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Monday, January 18, 2010

Dices of destiny


“It all happened too soon”, she thought, as fresh warm beads of water stroked her undefiled body from all sides. Tears rolled down her lush cheeks as her eyelashes embraced each other. She hastily wrapped herself in the towel and crunched her soft curls as they rolled onto her bare shoulders. It had been almost a year that Natasha had been married to the son of the city’s most famous jeweler, Malhotra & Sons. This wasn’t really a decision she had made on her own. She also did not expect life to metamorphose the way it did later on.

As she gently rubbed her delicate feet to the mat outside her bathroom, she felt a firm hand grip her waist. “I’ve taken enough of your tantrums baby…now it is time I do something about it…” He said as he gently brushed aside the dripping locks from her right shoulder and began kissing her neck. She felt powerless. This was his way of showing her that she belonged to him. Natasha felt a chill run up her spine as he licked her neck upwards to reach to her moist lips. “Please Rihaan…don’t do this…I need some m-m-ore t-time…” He words came out muffled as his lips completely engulfed hers. He threw her on the bed, pinning her firmly against the soft mattress as his fingers probed at the point where she tucked the end of the towel. He felt a sudden rush of exhilaration, his morbid lust, his boorish way of exercising control over the woman who could not be his, made him so much excited and determined.

Natasha would not surrender so easily though. She sunk her teeth into his arm, biting the flesh as hard as she could manage. He yelled in pain, slapping her face. “Be good to me sweetheart…I’m your husband…it is only me…I'm going to have you tonight no matter what. You either concede or I'm going to have to force it on you…” he said finally yanking off her towel, exposing her sprouting breasts. Natasha lay, naked and vulnerable under his strong hold. “Rihaan…you are hurting me…” she cried as he bit her nipples till they were red. His breath wasn’t erotic or sensual. It was sadistic and sly. He ripped off his shirt grinning as he flung it to one side. Rihaan began running his finger all over her body, gently, in an attempt to calm her down but she kicked and pushed with all her strength in an attempt to escape his hold. He grinned at her attempts to free herself. This was something he was beginning to enjoy as he finally realized that he was going to consummate his marriage even if it meant by force.

As his fingers inched their way lower, he thought his pant would tear with his increasing excitement. He had finally managed to have her steaming body after years of fantasy. Without wasting any more time, he unzipped his jeans gaping at her face damp with her silent sobs. She had finally surrendered. He couldn’t wait to explore her any longer. He adjusted his body above hers, readying himself to finally have his way.

Unable to bear the irrevocable torment, Natasha screamed helplessly as he propelled himself to her core. “Baby…do you have any idea how much I love you for this…” he whispered as his movements intensified. Droplets of blood trickled down her waxed thighs as he rolled off her body breathlessly.


It was her first day at work and Natasha couldn’t control her excitement. She had finally managed to get herself a high-profile job in a multi-national company while most of her other friends struggled to make money by working in petty call centers in the suburbs.

“Sweetie are you done? It’s a job! Not a fashion pageant! I’m getting late…please hurry up!” he shouted from the hallway impatiently looking at his watch.

She blushed as she glanced at herself in the mirror twirling her curls. Her mattress was cluttered with wrinkled shirts, colorful bras, unwashed jeans and t-shirts. She loved the way he woke her up every morning. Earlier, it was to go to college and now to get in time for work. He reached fifteen minutes early to her place only to help her wash the coffee-stained mugs from the previous night, clean the soiled plates, put her veg. toast sandwich without tomatoes but with a thin layer of mayonnaise exactly for forty-five seconds in the microwave, make her bed, put the soft toys scattered around the house in place and persuade her that she was looking great even if her hair was all messed up and that the passion pimple on her right cheek wasn’t so prominent. This had been his daily routine for the past two years. There wasn’t a single day they hadn’t seen each other. For normal people, it is morning when the sun brightens up the sky but for these two love birds, morning happened only when they saw each other, fought about trivial issues and then kissed to make up.

Twenty long minutes after trying the entire wardrobe, Natasha was finally convinced that she was looking perfect for the day. She slipped her pedicured feet carefully into the shiny black heels that she had recently purchased. “I’m ready Adi!!!” she exclaimed as she opened the bedroom door and stroke a pose leaning against the wall. Aditya’s reaction was not even close to what she had expected.

“Thank you for doing me a favor by getting dressed so quickly. You know what is the problem with you Tash? You only think about yourself all the time. You hardly seem to have any appreciation for what I have been doing for you all this while… It is already nine forty-five and I don’t know how on earth I’m going to make for my meeting at ten, leave alone preparing for it! Grow up Tash! You are twenty-two now and I have to treat you like a school-going kid all the time!” he said as he stormed out of the door fuming with rage. This was not the sort of fight they had everyday. They were always arguing about why some top exposed her cleavage a bit too much or why there were tomatoes in her sandwich. These arguments were however sorted out instantly. Aditya had to discard half his shirts as a result of their fights when Natasha hugged him tight smudging his shirt with her glittery gloss. He never really minded that. She was his princess.

Natasha was still wondering if this was a dream or if it had actually happened. Not that she wasn’t an understanding girlfriend, but she was under the impression that Aditya loved pampering her. She never had to demand things because she already had them all. Never did she nag him to come home early to meet her like her other girlfriends did or to get Bourneville of the flavor she felt like eating on a particular day because the minute she expressed her desire to eat chocolates, Adi got her a basketful of them filled with all the flavors available in the market. She shuddered as Adi drove away with a loud screech while taking a reverse.

It was her first day of her first job and this was the last thing she was expecting would happen. She locked herself in the bedroom and flung all her clothes off the bed. Tears streamed down her eyes and they planted a soft kiss on the mattress as it absorbed them. She heard someone knock the door. She was sure it wouldn’t be Adi. He would never come back. Wiping her red hot face, she rushed to open the door. There was no one to be seen. Just about as she was closing the door she saw a bunch of purple orchids carefully wrapped with a satin ribbon. There was a card attached to it that said,

“I know I couldn’t be there, but I’m still there.
There are times when things are tough and life seems bitter…
But I want you to wash your face and put on your glitter
It is your first step and don’t miss it because of a stupid fight…
Coz you are my angel and everything will be alright….”

This was the second shock for Natasha on the same day and she couldn’t believe that life could be so unpredictable. The poem was definitely not written by Adi, he could hardly express his feelings through words forget composing poems! The flowers and the card however diverted her attention from what had happened in the morning. It was now 11 am. She was late by an hour on the first day. She dashed to the washroom, washed her face, twisted her hair, clipped them into a French roll and ran out of the house to fetch for a cab.


Natasha was young, vibrant and talented. Being born and brought up in Jammu, she flaunted a skin as smooth as vanilla and almond-shaped eyes that had the hue of honey. The two locks which fell on either sides of her face symbiotically enhanced her beauty. She was contemporary, but at the same time she had strong morals. She came to Mumbai to complete her post graduation at the Xavier Institute at Communications. She got to know Adi, an artist and an interior designer when she had to interview him for a feature. He was one good and trust-worthy friend she managed to in the maddening city. He was the reason why the city seemed so different for her. They spent every evening exploring all the new restaurants, cafés, ice-cream parlors, fast-food joints and latest exhibitions. More than a partner, Natasha sought a father in him. Unlike other lovers who desperately craved for a physical interaction between themselves, Natasha and Aditya found solace in the intellectual and emotional conversations that they had and that was the probable reason why both of them lived separately in spite of being all alone in the city.

Even though the age difference between them was almost six years, Aditya made sure that she wasn’t uncomfortable when they went out. While she whirled around singing and splashing in the rain on the Marine Drive, he sat back and watched her with an irresistible smile thinking about how her presence had lit his life up like not just one but a constellation of stars. Sometimes, when everything was beyond perfection, his heart thumped at the thought of losing her someday. She was too immature to realize the depth of their relationship. For her, it was only about childish “I love you”, “I miss you” and “You mean the world to me” messages. Sometimes he pondered for hours about whether she even understood a word about what she was writing or whether she was only brushing up Shakespeare and Robert Frost that she studied back in college. He however never disclosed his inner sentiments to her. He was a giver, a selfless lover.


Natasha’s day started off sour even before she reached office when she banged into someone while getting into the lift and got her new shirt dyed with caffeine.
“Are you blind? Where the hell were you looking?” she screamed at him, frustrated and tensed.
“Ex-excuse me Mam! I’ll-I’ll just bring you some tissues…Give me a moment…” he pleased, unable to figure out what else to say.
“It’s fine! I’ll manage! It’s…It’s just my first day at work…and I don’t know how I’m supposed to get back everything into order…” she said overwhelmingly.
He would have died before he hurt her. She was beautiful even when she cried, when she rubbed her nose with her fingers. He stared at her, bewildered, as she got into the lift. He wondered if she had read his card in the morning.
Following this incident, she had to undergo a two hour lecture by her boss about the company morals, dress-code and punctuality. She now envied her friends who went to work without having bath every day, wore the same t-shirt for days together and still managed to impress their respective bosses.
Natasha spent the rest of the day in getting the hang of her work and checking her phone every now and then to check if she had received any missed calls or messages from Adi.


“I can’t do this. I love her…” Aditya begged as small beads of sweat sprouted from his pale forehead.
He skipped a beat when his phone vibrated on the coffee table. Just as he was about to open the message, the figure sitting opposite to him snatched his phone. “Wer d hell hv u been? Cant u evn cal o msg 2 knw hw m day hs been so far? Am sowie. Plz cal bk Adi. Missin u so much!” he read the message loudly.
“Sooo…your sweetheart’s ready missing you a lot…I give you two weeks Aditya…get the money…or get her…” he said, lighting a cigarette in between his sooty lips.
“I –I will take care of everything…please don’t trouble Tashu in any way…please-please I beg of you” gripped with just the thought of losing his beloved, Aditya could hardly utter a word beyond that.
“Two weeks…that’s all you have…your time starts now…” The figure stood up and walked away jetting rings of smoke out of his mouth.
Aditya cupped his face with his palms. That was the first time he realized how much he loved her, in spite of all the fights and arguments that they had been having.
He felt a warm hand touch his shoulder.
“Adi…Adi…What happened? What’s wrong? Why didn’t you reply to my message?”
It was Natasha. He had been avoiding her since morning and he did not know what to tell her. Thankfully, she did not ask him any more questions. She held him close to her breast and moved her fingers through his soft hair. “Baby…everything’s gonna be alright…” she said. This wasn’t his Tashu, the one who threw tantrums over petty issues, the one who kept calling him in spite of knowing that he was busy, the one who craved for a Dutch truffle in the middle of the night. For a moment he thought she already knew everything.
“Let’s go to my place for a while Adi…I’ll make some hot chocolate for you…you’ll feel better.” she said, holding his hand tightly. Aditya walked out of the café like a small kid who was dragged by his mother to go to school.
“Now, tell me, what has been bothering you Adi…You were never like this before…there is something terribly wrong and if you are hiding it from me because you think I’m immature, please don’t Adi…you know we have each other and we will work it out…whatever it is…”she said, handing him a cup of steaming chocolate.
“You never told me someone sent you flowers this morning…even you have started hiding stuff from me…” he said glancing at the purple orchids lying on the dining table.
“Did we even talk to each other for the whole day Aditya? When am I gonna get time to tell you about it? And anyways, I don’t know who sent it! The sender did not write his name on the card…I was in a hurry and had almost forgotten about it till you reminded me about it just now…” she said apologetically.
“Ohh…so there was a card too…” he said sarcastically. He hated her even exchanging messages with other boys of her age. He was obsessed with her.
“For Heaven’s sake Adi! Just shuttt uppp!! You are getting possessive for no reason! Why are you blaming me for everything? I haven’t done anything wrong! I don’t even know who sent me the card and I really don’t care coz I love you and I’m not bothered about anyone else!” she screamed at him.
“Tashu but I’m bothered! Because you’re not just my girlfriend, you’re my responsibility!” he screamed back at her. He was just hoping the sender wasn’t “him”.
“Adi…I know that honey…but I didn’t mean to hide this from you…just that I didn’t get the time to tell you and I didn’t really think it was that important.” she hugged him with tears in her eyes.
“Please don’t cry love…I’m just scared…I’m scared to lose you…to be without you…I wanna make you happy all the time…I love you so much…” he said playing with her soft curls as she snugged into his arms as she feel asleep.


“Adi…Adi…” Natasha woke up the next morning feeling the other side of the mattress without opening her eyes. She couldn’t feel him by her side. “He must have probably gone to the washroom.” She thought desperately wanting to catch up on some more sleep. Aditya would never leave her house without telling her or kissing her on her forehead so as to not wake her up from her sugary slumber. She only woke up, frightened when she got a call on her landline.
“He-hello” she answered.
“Tashu! It’s me! Simran! I’m back in Mumbai! Are you free this evening? Let’s catch up!”
“Oh- Oh Sim, Thank God it’s you. Sorry I just woke up. Gotta rush to work. But why didn’t you call up on my cell phone?”
“Sweets! That’s coz I couldn’t get through it. I guess you forgot to charge it! Anyways I want to introduce you to someone really special. I’m in love Tashu! Can you believe it! Anyways I’m gonna keep you guessing for now. I shall catch you in the evening. By the way how’s Adi? Ask him to join us too…”
“Who??? Anyways I don’t have time for your love stories right now. You keep falling in and out of love every alternate day! I shall give you a buzz from my office when I leave and then we can plan out something…”
“That sounds cool!”
Simran was Natasha’s best friend and room mate while they were in XIC. There wasn’t a single assignment or project which they did not do together. She was happy that Simran was finally back. She went back to wondering where Adi had disappeared. She called him up on his cell phone his cell phone. “Tashu…I’m sorry I left without informing you…please don’t be mad at me…I needed to rush for my meeting…” he apologized immediately.
“Adi…I haven’t even asked you anything. Why are you sounding like you have committed a crime…just that you could have at least informed me while leaving. Why have you suddenly started having these early morning meetings? Till sometime back, your day never began before noon. Adi, are you hiding something from me?” she couldn’t control her growing suspicion.
“Tashu…it’s nothing like you are thinking baby…It is just that I’m suddenly loaded with work…Earlier I was only working on one interior. This month, I’ve got four interiors to do…Isn’t that great!” he hated lying to her. But there was nothing he could possibly do. He couldn’t imagine the day she would know the truth. More than the fact that she would never want to see him again, he hated himself for hurting her. Tashu was still his small kid. She trusted him more than herself. She depended on him for all the decisions she had had to make till date, right from the outfit that would her best to which job she should be taking up. Natasha was also a brilliant writer. Even if he himself was not good at writing, he gladly read her articles and encouraged her to write more.
As he walked down the lane towards the German Bakery, he heard someone call him “Adi...here!” he turned back to see Simran waving at him from around the corner.
“Boy! You seem miserable! What happened? Isn’t my girlfriend treating you properly? I had buzzed her in the morning. She seemed a little down too…did you guys have a fight or something?” she said grasping her breath.
“Hi-Hi-Simran! You’re back in Mumbai! That’s great! How many days will you be around? I’m in a hurry right now so we can probably catch up in the evening or something!” he said heaving a sigh of relief. Tashu wouldn’t be staying alone now for a while at least.
“It’s not just you…Even I’m in a hurry…I’m meeting the love of my life right now!”
“Sim!! Not agaaaaiiiiinnnn!!” he said, amused. This was the twenty-fifth time Simran was falling in love.
“Who’s the unfortunate victim?” he added.
“Adi…I’m serious…He is gonna get lucky very soon…” she laughed “You coordinate with Tashu and I shall see you guys in the evening. Hold on till I unveil the surprise!” she said as she skipped along the lane.