Category Archives: Zarine

A fictional story about Zarine and Rohit

Dus Bahane

“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.

“Still…”

“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.”

“Well…”

“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.

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Jab We Met

Ding dong!

“Ma, open the door!”

Ding—dong!

“Ma?”

“MA!?”

Diiiiiiing dong!

Groggy and not wanting to get up, Rohit opens the door. Zarine pokes her head in. You’ve got to admit, there’s a certain something to girls in the early morning – all the freshness and innocence accumulates in them over the night. It was a picture perfect pose. She was wearing a sleeveless yellow suit with a hint of black embroidery, over blue jeans. Something better break Rohit out of his reverie.

“Hey! Still sleeping, eh? I thought so. I’ve got something for you.”

“Huh? Yeah! Come on in.”

“I’ve made pasta today. You love Pasta, don’t you?”

“Hmm…” Rohit took the covered bowl from her, and put it on the dining table, wondering where everyone at home had disappeared.

“Did you get my message yesterday night?”

“Yeah, but my cell was not in front of me. I saw it too late; I thought you’d have slept by then.”

“Oh! No worries. So tell me, what did you do all these days?”

“Usual stuff. Nothing extraordinary. What about you?”

“I thought you’d never ask. I’m working on this project with dad’s clients. If they like my work, they may ask me to join part-time.”

“That’s great.”

“Yeah, but I don’t know if I’ll join.”

“Why?” Rohit asked, and instantly regretted it.

“It’s complicated. There’s so much work at home, I hardly have any time.”

“Hmm…”

“That’s beside the point. So go on, have my pasta. Tell me how it is!”

Happy at being let off without a fight, Rohit: “Yeah, let me at least brush!”

“Sure, go ahead. I’ll go back for now. Let me know how it is.”

Later, on Gtalk: “So, how was it?”

‘How was what? Oh yeah, the pasta.’ “It was good! I really loved the olives.”

“:-)”

“You know what?”’

Almost as if it were a dare: “What?”

“I made the pasta just for you. I’m so happy that you liked it!”

“:-)”, he had a heart too, you know.

“So…”

No response.

“Did you see Jab We Met?”

“No.”

“Me neither. But it sure will be my favouritest movie. The songs are so lovely.”

“Hmm…”

“Acha, let’s go and see it.”

Panic: “When?”

“Whenever you want. I’m always free. It is your time that is more important.”

Trying to fight his way out: “I don’t do many Hindi movies.”

“Then let’s go and watch something else. I’m so bored, yaar.”

Realizing there’s little he can do now, except commit for now and ditch later: “No, it’s ok, we’ll go on Tuesday.”

“:-D”

“:-)”

“Thank you soooo much!”

Pity, really. “I’ll brb.”

“brb?”

303

“Hey, when did you get back?” Zarine asked, with big round eyes barely able to hide a strange mixture of excitement, pleasure and relief.

“Two days back. I flew in on Thursday morning.” Rohit said, rather casually.

“And you didn’t call me back. I left a message with your mom.”

“Well you know how it is, unpacking and all that… I just didn’t get the time!”

Zarine knew that this would be his oft used excuse. She never really understood what was it that made Rohit behave that way with her. Sure, he’s accomplished a lot more in life than her, but that is only because environment was conducive for him, as much as it wasn’t for her.

“That’s ok. So what did you get for me?”

“Um… Hold on a bit, let me see… Here it is, beautiful isn’t it?”

The face mask was indeed quite beautiful, with intricate designs in red, black and peacock blue. “Yes, it’s amazing! Thanks so much!”

“I’m glad you love it.”

“Hey listen, I got to rush. It’s already seven, and I’ve not started work; people at home will get mad!”

“Sure, we’ll catch up later.”

“Yes, of course. I want to see all the photos!”

Rohit received an SMS soon after: “Thank you so much for getting the mask for me. It meant a lot!” His only thought: ‘Oh well’; and that was the end of it. Later on he gets the call:

“Hey Rohit, it’s Zarine.”

“Hey!”

“Are you outside?”

“Yes, with friends.”

“Oh! I thought you’d be at home.”

“No. Anything up?”

“Not really. Just. It’s ok, I’ll call you back later.”

“Um, alright.”

Zarine didn’t want to blurt it out, but she was dying for a release. Being the younger of the two sisters in a somewhat conservative family, there were only so many people she could talk to; and with her sister getting married two years ago, this set reduced further.

Another SMS later in the night: “Are you awake?”

Rohit ignored it. It is not like he doesn’t know what is going on. He wasn’t the one to get involved with her. He had been in a relationship for some time now. Sure, Zarine was beautiful, and there were times he had thought about it. But there was just too much baggage. He didn’t want anything to do with it, if at all possible. It wasn’t that easy, considering she lived almost next door. And their families were friends.