With No Promise Of A Tomorrow
With No Promise Of A Tomorrow12 mins 435 12 mins 435
Rhea was a bit anxious. This was her maiden venture as a volunteer for an NGO, that taught the slum children of Mumbai, in makeshift schools. She had applied for a volunteer here for which she had to attend a one-week training session.
Rhea was a successful columnist who wrote about women’s issues and parenting but teaching was not her forte. Being a columnist for a successful daily gave her the privilege of flexible working hours. Her key job was to write two columns that were supposed to get published in the daily, every week and also to answer queries on her columns. With her daughter Mishti away at Hyderabad for her graduation, she had ample free time and that is why she had decided to go for this opportunity.
The session began with the introduction of the coordinator and the rest of the volunteers. Most of them were middle-aged, except 3-4 people who looked like fresh graduates from college. Day one was spent in introduction of each other, an overview about the program, the number of schools involved and so on. The real training would begin from the second day. The schedule of the last two days involved going to schools in pairs to gain practical experience of teaching and a half day session where the volunteers would teach and feedback for improvements would be given to them. This half day teaching session would actually decide if they were selected as volunteers of the NGO or not.
She and Mohit, a 28-year-old architect had been paired together. He was a very fun-loving guy who could crack jokes about practically everything. In spite of his young age, he was very patient with the kids and took the efforts to keep explaining things to them. Rhea was always laughing away when Mohit was around; his wit was truly a delight for her. He was also able to give few good observations to Rhea, apart from teaching well himself. Eventually, both of them were selected as the volunteers for the NGO and they decided to work as a team for the future projects too.
Mohit and Rhea met twice a week in the evenings to prepare for the topics that they would cover, in their weekly class. They ensured that they included some fun games while teaching the lessons to make it interesting for the kids. They started spending 2-3 hours, engrossed in their planning and sometimes Mohit would just stay over for dinner at Rhea’s place. Since he lived in a hostel, home cooked food was always an incentive for him
Their schedule for the next teaching session was ready. But Rhea was a bit depressed. Of late, she had been feeling the need of a normal married life. She missed having someone to talk to, someone to guide her, to say loving things to her and so on. She attributed these thoughts to Mohit’s continuous presence around her. It was one of those days when she was thinking of Roshan and her past with him. Mohit sensed that Rhea was not her usual self.
Mohit walked across to Rhea and asked her ‘What’s the problem? You look disoriented today’. She just looked at him in awe. Was it so obvious that she was upset? Having someone who could listen to your unspoken words was a great feeling, she thought. Unsettled, she just moved away and stood near the window. Gazing at the setting sun, adventitiously, she started recounting her days with Roshan. How she had been starry-eyed about Roshan and had agreed to marry him. The way Roshan had imposed restrictions on her, from going out, to calling friends and meeting them, to wearing certain outfits and so on.
Initially she thought, he was being possessive out of his love for her. But soon she realized what an egotistic man he was. His wants were all that mattered for him, whether it was about basic necessities of life, sex or anything apart from these. Rhea surrendered to the fact that he would never allow her to be individualistic. She would have to abide by his wish, to sustain the relationship. Roshan was such a charming and enigmatic person and his behavior outside the house was totally contrary to what he was at home. Nobody would ever believe Rhea if she exposed his true qualities.
Rhea didn’t want to call off her marriage yet, without giving it some time. One year later too, things were same and she discovered that she was pregnant. She thought Mishti’s birth would mellow down Roshan but he only got more violent and started throwing more tantrums in the house. He had started drinking heavily, at home, at parties, and indulged in sexual liaisons. Things started becoming unbearable for Rhea and finally one day, when Roshan was out on his regular so-called business trips, she fled. She called her best friend Minal and went off to her house, in Kolhapur. She filed for divorce and finally, after a couple of stressful court appearances, she was relieved of the ‘married to Roshan’ tag.
Though the sun had now set, Rhea was still lost in her thoughts, unaware of the darkness around her. Mohit already knew that Mishti was in Hyderabad, but he had never known about Roshan. Mohit had put the lights on. He also found some candles on the candle stand at the table. He thought of lighting them too, assuming that it would cheer up Rhea. After lighting the candles, when he switched off the light and turned to Rhea, his gaze was transfixed. Standing amidst the flickering candles, Rhea’s silhouette looked exquisite. Impulsively he went and stood behind Rhea and embraced her.
Initially Rhea flinched upon his touch. But as soon as Mohit started kissing her, she seemed to be getting lost in them and a surge of excitement swept through her. The physical relationship with Roshan had left her in a lot of pain. Mohit, on the other hand, had kindled such emotions in her, which she was oblivious to. Mohit did not dare to break the embrace because he feared that despite her response, Rhea might just back off. Slowly he turned her to face him and started kissing her cheeks, gradually moving to her lips.
His emotions were at a new high. Her responses to him only made him want her more. Mohit was feeling her wet lips and started nibbling them. It had an amazing effect on her and she held him tightly. Mohit started caressing her back and she dug her fingers in his hair and pulled him closer. She felt a tingling sensation run all over her body. She started trembling with anticipation. For a brief second, Mohit stopped kissing her, looked at her and led her to the couch. As she began to unbutton his shirt, her fingers trembled. Mohit kept fondling Rhea to soothe her and she in turn was licking his nipples. Hard with desire, he impatiently began unbuttoning her blouse. Her blouse fell on the floor and he was seeing the most ravishing part of her. He cupped her bare breast, starting sucking them, squeezing them and teasing the nipples with his tongue. He moved to her jeans and started unbuttoning them. Hurriedly, she took off her jeans.
The sight of his naked body made Rhea wild and Mohit too started to feel a heightened sense of hardness he was holding on to. Cautiously, he slid his hands, between her thighs to feel her wetness. Hearing her moan, he moved above her and started licking her wetness with his tongue, probing deeper. The effect was tremendous and she pushed herself up, indicating for more. She started stroking his organ and loved the way it was responding to her touch. Unable to hold on further, Mohit moved above her and thrust himself into her. As they climaxed together, she groaned, out of pleasure. They lay together and held each other throughout the night.
Next morning, they had to leave for their weekly teaching session. Neither of them mentioned about the previous night. After the session was over, Mohit volunteered to go to his house. It was difficult for him to concentrate on anything else. Being together the whole day and not being able to hold her was tough for him. He just wanted to be alone with her, in her arms. Back home Rhea was unable to fathom what had led to their love- making, the previous night. She hated to admit that Mohit had led her to a crescendo and shown her what a true climax should be like. But, sleeping with a 28-year-old guy!
Subsequently, Rhea avoided meeting Mohit. She sent a message to him telling him that would like to think things over. While her brief sexual experience with Mohit had opened the gates of unknown emotions, her mind was full of different questions. He was a 28-year-old insouciant, virile guy, who probably had sex more times than she thought about it. This had been special for her, but what about him? Having a physical relationship with anyone after leaving Roshan had been a strict no for her and here was this guy who had made her feel wanted and alive and loved.
Was it actually Mohit or was it just about sex? What if Mohit wanted to continue this relationship? How could they do it, she pondered. A 45 year old woman would never get a permanent feature in the life or heart of a 28-year-old. A maiden sexual connection and having a regular relationship were totally different things. How could she force her relationship on her daughter, even if there would be one and embarrass her. It was a one night fling and she would leave it that way, reveling in the memories thereof.
Mohit, was joyous that he was besotted by a 45-year- old woman. He was in awe of Rhea, the way she moved, her sense of humor, her giggles, the sound of her bangles, everything about her, but falling in love with her was not planned. But love was not a teaching schedule, to be planned, he thought and smiled. A few minutes in her company could change his irritation to joy. He surmised that this is what love was. But what did Rhea feel about him? Did she regret what happened between them? Would he ever be able to see her again? She hadn’t been able to hide much of her emotions that night. But all these were mere assumptions. There was nothing more to it from her side. Two weeks later also, Rhea was all that Mohit could think of, but she had gone into oblivion.
Meanwhile, Rhea missed Mohit’s antics while teaching the kids. A vacuum seemed to have filled her life because of his absence. If only she could just call him over, start listening to his jokes or better still, stay in the warmth of his arms. Alas! It was not so simple. Also, Mishti was coming over.
Once Mishti arrived, the house was a mess. There was loud music, nonstop chatter, friends coming in and going out, demands for cooking specific dishes and so on. Even in the midst of all this, Rhea found herself thinking about Mohit. While having supper once, Rhea asked Mishti “Mishu, if I told you that I was seeing someone, then what?” Mishti just kept staring at her mom and asked ‘is that so? Mom’. ‘I might want to be in a relationship sometime ‘she replied. Mishti got up from the table and said ‘I am not sure maa’ and left the room. Rhea sighed, convincing herself things were best continued as it is.
Next day Mishti left for Hyderabad and before leaving she said to Rhea ‘Sorry maa, about what I said. It’s your life, live it your way now. Go for it, if there is someone’. Rhea asked ‘And if that someone is 28 years old?’ Mishti held her hands and said ‘You got to decide that, maa, what’s more important, his age or your happiness?’, hugged her and left.
Mohit was surprised, unsure of what to expect when he saw Rhea’s number flash on his phone screen. Apprehensively, he received the call and said ‘Hi’. Rhea replied back ‘Can we meet for dinner, Mohit?, if it’s convenient for you’. ‘Sure’ said Mohit. ‘I will see you at 7 at my place’ said Rhea. Mohit waited impatiently for the evening. Rhea kept the dinner simple. Her mind was too clustered to focus on cooking. After all, this meeting was not about the dinner.
When Mohit arrived, his heart skipped a beat seeing Rhea at the door, clad in a beautiful saree, against the backdrop of the glowing candles. She signaled him to come in. Initially they talked about the center, Mishti, his work and finally Rhea said nervously, ‘Mohit, I am still confused about what happened that night. But I enjoy having you around. But loving your company or missing your presence, doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t change the age difference between us’
Walking towards the candle stand, she said’ Even from a practical point, there is no future for such an acquaintance. But still I wish to take the chance. ‘Forever’ is just a word for me and while I can imagine a ‘Tomorrow’, it’s still an imagination. But ‘Today’ is here and it is blissful, because of you. Of course, you don’t have to agree to all this and don’t ignore the fact that I could be a disappointment in certain ways’
By then Mohit was standing near Rhea ‘What if I agreed to you and said I need only you, disappointment or not!’ To reaffirm, he kissed her lightly. He continued ‘That day, when you spoke about Roshan, I was speechless. I thought it best to just hold you and comfort you. But, as soon as I held you, something in me snapped. I craved for your touch, your smell; I longed to show you what you could do to me. If you had objected and stopped me, you think I would have discontinued meeting you? No, my love. I will easily find a 26-year-old babe to have sex with me, for a paltry sum. What I need, is my Rhea to be with me, laugh with me, talk to me about all the things that matter. I want to hold you when are troubled. I want to be comforted by you when I need it, to spend as much time with you as possible,. Of course, in return you are allowed to offer me something else apart from comfort, too’ he said mischievously.
She banged her fists on his chest, but he pulled her closer and hugged her fiercely. Both smiled, thinking how blissfully happy they were today even though their tomorrow may be uncertain.