Avlokita Sirkeck, Avi to her friends and family was very upset . She was consumed with jealousy. She was sure that her husband Deepak and his childhood friend Mithalli was having an affair. She turned to her friend Sanjay and asked “ Tell me Sanjay , Is Deepak and Mithalli having an affair? Avi’s patience was at its lowest ebb and she was ready to burst.
Sanjay replied “Look, Avi. There is nothing going on between the two of them. Just a little bit of healthy flirting, I’d say.”
“Flirting? Healthy flirting? Really Sanjay...”. She rolled her eyes in disgust. “That’s what you men call it? There is nothing healthy about flirting, Sanjay, not for a married man”.
She got up from her seat and walked around the room gesticulating and muttering something to herself. Suddenly she stopped, turned back, looked at Sanjay and asked,”Did my husband sleep with her? You are his friend. Did he ever tell you anything about it?”
“Well! Avi. I really don’t know,” said Sanjay. “ May be they did. Deepak and Mithalli are old friends. After all they used to know each other when they were kids in Pune .” Then Sanjay got up from the sofa, went and placed his hand lingeringly on her shoulders and said “listen Avi, may be you should do some flirting yourself, tit for tat you know.” He let his hand caress the creamy skin of her shoulders very gently , but for only a second. He knew Avi could be very mercurial and if she did not like what he was doing she would turn on him like an angry tigress. Avi did not react. She seems to have not noticed.
But then he realised that for a woman of her intelligence such things do not go unnoticed. So, she was game!! Perhaps she was ready to take her revenge because she seems convinced that Mithalli and her husband were already having fun in bed. So, he made his next move. He faced her and had his other hand around her waist in a smooth move and then he pulled her towards him. “What the hell do you think you are doing, Sanjay” was like slap to his face. He let go and said “ Avi ,I did say you should flirt a little yourself, no harm done. You know I have always liked you a lot”.
“You are my friend ,Sanjay. I don’t want to flirt with you”, retorted Avi.
“Sure. But then ,if Deepak is in bed with Mithali, which in all probability they are, then why can’t you have some fun yourself?” Sanjay continued. Sanjay was a good strategist. He was playing his hands really well. He knew that this was indeed the right time to make that seed of doubt in Avi’s head grow into a full blown conviction. Avi seems to going over this suggestion of her husband’s infidelity with a detached calmness this time. Sanjay realised that now she was becoming more receptive to his unspoken taunt. If Deepak can be having some fun in bed with his childhood friend then why not her? Why only the man in the marriage can have all the fun when he wants and where he wants , while the woman have to maintain the fidelity and the Sati Savitri image in the marriage?
With shrewdness of a master strategist, Sanjay knew that he must capitalize now on the doubt that he has very successfully created in the mind of Avlokita. He must take advantage of the fact that she has not violently reacted to his suggestion that she too can have some fun and it will be fine because Deepak was having fun too!!
Sanjay had always had a lusting for Avi. Sure, they too, had known each other from the 7th std in the Co-ed school which Sanjay had joined in Pune , when his father had got his final posting before retirement. Even though they became good friends, Avi always had Deepak in her crosswires. It was Deepak this and Deepak that. Deepak ,the class President, Deepak, the Captain of the school football team, Deepak the most handsome boy in the school!!The fact that Sanjay was a wiz in maths, and really the best in chess made not much of an impression on her. But Sanjay was patient. He could wait, and wait and wait for the right opportunity. And he knew this was it . It was now or never!!
“Listen Avi, is Deepak ever going to tell you the fun he is having with Mithalli? Now , come on Avi, how can you be so blind? Of course, I have known about their affair , but then I did not want to hurt you. And then like all affairs, it will have its natural end. They will get bored and they will end it. And then Deepak will be back and life will continue, a little differently for you two. So I did not tell you anything”
Sanjay waited for this piece of information to sink in and sink in it did. When the realisation hit her , that indeed her husband has been cheating on her based on what Sanjay was now confirming, her whole being seems to scream for revenge. That “Bastard Deepak” she screamed in her mind. Is this how he returns all the love and caring she had lavished on him all these years? And all the advances other men had made to her in all these years of their marriage, she had spurned because of her loyalty to the man she had loved and married. After all she was a very attractive woman and in the prime of her life she was indeed alluring enough for any man of power and wealth to possess her.
Sanjay knew instinctively that the time was now ripe for his final move. He was already standing very close to her and she made no move to thwart him as he gathered her into his arms and kissed her . This time there was no resistance, only hot compliance. His lips roamed all over her lovely face, lingering over closed eyes, her nose , her ears and then back to those half open lips, lips painted red ,inviting to be crushed with a force that was now reciprocated by her.
As their tongues lashed at each other inside her mouth, she sensed her blouse being ripped open and the bra being unclipped. All this time, while her whole body was in the throes of sexual excitement , in her mind, she could only see Deepak salivating over the body of that bitch, Mithalli and that made it easier to accept what she was doing with Sanjay. My God!! Was Deepak doing this with that bitch?? Sanjay was doing delightful things to her . She revelled in what she was experiencing but in the back of her mind somehow she knew it was not right. But what the hell, if Deepak can have his fun so can I. Avi felt no guilt after that rationalization.
Sanjay suddenly realised that he was no longer in command. He was being ridden by a tigress, an insatiable tigress and he began to wonder if he was up to it. After the fourth time Sanjay knew he had to stop but it had to go one more time before Avi slipped into a deep sleep and Sanjay could dress and leave the house of his friend Deepak, whom he now knew he had betrayed because of his lust for his friend’s wife.
Deepak had a business dinner with the Korean delegation after they had signed the US $ 50 million contract for the software they were to implement for the manufacturing plants spread over five continents. Aside from the CEO Mr. Varun Tolani, the Chief Finance Controller, Mr. Ved Prakash Shenoy , there was Ms. Mithali Sharma, the Project Manager of the Samsong Project and Ms. Meenakshi Limaye, the Project co-ordinator. The dinner was at the Taj and every body was in high spirits. The Koreans did not speak much, so it was up to Deepak to keep the conversation going. Fortunately, Deepak was a past master in small talk. And his membership in Toastmasters International had prepared him to communicate well and keep the audience entertained. He had an in exhaustive list of jokes which he very aptly modified to suit the occasion.
He had tried earlier in the evening to contact his wife but without much success because her phone was either switched off or had run out of power. How many times he had told Avi to keep her Mobile with her and not throw it anywhere in the house she found it convenient to leave it. It could be in the dining hall or the kitchen or the bedroom or the bathroom. So he could not inform her about the sudden decision of the CEO to throw a party for the Korean Delegation who had come to sign the contract for the Software implementation project which is going to keep him and his team busy for the next five years.
The party wound up around 1.00 a.m. in the morning. The Koreans did not speak much but they drank like a fish and keeping up with them was really a challenge. Deepak reached home around 2.00 a.m. Fortunately, he always had the spare key with him because he knew his wife Avi must have fallen asleep on the dining table. Avi usually tried to stay awake till her husband came home from his business diners only to fall asleep on the dining table with her head resting on her long arms.
But today, Deepak did not see his wife on the dinner table. What he saw instead was her blouse lying on the floor. Why would her blouse be lying on the floor?? Perhaps she dropped it while taking the dried laundry from the balcony. But then as Deepak moved towards their bedroom he found her brassiere lying on the floor. How could this be? Maya is not so careless. Somehow Deepak had a premonition that these were signs leading to a major catastrophe. He was totally agitated by the time he pushed open their bedroom door. The room was in semi-darkness. Only a small table lamp threw some light on to the king sized bed. He was beyond disbelief at what he saw. Avi was sprawled on the bed, partially naked.
Was Avi raped? Those were the first thoughts that ripped through his mind. But then there was no sign of any violence. The bed sheets were smooth, no signs of any struggle on the bed. He cradled her in his arms and gently shook her till she groggily awoke from a deep slumber. Without realising who it was in the darkness ,Avi said “Sanjay, have you not had enough, let me sleep now”
Deepak dropped her on to the bed and slapped her. “ You whore, that is what you have been doing behind my back all this time, while I was slogging my arse off .”
Avi was taken aback with the realisation that her husband has caught her literally with her panties down. No mistaking the fact that she has just slept with someone other than her husband. But off course she was justified. Was it not a fact that Deepak was sleeping around with Mithalli. So, she told him. Yes , she has slept with her friend Sanjay and why not? If Deepak could be sleeping with Mithalli and then why not her with Sanjay? Deepak was shocked. “ What the hell are you talking about. Mithalli has just got engaged to Rohan and they are getting married next month. In fact they have been going around for the past six months. She is just my friend and colleague.”
“Friend, my foot”. Avi screamed. “What were you doing all this time with her. Two p.m. in the night!! You expect me to believe that you and her were just having a friendly chat up to 2.0 p.m. in night.”
“Avi , how many times have I not told you to keep your mobile in the same place and keep it charged all the time. I called you half a dozen times yesterday evening but there was no response from you. We had signed the $50 Million contract with the Koreans and the CEO decided to celebrate the occasion with a dinner at the TAJ. Deepak then found her Mobile thrown carelessly in one corner of the kitchen counter and showed her the six missing calls.
As the truth dawned upon her, that she has been tricked into sleeping with Sanjay, she could not bear to look at her husband. Her shame at his discovery of her naked sexuality, her unbridled jealousy that was taken advantage of by her friend Sanjay, her unfounded suspicions of an unfaithful husband has all lead to this terrible situation in her life. Will Deepak ever really forgive her? Can she ever look Deepak in the eye with the shame that was hidden in hers.
It was several days before Deepak looked at his wife again. He knew that she was a victim of her own jealousy. A jealousy that his friend Sanjay had taken advantage off. He decided to forgive and forget. He took her in his arms and said “ Avi, I forgive you, You are the woman I have always loved and will love till the end of my days. I forgive you , but you will have to work hard to make me forget”
Avlokita never ever doubted her husband again.
At the other end of the town, Siddharth Malhotra , the young executive in Deepak’s team looked at the lovely Zodiac tie that Deepak had presented him on his 30th birthday. Caressing it and planting a kiss on it he put it lovingly away in his cupboard and remembered with guilty pleasure the time they had spent together recently.