Sunday, March 28, 2010

Beautiful

“They are going to be here in like fifteen minutes,” he hissed at her. “How can you still be in the kitchen!”

“I have had to cook for a gathering of twenty on the short notice of six hours,” she gritted through her teeth. “We did not order in, because you didn’t want to spend money on futile stuff like that, remember?”

“You are not even dressed to greet them!” He scolded. “How come Natasha manages everything with such flair?

“Because Natasha has two cooks and a manservant,” She almost shouted. “Not to mention at least two days of advance notice.” And a husband who loves her, she added silently.

“Never mind,” he mumbled as he headed out of the kitchen. “I suppose even they are used to you appearing unkempt and froppy. And frankly, its not like it would make a world of difference even if you decided to put in that effort to look good.”

Her dishrag dangling from her half-forgotten hands, she watched as slapped his feet on the linoleum flooring and headed to the hall. Where had she gone wrong? She gave herself a mental shake and hastened to finish mopping the granite. She really had less than fifteen minutes to get ready.

She eyed herself critically in the mirror. The red and blue saree, complimented her dusky complexion. Did she look presentable? She wasn’t vain or stupid enough to think she looked beautiful. She had not felt beautiful in a long time. But there was a time when she really believed she could be beautiful.

He made her believe she was beautiful.

She often recollected glimpses of time spent with him. Like that time, when they were sitting behind tall glasses of chocolate fringed cold coffee – he had said something which had made her laugh.

“You could create a traffic jam when you laugh like that,” he smiled at her. She rolled her eyes. “No. Seriously. Your eyes get that unique hint of sparkle and your cheeks get tinged with this faint pink blush… it’s mesmerizing!”

Or that time when she had dragged him shopping with her and had asked his opinion on the red and black stilettos she was trying out. “I am blushing,” he said with a straight face.

“They are that good?” she asked eyeing the stilettos dubiously in the mirror.

“Your ankles are sexy,” she rolled her eyes again. “No. Honest,” he continued. “You should stay away from guys with foot fetishes. One look at those and they’ll begin stalking you!”

Her favorite one was when they had gone to the disc together. She was eyeing the crowd wearily. She hated being pushed against strange bodies. Maybe coming here was not a good idea after all. But the music was good and she was in a mood to dance.

“I don’t like crowds,” she confessed. “And the dance floor looks crowded multiplied by two.”

“Dressed like that,” he looked her up and down. “All you have to do is step on the dance floor and the crowds will part for you!”

She had felt beautiful.

She needed to feel beautiful now. She needed that bit of confidence to face her husband’s office crowd downstairs. And him. He would be there too. Did he think of her as often as she thought of him? Did he know she thought of him that often? How could he? Nobody could even guess what she thought! She had successfully pulled off the farce of a happy marriage for two years. She had to continue doing that for the next couple of decades.

She saw him the minute she stepped into the hall. Their eyes met and for a brief second, she felt incapable of looking away. She then nodded her head acknowledging his presence and smiled briefly at him. She shifted her gaze to seek her husband.

It wasn’t difficult to spot him, considering he was heading her way.

“You are late!” he hissed as he wrapped his fingers around her arm and almost dragged her to meet the guests. After a couple of perfunctory smiles and handshakes and ‘how do you dos’ she found herself alone with her husband.

“You should have tied your hair,” he instructed through the fake smile plastered on his face. He wasn’t even looking at her. “You look so silly with your hair let down like that. For once, you could have put your heart into looking close to presentable.”

She swallowed the lump of tears, forcing its way up her throat.

“Hey,” he smiled at her and then shook hands with her husband. She smiled at him and looked around for something to occupy her attention. If she looked at him, she would definitely cry – for everything that could have been and everything that wasn’t.

“What?” her husband fooled around with him, “No gorgeous model is clinging to your very available arm?”

“Didn’t want her ego to take a bruising,” he laughed.

Her husband smiled and looked around, “I don’t see much of a competition here,” he winked at him.

“Maybe you’ve gotten used to it,” he said.

“I don’t get you,” her husband frowned.

“The only way you haven’t noticed how stunning your wife looks in that particular shade of blue, is because you have gotten used to seeing such beauty everyday,” he smiled.

She wanted to throw her arms around him and laugh, and cry. “It is very unbecoming of you to flirt with a married woman,” she told him instead.

10 comments:

Raj said...

You could create a traffic jam when you laugh like that..

It is very unbecoming of you to flirt with a married woman...

lol...

when you write like that the internet connection gets slow, there are so many users reading :P

The Sage said...

me seconds raj @ last line... wonderful as ever.... :)

Ratzzz said...

stunning... i can so put myself in her shoes... yearning for a forbidden fruit and yet staying away by herself..

lovely post BnB

blunt edges said...

it felt like the scene was playing out in front of me...did i tell u i love your writing? :D

Tejas said...

magical..

sanely insane said...

yups ankles play a very important part for us foot fetishists :P

funny though how often it is true...most ppl are up to the chase...not the fruit of the chase itself

Americanising Desi said...

i think i was lost in your words and even now - dont know how entwined i am

rain girl said...

awwwwwwwwwwwwww....

and I agree with Raj and Sage!

How do we know said...

awww... after a sweet movie which is just so softly romantic without the mush, this post, with its very romantic tone, is sooooo not fair on ppl like us.. :-)
LOVED ur writing.. totally!!

Vishal Raj said...

I am spell bound of your creativity.
Loving it.