“Umm, Shareef bhai, you can go now. Pick me up at six.” She hopped out of the car and leaned towards the passenger side’s rear window, as she ordered her chauffeur to leave.
“But bibiji, saheb told me to wait for you out here at your friend’s home,” the chauffeur insisted to his young employer weakly.
“But I am telling you to leave and pick me up at six. And anyway, baba has already left for Dilli with his battalion. So no one will come to know. Besides you can enjoy your life in these two hours; go and meet your fiancée.” This time she commanded authoritatively.
“Bibiji, look at the weather, the clouds can open up anytime,” he concluded meekly. He did not want to displease his master and risk his job. But his feisty madam had some other plans.
“That is the reason I am giving you two hours leave, so that you can enjoy the beautiful weather with your dream girl,” she again told him mischievously and smiled sheepishly.
The poor man blushed on her blunt suggestion and shook his head in surrender. He had no other option but to follow his young mistress’s order.
“Okay bibiji, I will come at 6 to pick you up.” She nodded her head in agreement and proceeded to the single story small concrete house in front of her.
As she was about to knock on the wooden door of the house, the door swung open suddenly and her hand made contact with someone’s flesh.
“Ahh…,” he pressed his palm on his nose, which was hit by her knuckles.
“Ohh,” her lips formed an ‘O’ as she realized her mistake. “Ummmh sorry, I was knocking on the door, I didn’t know you were about to open it at the same time,” she apologized her inanity but a goofy grin graced her beautiful lips which she was unable to hide.
“Who the hell knocks at a door like this?” his grumpy voice hit her eardrums.
“Like what?” she asked innocently, although she knew she had knocked it quite forcefully.
“Like a wrestler who can break doors just by simply tapping on them,” he stated annoyingly.
She looked at him with wide eyes and folded her hands on her chest. “Are you trying to compare me with a wrestler?” she asked him in a voice laced with shock and heart break.
He gazed at her sinfully immaculate contour which was sparkling in the dull sun of the late winter afternoon. Her dupatta was carelessly hanging on her shoulder, showing the neckline of her phulkari embroidered top. She was the epitome of a perfectly sculptured youthful figure, unaware of her own excessively appealing beauty.
He had to collect his uninhibited gaze which had been roaming over her charming form. He shrugged his shoulder from the reprehensible desires tantalizing in his mind.
It was the first time that he had done something vile. And he was shocked for the moment. But he accumulated his thoughts quickly and looked into her beautiful black eyes.
“Move,” she whispered sternly. She spread her dupatta on her shoulders and chest evenly. She was feeling nervous under his heated scrutiny.
He immediately stepped aside. Cursing himself under his breath, he exited from the house.
She walked past him and entered the small living room.
“Salaam chachiji (aunty),” she greeted the elder lady who was sitting on the wooden sofa, peeling peas. The lady looked up and eyed her from head to toe. She was not very fond of her because of her rebellious nature.
“Chachi, where is Asma?” she asked the lady about her friend.
“She is sleeping in her room. Wake her up, it’s almost Asr time,” the lady ordered her.
She turned and walked over to the simple wooden door and pushed it open. The room was dark and furnished with a small single bed at the corner along with a small study table and a chair. She walked to the bed and shook her friends’ shoulder, who was in a deep slumber.
“Hey, wake up.” Her friend didn’t bulge. She tried again by snatching her cover and this time the sleeping beauty woke up.
“Hey, when did you come?” Asma rubbed her eyes and yawned widely. “When you opened your beautiful eyes,” she answered and sat at the edge of the bed. Asma laughed lightly at her friends’ playful coquettish remark.
She had always been like this; full of life, easy going, energetic and an exceptionally kind soul.
“You are hopeless,” Asma stated in a matter of fact way.
“Yes I know, and I am switching on the light. This room is looking like an open grave. How do you live in such a dull and dark place?” She stood up to switch the lights on, and the yellow light spread in the whole room.
“Everyone sleeps in darkness,” her friend said in a huff tone.
“No, I can’t sleep in the darkness. I turn on the light in the night also, you know that.” She was weird but in a beautiful way. Her beauty and purity could be seen in her tiny little actions.
She pulled the chair closer to the bed and sat on it. Meanwhile, Asma folded the comforter and placed it onto the foot end.
“Yeah, yeah, how can I forget that we have a jhalli in our town. And wait, oh my god!” Asma squealed in surprise. Her eyes widened in realization.