Friday, October 21, 2011


Poodlefaking and Gossip
Fiction Short Story

From My Creative Writing Archives : A zesty Mumbai story I wrote a few years ago after a browse in the Jehangir Art Gallery at Kalaghoda Mumbai

“Excuse me, are you Urvashi Mukherjee by any chance...?” a feminine voice said on my right.

I turned my face and looked at the smart young woman wearing a red top and dark blue jeans.

Though she was not ‘fair and lovely’ in the conventional sense, she looked very desirable, in a sensual kind of way.

Chic and sexy, flowing hair, just the right amount of make-up, she exuded confidence, and as she looked at me with those wonderfully radiant, large and expressive dancing eyes, I felt a strong attraction for her, even though I too was a woman.

“Yes. I’m Urvashi Mukherjee,” I said.

“Hi... I’m Babita. Babita Khanna,” she said.

“Sorry Ms. Khanna, but I don’t think we’ve met before.”

“Sad isn’t it...? But I know everything about you Urvashi...” she gave a vivacious laugh and reached out to my arm displaying a rather impulsive and gratuitous intimacy and said, “I recognized you instantly, the moment I saw you. You look exactly like you do in your photograph...”

“My photograph...?” I asked, pulling away my arm.

“Yes. You look lovely. You look exactly as in the photo Milankeeps in wallet.”

Photo...? Milan...? I did not like the way she said "Milan" - howdare she casually refer to my husband by his first name.

She had called me Urvashi too...

I was truly flabbergasted. Who was this woman...? Why was she acting so intimate and talking on first name terms...? And how had she seen my photo in Milan’s wallet...

“You know Milan...?”

“Of course. We work in the same office. Hasn’t he told you about me...?”

“No. I don’t think so. At least I don’t remember.”

“That’s surprising... I know everything about you but you know nothing about me...” she paused, and then said, “Milan should have told you about me. He’s told me everything about you...”

“Milan has told you everything about me...?” I repeated.

Bewildered I turned my face away from her and looked straight ahead at the painting in front of me and in my mind's eye I said silently to myself, "Well, well...Milan has told you everything about me but he hasn't told me anything about you...".

“Hey, Milan didn’t tell me you were an art-buff... I never imagined I would run into you here - at the Jehangir Art Gallery...”

“I’m no aficionado,” I said, trying to sound sarcastic, “I’m just killing time here till it stops raining.”

“Aficionado... That’s a good one... I never imagined you’d speak such highbrow English considering you’ve studied in the vernacular.”

This was too much...! Anger began to rise inside me, but the woman persisted, “You know Urvashi, Milan keeps telling me of your hilarious malapropisms when you were newly married...”

“I’m sure he’s told you about our honeymoon too...?” I blurted out in anger, instantly regretting my words the moment they left my mouth.

“Of course I know everything about your hilarious honeymoon,” she said with a mischievous smile, “the way you got all sozzled on your first night on the beach in Goa when he mixed Feni in your juice hoping to remove your inhibitions...”

Now I was really furious.

I didn’t want to talk with this woman any longer, so I said, “Good Bye, Ms. Khanna. It must have stopped raining outside. Time for me to go. I’d hate to come in between the beautiful paintings and a true connoisseur of art like you...”

“Hey... Come on... I’m no connoisseur of art. I too ran in here to take shelter from the heavy rain,” the woman laughed and said, “and listen – don’t call me Ms. Khanna, just call me Babita. I’m calling you Urvashi isn’t it...?”

“Okay. Nice talking to you,” I said and walked out of the gallery to the foyer of Jehangir Art Gallery.

It was still raining so I stood at the entrance looking out towards Kalaghoda waiting for the rain to stop.

To my horror I noticed that the woman had followed me and was standing next to me which made me feel quite uneasy and uncomfortable.

She was a real mystery.

How come Milan had never mentioned her...?

He always told me everything. That’s what I had thought. At least till now...

I had plans for the afternoon and didn’t want her clinging to me like a parasite.

“Let’s go shopping she said as if reading my mind through clairvoyance. What will you do all alone at home...? So she knew... Milan had told her even that...”

“I’m really not keen on shopping right now,” I said. “Besides I have to get home early. We’re going out for a movie and dinner tonight.”

“No, you aren’t.”

“What do you mean we aren’t...? He’s already bought the tickets.”

“Maybe he's bought the tickets, but he’s not going to turn up before midnight. You can take my word for it...”

“He promised me...” I said defiantly.

“Promises are meant to be broken... He won’t come. He’ll be busy doing my work since I’ve taken the day off. And then he has to go to a business dinner.”

“Doing your work...? Business Dinner...?”

“Don’t delve too much...”

“What nonsense... I’ll ring him up right now...” I said and took out my mobile.

“No point,” she said, “his mobile will be switched off right now. He’ll be in a meeting. But don’t worry. Milan will ring you up at around six to call off your movie date and dinner programme. He’ll tell you he has to work late. He won’t mention the ‘business dinner’ part though.”

“Business dinner...? How do you know all this...?”

She winked and said, “I told you. Milan tells me everything. There are no secrets between true friends.”

Friends...? True Friends...? Milan and this woman called Babita Khanna who I had never heard of before...?

This was getting murky. Murkier and Murkier...

First she was a colleague ... now she’s suddenly become a friend of my husband ... true friend ... just imagine ... she's a true friend ... and me ...?

The whole thing was bizarre...unbelievable...

No secrets between friends... but plenty of secrets between husband and wife...

The rain was down to a drizzle and she said, “Come let’s go shopping. And then we’ll enjoy ourselves. We’ll go to all your favourite places. And do all the things you like.”

I wondered why she was doing this to me...? Why was she chatting me up...? What was her motive...? Was she trying to tell me something...?

Was this really a chance meeting, a coincidence, happenstance, serendipity, or was it a contrived coincidence...?

I had to get to the bottom of it all, so I said, “Okay Babita. Let’s go on a date. I want to find out whether Milan has really told you everything about me...”


Copyright © Vikram Karve 2011
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:

If you prefer reading ebooks on Kindle or your ebook reader, please order Cocktail E-book by clicking the link below:

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 14 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:
Professional Profile Vikram Karve:
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog:

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

No comments: