As the eastern sky turned red, Tisca got up from her bed. The soft wind caressed her skin as she gazed at the large, purplish-blue flowers through the bedroom window. The rays of the summer sun caught the zigzagging wings of the Himalayan quails and pigeons which created patterns across the sky in Darjeeling town. She looked at the snow-capped peaks that dazzled brilliantly. Her eyes twinkled with happiness as she glanced at the lush green slopes and the distinctive tea plantations that dot the surrounding slopes. Suddenly, Tisca remembered that she had a romantic meeting with Aryan.
Tisca bounced into the streets of Darjeeling soon afterwards in a yellow tunic. The fresh and fun walk boosted her spirit. The young girls shopped until they dropped. She strolled beneath the clear blue skies. A sweet smell floated in the air, and everyone got crazy over leisurewear.
Aryan arrived in his black SUV. His vigorous frame appeared shapeless and frayed as he peered through the car window. The professional painter looked stark-stylish in a sporty summer jacket. Suddenly, a feeling of happiness seized Tisca.
“Hi honey, are you ready to roll?” Aryan asked his fiancee in his sexy baritone, stepping off his car. His self-consciousness didn’t irritate Tisca. “Yeah love,” she replied.
That time Ash arrived. Her breasts swung under her clingy yellow frock as she walked, her shapely legs surged ahead in perfect grace. “Bye mate, till tomorrow,” Ash waved to her friend, giggling. Tisca waved to her as Aryan drove off from the hustle and bustle of Darjeeling town. She stared at the old street lamps that lit up the vague houses.
Tisca gazed at the thick streaks of red which stretched from the western horizon to the surrounding hills. When dusk settled over the hills, the temperature dropped filling the evening air with a nip and freshness. After some time, they reached a luxurious resort.
Tucked away right under the nose of noisy Darjeeling town the swanky resort lay like a love letter, waiting for a wandering soul to stumble upon it. Aryan and Tisca entered an expensive suite of the resort after a sumptuous dinner. The ornate living room dazzled them.
On the morning, Tisca stood by the balcony door looking absently at the blurred distance. She soaked some morning sun as a nippy breeze gently touched her face. The stormy moments of the night appeared and reappeared before her eyes. The birds twittered delightedly.
Aryan slept through the morning. Tisca took great pleasure in looking at the excess of beauty. The sun rose higher in the clear sky.
Aryan’s naked frame made a pale outline on the frosted glass of the hotel toilet when Tisca got in. She entered into the toilet while Aryan took a bath.
Through the windowpanes of the suite sunrays streamed in comfortable and warm. “Get ready, candy-floss,” Aryan said in a cheerful tone as he stood in front of the mirror. “Yeah darling,” Tisca replied, tittering. “Let’s chat and chill over coffee,” proposed Tisca. “Sure babe,” Aryan drawled. As the clock struck eight, Aryan drifted across the hotel lobby towards the car park.
Aryan drove past the monastery as the car crawled towards Darjeeling town. Tisca gazed at the greens with a heavy heart, as good times always pass quickly. “You are home, babe,” Aryan said. His voice woke Tisca up from dreaminess.
“How was your date?” Ash asked, smiling wryly. Tisca only smiled. The memories of the tumultuous night in the resort kept coming back to her all the time.
Tisca enjoyed the calm of the afternoon as the sun played hide - and - seek behind the clouds. The lone dove startled her when it cooed. The music teacher’s soprano voice streamed through the humid air into her ears when Tisca crossed the music school.
The sun set slowly, turning the sky into a shade of tangerine. The night grew darker and darker. After some drinks Tisca and Ash dropped their clothing and stood bare before each other. Only a dim blue light emitted from the night lamp. Tisca turned it off.
Tisca's eyes opened suddenly in the middle of that night. She came out on the Juliet balcony. She gazed at the flickering lights of a sleepy Kurseong town. A light breeze provided relief and freshness. It enveloped the whole universe. The lights rippled and danced. Overwhelmed, she gazed upwards till her neck ached.
Suddenly, Tisca heard the familiar sound of footsteps behind her. “What’s up?” Ash asked. Her voice broke the absolute silence. “I’ve missed my dates,” Tisca croaked. “Don’t delay to consult your gynaecologist,” Ash suggested. “I’ll do that,” Tisca replied.
Elegantly decorated, with a peaceful and friendly atmosphere, the clinic, distinguished itself by its comfort. The doctor examined her. “You are pregnant,” he said, “congratulations.” Ash came to the rescue of her friend. “I owe you a party, sissy,” she said. Ash pretended to be delirious with joy as they hurriedly left the room.
Tisca's throat dried up. Her whole frame shook violently when the faces of her dear ones appeared before her eyes. An eerie chill went down her spine. Tears trickled down her cheeks. “Arrange to meet Aryan tomorrow, baddie,” Ash suggested in a sympathetic tone. “Thanks mate,” Tisca said, wiping her tears with a handkerchief.
Aryan absented himself from his office the next day. The dream of spending every single beautiful day together with him for the rest of her life thrilled Tisca despite her restlessness. Ash and Tisca drove off towards Aryan's residence along the stunning scenic beauty. The charming bungalow soothed their eyes. The hustle and bustle of Darjeeling failed to touch the solitude of the double-floored bungalow, perched on a hillock. Two security guards watched over the huge iron gates. Tisca slipped in a small piece of paper. A butler greeted them. “Don’t worry. Go ahead,” Ash said, parking her Harley.
The ground-floor piazza of the house let in the sky, and the greenery reached in through the large bay windows. The soft, expensive materials, rich and plush furniture and other luxuries failed to lessen Tisca's unease. She perked up when a bone china cup containing a sparkling clear liquid of a light straw colour was handed to her at the posh bungalow. It tasted mildly astringent, and it had a faint woody aroma. Every sip of that warm tea filled her mouth with freshness. Suddenly, a gorgeous woman appeared. “Hi, I’m Rose, wife of Aryan,” she said in a husky voice.” “Is he in?” Tisca queried. “No, I’m sorry,” the woman replied.
“Looking gloomy, sissy!” said Ash, when Tisca came out. She kept quiet. Ash drove on until the riders reached their door. After a while, Tisca gazed blankly at the blurred distance through the open windows.
Aryan turned up late to his office the next day. Tisca entered the room while shafts of light streamed into the cubbyhole through the window. The green tea plantations soothed the eyes. Aryan agreed to meet his lover at the old restaurant.
Tisca shivered in the unusually cold weather, but it was nice and warm inside the small restaurant. The soft and melodious notes that floated in the air charmed her. Aryan walked in while the sun disappeared behind the hills. “I’m pregnant,” Tisca said, bluntly. “Are you serious?” Aryan asked as an expression of shock and disbelief crossed his face. Absence of further response signified his disapproval, and a deafening silence descended. Aryan looked pale as if he was unwell. A canopy of mists floated over the valleys dimming the distant lights. All the lights in the restaurant suddenly went off, plunging the building into darkness.
“Aren’t you happy?” Tisca said as the power returned within a second. “Come on baby, abort it,” Aryan said casually, sipping a cup of coffee. His facial expression changed in the blink of an eye. A fearful and unfamiliar look replaced the old swagger. Aryan’s face grew pale. “I have decided to keep the baby,” Aryan dashed out through the glass door, his feet thumping softly on the carpet.
“I have walked out on Aryan,” Tisca said to Ash in a quavering voice. “Oh my god!” exclaimed Ash. “He has never loved me,” Tisca muttered in anguish and anger.
Tisca found Facebook posts dull and boring. One morning Tisca froze on her touch- screen mobile.” Ash, please come here,” Tisca cried out, alarmingly.
Ash ran to the study from the kitchen. “Are you okay, bud?”
Silence reigned in the room. Tears trickled down uncontrollably as Tisca clung to her. Embarrassment and extreme grief created a lump in her throat. Her voice choked in the anguish of a loss that knew no recompense.
“What are these, dear?” Ash said looking at the morphed images Aryan had uploaded on Facebook. Her anxious voice broke the silence.
Life was pretty hectic, and she couldn’t run away from it.
Moonlight came in through the curtains, lighting up Tisca’s body and soul.
(c) Dipayan Chakrabarti