THE SORRY SLUT : PART (V) : OF(F) THE BEAT

TSS5

“Seems like you have fallen asleep. Great. Good night ”, Aradhya read Malhar’s text when she woke up. ‘Oh God’, she blushed, embarrassed. ‘ Seriously, so stupid of me’. Malhar had called her on that fateful night, stringing together the beats of the melody of her life. He kept on playing till she dozed off to sleep and when he realized that she had fallen asleep, he hung up, leaving her a text. Aradhya woke up with a heavy head, the albatross quenching its thirst from the enervated nerves which had rejuvenated by the anodyne : Malhar’s music. The only light she could see was her promised meeting with Malhar. He wanted to meet her that day and talk about a new melody he was composing. She got up from her bed, dragged herself to her shower, hiding the wound, letting the little fringes of her curly hair play freely , covering her forehead and then loosely gracing the dark kohl of her eyes. She left around ten in the morning, filling her hand bag with biscuits for the dogs of her university. Malhar was supposed to meet her there.
Nabayan had stayed at Panchali’s place for that night. Panchali’s family was quite lenient, unlike some others and they had no issue with Nabayan staying over. He had not shown the ring to Panchali. He was expert with PDAs and of course, when it came to proposing his diva for marriage, a white washed room wasn’t enough. He wanted to make it grand, something that people will remember, something that will rule out the chances for other men, to come closer to Panchali and even cherish the desire in their hearts to posses her. Panchali was only his, she belonged to him. She was artful in the ways of pleasing men and he, the great Nabayan deserved it ; she was beautiful and could wear any dress confidently; it gave him pride when she would roam around with him, her sleek cleavage stealing the glares of the men around. He had dated women before but Aradhya was the most boring of the lot. Everybody is not Dante and who would want to cross the sweet limbo just for a swoony Beatrice? Isn’t it better to rule Hades rather than serving in Heaven? Aradhya never understood him. Why did he even get committed to her? Just to learn correct grammar? Is it the duty of a girlfriend to teach her boyfriend the laws of grammar while he himself bunked his own class? And the poetry she wrote ? Who cares about puny poetries? Panchali honored his knowledge and wisdom. She would never speak against all these, rather would show him, the beauties of his own body and would make him feel confident; she would reflect the man in him or rather the man he always wanted to be. He kept on thinking all these as he dressed up for his proposal.
Panchali of course was happy. Her dream was coming true. Finally, a man was going to kiss her in front of public and deliver his love towards her. Soon, she would reach that arcadia where man would officially declare their engagement. She had already ambushed the girl she hated her from the core of her heart. She was adroit in this task. She had saved Nabayan from her hands when he was with Aradhya and this time, she had ruined her completely. Her acumen was strong enough to know the ways to treat intellectual fools like Aradhya. She called Aradhya several times in the morning, hoping to tell her about the magnanimous proposal, but for some reason, she could not get her phone. She looked at the ring which was lying on the dressing table, her eyes, sparkling like Gollum, but she was not like him, to take in her hands and remark, ‘my precious ‘. She didn’t even know that such a character ever existed. Why would she be bothered about myths. Only idiots like Aradhya did. She had other onus to take care of. Someday, she would become a myth herself.
Nabayan drove through the bridge of Santoshpur, deciding to take the short cut through the Bengal Lamp area , to South City Mall where had booked the whole food court for his proposal. He was driving with one hand and was fiddling with the ring on the other, alluring Panchali and playing with her as he drove. As he stopped the car in the traffic jam at 8B bust stand, he saw a girl, standing near the road with dogs around her. He was very familiar with the face, those deer-like eyes, adorned by the black kohl, that innocent smile, those puerile ways of her which would make him laugh at times, those soft hands, which he desired always, but could never get for he wanted everything before marriage and that height he admired. She was of his same height, which would actually make him proud when he walked beside her as her boyfriend. But within moments, the cloud of rain had transformed to the clouds of storm and something tormented his heart. An unknown pain was born within his heart as his eyes saw the paleness in her face, evidently disclosing the typhoon that had tormented the meadow of creativity. It all happened in fractions of seconds; their eyes met and the girl too, stared at him, her eyes, speaking out, ‘Why ? ‘. He had to move towards her for that was the way he was heading towards and he drove fast, losing his grip; he tried to apply the brake and the car stopped, its speed having slowed down by the inner obstacle of the brake and the outer obstacle. Aradhya could just scream one word, “ Malhar ” “before she fell down on the ground, unconscious, her legs bleeding, along with the injured female dog.
Nabayan got out his car while Malhar, who was nearby feeding other dogs, rushed to the spot, hearing Aradhya’s voice and the chaos it spurred out and took her in his arms, his green Punjabi, soaking in Aradhya’s blood. Nabayan looked at the 6 feet tall Malhar and said, “ Let me help. Please. It was an accident .” Malhar, without even recognizing Nabayan, replied in a hurry , “ Of course it is an accident. Stop this bullshit. If you really want to help, take the injured female dog along . She needs treatment too ”. Panchali had come out of the car too, and arrived at the accident spot where the angry mob was still cursing Nabayan but since he agreed to help, they didn’t hurl stones at him; some wanted to beat him up but Nabayan had acted quickly and carefully took the female dog in his arms; the ring which he was fiddling with, slipped from his hands.
Panchali stood there silently as she saw Malhar, rushing to the hospital with injured Aradhya. Nabayan took the female dog with a huge difficulty, holding her close to his chest, but instead of sensing the warmth, he could feel the coldness of her body, the bits of biscuit, which Aradhya was feeding the female dog, were all over the fur of the dog’s face and some of these scraps fell on Nabayan’s hands. He could feel the warmth, the cold body of the female lacked.
Panchali noticed the precious engagement ring which had fallen on the ground. She saw how Nabayan struggled his best to help Malhar and Aradhya. The ring was still shinning, lying on the pool of blood of the injured victims. Panchali stared at it. Drop of waters, supposedly tears slipped from her eyes and tried their best to remove the wash off the blood stains from the silver ring.

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