S1E17: Shom and Raima back in Bombay
Recap S1E16 Shom and Raima Set Off from Khandala: Shom and Raima decided to return to Mumbai after the meal at Duke’s Retreat, Khandala. Once in the Land Yacht, they stripped down to their undergarments for a quick nap. Raima cuddled up to Shom and before they knew it, they were off on another journey – of discovering each other.
Raima and Shom were lying down on their individual beds, totally exhausted. Raima tilted her head to the side and caught Shom looking at her. She smiled.
“If you’d like to, there’s hot water in the shower. There’s also some shower gel, shampoo, mouth freshener and fresh towels. You can take the pink one,” he said.
“Wow, this certainly is luxury on wheels.”
“Yes, but unfortunately the water in the shower is barely enough for the two of us and the area isn’t big enough either,” he said, ogling at her sexy bare body.
“Ha ha! You should come home sometime then. I promise you a great time,” she winked.
“What about your mom, the nurse and all the other help you have there? I wouldn’t want them to know.”
“They will never know,” Raima said, waving her hand across her face. ‘One of the two bedrooms where my mom is bedridden, is like a hospital room and has a separate entrance. It is connected with the living room by a door that is always locked and only I have the key,” she said, flashing him an inviting smile and stepping into the shower.
She had left him bereft of words once again and Shom pondered over how the younger generation would always move with the times and turn out smarter than their predecessors. As the world got tougher to survive in, its inhabitants had to develop the strength to face it. This was nature’s balance.
Raima had understood him in no time. She had already gathered that hotels made him nervous, so she talked of safer places to go to, like her house. But there was another place he could take her too. He thought it was time he put his luxuriously-furnished penthouse on Palm Beach Road to good use.
After Raima showered, he did too. When he was done he was glad to be greeted with the smell of coffee.
“I don’t know how you like your coffee,” she mentioned.
“Don’t worry. You can’t go wrong with mine. Just don’t add any cream or sugar.”
They sat side by side and sipped their coffee.
“So do you have guests in your flat often?” Shom asked.
“Sometimes, but there has never been a man, if that is what you want to know,” she answered.
“Sorry, it’s none of my business. I shouldn’t have probed.”
“That’s alright. I don’t have a problem if you do. The most frequent visitor is my best friend Natasha from college and sometimes her dear mother Swapna. I am more than happy to tell you everything about myself.”
“I can’t tell you anything about myself though,” he confessed.
“I know everything about you.”
“What do you know about me?” he asked, lifting his eyebrows.
“Relax. I know all that I need to. From our chats and these precious few hours, you are exactly what I have been looking for in a man. Our compatibility is electric and needless to say, you stimulate me enormously,” she said, amorously licking her lips.
“Please don’t depend on me. I may just vanish sometimes for days, maybe for months, depending on my work and responsibilities. On the risk of sounding harsh, I don’t want any kind of emotional bond between us.”
“I understand. I agree it is better that way. Just try not leaving me for too long, okay?” she said with an expression that melted his heart.
“Raima, I told you there should be no bond in our relationship, if we want it to continue.”
“I get it. Why do you keep repeating it? You don’t have to be so heartless.” Her eyes turned misty.
“I am sorry. It’s just that I thoroughly enjoy your company and you fulfil my every need. That makes me fresh, energetic and ready to face the world,” Shom said. “And I haven’t felt like this in a long time.”
“I know the feeling. That’s how I feel too,” she said, searching his eyes.
“In that case, let us enjoy this whenever it happens. Let’s not take it for granted or long for it when it doesn’t. Let’s not carry the burden of any attachment that will hamper the memory of the beautiful time we just had together.”
“Are you saying that we may not meet again?” she asked. Her face turned to meet his. She looked worried yet defiant.
“No, I didn’t say that. We will meet soon. We both need to give priority to our work and other responsibilities and do this at leisure, almost as a reward for the hard work. Only then can it be a pleasure to look forward to. I don’t want it to become a compulsion. If it does, it will turn into an addiction and the enjoyment we get will reduce as per the law of diminishing returns.”
“When you put it like that, it sounds convincing. But to practice it is going to be difficult.”
Her eyes lowered to the floor. For the first time Shom noticed how long and curved her eyelashes were. They added a touch of delicate perfection to her face. He hadn’t realised following these rules was going to be difficult for him too. But he had no choice. He toughened his resolve and moved her face to meet his eyes. His palm lingered on the softness of her cheek.
“Not if you learn to control your mind and get engrossed in your work till you exhaust yourself. You should be concentrate on making your mark in your career. You are young, feisty and vibrant. This is the right time to do so. And every time you put your heart into it, you will enjoy our rendezvous far more.”
“I wish I could be so motivated in my work and studies. Will you help me chart my career path?” She sounded earnest.
“Sure, whatever I can do. First chalk out the goals you want to achieve in the next 2-4 years and then single-mindedly pursue them,” Shom advised.
“Thanks,” she said and paused a moment before adding ‘guru’ with a smile. He was about to say something when she sang in the sweetest voice.
Somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good
For here you are
Whether or not you should.
“It’s from my favourite movie,” she said. He raised his eyebrows; unfamiliar with movie or the song she sang which he now knew he would never forget.
“The Sound of Music, silly.”
She sounded so innocent in that moment that he reached out and kissed her passionately. Just then the telephone rang; it was the driver.
“Taj Hotel hotel aa gayi, saab.”
He gently pulled away. “We are here. I will walk you to your car.”
“Don’t worry. It has been valet-parked and I have the ticket. Besides, you shouldn’t be seen with me,” she added with a smile.
She thanked him for the memorable time she had had and parted with the softest kiss on his lips. Immediately, he felt the blood surge through every part of his body.
“Could we spend some more time together?” he asked without thinking.
He was helpless and hopelessly charged up. He thought of taking a city tour which would give them at least an hour together at this peak hour.
“We can go to my house if you like,” she suggested.
He was tempted but then realised that his desire was prevailing over his wisdom. It wasn’t right to practise the opposite of what he had just preached her.
“No!” He clutched her hand. “We must learn to be in control of our desires and emotions. You have your responsibilities and I have mine. Let us attend to them. We will take a break again hopefully during the weekend. Now that we have exchanged cell numbers, we can text messages. But please remember to be prudent and message only after checking with me. We have a whole world to explore if we stay faceless.”
Raima nodded. Without a word, she kissed his cheek and disappeared into the crowd.
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