Thursday, June 4, 2015

MALVALOCA – Windy Monsoon Rains, A Mysterious Woman, An Intriguing Fragrance and A Romantic Interlude

I love reading short stories.

I enjoy writing short stories.

It is high time I write some good short stories.

So – while I write my next story – here is one of my Mumbai romance stories which I wrote 10 years ago – in 2005 – after my evening walk on Marine Drive  during which I got drenched in the rain...

MALVALOCA
Windy Monsoon Rains, A Mysterious Woman, An Intriguing Fragrance and A Romantic Interlude
Fiction Short Story - A Monsoon Romance
By 
VIKRAM KARVE 
 
I recognized her at once. 

She stood at the bus-stop near Worli  dishevelled in the windy rain  struggling with her umbrella  trying not to get wet. 

I stopped the car  opened the door and waved to her. 

She smiled  shut her folding umbrella  ran towards the car  got in  and closed the door.  

The moment she entered the car and sat down beside me  I sensed the distinctive aroma of her signature perfume – soft, relaxing aroma of scented geraniums  a delightful leafy rose fragrance, not too heady, a hint of spice, subtle yet alluring – a clean, exhilarating and utterly unique fragrance  an everlasting fragrance etched deep within me forever. 

She kept the wet umbrella near her feet  smoothed her hair with her hands  turned towards me – and said, “Thanks.”  

I changed gears  set the car into motion  and asked her, “Where shall I drop you...?” 

“Where are you going...?” she countered. 

“Churchgate...” I said. 

“Great. You can drop me on the way,” she said, “I live on Marine Drive.” 

“You live in Mumbai...? You have come back...?” 

“Yes.” 

“Oh – thats great  a flat on Marine Drive  Successful NRI returning to one’s roots  is it...? He must be a successful head honcho in some MNC…” I said.

“I have come back alone...!” she said.

“Alone...?” 

“Yes. We broke up. My marriage did not work out.” 

“I’m sorry.” 

“It’s okay,” she paused for a moment and then she asked me, “You must be married...?” 

“No,” I answered. 

“Because of me...?” she asked.

“I don’t know...” 

“They told me you were very upset.” 

“They...?” 

“My parents told me that you were very upset and depressed...” she said.

“Oh so your parents told you...?” I said.

“Tell me  what could I do...? I couldn’t marry both of you  could I...? I had to make a choice...” she said.

“And you made your choice – you dumped me and you chose him...” I said.

“Yes.” 

“The wrong choice...?” I said.

“Maybe…” 

For a little while we drove in silence  and then suddenly  out of the blue  she said, “I wish I had married you – maybe things would have worked out much better.” 

“Maybe,” I said.  

“Yes  maybe I really made the wrong choice,” she said wistfully. 

I did not say anything – I just remained silent. 

“How about you...?” she asked, “Any plans to get married...?” 

“I don’t know,” I said. 

We drove in silence. 

“Hey, I’ll get off here,” she suddenly said. 

“Here...?” I said slowing down the car  and steering left towards the footpath. 

“That’s where I stay,” she said pointing to a building, “Working Women’s Hostel.” 

“Working Women’s Hostel...? You live in the Working Women’s Hostel...?” I asked.

“Yes. Room number seven. Easy to remember – lucky seven,” she said.

Then  she opened the door of the car  hesitated – turned around  and asked me, “Why don’t you come in for a cup of coffee...?” 

“Thanks. Not now. I have an appointment,” I said.

“Okay. Maybe sometime later...?” she said.

“Maybe...” I said.

“Bye. And thanks for the ride,” she said.

“You’re most welcome,” I said.

She got out of the car  closed the door  gave me a smile and wave of thanks  turned around and walked away from my life once more. 

But the lingering fragrance of her enchanting perfume remained with me as I drove on to my rendezvous. 

My fiancée was waiting for me at Churchgate.  

“Hey,” my fiancée said, sniffing the air in the car, “What a lovely fragrance. A feminine perfume...?” 

“Malvaloca,” I said. 

“Malvaloca...?” 

“It’s a perfume made from scented geraniums,” I said.

“Wow...! What an enticing fragrance...! So you’re two timing me  is it...? Giving rides to ravishing beauties wearing mysterious perfumes...?” my fiancée said with a mischievous smile.

“Maybe...” I laughed. 

I stopped the car by the seaside  opened the windows to let in the fresh sea breeze  and let the fresh sea breeze blow away all traces of the unique perfumed fragrance of malvaloca.  

Then  I took my fiancée’s soft hands in mine  looked into her eyes  and I told her everything.

I told my fiancée everything.

Yes  I told her everything – absolutely everything...!

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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Disclaimer:
This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

This story MALVALOCA was written by me Vikram Karve in the year 2005 and posted online by me earlier in my blogs a number of times including at urls: http://creative.sulekha.com/a-rainy-evening-a-ravishing-beauty-a-mysterious-perfume_481900_blog  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2011/12/malvaloca-my-favourite-short-stories.html
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