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Monday, July 29, 2013

Fiction - The Game

                                             The  Game

Rimi   smiled happily. The pancakes were looking super good.  As good as Shyama   had  promised they would.  Shyama  – childhood friend.  On an impulse she dialled the familiar number. “What happened? Is everything all right? Why are you calling me up so early?”-the questions  came fast and furious.  “ Relax.  Just  wanted to tell you that the pancakes have come out brilliantly well.  Mohit  will love them.” “Good .Today is  Mohit’s special day. Nothing should go wrong.” “ Nothing  will”, Rimi promised and kept the phone.  She checked the breakfast  table .  Yes, the chocolate and maple syrups for the pancakes were there; and so was the cereal bowl and milk jug. “ Ummm, I think the daisies will look better on the side table near the window.   Mohit is so fond of  that  window-  he can spend hours sitting in that corner, looking out at the pool. He will notice the daisies when he goes to the window .”

Rimi   remembered  how earlier  she would get irritated with Mohit’s  seeming fascination  for  the pool. “ How  can you spend so much time just looking out ?”, she would ask petulantly. Mohit   would turn to her and say, “ the water is so inviting and fresh .I envy the people in the pool. They can swim off Delhi’s humidity .”  “Well in that case why don’t you join them?” “ You know I  can’t do that because I have hydrophobia- a fear of water. I have told you so many times before”. “  Mohit , you can get your phobia
treated.  I read somewhere  that hypnotism is a very good way of making a person lose  his fear of something “. But by then Mohit would have turned back to the window and Rimi   would  flounce off from the room.

Rimi  laughed aloud at how immature she had been .  Mohit was right . She had just not understood anything. Poor  Mohit.  No wonder he had been so snappy with her of late. Just wanting to be left alone; spending more time at the office….. “I have been so foolish. I must make amends for my foolishness”. “ Something smells good here. What’s cooking?” Heavens !  Mohit   had come down for breakfast and here she was –lost in her thoughts.  ” Many  Many  happy returns of the day”. Rimi flung her arms around him , almost knocking him down. “ Whoa- steady there . And thanks”. He dropped a light kiss on her cheek and sat at the table.

They had almost finished breakfast when the doorbell rang. “ I’ll get it”  she  said and half ran to the door. “Who is  it?” asked Mohit.  “ Santa Claus”, she said teasingly and handed him the envelope in her hand . “ He has arranged a weekend getaway to Mussourie for us. And since today is Friday it means we  leave today”. She hid a smile at his attempt to look pleased. “ Rimi,  I have an important meeting in the evening . Why didn’t you ask me before making the booking?” “ Because ,Rajan , your boss,  himself told me that you  need a break  and that  you have been very distracted of late . O.K, Birthday  Boy. Let’s go.  Everything is neatly tied up. We are booked for two nights and two days at a lovely, old hotel near Woodstock school.   I  have  informed  the milkman and the newspaper man  and told  Meenabai  to take two days off . I have also  done  the  packing”, she finished triumphantly.  “ Well,  it seems I have no choice”. “ None  at all,”she chortled.

The hotel was as lovely as the agent had promised it would be. It was surrounded by tall deodar and pine trees and from somewhere close the sound of water falling could be heard.  A visibly more relaxed   Mohit turned to her and said “ good work, Rimi”.  She smiled and took his arm as they walked into the foyer. “ Good afternoon. We have a booking for Mohit and Rimi  Kumar”. ‘ Certainly,  Sir.  Welcome , Mrs Kumar. The bell boy will take your bags .  Your room is on the first floor.” 

Mohit tipped the bell boy and closed the door. “So. Here we are”.
 “Yes. Here we are”, she echoed. Mohit looked at the bed and then at her.  Rimi could feel her knees turning weak.  Oh God ! Why did you make him so handsome. She cleared her throat. “ Let’s go for a walk before it gets dark .I want to stretch my legs after the long drive”.  “I have got a better plan , baby. Let’s stay in the room .I will teach you some new ways of stretching”. Rimi laughed and said, “Later. Right now we go for a walk”. 

The trail was deserted .  The only sound was of Rimi’s animated chatter .  Mohit   gave her a side glance. She was certainly looking very happy today. Full of energy  and purpose. In Delhi she had been so quiet recently. Absorbed in  herself. He thought of the night and took her hand. She seemed to stiffen and then relaxed and continued her chatter.
 They had been walking for about ten minutes when the sound of water falling  grew  louder . The next minute they were in a clearing and in front of them was a waterfall.
“How   beautiful.  Can you feel the spray from the waterfall ? Let’s go a little bit closer and sit on that rock. Come on, Mohit.  You can’t be a scaredy cat. It’s absolutely safe .”
“Rimi,  you know I am  scared of water.”  “Silly, we are yards away from the  water. That’s like a good boy. Mohit, let’s play the game we used to play on our honeymoon. You know the one in which we would look into each others eyes without blinking and the first one to blink would  have to  dance “. Mohit laughed “ Yes . That was fun .Invariably it was I who would blink “. “ And you would try to imitate John Travolta”. They both were silent for some time, each lost in a private world.  Rimi was the first to come out of it. “ Let us start.” They were both sitting close  and were looking into each others eyes. “ “She has such lovely eyes .I used to drown in them . She is looking right inside me. Can she guess my thoughts?”  “Mohit , look at me. I am putting you to sleep. You will sleep with your eyes open.  Mohit, keep looking at me.” The soft voice coming from somewhere deep inside Rimi  had hypnotized Mohit.  “ Mohit, you will answer all my questions truthfully.  Who is the girl you are having an affair with?”. “She is a swimming instructor in our complex.  Her name is Naina. “When did  the affair start ?” It started an year back “. “ Do you love Naina?” “ Yes. I want to be with her all the time”.
“ Why don’t you  leave Rimi ?” “ I need Rimi’s money. I plan to kill her and then I can be with Naina”.

“Mohit, your sleep is over. Wake up  Mohit.”  Mohit blinked and rubbed his eyes. He heard Rimi  laughing  mischieviously. “ There. Again you were the first to blink. Now you have to dance “. Mohit stood up and started dancing. “ No, not so slow. You have to be faster. And you can’t stand in one place and dance. Move around. Yes, that’s better. Take one more turn. One more.  Just  one last turn”. 

The last thing Mohit saw when he started falling into the water was Rimi’s face. Or what looked like Rimi’s face. She was laughing so much that he could hardly recognize her.

The next day’s newspaper’s carried a front page interview of the world famous hypnotizer, Shyama  Patel.  No , I don’t have any disciples. I don’t coach anyone. Her voice softened and she whispered something. It sounded like, “except for one ” to the interviewer.

The fourth page of the newspaper reported the tragic death of a young man in Mussourie . He had fallen by accident in the waterfall near a famous hotel  the previous afternoon. His beautiful, young wife was reported to be distraught with grief.

The same page  also carried the news of a suicide  in Delhi. The girl, Naina, committed suicide in the evening by jumping from the thirteenth floor of her apartment building.

1 comment:

  1. Wow you have a knack for storytelling!! Loved the built up...and didn't expect the ending!! Loved it :)