Friday, April 21, 2017

Lemon from the Road side Romeo

Rajiv was of my age only. He was always in an effort to be at his best with his heroic actions and verses, whenever I was visible to him. It’s been many years, he would make many rounds in front of my house with his cycle during mornings and evenings. He was always in search of an opportunity to talk to me, impress me. It was well known among my friends. I used to feel pity for the boy. He was an orphan, lived with his uncle and aunt, and he studied only till matriculation. Recently, he started his cable business.

Once, during the Diwali time, we few guys and gals in our neighborhood planned to have a night out. We fixed the terrace of Sam’s house to have the party, as his parents were out of town. Rajiv took lots of initiatives in the arrangement. He took the responsibility to pool money and spend accordingly.

Four fat mattresses were spread out on the floor, facing each other with a gap just for placing eatables and cutlery. Dimmed lighting add an aura of romanticism to the ambience. Soft Kenny G music was played in the background.

We had decided to booze and banter. Scrumptious snacks like chicken nuggets, kebabs, cheese balls, bhujia, etc. and tequila, whisky, rum, vodka and beer – all were arranged. I saw people taking taquila shots only on movie. Now, I was quite excited to take my first shot.

Rajiv poured 40 ml tequila from the Avion bottle into each of the shot glasses. Sliced lemons and salt were kept ready on a plate next to the glasses. Then, he commanded, “One, two, three, go!” …and all breathed out, licked the salt, downed the tequila shot and bite the lime in one synchronized action. 

Oops! It was quite bitter, not I expected. I smirked. Looking at my expression, Rajiv said, “Madam, its tequila, not a mango juice!” He wanted to be friendly with me. A laughter from all! The evening was rolling well. Many topics were discussed, right from the cranky uncles and aunts to who’s got maximum friends on Facebook and who’s dating whom etc. 

By midnight the collection was emptied and all were reasonably on high. No one had the appetite for dinner. Somebody infact proposed to drive to Badarpur border to bring few more bottles. 

At 1:30 am, I saw one miss call from my Mom. I got scared…what if my parents would come to know what was happening here. I became restless. I wanted to calm myself down. Only one solution we found out - that was to have lemon water quickly.

I went to the kitchen to make lemon water for myself, but no lemon was left, as we had finished them all during our tequila shots. Distress appeared on my face, I became more restless. Rajiv was observing me probably, he said that he would fetch few lemons from the neighborhood shop that generally remained open till 12.30 am. He rushed out. He came back after half an hour and went straight to the kitchen. He prepared lemon water for me. He garnished it well with mint leaves.

I drank the whole glass quickly, and thanked him from the core of my heart

“It took you so long.” Sam enquired. 

“Yeah, the shop was closed, but I managed to get the lemons from somewhere else.” Rajiv replied.

I was impressed. As if he was also feeling blissful serving his dream girl with a stuff unavailable in need-time. 

I looked at him, went closer and asked him with delight, “Thanks so much for taking the pain…! Just wondering from where you brought the lemons! Have you stolen from someone's kitchen garden?

He instantly replied, “I took a set of lemon and chillies tied on the door of one of the neighbours”  

“What?” We all yelled. Reeta said, “The lemon and chilles are tied to ward-off evil spirits from home. It’s un-auspicious to eat those chillies and lemon.” 

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