It’s a bustling Thursday evening holding on to a lot of wet promises and raindrops against a hot-aired, empty sunset. Menaka looks at her reflection in the life-size mirror sitting pretty on one wall of the lavish washrooms, on the same floor as the ‘Bike and Psych’ Pub of one of the premier multi-star hotels in Chennai. The reflection smiles back at its gorgeous mistress.
The red halter neck and the swishy purple skirt clinging to those curves and contours lend Menaka a classy, yet smoking-hot look. She runs her hands down the front of her skirt out of sheer habit, and her eyes lock on to the stunning antique ruby-red ring on her ring finger ................................................................
………………………………………………….Menaka wishes for the antique ruby-red ring to transform into a red-hot partner. Maybe tonight is the night. She smiles at her mock optimism. Menaka could be quite the Queen Bee of any group: her diva dynamism, infectious enthusiasm, maternal instincts, nightingale voice, razor-sharp wit and way with words, group-political prowess and intuitive maneuvers get her buzzing right to the centre of any hive. Hiding behind that impeccable grace and spider-web charm is a spoilt little kid; a little kid who peeps out from behind the vixen veneer, a little kid who loves to laugh and help people, a little kid who is a staunch believer in family, religion, traditions, dignity, duties and responsibilities and a little kid who hankers for real romance.
“In a city of self-proclaimed Kings, would I chance upon the shining blade of my Knight in romantic armor? Well, maybe ‘Bike and Psych’ would provide the answer,” She takes a deep breath, joins her group of friends outside the restroom, smiles and nods as she breezes past the friendly bouncers into the yellow-lit club.
She orders a Tequila Martini and her friends order pitchers of beer, a mixture of shots and cocktails. Vinod, a friend of hers sits at the adjacent table with another friend of his.
“Menaka, this place gets a hard-on when you’re here. You look gorgeous. Meet my friend Varun, the dancer extraordinaire.”
Vinod and Varun join Menaka’s table. Menaka radiates a blazing smile, hugs Vinod and shakes hands with Varun. “It’s a pleasure meeting you, and you must know, I have a thing for dancers (winks).” Varun wears a red party shirt, teamed with black trousers. Menaka smiles inwardly at the thought she tries to push down her fluttering heart, “He’s your red-hot partner, something tells me….”
Varun returns a suave smile and says, “Not really a trained dancer, but invisible dancing shoes have a thing for me when I see beautiful women like you and my feet itch to dance.”
Menaka and Varun move opposite to each other. Everything and everyone around them fades into colorful oblivion. Their glasses clink and they gulp down their drinks. The hunter eyes the prey; only, neither of them knows who really the hunter was and who, the prey.
The First Time I saw you
you were standing In the Rain
there was something about you
that made Me Look Again
the Way That You Let The Rain
fall Down On You
the Way That You Smile
when Your Eyes Met Mine
ooh,Ooh...”- Courtesy Wise Guys (The first time I saw you)
“Can I have this dance?” asks Varun.
Menaka blushes and replies, “Oh Yeah, Why not?”
Varun draws her into a merengue sequence. Menaka knew a little jive and had always taken well to a male lead in a couple dance. “But this is whopping different,” she muses, as he led her into Caribbean twists and twirls.
As if he heard her muse, Varun tells her, “This is quite simple. Just follow me.” He suddenly put his hands over her head, loops it down her upper back and waist, comes spine-chillingly close for a tingling second, and when she closes her eyes to savor the feeling, he twists her on his right feet, does a side basic and leaves her untouched, into a dizzying twiddle, only to touch, steady and coax her into the next forward basic movement.
“Lady, swing you hips along with mine. It lends a deep flavor to this dance.” Menaka blushes at the all the activity hip-down.
“A lot of things are swinging in your favor, least of all the flavor,” she quips in an unperturbed voice. Inside, she was quivering.
The lady in red is dancing with me
Cheek to cheek
There’s nobody here
Its just you and me
It’s where I want to be
But I hardly know this beauty by my side
Ill never forget the way you look tonight. .. -courtesy Chris De Burgh, Lady in Red.
They settle into a romantic trance. The hunter had lost. The prey had won.
Only, here there was no hunter but two prey going in circles around each other. Only time would reveal the outcome of this chase.
BETWEEN THE LINES
She runs her hands down the front of her skirt out of sheer habit, and her eyes lock on to the stunning antique ruby-red ring on her ring finger ........................……………………………………..
It replaces her more expensive, but boring diamond-wedding ring. To her advantage, age is her beauty’s most unwanted alibi: ‘Forty something and sexy’ is quite rare in her part of the world. Her marriage had spoken only two exquisitely beautiful words to her all through its life- her two beautiful children. Those two beautiful words alone had coerced her into forming her marriage into a decent life-sentence. Now, those two words had also flown away and become birds with their own nests leaving Menaka all alone in her empty nest......................................
Menaka wishes for the antique ruby-red ring to transform into a red-hot partner. Maybe tonight is the night.
If ever marriage becomes an unsatisfied hunter, and the hunter becomes his own inescapable prey, there’s nothing wrong in burying the gun, taking up the gauntlet and shooting other arrows. Age is never a barrier for breaking free and seeking true companionship.
My dream is to fly
Over the rainbow so high
My dream is to fly
Over the rainbow so high..-- Courtesy Yves Larock - Rise Up