No of words: ~600 words
Jamaal held Jyothi’s palm and began studying it. She let out a sigh and began playing with her braided plait. Slowly, she adjusted herself in the chair. Hush, he placed his index finger on his lips. Jyothi stayed still. After 30 minutes, she complained “Jamaaal..enough na,” Jamaal laughed hard. “Why do you do this every day?” Jyothi admonished. “I like it,” Jamaal said and asked her to stand up. Jyothi slowly stood up. There were cramps on her legs. “Ah,” Jyothi softly screamed as she tried to stand up. Jamaal held her.
“Don’t hold me by the waist,” Jyothi warned.
“Then?” Jamaal asked, his eyes widened.
“Hold me by the shoulder.” she screamed.
He smiled. Jamaal helped her walk to his room. His heart’s beats were loud as the church bells as her bosom touched his arms. Jyothi stared at him with her kohl-smeared eyes.
“Uf..stop staring like that, for god’s sake.”
“Like how?” Jyothi continued to stare as Jamaal made her sit on his bed.
“Like this.” Jamaal held Jyothi by the waist and moved closer.
Jyothi tried freeing his hand from her waist but he wouldn’t let go.
“Pleasee..” she softly pleaded. He slowly loosened his grip on her.
A moment of brief silence.
“What do you want to eat?” Jamaal asked, breaking the silence.
“Nothing. Just some tea is good.” Jyothi said, still groaning in pain.
“Bah. You’re so delicate. One cramp and you behave like you fell down from Charminar.” Jamaal commented and walked to the kitched.
“Shut up. These cramps are hurtful for five minutes for me. I am not like you. Born and bred like a ruffian with so many brothers and sisters. I am the only daughter. Get used to it.”
“Yes, madam,” Jamaal shouted from the kitchen of his 1bhk flat.
“How did you manage with so many sisters and brothers?” Jyothi asked slowly lifted her leg and placing it down, holding on the kitchen door.
“Oh, c’mon. We lived in a big bungalow once. Our forefathers served the Nizams.”
“Really?” Jyothi asked with her eyes wide opened.
“Your kohl is smeared on your cheek. Come here, I will remove it.” Jamaal said
“No need. I know your tricks.”
“Baap re, you are such a big girl.” Jamaal acted like a grandmother placing his palms over his mouth. “Look at you. You have grown up.” He continued acting like a grandmother.
Jyothi laughed at him. Encouraged, he continued, switching off the gas stove. He took Jyothi’s pink dupatta and placed it over his head.
“Hai la! Look at this besharam wearing a low cut. Wear a chunni. What if boys see you?” Jamaal said stroking his hand over Jyothi’s head.
“Oh, Dadijaan, your grandson only sees. No one else.” Jyothi giggled
“Really? And you show.” He said brushing his five fingers against her bosom.
Jyothi moved back and continued, “Dadi, why don’t we have tea?”
“Oh yes yes,” Jamaal still put the dupatta on his head and served her a cup of tea. They sat on the mattress in the hall.
“Beta, your leg must be aching. Why don’t you sit on my lap.” Jamaal asked.
“Dadi, you are so old. Your legs will break.” Jyothi gave a fitting reply
“No, beta I maalish them every day. “ Jamaal said and pointed towards his slim legs.
Jyothi hesitated before finally sitting close to Jamaal sipping tea. Jamaal looked her and said, “Why do you sit close to me but not on my lap?”
Jyothi looked away.
“Look here, don’t you trust me? I have sisters too.” Jamaaal took Jyothi’s hand and held it tight.
She smiled and placed her head on his shoulder. “I love you, Jamaal.”
“I love you too, beti” he laughed and kissed her head. Jyothi smiled and closed her eyes.
Categories: Short Stories