Abhi threw the papers across the bed. “Read them to me.”
Pragya rolled her eyes. “And what do you say?”
He scowled at her; then he folded his hands under his chin and made a puppy-dog face, “PleaseChashmish?”
Pragya grinned back and started gathering the papers together. “What are these?” She sorted the papers by page number and shuffled them into a neat pile. She glanced down at the first page and then looked up at her husband quizzically, “A legal contract.”
Abhi lay back on the bed, folding his arms behind his head. “A one year contract with a recording label.”
She started reading through the legalese when he piped up again, “Read it to me!”
She looked up and caught his stare. “What? Again? You haven’t read it yet?”
He waved his hand in the vague direction of the sheaf she was still holding, “All that mumbo-jumbo is giving me a headache. Read it out to me na chica, your voice makes even the driest legal dust sound interesting.”
“Maska” She tried to hide her flush of pleasure at the chica. The endearment invariably brought back enticing memories of the trip they had taken to a tiny village in Mexico a few months ago. Their first real vacation in two years of marriage, a belated, long overdue honeymoon.
She moved over to the head of the bed and snuggled in next to Abhi. He immediately pulled her closer and wrapped one arm around her shoulder. She put one leg over his and he pulled up the quilt, half covering them as they got into their usual pre-sleep position. He clapped his hand and the room light switched off as Pragya turned on the bedside lamp at her end. “I love this new light system. Clap and lights off, clap again and light on. Bed se nikal ne ki zaroorat hi nahin
Pragya chuckled, “It just makes you even more lazy Rockstar.” He crinkled his nose at her and she kissed it. His nose button was fascinating – unlike hers, his made him kiss her. And she was all for it. After too brief a moment, he pulled away and pointed to the sheaf of papers that now lay on her lap. She made a face at him and picked them up.
“You are not going to fall asleep half-way through, are you?”
“Just read it.” And after a fraction of a heartbeat he added, “Please.”
She settled in more comfortably and pushed her glasses up her nose before she read through the multiple pages of the contract. He stiffened at a few points but did not interrupt till she reached nearly the end where the terms for the year-long duration were spelt out.
“Stop. That’s enough.” Though his voice was soft, she could feel the tension in every muscle.
She turned to him. His face was pinched, his lips a thin line as his eyes glittered. “That garbage belongs in the trash. I am not signing this crap.”
“So, negotiate. Don’t throw away an opportunity like this one Abhi – they are one of the top labels-”
“They wont negotiate and their terms are unacceptable.” He plucked the papers from her hands and threw them towards the trash can. Not all of them made it in. He pulled her in and hid his face in her hair, “Leave them bechica. We have better things to do.”
This had been the second time in a week he had asked her to read a contract out loud. He had never done that before. But before she could ponder any further, his lips claimed hers and drove all rational thought out.
“Abhi! Careful!” Pragya shouted, just as he swerved to avoid the cycle. He gritted his teeth and straightened the car as the bicyclist showed them the finger as he went by. His face white, Abhi parked at the side of the road.
“Will you drive chica? I am… I am too tired.” He looked straight ahead, his hands gripping the wheel.
As she drove them home, she tried to figure things out. There was something bothering Abhi, she was sure of it. But he denied it every time she asked. But he was different. Just take the driving. He was a superb driver, with impeccable control – only way he had been able to avoid the cyclist after all. But why hadn’t he moved the car away earlier? It was getting dark, but even she had seen the darker silhouette of the hunched rider.
And he had stopped reading. Completely. Even his beloved magazines. And just the day before he had snapped his laptop shut as she came to sit by him. They were supposed to sift through some pictures and finalize the ones for publishing in a paper ad, but he wouldn’t use his laptop even though it lay right in front of him. What had he been hiding?
He went straight up to their room once they got home. She followed soon after. When she entered the room, the overhead lights were off, only the soft glow of the lamp illuminating his form as he half lay on their bed, his back against the head-board, his eyes closed. He was pinching the bridge of his nose. Did he have a headache tonight as well? They were getting a little too frequent, weren’t they?
“Abhi?” she called softly.
He opened his eyes and squinted slightly as he looked at her. And the pieces clicked into place. She started to ask him outright and then stopped. He would deny it. No, she had to get him to confess in a roundabout way.
“Do you have a headache again Abhi? Maalish kar doon”
He shook his head. “I am fine. Come to bed.”
She took a step towards him and then stopped. “Hey! We missed the movie. Do you want to watch something?”
He rubbed a hand across his eyes. “Sure. What do you want to watch?”
She walked towards their DVD stand. “Your turn to pick.”
“Nah – I give you my turn. You pick. Next time, I will.”
She was sure now. She picked up two DVDs with similar covers. The titles were in a medium size, not too glaringly obvious. She swirled around and held them up, one in each hand, carefully covering the picture on the cover, “Which one Abhi? Dono ki choice.
“Umm, the one in your right hand.”
“Which one is that? It does not say the name in the back.”
“Uh. R… Rock… Rocky?”
She put her hands down by her sides, “You can’t read them, can you Abhi?”
He looked at her then and the sheer misery in his eyes made her dump the DVDs and rush over to him. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
She sat on his lap and he hid his face in her shoulder. He did not reply, but she could feel him shake his head. She pulled back and lifted his face. Looking him in the eye, she asked, “Its ok Abhi. Eyesight does get weak as we grow older. Look at Daadi. Heck, look at me. I have been wearing glasses since I was ten. Its nothing to be ashamed of.”
“But I am a rockstar Pragya. A media icon. I can’t afford to look less than perfect.”
She stiffened ever so slightly but it was enough. He pulled her closer and cupped her face. “Shhh. Not you. I did not mean you. You are incredibly lovelychica, enchantingly beautiful without your glasses. But with them,” and he tugged her closer and placed his forehead against hers, “You rock my world. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
She sniffed, but then she sat back from him. She clapped her hands once to turn on the lights. The she held his chin and turned his face, first one way then the other. “Hmm, there is potential.”
“Huh? What potential?”
“Who told you all media icons are without glasses?”
“Well, maybe they do have glasses, but-”
“Look at George Clooney” she blithely ignored him. “He looks incredibly s*xy with his glasses and-”
“Hold it right there,Chashmish!” He sat up straight and settled her across his thighs. “You find another man ‘incredibly s*xy’? Some one else?”
Hiding her smile, she crossed her arms across her chest. “Focus Abhi. Point is, George Clooney is a media icon. He wears glasses. He has been photographed countless times in those glasses. And he looks smokin’ hot in them.”
He stiffened at every accolade she heaped on the movie star. “Pragya!”
She held up one hand and continued, “You will look even better than him Abhi. It’s just a question of finding the perfect frame. I know this shop in Chembur that-“
“No! No Chembur shops. I have told you a million times chica, neither you nor I are going to buy things from discount stores.”
She scooted up his thighs and threw her arms around his neck. “Chalega We will go to the hippest designer store for glasses and find the perfect frame for you.”
He closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them, the sheer vulnerability of his intense gaze had her lay her head on his quietly thudding chest. “Are you sure chica?”
The eye exam had been … amusing. If Pragya hadn’t been there, the optometrist would have thrown Abhi out of his clinic and damn any bad publicity. But she managed to get him through the exam and now they had the prescription they needed to order his glasses.
As soon as they were done, they went to the designer glass store Abhi had selected. Pragya watched as the entire store crowded him. Abhi knew how to work a crowd and he had them singing along with him in a few minutes. After the impromptu concert, the other shoppers finally left, as the store manager adroitly whisked the two of them into his office. It took over two hours but Abhi finally had a pair of frames he actually liked.
Now as he stood in front of the large dressing table mirror, Pragya came and stood next to him. “I don’t know Pragya.” He turned to look at her. “Even I get surprised when I see myself.”
“You’ll get used to it. Its your first day after all.”
He nodded slightly, but still looked despondent.
“And you can read again. Even the contracts and the fine print in them.” They had verified that already. “And just think, you can set your laptop’s resolution back to normal, instead of extra large.”
He turned to look at her, “You knew?”
She rolled her eyes, “What do you think?”
“Mmm”, he turned back to mirror and caught her gaze. “So, you didn’t tell me how I look. Kaisa lagta hoon main
She slipped one arm around his waist and rested her head on his forearm. “Smokin hot.”
His eyes glittered. “Do I now? As much as George Clooney?”
Pragya chuckled into his shoulder, “George who?”
“That’s my girl.” Abhi shifted so they were facing the mirror again. He held her hand and gazed straight at their reflection.
“What are you looking at?” She did not bother to hide the smile in her voice.
“Us.” He turned to her and stroked her cheek as she gazed at him, “Mr. and Mrs.Chashmish.”
 Chashmish: nick name, “Specky”
 Maska: buttering up
 Bed se nikal ne ki zaroorat hi nahi: no need to even get out of bed
 Maalish kar doon?: should I give you a head massage?
 Dono ki choice: choice common to / shared by both people
 Chalega: done.
 Kaisa lagta hoon main?:How do I look?
Guyz this is not written by me… So its better don’t credit me for this…. Thanks….. Somiya and surbhi i m very sad bcoz you guyz have ended your ff but surbhi i m happy, your new ff is amazing and somiya hope you will return soon with your amazing ff…… Thanks guyz
Credit to: naina