Monday, 31st Aug 2015
The plan had been set in motion. It was as creative as the coffee powder apparitions that the Starbucks people created to add that touch of mystique in such a simple thing as a coffee mug.
The weapon had to be decided. All possibilities had been considered. The knife was the most obtuse one. A blunt one at that.
She had been so happy. It had been a whirlwind romance. A high-flying courtship. Rendezvous at destinations as varied as Prague and Kanha. The jungle quiet always taught one the power of stillness associated with strength.
The adventure, the thrill had all been there. Then, what had happened midway? No one could have thought off.
Had she allowed herself to become just another victim of internet revenge?
Azaan : Send me ur pic…rt away!
Gazal : But …u can always luk @ my dp
A: I crave a sexier one…come on…mk it fast now!
She loved him to bits. His name itself made her feel at peace with herself. He said the same thing to her.
“Your my Gazal…my shayari…the only one whom I want to live and die for….all at the same time. Your imperfections make you beautiful G…your mine..only mine.”
She had been floored when he had said this.
In no mood to allow the past to get to her…she sent him a provocative selfie. It kind of peekabooed a hint of black lace ..all the more enticing. All of this so that the initial months before marriage would be eventful enough to explain to the kids in the later years.
Three years into the marriage – the ill-fated demons had never surfaced. Gazal had kept a track. Azaan had had his regular appointments with Surabhi, his psychiatrist friend from school. Surabhi had labelled him almost safe to cohabit with.
They had laughed over her using the same such words. He felt like he was just out of prison. Gave him the inmatish feeling.
Something to do with ‘silk’ and the colour ‘blue’ had triggered an insatiable thirst in him to begin the hurting again.
Gazal had fallen into the trap.
Gazal: Hv made paneer tikka..Plzz dnt get a tkaway..
Azaan: Sorry babes..
A: Will b late..
A: Proj deadline…
G: I need to talk…v need to talk..
A: Not now…love…later..
G: Ping wen ur free….ciao
And that was the last message.
It was 11.40 p.m when the key turned in the lock.
“The cops were here today!” said G.
G: In our society….
G: Mrs. Sharma…committed suicide.
A: What? Don’t freak me G. I was in the elevator with her today morning itself.
G was in the mood to tease him. She rolled her eyes and asked him. “ What were you doing in the elevator with her?”
A: “ Ahh well….I kissed her….she groped me…and we lived happily ever after.
Azaan could win a Phd in sarcasm if conferred ever by the government.
G stop joking. Tell me what happened?
Gazal told him how Mani their house help had picked up the gossip that Mrs. Sharma was always found to be either drugged or depressed. Never without. The society kids steered clear of her because she was leading on to the path of senility. But only few knew that she had had a tough life back then. G was one of the few who had been her confidante as a newlywed.
She had begun to find hope in her son Shwet who had promised to take her with him to Australia but she had been denied a visa owing to the mysterious circumstances that Mr. Sharma had died off and there was a case being investigated against her.
She could still give women half her age a run for their money. She had been a trophy wife for Mr. Sharma.
Azaan asked,” Was that good enough a reason to commit suicide?”
Gazal replied saying,” What has gotten into people these days?” Is no one ever happy? Are there like levels of happiness which you have to relentlessly play and score like a downloaded game from the internet. G was lost…a vacant stare that she gave him.
Azaan didn’t bother to answer that rhetoric. He wanted to get away from G. He didn’t want to hurt her.
He thought he could sleep it off. The twinkling lights flickered back from the highway which could be seen from their penthouse. The building was all of fifteen storeys high.
All that blood in the elevator visual had spooked him off. The sky blue translucent curtains in their bedroom had to be changed. They matched the blue scarf.
Tuesday, 1st September 2015
Gazal went to the AGM the next day. It was being conducted in the recreational hall of the society. Their building was up for redevelopment. People wanted more space to infringe. If you could figure that out. By the time she came back, it was 10.00 p.m. The meeting had been a warring match of sorts with the newbies voting for and the oldies voting against the redevelopment. A name slinging match you could call it.
Gazal was going to tell Azaan today. Her ex-boyfriend Sameer had been stalking her on the internet and had actually leaked her intimate pictures online. She had filed a complaint with the cyber cell and investigation was on headway.
She had wanted to confess her hesitancy in sending Azaan intimate pics of herself on the cell phone. He thought she was a prude, but as yet, he never knew the reason why.
G called Sameer on Friday at the Starbucks opposite Fergusson College. It was the latest haunt of all and sundry. The hip crowd was selfie-motivated. Every selfie was full of pouts and fake expressions.
She was immune to everything around her. G ordered one of the coffee apparitions for Sameer and her. The image of the coffee lady on the mug shot was almost like a premonition that yes, this was the right thing to do. G was ready to go to his house with him.
Sameer couldn’t wait in anticipation of what could happen next. He had expected her to retaliate …but she had surprised him. He found this new trait all the more alluring. He couldn’t wait to own her back. All of her.
The knife was stashed in her purse. Rolled in newspaper. The heaviness of it felt sublime. Safe in an odd sort of way.
Sameer jumped the signal. His hand was riding up her thigh. Gazal couldn’t stand his gaze nor his touch. He didn’t see the upcoming truck. It banged head on to his brown Duster. He died on the spot.
G escaped miraculously unhurt. Didn’t wait for questions to be asked. It was late and she had to get back to Azaan. The rain saved face. It was almost 11.00 p.m. She hailed a cab and went back to Starbucks FC. She put her hand into her purse and cut herself on the knife. The blood spilled onto the blue scarf.
She sat in the Starbucks café, sipping her familiar coffee and staring out of the window. The blood stained knife lay next to her handbag covered with her blue silk scarf.
One day had melted into the other. But this day was epic. Never would she be troubled again by the demons of her past. Fate had played its master stroke with she being only a bystander.
Azaan had felt her uneasiness. He had known all along. He was the one who had paid the truck driver to come head on. Was it his ploy to kill Gazal as well. No. He had expected her to go back home and not get into Sameer’s car. He had nearly lost her.
Home was a haven for both of them. Each one had a secret not to be shared, not to be told. Time was a keeper for now. Azaan and Gazal emersed themselves in each other that night. The night which could have easily changed into an absorbing darkness if not for a slight change in events.
For now…life was beautiful again and he had Gazal resting her head on his chest. Eyes shut. Her breathing was infusing a calming effect on him.
She was his soulmate. Before she was about to leave to meet Sameer, she had messaged him a quote from some movie which she had seen a couple of days back. “Once more into the fray…into the last good fight..I will ever know. Live and die to this day…live and die to this day. “
He now understood why she had written that. G was always full of drama. Beginning to end. But this end he liked. This end he loved.
Life was like an onioned layer. Each peel brought in tears. The salt in the tears acted like an all-empowering ingredient which always made its absence felt.
G was like that wherever she went. Her essence stayed with people. And now they would have a new life to look forward to. The hint of a new born.