Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Private Affair

A B.E.S.T. bus droned along noisily, and made its way through the labyrinth of cars, taxis, beggars and noxious fumes.

The young man was good looking and in his mid-twenties. He sat in the fifth row behind the driver. Dressed in an impeccably crisp shirt and pants a pair of smart sun glasses only enhanced his profile. There was much to look outside the bus and observe…but he could not take his eyes off the woman who was sitting a few seats in front of him. Diagonally opposite to him, she sat in the seat which was reserved for women only.

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The woman opened a small pouch and took out a small, ornate mirror. Taking a tissue she dabbed her face, and as she did so, she precariously turned her mirror towards the man. Her face relaxed and she smiled as she realized that he was sitting at his usual place. Their unspoken conversation began through the mirror.

At first, she dabbed her face with compact powder and then gingerly, as and when the bus made its first stop, she applied eye-liner to her beautiful eyes. The man smiled in approval and the woman proceeded to bring out a dark brown lipstick at the next stop. But the man frowned and she quickly brought out another one. The man smiled once again. The bus rambled on and the woman became prettier by the minute…and the man, happier.

Her face done, the pretty woman brought out a brush. A gust of wind blew in just at the time, making the combing routine a bit more cumbersome. The man grinned further as the woman, a bit embarrassed, struggled to keep her hair in place but eventually she managed to get it all together.

One last nod of approval from her onlooker and the women hesitatingly kept in her mirror back in her pouch, ending their tête-à-tête.

The bus careened to a halt and the man frowned at the conductor when he furiously jangled the bell. Hastily, the man got up and got off. With his feet planted on the earth, he looked up at the woman at the bus window one last time and their eyes coyly met. The woman smiled at him through the corner of her eyes while toying with her mangal sutra.

“I hope I will see your gorgeous face tomorrow,” his eyes said.

“I hope so to. If I manage to drop my son to school on time tomorrow,” her heart prayed.

They both smiled…not exactly at one another, but deep within the heart.

Ignorant of their reverie, the bus made a hasty exit. Amidst the humdrum of daily routine, their unspoken, untouched affair would continue once again, tomorrow morning.


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