The first time when Ronit and Akshita had met each other alone she had asked him to wait at some distance from her PG. Hers was a ladies’ PG and the caretaker of the PG, Sunita, had a reputation of being a tattletale to the girls’ parents. Sunita had ruined many relationships, even the nascent ones, by divulging an exaggerated account of the affairs to the girls’ families. Relationship with the opposite gender, much like many other things in their country, only impacted the lives of girls.
Sunita was 37 and had lost her husband in a road accident before she could conceive. The fat in her body had settled down in all the places giving her a rotund appearance, and though her shape, at once, gave everyone a feeling that she must be a person of a pleasant character, like the ones who are good with children, the air around her, when one spent some time with her, proved them wrong. She chewed tobacco all the time and kept one waiting for the answers to their queries till she spat the stuff from within her mouth. Her sister, after seeing Sunita’s predicament, had given custody of her first son to Sunita, with whom she now lived, and despite all her efforts and persuasions her nephew never called her Mummy.
Sunita kept all the contacts handy and every time she called one of the parents and narrated to them all that she had seen and all the little she had heard, she swore on ‘Sita Maiyya’ as if vowing on someone whose life itself has had been debatable will make her revelations all the more trustworthy. But the authenticity with which she spoke, with tobacco placed in one corner inside her mouth, never failed at convincing the parents. She was rarely in her office, the caretaking of which she had entrusted upon her nephew, and was often found walking on the road in front of the main gate in search of any new engagements. “I am telling you this from my experience, they don’t see night or day, if they have to feel each other, they do it at any time” she had told her nephew when he had urged her against going out during the day.
Many girls after they were caught by Sunita, had tried to buy her off by offering her some money, but she never partook any of the offered money. “Certain pleasures in life”, she had once told her nephew, “have no price to them.” Sensing that her nephew had not taken the message correctly she had added, “it is my responsibility to tell the parents of what their daughters are up to. The education that they are funding for is too expensive.” And whenever she caught a girl, she would smirk in glee at her face, so many girls had even cried in front of her, pleading her to give them one last chance. But Sunita, at least till Akshita lived in that PG, had remained incorrigible.
All of these character traits about her PG owner had reached Akshita as hearsay from a senior who had, in turn, heard it from her senior. And this super senior, Akshita was made to believe by her senior, was one of Sunita’s earliest victims. A point after which, the hostel sorority believed, Sunita never looked back.
The street that led to the PG was dark. At some distance, a tiny segment of the road was illuminated by the light emanating out of the two bulbs fitted inside lantern-shaped holders affixed on each side of the gate. The same path where Sunita walked anticipating on her preys.
The cool December breeze hit across Ronit’s face and sent chills down his body. An irresistible urge to pee soon surfaced. But what if Akshita saw her peeing by the road. No, he decided, I have done it on several occasions and I’ll do it once more, I’ll hold it within. To warm himself up a bit he walked a few steps forth and then came back, his hands inside the pockets of his jeans all the while.
Akshita finally came out of the PG in her grey coloured night-dress with her sweater wrapped around her waist. And had it not been for the impact that her beauty had on him every time since he had first seen her, he would have declared her as one of those goofy girls — like the ones who didn’t know where the sweaters should belong to in such a cold night. But, all the while she walked towards him he was transfixed at her gait. And so, when two years later, Akshita was lying in his lap and asked him if he remembered anything about their first tryst, he vividly described everything to her about that night — the lantern-shaped bulb holders, the cool breeze and how he had held pee for such a long time, her sweater, her pyjama, and how, when he had gone back home after meeting with her, he had imagined, she would look without any of those, in her arms, both of them making love. She punched him in the stomach and said, ‘On the first day? Eeew’. Grimacing he replied, ‘It was December and you had way too little clothes on than I had thought, besides I could still kill people for those… but before he could have completed the sentence her phone rang. It was her father. And he knew that when her father called her it’d be a while before she’d return to him. She immediately wore her clothes on before picking up the phone, as if accepting the call while being clotheless would tell her father of what was going on inside that bolted room.
She always told her father about all that she had gone through during the day. And while she was on the call, he kept looking at her. There was so much he had come to know about her in these two years of togetherness. Like the calls with her father, her dressing up hastily before saying hello to any family members if they happened to call while they were having sex, and that no matter how much she hated confessing it her soft moans escaped only after he had taken her from behind. He smiled decidedly. Later, when he’d reflect on his life, he would stop at this point and think of how wrong he was.
END OF PART ONE
The picture used along with the writeup has been taken from here.