Trring, trring....the telephone rang repeatedly. It was noon.
"Is Krithika there?"asked a voice softly
"Madam is taking her bath. Who is calling?"
"Tell me who you are"
"Subbiah, I am the cook .If you tell me your name, I can inform madam"
“You can say Ravi. Do you work whole time?"
"No sir, I will leave in another hour. I work up to 1 pm." "Is the master available at home? I will have a word with him"
"No sir, he has gone on tour and will come after two days"
"I will ring after sometime. Is madam going out?"
"No sir, the car has gone for service. Madam will be in the house watching TV"
"Why, is there no one else? Kids?"
"No one.She will be alone.. They have no children. Don’t you know?"
Ravi was very happy. Ever since he met her in a party, he was struck by her beauty. She even danced with him but was half drunk. Whether by design or accident, her body frequently brushed with his and he took that she was indicating her interest. But she never asked his name or details. She went away dancing with others. Ravi elicited her name and number from the hostess.
From then on he stalked her. But she never showed sign of recognition or interest even when he accosted her once and mentioned about her dancing with him. She did not seem to recollect though she admitted that she attended the party. She brushed aside his advances and requested him not to bother her. But he was not one to take a no easily.
The opportunity he had been waiting for had materialized today. He had a shower and dabbed himself with deodorant. Exactly after one hour he went to her place and rang the bell hoping to catch her alone. He was confident that his masculine charm can overcome her initial resistance.
One man looking like a servant opened the door and asked him to come in and be seated. When Ravi looked questioningly, he said" I am Subbiah.I had informed madam about your phone call. Aren't you mister Ravi? She is expecting you"
"Oh, very good. You had said that your job is up to 1pm."
"Yes sir, I was held up. I will get you coffee and then go away"
"No, no.I don't need anything. I don't want to detain you. You can go. I will also go after a few minutes"
"Okay sir. I will inform madam. Please wait"
A couple of minutes later Subbiah in a clean shirt and pant with his arm on Krithika along with an inspector of police entered the hall.
The inspector held Ravi's arm even when Krithika was telling "This is the guy who has been stalking me and frequently telephoning. He will tell his name and plead with me to meet him. When I stopped answering, he would still ring and I could hear the heavy breathing. I was hesitant to tell my husband initially and one day when he asked why I shuddered whenever the phone rang, I confided in him. Today he duped this guy as if he is a cook and made him come telling that I am alone."
Abruptly Ravi fell at the feet of Krithika and said" Please forgive me this time. I will no more trouble you. Since you were on intimate terms with my friends Subash and Kumar, I thought you would be friendly with me too. I am sorry"
“It is a lie, a blatant lie” she screamed
“No, I can bring them to you and make them tell” Ravi protested
Krithika's face became pale and lowering her head she ran inside her room even as her husband looked at her in utter disbelief.
Suddenly the inspector turned to Ravi and bellowed angrily " Get lost this moment, you wretch. Next time I see you stalking her or telling lies, I will put you in jail and torture you."
The inspector friend then gently put his arm on her dazed husband and led him to the sofa.