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Fate. an exercise in cliches.

It looked like a regular day to Pooja as she left her home for her work. What she didn't know was that Fate had some other plans.

She reached the office a few minutes late and was rushing to reach the lift before the door closed.The lift door almost closed on her delicate foot when a pair of strong hands pulled her inside the lift, thus saving her life and her foot. Pooja looked up into a pair of masculine eyes flashing admiration, concern, annoyance and irritation turn by turn.
"Can't you be more careful? That was an utterly stupid thing to do!" He barked at her.
"Sorry" she mumbled as her eyes filled with tears. Why did he have to be so horrid? As it was she was a nervous wreck already. She was going to start working for her boss's son from today. Her new boss. She had been worried about it all morning, And now this.

She took a discreet peek at his face, still stormy with annoyance. He was so handsome! She had never seen anyone like him at such a close range before. She wished she was a tall, beautiful and smart girl, like the receptionist who always knew what to say to men. But now all she could do was try and not stare at him with her soul in her eyes.

Rahul thought she looked like a fresh spring flower with her face dewey with perspiration. Eyes like twin stars though currently submerged in unshed tears, lips like twin rose petals trembling gently, well oiled hair like a long rope coiled down her back, her nose had delicate nostrils. What divine nostrils they were. He liked the way she delicately dabbed her eyes & her nose with her small hanky. He found himself envying that little hanky. Oh How I wish.....He dared not continue with his wish. She was not a girl to be toyed with. She wasn't some painted society doll. She was a working girl, with kaajal in her eyes and gajra in her hair. As wholesome as a home cooked meal. She was the kind of girl Dad married thirty years ago. He didn't know they made them like her any more.

He wondered which office she worked in, would he see her again. May be he should bribe the peon. The subtle fragrance of chameli oil mingled with mogra filled the lift, as he fought hard to resist it's erotic invitation.

The lift reached the nineth floor and stalled. The lights went out filling the lift with darkness. Rahul started pressing the lift buttons in desperation. Ever since he had been locked in the hostel toilet as a child, he had a horror of closed spaces. Help, help, he tried to shout but no words came out of his mouth.

Pooja watched him with growing concern. As a girl who had grown up in a tiny 2 room apartment with 10 people, she had no fear of confined spaces.
She gently touched his arm to offer her support and felt an electric current go thru her entire body at the touch of those muscles. He was so strong !

Looking at her upturned angel face and sympathetic eyes, Rahul grew calmer. He realized he must not allow himself to panic This was different than being locked in school toilet by rowdies.. Here he had HER to look after. He had to be a man, dependable and strong. Some one she can rely on, and look upto. In the dim lit interior of the lift, her eyes shone at him with trust and understanding. He drew himself up and squared his shoulders manfully, and next moment he fainted.

When he came to, he found his head pillowed on her lap and her eyes looking into his with deep concern. She wiped sweat from his forehead with her dupatta, and offered him water from a little bottle she fished out of her voluminous shoulder bag. He drank it thirstily wondering how can water taste sweeter than all the wines on earth. May be the bottle had touched her lips. He quickly got up, squared his shoulders and became a man once again.

Was this love? He had known women, plenty of them. But he had never been in love before, now he knew what it was all about. The same sickness that had Romeo in it's grip now gripped him. He wanted to do impossible things for her. Too bad they were stuck in a lift. Somewhere in distance he heard faint music play. It was she, talking to him in gentle tones. He marveled at the sweetness of her voice. He was ready to keep listening to it for rest of his life.

"Don't worry! I have talked to the people on emergency phone. They will be getting us out of here any minute now."
Getting out? He didn't want to get out! He wanted to spend rest of his life in this lift with her. He knew she would vanish the moment they reached their respective floors.

The lift rumbled, came to life and started moving up. The moment of separation was fast approaching. Both kept looking at the indicator with pensive eyes, eyes longing to look at each other, lips longing to ask the forbidden questions. What is your name? Where do you work? Can I see you again? But propriety forbade any such familiarity. She is so pure. I have no right to defile such divine innocence with my baser longings. He hated himself for wanting her. He squared his jaw in an attempt to control his emotions and scowled at the indicator, She let out a deep sigh, her heaving bosom was the only sign of the storm which raged within.

People had started coming in, going out, but they were oblivious to every one, as they stood there, side by side, hungrily looking at each other. Their eyes had become the windows to their souls and they were timidly peeping out at each other.

On fifteenth floor, they both tried to get out together, then stopped, stepped back and said together,
"You too? getting off here?". Pooja thought this was an omen. They walked upto same office door. This time Rahul spoke first.
He asked her in a voice filled with wonder and hope, "You work here ?"
"Yes" She nodded with eager shyness."and You?"
"Me too! Starting from today. I am the owner's son who has returned from USA."
She couldn't believe her luck. She looked even more soulfully at him and said in a husky whisper,
"and I am your new secretary"

Rahul was now absolutely sure that they were meant to be together. He offered her his hand and said-
" Will you be mine? To have and to hold, in good times and bad times, till death parts us ?"
" Yes my dear! For ever and for ever. I will follow you till the ends of this earth."
"Come my darling, let's look for Dad and ask for his blessings".
And together they entered the office, hand in hand, foot by foot, shoulder to shoulder, never to be parted again till eternity, to live happily ever after.

( When read at the BBY read meet, the listeners came up with a lot many cliches of their choice. I have tried to incorporate as many as I could.)


r r said…
never would've thought that a bunch of cliches put together could churn out something this engaging. thanks. :)
suniti said…
Thanks Roop,
a few are still remaining, but fitting all the romantic cliches, in one story is rather difficult :)
Maybe I should attempt a cliche ridden novel & sell it to M & B ;)

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