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Rachna And Me

Rachna And Me

8 mins 22K 8 mins 22K

We were together at home. Just Rachna and me. It was a winter morning and we were dozing around in our warm quilt while the curtains kept us closed us off from the sun. It is good to feel sunshine in your skin but not when you want to over sleep by putting the alarm on snooze and lie down some more. It was a free day for me as well as her. The alarm tried to disrupt our sleep but stubborn as we were, we laid there with our arms wrapped around each other's neck. Warmth of human touch under the warmth of natural fibre, it was genuinely a great combination.

A long ring of the excruciatingly painful sound of doorbell woke us up. It was the newspaper man asking for money.

"How much is it?” I asked.

"Umhh...475 for newspaper and 60 for magazine...” he said while handing me over the bill slip.

"I will give you money tomorrow," saying that I closed the door.

Sometimes when we desperately want to do something, we get distracted and disturbed by those folks who are totally oblivious to our concerns and shamelessly ask and demand things for their own selfish purposes. It felt as though the newspaperman had committed a sin to interrupt Rachna and me while we were enjoying a pleasurable winter morning. Nevertheless, I went to our room only to find her tying her hair into a ponytail. She was always so fond of fancy rubber bands. Half of her collection was gifted by me on occasions other than just her birthday.

She came out wearing her red track pants and black sweatshirt with a white hoodie. I always admired her nose pin and more often than not she wore that in front of me to make me tick at the sight of her act of irresistible desirability. She went to the kitchen and began making some tea. I don't like tea, but if she makes something I don't like, I still have it.

While she was pouring water into the pan, I wrapped my hands around her waist. One of my hands went ahead to add a spoonful of sugar into the pan which already had tea leaves boiling in it. She stirred the tea and waited for another round of boiling. There was no milk although there was sugar just enough to taste well and not spoil the sweetness in our mouths. After a few minutes of cuddling while the tea boiled, Rachna poured it into a big mug. If you can share bed and quilt with somebody you bond with, why not share a tea mug? Though I wanted us to have the same brush, she thought it would be too much to share. Maybe it would be so, I thought after I followed her thoughts.

We sat in our balcony facing the sun with the tea cup on the stool in front of us. We were sitting on well furnished wooden chairs that had cushions on them. It was comfortable and soft to sit in there but we still wanted to stay in touch with nature. The more we progress and develop, the more I come to realise what I am missing out in the name of civilisation. Life is not hard, it is ironical.

She placed her lips on the mug and took a sip. I saw the tiny blemishes on her face and felt more connected to her. Her imperfections drew me more into her perfections. Her lips parted and with a slow exhale she passed me over the cup. I took a sip and sat facing the sun. I read somewhere that to improve your vision and keep your eyes healthy, sit facing the sun with your eyes closed for a few minutes. I was doing that itself. She was wondering something with her eyes distantly focussed somewhere far and I had no idea about what that was.

“What are you thinking?” I asked.

"I was making a vision to live in mountains after I am satisfied enough with my worldly pleasures," she replied with her eyes piercing my lips. She wiped off my lips with her long fingers. What we often crave the most is what we fear deep down inside. I felt close to her while being on different pages in our respective lives. Despite that we were there for each other. Maybe that's what bonding is all about. Being apart yet being close.

A bird came and sat on the electricity wire and did an inverted hang.

"You looking at that parrot?” I said as an exclamation.

"We don't have parrots in here in India. That's a parakeet. It's pretty," she replied.

She was always a step ahead of me. I was a different type of learner. She learned by memory association and I learned by visual stimuli. We both had a knack for reading. We read books that we had and together went to literary events. There was only one thing that was discreet between us. Her poetry diary and my daily journal. That's actually two things for us as a couple but one for each of us as an individual. We shared deep stuff among each other keeping those private things private. In time of social media, nothing really is personal. From your latest check in I can make out what sort of food you enjoy and what your socio-economic status is. Nothing is private enough in today's world where what we see is more than just socializing and having great time together.

I never took notice of the time while we were together. After some time we went in and straight away headed to the kitchen. We began washing the utensils from last night. Our hands were touching each other's hands. When we sit in silence with the people we feel connected to, we experience intimacy. When we do some activity with the same people, we again experience similar feelings. Maybe that's got nothing to do with activity or no activity. It is all about what exists in feelings and gets rarely expressed with words.

"Why don't you put on nail paint? Black colour suits you really well." I broke the silence.

"I will. After this dishwashing is over, I will oil your hair and later paint my nails," she said, "paint them black," she smiled while holding the pan under tap water.

The doorbell rang again. This time it was the milkman. I went with the double handle pan and took milk in it. Rachna placed it on stove to boil but it would just be fine without boiling, I told her. Initially she was reluctant, but when we say something with seriousness and unjustifiable rationalization, people believe. She didn't light the stove and milk was left there as it was.

We came to the drawing room and I sat on the floor on carpet. I had Femina in my hands and my head was in her hands. She was sitting on the sofa with olive oil bottle on her side. I tried coconut oil, it was stingy after washing. I also tried mustard oil; it was good in starting but later became rest house for dust particles that stuck to it. Olive oil worked fine, I realised after few hits and misses. She was massaging my scalp and I was flipping through the pages of Femina admiring the beautiful women that were in there. Shame is not what you feel in public eye; it is what comes to you in private closets. She was moving her fingers through my scalp and my tension was melting away. Her hands touched my ears and I felt a tingle of energy in my legs. We carry tension in areas we work the least and most with. My tension areas were being relaxed. I felt calm and so calm that I kept the magazine on my side and closed my eyes.  I was feeling dizzy and sleepy. And suddenly, she withdrew her hands.

“Hey! Why did you stop?”

“I have to paint my nails, that's why, you sleepy dude,” she said and stood up.

I was sitting there on the carpet letting the feeling of calm sink in my body.

"Why don't I paint your nails today?” I said as I stood behind her while she was searching for black nail paint in our cupboard drawer. She turned around in amazement.

"You have never done that before. Have you?”

"If I don't start sometime, how will I do it then...” She looked at me.

“Cool. Start today then,” she said and threw the nail paint bottle. I caught it and sat on the same carpet with her sitting on the sofa. We were facing each other.

I held her hand in mine and began paintings her nails. She had sweet feminine hands and almond shaped nails. It felt good to do something I always wanted to do for a very long time. I carefully did my work.

"Really good for the first time," she assured smiled while raising her eyebrows.

"Let's practice on toe nails too in that case!” I said. She kissed me on the cheek and nodded with a smile. I turned around and had her place her feet in my hands from over my shoulders. Both of us were facing in the same direction. After a few minutes of careful nail painting work and no more wet paint, we stood up.

"You did a great job. From next time onwards, you'll paint my nails."

"You say dear and it shall be done," I touched her forehead and kissed it.

We went to our room to have a nap under the warm quilt on a winter afternoon. There was surely a plan to bath, cook and have food together but it was postponed for a few hours. We covered our bodies with the quilt and rubbed our feet together.

"It is so great in here," she said.

"Yeah... It is," I said.

We lay there spooning and waiting for mom and dad to arrive. She had her work pending from college and I had to make my assignment of social science for FA-3. Till the time they arrived, we lay there spooning and embracing each other. Me and Rachna.

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