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One of my earliest short stories - have a laugh...!!!
I never reminisce. It makes me nostalgic, poignant, and melancholic.
But there is one thing that I love to hark back to, revisit in my mind’s eye from time to time, and have a hearty laugh.
A vivid memory of quite long ago - whenever I recall it – I always burst out laughing. And so will you when I tell you about it.
It happened long ago – fifty seven years ago – in the year 1956 to be precise.
It happened in far-off tea-estate country, in a remote corner of India, almost in the back of the beyond – the place then still a relic of the Raj.
I shall not tell you the place, and I will also change the names; for we just want to have a laugh, don’t we?
There was a handsome planter. 30. Let’s call him Roy.
And he had a most beautiful wife. Let’s call her Helen.
A dashing couple. An ideal match – made for each other – at least from the outside.
“Please. I’d like to have a word with you,” Roy sidled up to me at the bar in the Planters’ Club one cold wintry evening.
“Sure,” I said, pointing at the bar-stool. “Come, join me for a drink.”
“Not here,” he said looking at the crowd, “It’s very personal.”
“Okay. Let’s go outside.”
I ordered two whiskies; we picked up our drinks, and went out on the lawns. It was dark, desolate and chilly.
“I don’t know how to say it,” Roy hesitated.
“Just say it,” I said.
“I want you to keep an eye on my wife,” he said.
“Something serious?” I asked.
“I think she is having an affair,” he said, “Someone visits her whenever I go out on my weekly tours.”
“Not really. But I suspect. There are those telltale signs.”
“She seems a bit too satisfied, fulfilled, happy – how can I describe it – especially when I return home from tour. And there is a strange gleam in her eyes. And now-a-days she is overly polite and considerate towards me. I suspect she is up to some hanky-panky. ”
“Hanky-Panky? Well this is really your private matter. You know I really shouldn’t ….”
“Please,” he interrupted, “you’re the only one I can trust.”
He seemed so desperate that I had no choice. “Okay,” I said, “I’ll need to see your place, and meet your wife too.”
He told me the way to his tea-estate and next morning I was on my way, driving up the hair-pin bends on the steep windy road in my open jeep with my ferocious Doberman, Bruno, sitting beside me.
It was a lonely bungalow atop a hill surrounded by tea gardens. Roy welcomed me and introduced me to his wife.
“I’m Helen,” she said looking into my eyes for that moment longer than could be considered polite greeting.
She looked so ravishing that it was with great effort that I could take my eyes off her.
No wonder he was so insecure – anyone with such a beautiful and stunningly sexy wife always feels vulnerable. Especially, clots like him – I wondered why dopes likeRoy always got the most gorgeous wives.
We indulged in some small-talk, and it was only after lunch that I brought up the subject. “Mrs. Roy, you must be feeling very lonely out here, isn’t it? Especially when Mr. Roy goes out on his tours.”
“Oh yes, she does,” Roy interjected.
“No, No. I don’t feel lonely at all,” Mrs. Roy said. “In fact, I love being alone. And don’t call me Mrs. Roy – call me Helen!”
“Why don’t you drop Helen off at the club on your way out and pick her up on your way back from your tour?” I suggested to Roy. “She can make some friends, play tennis, cards, tombola, a movie, and party – do whatever she likes and then stay for the night at the guestroom. She’ll always have plenty of lively company at the club”
“I prefer my solitude,” she said.
“She even sends the servants away,” Roy complained.
“I told you I like my privacy,” she said, a tinge of irritation in her voice.
She seemed quite obstinate, the tone of her voice slightly hostile, so I changed the subject.
“You like dogs?” I asked her.
“I love dogs, adore them,” she said excitedly. “We always had pet dogs back home. I’ve been telling Roy to get me a nice dog to keep me company, but he hates dogs.”
“Your prayers are answered,” I said, and led her to my jeep where Bruno was sitting obediently.
“A gift for the charming lady,” I announced holding Bruno by the collar and making him smell her.
Bruno instantly took a liking for her, wagged his tail and nudged affectionately against her.
She was overjoyed.
Roy apparently wasn’t too enthusiastic, but I silenced him with a stern look.
On my way out, when I was alone with Roy, I confided in him, “We will catch the lover-boy now. Bruno is the best guard dog in our kennel. I trained him myself. Just leave him in the verandah when you go out at night. He is deadly ferocious – whoever is up to hanky-panky with your wife, well, he is going to be ripped apart from limb to limb.”
A wicked smile appeared on Roy’s face as in his mind’s eye he visualized his wife’s unknown and mysterious lover being devastated and mutilated by the ferocious dog.
That evening many things happened. Roy left on his tour, viciously excited, probably relishing in his imagination what was going to happen to the unknown “lover” that night.
Later that night, after a furious bout of lovemaking, Helen lying fully satiated, asked her passionate lover, “How did you manage? That ferocious dog didn’t even bark!”
Her lover gently took her to the window, drew the curtains, and said, “Look!”
In the verandah they saw a totally exhausted Bruno, coupled with a beautiful she-dog, both interlocked, pointing in opposite directions, dog-tired after a vigorous bout of mating.
The mysterious lover mischievously looked at Helen and naughtily teased her, “Tell me, which dog can resist the charms of a hot-blooded bitch in full heat?”
Helen looked at Bruno, and then at me, and laughed, “You hot-dogs! You’ve both had your hanky-panky day, haven’t you?”
A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and he is currently working on his novel. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.