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The Petty Mobile Phone


Ashwini Ahuja

If my friend Suneer writes a poem on her, how might he write?
“My darling
A beauty- groomed by culture
And picturesque art?
An old wine
In a new crystal glass?
A rhapsodic poem
In an old book of sombre verses?
A growing big star
In the crowd of tiny stars
Twinkling in the nightly sky?”

Rubbish, rubbish, rubbish. Why does he write a poem on her? Is she his sweetheart? No. Just bubbly neighbour girl. Who idiot writes poems on neighbour girl? But stupidly Suneer think her his darling who never cheats on boyfriend. He sings the praises of her eyes and addresses her Naina (A lass with beautiful eyes). Naina, you paint your nails beautifully. Naina, you don elegant dresses. Naina you do this, Naina, you do that. Naina titters at his every expression glancing into his eyes. My friend was then nineteen years of age when he explained me his lovestory with her neighbouring bubbly girl; she was a month less than eighteen years and fell into his contact through his distant cousin Shivangi. Both were students-Suneer in college, Naina in school.
“Meet my brother- Suneer, Naina” Shivangi introduced her to my friend when she needed an extra Economics book for her study. My friend was earning his BA in Economics that year. Glancing into Suneer, she flashed a beamy smile. Smart guy, smart guy, smart guy.
“How’re you, Suneer” He noticed that her lips were coloured with lipstick. Why unmarried girls put up lipsticks? Mummy irritated while she bowed her head before her in respect. Brahman lasses are fashionable. Later, my friend told me she was brahman girl.
“Fine” Suneer delighted and looked around in suspicion. Mummy had gone to Santoshi Mata Mandir. Why unmarried girls put up lipsticks? He smiled by herself at mummy’s thought. Why married women paint their lips with show people they are married...licensed to paint their lips. Huh! Then they entered his study room and enjoyed the sips of coffee. As rats hated to swim in water as girls hated to walk along with ugly professor. Suneer hated to see her with Shivangi when she visited his home to meet him. How might he express his heart in the silly presence of Shivangi? Suneer bought her several Economics books as he began to like her.
“When your rush my home, you rush alone” He once advised Naina.
“Why?” She asked stupidly.
“I dislike that girl”
“You dislike your sister- cousin?” Oh shit! The girl was stripped of common sense. She kept on visiting to see Suneer along with Shivangi despite his entreaty. For three months, my friend was unable to express his feelings for her in cousin’s presence. His home was next to Shivangi. He noticed her (Naina) frequent visits there. Just a wall partitioned both families and through a hole which a group of naughty rats burrowed after incessant rain, Enjoyfully, he eavesdropped their conversation. He heard, girls used the word Auntie for their periods. He heard, they liked the men who praised their beauty and dresses.
One day, my friend shoved out a brick from wall to make the hole larger so as to he might steal a look at Naina. Mummy, troubled by rats’ scurries at home, someday inserted a brick in the hole. My friend Suneer was too innocent to cheat mother. Despite, when Naina came at neighbourhood, he removed the brick to sneak his looks inside. One day, unexpectedly, she visited his home, alone to get my friend’s books returned. Alone! Suneer grabbed her both hands and kissed her.
“Stupid, stupid, stupid” She cried and threw books onto table and ran off.
“Sorry, sorry, sorry” Suneer continued screaming even after her run off. Next four five days, she did not visit his home. She continued visiting Shivangi’s home and Suneer continued eavesdropping their conversation.
“Where did he touch you, here” Shivangi touched her breasts.
“No, no, no”
“Then, here?” She touched her lips.
“No, no, no”
“Here? She touched her cheeks.
“No, no, no”
“Then, where, yaar?” Shivangi slapped onto her thighs.
“Here, yaar, here” She laughed cryingly pointing to her thighs.
“He is innocent” Naina declared. But my friend thought, Naina was innocent. Some day later, Shivangi gave a Naina’s letter to my friend begging not to show it anyone.
“Love later?” He asked. Shivangi smiled in response.
“Yes, she loves you madly”
“She will see you tomorrow, alone” That night, my friend had a dream; Naina was repentantly standing before mummy.
“I know your type whore” Whore, whore, whore, Suneer felt a terrible shiver, his hands clapped in disgust in dream, charpoy shook, eyes opened for a moment then shut mechanically.
“You corrupt my son” It was difficult to endure further. Suneer awoke, rinsed his mouth and sat on computer. He told me his dream but hated to tell class friends. Whore, whore, whore. He was aware that friends would mock at him.
Next day, Naina visited him. Alone. My friend did not dare to touch her. Where did he touch you, here, no, no, no, then where, here yaar, here. He did not want a new twist to their gossip. Whore, whore, whore, Mummy’s face began to spin around him.
“Who is whore?” Naina amazed
“You” My friend’s tongue slipped.
“Stupid, go to hell” She hurled her legs at his groin and fled. My friend screamed with pain. Astonished. Next day, she sought apology complaining why he had called her ‘whore’
“I don’t mean what you understand?” My friend whispered apologetically.
“I had a night dream with you while mother called you whore” Suneer buzzed.
“Why?” My friend had no answer of her ‘why’. He embarrassed. Next day, Naina approached mother and asked why she had called her whore.
“Whore?” Mother too astonished at her straight silly question.
“Suneer tells me you call me whore, why?” Mother stunned at her odd behaviour.
“He lies” Mother lied and embarrassed my friend. Suneer again and again sought apology. Within days, she calmed down but stopped approaching my friend. Whore...whore...whore...Might relations be snapped so hastily?
After December, when terminal exams were over, she bumped into my friend on the way back to school.
“Mr. Suneer, you have artistic hands” She remarked.
“Artistic hands?”
“I sometimes see your cartoons in dailies”
“Oh, thank you” My friend was cartoonist, she knew. Suneer smiled.
“I don’t want break our friendship but you call me whore, how disgusting it is?” She again complained. My friend showed his cleverness. He abusively criticised mother to delight her cupping her cheeks into his hands.
“No, no, no”
“Would you come home evening?”
“No” But she rushed with books my friend had bought for her. Mother frowned at them from kitchen window. But she served tea to both.
“Do you know where I live?” My friend visited her home once in her absence. He knew that she lived Adarsh Nagar.
“I know” He answered- “Shivangi had told me”
“Visit my home some day, Suneer. I shall introduce you with mom and papa” She adjusted her tresses with tender fingers.
“I shall find time to come there, Naina” My friend promised. Naina was the first girl in my friend’s life. She was prettily beautiful. Fostering a cunning thought in his mind, whore, whore, whore, my friend decided to deflower her. And with nasty mind, he rushed her home when she was alone at home. Cleverly, he praised her fine apparels. and held her hands into his.
“Do you love me?” He asked staggeringly.
“Yes” Naina answered shyly. My friend wanted to kiss her but she stood up and rushed to kitchen.
“Would you take tea?”
“No” Then her younger brother emerged from nowhere and fell into his sister’s lap.
My friend was scared that his mother would thrash him. She did not want his son visit brahman’s home. My friend was a chamaar family- low caste and his grandmother at one time had been a Jamadaarni- sweeper lady and she was bastardly rumoured a Chaloo Aurat. At college hostel, he sometimes dined with her, mother didn’t know. Mother did not like his eating with stupid brahman girl. Suneer knew that he might not be able to marry her in view of different caste.
When their final exams commenced, their subject of conversation changed. Since my friend was senior to her and as she thought him more intelligent than her, almost regularly, after the paper finished, she rushed over to him with distant cousin and showed him question paper discussing the answers with him. The more she met my friend, the more my friend stimulated to deflower her. Once, in the absence of Shivangi, my friend begged her to put a kiss on his lips.
“No, no, no” She blushed and exchanged meaningful look with him. My friend enveloped her into his sturdy arms and ventured to caress her. She smiled. Whore, whore, whore, my friend tried to untie her cotton flowery Patiala Salwar. She stunned.
“No, no, no” And shoved my friend back with force.
“You love me? True?” My friend challenged her.
“Why don’t you buy me mobile phone I need” She demanded.
“Mobile phone?”
“I had asked over you earlier so many times” She said nibbling her nails.
“It costs more than fifteen thousands, sweetheart, how I can buy you. Don’t you know my pocket money is very meagre? We are chamaar by caste. We can not earn too much as Manu- high caste people” My friend winced.
“You give me ten thousands; I will buy myself having extra money from mom” She haggled.
“I promise I shall give you some day” Suneer promised placing his hand on her thigh and he cleverly kissed onto her cheeks.
“Dirty boy! Go to hell” She shrieked and laughed raucously then. And immediately bounced out of the room and raced off.
Days went by. My friend could not arrange ten thousands. He explained his disaster to cousin. She promised she would give two thousands to Naina on behalf of him. My friend told Naina what Shivangi promised.
“No, no, no” She hated to get from Shivangi.
Then, my friend wrote a letter to her when his parents were out to Santoshi mata mandir.
“My dear Sweetheart, I would be able to buy you a cellphone very shortly. Rush my home, I am alone today” His cousin delivered the letter to her. My friend thought his home was safe to meet her, to deflower her. After a while, Shivangi got back.
“She has sent a letter for you?” And she placed a distorted piece of paper on his hand.
“Why” My friend disappointed.
“She says, you don’t love her”
“I love her” My friend shrieked and wooed Shivangi to convey his message through letter again.
“I try” Shivangi chirped. My friend decided he would gift her a piece of jewellery if she comes. His heart kept on thrashing as the hands of wristwatch galloping like racehorses in the open field. Whore, whore, whore. He was wild to deflower her.
After half an hour, Shivangi turned back wearing melancholy on face. My friend swooped over her, shaking her shoulders vehemently.
“What happened?” He bubbled failing to hide his tantrum. Face completely had dried out its glow.
“She is not coming.” Shivangi replied meekly.
“Why?” Suneer almost snarled.
“Didn’t you tell her, I have arranged money to buy mobile phone for her?
“I had told her all things.” Shivangi saddened.
“Then?” Suneer took deep breath.
“Telling she would come in evening” Shivangi as if assured me.
“Evening? What the hell if she comes or not in evening? I’d not be alone at home then” My friend winced.
“Sorry” She embarrassed.
“She is not lover, she is whore” She declared.
“Whore?” My friend stunned. In his dream, mother too had called her whore.
Whore, whore, whore.
“She had an appointment with someone other guy” Shivangi said.
“Other guy? What do you mean?” My friend confused, shocked.
“Saying he is the younger brother of his father’s boss” Shivangi breathed deeply.
“Younger brother of his father’s boss? Is he not an old man?” My friend asked worriedly.
“Forty nine years” She breathed a plume of hatred and amazement.
“Why didn’t you stop her?” My friend burst out.
“He has gifted her trendy cellphone with video camera facility and Naina is absolutely happy with him” She then touched the flesh on the centre of her upper lip and smiled sulkily. My friend froze. Whore, whore, whore.

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