Here’s what I promised- my first attempt at writing a Novella, a love story! I hope you read and pour in your thoughts!
This is new to me! I was never comfortable going to a pub or in wearing LBDs. Forget LBDs, I couldn’t even handle myself in those pump heels. And now, here I am at the poshest of places, clad in an Allen Schwartz Black flare dress and sparkling red stilettos. While my head is trying to figure out how I succumbed to the behest of my three girl friends, I’m also liking the new me though in heart of hearts I was wishing to run back to my cocoon, to my comfortable pair of jeans and flip-flops, or shoes, or even my crocs.
They are in their best spirits- Shruti, Renuka and Shweta. “Hey Shalu, on whose thoughts are you lost in?”, asked Renuka. I smile at them only to wince a little in my heart. “I’m not lost in anyone’s thoughts, you horrendous female! All I am worrying about is this dress you chose for me and I……”
“Offo, you are still on the same page? We discussed this, remember? And we finalized too! You are looking pretty”
..and smashing”, added Shruti.
..and hot!!”, said Shweta.
…and SEXY”, which was a group chorus. They laughed heartily.
All I could do was roll my eyes and throw my hands up in the the air. There is no point arguing with them. After all, I promised that I would do anything they say during this trip.
We were staying at the Alcove Resort, Goa which was carefully and diligently chosen by these three little devils. It’s a beautiful beach resort and we chose an independent cottage for our own, amidst the swaying palm trees.
As we stepped out of the resort, little did I know what was in store for me tonight.
The excitement kept running in our veins as we stepped foot in the Titos and Mambos Club.
“Oh yeah, why not!!!”, they said in unison. I didn’t know what they were up to until I spotted a gang of guys and a sign board at the entrance which read- ‘Couples only’! Apparently they were ‘Stags’ and needed our ‘company’ to get admission to the club. I couldn’t control my giggles when I saw them trying to woo my girls and me!
Call it coincidence, they were four. I needn’t explain what happened next, but we finally ended up as “couples” and got entry to the Club. Seems the girls did have a heart to convince them that we would be on our separate ways once we are inside the joint. ‘Thank Goodness for that’.
“Okay, now this is not good”, I thought to myself. Nothing could prepare me for the sight I witnessed. There is a lounge which encircles an enclosed dance area which is already jam-packed. The music was deafening and “Hungama ho gaya” rang in the air. I stood frozen, not able to move or breathe.
As they urged me to walk my way through the dance maniac crowd to the other end of the lounge, I followed them, all the way thinking how I would survive this night.
“Drinks, Shalu?” asked Shweta.
“No, I do not want to. I’m okay”.
“No, you are not. And we can clearly see that. So, let loose, baby. Have one drink.”
“You know I don’t do this. And ya, I’m not alright. But I will be. Trust me”, I smiled.
Shruti was the one to jump in next. “Arrey, you promised you would do anything we asked for. Nothing would happen if you take one. You are not going to die for God’s sake. Who is stopping you?”
I do not now what was in the so-called glass they offered, but I agreed and gulped down the poison. They did try to put some sense to my otherwise “not-know-what” brain informing it was ‘Long Island Iced Tea’ which went down my throat now. ‘Whatever that is!’
I was never against people who drank, though I can’t stand guys who smoke. All these 26 years of my life, I hadn’t had a drink. Yes, except on my Bachelorette party when they made me gulp down a breezer. It tasted cranberry and I remember liking it then, but that was it. But this burned my throat and I wanted to puke.
“How can people drink this? I can’t understand how someone can turn into an alcoholic! This is poison!”, I vented out.
“Haha, Such innocence! You are a baby, Shalu”, said Renuka.
“Okay, now that’s it. I hate being adjudged a baby all through my life. I am done being called innocent and sweet. Pour me another!” She had succeeded in poking my sore point.
I drank, again and again and again.
We hit the dance floor and nothing could stop me from shaking my leg. I am a born dancer, but I had bid goodbye to my ghungroos when life got in my way. And today, I didn’t care for the world or the imploring eyes around me or the gush-ups.
The music has changed to “Subah hone na de” and I felt the change in rhythm. The floor is now divided into two- Girls vs Boys to match the tunes. We were mesmerized and re-lived the exact steps from the Bollywood song. On each music change, we had to go round and round, changing positions and ending up with random people. An otherwise me would have been left bewildered, but today, at this moment I knew I had to let go, as if carried on wings of passion and my heart leaping out from it’s cage, falling in love with myself. As I swayed my hips easily with hands high up in the air, I felt uneasy at the intimacy of the guy dancing next to me.
My eyes met his and it was only then that I noticed him.
And I gasped his name… “Tareeq…….
… to be contd