“Hey he just asked me to meet his brother” said Misha in some electrifying tone to Shalini. Shalini on the other hand sitting with an online shopping site opened in her Dell laptop. She was preparing her mind every now and then to buy an iPhone 6 and checking her bank account frequently out of her middle class mentality.
“Have you heard what I just said Shhh…” She used to stretch a bit of her roomie’s name, the preliminary letters of course imitating one of the famous TV serials “Shh.. koi hain”..
With a loose reaction and not moving the eyes an inch from the laptop screen Shalini said “yeah yeah , your filthy rich boyfriend is upto a family thing.. Good for you. Hope you will own a big parlor after marriage and I can get every service for free”.
Pulling the hair knot of Shalini, Misha said “You’re such a bi*ch” and they both exchanged a smile. Misha placed all necessary belongings in her handbag with no time and went to take shower in a hurry. After a complete 30 mins of shower, she came out wrapped in a yellow towel with a smiling face. She must have imagined some dirty thoughts while taking the shower.
In a white and purple combination salwar suit and purple drop earrings she was looking amazingly good. She was the owner of good sense of fashion.
Misha is the only child of her banker father and interior decorator mother. She comes from a Punjabi background & polite in nature. She works as an HR and stays away from her parent’s house which is 5 km from her rented flat in Delhi just not to bother her parents with her ultra modern mentality.
Shalini is an IT developer working in a software company and belongs to an upper middle-class family. She has an elder sister who is married and stays in Noida. Shalini, a slight dusky slim girl with beautiful smile comes from a Bengali background and her parents stay at Kolkata. Being a bong, she fights with the auto walas and rickshaw walas for smallest or anonymous self-rights often forgetting that she is in Delhi and not in Kolkata.
After applying her MAC cosmetics brand on her face, Misha was finally ready to move out. She blew a flying kiss to Shalini and said “bye”. A robotic “BYE” came from the other end.
Rajiv is a software engineer working with Accenture and blessed with good looks. He maintains himself. They seem as a perfect couple with zero mismatch. Rajiv calls less but Misha is always calling him. Shalini hates Rajiv for this.
Shalini thought of pampering her tummy a little bit with masala muri and stepped out of the bed when her mobile started ringing her favorite ringtone which was one of the famous numbers of Metallica tunes.
“Hello… Han Ma, bolo…(yes mom, say..)” Her mother Sushma called her like she did on a regular basis. “Kheyechish kichu (did you ate anything)?” This is like a regular mantra her mother spells. Shalini thought of telling a tiny lie to her mother that she already had her meal, which offcourse has to be rice(maximum Bengalis prefer in Lunch). She takes a shower and wears an oversized blue T-shirt with ripped jeans and goes out in search of food.
She was about to eat the masala muri (fatafat bhel) when the Metallica number starts playing. She looks at her mobile screen. It was Misha on the other side. “Hello, Shalini, just come down to CP (Connaught Place) near H block. Me, Rajiv & his brother Ayush are waiting for you. Rajiv wants you to join us.”
Shalini started thinking of some instant and realistic excuse when the voice sailed through the phone “No stupid excuses, they are not gonna work my dear”. Shalini had nothing to do but to agree. She finished the masala muri and came back to her room. She din’t changed the jeans but wore a mustard yellow full sleeved top and flat sandals; took a small backpack and reached CP by autorickshaw. She saw Rajiv, his brother and Misha (who was shining like a mirror) standing altogether and laughing on something.
“Oye Shalini, here….!” Misha was waving her hand.
Four of them visited Café Coffee Day. Everyone ordered for caffe latte but Shalini ordered for cappuccino. Shalini got to know that Ayush was studying Mass Communication. He was equally good looking like his brother. Shalini prefers more sugar in coffee than any other. She needed one and was about to get it when Ayush said, let me bring it for you. Embarrassed Shalini agreed. Shalini put the sugar in the coffee and suddenly with a stroke of her own hand the coffee fell on her top.
“Oh sh*t!” She pressed her teeth and closed her eyes in pain and was murmuring something. All of them specially Ayush was very tensed at that moment. Misha took her to the washroom to put cold water on the burnt areas. All the eyeballs in CCD were staring them. Rajiv drove them home and left from there with Ayush.
Three days later, while working in office, the office boy came to her and said, “Madam ji aapke liye parcel aaya hain neechey”. She thought she haven’t ordered anything. She was in the lift & several thoughts were roaming in her mind.. “Is it Baba? Or…… Sunil! Gosh! That psycho? He won’t stop stalking me!” She went near the gate and received her parcel. Her name was written on the packet. She rushed inside, moved in the washroom and opened it. It was a 90% similar mustard yellow T-shirt, that she was wearing in the CCD, which now had got stained. She jumped in happiness and in the very next moment she felt her heart was pounding fast. “Ayush!” She thought. “Oh God! He likes me?” She found a small yellow note designed with rose printings with the package, written “You look good in yellow. Always”. Shalini admitted to her mind that she liked him.
Soon another plan was made before Ayush had to leave for Mumbai. It was in a flat which Rajiv bought 2 years back and generally visits there with his friends and sometimes family. Misha wore a black gown with silver clutch purse and high heeled shoes. Shalini was not a party freak and she doesn’t have a boyfriend to bestow her with all these costly things. Her parents were also not so rich. She purchased with whatever she earned. She wore jeans with the new yellow top which Ayush, being a stranger gifted her. She tied her hair and made pony and too wore heels. She was looking cute. She took the same backpack and saw a sedan car is waiting for them outside their flat. As they were going close to the car, they saw driver Mohan was sitting inside. She smiled towards Misha and Misha exchanged the same.
They reached the flat. Shalini was surprised with the decoration and was confused if it was Rajiv’s choice or the daughter of the interior decorator mother? The flat had everything for luxury but at the same time it was spacious. Rajiv smiled at both of them and said “Wow good looking ladies, come ‘on come inside. There were few of their friends inside and all of them were talking, drinking or dancing with the music.” The party seemed awesome. It was the very first time for Shalini to attend such a party. Misha seemed habituated. Shalini made herself comfortable and was thinking what drink should she opt for. She didn’t even know much about drinks. “Whiskey?” a voice came from behind. Shalini turned around and saw it was Ayush. “You want whiskey?” Shalini said “Okay”. Rajiv came from somewhere holding his cellphone and said… “Girls only Vodka tonite.” Shalini agreed and took it. Shalini drinks but occasionally. She took 3 pegs and was down. She couldn’t find Misha or Rajiv anywhere near her. After an hour she was feeling like vomiting when Misha came holding her drink and said, “babe, you seem sick. You must go home and rest. The car is outside. Give me a call once you reach home. I will be back home early.”
She went near the car, where Rajiv was sitting at the steering. She was little uncomfortable with Rajiv as he and Misha were together. She opened the car door and sat beside him. Rajiv said “Shalini, seat belt, you are drunk.”
She quickened the process and sat idle like a robot. She thought that Rajiv might talk to her about Ayush which will definitely make her uncomfortable. She was about to say something when suddenly Rajiv said “If you want I can switch off the A.C and bring down the window glass, incase you want fresh ai..”.
“Yes! I would love to”, Shalini said with smiling face and drowsy eyes.
Rajiv said, “You want water?” Shalini didn’t say a word. She din’t realize what went through her, but she found that both of them were staring at each other. It was the month of November start and Delhi was wrapped with cold breeze, specially at that time, which was 11’o’clock. Rajiv stopped the car.
He said, “Shalini you shouldn’t have opted to liquor. I made arrangements for juices also”.
Shalini said “why? i love this drowsy feel.”
“Is it so?” Rajiv smiles a little. They realized they both were staring each other. Slowly, he hold her hand and filled the gaps of her fingers with his. He leaned towards her. She accompanied. Their lips met with each other with a small kiss. As they parted, Rajiv pulled her in his lap in one stroke and grabbed her. They kissed like two hungry species for next five minutes. When they departed Shalini was trembling. “Amar bhool hoyeche” (I did a mistake); she was murmuring in her native language. The next 15 mins, both of them didn’t speak to each other. Shalini thought Rajiv must be blaming himself for doing this crime, for cheating on Misha.
Suddenly Shalini realized something very different. The intimacy which both of them shared few minutes back seemed as if they both wanted this since long. Shalini took a look towards Rajiv consciously and saw that Rajiv was staring towards the road. She said “Rajiv, I am…”.
Rajiv looked at her and she got cold in shock. She saw a small notepad in the car door pocket, which was very familiar to her. It was a yellow paper with rose printings. She was shivering, and her hands were wet in sweat. “It was You!!”
Rajiv smiled with tears in his eyes, “Since long, Shalini, since long. I am an introvert guy and you know this very well. I wanted to befriend with you, but you seemed a girl with many ambitious dreams and I had to make Misha my friend to reach you. I was about to tell about my feelings to her when she said about her feelings for me and said that your parents are looking ahead for a Bengali guy for you. That day in CCD, when the coffee fell on your top I heard you murmuring that that was your favorite top and hence decided to buy a similar one for you. I would have never told you the truth as I wanted you by my side as long as I can in any form. I always loved you. Only you.”
Shalini got down from the car and took her step forward towards her flat, when she saw Rajiv came out of the car and lit a cigarette turning back from her. Shalini couldn’t move ahead. She ran towards him and said can I talk to you? She burst out in tears. Rajiv threw his cigarette and they both hugged each other. They got inside the car and made love. Shalini never knew that she had hidden feelings for Rajiv. Slowly through the window pane they saw sun is rising. They wondered how beautiful Delhi was and how all will react when their unrevealed story will be revealed.