Pragya was busy in the kitchen. Life had become full beyond an extent she could handle. Yet she loved it and lived it to the fullest.
Stirring the coffee mug in one hand and frying the potatoes in the pan with the other, she was eagerly looking at her mobile.
When will it ring? Pragya found herself getting more and more desperate but suddenly the phone rang putting a full stop to her restless waiting. “WOW!” She exclaimed picking the mobile in a swift.
She attended the call. “Yes Purab! I knew it. Thank you so much… you don’t know how excited I am… yes. Ok. I was hell desperate for this. Thanks again. Will see you soon… bye.”
Pragya wrapped her arms around herself and made a big smile. This is definitely the time to embrace oneself! She was starting to drown in her dreams, every reality around her dissolving into nothing. Only did the smell of roasting potatoes bring her back to the world. “Oops! Hope I didn’t blacken it too much” she rushed to the stove.
“Fuggi… Fuggi… where are you? Where did you keep my tie?” Abhi was shouting from the room. He was desperately searching for a place to hide the last of his ties! “Done,” he exclaimed after successfully hiding them in various places. “FUGGI” he screamed again, “I am getting late.”
“Ok Ok… please don’t shout. Here is your coffee.” Pragya handed it to him as she entered the room. She peeped into the closet while giving him his mug. It was a total mess. “Can’t you even find a tie yourself? I am already getting late.” Pragya went on mumbling, looking here and there for a tie.
“You can’t even search a tie for me?” Abhi said making a sad pout. He placed his cup aside, his face shrunk in disappointment.
“Oh! Now please don’t start it again. I will search for it. But you please don’t stand like a statue. Do something yourself,” she said, searching the drawers and under the cloth piles.
“I will. Was waiting for this moment!” Abhi beamed, as he rushed to her.
Sliding his hands between hers around her waist, Abhi pulled her closer, pressing her to his chest. Pragya stiffened. Nuzzling her nape he slowly fondled his nose with the lobe of her ear. “SUNIYE…” she made a warning call.
“WHAT?” He shrugged but did not leave his grip on her.
“We both are getting late,” turning herself to him, she reminded him of their jobs.
“So what? Anything can wait,” Abhi whispered his voice intense. Pragya relaxed into his hold. Abhi lifted her chin with his finger. And slowly, he claimed her lips.
Abhi pulled Pragya closer as she leaned to reach up to his height.
But somewhere a phone rang and Pragya suddenly jerked breaking the kiss, just like that. Abhi was stunned. His lips still puckered together, he looked at her with ache and longing. Pragya simply mumbled a sorry and picked her phone that was ringing very loudly.
“Yes Mr. Ahansh. Yeah. No. Ok. Ahansh… I am on my way. Just stuck in traffic! Yeah, very much troubling they are (looks at Abhi with narrow eyes; throws him a tie that was hidden behind the pillow). Will try to reach soon… sure, sure…” Pragya walked out of the room leaving an utterly disturbed Abhi back.
Abhi stood gaping, his mouth wide open as his eyes slowly turned blood red. “What just happened here?” he asked himself. And a sudden fury made him kick the dressing table. “Ouch” he screamed. Limping back to the couch, Abhi sat, his head held firmly in his hands.
“Suniye… You are getting late. Please come and have your breakfast,” he heard her scream from the kitchen.
To hell with that getting late and breakfast! As if I would die without it. I am not getting late coz I am not going anywhere. Having made his mind, he shouted. “Have your breakfast yourself Fuggi. I am taking a day off. My head is throbbing as if it would burst any moment.”
“What? Are you alright?” He could hear her moving the chair back and get up.
Is she coming up? Abhi’s face brightened. At least now… Abhi was so desperate that he was ready to do anything that will turn her attention on him — anything. But yeah, for a formality he replied, “It’s OK Fuggi. You leave. I will take care.” Abhi tried to be as sincere as he can, but the merriment and hope in his tone was so much evident to go unnoticed.
But someone still didn’t seem to notice. Pragya replied back, “Ok then, be safe. Bye,” her voice died!
What?! I thought she was going to come… come to the room… come to me!! Abhi thought bitterly. He heard her car roar to life as she started it and as she left the house, the sound faded off gradually.
Abhi sat in his couch, anger at its zenith. Everything and everyone in this world is against me. Why the hell does this happen only to me? To hell with you all people. Urgh! Now I am all alone here. AAH… I AM HATING ALL OF THIS! ALL. OF. THIIISSS.
Abhi would almost have pulled all of his hairs out in frustration, if he hadn’t seen his phone. A very important task came to his mind as soon as his eyes fell on it, There’s still hope… and so he rushed to pick his mobile. His fingers moved rapidly on his dial pad and soon he was talking to someone.
“Reshma, why is it taking you so long to pick up the phone?” Abhi was actually yelling.
“Sir, I reached the office just now. It’s only 9.00 for goodness’s sake” Reshma who got habituated with this persisting disturbance from Abhi sighed into the mobile. After an irritating journey all the way through traffic, this is the welcome she gets everyday… an over protective, over possessive husband’s nonstop no-sense talk.
“Isn’t Pragya there yet? It’s almost been twenty minutes since she left. Did you call her?” his voice was on an edge, just like every day. Reshma sighed again. You could have called her yourself, Mr. Protective. I am getting fed up of this… Though Reshma was initially so excited thinking of how her boss was so lucky to get such a caring husband who calls her PA and makes sure she is safe and is not skipping meals, in mean time he was getting her on her nerves. The calls became unending and it always ended with her having never ending throbbing around her temples. Now that there was a hectic day ahead of her, she wasn’t going to let him mess with her head. I am not letting you do that to me, today, Mr. Protective. Making her mind, she spoke. Her voice was on the edge too, but it was much more resolute and ordering than Abhi’s.
“Sir, she is gone to The Kurvila’s… some work. I don’t know what it is… it’s not in the schedule,” Reshma stopped, taking in a deep breath. She knew, Abhi would be thinking of who that is.
Here Abhi thought. The Kurvila? Never heard of that name! Is that, that Mr. Ahansh who insists on calling him only Ahansh? That man is always calling and disturbing Pragya. If he is trying to get close, then I should put a STOP sign soon. He isn’t going to become Pragya’s friend or something. No more friends for Pragya, especially men! All they want to do is to separate her from me. Mr. Kurvila, I am coming for you. Abhi made a mental note to meet that so called only-Ahansh soon. He decided to ask Reshma on what work Pragya was having in the Kurvila’s.
But Reshma started talking suddenly as she sensed that Abhi was about to do the same. She said, “Sir, I told you, it’s not in schedule. Something private it seems. So don’t ask me anything — anything. I’m not supposed to interfere in private matters and I didn’t. Means I don’t know anything and so, let’s stay away from that talk. Now, Pragya ma’am would be coming to the office only by 10.30,” she stopped… cleared her throat — making it even strict and forbidding — and continued again, “I will send you her schedule in ten minutes. Let me take a break. Please don’t call back” and the line terminated.
Abhi was staring blankly at his mobile, ‘I guess Reshma is really pissed off with me’. Her tone clearly made him understand that.
I’m sorry, he texted her. He wasn’t going to lose his only source of information!
There was no reply. Instead, within ten minutes came Pragya’s schedule.
He texted back a thank you and sat to go through the schedule.
After some minutes, Abhi was back to his slouched miserable form, sitting in his couch, his head on his palms. Even today Pragya isn’t returning home early. She isn’t going anywhere where he can pop up and pretend it was a coincidence. She isn’t coming home for lunch. She isn’t meeting Andy today, so he can’t even go to his place. The worst… she isn’t even going to have dinner with him today. Coz, she isn’t even free this evening — some stupid dinner party with an unnamed customer.
And, he can’t expect her to stay up late after such a hectic day.
All together, even this day of her is stolen from him.
NOOOOOOOO… Abhi’s inner voice screamed as he fell on bed.
But he knew, he can’t do anything to get her back. All he can is to wait for some miracle and pray for his Fuggi to be back.
As he turned to his side, on the wall, was a huge picture frame of himself and Pragya standing with the newlywed Purab and Bulbul. The happiness in Purab and Bulbul’s face was priceless.
Abhi let out a humourless laugh. Look at these people. Destroyed my marriage and living the ideal ‘happily ever after’. Wonderful!
“Great job my dear saali and bhai. You have given me the best marriage treat ever,” Abhi told the picture, sarcasm double coating his words.
“I hope karma catches up soon with you buddy” Abhi started, trying to scold them… trying to divert himself and get done with his frustration by screaming upon them a bit.
But the reality was that, Abhi was too sad to even get angry!
Nothing could divert him. His mind only came back to the same place always… drifting to those days, those happy days showing the bitter contrast between present and past.
Hey guys. So, this is Ani here. I hope you guys do remember me. I am back. I know I am late… terribly late. But I am sorry… something always got in the way. I really couldn’t sit to write… that’s why.
Now, let’s get to the story. So, my usual way—coming back with an OS or TS! And this is a TS – three shots (was supposed to be OS… but became big… you know me!) anyways, I hope this wasn’t too long, and most importantly not silly. I really hope this is good.
So, drop your views… will be back with the next part soon. Bye guys…