S1E22: Shom and Raima Get Compassionate
Recap S1E21 Shom and Raima Have a Tiff: Raima continues the recollection of her time with Khush. She and Khush head for Jampore beach, Daman after being directed by the vigilance chief to stay on the Land Yacht. She seeks Khush’s help to be with Shom. High on weed, she accuses him of taking advantage of Shom’s goodness. To clear the misunderstanding, Khush is forced to reveal Shom’s identity to Raima. He urges her to move out of Shom’s life. Confronted by this reality, Raima wonders whether she can live without Shom.
Raima’s eyes turned moist. Shom gently stopped the car as he heard her sob. He quickly unfastened his seatbelt and bent closer to Raima. She pulled him for a tight hug as the tears trickled down her cheeks to drip on Shom’s left earlobe. His soothing words calmed her down. Shom wiped her face with a tissue.
They drove half a kilometre for refreshments and coffee at Hotel Sahyadri. Shom was impressed with the sea change at his mentor Harry’s TEMA India factory across the road. It was much bigger than the time when he had been an intern there.
Raima wanted to go in, but they realised it was a six-lane road now and no longer could one walk across. They would need to drive over. Besides, Harry would be in his Bombay office that day.
They crossed the Maharashtra-Gujarat border into Bhilad. Raima continued with her recollection of her times with Khush.
Raima stared at the space in front of her. What was she supposed to do now? How could she live without Shom? The thought pierced her heart and she began to cry on Khush’s shoulder.
The voice on the intercom interrupted the tense atmosphere in the Land Yacht. Khush answered the phone. It was the driver announcing their arrival in Daman. They drove on to Jampore beach.
This beach was one of India’s yet-to-be-discovered breath-taking beaches at that time. It was in the part of Daman that still had influences of Portuguese culture and Khush had visited it often. The historic church constructed here during the 17th century was still functional and well-maintained. The other side of Daman, across the creek, was a big tourist town but not half as beautiful. They looked out of the window – it was indeed a magnificent beach.
“This is even better than Nargol beach where the Parsis landed more than a thousand years ago,” Khush said. “I have my ancestral property close by at Sanjan. It’s a 150-acre mango orchard with a farmhouse on the brook. Well, we are here now, let’s get out and breathe in the fresh air.”
As they stepped out, they heard Boozzo bark. The German Shepherd was all excited, jumping on Khush and Raima. Khush caught hold of his paws. Boozzo vigorously wagged his tail.
“Don’t worry, he won’t bite. He is a friendly dog,” Khush said, ruffling the top of Boozzo’s head as he licked Khush all over.
“I love dogs,” said Raima and started patting Boozzo. The dog responded by licking her too. This was a perfect beach getaway. A long and wide stretch of clean white sand tucked splendidly between the sea and a thick stretch of palm trees on the other side.
“Sahebji,” said a beachside vendor who brought two tender coconuts to Khush. “Gharoon mithu che.”
Khush smiled at the familiar face. My God, I was just a boy when I last saw him, he thought. He looks so old now.
“Kem cho?” he asked, patting the wrinkled man’s back, his name evading him.
“Badhu saroo che. Tame kem?”
“Chalia kare che.”
Khush handed over a coconut to Raima and said, “Patlu malai itley mithu parin.”
Raima made a face.
“He is an old coconut vendor and still remembers that I don’t trust straws. They could be contaminated; you know? Let’s have it in the purest form, straight from the nut. Can you do that?” he asked, holding the coconut up and tilting his head. In one go, he gulped the water down his throat. Raima nodded and followed suit.
“Refreshing,” she said.
“In my youth, when I came here, it was difficult to spot a soul for miles on this virgin beach – so clean and unchartered.”
“It’s beautiful even now and there’s hardly anyone around,” said Raima.
Boozzo, tied to a collar and chain, was giving the attendant a run. Khush and Raima strolled behind enjoying the sunset. A huge orange disc gradually descended to the horizon. At touchdown, it was a full circle, slipping to three-quarters, then half, to a quarter, until it finally vanished below the horizon. The sky was streaked with pinks, purples and a tinge of yellow. What a colourful sky, she mused and a sudden longing for Shom assailed her. She pondered over Khush’s concerns about her relationship with Shom. How right he was about Shom and what she could do to protect his interests. She really felt for him. Nonetheless, she wished Shom was here with her. As it got darker, the sky looked increasingly beautiful and she started missing Shom all the more.
Khush watched her as they walked side by side, sometimes exchanging a word or two, sometimes a glance and sometimes a smile. She was between him and his view of the sea. He let her walk a few inches ahead. She was a pretty sight against the backdrop of the dark rolling waters and the vivid sky. She looked better and more poised after being with Shom, he felt. It could be the sign of true love although Khush was not the type of guy to notice this. In this case, however, it was so apparent that even he couldn’t miss it.
After their stroll, they decided to go to the restaurant across the street which served a fantastic lobster and red snapper. Being a frequent and generous customer, Khush got splendid service there. Tonight, their liquor however, was not up to the mark so Khush got a chilled bottle of Chardonnay from the Land Yacht. It complemented the fish perfectly as well as the jazz and blues serenading them. It was wonderful, they were the only ones there.
After a prolonged dinner, Khush took Raima around and crossed over from Moti Daman to Nani Daman in a boat. Contrary to what the name implied, Nani (small) Daman was much bigger than its across-the-river counterpart. It was bustling with people pouring in from the bordering state of Gujarat, the dry state, to have their fill of alcohol. The economy of this part of Daman thrived on the liquor-starved tourist. Raima did not like it at all so they rushed back to the quieter side. Khush then took Raima to visit the historic fort, with its quaint church and cosy houses.
“I used to come here as a kid and I remember one good-looking woman serving house wine,” said Khush.
“What do you mean by house wine?” Raima asked, slightly confused.
“It was a tradition. Each house had a unique technique of making wine. Thus named as home-made wine. The house that served the tastiest one was the most frequented and it became their source of income.”
“So which of those houses was the most frequented one?”
“I think the green one there with the brick-red roof, although it used to be another colour then. Times have changed. There are excise laws in place which don’t allow the sale of homemade wine any more. I used to go there with the older men for a glass of wine and an eyeful of exposed breasts as she bent forward to serve. I don’t know which of the two made it more popular,” said Khush, a sly smile on his face.
“You are a funny guy, Khush,” said Raima with a laugh.
“Am I?” Khush grinned. “Well, as long as I can get you to laugh, I’m happy.”
Raima smiled. She remembered all that had happened over the past few days and turned her gaze away. It fell on the Land Yacht. She told Khush, she was eager to get back to Shom and her freedom. Back in the luxury of the vehicle, exhaustion hit them and they were soon fast asleep. On the way, security jeeps caught up with the driver and signalled for him to pull over.
“Hay ghey,” said one of the security men, handing over the mobiles. The driver’s and the bodyguard’s mobiles had also been taken away for their protection.
“Saab aur memsaab so rahey hain,” said the driver.
“Rahu dey. Nantar dey,” the security person said before getting into his vehicle and driving off. That’s when Shom got through to the driver.
Next Story: S1E23: Shom and Raima on the Beach