Tuesday, 10 February 2015

When they met in Paris part-2

“Avni… hey!”

Even before Avni could connect with the familiar yet not so known voice, Yuvraj had already paced his way through the lounge pathway. Avni felt pangs in her throat. She couldn’t believe who she was staring at. At an instant she almost felt as if her feet had started moving, wanting to run… run fast and make her fall in the arms of the tall man approaching her. All that she didn’t speak to any one over the last 3 years was about to explode like a balloon filled with hot air.

Yuvraj was not standing rigt infront of her with an anxious smile on his face. He too had realised the sudden surge of excitement he felt when he saw Avni for the first time in last 4 years. She looked beautiful, though there was a dullness on her face. Jet lag may be, thought Yuvraj. He suddenly realised they both weren’t speaking but staring at each other for a good 30 seconds.

“How are you? And what are you doing here in Paris?” Yuvraj broke the silence.
Avni suddenly realised she was no longer Ms. Avni Dewan now. She was Mrs. Bansal and a mother of a 2 yr old kid. Her line of thought had strayed to the good old days she regretted. She almost hated herself for not asking Yuvraj. When she got married, she hated Yuvraj for she couldn’t help but compare her husband Sujit with him. Sujit was a good family oriented guy. ‘… but most guys are good, doesn’t mean I’ll marry all of them’ Avni had argued with her parents. For her parents, it was unreasonable that she rejected every good guy for no reason. The point was, she couldn’t explain them the reason. The point was, she herself wasn’t sure. Finally she succumbed to her parent’s relentless following and agreed for the next ‘good guy’ they select. Both fortunately and unfortunately, it turned out to be Sujit.

Where Avni was the only child of her parents, Sujit was second of the three siblings in the Bansal household. They all stayed together, despite the obvious space challenges. Sujit was the earning member of the large family, along with his father and elder brother. This meant Avni had no say over either the household activities or Sujit’s pay, which went straight to his mother. But this also proved a boon for Avni, as she now could continue working on the pretext that they will be better off and start saving for themselves as well. Avni’s first tryst with her bad fortune came when the united household literally forced the new couple to bear a child only few months into the marriage. This meant Avni sacrificed on numerable things, including her onsite trip. She only took a break for 6 month to avoid any more rusting. To escape this, she engaged herself with her work. She started spending long hours at the office, much to the discomfort of the household. But she had convinced Sujit that it was important for their bright future. He was a nice guy. She got herself on board of an important project in France and made sure she had to travel onsite at least twice a year. However she wanted to avoid this trip as her son Aarav was not keeping well. But she couldn’t… and since she couldn’t, she was standing in front of Yuvraj.

“How are you? And what are you doing here in Paris?” Yuvraj was now talking.
“Hi… I mean, what a surprise” She extended her hand, which Yuvraj reluctantly accepted for a shake. The touch sent shivers inside his spine.
“Nice to see you here. How come in Paris?” Yuvraj gathered some composure and spoke again.
“I have been here earlier. I have a project going on at Lille. What about you?”
“Oh I work with Gokaldas Exports. I too keep travelling in Europe. Paris is only my second time though. I was on my way to London from here… and now I have missed my flight.” Yuvraj said with a sheepish grin.
“Ah… Mr. Late Latiff! When will you learn?”
“So… hows life?”
“Good… looks like you came here for a brunch? Shall we order some thing?”
“Please Yuvi. They fed me such bad food in the flight. Need a good bite.” Yuvi! A name she christened when they were cheering the division’s cricket team. Although Yuvraj was so much unlike the real cricketer ‘Yuvraj Singh’. One, he was right handed and two he wasn’t a batsman but a fast bowler.
“Hmmm, let me think. I dont know much about the cuisine here. And in any case, my mantra is ‘when you are hungry, go for the basics.’ So a sandwich and juice will do good?”
“Club Sandwich and Orange juice Monseur”
“Il vous madame” Yuvraj said mischievingly.
“Hey you know French? I’m trying to learn and haven’t been able to for last 3 years.”
“Keep calling me every day Madame, I will teach you.” It changed Avni’s expressions. Yes, she needed to talk to a guy who understood her very well. She so much wanted to… sigh!
“Ahem, sandwich? I’ll get it for you.” He turned to the serveur at the corner. “Pouvez-vous fixer un club sandwich et deux verres de jus d’orange pour moi?” “Dans un instant, monsieur” He replied.

To be continued…

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