Couldn't you have chosen a hill-station, Malati? - Latifa grumbled.
Malati laughed - 'Why a hill-station? Why not the Alps? We have been planning to come here from a year now. I could not wait anymore. And remember this is my hen-party. So no frowns. Paste your best smile. We will get drunk and have the best time of our lives.'
Reena and Latifa pretended to be unimpressed and looked out of the window. Malati laughed. They joined in.

       In their room, the first thing they did was order food 'wine, cheese, beer, whisky, and spicy 'kuch-bhi'...
Reena said 'That fellow seems decent. He lowered his gaze while we were ordering'
Latifa playfully rapped her head 'Of course he lowered. You are wearing the smallest skirt in the whole world. Decent it seems.'
By the time their order was delivered, they had showered and dressed. They attacked the wine with gusto, hardly eating anything of the spicy 'kuch-bhi' which turned out to be a non-veg platter and the Goan fish curry-rice.
'What is the plan? Dekh Malati and Latifa, I don't want to see any churches-temples-mosques. If you want to go, jao. I am fine with lying on the beach and admire the sunset.'
'Arrey even we are not interested in doing bhajan-kirtan here. This is Goa, not Vaishno Devi. Latifa, you take the camera, and Reena you take the cosmetics. I will carry the clothes.'
They sauntered down the stairs to the reception. It was while turning their keys in at the counter that Reena pinched Malati.
'Ouf, bitch. That hurt! What did you do that for?' Malati asked turning around to see Reena's mouth wide open. She was pointing at the doorway, at the valet opening the doors of cars.
'That is him. You were right Malati. That is him!' Reena stammered.
Latifa whistled.
She put her arm around Malati - 'Look. This is your hen-party. You can like, totally do what you want. Call him. Now. And ask him to bring his friends over. We can watch you having all the fun. Quick'
Malati shook her head from side to side, horrified - 'But I can't!! I'm getting married next week!! What makes you think I would want to see him. Now?!'
Reena muttered 'This one will remain a fool all her life. I will call him.'
While Latifa and Malati whispered to each other, Reena walked out and flipped out her mobile phone. While she spoke to the person on the other line, Malati and Latifa were exchanging sly looks and devilish grins.

       'Maluuu! I'm sooo glad to see you! What brings you to Goa? And must say you are still a stunner!!'  Karan winked and smiled at Latifa and Reena. 'You too ladies! How many years has it been? Five-six?'
'Only three years, Karan. You still forget things too easily. We are here for my h.....' Malati was just about to utter the obscenity when Latifa and Reena spoke aloud together 'Promotion party...'
'Yeah, we are here for my er...uh...promotion party....'Malati cooed, regaining control. 
'Why don't you join us? Do you have some friends with you, to keep Latifa and I company, while you admire Malati?' Reena fished. 
Karan furrowed his brows - 'Not friends, but I can bring some people over. What are you gals doing tonight? Tito's tonight, around 9ish?
'Perfect - Yeah that would be great. So we will see you tonight then' - Latifa replied while Reena blew him a kiss and Malati smiled.

'Don't tell me you are wearing thaaaat, Malati? This will be last free-night of your life and you will NOT be dressed like a behenji tonight.' Reena admonished Malati. She snatched the green dress from Malati's hands and threw it into the corner. Rummaging in her own bag, she produced a red slinky tube-dress and threw it in Malati's face. Latifa grabbed at it and looked at it, delightedly. 'Yes, THIS is what you should wear. Reena is right. I have just the perfect shoes to go with this' she scampered off the bed and sat by her suitcase.
'Whatever gals, What would I be without you two drama-queens in my life?' - Malati said. She turned to the mirror. 'Curls or Straight? Winged eyeliner or simple? Tell me gals. I'm going to make him go mad.'
The other two rolled their eyes.

       'Are we too early? I can't see him anywhere.' Malati looked around,
'Arrey tu bhi na. D'u think he is standing here with a coconut tree growing out of his head, just so you notice him?' Reena growled. 'He will find us. Give him some time. Let us order our drinks.'
After some 12 large glasses of vodka, neat, on the rocks, had passed between them, a mobile rang. Malati searched inside her tote bag and produced the still ringing cellphone. 'It is Karan' she said.
There seemed to be a lot of noise in Karan's background. 'Where are you gals? What are you wearing. I can't find you in this crowd.'
'We are outside the disc, just to the right, where the tables are put up. We are right next to them. I am in red, Latifa in magenta and Reena in black.' Malati offered helpfully.

       'There is your ex-flame, Malati. Jump him. And remember no regrets. And not a word of this outside' Latifa instructed. Serious, Reena and Malati nodded.
Karan was dressed in a body-hugging white vest and jeans. He slung a blazer casually in one hand and held a drink in the other.
His jaw fell open when he saw Malati, but he soon looked away. Malati was confused. This was so unlike him. Their relationship had been incompatible, but when it came to lust, both were equally insatiable. They were complete opposites of each other in all but that. The break-up was inevitable as both were head-strong, stubborn and impatient. Their tempestuous relationship had to end and surprisingly it was Karan who had offered to part on an amiable note.
'Malati, Malati?' Latifa was shaking her.
'Where were you lost? We are talking to you and you are sitting there with an open drooling mouth.' Reena said, tugging at her arm 'Let's go and meet Karan's friends. Chalo, Chalo.'

       His friends comprised of three guys and two women, none of whom Malati recalled seeing when Karan was courting her. The men were dapper and handsome and seemed friendly. But the women looked over the new-comers and offered no greetings. They were dressed in expensive clothes and in front of them Malati felt she and her friends looked sluttish.
Malati offered her hand to one of the women and introduced herself 'Hi, I know Karan from a long time. We were friends in Delhi'
The woman smiled coolly.
Her icy gaze bore into Malati.
'I'm Natasha, Karan's wife. I have known him for four years.'
Malati stared.
First at Natasha.
Then at Karan.
His eyes seemed to implore her. His ears turned beetroot red.
Reena pinched Mitali's arm. 
Latifa pretended to brush off something from Malati's hair and whispered 'Not a word' and turned to the Natasha with a grin, asking 'Is that a Chanel you are wearing, um? '

3 comments:

The Fool said...

A lighter tale for a change, eh? Interesting tale neatly narrated.

Shilpa Nair said...

@TF - Just one of those small incidents that could happen to anyone (in this case, my friend)!

Abhyudaya Shrivastava said...

Your characters are so lovable. :-D Keep 'em coming!