Nivedita was reading the last few pages of the novel and hoped to complete it before the train reached her destination. She had an unusual feeling of being stared at by someone and looked up to find a gorgeous guy looking at her intently from two rows away. She lowered her eyes only to look up after a few seconds and found the guy gazing at her continuously. Though annoying initially it gave a pleasant feel. After a couple of times, he smiled at her with a faint wink. She now became upset and did not turn to his side. When a lady in the opposite seat stood up to get down at the approaching station, he jumped with alacrity to occupy the vacated seat. Though she relished his proximity, she kept looking at the pages of the book though her mind was full of him.
Whether by design or carelessness, the book fell from her hands only to be retrieved by the alert guy instantly and handed over to her with a slight bow. She said thanks and this opened the floodgate for small conversation till the end of journey. It so happened they travelled by the same train and compartment daily culminating in mutual love. They met on weekends, saw movies, ate at good restaurants and spent time in parks or malls. She had revealed to Sunil that she was a junior officer in a bank living with her parents and brothers.
“What do you do for living? You have never mentioned where you work?” she asked one day
“Will tell you in due time. There is no secrecy as such but would prefer to tell you when an occasion arises. Do not worry. I am highly qualified” Sunil replied
“I think I can make a good guess. Some intelligence or secret service in the government it must be. You look an attractive mix of Pierce Brosnan and Sean Connery” she said with a smile
She tried in vain several times to ferret out the information till one day she threatened her parents would not agree to her marrying someone whose job was a mystery. He then agreed to reveal his profession on any day suitable at her home when her parents were there. It was agreed to meet the next Sunday.
Sunil was at her place sharp at 4pm.After introductions with parents and siblings were over, he wished to spend some time with her before the formal revelation. “Why do you make such a big drama as if you are a top functionary of an UN organization?” she asked him when they were alone in her room
“True I like to dramatize. I am thirsty having come in the hot sun. You haven’t offered me even a glass of coke” he said
“Oh, oh I am so sorry” she said as she hurriedly brought him some cool drink in a tall glass.
A few minutes after gulping it, he jumped and asked “What have you given me? My whole body is shivering unbearably. Can you get me a big bed sheet without fuss?
When she handed over the bed sheet, he covered himself and was seen shaking all over. He soon covered himself fully head to foot much to the bewilderment of Nivedita. She asked him “Are you feeling better, at least a little? Should I call a doctor?”. To her horror she saw the bed sheet crumple on the sofa. She lifted it to see him totally vanished before her eyes. In fear she let out a scream and her parents and brothers rushed to her side.”What happened? Where is he?” they asked in unison. One of the brothers looked under the bed, behind the curtain. They stood totally perplexed when Sunil entered through the door with a loud laughter. Nivedita screamed again and this time in delight.
“Can you now guess my profession?” he asked her
“Not a magician. I am not going to marry a magician however great he may be” she said
“Sure you don’t have to for I am as you correctly guessed a secret service officer with magic as my pet hobby” He turned to her parents and said “If you all agree, I would like to put a ring on her finger”
He showed his bare hands, clapped twice and contrived to get a diamond ring out of thin air before putting it on her finger to the glee of all.
Nivedita examined the ring suspiciously and pinched him hard and as he screamed in pain she said ”Just wanted to make sure whether you are real” followed by loud laughter.