The mobile phone was strewn on the spotless and shiny white Duvet bearing no stain, suddenly buzzed with the ringtone, “Dil toofan toofan ho gaya.” The room was dark and moist, coalescing with the sky gently turning into grey. A timid shower wafted in the atmosphere and the yellow dappled sun was slowly fading behind the towering, sky rises and oak trees sprouting in Pune.
Ankit ignored the constant calls and strode inside the kitchen to pour a peg of the imported scotch, Glenfiddich he received as a gift from US. The phone kept buzzing intermittently. He pulled a chair and rested his tired soles on the bed, after getting soaked in heavy rain. Dozens missed calls and the handset rang again, “Dil Toofan Toofan hogaya.” He blinked and called back but the caller immediately cut off the phone. He took a second sip of the expensive scotch swirling on his tongue. The phone beeped with a message and he clicked on the humble Nokia 3310, “Hey! Baby! Wanna take you for hire and rock you in this exuberantly youthful night…raat abhi baaki hai.” He was flustered and thought someone was pulling a fast one on him. But, who was that, he wondered.
He shot back, “May I know whose is that and messaging or calling uselessly? For the sake of clarity and sanity, identify yourself?” There was no response at the other end and after some time, he received a message, “You are being so rude and no manners how to speak to a girl…chivalry is lost to the world.” He typed back, “Listen! I know it’s no girl but someone is playing a prank!”
Ankit waited for some time and poured a second whiskey. He was longing for the exchange but minutes and hours has passed when several sms-es cascaded on the phone which conked. “Wait! R U not Farhan? Diya’s boyfriend?
He scrolled and was amused, wondering whether his ex is troubling him and unsure at first but quickly realized that there is no way Piya would do that for she hates his sight. “Baby! Neither I am Farhan and nor the fuck do I know anyone by the name Diya…would you care bringing some Diya in my life?
“Huh! Don’t baby me! Come again,” the reply came.
“haha,” he sent a smiley.
“Ok bye! I don’t want to speak to you and sorry that I messaged.”
Ankit called and a feminine voice coldly replied, “Yes! What do you want?”
“So you are a girl?”
“What am I supposed to be? Shah Rukh Khan.”
“Sorry yaar. I thought someone was playing a prank on me,” he apologized.
“No, I should be sorry…and so rude you were on the phone. Not interested in conversation.”
“Understand yaar. I just broke up with my girl friend.”
“So! What do you expect me to do…nurse your broken heart and start singing in the voice of Kishore Kumar.”
She hanged the phone. Ankit was getting restless and longed to hear her voice. He realized his balance was almost over and the next morning, he ran to get a recharge. In the evening, he sent her an sms, “I apologize for yesterday…please yaar, say something na.” There was no reply. He waited for midnight and sent her another message, for it’s the happy hour with messaging charged at 0.50 paise and 1000 free calls for a top-up of 300 rupees. He felt restless and felt there was something special that kept drawing him to her. “Hey! What’s your name?” The reply came as fast as he typed, “Nishgandha.” He flirted, “Wow! Such a long and beautiful name.”
“You wanna shorten my name?”
“Hmm! Yes! I mean, I don’t know.”
“Nish for you,” she sent a heart-shaped emoticon.
“You know it’s crazy how we met on sms na and we were pranking a classmate, Divya’s bf. Our silly fights like lovers and got angry you were rude but feel like chatting with you.”
“I am cho chorry. Am I forgiven?”
“That’s alrighty. You better be nice to me.
Every single day, he waited with bated breath for the clock to strike midnight so that they could speak and constantly messaged each other. On days, she didn’t reply, he became upset, restless and weak. He asked himself, “Should I ask her out? Ankit wasn’t sure and confused whether she will ignore his calls forever. Both kept flirting with each other for hours and after a couple of weeks, he asked, “Hey! Don’t you think we should meet?”
“Why the hurry? Aren’t we meeting and speaking on phone? We will and let’s get to know each other better.”
“Arre wohi baat ho gaya na. At least, ek mulaqat zaroori hai sanam,” he pleaded.
“Dude, you are being philmy. Intezaar ka phal meetha hota hai. No beautiful girl ever told you that patience is a virtue?”
He innocently messaged, “No.”
“I am telling you, na and am beautiful. Suno! I got an early class to attend tomorrow and will you wake me up at 6 a.m.”
“I will,” he told.
“Toh, go to bed early and let me have my beauty sleep.”
“Yes, your Majesty.”
He forcefully tried to sleep that night and tossing on the bed, waking up at 6 a.m sharp. He buzzed her a couple of times and started singing loudly, “Good morning princess and wake up, brush your teeth, take a hot shower and get ready.”
“Haha! She told, “I am already up.”
“When am I getting my reward? he asked.
“Wanna see you and have coffee, buy you chocolate pastry and flower?” he pleaded like a child.
“So you wanna a date?” she teased him.
“Yes! I wanna you take me for hire and rocking me, baby.”
“Don’t you dare baby me. I am warning you for the last time or else, I will not speak to you ever,” Nish firmly quashed his advances.
“Sorry baby,” he said. Both of them rollicked on the phone.
Nishgandha accepted the date that Ankit should come to meet her at the Girls hostel past midnight on one condition. He isn’t allowed to walk past the entrance but climb the window to the ninth floor. Challenge accepted.
It was hot outside and he chased the flies, climbed on the wall, holding firm to it and sneaked inside the hostel in the dark. Ankit’s heart was beating ferociously and felt like musical string, pulling the right hand on a window, reaching the second floor and almost slipped when he reached the sixth floor, hanging on to the wall separating the balcony. He looked down and felt dizzy. There was no choice and he took a deep breath, finally reached the ninth floor. With a grip firmly on the balustrade, he removed the phone slid inside his pocket and asked, “Nish, baby! Where on earth, I will find your room.”
“Woah, sunny boy, you actually did that and he saw a red lamp coruscating from the dark window. She peered outside and waved, “Come fast.” She didn’t show her face but pulled his hand and bruised arms. The light was off and the lamp flashed on Nish’s dusky complexion, hair falling seductively on her tiny, attractive and glittered face conveying a shy smile. Ankit wouldn’t leave her sight and didn’t bulge from his position inside the tiny room. After all, she has been worth all effort.
“Wow! I am impressed and you flirted with danger to see me. What if you fell down?
“Babe, stop mothering me and what I need is a wife.” She wore a blue skirt on a green tee and in a span of seconds, moved into each other’s arms, embracing tightly and lips doing the talking, squeezing into each other, tasting the nectar of love and passion that would last forever.