Deepika had sprained her neck and taken a day off. The pain was not unbearable and she was watching an Australian chef program, not that she was fond of cooking or in trying new recipe. The music was also playing from her mobile. She liked to eat out just like her husband Anirudh. They had similar tastes and were a loving couple. There was one point however they had different views. She wanted a child being married for three years and he wanted her to defer the plan and was also vague when would be the proper time.
It was then she heard the doorbell. It was the young security guard from Bihar who stood with an envelope in hand. He asked for Anirudh and when she told him that he would be late in coming, he handed over the letter with much hesitation. It was correctly addressed to Anirudh,312, Beach view apartments though his second name Sharma was omitted. There was an initial K at the left bottom. It was a plain envelope stapled to secure the content with a cursive female handwriting.
“Who gave this letter to you? It does not seem to be from post office or courier?” she asked.
“Madam, one lady came in a car and requested me to deliver the letter personally to him as she was in a hurry,” he replied.
“Did she say personally? Was she young or middle aged?” she asked.
“A young lady like you, madam, in jeans and T shirt,” he replied with unsolicited extra information.
As she entered her bedroom wondering who that K could be, there was a gentle perspiration. She switched on the AC and turned the envelope many times. When she smelt, she sensed a gentle fragrance of a perfume. This upset her. She got up from the bed and drank a glass of cool water. She walked up and down the room trying to recollect any known woman with name starting in K. None of her friends or the wives of his friends he brought home had such a name. His personal assistant was one Sulochana about whose shoddy work he always griped. She felt a creeping head ache.
Normally they do not open each other’s personal letters. But this stapled carelessly evidently carrying no confidential messages. After some hesitation, she opened the envelope taking care not to break the staple pin.
You had promised to visit me last evening. I was waiting eagerly for you after asking the maid to cook the dinner quickly and leave early. There was no call or message from you about any change in your program. Your phone was also switched off. It is more than a week since we met. Why do you punish me like this?
I had specifically requested the security chap at your gate to hand the letter personally in your hands. Please ring me immediately you see this.
Yours as always
Deepika could not believe what she read and an improbable treachery. This cannot be true as Anirudh loved her so much, a god fearing and a very decent guy not given to any vices. But she remembered that he came late one-day last week and went to bed without eating complaining tummy upset. Could this be the day he met her and was it the first time? She went for a painkiller and tranquilizer as her head was splitting with ache.
She rang up in vain many times his number and then through switchboard contacted his steno to be told that he was busy in a high level meeting. In anger she threw herself on the bed and skipped her lunch.
She must have dozed off till she felt someone shaking her to wake up. It was Anirudh who said “Are you not well? Why are you sleeping at this hour? My secretary told me you rang for me and that there was urgency in your tone. I left the office immediately after the meeting. What happened?”
“Were you in your office or outside reveling? Did you tell your secretary to tell me you were busy in a meeting? How is your tummy? Any upset again as in the last week?” she bombarded him with questions.
“Deepika, what are you blabbering? Are you mad or what?” he asked in disbelief at her anger and abrasive tone.
“Here is the letter from your dearest K wanting another tryst with you. What audacity has she to send her love letter in a stapled envelope to our house?” she screamed.
As Anirudh perplexed somewhat was about to open the stapled envelope, there was a bell. When he went to answer, she also followed him hurriedly. It was the same Bihari security chap.
“Madam, galati ho gayi (There was a mistake. That letter is for Anirudh Srivastava saheb jo upar rahte hain (the one residing above) at 412.He asked me whether a lady had given me a letter for him and why I had not given. I realized then the mistake and ran up here,” he said.
Deepika grabbed the letter from her husband and handed it over to the guard. She dragged the confused Anirudh to the bedroom saying “galati ho gayi, sorry” even as she hugged and smothered him with smooches.