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The Wolf

Once upon a time, I found myself in a deep, dark wood. It was cold and dark and there were many things hidden under the twisted branches waiting to tear me into pieces. I was terrified because I was being hunted, and I had nowhere safe to go. Deep in the woods I met a wolf. He was a man by day, and a beast by night. He told me he could keep me safe and hide me from the hideous thing that hunted me. The wolf took me back to his lair and let me rest upon a bed of duckling down. He lit a fire and covered me in a blanket made of rabbit fur- and for the first time in a million years I felt safe. And for the first time in a million years I could sleep. And I slept and slept, slowly regaining my strength. The wolf would feed me fish he’d caught in a nearby stream- he’d clean and cook the freshwater fish and feed me until my belly was content. He picked me blackberries and made me daisy crowns for my head. The wolf kept me safe day in and day out. And the hideous thing that hunted me never let up- at times it came so close, but the wolf tucked me carefully into his chest and watched over me until it was safe again. With each new day I came to depend on the wolf more and more, until I realized I couldn’t survive without him. I had bound myself to him and he to me- we began to slowly fuse together, losing ourselves day by day. I had fallen deeply in love with the wolf- his eyes as blue as forget-me-nots, his hair as black as ink. I loved him, I helplessly loved him and my heart caught a feverish chill. I was growing weak and so was he- our bond had made us both sick- we didn’t eat or drink or play in the sun- we clung to one another like desperate fools. We made love without stopping until we collapsed. We grew hungry and began to feed upon one another. Soon our tainted bond was more threatening than the vile beast which was still out there in the woods hunting me. One day, I looked into the wolf’s forget-me-not blue eyes and I said, “I need you to let me forget you. And you must forget me. We are killing each other…”. The wolf let out a long, guttural howl and the moon turned black. He didn’t want to let me go and I didn’t want to leave.But watching him waste away before me gave me strength. I loved him, I loved him with every raggedy inch of my sad soul and I knew that if this love was real and true, that I would let him go forever so that he could heal and be free and return to his beastly magnificence. I made love to him one last time and it was bitter-sweet and dreadful- neither of us soared to our previous heights of pleasure that night. Our hearts were shattered and the pillows were drenched in our tears. The comforting fire blew out somewhere in the middle, leaving us in the cold, dark, silence. As the wolf fell into an uneasy sleep, I crept quietly out of his lair and ran as fast as I could, far away. I ran so hard and so fast-I was determined to leave him behind. I was committed to erasing his entire existence from my mind. I buried him so deep in my heart that not even the icy tendrils of my worst nightmares could resurrect my love. I let him die. I let him be forgotten. I erased him.
The day that I ran away, I could hear his paws thundering against the earth as he tore off after me- and I knew that if I stopped for even a moment, he would find me. And I would let him. And then we would both die and it’d all of been for nothing.
This was a thousand years ago, in another place and time. I never think of any of it.
But tonight the moon is full and as I stand out under the night sky, I am convinced that for the briefest moment I can see a pair of long-forgotten eyes watching me from the shadows. I feel a chill dance up my spine. The door to those memories are sealed forever. The soul-achingly tender feelings are encased in hardened cement and sitting at the bottom of a deep, dark, forgotten ocean. I turn my back on the night with thoughts of my warm bed in mind, and as I begin to take my leave the icy wind rushes over my skin, tossing my hair about playfully. And I hear a whisper on the breeze, of a familiar voice that I can hardly remember. “Forget me not” it weeps mournfully. My heart responds in a vague aching, yet I can hardly recall the source of this terrible ghost-pain. I ask my heart why she is aching, but she only howls at the moon and cries…

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Posted by on May 7, 2021 in Short Fiction




‘I want to see you’, he said.

She started with her hair. Pulling out the band with fingers that shook slightly at the thought of what she was on the verge of doing. She pulled out the thin band of elastic and wrapped it around her right wrist, the yellow lines stark against her wheatish skin. The bones on her wrist poked through the double bind, highlighting the fragile structure of her arms. The fragility was quite at odds with her hands. They were, calloused hands, with no softness cushioning the lines that seemed etched into her palms with a harshness that belied her delicate fingers. Chipped nails,  put black nail paint that told stories of nervous tics and shaking hands.

Her hands shook even then, as they travelled down her sides, tracing her slight curves and counting the freckles only she knew the positions of. She traced them mentally, drawing constellations onto her skin,  backstories that made her realize just how disinteresting she was. She had to create her universes to live through because hers wasn’t vast enough for all the living she had to do. The list of names in her head slowly faded as the music took over, the deep bass and overwhelming synth gave her a rhythm to sway to, one to get lost into. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and continued. Her fingers found the edge of her slightly frayed top. It rose slightly every time she put her hands up in the air, and she never really stopped doing that, smiling as she felt a lash of cool air that felt like a taboo against innocuous skin.

But this time, as she raised her hands, the hem of her top was grasped in them. She tugged softly, feeling the gooseflesh trail the fabric as it rose higher, till it reached her face. For a moment, she panicked. She couldn’t see the face in front of her. She couldn’t see reaction. Suddenly, there was no meaning to this entire exercise. She pulled harder, stumbling slightly, till the soft, worn fabric was discarded onto the ground and she struggled against instinct. It took physical effort not to wrap her hands around her middle, but she dug her nails into her palms, leaving crescent imprints behind. She shook harder as she took another deep breath to calm herself down, her smile faltering under the pair of eyes on her.

She traced her sides again, the soft, pallid skin a marked contrast to the dry, warm fabric that covered it earlier. She didn’t have goose bumps anymore, but she still felt uncomfortable in her own skin. Her fingers found their way to the clasp of her bra, and she winced slightly as she felt one of the hooks dig into her thumb. Fumbling, she somehow managed to untangle the metal and cloth, and let it slide down her arms. The cheap lace and satin felt abrasive against her skin, used as it was to soft cottons. She cringed as she saw the virulent pink, darker under the dim lighting, but still much too loud for her. Her shoulders instinctively hunched inwards, and she struggled against herself to straighten them and stand there, apparently uncaring of the fact that she felt more exposed then she had in years. Being undressed by someone was one thing. Undressing herself, exposing herself- if only to one person, left her feeling like she was deconstructing herself.

And, she was, in a way, she realized, as she slid her fingers across the place where the waistband of her skirt met her skin. She was uncovering herself in slow, incremental steps, letting the process stretch out to make it intense, both for herself, and for him. It felt deeply personal, on a level, but she felt completely detached. She wasn’t there. She was just acting out the steps she knew would work.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Her reverie was broken by his ragged breathing. She shook her head slightly and pushed the skirt off, hooking her thumbs through the sides of her flimsy, delicate thong. The soft, billowy chiffon whispered its way down her legs, and pooled around her feet. Her feet, like her palms, were incongruent to the rest of her. Large, broad feet with blunt toes.

Her clubfoot was visible, the lack of a gentle arch had always seemed very telling to her. It always felt like a microcosm of her very being. It functioned well enough for what it was meant to do, but it wasn’t right. It always left a dull ache behind. It wasn’t whole. After a day of running around, and getting all her work done, her feet hurt her. A hurt only she could feel, dulling throbbing moving up from the ball of her foot, up her calves. Being her felt like that, too. A certain emptiness that was replaced with a constant throb of simply existing. Her thoughts always segued into tangents she couldn’t quite complete. It left her unsettled, the very prospect of incomplete thoughts. Sometimes, they were the only things whole about her. She realized she was looking down at her feet again. Another deep breath, and she looked up, realizing she was finally nude.

She stared him in the eye, and started unspooling the constellations she had weaved onto herself. The freckles were woven together with names, and each name had a story. She unfolded each one carefully, and shook off the film of memories that coated them. She took her segueing thoughts, and sluiced them off herself, and they settled on the ground, discarded, next to her skirt. All the dreams that she collected like dark souvenirs rolled off her arms and onto her thighs, and she let all her desires unravel. Every one of her deepest secrets spilled out of her eyes, mouth, nose, ears. They spilled out of her very pores, and she seemed to shrink further as she lost all that weighed her down.

Over time, what she hid had started defining her. She grew accustomed to sheltering herself under the shadows that the awnings of her tiny deceits cast. She convinced herself that she was trying to simple protect the people she loved, and that was the first lie she told herself. It built a base for the twisted, monstrous structure that her life had turned into.

An unhealthy fixation that sapped all the energy she had, trying to sustain it.

She knew it was a dead weight tied to her, dragging her deeper into herself, but she preferred to think of it as an anchor. It kept her grounded, she told herself, as she sank deeper. And suddenly, she let go. Let the structure break. She became visibly smaller, with nowhere to employ the effort she put into maintaining facades.

Feeling emptier than she had in a long, long time, she bent down to the ground where her skirt lay, surrounded by her swirling thoughts. What she was going to do next was possibly the most painful step, but the easiest, for her. She had already let go of all that could possibly be an inhibition for her, and she wanted to get the final step over with. Her hair surrounded her face like a curtain, framing her so that she could look up, but he didn’t realize she could.

She spent longer than necessary rummaging through the skirt’s pocket, simply observing him. She could see the difference in the way he looked at her when she started, and the way he stared now. The simpleminded adoration has changed into something darker that clouded his eyes.

It was fascination.

There was no gentle love or care in his eyes anymore.

Just an animalistic spark.

He wanted more.

He has seen into her, probably more than she meant to show, and of course he wanted more.

She knew the allure of the galaxies that swirled in her, and she knew how addictive the darkness they inhabited could be.

She sighed again, and got up, a small blade glinting in her hands.

She would give him everything.

The sharp scalpel shone under the dim lights, and she gritted her teeth as she started tracing from the tip of her left hand’s middle finger, down her inner up, up to her upper arm, and to her shoulder. The blood seeped out, and she almost lost her grip on the blade because of the slickness on her hand, but she continued. The blade cut deep for something so delicate, and pretty looking, and she smiled to herself. It was funny how she could compare everything to herself. The blood kept flowing out of her, and she continued tracing herself, creating a single, bloody outline onto herself. It crossed her scalp, down the middle of her chest, on her stomach, down one thigh. Then, she changed the hand which held the blade, and traced the right side of her body. When she was done, a fine, geometric pattern on her skin shone wetly, the colour somewhere between rust and crimson.

She gasped at the pain, and he did too, because he saw more than what he wanted to see. She stared at him, and he couldn’t tear his gaze away. She waited till she was sure he couldn’t look away, and started pealing the skin off. Piece, by piece, she pulled it off, the pain overwhelming her into a quiet frenzy. She knew that if she started screaming now, she’d never stop, so she continued, breathing harshly, peeling away faster, still she stood there, her muscles glistening because of the blood and mucus on them. She just stood there for a minute, before letting out a low, throaty wail. She howled for what seemed almost too long, but not long enough. Sobbing, she started tearing her muscles off, little chunks of meat embedding themselves under her nails.

Her fingers kept digging. Probing. She couldn’t stop pulling out large, irregular chunks of herself and flinging them to the ground. He sat there, stunned, his face sprayed with little droplets of her blood that flew out from her broken veins and arteries as she moved. He could see her heart struggling to beat under her ribcage, the immense stress and pressure she was putting on her body visible through how it strained against it’s trappings. Beating so fast, almost as though it wanted to escape. He stared at her in morbid fascination. He wanted to turn away, but he didn’t. He couldn’t. She continued, now pulling at her organs. The kidneys came first, hitting the ground with a soft, splattering sound. Then her liver. Her stomach. Her heart. Her brain. She kept going, till all that was left to her were bones. A final deep breath, as she realized she was finally bare, finally free.

She looked at him through the debris-covered skull that was left of her sallow, worn face. She had finally let go, finally allowed someone in. she let go of all that held her down, all that tried to make her whole. She let go, and she reveled in the emptiness. She savored the air that wafted through her ribs, the absence of a beating heart and pumping lungs leaving her whole self oddly quiet.

She looked at him carefully and saw him barely breathing, barely moving.

He wanted to run.

But he couldn’t.

Because, he had to stay.

He wanted to.

‘Can you see me now?’, she asked


Posted by on September 6, 2015 in love, lust, random thoughts, short write up



Deliver us from Lust………

The lounge seemed to be even more crowded this particular Friday evening. Rohan surveyed the surroundings from his usual place at the bar. The week had been exceptionally good for Rohan. The deal was finally inked, his Hong Kong posting would be announced first thing Monday.
His thoughts were interrupted when a distinguished looking man joined him at the bar. “God! Hope I look that good when I get to his age!” thought Rohan as he raised his glass and smiled.
They shook hands. “I’m Rohan. Rohan Sharma,” he added, “Head of APAC Sales. With this start-up that just got VC funding!”
“Pleased to meet you. I’m Sachin. Sachin from Delhi,” he smiled and returned the firm handshake.
Rohan ordered a round of drinks for both of them. He looked at Sachin and said, “So, what brings you to Mumbai?”
“Oh! Life, I guess. Uncanny that of all the cities in this big world, everything should end in Mumbai. I would have thought Mumbai is supposed to be the beginning!” he said, giving Rohan a strange look.
Rohan threw back his head and laughed. “True that! For me, Mumbai is indeed the beginning. Hey Sachin from Delhi! Good to finally have someone I can celebrate with. Just got promoted. Will be heading out to Hong Kong early next week.”
“Well, Congratulations! Here’s to new beginnings then!” said Sachin as they clinked their glasses.
Conversation was surprisingly easy. Sachin and Rohan realized they had similar interests – they both played golf, enjoyed horseback riding, and were just about learning the nuances of playing great chess. “Nurtures strategic thinking old man! Time to show those old snooty b******s at London what strategy’s all about!” slurred Rohan.
Sachin smiled and put his arms around Rohan’s shoulders. “Yes. Everything is in the game. Players change. Pawns don’t.”
“Hello!” said a husky, feminine voice behind them. Both men turned to see if the woman matched the voice.
“I’m Kajal Chotrani. My companion just ditched me. Meeting with the boss, he says. I don’t want to ruin a perfect Friday evening. May I join you? That is, if you don’t mind,” she said.
They both stared at this vision of a woman. “Only an Indian woman is capable of looking like this,” thought Rohan. To combine sensuality, beauty, charm and somehow still look innocent.
Both men stammered simultaneously, with Rohan taking the lead, “Oh Please, do join us. Hi Kajal! I’m Rohan, this is Sachin.”
She smiled at them. And sat down daintily on the bar stool, demurely crossing her long legs. The deep purple dress hitched up an inch over her thighs. She had charcoal-grey eyes, a dusky complexion. Shoulder-length hair. An hourglass figure that looked like a sculptor’s work of art. She leaned towards the bar man and smiled “Hey Jeet! My usual. With olives and bitters.”
Rohan thought to himself, “Sachin needs to leave. This woman belongs to me.”
Sachin thought to himself, “Meera, it’s been two years since you passed on. I love you Meera. And I have been alone. You know that.”
Kajal thought, “Well, who would have thought today will turn out to be so eventful? Rohan’s cool. But still a boy. He’ll play with me in the sandbox. Sachin .. well Sachin is something else altogether. Maybe he needs a real woman!”
The evening was highly entertaining. For all three of them. The air was heavy with an unexplained tension and the chemistry between the three of them was palpable.
Kajal had moved to Mumbai two years ago. A brilliant graduate from one of India’s top-ranking B-Schools. Wanting to make it big in advertising. Realized very quickly she needed a lot more than brains or talent to make it big any place. She ditched advertising and joined an IT conglomerate. Public Relations is what they called it. She had different names for it though! She smiled to herself. She had inherited her Mother’s figure, good looks and her Father’s sharp business acumen. She had learnt to desensitize herself to situations and people. Life was meant to be fun! Not saddled with guilt, loyalty and such other useless stuff that drags you down. You should put yourself up there. Among the stars. Where you truly belong.
Rohan excused himself from the group, went to the men’s room. He splashed water on his face and stared into the mirror. He didn’t look so bad. Considering he’d almost felt suicidal two years ago. The scandal with Richa had almost blown his career to bits. A botched abortion, the rich cold husband he’d nearly bludgeoned to death in a fit of rage. Luckily, his Dad knew how to pull strings. Police couldn’t touch him now. They had arrested the ‘attacker’ too. After all, the homeless fellow had to pay a price for a new kidney for his ailing daughter. He quickly controlled his thoughts, practiced his smile, and hurriedly walked out.
He saw them engrossed in conversation, their heads close. He didn’t interrupt, simply watched them. Kajal looked up and said, “Hey Rohan! We were just talking about visiting this art gallery later tonight. I know the artist and I think you will like his work.” Rohan shrugged his shoulders. Art wasn’t his area of interest, but he had no plans of leaving Kajal and Sachin alone.
Sachin and Kajal spoke animatedly. About current trends in contemporary art. They seemed to inhabit a world that Rohan didn’t even know existed. It turned out Sachin invested in art, especially paintings. And he was a potential buyer on the lookout for new talent. Rohan felt a slight tremor in his right hand. Usually that happened when he had extreme emotions of any kind. Pure animal. Sachin looked at Rohan quizzically. “Sorry for my poor manners. I seem to be monopolizing the conversation. Kajal, let me get that one last round of drinks for all of us before we head out. Excuse me.”
Sachin went to the far end of the bar and placed his order. He observed Kajal and Rohan. It was obvious Rohan had plans that Sachin was most definitely not a part of. Sachin didn’t like playing games. If he thought Kajal was the slightest bit interested in Rohan, he would have walked away. But he knew she wasn’t. She didn’t look at Rohan the way she looked at him. Their interactions had transcended from the basic level of physical attraction to something deeper. After Meera, no one had really intrigued him the way Kajal had. Then he saw Kajal lean very close towards Rohan and say something that made him laugh. Well, one never knew with women!
He’d had enough. He could visit the dang gallery on his own. Kajal had mentioned the artist’s name. His office would do the rest.
Sachin plonked their drinks on the counter and very cheerfully said, “Folks, I’m beat! I’m heading back to the hotel and catching up on sleep. Need to give the art gallery a miss. Maybe we catch up again soon?”
Kajal looked at him quietly for a few seconds.”No Sachin. You come with us.”
Rohan said, “Hey Kajal! Let’s ditch the art gallery. Let old Sachin leave eh? Then you and I? We can take a long walk down the beachfront at my hotel. Maybe talk some more? Let’s take my car!”
There was an awkward silence and Sachin gallantly said “Okay then. Let’s shelve the art gallery for now. It’s late. We’ll go to Rohan’s hotel. Beachfront eh? Lucky young man! Mine overlooks a tall building!”
Kajal excused herself and elegantly walked to the ladies’ room. Sachin and Rohan couldn’t help noticing how every man in the room looked at her. It didn’t matter if he had a woman with him or not.
Kajal reapplied her lipstick. She looked at her own eyes in the mirror. Jaded? Nah! She still had it in her. Maybe the mouth needed a little rework. She made a mental note to contact Dr. Shah, her plastic surgeon. She determinedly shut her tiny makeup case. Well Rohan, Sachin, may the best man win!
She walked in the middle, linking her arms with both men and headed towards the hotel entrance. A very nervous valet brought Rohan’s car. He would be nervous. A customer with a silver Bugatti in India was every valet’s dream and nightmare at the same time.
“Rohan, are you sure you can drive?” asked Sachin
“Don’t worry, the cops won’t stop me. They know who I am!” Rohan slurred slightly.
They drove towards Rohan’s hotel. Kajal sat in the front, quiet. Sachin sat at the back. Few times, he’d met Kajal’s eyes in the rear view mirror. Rohan continued with his talk, mostly related to his work, Hong Kong and this “shitty world full of scum.”
They reached his hotel. As promised, Rohan directly led them to the beachfront. There were hardly any people around at this time and the place was a little deserted. “It’s a private beach. It’s a part of the hotel property,” Rohan explained.
They slowly walked on the sand in silence. Their feet were bare and the night got darker.
After a few minutes, Rohan could not contain his patience any longer. He turned to Sachin, “Old man! Please scoot now. Don’t you get it? The woman is mine. You’re a nuisance. Go. Now!”
Kajal suddenly took Rohan’s hand. “No Rohan. Sachin has to stay. And this is why!” she said as she took out the knife.
Sachin watched in silence as Kajal caught Rohan’s both hands in a vice-like grip, kicked him in his shins, pushed him to the ground. All in a matter of seconds. Rohan was too startled to even put up a struggle. Nor did he scream. Kajal slit his throat neatly. Side to side. Execution style. She was magnificent. No sudden blood spurts, no mess. She securely tied his hands at the back, left him face-down on the sand. Just like she’d been told to do.
Sachin said very quietly, “I guess you already made plans for me?”
Kajal smiled. “Yes Mr. Verma. Only, they never told me you’re this good-looking.”
“And I never had you down for a contract killer. The sultry seductress act had me confused for a moment.”
“Well, who said it was an act, Sachin?” she arched her perfect eyebrows, a mischievous smile dancing on her lips.
Sachin laughed, linked his arms with hers and they slowly walked on the sand back towards the hotel.
It had all begun four years ago. There was a brilliant bio-tech merger that Verma had accomplished sitting in New York, and for some reason it was starting to unravel. There were millions at stake, that’s what his Board of Directors told him ominously, “Rajesh, well, if this deal doesn’t go through then.. ” So he landed in Mumbai for a stay of “four months only.” That’s the time he had been given to either close the deal or disappear for good.
And by then, he had met Meera. The sweet intelligent daughter of the friendly Goan businessman who lived next door to his Cuffe Parade flat. Meera would often drop in to discuss art with him. She was almost ten years younger than him, but they always felt like equals. She was a fabulous cook, could speak German, Spanish and French. It was only a matter of time before they fell in love. He had never met a woman like her. She challenged him intellectually and had a way with people that he simply envied. She was a charmer. His Meera.
They got married at a beautiful temple.
Rajesh and Meera moved to London and had what one would call an ‘idyllic relationship’. She was beautiful, gentle, amazingly talented. He was rich, good-looking. They were always chased by the paparazzi. The celebrity couple on the art scene who actually got along with each other! They were in love. And the world believed.
One beautiful morning, Meera walked up to Rajesh and said, “Oh Rajesh! God has been kind. I am pregnant!”
He held her tight and said, “Oh Darling! I love you so much!”
He went back to his office, shut the door and didn’t come out for three days straight. He knew he wasn’t the Father. That accident during his golfing days had made him sterile. Something he didn’t care to tell anyone. Not even his Meera.
It only took a few phone calls to find out about Rohan Sharma. Meera and Rohan had been seeing each other for almost a year. She planned to leave Rajesh. Rohan had proposed to her. He had promised to break off his engagement to his childhood sweetheart. But the pregnancy threw a spoke into their plans. Meera truly believed Rajesh was the father. She felt guilty for cheating on a relationship with a man she really loved. She hoped their child would help make things work with Rajesh.
After about a month, Rajesh finally spoke. “Meera, abort the baby. I don’t want the child.” Meera was devastated, “But Rajesh? I’m already into 5 months of pregnancy! You have a son, I can feel him move.” He held her arms in a tight grip, his voice menacing, “Do it.”
She did. Through her tears, she phoned her gynaecologist and like a zombie, went through the motions. Her body couldn’t withstand the strain. She died within an hour of surgery.
Blinded by rage and helplessness, Rohan had stormed into Rajesh’s office, just as Rajesh was walking towards his car. Rohan found the fire extinguisher on the wall and hit Rajesh’s face with it. He hit repeatedly, he knew not for how long. Then he threw the extinguisher, called his Dad, and wept on the phone. His Dad took care of the rest.
Rajesh lay still on the ground next to his car for about three minutes, bleeding profusely. He willed himself to bear the pain. To stay conscious. His cell phone was in the jacket pocket. He managed to find it. He hit redial on the last number he had called. And passed out.
He woke up at the hospital. They told him he was lucky to be alive after such a brutal mugging attack. And that Dr. Shah, the brilliant young plastic surgeon from India was in London. She would fix his face.
Dawn was breaking. It was already Saturday morning. Kajal and Rajesh walked to the hotel entrance. They shook hands and promised to stay in touch. They knew neither would. Rajesh took the taxi and went back to his hotel. Kajal continued to walk towards the opposite end of the street. She still had work to do.
She sat on a leather sofa in the swanky lobby of this new hotel that had opened last week. A young man walked up to her and said, “Good Morning. Madam will join you for breakfast in the Coffee Shop.”
Kajal nodded and followed. As usual, she took the corner table at the far end of the room. She heard the smart click of heels and looked up. The woman was tall, blonde. Elegance personified. “Class!” thought Kajal. She also saw the cute two-year old boy behind her. His face looked oddly familiar.
“Hi. I’m Riti Sharma,” She shook hands and discreetly handed the envelope to Kajal. “And this is my son, Amit “
Kajal smiled at the little boy who couldn’t stop staring at her. She sipped her coffee. Both women talked about Mumbai’s scorching heat, traffic woes and the emerging art scene. Mumbai was a potpourri of talented artists and painters. A distinct new style was starting to emerge that had New York and London’s most seasoned art collectors queuing up to invest. After about an hour, Riti excused herself to go up to her room. She had an important phone call to make.
“Hello. Am I speaking with Rajesh Verma? This is Riti Sharma from London. Your office said I can get in touch with you on this number. Yes…we had met at the art auction at Sotheby’s last year. Perfect. Will see you at 12:00 Noon. Let’s have lunch after the exhibition. The Italian place at Taj President works for me.”
Riti hugged her son and left instructions with the nanny on his routine. “I’ll be back as soon as I can, love. Be good.” She tousled his curly hair and gently closed the door behind her.
Two years ago, she had been told she would never have children. On the same day, Rohan had said he couldn’t marry her. Because of Richa.
Fate couldn’t have been any kinder. The hospital gave her the baby. They said the “cruel husband” had wanted the baby dead. The boy was weak, premature. Riti needed the boy to live. She told her parents ,she had been with child. And Rohan didn’t need to know. The papers were easy to obtain. The tests would also prove he was Rohan’s son.
Rohan proposed to Riti and they were married in June the same year. For two years, the boy was her best kept secret. She had hired her trusted childhood nanny.
Riti started to realize that having Rohan in her life was a nuisance. Rohan’s father, Mr Sharma had passed on recently and left his entire estate to his only son. But Rohan’s philandering ways had started to ruin the Sharma inheritance. And her political future. She confided in Dr. Shah. They had been to finishing school together and continued to keep in touch. Dr. Shah mentioned Kajal to her.
Verma had been Dr. Shah’s most challenging medical case till date. It was a miracle he’d even survived the mugging episode. She mentioned Kajal to Rajesh.
Riti and Rajesh met up for lunch at the Taj President. The exhibition was a runaway success. The new artist that everyone was raving about lived up to his reputation. They decided to work together on a plan to launch the brilliant young man in London and New York. Rajesh thought Riti was a bright and attractive woman. Riti thought Rajesh was one of the very few self-made men she had met.
Kajal unlocked her front door. The labrador came bounding and almost threw her onto the floor, knocking over the framed picture on the mantelpiece. “Oh Sweetie, get off me you minx!” she laughed. She picked up the picture, looked at it fondly and kept it back in its place. It was clicked about a year ago, when they were honeymooning in Switzerland. She loved the merry twinkle in Vikram’s eyes. And the way he made her laugh.
“Coffee, my sweets?” asked the comfortably plump, bespectacled bald man who was still in his pajamas. Kajal rushed to hug him. “Oh yes my darling Vikram! I missed you my love, my Winnie the Pooh! The dang flight was late and they lost my bags. And I could kill for that cup of coffee. Mumbai drives you crazy doesn’t it?

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Posted by on September 5, 2015 in love, lust, short write up



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