I am in great spirits these days! Guess what? Office romance – and now I am going to tell you her name but you must promise not to take that name too many times. It sounds best only when I call that name aloud and it resonates in my brain – it’s Anusri. Like it? But don’t you dare! She belongs to me.
Tell you why there is a song on my lips and a dance in my heart – dervish! Like a Sufi mystic in dancing in divine ecstasy. Anusri and I are meeting ever so often in the nearby Cafeteria because she has been thinking…just thinking about it…this whole stuff of our having a thing together! She is really confused and has finished biting all her nails and very often grabs my hand to start eating mine as well.
" Why are you so tense about it"? I ask
" I am not tense. You are!" She retorts " But tell me, how is it going to happen? I mean this whole thing….you know what I mean."
" No I don’t. I really don’t." I lie
" C’mon, Julia don’t act dumb. It’s hopeless!" She’s exasperated. She turns to the brownie lying on the paper napkin on the tray. Her eyes are swimming in water created by the tension build up inside. A blush on her cheeks, just a soft hue from the rose garden at President’s special garden. How can anyone be so beautiful, I wonder.
" You know," I whisper " You look so beautiful….."
No response. Then she looks me in the eye " Okay just tell me how it is going to happen. Who is going to be the man?"
I laugh aloud in spite of myself. " Shhhhhh" she warns " If you are going to behave like that we had better go back to office…."
I try to keep a straight face. " Anusri, you can see, there is no man here. So who is going to be the man? I don’t know. Since both of us are women!"
" That’s the fix. How is it going to happen?" She looks perplexed.
" Are you talking about sex? I don’t know! In all these years, many women have taken me to many "places"…."
" Listen, why can’t you be more mundane? Surely, one must accept roles!"
" Not necessarily. Think out of the box. We are two women and we are trying to negotiate a space for ourselves. Why must we follow stereotype?"
" You know, I can’t stand stereotype but I can’t imagine what it is going to be like either".
" Don’t! Leave it to me. I am experienced".
" But Julia, tell me is it really abnormal?"
" No, sweetheart, anything that happens to the human mind and body in moments of love, I don’t think to be abnormal. That’s really primitive to think like that…. Listen, you don’t have to do anything. Just forget about all this. "
" No, I am finding it difficult to work and there is the State Guide to be finished ASAP".
" Just let it go! Focus on SG". I suggest.
" Julia I like you and I am not sure what kind of liking this is…."
" I can tell you. Not the ordinary one. Or else why should you call me in the middle of the night and say you’ve forgotten why you’ve called." I gave an impish smile.
" The problem is you are too experienced and I am not."
" Better still! You are in experienced hands." I say profoundly. " Virgins are sick! And sloppy!"
She laughs and the stars in her eyes sparkle. I get caught in their glitter. Just for a short time, time stands still as we slap each other’s palms in girlish mirth. The moment suddenly turns magnetic, as our eyes lock quite closely, the energy of the moment just the right textures to make the first move. My mind frames the question my lips longed to utter, the most vital question - a request for permission every woman deserves to give before one can go any further with her –
" May I kiss you?"