What do you do? B, the choreographer, asked .
Right now, i take care of my parents, L answered honestly. B’s head tilted slightly.
One’s expired, the other is still around, L added to further impress with his honesty. Much more that what B had hoped for. B continued smiling, L looked down.
How does one connect with you when one is in your city? L asked her just before leaving.
I guess you could call me, B replied.
Ah, it ends well, I thought, despite L’s honest ways.
I am a life coach, H said.
Not a life-style coach? me.
And what does a life-style coach do?
I can tell you what a life coach does, H answered despite her irritation. But i didn’t care. A life coach, so common – bah!
This is really good, I admitted to O, feeling envious of N.
N, the videographer artist, O’s new interest.
And he also washes dishes once he finishes cooking, O added.
He also puts them back in the shelf, H added from the other end. I bent my lips into a bow, fake admiration for N.
Till N added, way to a woman’s heart too is through food.
O looked at me, I looked at O. N had just blown it. We began laughing together at the same time. Now N didn’t look so smug.
H shrugged – a ‘you can’t have it all’ shrug.
I feel like dancing – She wasn’t from town.
I shall play the drums – He wasn’t either
We can chant – They belonged to the city. One born, the other shifted here as a child.
Why don’t you dance? She asked me.
No – i said it with a smile.
I will make sure you are not uncomfortable – She began moving.
That moment i wanted to dance, show her how uncomfortable i could make her. The moment passed. She danced, he played drums, their lips moved. I rose and left the room i clearly did not belong in.
I don’t want to stay in the city – O used to be a management guru earning in 6-figures, 10 years ago.
But you will keep the Malabar hill house? – S had his own ups & downs, mostly downs.
It’s a way to stay connected – O had parents here, though they lived in a different apartment.
But you want to stay in a village, right? If the house was his, S would have always stayed there.
All the more reason, O said as she looked out of the window.
O’s eyes shone. S knew then she could never stay in a village. He also realised he would never own such a house.
Oh hello! H said as she walked into the house.
Hi, i replied on autopilot.
You seem pre-occupied, H stared at me. She did that when i wasn’t looking or so she thought.
Nah, just busy with work, i muttered before walking away.
What’s she doing here ? i asked O in the kitchen.
She’s here to meditate with me, O replied defensively.
On a Monday morning? The question just slipped out of my mouth. O looked irritated. After all it was her house.
I realised i had goofed up. I walked up to H in the hall.
Thanks for the ice-cream yesterday.
Thanks for dropping me home, O said & stared.
I sat down. Almost. This wouldn’t work. Not now not ever. So i turned & walked out. I never saw H after that.