Smartly clever Miss Supriya! Why don’t her strategic and syrupy words wield Suresh? Why she is failed to convey her elegant request to him this time? Surprising? She begs Suresh to oblige her to get some pages xeroxed from Dr. Saini’s book on human values from bazaar. No problem! He is leaving for his own errands and particularly he too wants to get his own pages xeroxed. Is it hard to oblige her?
No. Ever idiot Suresh can thankful to her. He, with the surge of scorn, before listening to Supriya shakes his head. in denial then flings neck muffler back with a dash and pouts. His refusal displeases Miss Supriya. He is a deliberate teaser. Even genuinely humble and obsequious request does not submit him acquiescently. Can he ever understand the importance of her assignment? Stupid, uncooperative does all what his whims commands. He has perfidious designs. Supriya is in utter predicament, Suresh; her boyfriend has impolitely hurt her.
Why Suresh is not a bit friendly with her Supriya surprises. Why he has grown far much adamant, embarrassing her because of trivial reasons. Supriya is foolish? No. She is insensible? No. She senses all things well. She understands his sizzling desire too. She knows that it is the previous behaviour of her for him that forces him to take revenge. She had once inadvertently misbehaved with him and now he is dogged to revenge upon her. Although, she is enormously remorseful for her previous treatment but Suresh’s stubbornness can ever be melted easily?
Much to her pain, she never expects his denial so brazenly, so blatantly. Should a boy friend have done something in this fashion? Never before, he had offended her this way. Her emotions always commanded his heart. But now Suresh has apparently altered. He now dislikes accompanying with her any coffee shop. Even today he turns down her humble request without excuse. Shouldn’t she restore their friendship? She would take care of his emotions and feelings, she decides.
Suresh was sure enough one of the best classmates. And once she had gifted him comfortable opportunity of loving her body. After that Suresh changed himself. He began to rumour that Supriya is slut and cheat. Is she really slut and cheat, she thinks herself. Once, she jokingly put off her Kamiz before boys while betting to a group of hostel friends. It does not mean she is a bad girl. Slut, huh!
After that she heard Suresh speaking to a friend that he would break relationship with her forever. Slut, slut, slut, everybody around campus when saw her murmured. Boys intentionally began to rub their pants close to zips when they spotted her rushing towards them. Yaar, ask her, would she see my penis, they gossiped when they sat on breakfast table in mess. Supriya sensed she herself was responsible for her character devastation because she begged class boys to make photostat type errands for her. Boys, after the job, when asked for money she grinned wantonly and encircled arms around their necks.
“Will you really ask for money?” Boys smiled and liked her sleazy way of coquetry. Noticeably, Suresh too had also become the prey of her coquetry. Initially, he thought that she is only his sweetheart. He accompanied her sumptuous city restaurant where rare of the rarest had the dare going with girl friend. He spent on her lavishly. Supriya was fond of stewed mackerel. It was the lone and exclusive restaurant in the city that supplied scrumptious mackerel.
After ‘putting off kamiz’ episode, Suresh began to dislike her company. But, could he ever break relationship so hastily? Certainly, among friends’ circle, he was earning importance due to his chakar with her. Before a horde of boys, Suresh put his arms onto her shoulders intentionally to impress them. They envied and Suresh enjoyed much. He exaggerated them fabricated stories and boasted, you know, she sleeps with me, yaaro. Boys knew he lied but they laughed and rubbed their pants close to zips- yaar, ask her sleep with me.
Chaaloo-A vamp girl, boys misnamed her. Supriya knew how disgustedly the bad boys devalued her because of her openness in friendship with Suresh. Was she really chaaloo? She pondered looking her face into glass mirror. How looked chaaloo girl? Pretty beautiful, blue-tinged glinting eyes, black hair. Might she get the Miss India Crown to which she dreamt? Chaaloo, she laughed at her.
Weeks later, friends at the dinner table asked Suresh to give them treat.
“Treat, for what?” Suresh amazed.
“Yaar, your mehbooba got a prize?” Suresh silenced then cried.
“Oh, you silly boys?” He laughed and did not show he was unaware of it. Friends revealed that she had got one thousand rupees prize cash money. Why didn’t Supriya herself tell him? He felt hurt. He boasted that she was his best friend and he was proud of her. What might friends think? Best friend, huh! I damn... damn your bitchy friendship, cheat, he cried to himself.
He knew she had participated in fancy dress competition Shri Ram Mandir Committee organised on the eve of Janam Ashtmi. She played the role of Radha and Rohit, her classmate- Lord Krishna. Most of their friends had watched them. At the closing ceremony, the president of the committee had conferred them mementos and one thousand rupees cash to each. It was the single one thousand rupees note inserted in an envelope Supriya happily received. Suresh too had visited there but came back before the closing ceremony.
Suresh concluded Supriya deliberately had not told him about the prize money because he did not want her participation with Rohit. Local evening paper published their photograph in which Supriya standing huddled with co-participant while taking prize from the president of the committee. Seeing the photograph, Suresh frenziedly burnt- bitch, bitch, bitch.
In evening, Supriya swung around his arms and put a kiss on his lips, sorry, sorry, sorry- and Suresh submitted mercifully. Really, she was happy with the prize money. How should she spend? On friends. No, no, no. For friends, one thousand might be scant money but for Supriya it had a colossal value as she achieved first time in her campus life. She wanted to spend on something memorable. In a fit of social service, she thought, shouldn’t she give money to poor folks, beggars etc. No, no, no. Ugly idea! How it came in her mind? Could she eliminate the poverty of India with her one thousand rupees? She laughed at herself.
Next day, her co-participant- Rohit suggested her buying foreign writers’ books. He knew her love for reading. No doubt, Supriya enjoyed fiction. In her collection, she had a complete set of John Grisham’s fiction. A few books of American writers such as Danielle Steel and Sidney Sheldon she also bought last week. Rohit wanted her to read Indian writers but She disliked Indian writers except for Khushwant Singh and Manto. Khushwant Singh’s book-‘The Company of Women’ obsessed her. She had read it two times. Protagonist’s sex encounters with different ladies stimulated her and she began to imagine herself one of the women who bedded with the novel’s hero.
After reading the book, one night, she had a strange dream. The protagonist of the novel stuck his shotgun between her legs. She cried as shotgun changed into penis. Then she saw a faceless man pulling down her panties. She awoke, she shivered. Disgusting dream! She smacked her clenched fist onto forehead repeatedly to dispel the ghost of ugly thoughts away. She gulped two three full glasses of chilled water and cooled off her body beneath bathroom shower to drive out the least possibilities of emergence of thoughts again. The book had led her into an emotional crisis. A week later, when she came across Poonam- her class girl, she begged.
“Yaar, save me. I’m dying. I see horrible dreams” On being asked, she revealed her every truth, Poonam reassured her.
“Relax yaar, relax. This book will restore you instead, read again” She advised.
“What are you talking about Poonam dear? It is an erotica, pornography, not a book on morality. How it would restore me, darling?” Poonam noticed the quavering excitement in her voice and mocked at her tapping her bustline.
“What a good apple yaar. Let friends eat them?” Supriya fumed away.
Hate, hate, hate. He hated to recall her love for erotica. No, no, no, she would never buy any book from market. Indian writers, huh!
Confusedly, she walked over department and accidentally came across Neerja, a dusky colour lass, her routine acquaintance. Might she give her good suggestion? But she suggested her spending on friends. Huh! Should she waste the money? Outrightly turning down her silly suggestions, Supriya gave her a grimace showing wrath jostling her new golden spires. She decided she would never talk to Neerja in future. Apart from her, she got advices from various other quarters also. Regretfully, nobody was able to give her attractive suggestion.
It was the only Suresh left who could help her. Should she seek suggestion from her? She had not told him about her prize money. Would he help her buying an attractive memorable thing? In a sheer puzzlement, she approached him. Suresh optimistically recommended her to buy a fine quality shawl, for; the winter season was just coming and the very evening, he drove her plush downtown sector seventeen market and pulled up his old Fiat car in front of a gaudy showroom. Supriya amazed. Might she be able to buy a good shawl at reasonable rate from this gaudy showroom? Might Suresh intentionally not want to insult her before the market people?
However, the show room owner welcomed them. He displayed a large variety of shawls, very costly, very attractive, super quality. Supriya liked many but the shopkeeper did not want to sell any because he did not give discount on them. Supriya, in vain, haggled over the price. Each shawl was more than one thousand rupees.
After half an hour abortive bargain, they came out of the showroom. She told Suresh that she wanted to buy a white colour shawl brocaded with gold patterns and looked into his eyes with hope. Might Suresh spend on her buying a shawl for her? But he seemed not ready to fritter away money on her. Then, a servant of the shop raced after them and grabbed Suresh’s hand.
“Come, come, sahib, we would not let you go without buying shawl” He fetched them back into the shop.
“Bhai Sahib, it’s your shop. Believe us, your like customers are our showroom grace. Is that how could we cheat on you, sir?” The man on the counter argued.
“Your prices are very high” Supriya haggled.
“Madam, speak to us very clear how far much can you pay for a shawl?” Shopkeeper’s son articulated. Supriya again hopefully looked at Suresh who was reluctant to buy her shawl. He signalled shopkeeper’s son show them a good shawl not more than one thousand. Shopkeeper’s son nodded at the tone of his good.
“Thank you, sir. It would be fine, sir” And he spread out the pile of poor quality shawls before them. Supriya disappointedly began to rummage beneath the large pile and fished out one sober looking shinning shawl of turmeric colour. It too was lower quality but appeared expensive and trendy. Its coloured seemed original
“Fantastic choice, madam.” The showroom guy came out with usual smile.
“It’s a unique colour, madam.” The owner at once on hearing beamed and stared into Supriya.
“I too appreciate and recommend you madam to buy this one. It’s really a unique piece.”
“Price?” Suresh asked with superficial panic.
“Sir, for you, price is no problem. We’ll not take extra from you, sir” He grinned skilfully.
“Customers satisfaction is in fact our motto, sir” His shrewd salesmanship attitude irked Supriya. She stared into owner’s eyes and laughed gravely.
“Please tell us the reasonable price, bhai Sahib.” She asked resignedly as she nibbled her nails.
“Madam, you are our nice customer. Is that how could we cheat on you?” He then took calculator, danced his fingers with its buttons, narrowed his eyes, put his chin over his palm and mechanically calculated thereafter.
“Madam, for you it’s only one thousand and fifty, exact price” He declared finally.
“No, I shall give you eight hundred, exact price” Supriya announced.
“Sorry madam, this like shawl, we sell in one thousand ninety, not less even a penny” Supriya then surprised into Suresh’s eyes to pick his endorsement but he looked disinterested.
“It’s a reasonable price, madam” His son furthered.
“Its colour is very rare, madam. You can not get it even cheaper, try it.” The owner continued broadening his smile.
“You say it cheaper. You jokes with us” She waved her hands helplessly and stood to leave the counter.
“Madam, we don’t want you catch other shop. We give you this shawl fifty rupees less” The owner at the counter formed his lips round.
“Eight hundred is genuine prize” Supriya insisted.
“Sorry madam, in fact you don’t want to buy this shawl” He couched back into lofty chair and turned to other customers. Supriya felt ignored and left the shop. Suresh shook hands with the showroom owner and followed her. Supriya grew sulked. She again and again stared into his (Suresh) eyes as if he was responsible for her unsuccessful shopping. How he shook hands with the pygmy son of a bitch (shopkeeper)? Might he not buy her a shawl? But she spoke nothing.
Suresh started the car. Badly hurt Supriya took the back seat not wanting to talk to him. Might Suresh let her sit in back? Seeing her, he switched off the engine, stepped down the car, escorted her to the front seat, then put a kiss onto her cheeks. I love you, darling. They drove to another market. Shoes centre. Book kiosks. Cosmetic shop. Bartan store. Shoes shopkeeper showed her pairs of fine quality American moccasin- rare of the rarest which were out of her reach. She again looked into his eyes with hope. Idiot! Had he not insulted her again not to buy her the shoes of her fancy? Result: Supriya shopped nothing and Suresh dropped her- her hostel.
Had he (Suresh) not duped her smartly? Why he had not brought her reasonably price shops? Vicious fellow! Didn’t he know how to behave with a girlfriend? How he guilefully shook hands with that swine (shopkeeper)? Befooling me? I will never go with him. She cried to herself. What might be the use of one thousand rupee note, my prize money?” She began to sob falling down her face into palms. Shouldn’t she alone visit the market?
Next evening, she took herself to seventeen sector market by local CTU bus. Alone, with hard decision to buy a memorable thing with meagre money humiliating Suresh with her wisdom. She lingered down one shop to another up and backed to previous one undecidedly what to buy or what to not. Saris, Jeans, T-shirts, skirts-tops, utensils, books, cosmetics, body-shaping devices, transistors, goggles or even flowerpots were failed to catch her fancy.
The market was littered with boredom, monotony and stupidity. Every shopkeeper looked to her scoundrel, pervert and fucking haggler. How could she buy anything from scoundrels? She immediately decided to scurry back. Frustration made her senses paralysed. She rushed to highway road where she could hire local bus. It was the busy road, crammed with mad traffic on both sides. Tired, drained and strained Supriya sat on cement slab inside the bus terminal shelter waiting for bus. Vehicles were running madly towards their destinations, but no bus. Supriya waited...waited...she would be mad, she thought. She saw all things around her growing mad in rush. Air, smoke spitting out from vehicles seemed her mad. A cluster of tree in the vicinity of nearby hotel seemed also mad shaking its head in the fury of stormy wind. In the rush of madness, her eyes all of a sudden fixed at a foreign couple gossiping in the vicinity of nearby hotel. Might she not approach the couple?
“Hi, it is Miss Supriya, friends”
“Hi” Couple smiled and glimpsed into her eyes.
“Yeah” She held out her hand. They shook.
“I am here just wanted to say you hello” Supriya smiled exhaustingly.
“Thank you, thank you” Supriya smiled exhaustingly.
“Be friend” Supriya offered. They again shook hands and exchanged their introductions. They had been from Australia. They told. Lady wearing transparent glasses, was slightly rotund seemed girlfriend to the guy. Their colours were fair and hairs brown. Eyes tinted blue. Oh having asked, they explained to Supriya that they were twenty people visited India participating in Dance Pageant. The beauty of Chandigarh had impressed them. When Supriya told them that this city had been architected by Swiss-French planner Le Corbusier. They lavished praises on him.
Supriya was happy as the conversation went on interesting. She made her introduction with all one by one- babe you’re sweet, babe, love to see you, babe, are you student? Different guys, different remarks. Supriya beamed...and beamed- thank you, thank you, yes, I’m a student. Her tiredness began to wane. Wow! Twenty foreigners. She was anxious to see great, smart, intelligent, well-groomed, wise, foreigners, to befriend with them, to dance with them, to gossip with them, to sing with them, to laugh with them, and to dine with them.
Mirthfully, she tossed her hair back and glanced into a young man’s eyes to whom she met first. He seemed her an auspicious thing. Might he accept her proposal for friendship? She wanted to offer herself to him but the presence of rotund lady was the big harassment in her way of emotional outpourings. Then, the picture of Suresh began spinning before her eyes. What might he think of her if he came to know her relationship with the foreigner? Although she disliked him yet she had his horror. Supriya! You are a nasty lady. You hoodwink me, bitch! She imagined someone rebuking her- Supriya, you are a cheat, you cheat on your dearest boy friend- Suresh, you moves on wrong path. Aren’t you, bitch? No, no, no. Suresh is not my dearest. He is just classmate. Dearest, huh!
“You lie. Are you not in love with him?” Her inner challenged her.
“No, no, no” Supriya yelled into her hands.
“Why are you so angry, babe?” The rotund lady surprised to notice her.
“No, no, I’m happy” Humiliatingly, Supriya answered. The rotund lady grinned sarcastically and waded through the crowd to a far-away book store. Wait, wait...till I be back. After her departure, Supriya felt all free to glance into Australian guy. Smilingly, she danced her eyes on him.
“Sir, let’s have a coffee, please” He nodded, yes, yes, yes. He held her hand into her and took her inside the hotel where they stayed.
“Yeah, English literature, final year” Supriya beamed.
“I think, Indians are good in English” He lit cigarette sitting by corner table. Supriya nodded her head slightly in puzzlement whether she approved it or not was undecipherable.
“Your good name, sir?” Supriya moved on.
“Jackpot” He kissed her hand. Supriya blushed.
“Really Jackpot?” She blossomed and noticed the Australian peeping into her breasts. Supriya set her puffy dupatta onto them. Jackpot diverted his focus.
“It’s my pleasure if you think so, honey” He gave a big smile.
“Yours is good name, sir” Supriya mildly pulled her hand back.
“This name my mother gave me” He furthered- “but my cronies would often clamour me Jackanapes”
“Jackanapes... so” Supriya laughed loudly and drops of spit nestled over Jackpot’s arms. She felt humiliated while Jackpot remained unaware of it. With little efforts, Supriya summoned up all her courage.
“Do you really like to befriend with me, Jack?”
“Why not? Sure” Jackpot stirred.
“Friendship is I perceive the most obviously excellent thing” He again held her hand.
“Now let me ask you about yourself, Don’t you?” Supriya silenced. She grew awesome how she was going to be interrogated.
“And your views on certain things also” He continued. Supriya puzzled.
“What is honesty, you know, sweet?” Supriya thought for a while, then spoke.
“Honesty is probably the sexiest thing a man can give to woman.” The answer amazed the Australian Jackpot. Might he ever expect such a marvellous answer from an Indian lass? He thought the girl is really extraordinary. Coffee in two cups came, they sipped.
“And the true definition of education?” Was the second question with second sip.
“Education is the vaccine for violence.” Supriya answered sophistically. Really, the girl is a sharp brain. Her answers mesmerised Jackpot. Before friendship with any girl, he used to ask five questions to study their brain. Three questions were left.
“What is, you think, the wonderful and rare flash of moment?” It seemed a kookiest and unclear question. Supriya mused for a minute. Very strange question? But she smiled and gave the answer with buoyancy.
“Wonderful and rare flash of the moment is that when we realise that we’ve discovered a true friend”
“Excellent, excellent, excellent” He yelled with delight and embraced her into his body. Supriya blushed.
“Ready, sir” Supriya smiled with a nod.
“Where we can find happiness?”
“Happiness hides in life’s small details” A quick answer. Jackpot pressed her both hands with warmth. And they became friends before rushing back the rotund lady from market. She saw them sitting hand in hand.
“Babe, do you love my dear Jack?” She tapped her cheeks.
“Yes...no, no....nope” Supriya puzzled. Rotund lady smiled and bounced back.
“Bye, sweetie” And she went off into her room.
When the hall was packed with people, Jackpot declared he would join the rehearsal. Supriya rushed out of the hall. Within minutes, all the gates were latched from inside and at the mid glassgate; a plump, moustached man appeared. Supriya wanted to spend her day with Jackpot. He had promised her that they would dance together.
Beats of drum following orchestra started. Supriya sat on a chair in the aisle. The hotel management had invited some socialite high officials’ wives to entertain them. Supriya saw the ladies with their men buzzing different accents entering the foyer. The man at the gate saluted them with a slight stoop in their honour. Arrogantly, they did not notice him. Some of them looked at Supriya casually. Supriya tried to smile at their gaze but she noticed their faces snobbishedly gave funny grimaces. The man at the gate asked humbly.
“Ma’am, could you please let me help you?”
“I want to get to Mr. Jackpot”
“Please come in and see him” He stooped a little in welcome.
“No, give message to him, please”
“Well, madam” The gatekeeper answered travelling his hungry eyes across her body.
“Your good name, Madame”
“Hmm…Supriya” Supriya whispered. Gatekeeper swaggered back into hallway like a royal prince as he locked the door from inside and after his quickening back within minutes; Jackpot emerged up at gate and escorted Supriya into hall.
“Just sit, sweet” Supriya took chair. Jackpot joined the dance floor. She noticed some boys-girls in each other arms smoking and laughing boisterously. Smell of spilled drink was all prevalent unbearable to her. A fit of cough raided Supriya- sick girl, sick girl, sick girl. The crowd jumped into murmur out of earshot. Supriya embarrassed. She sneaked a look at Jackpot laughing with rotund lady. Most of the girls- in their scanty dresses- shaking their naked legs under tables following the waves of orchestra music.
“Would you please have a dance?” Then, a clumsily looking Australian guy seemed as if a don of crime world, swaggered towards Supriya holding out his hand towards her, begged.
“No” But he insolently pulled her onto himself. Supriya shocked, shivered, humiliated. The ground beneath her feet shook. Supriya scornfully shoved him back and slapped.
“Wild beast!” Danced stopped. Socialite ladies with their great men began to stare at her- sick girl, sick girl, sick girl. They were not happy at Supriya’s behaviour. Supriya felt as if the earth would split crack and she sink into it. She exits the hall at once. How stupid he is! Beast! Fiend! So far, nobody could dare to touch her body so cruelly. Is it a dance? This way, they people dance and behave with their partners. The Australian beast chased her. Supriya noticed the rotund lady inside the hall had pursued him. Australian ladies are always bitchy!
“Honey, please have a dance”
“No, no, no” Supriya shouted furiously.
“Thank you” He said simply and sauntered back. Supriya amazed, how strange and foolish he is? Ok, no problem. I damn your problem, stupid but I have big problem with your-like people. Her head began to spin. Supriya asked the waiter to give her a glass of water. He gave. Supriya gulped and moved close to the reception.
“Could I please help you, madam?” The scrawny girl at the reception welcomed her with a smile.
“Please ask Jackpot to stop dance and see me” Supriya said commandingly.
“I beg your pardon madam. He had asked me not to let anybody to disturb him” The receptionist said humbly. Supriya requested her again giving a fifty rupee note.
“Thank you” She asked kindly-”What’s your good name, madam?”
“Supriya” The receptionist immediately dialled the number.
“It is Julie, sir. Someone Supriya wants to see you” The sound on the other side, Supriya did not hear.
“Yes sir. I ask her, sir” She got off the phone.
“Madam, Mr. Jackpot asking, with whom you have come here” Supriya stunned. With whom I have come here, this- Jackpot asking? Is it not a strange question? No, receptionist might not have phoned to Jackpot. There might be another man on the other side?
“Could you please let me phone her personally, madam?”
“No” The receptionist expected one more fifty rupee note. Supriya implored not showing her note. After a wait, she delivered her final verdict.
“Madam, please have a seat and wait for sometime till he free himself” Supriya gloomily sat on the edge of chair and hoped into receptionist. Her eyes were focussed at the gate waiting for Jackpot. She again and again begged the receptionist to ring him again. But she allowed Supriya to phone Jackpot.
“Just come, just come, just come” She heard Jackpot crying into phone. And he appeared. Supriya ran towards him and plumped into his arms.
“Where’re you, sir?” He tightened her with him.
In your heart, sweetie” And put a kiss on her. The hall was empty. All the showmen, women had sheltered into their rooms. Jackpot again escorted her into hall. After a while, Supriya opened her handbag and peeped into it hopefully. She pulled out a thousand rupee note for moments, surreptitiously kissed it, again thrust it into handbag. It is her prize money. Thank God, it is safe.
Supriya relaxed. A one thousand rupee note was still there with no complaint, no groaning. She reflected if Jackpot might suggest her how she should spend money and on which memorable thing? Previously, she had tried with Suresh but he was completely failure. So, she detested the duffer (Suresh) and decided that she would break up the relationship with him forever.
“What is it?” Jackpot asked.
“I am free now, let us dine out” Supriya gazed into his eyes with some hope. No answer.
“Oh, come...come” Supriya rose and opened her arms for Jackpot. He encircled her into arms and entwined his legs with her so as he might control her in the case of her falling in the first jig because they wanted to practice Australian folk dance in which almost three leaps at a time were essential to make the performance best following German dance waltz. Supriya wanted to learn dance from him and Jackpot sincerely was all set to teach her.
Next, she would coach Jackpot how to swim. She promised. Jackpot explained to her that he would have feared to get on swimming and she oppositely had won the championship award in swimming. She would lead him to the swimming pool, very early. She decided.
After half an hour practice, Supriya begged him to stop. Jackpot noticed her exhaustion and halted.
“Thank God, it is really very tough” Supriya uttered, unable to control her breath.
“You need practice if you want to give a show” Jackpot smiled and tapped her sweaty cheeks. Supriya was happy although she knew her weakness. She did not learn how to move legs, swing rhythmically and go round after round putting right hand over partner’s midriff.
“Could they let me give a show?” Supriya delighted
“Why not, they need talented artistes” Jackpot said. Then he enthusiastically began to explain about waltz.
“Oh cruel! Stop this bored lecture” She again thumped on his chest and then plumped down into his embrace.
And the lecture stopped.
“Are you new in Chandigarh, I think?”
“Why don’t you ask me stroll you in the beautiful city?”
“I shall coach you swimming and we would dine out together in a fine restaurant. Won’t we?”
“Sure enough, sweet” Supriya grew elated with the light of love and joy. They left the hotel, hand in hand, together began to behave with each other as if love flying birds emerging from Heaven, knew their intentions without saying anything to each other. Both had intense feelings in their hearts for each other. Supriya at time spoke ill of the rotund lady who had deprived Mr. Jackpot from her. Jackpot did not even mind. He laughed boisterously instead. She bitch is my friend, you think, sweet.
Hand in hand, they crossed the hazardous road. Jackpot put his right hand round her shoulder and lit cigarette by left hand. Supriya glanced at him pleasantly. She was obsessed with the western way of his life. She was madly influenced by his smoking style. She wondered how they had come close within a day. If I had not met Jackpot maybe I would have died. After a while, Jackpot offered cigarette to Supriya. She outrightly rejected.
“No, thank you”
“Good. It’s injurious to female health”
“Oh wonder! For male health, it is salubrious, you think” She mocked.
“Do you promise me keeping our friendship forever?” Supriya loved to swing in his arms.
“It is too early to decide, sweet” He said frankly. Supriya thought for a moment and peeped into her handbag again. One thousand rupee was elegantly lying there. She drew relief. Oh God, it is safe. Prize money.
“What is in your purse you are stealing looks into again and again?” Jackpot asked inquisitively. Supriya smiled meekly, spoke nothing. Should she get suggestions from Jackpot how to spend prize money? Wouldn’t he scoff at her?
“Nothing.” Supriya mumbled and turned the knob of her handbag. Jackpot took purse out of her hand and fished out one thousand rupee note. At once. Supriya whitened as if a patient of jaundice.
“One thousand rupee” He scrutinised- “Up to now, I could not have glimpsed one thousand rupee note, honey. If you don’t mind let me have this one with me” Supriya was taken aback. And Jackpot slipped the note inside his pocket.
“It is not mine sir” Supriya shrieked abruptly- “Yesterday, a female friend of mine had given me to have a change of it” Jackpot smirked and placed the note back into her handbag. Supriya heaved a sigh of relief. Narrowly escaped? She hated to give her prize money to anybody.
“I think Indian girls don’t lie. Do they?” Supriya smiled. Jackpot lit another cigarette putting his hand on her waist.
“Jack, what you think about love?”
“I think love is a precious gem” Jackpot answered making smoke rings.
“Have you any sweetheart, darling?” Looking into his eyes, Supriya asked frankly.
“Who is she, Jack?
“You” He said kissing her.
“Liar” Supriya thumped onto his hairy chest shouting at the passing auto rickshaw. Auto rickshaw stopped with a pull. They clambered up and Supriya instructed the driver. Within half an hour, they reached a home where Supriya used to visit with girls for swimming. At the back of the house, there was a large open area and three four cubicles for use facing a beautiful swimming pool. “
It is not a public place” Supriya informed him. Jackpot was surprised at the beauty of the place. He saw there an old man. Wrinkled face. He saluted Supriya and stared into stranger (Jackpot)
“Baba, he is my cousin coming from Australia” The old man smiled saluting him.
“No, it’s friend’s” Supriya told.
“Here, I might teach you swimming” Jackpot thrilled.
“Thank you” Supriya felt herself filling with love and wanting. Never before, she enjoyed the life so intensely.
“Has your friend no family?”
“They all people have gone to Shimla” Supriya spoke unworriedly. The sun had been set and stars spangled beautiful night with relaxing gibbous moon fell.
“Come, come” Supriya said sweetly.
“Bathing costumes” Jackpot asked.
“Oh, I arrange it” She mumbled, went inside the cubicle and brought a short pant, threw it over to Jackpot. Then again, she disappeared into cubicle for herself change. She too wore a flowery swimming suit and bounced back. Jackpot observed her body in swimming costumes looking very attractive. There was a silence except for the sound of cooling breeze. She wanted to do something wonderful for him, the first lesson of swimming. Also, she wanted to make the moments memorable and let him know how much she cared for him, how much she valued him in her life, how much she loved him, how much she dedicated to his friendship. And suddenly, they together jumped into the pool, hands on waists. She was afraid Jackpot would be puzzled as he did not know the nitty-gritty of swim. She was pretty amazed how an Australian did not know how to swim. She embraced him tightly so as to he could not drown.
“Good teacher.” Exclaimed Jackpot and kissed her.
“Thanks.” Supriya continued to embrace him tightly. She felt his hardness onto her thighs.
“Jack, save yourself, don’t lose balance” She gripped onto his hips.
“Let me go out of water, it’s difficult” Jack cried thrusting himself into her cleavage.
“It will be fine” And they both waded out. They lay embracing onto the floor for minutes. Jackpot lay on his back and he let Supriya onto over him.
“Really, would you teach me swimming?”
“Why not? I had a scholarship in this sport” Supriya said proudly and fell down into his body. His constant hardness had stimulated her. She pulled down his short pant and made the moments memorable. After finish the swimming, she felt herself victorious. She was happy as she had defeated the foreigner guy despite she was failed to teach him swimming.
Jackpot dressed himself. Really, swimming is an arduous task, he thought. The sky was littered with stars, marvellously twinkling. After moments, Supriya began to sob.
“What happened, darling?” He placed his hand over her shoulders.
“I think, I’m a nasty girl” Supriya sank into his chest and wept terribly.
“No, no, no, you’re a good girl” Jackpot pressed her shoulders.
“Jack, I want to get married with you. I think I should die if you reject me” Jackpot did no longer react to her emotions. He stroked her cheeks and smiled.
“Would you marry me, Jack” She repeated.
“Sorry, there are twenty Indian girls who dream of being my wife. I don’t want marriage with an Indian lass” Supriya’s hopes at once entirely evaporated.
“Jackpot, I am hurt to your answer, you have ruined me” Supriya wailed.
“I beg your pardon, madam. I’m ready to compensate” He humbled.
“Compensate? For what? For my devotion to you? For my body to you? Huh, compensate. I hate you, Jack” Jackpot did not answer.
“I want to teach you swimming and you exploit me” She pulled down his collar.
“Silly girl, don’t fabricate me” Jackpot annoyed.
“I fabricate you- I – hate to hear what you say, cheater! You are scoundrel. You have ruined me and saying I fabricate you” And Supriya cried into tears and slapped over his cheeks, to his much amazement. Jackpot stunned. He did not want to create the scene. He laughed strategically, held Supriya’s hand, kissed them.
“Darling, just joking. Don’t you know I am sort of a funny guy?” At this, Supriya calmed down and her tears shone.
“Really Jack?” She embraced him and passionately spiked his fingers into his back. Jackpot promised her that they would plan their marriage after the show- thank you, thank you, thank you. They exchanged their cellular numbers and separated. Supriya then peeped into her handbag and noticed one thousand rupee note relaxing beneath other currency notes. At night 2.30 am, Jackpot rang Supriya and begged her visit his hotel.
“I’m unable to come now, darling” She said apologetically.
“I want to see you my parents. How might they let me marry to you if you don’t come” Jackpot baited. Supriya worried for moments, then cried, I come, I come. And she stealthily rushed out of her hostel room. She gave twenty rupee note to security lady and made her way to slip out of the hostel begging she might hurry back within half an hour.
In his hotel’s room, she discovered Jackpot alone, cigarette between his fingers. He had lied to her.
“Darling, don’t mind please. I want to buy your body. I think you might never mind” Supriya stunned as if someone had slapped on her
“Where are your parents? She frowned.
“They don’t want your marriage with me?” She tried to shriek out but her voice chocked.
“They want, they want” Jackpot emphasised- “I have told them my decision. They say, India is a country of beggars and swine but I don’t think so” Supriya saw the gloom of smoke wafting under his nostril. She staggered about to fall. Jackpot restored her in his arms, fixing his eyes into breasts.
“I would pay you much” Supriya in disgust shoved him back. She at once decided to abandon his hostel room. Nasty fellow, villain, rascal, scoundrel, stupid, speaks- India is a country of beggars and swine. Is your Australia not a country of frogs and swine and a country of stupid people and a country of bastards and rascals? Like you!
And before deserting Jackpot, she anxiously opened the chrome knob of her handbag and sneaked a look into it. And then delicately touched the note with her soft fingers. Jackpot proceeded to embrace her. Supriya resisted. She detested the girls who sold their beauty for money. She was frightened to hear the straight offer. Are all foreigners- Australians- the cheapest people?
“Jack, you are fraud. I hate you” His impression on Supriya had completely washed off. She left his room and raced towards road. The night was dark and frightening. Dogs in clusters barked. She hailed a rickshaw to reach university girls’ hostel. It was about half past five and morning shift began at six. Might she reach in hostel within half an hour? She feared that the hostel warden would complain against her to papa.
Since months back, she had complained against her many times to papa and papa had chided her to come back to hostel before the night fell. All of a sudden, smitten by the phobia to lose the one thousand rupee note, she again looked into her handbag lying in her lap. Note was still resting there with distinguished smiled embracing her hair clips. Supriya tapped the note as if a soft baby. The note murmured pleasurably. Supriya again tapped it with murky smile on her face. It again murmured as if flaunting its vivacity. Supriya had lost her virginity because of her foolishness but she was satisfied as her prize money was protected with her.
When rickshaw puller pulled up at the gate of girls’ hostel, she stepped down wearily and placed coins onto his palm, thank you, baba” Rickshaw puller grinned and rode back. Hostel main gate was bolted from inside. Supriya looked inside through the hole. She saw the security lady dozing onto chair thrusting her head into folded legs. Dust wearing and sweltering bulb throwing out bits of light from holes relaxed Supriya. She whistled as she peeped through the hole. The security lady suddenly awoke. She again whistled and whispered.
“Monica Didi, it is me.” After that, she put a slight knock onto the door and again peeped into the hole. The khaki clad lady, Monica Didi who was sinking into an iron chair a moment before took no notice of it and shut her eyes.
“Monica Didi, open the door, please” Security lady opened her eyes again and yawned. Her eyes stirred intermittently and confusedly. Again, Supriya banged the latch onto the door with a little more vigour.
“Who is it?” A shrill sound immediately stormed out.
“It is Supriya, Didi”
“Supriya, who Supriya?” Bitch! she had forgotten twenty rupee note.
“Mehta, Supriya Mehta” She spoke as an announcement.
“Police cop daughter”
“Yes, Didi.” She spoke proudly.
“Flirt girl. You had asked me rush back half an hour” A sudden penetrating sound exploded from inside. Supriya silenced. The door shrilly opened with a blast.
“You will corrupt the other girls.” Security lady reproved. Supriya looked into her miserably.
“Flirt girl, your ways are not proper. Mend your ways, daughter.” Supriya’s blood at once grew into frozen. She was reddened with humiliation and shame. Even the security woman had the dares to interrogate her roughly. She was the pampered daughter of police cop and even trivial security lady was behaving with her so insultingly.
“I’m sorry Didi” Supriya began to sob and her teary eyes moved security woman.
“Run to your room.” Security woman commanded.
“Don’t speak to anybody I had allowed you to go” The security lady advised her. Supriya shook her head and crawled upstairs. She was feeling as if she had been disembowelled. Having reached into room, she switched on the light and bolted the door inside. She immediately lay down on crushed bed. She was terribly tired and drained.
“Why I met an Australian, stupid?” She admonished herself. Why I began to hate Suresh? He had never asked me, I want to buy your body. She began to weep badly into pillow. Subsequently, she gulped two three glass full of water dishing out one thousand rupee note from handbag. She placed it on bed. Note apparently seemed mocking at her. Australian guy had offended her enormously.
“Fucker! You are the only reason to my ruin. Why don’t you perish now?” And she intemperately with a stream of anger tore the nasty one thousand rupee note into small bits and tossed them into dustbin. A pleasant relaxation now was prevalent on her dusky face. Then, she lay down on crumpled bed on her back and embraced pillow into her arms to oust the nightmare.