Trees whorl and formed an arc of shadow, lending shades on the sweltering South Bombay afternoon and flurry of breeze on sweating faces plodded on the parapet. Four pairs of hands intertwined and locked together, trodding silently and making small steps on the elongated pathway.
Struggling with words, he was dying to break the ice by flinging a silly joke but relented and she was amused tossing the eyes, right and left, veering towards the sea. “Say something, you idiot,” the heart thronged and wanted to break away from him. “Why the fuck are we holding hands?”
The sexual jokes swooped inside her head and wondering if she should fire a couple of them at him. After all, men like non-veg jokes and making the inside of his pants dangling. She thought, “The temperature inside his blue denim must be soaring and sweat of beads percolating beneath the zip and freezing his insides.” Shimoli wanted to kill herself for the dirty mind at play and imagination running wild for craving to make up with him in public glare. “Speak anything, unpull my bra, but say something,” she was fuming.”
It felt that he heard what’s brewing inside her head like a wavelet of the signal reaching his half-dead brain. He stopped abruptly. She was startled and almost turned to slap him, unlocking their hands. “What happened Shubham?” She said with a half-concealed smile, her saving grace to laugh at his name, wondering whether he was a hermit in past life, living on the mountain peak and grass, straddling in saffron robe as the perfect sadhu lost in a big city. You know…he hesitated. I wanted to ask, “What made you agree to meet me?” She pulled a joke, “Not enough fish in the pond” and cackled into riotous laughter. “Sorry! I was joking…okay bad one…I’d make a bad stand up comedian!”
Shubam took a step back and mustered a forced smile, “Nahin! I think you are right! Men are quite the scared specifies on earth right.” She shot back, “Now, that’s silly, right. Beti bachao! You know why! Female infanticide! Old fuckers don’t want daughters in their families and silly patriarchy, dude.” He regrets asking this question and wondered on yet another feminist, the jhansi ki rani type who would like sex with women on top.
Two weeks back, he spotted her at the tea stall, steam wafting from the glass blowing on the glass and effortlessly flicked the salty water dropping on her face with a finger and blew smoke held on the lip’s edge. He was struck at her confidence and was dying to pursue her but lacked courage. Intimidated by her beauty and easy-going nature of swearing chutiya on the phone and blowing a curled ring of smoke to men ogling at her. She was unfazed. He looked at her. She shot her eyes back at him, “What’s up dude! Never seen a woman smoking.” Shimali skittered past him, turned back and shoved her middle finger to him, winked before disappearance like dust.
The man pursued her, dashed and jumped inside a random local at Churchgate, eyes longing for her sight and threw his body out of the jampacked Dadar crowd, to wriggle his way out and stormed in the next Andheri train. Love is madness. Attraction is fatal. He wandered, aimlessly jumping train and BEST buses echoing the city guides to phoren tourists, Mumbai darshan and sweating to find himself sitting outside Infinity mall. Panting profusely and slouched on the stairs at the mall, he almost yelped with pain when a pair of hands pressed his neck with force. The girl winked at him and stood straight with eyes inspecting this face of a man. He squealed. She forcibly shook his hand, “Shimoli. So dude! Following me from Churchgate to Andheri. You got the balls.”
He protested and tried conjuring tricks to divert her attention. She winced, “By the way, I was inside the Churchgate local and saw you looking desperately around before getting out and now at the mall. Chakkar kya hai boss!” Shubham had no way but to spill the truth, “Ok! Sorry for doing it this way. I think I like you,” he fumbled. She lit a cigarette and mouthed, “Bhenchod! You think you like me. Bol! Bol! Don’t have all the time in the world, roadside Romeo. Btw, I have 5 minutes and if you don’t speak I will yell and shout that you are teasing me or better slap you tight.”
Shubham stammered, “Ok! I saw you at the tapdi smoking and playing with your curly tresses. Your intense eyes pierced my heart like a sharp arrow and almost peeing in my pant when you shot back the janleva looks. I knew this moment. You are this woman. Independent, fiery and wanted to speak to you…didn’t know-how. Hate to screw it up and hope you will smile at me. I pursued you and was knocked down, got up and a part of me felt that we will meet up again. The steps took me towards you. Are you an enigma? Will you be my friend? Just one date, please?!”
“Shimoli, that’s my name,” she simpered and smacked his lip. “Tomorrow, let’s take a walk at Marine Drive and to know each other. Dude, your name.” He smiled, “Shubham.” “Aha! Interesting, ” she squirmed.
A loud wind blew like a conch in temples thrust and whorled human masses, twisting heads right and left at the elongated pathway at Marine Drive. Shimoli jerked and the head caked at the cusp of Shubham’s face. She pulled away, “Don’t get excited and ain’t kissing you.” She dragged him and he lugged behind her, trudging past the boulders, braving the wind to finally reach the peak, overlooking the city. It felt like a tornado. He asked her, “Is this a sexual fantasy to climb atop with the violent wind stirring and shaking humans?” She splayed her body on the rocks, “Nah! Trudging the rocks is pure and unadulterated sex. You wanted an answer, right, why the fuck I agreed to the date, silly boy?”
He bobbed his head, gazing at the sky, flashed a wide smile and wore a serious look at the same time, unsure how to react. She was getting impatient and said in a jest, “Kuch toh bol madarchod.” He raised his hand towards the sky, “That’s my father.” She laughed hysterically: “I don’t wanna be with an asshole showering expensive gifts, jewelry and flashy cars on me. I need a guy who cares for me passionately, zigzagging inside trains, hurtling on the busy Mumbai roads to woo me.” Shimoli pulled him towards her, tore his shirt button, plant her lip on his face. He didn’t hold himself. They kissed passionately and with force, exploring every inch of zones and lines on hungry lips.