April 28, 2009
Sapna had decided to shift few of her belongings to aunt Nirmala’s house before she could travel to Mumbai. As Sunday approached she was in action. The auto rickshaw halted outside aunt Nirmala’s house. She paid the fare and stepped out. There were two boxes to be kept out from the auto. She experienced inconvenience while lifting the larger one. The second was a mixer box. She carried the mixer box and opened the gate. She waited for five minutes after pressing the bell. Rohan opened the door with a yawn. He was an engineer by profession, presently assisting in his father’s Electric and Electronic show room.
“Hi.” She knew him.
“Hi.” He covered his open mouth and took a long deep breath. “I am sorry. I had slept late and just got up. Please come in.”
“Where is Nirmala Aunty?” She did not move.
“I have been left alone by my Mom and Dad.” He expressed in theatrical way. “They have gone to Hubli to attend a wedding.”
“Oh…” She appeared to be disappointed.
“Do you have any problem?” Rohan was concerned. “Could I help you?”
“I have been transferred to our head office in Mumbai for a training course.” Sapna was working with a multinational software firm. “I should be back after six months. I am vacating my room at the hostel. I had requested Nirmala aunty to keep some of my belongings and she had agreed.”
“She must have forgotten to inform me as they left in a hurry. But anyway it isn’t a problem. Do you want to leave only the small box of mixer?” He collected the box from her hand.
“There is the bigger box.” Her eyes turned at the gate.
“You may go in. I will bring the box.” He handed back the mixer box and walked towards the gate.
She appeared to be hesitant to move in. Rohan was alone and no one else at home. She was not blinkered type by nature. But momentarily she was bothered by a slender conservative viewpoint. Was it all right to be with a young attractive man when no one else was around? The indecision was obliterated as she stepped inside with the mixer box. They had bumped at each other in the past and the brief encounters remained conventionally reserve. They knew each other without getting well acquainted. Sapna’s mother and Rohan’s Mom were best friends during their college days in Mumbai. Her mother had advised Sapna to obtain Nirmala aunt’s assistance when Sapna was posted to Bangalore. Nirmala aunty had been always supportive. Sapna had visited them regularly especially during festive holidays and some of the Sundays.
Rohan had not taken any initiative to be over friendly. He seemed restrained and highly composed in his attitude. This was their first meeting without the presence of his parents. Rohan came inside with the big box and closed the door. Unexpectedly she was captivated by his mesmeric presence. Her thoughts and senses experienced the magnetic whip similar to an electric mixing device. Sapna was shaken and kindled.
Rohan gasped for breath while entering the house with the large carton.
“The mixer may be stored together with the big box.” Sapna kept the mixer over the big carton.
“Do you use this mixer in your hostel?” He was inquisitive.
“We are allowed to make fruit juices.” She replied. “But cooking is not permitted. But as far as this particular mixer is concerned, it is brand new and yet to be used. I am bored of hostel life and I plan to take up paying guest accommodation. The mixer would be handy when I return after six months.”
“We will use this mixer until you come back. I will do the inauguration.” Rohan’s voice turned naughty.
She liked the mischievous smile on his face. She had never ever encountered this particular side of Rohan during their past meetings. He was not standoffish as she had imagined. The warmth and affection in his outlook invited her to feel comfortable with him. The desire to be with Rohan for longer time was stimulated by their initial interaction. The thoughts and feelings merged and muddled up akin to a mixer which was set in motion.
“You may use this mixer whenever you need. I have no objection.” She truly felt so.
“Do you know something about the mixer?” He explained. “The first electric kitchen mixer was invented by Herbert Johnston in 1908. He was an American living in Troy, Ohio. I think his idea of creation was based on human body and mind. We can closely relate the functional aspect of a mixer to human body and mind. Our body and mind operate on the inputs that we push in. The food gets blended in our body and thoughts get mixed up in our mind. Am I right? What do you think?”
“Your conjecture does make sense.” She admired him.
“Thank you.” Rohan smiled. “Would you like to have coffee or tea?”
“I would not mind having some coffee.” She grabbed the excuse to prolong the visit.
“You know, I got up late and yet to have my breakfast. It is good to have you as my company.” He walked into the kitchen.
Her only objective to visit Nirmala Aunt’s house was to leave her belongings. She had not come here with any other agenda. But now the atmosphere had ignited her emotions. The heart turned fluffy. The senses whirled into refreshing, bouncy and exhilarating experience. She felt the tremor in the body caused by the varied sensation. The glow was visible on her face.
Rohan returned with a tray containing light snack and coffee. She did not refuse the breakfast though she had requested only for the coffee. The light meal was consumed with light hearted discussion. She realized that Rohan had highly easy going and very simple attitude which did not demand any kind of intellectual stress from the companion. She felt extremely easy in this unprepared encounter.
“When are you going to Mumbai?” He asked after keeping the tray back in the kitchen.
“My ticket is booked for next Tuesday.”
“What is your plan for the day?”
“I have not decided on any specific plan.”
“Shall we go out?”
“Where do you want to go?”
“I am open for ideas.” Rohan’s scratched his head. “Shall we go to Bannerghatta National Park? The safari visit could be a good idea. The other option is Lal Bagh garden. We can even think of having lunch in a good restaurant and then a movie in a multiplex. Now let me know what is in your mind.”
Sapna was pleasantly surprised by Rohan’s proposal. Was he behaving in a playfully alluring way? But there was nothing wrong. He carried it with class and elegance. Perhaps the mixer of his mind and body too was set in activation. Conceivably the combination of different substances were in the process of transformation. She began to believe that the pleasing effect was in close proximity.
“I have no other program.” She did not ignore the opportunity.
“Please give me fifteen minutes. I will change and join you.” Enthusiastically he ambled to his room.
She anxiously waited for twenty minutes. Rohan appeared with a blue pant and white shirt. Sapna discovered him to be stunningly good looking and pleasingly desirable. One should be blessed and fortunate to have such an enviable life partner. The mixer of her mind was forming the most suitable concoction. She passionately followed him. Rohan drove the car out from the garage.
Lal Bagh Botanical garden was crowded with the flower show participants and the visitors. They went around and had a close look at one of the largest collection of flowers and rare plants. By 12:00 noon they had a good measure of the flower show. At 12:30 pm they were back in the car.
“Shall we go for lunch?” Rohan appealed when the car was taken out from the gate. “I am really hungry. This could be due to insufficient breakfast.”
“I have no objection.” She agreed.
“What are you saying Madam?” His cheerfulness continued. “Do you wish to have your lunch or is it just that you no objection? These are two different terms.”
Sapna was touched by his compassionate and caring behavior. Her wish was valued and given utmost weight. Was he genuinely concerned or was it the reflection of his flirting self? What should be her reaction if any physical touch was attempted? The very thought aroused her curiosity. The stimulation was caused by the stir up.
The car came to a halt opposite a Chinese restaurant. ‘How did he know that I like Chinese food? Likes and dislikes have been taken very special care.’ She was more than pleased. Rohan ordered a bottle of beer. Red wine was served to Sapna. The witty conversation continued. She was completely amused by Rohan’s sense of humor. Rohan allowed Sapna to select the food from the menu.
“Do you like to go for a movie?” He asked while paying the bill after the lunch.
“Let’s go for an English movie.” She freely expressed her opinion.
“Why are you keen on English movie?”
“Normally the length of an English movie is shorter than a Hindi movie.”
“What’s the motive behind in watching a movie? Is it the length or the quality?”
“I would prefer a good movie which values time and money.” She thoughtfully replied.
“You are clever and witty.” He praised her.
‘Attraction is the cause of admiration. Rohan too must have been intensely drawn by the fascination. The frequency is closely connected.’ This was Sapna’s hunch and she trusted her intuition. The thoughts and feelings were getting twisted and rotated at high speed.
The matinee show was over at 4:00 pm. Sapna was down with headache, possibly caused by the intake of wine. She expressed her desire to rest for an hour. They returned back home. Rohan advised her to be comfortable in his parent’s bedroom. She closed the door. Lying on the bed she was caught by the pulsating and vivacious emotions. Rohan’s infectious charisma had smitten her. The reverie was brought to a halt with a knock on the door.
“Yes…?” She lifted her head from the pillow.
“I thought you must be thirsty.” Rohan pushed the door and stepped inside with a glass of water in his hand.
“Yes, I am thirsty.” She readily accepted.
She was offered tea at 6:00 pm and thereafter Rohan dropped her back at the hostel. First time ever in her life a man had given her so much of time and importance. Her womanhood was awakened and incited.
“Thank you.” Sapna expressed her gratitude.
“I should thank you.” Rohan replied. “I enjoyed your camaraderie, which gave me a perfect Sunday.”
“I will be in touch.” She assured.
Suddenly she was hard-pressed by the desire to stay back. The craving of travelling to Mumbai had diminished. However by Tuesday she left Bangalore on a six month training schedule at the head office in Mumbai. Here was an opportunity to spend some quality time with the parents and on the contrary her mind was completely distracted by the obsession on Rohan. She called him couple of times, but he was too busy to continue the conversation. The emails and SMS messages were not paid any heed. The relationship was still in elementary stage, she hoped for the advancement after her arrival back in Bangalore. She was aware of the fact that romantic alliances grow and mature with time.
She was more than eager to land up in Bangalore on completion of her training. Her colleague in Bangalore office had arranged the paying guest accommodation. On the first Saturday after her arrival she thought of giving a pleasant surprise to Rohan and rest of the members of the house. By evening she appeared in front of Nirmala aunt’s house without prior intimation.
She pushed the button of the door bell and waited restlessly with broadest possible grin. The door was opened by a young lady, whom Sapna did not recognize.
“I have come to meet Nirmala aunt.” Sapna’s grin melted away.
“She is in.” The lady waited for Mrs.Nirmala to come.
“Hey Sapna….” Mrs. Nirmala greeted from the back. “How are you? When did you return from Mumbai?”
“I reached couple of days back.” Sapna did not feel comfortable in the presence of an unknown young lady. “I thought of collecting my belongings which I had left here.”
“Your boxes have been looked after with total care.” Mrs. Nirmala chuckled. “Why are you standing outside? Please come in. Oh…. I am sorry. I forgot to introduce my daughter in law Priya. Priya, meet Ms.Sapna…. Sapna is our family friend and daughter of my best friend in Mumbai. Sapna is working here in Bangalore…… Priya is Rohan’s wife. Rohan’s father’s good friend based in Australia came here with a proposal to his only daughter. Rohan met Priya, they liked each other and married just about a month back. The whole thing materialized in such a hurry. We had sent an invitation by post. Didn’t you get it?”
“………..” Sapna remained speechless. Her face turned pale. She felt weak and almost fainted. The balance was controlled by resting against the wall.
“Hi….” Priya greeted.
“I am in a hurry.” Sapna did not look at Priya. “Could I collect my things?”
Priya assisted Mrs.Nirmala to take out the cartons from the store room.
“I think the mixer is used.” Sapna complained while looking at the mixer box.
“You are really smart. How did you make out that the mixer is used?” Mrs.Nirmala smiled. “Your mixer was used once when the gasket of our grinder was broken. Rohan informed that you had given the consent to use it whenever required.”
“I would not accept the used mixer. It was unused until given to Rohan.” Sapna sounded uncompromisingly merciless. “I am sorry, I can not accept this.”
Sapna’s behavioral pattern astonished Mrs.Nirmala and Priya. They helplessly looked at each other.