I open the door to let the room-service boy in. He is about to leave after arranging the eatables, a bottle of Black Label and the sundries on the table when I remember his having knocked on the door!
"The doorbell seems out of order, Sir."
I thank him with some tip for his services and the information and signing the check, let the chap go.
I am a regular guest at Hotel Furtado all right, but that does not mean they can take me for granted. Then the sudden sinking in of the realization that I am not expecting anyone important to visit me tonight makes me change my mind, and I hang up the picked-up intercom-receiver, putting off the call to the maintenance department regarding the faulty doorbell.
Taking off my formal clothes, I take a quick, refreshingly hot shower, take a comfortable night-suit from my briefcase, and slip into it. Fixing myself a large drink, I take out a cigarette from my pack of Dunhill, and light it with a musical lighter, my magnificent possession. Before I sit down to relax on the luxurious sofa, I do not forget either to turn the lights dim or to switch on some instrumental music-channel to keep me some company.
I ought to, I feel, first introduce myself to you, the readers, at this point. Well, I am M. K. Mehta from Gujarat, on the wrong side of forty, overseeing the West Indian operations of The Pioneers, a reputed company that deals in paper-shredders, in the capacity of a Regional Sales Manager. And yes, I am single still, why? The same old story, loved someone, it did not materialize and that's it, in a nutshell…
"...I could not forget her even if I would; and I would not forget her even if I could!"
Our head-office being in Worli, my business brings me to Mumbai quite often, and for that very reason, I have flown here from Ahmedabad this morning. Though my sideburns have started turning greyish, that does not really stop me from still feeling young, or taking an occasional plunge, or two, into wine and women. Fed up with the kind of solitary life I lead, however, so often I wish for the eternal truth to terminate it, but death never seems to come and oblige. After all, it must be a female too!
Two pegs later.
Not bothering to conceal the lust in my gaze, I scrutinize the dame standing at the doorstep, from head to toe, with due emphasis on the contours deserving special attention. She is undoubtedly my type of female.
"Yeah, that's me!"
"Actually, the hotel-manager called me up to..."
"Okay, okay. Come in please." Kalekar, the hotel manager, knows my taste quite well.
She follows me into the dimly lit air-conditioned room, where a peculiar cigarette and whisky's odour is already rife by now. In a futile attempt to freshen up the air around us, I try spraying some of my personal perfume.
"It's all right. I don't really mind!"
I look at her thankfully, smile back, and abort my efforts.
"Would you care for a drink?"
"Some beer, if you've got any."
I walk up to the small refrigerator of the mini bar and take out a soda and some ice cubes. Next, I fetch a chilled bottle of Haywards 5000, and hand over everything to my beautiful guest.
Meanwhile, the same guy from the room-service has delivered the roasted chicken and some other snacks.
She skillfully pours herself some beer and takes the empty glass from my hand to make another drink for me too. I only keep staring at her quietly, without even going through the hassles of asking her name and all. That does not make a difference anyway! This chick for sure has large, lively eyes, and of course, big... that never fail to turn me on!
"Cheers! To your beauty, honey!"
Sipping my whisky, I extend the Dunhill pack towards her. She takes out a stick, thanks me, and expertly puts it to her sensuous lips. I light her cigarette, and then mine.
"Thanks. A gift from my beloved."
Some moments elapse, she seems getting high with beer, while I can feel my own eyes turning red-hot with the double kick!
We keep talking tidbits over another round of drinks together.
I then suggestively slip my hand around her sexy, narrow waist, and holding each other we move towards the bed, on the other side of the room...
Startled, I wake up and glance at my watch - quarter to four. It has certainly been not long since we started sleeping. I see my charming guest fast asleep next to me. I cover her up with a blanket, wear my night-suit, and get up to open the door, wondering who the hell it could be at such an early hour of the day!
No confusion. The repeated knock confirms that I am wide awake, and there is someone at the door!
I open the door only to add to my bewilderment, for what I see is a gorgeous-looking young lady, all dressed in spotless white. Something so very dazzling, so extraordinary about her total personality that she appears to be almost from out of this world!
"Yes? How can I help you?"
"I'm afraid, you cannot, that's in fact what I've come here for!"
"But may I, at least, know who you are?"
"Why? Can't you recognize me?"
"I'm sorry, but I really can't."
"But you remember me a lot, don't you?"
"Me? Remember you?"
"Yes, you do! So very often you think of me..."
"And wish me to come. So here I am, at last!"
Her mysterious identity unravels suddenly, and I begin to feel enlightened, and obliged!
"Oh, yes! You're most welcome. Why don't you come in please?"
"But I can't wait."
"Please… I won't be long."
Once back into the room, I ask her to be please seated.
"Like to have something?"
Seeing the so tempting half-full bottle of whisky still lying on the table, I look at her expectantly. She just nods approval drawing my attention towards some droplets of sweat over my forehead. Astounded, I wipe them off with a tissue paper! I then busy myself in making a drink and swill it down in one go. As if I were to dress up for some date, I quickly change into a business suit and put on my shoes. With a cigarette still dangling from the corner of my lips, I wear Lapidus, my favourite perfume, and groom my hair a bit, as usual. Finally, I throw a cursory look at the dressing table-mirror to get satisfied with my looks.
She gets up, looks furtively towards the bed, and leaves telling me that she will prefer waiting outside.
I then fix one last drink for myself, light yet another smoke, and holding them both, I slowly walk up to the bed to bid adieu to the sleeping beauty. By now I have started feeling a bit too relaxed. Out of my breast-pocket I take my wallet, count some bills, but then replacing them all back, put the entire wallet on the bed. And besides that I slowly place the lighter that I never used to part with. Then I lower myself on her to kiss her softly on the lips, without disturbing her at all.
Returning the empty glass on the table, I stub my cigarette and look at the surroundings. Content from deep within, I slowly, but happily move out of the room, and let myself be engulfed in the slender and affectionate arms of my long-awaited beloved!
Nothing seems to have got affected, nothing at all...
Not even the stillness of the wee hours of the new morning...!
Disclaimer: "Cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption are injurious to health!"