Friday, July 26, 2013

Flirting with friendship: Mutually exclusive indulgence

Chapter 3: Mutually exclusive indulgence

The dinner table was set and Anu was dressed to kill. I don’t understand why women change clothes so often. She was looking fabulous in her pale baby pink satin gown. This time she had to look down and talk to me because I was lying down on the sofa.
“Abhi. The dinner is served.” Anu invited me with all sorts of formal tones possible.
“In a minute. Let me wash my dirty hands.” I said. “Which way is the bathroom?” I asked getting up from the sofa.
“To the left.” She stretched her hand and I could smell the freshly sprayed rosy deodorant. Quickly, I washed my hands and we all were seated at the dining table. Anusha began to unlid the contents and the fresh aroma of Bisi Bele Bath and Rasam hit my olfactory senses. The Spices of the South, I wondered if I could ever get a chance to taste such good food ever again. Since the day I left home 4 years ago, I hardly had a chance to eat homemade food. I terribly missed it. I grabbed a spoon and was about to gulp all of it, Anusha slapped my hand and signalled me to look at Vikram. He was praying. Anusha and I too briefly offered our prayers.
“Vikram. Adopt me.” I told him while I was relishing the food. My mouth was full and I was unable to speak clearly.
“Anytime. You are most welcome.” Vikram said with a smile. “The house is yours; I am yours, except my wife. She’s mine.” He chuckled. Both Vikram and I never left out any opportunity to tease Anusha.
From the moment he’d seen her, he was metamorphosized from a nerd to a lover-boy. He’d started writing poetry, singing songs and most absurdly dancing ridiculous steps. Vikram loved her and did all that to make her happy, but Anusha still wondered why I was doing that in front of Vikram and why Vikram wasn’t doing anything about it? There was a reason why Vikram didn’t mind. He knew that my actions would make people positive. No matter what intentions I had, I’d ultimately not hurt a soul. He knew I wasn’t that brave to face the consequences and I accepted the fact too.
As of now, I knew some facts about Vikram and Anusha. First of all, it’s been 5 years since their marriage and Anusha is not yet out of her traditional cocoon. Though Vikram is trying hard to be a father, (as he mentioned before) Anusha never gets into the act. Though Anusha portrays her soft yet stern side, her sexiness is trying to fight its way out, but fails instantly because she is shy. And for tonight, my mission was to get her into the action and I discussed that topic with Vikram just before Anusha busted us on sofa.
“So. Do you always cook so well? Or is this especially for me?” I asked Anu, breaking the silence on the dinner table.
“This is usual stuff.” She said with a faint voice. “I cook such food every alternate day. Vikram is fed up of this.” She was eating without any enthusiasm. “You know him right? He loves chicken. And I am a vegetarian.” Her voice had no energy at all.
Why does she always ask me that question? You know him right? As if she hasn’t known him from past 5 years.
“Yeah I know him. He loves leg piece.” I replied wryly. Suddenly, there was a thud and I felt as if the table hopped in its place. I figured out what was going on under the table with Vikram and Anusha.
“Vikram. Please have your dinner.” I said with a nasty smile. “You both have plenty of time when I am gone.”
I was constantly looking at Anusha as if she was my ex. She too had a strange look on her face. From the moment she was in her gown, she was feeling slightly uncomfortable talking to me because my eyes were never stuck to one object. Being a Gemini, I never had a habit of gazing at one particular object for more than two seconds. I lacked focus and these days, elders call me Psycho and that is how Vikram calls me.
“Anu. Can you pass some Rasam?” I asked with a mouthful of Bisi Bele Bath.
“Here. Finish it.” She passed the vessel. “I love you Anu.” I raised the bowl of Rasam and thanked her for such a wonderful dinner.
“Vikram. I love you too.” I added later, while he was still trying to finish his first round of Bisi Bele Bath.
“Enough. Are you done or not?” Vikram asked. I looked at Anu and asked, “You tell me Anu. What’s for desserts?”
“Ummm. I am sorry. I haven’t prepared anything.” She was blankly staring at me and Vikram.
“What would you guys want to eat?” she asked with a worried look on her face. There was another sudden thud on the table as it hopped again, and this time it was me. Anu ran her toes over my foot and she was smiling irrelevantly at Vikram.
“What!” Vikram exclaimed.
“Anu. It’s me.” I replied. She was awestruck and stood up in shock. “I asked for desserts and you are asking Vikram?” I covered up instantly. Anusha quickly managed a smile and took the empty vessels to the kitchen sink.
“Don’t bother yourself Anu.” Vikram said, cleaning his hands and mouth with a napkin. “Tell me what flavour you like. I’ll drive to the nearby store and get it.”
“Chocolate.” Anusha and I screamed in unison this time. I was anyway a dunce when it came to driving a car. I loved my two-wheeler Super Splendor as I could drive it in any corner of the traffic, unlike Vikram’s big-ass i20. While Vikram grabbed the keys, Anu stared at me with a seductive look as if she was ready to kill me.
“Wait.” I shouted. “I’ll come with you.”
“You stay here. I’ll be back in ten minutes.” Vikram said.
“Go to the chemist for the chocolate flavour.” I cupped Vikram’s ears and whispered.
Vikram left chuckling and I was alone with his gorgeous wife who tried to seduce me a moment ago.
“Close the door Abhi. Mosquitoes won’t let me sleep all night.” Anusha’s voice was now commanding.
“Sure.” I said and closed the door praying that I’d not get raped.
What can happen in ten minutes? Besides, Vikram knows me and Anusha. I tried to convince myself. Anusha was sitting on the sofa this time and I was sitting on the fibre chair, leaning forward, my eyes locked on the door and ears eagerly waiting for the doorbell to ring.
“So. Vikram says you are a virgin.” Anu opened up and was trying everything to spice up the discussion.
“And Vikram also said he wants to be a father.” I rebounded with a counter-statement.
“Yes. He loves me very much.” Anu got up from the sofa. My heart was pounding; temperature was rising as she inched towards me. First time I wanted time to run in fast forward and soon the ten minutes be over.
“Can I ask a personal question Anu?” I swallowed my heart while I asked.
“Sure. I am all ears.” She said.
“Why is that you don’t get into the act?” I gathered myself again. “And why does he look so unhappy even after marrying his love interest?”
“Abhi. You don’t know a thing. After his parents died, he simply pretends to be happy, but he’s not.” Anu was almost in tears. And I was almost about to get in my most vulnerable situation.
“I become his seductress every day.” Her voice was slowly breaking down.
“That’s from past 5 months. What’s wrong with you guys from past 5 years?” I tried to push the talk forward.
“Do you think something is wrong on my part?” she showed signs of making me a volunteer to inspect her sensually carved curves. My mouth went dry.
“I need a glass of water.” I insisted.
“Sure.” She moved in the kitchen. Finally, the doorbell rang and I was the happiest man on earth.
“I’ll make a move.” I announced as Vikram entered the hall. Anusha came running with a glass of water I asked for. I emptied the glass, hugged Vikram and said, “Thanks for the dinner. Next week, it’s my place.” I said with a sigh of relief.
“Thank you for your supernaturally tasty food Anu.” I hugged her and wished her with a smile.
“The dessert tonight, is especially for you. Make Vikram crave for more.” I whispered in Anusha’s ear and bid adieu to the wonderful couple.

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