While I was settling down into my new Life, Blotch was as if getting sucked out of my days- automatically. He would keep telling me that he would soon find out where I worked. And so..? Create nuisance there too- what else?
His stalking had begun. This was in March- 1997. He had met me in the afternoon again cribbing for me to get married to him. Like- what for? Was I a crashed in my head? I had spent weeks together in brainwashing him off the idea- I didn’t want any ugly exchange of conversation. I hate “hate- words”. He would tell me that after marrying (him), he would let me wear jeans once in a while but no skirts- not even the long ones, no short tops, no shorts.. whatever..!! !$!@$!%#
I had politely tried to explain that him and me were no match. If he was thinking about the time spent together; then, he had had his good time- anyway. “I have changed”, was his reaction. I had always been that way; only he was noticing the facts then.
I had to get down at ITO and travel to the Tilak Bridge bus stop to change bus. that’s exactly where he would start following me from. One day, it so happened that someone had asked me the way to Priya complex. I had let him walk beside me. I still can’t tell if he was Blotch’s friend or had wanted to seriously know the way. In the noon, Blotch had started his melodramatic number again. I was taken to be involved with that guy- like I cared. Hell! with him.
He had stopped coming over to my place of residence completely. Not that I had wanted him to. Ruby had constantly been asking me to move out. My only reason for sticking in to that place was the people there. They had loved me like their own daughter. They had owned me when they knew nothing about me and had stayed neutral even after having come aware of all.
Bhushan Ralhan was my 1st member. Hearing my “presentation”, he had wanted to meet me. As long as he was paying for the membership, it didn’t hurt me. Mamta had been protective enough to not send me down to the lobby the 1st day. I don’t remember; maybe even Geetu had gone to collect the membership fee. He had parted with only half the sum. Clearly, he had wanted to meet me.
Wearing my black- white silk sari, I had gone down to the VC lobby to meet a 36 years old salt- peppered man. He seemed a fine man outwardly- who wanted to know him inwardly anyways..? Excepting that after handing over the rest of the money for membership, he would call me often at the hotel telephone to talk to me for a few minutes.
Upon meeting me, this man had instantly drawn resemblances with his muse- Mona. A Bengali woman who couldn’t become a part of his life.. or so it seemed. Hold on- his is a pretty interesting story- that would be done in another post. For now, lets stick to whatever happened within my work tenure with that Hotel.
Like a fool, I had gone over to watch KS..!! I was politely asked not to join them the 2nd time there was a team outing. I had started reading them pretty well. To their disadvantage.
Nitin Gupta was yet another client who had become very curious hearing me. He was either Nitin or – don’t remember. Strange? Nopes- Indifference. He had walked in to pay for the membership but had not insisted on seeing me. While he had gotten a couple of more cards for his friends, one of them turned out to be Geetu’s lead. I had lost a sale. That way, I had managed to prick in her eyes too.
I had met the guy soon. He seemed to be too genuine a guy. Coming aware of my lost certificates, he had promised to help me. He would often ask me to call him in the evening. He would disconnect on my 1st call and then call me back instead and talk. Not bad..!! He seemed to be a well established business man. He was a young guy, couple of years elder to me. He had dressed in formals the day I had met him. I had wore a green suit. I had knotted my hair loosely.
He must have expected a teenage damsel hearing my nasal voice. There I was a young woman- mentally, a little more grown up- for my age. Thanks to whoever, Goldy had seemed to talk something nasty about me. I am not giving any names here, but try and figure. Someone from my team had told him that perhaps I was developing sentiments for that Gupta guy. Really now. That small telephonic friendship was killed.
Mansi and I were transferred to Siddharth thereafter. Again- no names upon who must have cooked up that jolt for me. As if a huge pot of soupy curry was waiting for me to take a dip and ladle the broth.
Sanjay Kapoor had welcomed me like we were long lost friends. No comments on his personal character- the least I say would be better. Not because I don’t wish to. But because, him also is to re- appear in my later posts.
Deepak used to tele-call in the name of Neha. I wonder just how many Vasant Continental Club members would be dis-appointed to learn that the woman they had fancied with all their Love just never existed. Men.. and men!!!!!
Anshu was yet another sample trailor. As if to compete with Neha… err Deepak, she too had created a fan- following. One meeting, I mean one date with them, and they would never want to meet her again. I am not saying anything. It’s Deepak who had made that fact public. Gursharan being the only one who I could strike a rapport with. Well mannerly, pursuing his MBA then and equally smart. Read: intelligent. Yes, intelligent men are in short supply. They always were in short supply. In an attempt to be humorous, most of them end up competing with the local circus clown, who laughs at we wonder what..!!
I had begun enjoying my work. Eating meals at the EDR (Executive Dining Room) for 20/- bucks, I had gained weight. It was becoming apparent that I was settling down rapidly. Moreso, a ripple, more often a tide, only happens whenever I feel I am getting settled. There- more than 1 were waiting to strike me.
Blotch had one day tried to hold my hand and make me talk to him. This was on full public view on the street. He had stalked me from ITO. He had stopped me just before entering the Hotel gate. I had snapped at him real bad. I had severely objected to his addressing me so casually. He was taken aback at my response. He had tried to sound threatening. I had shooed him off. I had not wanted any crap at my work-place.
Bhushan Ralhan had wanted to take me out to watch Titanic. aaaw, so romantic! Excepting, that it was barely that. He had been to Hyderabad once. He claimed to have picked up some pearl jewelery for me. The card that he had gifted me alongwith that jewelery box- oops, I guess I have disposed that only in last winters, a few months back. If only I knew that I would blog, I would have saved it to scan. shoot..!! The pearls are still with me- recrafted. The sandal box too is with me sitting in my Living Room Books cabinet.
He wasn’t too happy seeing me wearing a sari. That red n black sari was a lahariya sari that dad had bought from his office trip to Rajasthan. I had worn it on Teacher’s Day when I had played “Ms. Geeta Pradhan”- one of my all time fave teachers, in my 5th standard. This is where I feel, I have been blessed. How my class- mates and Himanshu had teased me no- end.
Just to clear any confusion, I loved wearing saris. I still do but don’t anymore. I stay confined within my home. It’s been 3 years that I have lived like a recluse. Though I am no more one; but I still don’t move around at all- so, no saris for now. It’s been over 3 years now.
Okay, lets go back for now. Enough of wandering off.
Ralhan had taken me out for shopping too. Couple of beautiful suits, a skin- fitting jeans and a pair of black shoes. A yellow Tee- shirt was also picked up but later. While we were on our way to..
Back home, I had stopped taking printing assignments. I had started earning decent. I nomore had needed to slog. I ate from that neighborhood dhaba. From ordering only half plate rice for 7 bucks, whereby they would also put some curry or dal alongwith; I had started ordering for a separate rice plate and dal tadka for 25 bucks in total.
I had spent months together- waiting in the evening, for Blotch to carry that 7 bucks meal, to be shared between both of us. This was before Ruby had stepped in and stepped me out. Till date, I don’t leave as much as even the last grain on my plate unfinished. My boss squirms when he watches me doing that. Though he too cleans his plate neat, he has often watched me polishing every plate around before dipping for doing them.
Almost all of them have laughed at my back- knowing about my helpless situation. I dare them all to do that again now that I am declaring I was indeed.
I have watched people from a very close angle- all of them had stood as ugly as they could be. I had dared not say that then.
Taking the pleasure trip now..