## Spiced up
That was the last time i talked to Raajan. He went back to Orissa after a few days. He sort of avoided me after i gave him the lecture. That joy in our conversations was missing. After a month we stopped talking completely. I had become too preoccupied with school work. Months passed by swiftly, I was still single as a Pringle. I had almost forgotten about Priya. She stopped replying to my messages, probably thinking i wasn’t important enough for her attention. I didn’t care much too, it did hurt me a bit. But then i was used to girls ignoring me. I was too acquainted to this reaction of girls, always ignoring me after entertaining a few messages of mine. I had spent days and nights trying to study. I was still able to study. But of course i was desperately waiting for some spice in my life, some girls and whatever that was missing in my boring life. However i had no idea that this desperate and deep desire of mine would come true, very soon.
December finally came and after a long struggle my winter vacation had finally started. As usual my plan was to spend the whole vacation sleeping. I woke up at 12 o’clock in the noon, after spending most of the night watching videos and chatting with foreigners on Facebook, like an owl. I slept like a Bear during winter. I preferred spending the vacation all alone without the company of any of my cousins. But Raajan had pleaded to his mother about spending the vacation at my home, and he got the permission. So he was soon going to come all the way to Kolkata from Orissa again. And of course i had finally completely forgotten about Priya, but this guy reminded me of her again. All over again i was having the same feeling. I had no idea back then, that all this was destined to be.
New year was approaching too. Raajan was supposed to come a week before the 31st. He arrived on the 22nd with his sister Maadhvi, it was a Monday. Everything happened quickly and time passed by swiftly and then it wad time for him to go back to Orissa. He invited me to go with him, and celebrate new year with him. It would be fun he said, I was so naive back then. I accepted his offer and decided to go with him.
It was a long journey. I was excited. This was the first time i was travelling without my parents, all on my own, the first time i was independently staying at someone else’s hows. I was thrilled. By evening we reached Puri. I was very excited. I was going to witness the beach for the first time. Adrenaline pumped in my veins. Raajan’s house was very close to Chadrabhaga sea beach. A fifteen minute walk, Raajan had told me. It was very cold. I could feel the cold wind piercing my cheeks. My nose was numb. Finally we reached his house. The heater was on, my cold cheeks felt the warmth. I greeted Raajan’s parents, as theh stood up from the couch to welcome me. I was finally in Puri, and i was comfortable already.
‘We’ll go for a walk in the morning, to the beach.’ Raajan said as we changed our clothes in his room
‘Yeah definitely. I’d see it for the first time.’ i said excited
‘I have got lots to show you. Let’s quickly have dinner first’
‘Yeah my tummy’s grumbling’
We raced to the dining table. The house seemed familiar already. It had been quite a few years since i met his parents, his sister had seen me after a long time too. But his family felt mine in no time. I was talking with them as if they were my own parents. It felt good. We had dinner with a lot of chitchat and giggles and mirth. Old memories were freshened. Soon Raajan and i greeted everyone goodnight and locked ourselves in the room, with the heater on, it was super comfy.
‘See this.’ Raajan said as he opened up his phone and showed me his chat with Priya. The dreadful feeling engulfed me again. This time it was worse. He had proposed her. And she accepted it. They were in a relationship now. ‘How did this happen?’ i asked, ‘What do you mean how it happened?’ he said surprised. ‘Where the heck did you get the courage from, I mean’ I said. He chuckled and snatched the phone from my hands.
‘Come on, now let’s sleep. Gotta wake up early in the morning.’
‘yeah.’ I thought of something, and asked it right away ‘Hey! When are gonna introduce me to Priya, officially?’
‘Tomorrow. If you are okay with it’
‘Sure why not…. Tomorrow’s good’
I tried to be cool. But was unable to do so. I’d finally meet Priya. My heart pounded and raced. I couldn’t stop smiling. I wondered how beautiful she would be. I was behaving strangely again. I forced myself to stop thinking about everything and went to sleep.
The next morning we woke up at about 4:15 am and we brushed freshened ourselves and set out. We had told uncle and aunty about our plans so we didn’t disturb them and slipped out silently.
‘We are going to Priya’s house first’ Raajan said
‘What!?’ I screamed
‘Why are you so terrified?’
‘You didn’t tell me about this’
‘yeah but you said you are fine with meeting her today.’
‘I already told her you’ll be with me so don’t be worried’
‘yeah whatever let’s go. Is her house close?’
We were soon standing outside her house. It was a separate house not a flat. I wondered how rich she was. I had no knowledge of her family back then. I only knew her name. Only her name. I stood nervously waiting as Raajan rang the doorbell. I tapped my feet outrageously. Clenched my fists. I was so pumped. I was finally going to see her face.
The door was opened. A girl stood there. It was Priya. Her face lit brightly, so fair, so energetic. Her nose so magnificent. Her eyes jet black. Her beautiful hair falling over her face. She wore a sweatshirt and trousers. She looked so fresh and beautiful up in the morning. I was completely dumbstruck and mesmerized by her beauty. I grinned like a idiot staring at her, admiring each feature of her perfectly carved face. She was as tall as my mother. The slight blush on her cheeks made her look so cute. I felt me heart melt. I had butterflies in my stomach. She God’s true masterpiece. She looked healthy unlike other girls whole jawbones are visible. Under the red sky and the rising sun her face glowed fiery. Her nose seemed to be chiselled to the extent of perfection. I might have had fallen in love with her beauty then and there.
Her big shimmering eyes looked back at me. I smiled wide. I was hovering over the 9th cloud imagining all sorts of fictional stuff. Then i was snapped into reality as Raajan broke the silence.
‘Priya, this my brother, Kartik. And Kartik this is Priya’ said Raajan.
She advanced her hand for a handshake with a smile ‘Hi Kartik’ she said in her melodiously sweet voice. My esrs tingled, my stomach grumbled, my mind was jammed. I stood there smiling like an idiot, letting her hand hang in midair.
‘Kartik!’ Raajan said loudly.
‘Oh! Yes! Hi! Nice to meet to Priya’ i said, startled and shook her hand. Her hand was soft and smooth, and warmer than mine, her touch was intoxicating. I wouldn’t have let go of her hand but i had to.
Priya noticed my absent-mindednes but didn’t sah anything. She also caught my looking at her several times but just smiled instead of reacting.
We walked down and alley. I was silent mostly, thinking about what I should say to Priya. While Raajan and Priya continued to chat about whatever the stuff they could have grabbed hold of. I was extremely nervous. I calculated the number of days left before new year’s eve. It was 28th then, i still had five more days. I was thinking of giving her a new year gift already. I had planned to figure out what the gift should be in five days.
Fifteen minutes had been passed walking. We were now on the beach. I noticed the two of them holding hands, Priya was leaning her head on Raajan’s arm. I purposely acted as if i had prevented a vomit. They noticed it and broke away acting all different now. I couldn’t help but look at Priya instead of the beautiful sight of the sea. What the heck was happening to me!?
We were the only ones on the beach, it was still too early for more people to come. Raajan took a seat and sat much further behind the spot where we were standing. I was alone with Priya now.
‘So your first time on a beach?’ she asked me
‘Yep. First time seeing you as well.’ I said, and immediately regretted it.
‘Oh yes, my first time seeing you too.’ she said and laughed ‘Why were you looking at me like that?’
‘Come on you get what I am saying’
‘…get my eyes off you’
‘Oh really? Am i that beautiful devar ji?’
The conversation was getting heated slowly. I decided to play along, with a lot of risk
‘Yes of course bhabhi ji. If i praise your beauty it would take me the whole day and yet I wouldn’t be done with it’
She giggled and glanced at me.
What was this strange feeling I was having. Something in my blood? Oxytocin? The love hormone? Damn!
‘Well honestly devar ji. You don’t look bad either, i almost couldn’t take my eyes off you’ she said and winked at me.
‘Yeah nice joke’ I said and smiled away.
‘No! Literally, you look cute.’ she said smiling wide, eyes looking squarely at my face.
‘Ok then, i believe you, i guess.’
We were slowly drifting away. Leaving Raajan behind. The two of us were walking slowly. Then i stripped my feet of the sandles, and held them in my hands, rolled up my pants, then walked closer to the water. She did the same and followed my trail.
‘The feeling’s awesome! Feeling the seawater gush over my feet for the first time!’ i said with a tone of enthusiasm.
‘I do this everyday’ she said and smiled. Her smiled made the world wait.
‘Raajan’s going off to his cousins’ house in the evening. And my friends won’t be here too. I’ll be all alone. Like to hang to out with me… devar ji?’ she said with cheeky look on her cute little face.
‘Sure why not’ i said instinctively.
‘Ok then let’s meet here at 5 o’clock in the evening’
I will spend the evening with her….all alone, as her freaking devar! Damn! I was still happy.
We walked a few more metres ahead. Then my leg somehow go tangled on a buried piece of rope and i lost balance and my body leaned forward. Fortunately Priya grabbed hold of my hand and prevented me from burying my nose into the sand.
I was skinny but still heavy.
‘you are strong’ I said hanging from her hand.
‘I can’t hold much longer, get up!’
‘oh right!’ i got on my feet and freed my leg of the rope. Love you rope. A second touch….tighter than before. I felt like a pervert, but i wasn’t of course!
Raajan noticed nothing, he was dozing there sitting on the chair. We had spent quite a lot of time chatting and playing with the water. I had splashed Priya’s face, and she pushed into the water in revenge. My back was drenched and the salt was biting my arse. I wasn’t angry. It felt like heaven, each and every touch of her’s.
‘You are fun to be with’ she said smiling as we walked back to where we started.
‘Yeah?’ i said while itching my back vigorously
‘Yes, very much’ she said and burst into laughter.
We were now going to leave. We found Raajan sleeping with snores. It was 7 o’clock now and people had started arriving, in tracksuits and many old women in sarees too. I pushed Raajan over, and he woke up in a second. However it was too late already, as he was lying on the sand with a grimace on his face.
‘Never sleep on the sea shore’ i said and chuckled
‘I’ll kill you’ he said
‘Come on now we should head back home’ Priya said
Raajan got back up and almost punched me in the face but Priya had stopped him. We walked out of the beach. And we were now on the road. We were separate from Priya here. ‘So don’t forget, 5 o’clock….devar ji’ she said as she walked backwards and winked at me again. ‘And dress nicely please, i hope you have a good sense of fashion’. I smiled back and she walked away. Her walk was mesmerizing too.
‘5 o’clock?’ Raajan asked me all baffled.
‘Nothing. Let’s head back home’
Raajan kept asking me the same thing the whole way. I dodged each and every one of his questions. Soon he gave up. I was extremely happy. My life was finally ‘spiced up’.