After many days I can smell hope in the air. During the last week, one thing or the other prevented me from spending a few private moments with my sweetheart. Mercifully, I have succeeded in fixing a rendezvous at 630 pm today. To be more precise both of us are going for dinner. Before I divulge further details about my clandestine affair with Kamna, I deem it proper to throw some light on my good self.
Although I am a doctor by profession, I was never, what they say ? a studious fellow ? but yes, good enough to pass for an average. The only time I took my studies seriously was around seven years ago, when I prepared for the medical entrance exam soon after I cleared my higher secondary. I couldn’t believe my luck when my friends called me over the phone and said my roll number was among the names of the successful candidates!
However, once inside the medical college, I must admit, I studied little and philandered a lot (the consequences of my escapades being that I completed my five-year MBBS degree in six besides failing to get admission in M.D.
While in college, I was considered a psychologist of sorts in matters concerning the opposite sex. Quite often my friends came to seek my advice when they failed to win over the girl of their dreams. If you won’t mind my blowing my own trumpet, let me tell you that many of them were far more successful in conquering the object of their love when they practised what I preached than when they attempted their own ploys. It has been years since we passed out of our medical college, but some of my old pals still count on me when they need an advice on matters of love ? or deception.
For almost a year now, I have been working as a doctor in a government hospital at Ambala. Thanks to the rapport my uncle shares with a high-profile minister, I got this job without shelling a hefty ?amount’ as most of my colleagues had to. Lest I lose the thread of my story, I should tell you that my association with Kamna began some four months ago when I ran into her at a prominent club of the town. It so happened that one fine Sunday my friend Rohan shepherded me to the Welfare Club, promising we would have a blast there.
He bundled me in his car and led me into a plush hall, lit by the bulbs of varied faint colours. It took some time before my eyes got accustomed to the dimly lit interiors of the hall, which had a bar towards my extreme right. I could see an orgy of sorts was in full swing. The air was thick with tobacco smoke, aromas of varied foods, smell of premium whiskies and sharp fragrance of perfumes. Drinking, dinning, flirting and gossiping their hearts out, both men and women seem to be enjoying life to the hilt. A few pretty girls, evidently the daughters some of the well-heeled bigwigs, were waltzing to the music of remixes and pop hits. They were dressed up in a jaw dropping outfits and their hairdos were out-and-out stylish.
Though the club members had gathered to discuss about the rising level of air pollution in the town, the subject seemed the last thing in anyone’s mind. Ironically, with all the smoke emanating from the burning ciggies, it looked we had crashed into a polluting zone.
Initially I felt out of sorts but when Rohan introduced me to a comely Mrs Kapoor and her equally comely daughter Kamna, a desire to stay back took hold of me! Indeed if there ever was a gorgeous mother-daughter pair, it was here ? right in front of me. Both of them sported a gorgeous bob cut that went quite well on their well-chiseled faces and were dressed in fashionable tops and jeans. But for the smooth texture of her daughter’s fair skin, one would have taken Mrs Kapoor and her daughter to be sisters!
“Dr Mathur,” said Rohan breaking my spell, “he works or rather shall I say enjoys himself at the government hospital!”
Mrs Kapoor gave me a phony smile.
“My brother too is a doctor but he runs his own hospital,” she said in a patronizing tone. “Though he mints a hell lot of money but I think a doctor’s job is a tough one. Treating patients at all odd hours!”
“Not in my case madam.” I said pompously, trying to make a first good impression, “By 5 pm I am off to my home, whatever the crisis. And even during the day I am invariably at the district courts than at hospital.”
“Have you started treating judges and lawyers in your spare time?”
Her inane question brought a smile on my lips. Lest she took an offence at my giggling, I explained to her about the medical evidence I have to render in the court of law about the injuries suffered by people who may either be dead or alive. She seemed aghast.
Her daughter, however, gave every indication of being enamoured with my narrative. Without looking at her, I knew she was thinking about me. God has gifted me this knack of reading the thoughts of the fair sex instinctively. I have always believed that taming damsels is partially an acquired but largely an inborn expertise. Which explains why several men get rejections despite the mind-blowing lengths they go to impress charming lasses, while a few like me succeed without apparent efforts!
As is usual in such cases, when a boy finds favour with a girl, one meeting leads to the other and then to another. The natural phenomenon didn’t leave us untouched and before long we were passionate lovers. But we loved secretly. Not because we feared society but because we knew that if the well-off Kapoors discovered their daughter falling for a doctor without any legacy or a roaring practice, they would scotch the bud of love before it had the time to blossom. If I have overlooked to inform you, let me tell it now that Kamna is the daughter of an affluent businessman, who has some half a dozen flour mills, one cinema hall and two petrol pumps to his name. The case being such, we decided to wait for a while and broach the matter at a propitious hour. But I often wondered when would that ?propitious hour’ come!
It is already 530 and I have donned the best of attire my earnings can afford. My longing to be with Kamna is intensified, as it has been nearly ten days since both of us last met. Finally, we have two hours between us. Since I don’t yet own a car, I have asked Rohan to bring his Ford and drive us to Skylark, where we shall dine by the pool. The dinner won’t be easy on my pocket but then it isn’t in my power to force her dine at the pocket-friendly Sher-e-Punjab on the highway. After the supper, Rohan will come back and drop us to our respective homes. How considerate he is.
I gaze for the umpteenth time in the mirror. Spraying a musk deodorant in my underarms, I view at the pleasant evening from the window of my room. Suddenly it dawns on me that Kamna is a clever little thing to have asked me to fetch her from her house at such a favourable hour. In winters, the sun sets early, which means that by the time it is 630, there would be enough darkness for us to elope (if only for two hours, without anyone taking notice.
I am brought back to my senses by the repeated honking of a car. Recognizing Rohan’s crimson sports model stationed below, I put on my wrist watch and wave at him through the window. I look into the mirror for the last time, gather my wallet from the table and rush out of the house telling mom not to bother about my dinner.
Puffing a Gold Flake together, Rohan and I zigzag past numerous vehicles at a breakneck speed, a classical number by Nirvana booming inside the plush interiors of the car. Rohan, I must say, is a superb driver. Just when you think his car is going to crash into someone, either he swerves the steering quickly or the pedestrians dive for their safety, cursing at us, as we speed past them. Their frightened faces, I don’t know why, bring a surge of joy in our hearts. Are we sadistic?
Before long we park ourselves a few metres away from the cherry-coloured gate of Kamna’s imposing mansion. Verily her large house is but a perfect specimen of grandeur of the modern-day architecture. The hanging balconies, dazzling fa?ade of the pale yellow sandstone, lush lawn displaying swanky palm trees, roses of many colours and a small fountain in the centre. Everything that we can see through the main-gate overwhelms us by its breath-taking beauty.
In our anxiety to be at our destination on dot time, we have reached Kamna’s house 15 minutes earlier. I ask Rohan to switch off the music. Since it’s Bryan Adams’ Please Forgive Me, his favourite number, he doesn’t comply but lowers the volume.
We have stationed our Ford opposite her house on the other side of the road that passes from Sector18 to Sector17. It is getting dark with the myriad buildings, along with a few trees stand silhouetted against the dark sky. It is December end and there is a nip in the air, but inside the car it feels absolutely warm and comfortable.
Waiting for just about five minutes I get impatient and slide on the back seat, wistfully looking at her house towards my right from the window. I am disinclined to call her on her mobile as I know that the more you call a girl on her mobile, the more you puff up her ego. Looking around I find several streetlights are already lit.
Just then, the side gate within the main gate opens and I see her coming out sporting a jacket and a trouser. It seems she hasn’t seen me or Rohan, although I had expressed it clearly that I would be waiting for her in front of her house in the car! She stands there quietly and I know she is enjoying my discomfort by ignoring me. In this fading light it’s rather difficult to read her expressions and know what she is up to.
On second thoughts I begin doubting if someone is watching on her and she is deliberately avoiding me? My eyes scan hers and her neighbours’ houses. To my utter relief, there’s not a soul in sight!
Kamna has been always like that ? she derives immense pleasure by playing practical jokes on others. If she only knew how I am dying to be with her. To take her hands into mine. To clutch her into my arms.
I wave both my arms at her through the car window and motion her to come to me but she stands there feigning she hasn’t yet seen me.
In sheer exasperation I ask Rohan to blare the horn. He does. Twice. I then ask him to switch on the inside light of the car so that she can see me. Partly to mollify her and partly in the heat of passion I do something, I had never thought myself capable of doing! I start blowing flying kisses at her in rapid succession. It must have taken a man of certain genius to invent the gesture involving smacking of lips coupled with the back and forth movement of one’s hand. Five flying kisses and lo Kamna is coming straight towards the car.
Rohan looks at me genuinely impressed. “Maan gaye boss,” he mutters under his breath.
I can make out that she is a tad annoyed by the way she is walking at us. But this doesn’t bother me in the least. One hangdog look, a few apologies, and I am certain she will lose her temper and fly into my arms straightaway.
Eager to please her instantly, I fling open the door of the car with such courtesy that it would instantly make her feel like a princess.
“If these gestures are for me, they are downright disgusting,” I hear her bark at me in a tone quite unlike hers!”
As she bends low for an explanation, the light from inside the car falls on her.
With horror in my heart, I gape speechlessly into the face of Mrs Kapoor, her mother.