Horrendous blare of alarm clock shattered Arpit’s slumber, he glared the clock with his snoozy eyes and jumped from the bed. After having bath, he put on his white and black striped Van Heusen shirt and Springo black-gray striped trousers. Now, he was all set to leave for office where he was doing his summer internship.
It was the month of June, the mysterious monsoon had reached Mumbai, rain was splashing on the road and Mumbai’s byways had become mire. In rainy season, some places in Mumbai become hell. In spite of all these, today Arpit was brimming with euphoria and elation. The only reason for his happiness was groovy Friday, he has not to go to office for next 2 days and as a byproduct he could visit his elder brother Anjan who was a software engineer in Pune.
He reached his 5-star office early and started work with full exhilaration in his cubicle, not that he liked to work but because he could be off early for Pune. He adored only two things in his office, coffee break and Junior HR Shweta. She was dusky cute girl with adorable face and delightful eyes. He loved to flirt with Shweta during coffee breaks but on Friday he worked so heedfully that he forgot to take a break. After completing his work early, he was all set to leave but he was slapped by more work which he completed half-heartily and left the office with morbid mind.
Arpit was staring the girl while she asked, “What happened?”
He uttered anxiously,” I was waiting for the bus since long time but I don’t think any bus will come in next half an hour. Can I get a lift Pune if you are going the same way?”
She thought for a moment and told him, “I am going to Pune, you can join me.”
Arpit sat adjacent to girl on the front seat, girl sat on driving seat, she put her foot on accelerator and the car sped up.
Mumbai-Pune highway, drizzling and thundering rain and a young boy with sensuous girl in a swanky car, a perfect ravishing condition that one could fantasize. Arpit’s anger, anguish, frustration and sadness were vanished by the gratifying milieu. He was in between mixed feeling of chirpiness and discomfort, his Friday feeling had comeback. He collected his courage and asked, “What’s your name”.
She smiled and quipped coquettishly, “Is it necessary to know my name to travel with me”.
He blushed and said, “We are together for next 3 hour or may be bit more so it would be convenient for me to call you by your name”.
“I am Priya Roy”, she said.
“I am Arpit Agrawal”, he said.
“What do you do?” she asked.
“I am doing M.S in chemical science from IISER”, he replied and asked the same,” what do you do?”
“Actually, I do nothing just travel a lot from Mumbai to Pune and give lift to strangers”, she said with a cute wink.
Conversation instantly attached them and after some quotidian conversation, Priya asked, “Do you have girlfriend”?
The poignant question flabbergasted him, all his disquiet, grief, pang and twinge reemerged and his consciousness wavered back to the 3 days old calamitous break-up with his sweet girlfriend. They broke up not because his girlfriend had become more possessive or the relationship was affecting his study. Neither had he become any less caring nor was she attracted towards someone else. They were lovely couple with in deep love of each other. The only preposterous reason for their break up was that they were from different religion which might not be acceptable by their families and societies.
He hid his grievous feeling because he didn’t want to defile pleasurable aura which was healing his catastrophic condition. He wanted to feel and relish sharp steep valley, narrow tunnel and craggy mountain of Mumbai-Pune expressway with beautiful girl.
Priya stared him as he had done some heinous crime and said, “What! Please don’t lie, how it could be possible that you don’t have girl friend.”
“Why do you think I am lying?” he uttered.
“It’s very rare that handsome and urbane guy like you doesn’t have girlfriend”, she said.
“I tried a lot but no girl found boyfriend material in me”, he lied.
“Ooh! That is so unfair”, she said sympathetically.
Drizzle had converted into raucous rain, clouds have come up all the way and mesmerizing valley had become more alluring. As speed of car was slashing relentless rain so some drops were coming inside and splashing on Priya’s cheek. Dainty rain drop on her face, her Shy smile and drop -dead gorgeous eyes were making her breathtakingly beautiful. Arpit was gazing her with his corner of the eyes. He was really enjoying the full ambience.
“Tell me something interesting about you”, Priya asked casually.
Arpit thought, it’s a perfect moment to impress Priya. He was pondering which fact will impress Priya when she said, “Don’t try to impress me, genuinely, tell me some real facts about you.”
“I have a qualm and only girls could answer it, can I ask this to you?”
“Ya, you can ask me anything but not here, Macdonald’s restaurant is nearby. We will sit there, grab a bite and try to find some answers for your qualm”, Priya replied.
They reached Macdonald’s restaurant and parked their car and went inside. Priya asked Arpit, “what will you take” and after his reply she ordered one BigSpicy Chicken Wrap and regular Iced Tea for herself and one Veg Pizza Mapuff and Café Mocha for Arpit.
They collected their order and looked around for the table but they didn’t find a single table vacant on ground floor so they went on upstairs and sit at the corner table comfortably.
“So tell me your doubt which I can answer”, Priya asked with little smile.
“I never understand girl’s heterogeneous behavior. Are they evolutionary serpentine or is it a framed madness to just bewilder the mankind?” Arpit babbled.
Priya grinned and said quizzically, “Aah, I can’t answer this. It’s a cloak and dagger for girls so I can’t comment on this.”
“You told me that you will answer my doubt and now you are unsaying. It’s unfair!” Arpit uttered.
“The girls are not that simple dear”, she quipped.
Arpit reckoned she is same as other girls, it’s better to step back off and concentrate on Pizza Mapuff.
As the weather was becoming more tantalizing and Arpit was enthralling towards Priya. He had obliterated all his blue devils, and was soaring with immense zest.
They finished their tidbit and stepped in the car. Priya seemed brisker now. Perhaps, morsel had provided her new spice. She drove few kilometers in complete silence. She broke the silence with investigating tone, “What first comes in your mind when you see a pretty girl?”
“What kind of question it is”, Arpit said with little unease.
“A simple one”, she quipped.
“But the answer isn’t simple”, he said.
“Tell me the truth, what exactly you think, isn’t it very simple” she said graciously.
“I think about many stuff, depend upon the situation. What exactly you want to know?” Arpit said sincerely.
“Guys generally infatuate towards pretty girls at first sight and they call it love. Do you feel the same?” she asked.
“When I was teenager I fell in love with every pretty girl at first sight but now lust comes first then love takes over”, he divulged his secret.
She saw him with smirk and said, “It happens, it’s not your fault it’s your age. There is nothing you can do for this so just enjoy every bit of it.”
“Now you tell me what you think when you see a charming guy?” Arpit put same screw to her.
“It’s plagiarism, ask some original question”, she said with cute wink.
“There is nothing original in this world, some cases we don’t find the source and some we find”, he countered.
“My god, you are so philosophical. Anyway I don’t care about any charming guy until he does starts talking to me. For girls, love or lust rarely occur at first sight”, she said.
They have reached Pune so Priya asked him,” Where shall I drop you?”
The trip of Pune had always pleased Arpit, but this time he didn’t seem happy after reaching Pune. He had a feeling of anguish and anxiety. Priya’s question had taken all his euphoria and exhilaration. During the lovely journey with Priya, he had flourished many hopes but now it all seemed vain. He didn’t flaunt his distress in front of Priya and said, “Drop me at Pune Central.”
They reached Pune Central and Arpit stepped out from the car. She was ready to leave so Arpit spelled out his number avoiding the probability of being embarrassed. Alas! She still left him in - and a bit of embarrassment all he recollected was the cute wink and her heart shattering words “I am a call girl and I work for an escort agency so it won’t be worth to take my number.”
With hurting heart and fake smile Arpit entered in his brother’s flat.