“So, where are we going to go for the movie?”
“I haven’t decided, yet.”
“Well, I need to pick out a dress.”
“Eh? How does that matter.”
“Oh, it does. I need to figure out how smartly I can dress.” Smart was her euphemistic way of saying how many layers she could drop off. “And also if we are going to have dinner.”
“Look, it’s not a date. It’s just a movie. Simple.” Rohit did not want her to get ideas. Once he had invited her to his college party, and she had absolutely eaten up his head with the pre-party prep! It was simply fortunate (for him, of course) that her mom fell ill, and she had to cancel at the last minute. Thankfully too, the party had turned really wild, and he did not want Zarine to be there; after all, not everyone is as saintly as him.
“Fine, I’ll let you know.”
“It’s not that way. I just don’t get out that often, you see.”
“And just why not?”
“There’s no company.”
“No, seriously. I’m just so lonely. You go out partying and enjoying yourself. I feel so jealous. It is unfair!”
Not knowing how to react to this, but saying ‘Look, I have a girlfriend. I handle her problems, and those are enough!’ did not seem right in his head. So he said nothing.
“Just let me know when you decide, alright?”
“Yep! I’ll.” He did not want to get into the discussion about how she should mix up with other people et al all over again this time.
Later that night, Zarine does her head-poking-in-from-the-door thing again: “Hey, you wanna come downstairs with me?”
“Hmmm. Why, what’s up?”
“Oh, nothing. Dad forgot to lock the car, so I’m going down to lock it. I could do with some company.”
“Okay.” Rohit didn’t have to even think for an excuse; Zarine was well prepared, hitting where it hurt. She wore a translucent night gown that did more than justice to her curves. Of course, it could be coincidental, but one couldn’t help a wandering mind.
“It’s getting a bit cold, isn’t it?”
‘Well, if you wear that, what do you expect?’ “Yes, gets quite chilly in the mornings.”
“Yes. And I have to go get fresh flowers for the morning puja. I hate to do that in this weather.”
“Why don’t you ask the vendor to bring them home?”
“Oh, he comes in too late. I prefer to be done with it before I do anything else.”
“Do you want to sit inside the car for a bit? Maybe listen to the radio? Come on, just get in…” Zarine had cut him and his argument, suddenly tugging at his arm.
“Um… sure!” Only the strong can resist a puppy face. Coupled with an outfit like that. And all the pulling.
“Yaay! Let’s see what’s playing… Maybe something romantic?”
‘Pop should be fine, really. Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves!’ Instead, Rohit offers expectant silence. Dus bahane karke le gayi dil plays on the radio.
“Hold my hand. And sing along! Dus bahane karke…”
Thanks Adi for the song reco.