Friday, 23 August 2013

Exodus of Preying Eyes

Jacob Hills on Amazon – Exodus of Preying Eyes:

Ridhima and Gaurav were looking across the hall at each other, over escaping glance.
While Ridhima knew that she had gone ahead and clicked through Gaurav’s facebook profile when she hanged around in her then boyfriend’s apartment in North View Apartments, Bangalore, Gaurav just felt that the lady across the hall pinning him with the stares.
Ridhima and Aakash have known each other for a good 4 years now. Theirs have been an easy relationship. Both belonged to affluent family known to each other for decades now. Though they did not practically grow up together, they crossed each other’s path quiet often in their father’s office parties and transfer locations. They had been together as children for a year when their father got transferred to Kasauli and later on briefly in Ranikhet. Ridhima and Aakash had met in in their university days through common friends and landed up into a steamy affair which finalized into a marriage through parents intervention. Today they are one of the celebrated happy couples, very made for each other. The calm Ridhima and the impatient Aakash. Today they celebrate Aakash’s parent’s 45th anniversary where, if not all, most of the old connections came together.
After that day, Ridhima, for the first time took the courage to walk into Gaurav’s profile and send him a request to be friends. Immediate acceptance and then through a little bit of back tracking, Gaurav found that Aakash’s wife is a once class mate of his.
“Hi”, he said and waited. “Thanks for the accept” came the reply. A few conventional question and answer here and there till the conversations ended for the day. Before realizing, they planned to meet up over a coffee. Ridhima somehow, did not confide to Aakash. She did her part of the first lie.
Mouthful of sky is what one lie can bring with her. The numbers of her time to meet Gaurav increased with the number of time she lied to Aakash. Aakash had always loved Ridhima as he would to no one else. This love for her, gave a in a wonderful trust that he shared with her. The rather homely Ridhima changing into an outside person did not move Aakash at all. He was happy because his lady was happy after all. His busy work schedule and finally coming back home to snuggle into Ridhima’s arms were the most luxurious and dreamy attempt that Aakash would indulge into. He failed to notice Ridhima awake almost throughout the night to day break thinking about Gaurav while having Aakash sleep in peace in her arms.
A day in a coffee shop was followed by a drive to no where. Another day Gaurav arrived to take her for a celebrated evening out for street food. It was followed by a quick hi while passing the locality of Aakash and Ridhima’s house. Gaurav had all the different excuses to meet Ridhima. She waited for him. She waited for the different ideas that he came up with to spend time with her, unlike Aakash’s splash and swanky dinner places in every ritualistic weekend. In the coffee shop, Gaurav held her hand longer than required while they battled inside the Bill flip, to decide on who would pay. In the street food, he pulled her closer while crossing the road. On her way back from the departmental store round the 5th corner from her house, Gaurav drove her past her apartment complex for an hour into the highway, till they found a tea stall. In flip-flops and san makeup, Ridh avoided her uncomfortable glance from the denim clad Gaurav; he told her she is beautiful anyways and they laughed.

They other day, when the bell rang in a hot summer afternoon, she opened the door and found Gaurav standing with a grass flower in his hand. He had plucked it from the car park. Just to say “Hi”, is all he said and left. It was Ridhima who made the first move to hold his hand and not just the flower. She had felt his pulse in his palm. When she stopped him and moved closer, she felt his pulse below his throat and then on his chest. Battling his instinct was difficult for Gaurav. He had thought once, before ringing the bell, to walk back. Something pushed him to see her. Rather, it was she who reminded him so much of his past with Shreya. Now with all that have happened, he hated her so much that the hatred for her and her striking similarity with Ridhima attracted him. Like her, Ridhima has this playful instinct over unknown men. She eyes playfully wonders among men sitting in another corner of the coffee shop when she is with Gaurav, just like the first day their sight had met in the party when she was with Aakash. Gaurav hates her for this and yet he adorns her. The day she had no one to sign at across the room, Gaurav was happy. She had all his attention, he told himself and felt jealous looking around the swanky and luxurious living that Aakash comes back to in Ridhima’s arm while she playfully looks across to other men. Today, he had all her attention. They shivered and swirled with each other and Gaurav had her looking into his eyes all throughout. He hated her more and more and washed out Shreya through Ridhima. Hours had passed when finally Aakash pulled in the car park behind Gaurav’s car. Not very surprised, he walked in to the lobby, rang the bell.
Ridhima opened the door and they had guest, saying hi while he was passing by from this side of the city. While the three sat together and sipped their tea, Ridh knew that this is the end of Gaurav and her. Some relationships do not have defined outlines. They are just there special and preserved. They are meant to be in their own way. Something to think about and smile, but never to repeat – Ridhima thought at the end of the day when she remained sleepless, stared at the ceiling with Aakash snuggled up in her arms.


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