Keshav and Kamli were anything but a ‘made for each other couple’. She was an extrovert, fun loving and gregarious while he was an introvert, a loner and a staid type. She loved eating out, fond of many cuisines and a liking to savour new and esoteric dishes while he always preferred traditional home made food by Kamli.She loved friends and kitty parties, sociable and fond of travel. He avoided parties and talked nothing but office matters. She loved watching films both Hindi and English in theatres on the first day while he dozed in the cinema halls. She was a great fan of Shreya Ghosal and Sonu Nigam while Keshav liked hearing Carnatic music of TMK or Vijay Siva. She loved Soccer and had a crush on Becham and never missed Federer and Nadal contests. Keshav liked chess and a grand fan of Vishy.But the silver lining despite all these differences was that they were very loving couple fond of each other
One Sunday as they were sipping tea at the balcony, he was nibbling with his Blackberry.Kamli broke the silence.“I had great expectations from the marriage. But I never expected even in my dream such a dull and monotonous life. We are married three years. Tell me whether you had surprised me even once with an outing to a far off place for m birthday. I am not asking you for a hot balloon ride at a hilly resort that my friend R got from her hubby as a surprise gift. You never take me frequently to a local restaurant blaming office for busy work. Just try to tickle your mind to see any gift given for our wedding anniversary. I am not asking for a rich silk and gorgeous dress. You do not even take me for a long drive along the sea that is so close to us. You need not surprise or even thrill me. You haven’t even shocked me doing something different from your insipid routine”she said.
“I am sorry Kamli.What you say is possibly true. I am not giving excuses but the pressure of office work is too much and it is only on Sundays that b I relax. But I have given you total freedom to do what pleases you and never questioned you on what you did or where you had gone. I have provided a vehicle for you.
It did not strike me that you get carried away by the outward demonstration of love. I love you deeply you know” he replied
“It is not only these. We are like two islands with no common interest. You do not like anything what a modern young lady would like. I wish you understand and make me get over the feeling of being a drudge in this house”
“I will try and please you very soon’ he concluded
Two days later on 31st March, he told her “I may have to work late tonight in the office even up to 2 am as I am to submit the annual report in gist to Chairman on 1st.Do not wait for me. I may stay over in office”
She went to bed early by 9pm and spent some time reading an unfinished novel listening to Suniti Chauhan on iPod. She switched off the night lamp too and soon fell asleep. Around 1am as she was half asleep and turned to one side, she felt the warmth of a body behind her and an arm over her. She was drowsy and thought her hubby had returned even as she snuggled closer. The grip of the arm tightened drawing her closer to him. He had put his leg over her and ran his hand over her shoulder and arm rather roughly. She enjoyed the comfort of the grasp from behind her and the smooches on the shoulder and her nape that sent goose bumps across her body. Keshav was always soft and gentle but today he was different. She called “Keshav” softly and asked “when did you come?”
Instead of answering she was pulled forcefully towards him. It then struck her that this was not the revlon musk that Keshav used daily but something pungent. Scared beyond words,that it could be someone else she tried to push him aside
Her both hands were now in his clasp in a scissor hold and her scream was silenced by his palm closing her mouth. It was dark and she could not see. It was obviously someone else who had stealthily entered and about to criminally assault her. She prayed to God and summoned all her strength to free herself from him and succeeded in freeing herself. She jumped out of the bed and ran to a corner.
It was then the light was switched on and she saw Keshav sitting on the bed laughing loudly and uncontrollably.
“What a foolish act is this? You scared my life out of me. Your perfume is also different. I could have hit you with anything I could get hold of” she said angrily
“Calm down, Kamli.You are right about perfume. I wanted to shock, thrill and surprise you as you had wished. I hope you have had enough. As a bonus be ready next week to fly to Hong Kong for a week. I have some work there but will find time to be with you showing the city. Your message that day has gone home well. You will have no more occasion to be unhappy.”
It was now Kamli's turn to hug him in joy.