Rac Ticket - Part 6
Rac Ticket - Part 613 mins 1.4K 13 mins 1.4K
Dear Readers, I would request you to please read chapters 1 to 5 of this series, first, to understand the continuity of the story so far...
RAC TICKET - Part 6
After the sumptuous buffet dinner, all three of us had freshened up and changed over to our night suits, ready for the chat session. I found that Seema had taken her position on the wall side corner of the double bed and was already lying down. Fatima was sitting on the extra bed which the hotel housekeeping team had made ready when we had gone down for our dinner. So I had the only option left of the other end of the bed around the center of the room. I looked at Fatima and said, "Did you come on the bed, I'll take that extra single bed."
Fatima said, "I'm perfectly fine over here, I prefer to sleep alone."
I said with a hint of a joke, "But how can I share the bed with Seema, we are not married yet ?"
Both Seema and Fatima started laughing. Fatima replied to me laughing, "Don't give me that, Sandeep. I know how you two came last night sharing the small side berth in the train."
I said, "But we didn't have any option then. Besides, what could I do? Your sister is so tall, she was having difficulty fitting in the small berth."
Seema looked at Fatima, "We'll decide on who sleeps where later. But for the chat session now, let's cuddle up on the bed. The AC is already quite chilling."
I said, "Is it too cold? Shall I turn up the AC ?"
Seema said, "No, no! Let us enjoy the chill. We have blankets, if required we'll get under them. Sandeep, you shift to the middle, Didi you bring that pillow from your bed."
While Seema continued to lie down, Fatima and I placed our pillows by the bed head and sat with our backs rested.
Fatima looked at me, "So you were telling us about the interviews you planned with policewomen. What happened? Did you do those interviews ?"
I said, "You see I had made a list of questionnaires, but the problem was how to ask those questions. I just cannot start a conversation with a policewoman on duty somewhere and ask her questions. I was just not getting the right opportunity.
My office was in the heart of the city in the main business center, where the city's police headquarters was also located. One day I was working till 8 pm in the office. When I reached the bus stand, it was already quite empty, the office rush was over by then. I spotted a tall lady waiting for a bus. I knew her by face to be one of the policewomen, who generally are on duty near the police headquarters. I thought that I have got the opportunity that day. Unfortunately, I was not carrying the questionnaire sheet with me. But still, more or less, I remembered the questions. So I went and stood beside her. This lady was very tall, even taller than Seema, but thin. I think she got the job just because of her height. As it is, I have this soft corner for tall women. So it was even more exciting initiating a conversation with her. So I started, "Excuse me, madam, are you with the police department, I think I have seen you on duty ?"
She said, "Yes."
I didn't know how to come to the point, so I said, "Actually, I just wanted to know something from you...how does one get a job in the police department ?"
She smiled for the first time, "You won't get a job in the police, you are too short. What is your height ?"
I didn't know why I was answering her question. Actually, I was supposed to do the asking. But just to continue the conversation, I said, "5 feet 3 inches".
She almost laughed out loud, but checked herself, thinking that it might be rude. She said, "With this height and build, you wouldn't get a job in the Policewomen's team also. All our girls are taller than you. Why don't you try for other jobs? How far have you studied ?"
This was certainly not the way I planned my interview. Anyways, I said, "I have done my graduation with honors in Physics in B.Sc from St. Xavier's College."
"Ohh! So you are well educated...English medium too. See, young man, the police department is not supposed to be your line. You must try where you can use your education. What is happening to our employment situation?
Wait I'll tell you what to do, you seem to be a nice guy." She was advising me now.
Seema and Fatima were rolling in laughter.
I continued with my story... Then this policewoman asks me, "You are in this bus stop, where will you go ?" I told my destination. She said, "I am also going in the same direction, but farther to you. Good, we can discuss in the bus also."
I said, "Madam, I want to tell you something." I thought it is better I tell her that I have a good job before it is too late. But she stopped me. "Wait, a bus is coming, let's get on the bus, then we'll talk. You get on first, I'll come behind you."
She was even becoming protective of me because she is so much taller. We got on to the bus, it was more or less empty. We got a seat side by side. She told me to get inside, as she prefers the aisle seat for her long legs. Once seated, I thought I should compliment her for her height and from then on control the conversation. Up till now, she is not allowing me to talk.
I said, "I must say, you have got a fantastic height."
She said, "What fantastic? You are saying fantastic because you are short. With my height, I'm not getting married."
I said, "But there are some tall men too."
She said, "All tall men are not of marriageable standard. And most are already married. Also, all tall men and especially their families don't want a bride as tall as me."
I said, "Yes, I understand your problem."
She said, "Of course I don't have any issue of marrying a shorter guy. He should only have to be good. By the way, what is your age ?"
At that time I was 26. I said that.
She said, "I'm 25. I thought you looked younger to me. You seem to be a good guy. I only wished you had a proper job."
At that moment, I wasn't sure whether I should tell her the truth or not.
Seema was so interested, she had sat up. Both of them were laughing.
The girl continued, "Do you have any steady girlfriend, whom you plan to marry ?"
I said, "No."
She said, "See, I'm 5 feet 11 inches, meaning 8 inches taller than you. But height is nothing. It's God-given. Like God has given me, so I have it, but you don't. It is not my credit that I'm taller than you. We should not bother about such petty differences. If a man can be taller than his wife, what is wrong in the wife being taller than the man ?
The only problem is that you don't have a job. That is also not so much of a problem, I have a job. You will definitely find one with your qualifications." She was already prospecting me as her possible suitor.
This wasn't the way I thought the interview should be going. I was only hoping that my destination comes fast.
She said, "Can you meet me tomorrow same time at the bus stop ? I'll talk to some senior officers and try and get you a job. You know Police officers have lot of contacts."
I thought, now it is going too far. She is going to find me a job through police officers.
I said, "I have been trying to say something to you for some time, but you are not giving a chance."
She looked surprised, "What ?" she said.
I said, "Actually I have a good job as a Sales officer in a major company. I just wanted to start a conversation with you and I didn't know what to say, so...."
I thought she would get angry with me. Instead, she looked very happy. She said, "You wanted to speak to me? Does that mean you like me? In which Company do you work? Where exactly is your office?"
I had to give the name and location of my office. I knew I was getting myself into a jam, but I had no other alternative.
She was so excited, she caught my hand in hers and said, "Promise me that you will meet me tomorrow same time at the bus stop. By the way, I don't even know your name. My name is Madhumita."
I had to tell her my name.
Seema was eager to know the outcome. "What happened? Did you meet her ?"
I said, "I had to. She seemed so desperate, she would have come to my office otherwise."
Fatima said, "Let him continue".
The next day I had to stay back in the office till 8 pm, although I didn't have so much work. That day, she purposely left a few buses, so that she could talk to me more, standing at the bus stop. Since she was standing very close to me, it was odd how I had to crane my neck upwards to meet her eyes. I realized that the top of my head just crossed her shoulder level, she was so much taller than me.
She asked full details about my family. About her family, she said, that she was the youngest child of her parents, who were both alive. She has two elder brothers who owned a small garment shop.
She was very glad that I wanted to just talk to her and had, therefore, asked her about a police job. So I could not even tell her about my interview plan. But I told her that it is not possible for me to stay back so late in the office every day. People in the office would want to know why. So it was negotiated between us that at least two days in a month, I'll meet her at the Bus stand. Then for her next weekly off day, she planned almost half a day out with me.
Seema was getting impatient. She said, "I don't want to hear the details of your love story. Just tell me in short, how long did you continue the affair with her? And since I can see that you did not marry her, what was the reason?"
Fatima was laughing, "Seema is getting jealous," she said.
I said, "No, it didn't continue long. Actually, her weekly off days was not on Sundays, but on one of the weekdays. She expected me to spend at least the 2nd half of her off days with her, with movies and restaurant programs. I went out one day with her. But it was not possible to take half-day leaves every week. Also in the evenings, she used to get off duty at 8 pm. I couldn't meet her regularly at that hour and that too for just a bus ride back home."
Seema said, "But you like tall girls and she was so much taller than you."
I said, "But just being tall is not enough. She didn't speak anything else but marriage. Just pestered me on how soon I'm going to marry her. No other discussions on any other topic; no fun; no jokes; no meaningful discussions. She was not interested in anything in this world except movies. Not music; not sports; not politics; not current affairs; not books; not technology; just only film stars and Bollywood movies. So what do I discuss with her? Her conversation was filmstars' gossips or her own marriage plans."
Seema was beaming from ear to ear. "Good that I am not so much of a movie buff. And although I don't understand your technology much, I am interested in music and sports; I also do a little reading, but only in my language, not English books. And yes, being in the police, I know something about politics too," she laughed.
In her excitement, she was now sitting up on the bed facing me. She placed her long fingers on my hand and said, giving a broad smile, "And also I'm taller than you by 6 inches. And if you want I can wear 3 inches heel and become 6 feet tall. Then your head will be below my shoulders."
I said, "No, you are tall enough for me. But if you want to wear heels, which I think you cannot wear now, you can surely wear as high heels as you like, I wouldn't mind."
Seema said, "Tell me Sandeep, do you feel that I'm worthy of you? And what else should I upgrade in myself or learn to be able to be up to your standard ?"
I said, "Before I answer that, I want to say something first. This evening when both of you got ready and we went down to the dining hall, I was initially thinking that I'll not walk alongside both of you, as I would look so odd beside you two tall gorgeous ladies. People might think that I might be your driver or local guide or something like that. But I showed the courage of walking in, having the two of you on my two sides towering over me. Then when I was escorting Seema first and then Fatima didi to take the first round of food on your plates, I felt as if I was helping a tall model with her dinner buffet. Rather than feeling awkward, I was feeling so proud inside and I wanted people to stare at me and feel jealous that I have the opportunity to lead such gorgeous ladies around."
I continued, "Now Seema, in answer to your question, I would like to ask you whether you consider me man enough to be your partner when I can't even stand up to you and look you in the eye? Instead, I bend my head up towards the sky just to look at your face."
Both Fatima and Seema were laughing. Seema said, "See didi, how smartly he turned the table on me. He knows fully well that I do not have any quality in matching up to him. But he has played with his words so well, now it seems, I'll be doing him a favor if I accept him as my boyfriend."
Fatima was still laughing, "This is why he is such an important executive in a big company. I tell you Seema, this boy is going to go very far. Don't let go of this opportunity. Just pick him up and take him home. Otherwise, if you let him free, the next tall girl he meets will just gobble him up."
Seema said, "You are correct didi, I'll pack him in my bag before I leave this hotel.
But Sandeep, I still can't get over the thought that you were flirting with that 5 feet 11 inches."
I laughed, "But that was some years back, and I hadn't met you then."
Seema said, "So what? I'm jealous of her. The way you were saying that your head was till her shoulder only, I am feeling that I'm inferior to her in height."
I touched her lightly on her cheek. "No dear, you are way superior in every other area. And if that's your problem, tomorrow I'll buy you 3 inches heels, then you'll be 6 feet tall. And I'll be proud to display my six footer girl friend."
Seema was ecstatic, "Wow! That'll be great."
Fatima said, "I think we should go to bed, it's getting late. I am feeling sleepy, the dinner was too heavy. I'm taking that extra bed and putting off the lights."
I said, "Tomorrow morning, the breakfast will be on till 10.30 am. So we should be there by 9. So let's get ready by then. You can relax again after we finish breakfast."
Fatima had got up while I was talking and switched off the lights. The bed lamp was on. She lay down and said, "Good night", and switched it off too.
The room was in total darkness, with a faint trickle of outside light coming through the balcony window curtains. I said, "Good night".
( Continued in next chapter...)