The departmental store was unusually crowded today .Swarna had actually left office 30 minutes before closing time to buy the groceries she urgently needed.She stayed alone in her one bed roomed apartment and the shelves along with fridge needed to be replenished.She had been putting off doing this chore for the last three days.She had picked all her requirements and was in the long line with her trolley at the billing counter.
She saw a tall and handsome fellow with a trolley containing hardly three items standing behind her.A shock of hair fell on his well chiseled face making him more charming.He had a twinkle in his eyes. How lucky his wife should be, she thought.It was then he smiled at her and said Hi.She mumbled back a faint Hi though her heart started pounding faster and pretended as if she was looking at the line before her. It was moving very slow and she did not mind it.The other counters too were crowded.As she came near the end with just two persons ahead of her, she suddenly remembered that she had forgotten sugar and cheese. She looked behind anxiously about her place in the line if she moved away and saw the tall guy looking at her with amused interest.
“Would you mind if I fetch two things I had forgotten.I will be back before my turn comes”she said
“Please do not worry.I will hold the fort till you come.Take your time.I will not budge.” he said with a smile.
She ran back to the shelves.She could not find the cheese easily till a sales girl pointed out the new shelf where they had been stacked.She collected them and hurried back to find the guy placing all her things on the table for billing.She was overwhelmed by his gesture.The billing clerk after punching the items said Rs.401.She rummaged in vain her bag for one rupee coin and said “Sorry I have a 50 rupee note.Will it do?”
Before the billing clerk said no, the young man behind her put a rupee coin on the counter smiling at Swarna.She thanked him and started moving towards the gate.As she went to parking lot to her car,she found her mobile missing.She talked to her friend while in the store.Wondering where she left it, she decided to go back to the store after putting things inside the car.
It was then the young man came running towards her shouting”Hey, you seem a girl in a tearing hurry.You have left your mobile while you were searching for one rupee coin.Luckily I noticed it when my billing was done.I was worried you might have driven away.Luckily I could get you.Do you live far away?”
“How sweet of you and I have no words to express my gratefulness.I am Swarna and work in KT Technolgies.I live in uttar mantri close by” she said
I am Durgesh working in the adjacent building to yours.How come I have not met you even though we are so closeby”he replied
“I came to Pune just a month back. Glad to meet you” she replied
He gave her his card with his mobile number.She said she had no card readily but gave him her number.”Can I call you or may be meet you to collect the one rupee I advanced” he said with a mischievous guffaw.
“Sure,you can.I do not want to die a debtor” she said with a smile
Even after she reached her home, his smiling face lingered in her mind.She was not dating any one.In fact she had no friend.She felt she was a little fat for her age though she was tall and it not show.Nevertheless she was reticent to make new friends and was with drawn.A couple of men suggested by her parents who had seen her did not evince interest.She told her parents emphatically not to look for any one and that she was not contemplating a marriage soon.
It was then her mobile rang and a voice said “ Durgesh here,your creditor.Can I come over to collect my dues?If it is ok with you we can have a dinner at the Chinese restaurant close to your place.”
Her heart beat fast.She could not believe that he would follow up after the meeting at the departmental store.”Give me 30 minutes.I will be ready.Apartment 504 on block B.”
It was a leisurely Chinese meal.They shared lot of information about each other and were impressed.At the end she said “Frankly I did not expect you to give me a ring.I thought you were just being chivalrous to a lady.I was surprised when you did call”
“Why were you not expecting me to call you.Tell me the truth’’ he asked
“I am a fat woman and this has put off many men whom my parents had approached” she said
“To be frank, I hate skinny and lean people.You are perfect and also very beautiful” he said with a wicked grin.
She smiled back shyly when Durgesh asked “Where is my one rupee?”
She coyly replied “I would like to remain permanently indebted to you.”
When they left the restaurant hand in hand, theyfelt they had found their soul mate in each other.