Monday, February 14, 2011


Short Fiction - A Breezy Romance - A DATE AT CHURCHGATE

Here is a story for Valentine's Day...

She stands in front of the full-length mirror and looks at herself.  

She cringes a bit, for she does not like what she sees.

The jeans make her look fat. 

And the tight blue top – it’s all wrong! 

So she wears a loose dress – Churidar, Kurta and Dupatta – to hide her bulges. 

She looks at her new high-heels – should she? They’ll make her look tall, less fat.

No. Not today.  

Now it’s got to be walking shoes.

A brisk invigorating walk from Chowpatty to Churchgate rejuvenating her body breathing the fresh evening sea breeze on
Marine Drive is what she needs to cheer her up.  

She stands on the weighing machine at Churchgate station and, with a tremor of trepidation, puts in the coin.

Lights flash.

Out comes the ticket.

She looks at it. 

Same as yesterday. 

And the day before. 

And the day before. 

No change.

She is doomed. 

There is never any change in her weight or in her fortune! 

Her face falls.

She’s trying so much; exercising, dieting. But it’s no use.

She looks longingly at the Softy Ice Cream counter.

There is a smart young handsome man with two Ice Cream cones, one in each hand.

He looks at her for that moment longer than necessary.

She averts her eyes, but he walks up to her and says, “Hi! How are you?”

She looks at him confused. 

His face seems vaguely familiar. 

“You are Sheena’s roommate, aren’t you?” he asks. 

She remembers him. He is Sheena’s boyfriend from HR. 

“Here,” he says, coming close, proffering an Ice Cream cone. 

She steps back awkwardly, perplexed and taken aback by the man’s audacity.  

“Take it fast. It’ll melt,” he says. 

She hesitates, confused. 

“Come on. Don’t be shy. I know you love Ice Cream. Sheena told me.” 

She takes the Ice Cream cone from his hands. 

“I’m Mohan. I work in HR.” 

She doesn’t say anything.  

“Let’s walk,” he says, “and hey, eat your ice cream fast before it melts”.  

They start walking.

As they walk slowly out of Churchgate station towards
Marine Drive, they slowly lick the creamy yummy softy ice cream off their cones. 

“You walked all the way?” he asks. 

“Yes,” she speaks for the first time. 

“All alone?” 


“You come here every evening?” 

“Yes. I jog every morning too.” 

“All alone?” 

“No. On other days we come together.”


"Sheena and me." 

“And today?” 

“Sheena’s gone out.” 

“For the Valentine's Day party at the disc?” 


“And you? Why didn't you go for the party? Didn't want to go all alone is it? No date? No date even on Valentine's Day?” 

She’s furious. But she controls herself. Says nothing. There is no point getting on the wrong side of HR. 

He notices and says, "Hey, don't get angry. I didn't go the party too."

She hastens her steps and says, “Okay. Bye. Time for me to go! And thanks for the Ice Cream.”

“No. No. Wait. Let’s have a Pizza over there,” he says pointing to the Pizzeria on Marine Drive by the sea. 

“No. Please. I’ve got to go.” 

“Come on. Don’t count your calories too much. And don’t weigh yourself every day.” 

“What?” she goes red with embarrassment!

This is too much!

So this guy has been stalking her - watching her every day.

Outwardly she fumes. But inside, she secretly feels a flush of excitement.

“Yes. Don’t get obsessed about your weight. Like Sheena.” 


“She keeps nagging me about my weight?” 

“But you’re not fat!” she says. 

“Then what would you say I am?” he asks. 

“Let’s say you’re on the healthier side?” 

“Healthier side? That’s great!” he says amused. “Then you too are on the healthier side, aren’t you?” 

“Oh yes. We both are on the healthier side.” She laughs.

He laughs.

They both laugh together.

Healthy laughter!

They sit in the sea breeze and relish, enjoy their pizzas.

He is easy to talk to, she has much to say, and the words come tumbling out.

And so they enjoy a ‘healthy’ Valentine's Day date.

Together, they relish delicious Pizzas, and other lip smacking goodies, to their hearts’ content, and then they top up the the satiating repast with heavenly ice creams at Rustom’s nearby.

“Where were you?”  Sheena asks when she returns to their room in the working women’s hostel late at night. 

“I had a date.” 

“You? Fatso? A date?”  Sheena says disbelievingly

“Yes. I had a date. A Valentine's Day date at Curchgate.” 

“A Valentine's Day date at Churchgate? Wow! Things are looking up for you yaar!” 

“Yes. Things are really looking up for me. And you Sheena? How was your Valentine's Day date?” 

“The whole evening was ruined. That creep Mohan. He stood me up. He didn’t turn up for the party and kept his mobile off.” 


“You’ve met him.” 

“Mohan? I don't think you have introduced me to any Mohan.” 

“Of course I have. He’s come here to pick me up so many times. He comes over to meet me at our office too. He works in HR.” 

“Oh! That guy from HR. The chap on the healthier side! That’s your darling Mohan, is it?” 

“Darling? My foot!” Sheena says angrily, "Bloody ditcher, that’s what that Mohan is. How dare he stand me up? And that too on Valentine's Day? To hell with him!” Sheena mutters and goes off to sleep.    

But our heroine cannot sleep.

She eagerly waits for sunrise.

For at six in the morning her newfound beau Mohan has promised to meet her on
Marine Drive opposite the Aquarium - for a “healthy’”jog on Marine Drive.

And they will be meeting in the evening too - at Churchgate - for ice cream, pizza and a yummy lovey-dovey date.

Overwhelmed with a joyful sense of anticipation, she feels happy.

Happiness is when you have something to look forward to.

Happy Valentine's Day

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2010
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.
VIKRAM KARVE educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale, and Bishop's School Pune, is an Electronics and Communications Engineer by profession, a Human Resource Manager and Trainer by occupation, a Teacher by vocation, a Creative Writer by inclination and a Foodie by passion. 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. He has written a foodie book Appetite For A Stroll and a book of fiction short stories COCKTAIL which is being published soon and is currently busy writing his first novel. Vikram lives in Pune with his family and pet Doberman girl Sherry, with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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