Smita receives a Wats app message. Its from Saurabh. Abhijeet, her husband is sleeping next to her in bed, so she hurriedly goes in to the kitchen and accesses the message. It is a selfie of Saurabh, his lips pouted in a kiss for Smita. She smiles. She writes back, ‘Naughty’. She waits, since he is online. He writes back, ‘ I can get naughtier’. ‘ I dont want you to get any naughtier’. Saurabh asks, ‘Whyyyyy’? Smita searches for an answer and writes, ‘Because i like you as a gentleman’. ‘ Dont be boring’, he replies. Smita hears her husband coughing in the bedroom, so she hurriedly writes ‘See you tomorrow. I gotta go’. ‘ Ok. Bye…Love’. His message of ‘Love’ brings a smile to her face. Smita goes to bed and lies down as quietly as possible. She closes her eyes and allows this love to trickle deep down in to her parched heart. After all it was romance that she had always missed the most in her marriage. A romantic man is all she had sought since she got in to her teens, but he had proved to be elusive. For the first time she was being loved by a stranger. Was he a stranger, she thought ? He felt closer to her than her own husband, Abhijeet. But they had only met a few times and Riya was always with Saurabh. He was baby sitting since his wife was travelling around the world on work.
Smita had learnt that Saurabh was in the IT sector and had recently lost his job due to retrenchment in his company. On the other hand his wife was a business woman and selling specially designed diamond Jewellery all over the world. She would often travel to Amsterdam which was a diamond hub, for cutting diamonds and the making exotic diamond jewellery. She visualised what Saurabh’s wife Shipra must be like. A high flying woman on the go. And Smita ? She hadn’t yet crossed the borders of India. She hadn’t even visited Nepal and there was Shipra, his wife, a globe trotter. She wondered why was Saurabh attracted to her ? Or was she merely filling up his emptiness of the present?
Saurabh would at times try and corner Smita, when Riya was busy playing. He would try kissing her in partial public view, but she was too shy and traditional to allow him to kiss her in public and that also everyday. In the entertainment park it was different. They were surrounded by mirrors, the atmosphere was surreal, they were alone and the initial fury of passion within the two of them had led to the locking of lips for an insanely long time. That did not mean he could kiss her at every given opportunity, she thought. But she could feel that Saurabh was getting frustrated with her resistance, though she was enjoying every moment of their togetherness.
But Smita wasn’t just a unidimensional traditional woman, resisting his attempts to kiss and hug her everyday. There were many shades hidden in this simple woman. Saurabh’s chase to be physical felt ticklish and arousing to her at times. To be desired as a woman was a great high that she had never experienced earlier. When she was alone at home thinking about him, her mind would run amok. Her fantasies would become extreme in nature. She reflected in her sane moments that the fantasies of a traditional young woman can be much wilder, than of those who were leading a socially and sexually active life. In fact the more repressed a woman, the wilder could be her fantasies. But on the other hand she did not want to give in to Saurabh’s demands without ascertaining his love for her. She did not want to become a mere play-thing for him.
One day she left home as soon as Abhijeet left for work to meet Saurabh. That day he was unusually reticent. She could make out that he was sulking because she was not allowing him to touch or kiss her. Riya as usual was sitting in the back of the car. Saurabh’s hand was on the gear knob. Smita gently kept her hand on Saurabh’s. He immediately looked at her. She smiled but he couldn’t understand what to make of her smile. She could see the confusion in his look. Was she agreeing to get physical with him or was she only trying to get him in to a good mood ? His physical desire had wound him up so tight that it made her wonder, what he would do when this spring of desire suddenly unwound itself ? The thought brought a smile to her face. Looking at his face at the moment made her feel excited and fearful at the same time. His eyes were filled with chained aggression, she thought.
They took Riya to the beach. Smita could see that Saurabh was introducing her to other kids who were making a house of sand so that she could get busy with them and he could talk to her alone. Once Riya started building the house of sand with the other kids, Saurabh came back and sat in the beach chair. He looked at her. ‘ We need to meet alone’. Smita was expecting this but decided not to react. He continued, ‘ When two people have known the joy of being physical in life, they cannot just look in to each other’s eyes and feel contented’. Smita looked at him and couldn’t resist asking, ‘ Why not ‘? ‘Because i want to feel closer to you dammit. And the only way to do that is to break down this physical barrier that exists between the two of us’. Smita silently looked away at the sea. ‘ Doesn’t your husband make love to you’? he asked rather callously, to further his own case. Smita continued to look at the sea, debating in her mind if she should tell Saurabh the truth; that she had felt raped on the first night of her marriage and continued to feel the same even now when Abhijeet mounted her. But she decided to stay silent on the issue. Abhijeet further attacked, ‘ Do you consider me lesser than your husband that you cant bring yourself to make love to me’ ? Smita looked at him sharply, understanding the game he was trying to play. How could she explain to him how complete she felt by merely being with him through the day, that she did not want any physicality between the two of them to destroy this bliss.That she needed more time to know him and he was rushing things up. Obviously he knew that she was in an unhappy marriage or else why would she meet him ? Oblivious of her thought process Saurabh continued, ‘ I have to drop Riya to a birthday party today. Some kiddie birthday party at a friends house. We will be free for the entire afternoon. I know of some nice cottages by the beach, which a couple can rent out with no questions asked. We can go there and spend some time by ourselves ‘. Smita didn’t know what to say. If she refused, Saurabh would use the next trick in the book. Threaten to stop meeting her. For the first time in her adult life she had begun to feel alive and he would threaten to snatch those few drops of life from her. She couldn’t afford to go back to her dead life once again. How did it matter if he made love to her ? Abhijeet made love to her every other night. At least by giving in to Saurabh she would keep smelling the sweet fragrance of life. She felt petrified of feeling dead once again. But her heart reprimanded her saying, ‘ Smita, with him it was supposed to be different. Like the first kiss. You cant allow him to take possession of your body like Abhijeet does, thinking it is his property. ‘! But she suppressed these thoughts because the fear of loosing Saurabh was petrifying her. She felt love for him and decided to willingly surrender her body to him.
They dropped Riya off at the birthday party. Then they went to this deserted beach where there were several cottages neatly placed in between tall palm tress. He went out and spoke to the receptionist of sorts, paid the money and got a key for a cottage. Then he drove the car in to the cottage complex and parked it. He looked at her and smiled naughtily. She smiled back. He got out of the car and started walking towards the cottage. She followed.