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Rohini puts on the deck. A quiet music flows out bringing freshness to the atmosphere. Her choice of music was splendid. Now she enters the kitchen to prepare last supper. She calls Mahendra, “ohh, Mahendra, please come out and help me fix the night meals for both of us.” And, there he comes, in the towel around his waist, his well-built body was very impressive indeed, to her. She looks on and yells at him, “why you are coming like this, don’t you have any clothes?” and then she all of a sudden, realizes that the fellow has no spare clothes. “I am sorry to shout like this to you but you know I got panicked looking you in this outfit.” She explained to him. “I can understand that but mam, can you allow me to help you in this outfit now?” he apologetically requested. Her young body was shivering all over. Some electric power was as it were, passing through her whole body. For a while, she blushed, moved her eyes from his muscular body, and said apologetically again, “I am sorry but you know, tomorrow first thing we have to do is to get you a few pairs of pajamas and a few pairs of footwear.” Rohini looked to him, now for the first time, passionately. Here Mahendra was as usual without any expression on his grim face. He mechanically took the knife and started peeling potatoes. The way he was doing the work it became very clear to Rohini that this man is really a very good cook. She stood on the side allowing him to do the chore. Warming morning leftovers in microwave, preparing chapattis, cooking rice in the pressure cooker all the usual kitchen work Mahendra was doing like a trend machine. His hands were very swift and within a short time, the meals were ready. “Can I serve you the meal now?” he asked politely. She was deeply impressed with his work and mutely showed her approval. The food was served to her, he made the chair properly and asked her to sit, then served the plate with steaming hot rice and chapattis with some gravy and fried potatoes. The meal was simple but very testy. He stood beside the chair looking to her for approval. Rohini really liked the whole of the thing that was all happening there. She looked to him and said, “You do not want to eat”? “I shall eat afterwards”, he replied. On that Rohini commanded to him, “Mahendra you can sit with me and eat, you are a gentleman and I cannot treat you like a servant”. “Never mind mam,” he whispered. “you are not listening to me Mahendra, I am ordering to you to eat along with me, NOW!” she squealed. On that Mahendra took the opposite chair to her and sat arranging to take his meal. Both ate without a word. The Deck in the living room was playing excellent background music. Food was splendid. Rohini was convinced that this stranger was a good cook too! After finishing the meal she looked to him, Mahendra had already finished his and was waiting on her. “Ahy, you have finished your meal so fast? Are you a fast eater?” She remarked jokingly while eating hers leisurely. Mahendra smiled graciously and nodded, “I have not eaten for some days,” he explained. This shocked Rohini and she felt very sorry that she asked this question. She looked to Mahendra intently and realized that his beard was really very ugly on that face. She remembered that the shaving cream and razor blade were in her dressing room table, she often needed them to clean her under arm hair. But will it be good to ask this stranger to use it to clean his beard? She wondered to herself. Then she decided that, along with other requirements of the man, she should also purchase a set of shaving material. She asked Mahendra, “how do you like the idea of cleaning off this ugly beard of your?” Mahendra moved his hand on the beard, he was holding a big spoon in that hand, and so the spoon rattled with the beard making cracking sound. She made faces at the sound but could not help laughing softly. For the first time the man looked with some expression on his face. He approved of the suggestion. “Tomorrow we will have the shaving material for you, OK?” she announced loudly. Mahendra only smiled lightly. He collected the dishes and bowls from the table and took them to the sink next to the cooking platform. While that he was doing, his towel became loose on the waist and that it would fall apart. He knowing that apologetically looked to Rohini who was watching him and mutely requested her to hold on the towel and fasten it properly on his waist. As his both hands were full with the dishes, Rohini was looking on; this was something new to her. She did it and that was her first touch of that stranger, she actually did not like that but there was no way. She had to do it otherwise the towel would have come apart and the man would be unclothed.
Otherwise, she would do all this chore, now she had an aid and she was feeling some unusual relief. She was looking to the back of this strong young man. He was cleaning utensils and the way he was doing it she realized that he knows the job very well. She slowly moved away into the living room and relaxed on one of the box beds. Deck was playing the new tune and that was somehow related to the present situation in which Rohini was passing.
Continues in the next post –
Continues in next post –
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