Happy Birthday, Dimmy!

She stretched langurously, hitting her leg on the hard-bound copy of Mulla that lay on the bed. “Shit!”, she said, suddenly wide awake. “Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit! I fell asleep!” She stumbled off the bed, dragging the quilt onto the floor, and pulled out a toothbrush.

Staring at the mirror over the washbasin, she could only think of the exam that was going to begin in three hours. She didn’t see the reflection in the mirror: the large doe-eyes, the rumpled jet black curls, the neck of her oversize t-shirt slipping off one rounded shoulder. The eyes rounded in disbelief as she rinsed her mouth. “Em!” she yelled into her room. “It’s his birthday today, and I haven’t called! He’s going to be furious! I’m running down to the ‘phone booth!” She scrambled into her jeans and ran off, as her roommate watched with a bemused smile, and shook her head.

She scrambled down the stairs and ran down the path, the worn-out old jeans hugging her like a second skin. There was someone in the ‘phone booth; she’d have to wait. “Good morning, bhaiya!”, she greeted the young man who sat there. “Who is inside? Do you think they’ll take long?” As she said the words, the door of the booth was flung open, and a man stepped out. Dressed for the outdoors in jeans and t-shirt, he looked worried. As he saw her, he stopped.

“There you are! I’ve been trying to call you! I’ve had the car waiting for ten minutes, at least!” He took her hand and guided her firmly into the passenger seat of the SUV, even as she wondered why he was here. Handsome in a way only TamBram men could be, and yet suave and smooth, he made his casual clothes seem elegant just by wearing them. She gasped as he held her elbow, and before she could recover her breath, she was in the car, and he was leaning over to buckle her in.

As she wondered what that cheek would look like covered in day-old stubble, a car came round the bend. “Uh-oh! They’re here.” He started the car and they took off, at a pace that knocked the breath from her body. As the car swerved round the bends in the road, she tried to speak. To tell him she didn’t know him. Not this him. But it was all she could do to hang on. The second car was behind them, matching turn for turn, keeping up with them in every way. “Thank God it’s the bypass”, she thought, knowing that the main road would have been dangerous for them at that speed.

As the car ate up the miles, he drove as if the car and he were one. And as if something important in their lives depended on it. And somehow, deep in her heart, she knew it did.

They were taking the ghat road, she realised, to make it more difficult for the other car to follow. But would he be able to keep control? They rounded the first hairpin bend, hugging the cliff, and as they turned again, they felt the crash before they heard it behind them, a loud boom into the wall of the cliff, followed by the spluttering of crackling flame. They stopped at the top of the hill, and he turned to her, smiling for the first time. “My simulation works!”

“Happy Birthday”, she said.


7 Responses

  1. Happy Birthday. And I know who Dimmy is too!

  2. Hey what? What? Does not understand.

    “Handsome in a way only TamBram men could be” is nice 🙂 I smiled-ed all over my face

  3. ha ha ha…

  4. Observer: Better wish her in person – she won’t know who you are!

    Tharunya: Story written in fulfilment of a Birthday wish.

    Dimmy, I hate to say this on your budday, but that sounds more like Mogambo and less like you enjoyed your present!

  5. earlier you did not have the simulation, that made it hard to digest. the simulation makes it seem like a sci-fi thriller… 🙂

  6. “handsome in a way only tambram men could be”.

    Oh dear.

    I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.

    I think I’ll laugh. Whats that acronym?? ROFL???

    Yes…ROFL to you. If that is correct usage.

  7. Kunal: That was observant of you! You’re right – I edited after publishing!

    Mr. Nair: ‘T’ ROTFL. Thank you.

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