Aradhana stared at the clock and wondered about the home tutor who was about to come for Shivani’s trial class. It was 2’O clock in the afternoon and he hadn’t arrived yet. Shivani was busy finishing her college assignments while Aradhana rushed to grab her mobile to give a reminder call to the home tutor. As soon as she picked up phone the door bell rang. It might be him; she mumbled and strode towards the main door. She opened the door and delighted to see the new mathematics teacher. She welcomed and gestured him to come in.
‘Hello, I’m Mrunal,’ he said as he entered into the house. Aradhana shuts the door and pointed her hand towards the couch and asked him to take the seat.
‘Sorry, for the delay, you know Delhi’s traffic. I hope you won’t mind,’ Mrunal confirmed if there wasn’t any annoyance due to his delayed visit.
‘It’s alright, although I was wondering whether you have not forgotten today’s appointment.’ Aradhana clarified herself.
‘Please be comfortable. Let me call Shivani, your student,’ said Aradhana. Mrunal grinned and picked up a magazine from the center table and started flipping pages while Aradhana rushed to the bedroom where Shivani was fiddling with her books to complete the assignment. A minute later Shivani arrived to the living room. She greeted her new teacher and after formal exchange of greetings they started discussing the syllabus and problems.
While Shivani and Mrunal were busy in discussion Aradhana stole a glance over Mrunal from behind the curtain of the living room. Though she was in kitchen but she could clearly see through the gap amidst the two curtains. Mrunal was young and handsome guy probably touching thirties. He was considerably tall, not less than six feet three inches having slender built. He had fair complexion, his shining, thick jet black hair were fairly combed and wavering with mild breeze wafting through the small confines of the living room. An ideal moustache would have offered him a perfect look of Anil Kapoor, the thought spun in her mind while she was stealthily staring at Mrunal.
Aradhana was in her mid forties but the periodical touchup of Garnier Natural Black hair color and application of several other anti-aging creams had prevented revealing her real age. Besides taking care of her gorgeous appearance she had never compromised with her corpus. With regular exercise she had been successful maintaining a perfect toned up figure. But all her seducing appearances were meaningless as there was no one in her life to appraise her appealing beauty. Her husband died in tragic car accident years ago and she was left to spend a lonesome life.
She deliberately kept an eye over Mrunal to check if he had been attracted towards Shivani but fortunately there were no such signs from either side. After thirty minutes Mrunal relieved Shivani and left for the day.
‘How is he at teaching?’ Aradhana confirmed from Shivani if he was the right guy to teach her mathematics.
‘He’s good, I liked him. Today I just discussed the syllabus and few difficulties I was facing. He will start regular classes from tomorrow.’ Shivani elucidated.
‘Are you going out today for the party?’ asked Aradhana.
‘Yes, I will leave around 4’O clock for Connaught Place, what happened?’ inquired Shivani.
‘There is an important file if you can handover to Vivek boss? I will not be going office for next two days, you know,’ clarified Aradhana.
‘Ok, I will,’ said Shivani receiving the file from her mother.
Shivani had just been twenty few months ago. She had been far ahead from her mother for showcasing her prettiness. Filled with bounty of youthfulness she seldom required exquisite cosmetics to reveal her beauty. Apart from the disparity in their range of cosmetics there had been several other differences in their school of thought. At one side Aradhana was living a stressful lonesome life, whereas on the other hand Shivani was enjoying the juvenile freedom with over-matured aspirations for having a lavish lifestyle. She was least bothered about having a boyfriend.
Shivani reached her mother’s office where she spotted the white Audi A4 parked in porch bearing the VIP registration number 0001. She identified; it was Vivek’s car which meant he was in the office. She straight away headed towards the reception where she asked the receptionist to inform Mr. Vivek about her arrival and purpose of meeting. A minute later she was inside his office.
A month later
Shivani’s home tuitions were going perfect and she had developed fine-tuned relations of an ideal student & teacher with Mrunal. That day Aradhana was on leave it was around 1:00 pm when she received a phone call. It was Shivani; she informed her that she will be late today as she had some important assignment at college and will not have the tuition. She asked her to inform Mrunal about it.
Aradhana pressed few keys on her mobile to locate Mrunal’s number and was about to dial but a wicked idea crooked her mind from doing so. A surprised gleam appeared in her eyes and she did not called him. Impious smile floated on her face, let him come today, she mumbled herself. Exactly at 2’O clock the doorbell rang. Aradhana opened the door and passed a benevolent smile, it was Mrunal. Still smiling she gestured him to come in.
‘Well, Mrunal I’m afraid that Shivani is not home yet. You can enjoy a break today,’ said Aradhana.
‘I’m sorry but I was not informed about that. Well, it’s better, I take a leave.’ Mrunal stood up to go.
‘Wait wait, just have seat. So you can spend some time here, with me if you don’t mind. Would you?’ asked Aradhana.
‘Yes… sure I can,’ said a hesitated Mrunal. He was not able contemplate her intentions what she was saying.
‘Relax Mrunal, don’t panic,’ Aradhana had interpreted wrinkles appeared on his face. ‘Let’s go out if you are not comfortable here. Shall we go for lunch?’ Aradhana yelled the ideas in a single breathe.
‘Yes, that’s a better, we can. How would it be if we could go a place of my choice?’ Mrunal looked relaxed and comfortable this time.
‘Why not,’ said agreed Aradhana and she left for her bedroom for an instant change. After 30 minutes they reached at the nearby Pizza Hut outlet.
Being a working day there were hardly two or three tables were occupied at the moment. At one side of the restaurant there was a series of cubicles that had elongated partitions. Each cubicle had capacity to serve four guests. Mrunal pointed towards the last cubicle and they occupied the one. These tables were specially designed to offer solitary ambiance at a publically confined area. Aradhana looked more comfortable than Mrunal as she could generously express her state of heart to him to cut down her loneliness.
They ordered one medium and one regular pizza thereafter Aradhana started exploring the inner state of Mrunal. She started the conversation in very mild tone. They were at the last table and meanwhile their order was being processed, the cubicle next to them also got occupied. Since the cubicles had raised partitions so no one could observe others coming or going to that area.
Murmurs from the next cubicle revealed the presence of yet other lovebirds waiting for their orders to be served. Like Aradhana their visit to the place was only a damn excuse. They too had come to discover few moments of sheer solitude.
Their order was served after twenty minutes. Mrunal took the pizza-lifter and served Aradhana a pie in her plate. Although Aradhana did not liked pizza and that’s was the reason she had ordered a regular one. She had agreed come to Pizza Hut because Mrunal liked it a lot. As Mrunal was serving, Aradhana spoke little louder this time that was audible to the nearby tables as well.
‘You know, I don’t like pizza but…’
Rather two different voices resonated in unison that pulled the attention of the two couples sitting in the cubicles abreast. Aradhana tried to recall the familiar masculine voice who had just said that he didn’t like the pizza. Everyone stood up from their seats to resolve the mystery.
Aradhana looked across the other cubicle and she was set aback to see. She could not believe her eyes and her mouth were wide open. The ground slipped from beneath her feet. The situation was quite similar in the next cubicle. It was Vivek, her boss, with no other than Shivani. Everyone turned pale and speechless. It seemed that no one would ever like pizza in their entire life.
— END —