Friday, March 2, 2012

MATE AND SOULMATE - My Favourite Short Stories Revisited Part 53

My Favourite Short Stories Revisited Part 53
MATE and SOULMATE
OFFICE WIFE and HOUSE WIFE
Short Fiction - A Delightful Romance
By
VIKRAM KARVE

From my Creative Writing Archives - a delightful romance I wrote a few years ago... 

Pune. Fergusson College Road. Vaishali Restaurant. 5 PM on a Sunday evening. Crowded. Crammed full. Jam-packed. All tables occupied chock-a-block. Aisles teeming with people waiting with watchful eyes for signs of someone finishing their refreshments. 

Suddenly I see a woman waving to me, beckoning me with her hand. Her face seems familiar – oh yes, she is Ravi’s wife. She is sitting all alone on a table for two with a half eaten masala dosa in front of her.
I walk towards her and give her a smile.
“Sit down, sit down,” she says to me, gesturing with her hand towards the empty chair opposite her, “Sit down here with me, otherwise you will have to wait for hours.”
I sit down opposite her and say, “Thanks.”
She summons a waiter and orders peremptorily, “SPDP.”
“Two?” the waiter asks.
“No, one SPDP for Madam,” she says pointing to the empty plate in front of me without even bothering to ask me, “and get one Kachori for me.”
Before I can recover my wits, she says, “You like SPDP don’t you? Ravi told me.”
“Yes, I love the SPDP at Vaishali. In fact I come all the way here every Sunday…”
“To spend the day reading in the library opposite followed by an SPDP at Vaishali,” she completes my sentence.
Ravi told you all this?”
“Of course. He’s told me everything about you. Ravi admires you so much, he always talks about you.” 
“Really? But he never tells me anything about you.”
“What’s there to tell? I am only his housewife, you are his office wife.”
“Come on. Please don’t say that. There is nothing like that between me and Ravi. We are just colleagues – workmates. That’s all.”
“Workmates? I think you are his soulmate – and I am only his mate!”
I am struck dumb, feel a bit uneasy, but suddenly the plate of SPDP is kept in front of me, so I look down and begin to eat.
“I’m sorry,” she says, “Don’t get angry. I was just teasing. I want you to be Ravi’s friend. He likes you so much. That’s why he is so happy in office and doing so well in his work.”
I stop eating; look up at her vacuously, wondering what to say.
Ravi appreciates you so much he even brings you home to me every evening in his thoughts and talks…that’s why I wanted to meet you.”
“We’ve met before…”
“Only once, that too only an introduction, at the Office Annual Day get-together…we are hardly married for three months, you know, and you all are so busy, with your targets and all, so I decided to meet you, talk to you, get to know you better, make a friendship…”
“You mean…”
“Yes, I contrived this coincidence. I came to the library also, but you were so busy browsing that I did not want to disturb you, so I waited here in Vaishali knowing you would surely come for your SPDP.”
“You’re not eating your Kachori,” I say, trying to change the direction of the conversation.
“Here, you eat,” she says pushing her untouched plate of Kachori and katori of whipped curds towards me, “I am all full – I ate an Uttapam, Idli-Vada Sambar, god-knows-what, waiting for you to come…” 
She leans forward and casually picks up a Sev Potato Dahi Puri from my plate, pops into her mouth and says, “Wow. I love the chatpata flavour of SPDP – you call it Umami taste or something – that’s what you told Ravi, isn’t it?”
“I think I’ll go now,” I say, feeling distinctly uncomfortable, making up my mind to have a long talk with Ravi the moment I meet him in the morning at work.
“No, no, don’t go, I want to show you something.” 
“Show me something?”
“Yes, that’s why I came all the way here to meet you.”
We finish the SPDP and Kachori, I insist on paying the bill, she doesn’t object too much, and then she takes me to the drapery section of the Shopping Mall nearby.
“We are furnishing our new house,” she says, pointing at the curtain cloth on display.
I look at her clueless.
“I like yellow, you like blue, and since you have told him about the aesthetic cool tranquil beauty of the blue colour, Ravi is besotted with everything blue – blue shirts, blue trousers, blue table-covers, blue bed-sheets, blue napkins, the sober blue everything that you make him buy…”
I look furtively and self-consciously at the blue dress I am wearing, and say, “Okay, tell me which curtains you like.”
She points to a bright yellow floral print and says, “I like that one, I love yellow, so lively and cheerful… I hate sober gloomy colours, especially blue, it depresses me.”
Next morning at the office, Ravi says to me, “Hey, keep yourself free in the evening. We’ll go to Deccan for some shopping. You’ve got to help me select curtains for our new home. Then we’ll have SPDP at Vaishali.”
“Sure, Ravi, I’ll love to come with you,” I say.
Now I’ve got till evening to decide one thing – which colour curtains should I tell Ravi to buy – Yellow Curtains or Blue Curtains?

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


Did you like this story?
I am sure you will like the stories in my recently published book COCKTAIL comprising twenty seven short stories about relationships. To order the book please click the links below:
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COCKTAIL ebook
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About Vikram Karve

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. 


Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/vikramkarve
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm
Email: vikramkarve@sify.com        

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 

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