Monsoon Affair (2)
Varun coiled back to his corner at the crowded railway station and the words of his love interest pierced his heart like an arrow. He was reeling under shock for a while after being rejected in such a rude way. There is no point crying over split milk, he told himself.
The lover boy tried to sleep on the hard surface, braving the cold and woke up at 4 a.m. He saw her sitting on the cement slab from afar and wondering what she must be thinking. Gradually, the rain subsided. He walked towards the loo to relieve himself and wash his face.
Stepping out of the railway station to lit a cigarette, he realized that the match box was wet and despite trying some old trick, there was no respite. He saw a lighter held upwards, cupped to his face to lit the cigarette he was holding between his lips. It was her. He muttered, 'Thank you.' She sported a faint smile, 'It's okay.' He thought, 'At least, she said something.'
She asked, "What do you do?"
Varun looked bemused at first, looked furtively around the clouded sky, "I am a communications student at Xavier's."
Now, she was having fun at his expense and getting some sadistic pleasure, seeing him confused and amused thinking how he came to flirt with her and fizzled like the cracker that failed to burst. 'Boys, will be boys. Let me have some more fun.'
She removed a single stick from her red Marlboro pack and took a drag, wearing an amused expression. Varun was now feeling awkward and didn't know how to break this silence when he saw her smiling sarcastically.
She patted him on the back, "Ok! Enough of this sarcastic game. I can be bad at times and sorry for being rude. It's just that I can be like that since I was getting so irritated for being stuck in this stupid monsoon and stranded like that. Sorry! I was just having fun at your expense, Varun."
He smiled with a flirty, "O-k-ay! How do you know my name?"
She grinned, "So, what happened? You guys always forget things so easily, yesterday when you were hitting on me."
Varun was flustered. A taxi stopped in front of them, calling, 'Parel.'She opened the taxi door and asked, 'Coming?'
He innocently said, 'I am not going to Parel.'
She insisted, "Come inside. See! How drenched you are? You come for coffee at my place and then can go home after the rain stops."
She plays with her hair and turned to Varun, "By the way I am Huma."
He broke into a song, "Ek hogaye hum aur tum, Huma Huma" before breaking into peal of laughter.
She made a coy face, "Dude, it's so lame. My name is Huma and not Hama. By the way, singer, we are reaching my apartment.
They took the lift and entered Huma's apartment on 10th floor and Varun opened the door at the balcony which gave an aerial view of the city. He enthusiastically said, "Lucky, babe. What an amazing view of Amchi Mumbai, the roads, buildings and vehicles! Breath-taking."
She made coffee and stood on the balcony, "It's awesome, na. I enjoy having my coffee and sitting with my lap top here. But, in the rain, it gets difficult. Gosh! It's crazy.
"By the way, no babe, ok. You better don't take advantage of the situation and don't ever think I have the hots for you. You see, I've invited you home on compassionate ground because of the rain and offered you coffee to warm the body. Drink your coffee, it's getting cold."
It was his turn to be amused, now. "Wow! You are such a kind soul, yaa. Your name shouldn't be Huma but Mother India, offering solace to the destitute in the monsoon. Do you invite every person at home during the rains"
She interrupted, "Just stop with your silly jokes or else I'll throw you out in this weather.You are quite a character"
"Haan," he retorted. "A little lesser than you."
She was at a loss of words and smiled sheepishly, tapping him on his shoulder.