ILata gasps her breath. She sees him enter. The dance floor bursts. Ravi is a macho. He is dashing, handsome. Lata is cute, small. It’s party time now. They completed a year. The college feels cozy. Old friends have withered. New acquaintances blossomed radiant. Lata loves Ravi, madly. He started returning favours. This is the event.
- Hi sweetie, been long?
- Nope. Waiting for you
Ravi grabs Lata’s waist. Draws her even close. She smells after shave. She feels so intoxicated. Ravi knows to handle. Girls, liquor and money. The music is deafening. Mosaic lights throw shadows. And the two dance. She matches her man. He tires his prey.
The lights go off. It’s late and over. Lata doesn’t stop crying. Ravi gets bored increasingly. He just dumps girls. But Lata is different. He sensed her urge. To satisfy her man. She is petite wild. Lata trembles in despair. She is in love. Deeper than virginal woes.
- Lets leave now sweetie
- I can’t stay alone
- Don’t be a fool
- I love you Ravi
- I love you too
- Will you marry me?
Ravi is not sure. It’s too much commitment. He is quite young. His family is rich. Lata will be misfit. Lata clasps his hands. She can’t waive now. Her mother and sisters. Their hope on her. A family of women. She falters, and cries.
Ravi feels irritated now. He needs a bath. To wash off memories.
IIOld rivalry breeds hatred. Jai knows pretty well. Dimple is the bimbo. Jai’s hunger is insatiable. Dimple ignores him always. She is after Ravi. Ravi is too strong. His father has influences. That frustrates even more. Jai spoke with Dimple. Tried to convince her. But she is adamant. Girls are fools, always. Jai is pretty sure.
The party was bore. Dimple had a fracture. She was not there. Bad luck to losers. Ravi was with Lata. This makes Jai angry. How easily they change. Like changing clothes daily. Jai feels like fighting. He then restrains himself. There is no use.
The mobile camera blinks. The couple is intimate. Jai is taken aback. His idea is wrong. Lata isn’t that innocent. Few pegs of vodka. Jai goes overboard instantly. Justice has denied him. Streaks of revenge resurface.
The pics are beads. They stitch up stories. Jai is so happy. He strikes a plan.
The mail server shivers. MMS clips fly off. Dimple can’t believe this. She was so blind. She calls it quits.
No one knows the details. None wants to even. They relish the contents.
Vibgyor is her favourite. Their town paints rainbows. Will she ever return? The shame is manifold. She can’t think anymore. Ravi has behaved awkward. How can he escape? She is discussed everywhere. Inside college, even outside. She can’t stand this.
Then she remembers colours. She loved to draw. Rain drops and lillies. Ages she didn’t draw. Till Ravi’s birthday card. She can see colours. Everywhere, even in death. What is death’s colour? To her it’s white. White is always sacred. Death is freedom too. Her father committed suicide. He couldn’t feed them. Her father wore white.
The night grows still. Only the dogs bark. The lampposts stare alone. She gets up. The white pad glares. She will deflower it. Who will be responsible? She pens her name. Her own name – Lata.
Outside, the night sleeps. Inside the turmoil heightens. She holds back breath. The fragrance of life. Gone in one week? Is life so cheap? So full of threats? So dull yet arrogant? She feels like quitting.
She calls up Ravi. Ravi is also shaken. His veneer has fallen. He looks mortal, weak. She does feel sorry.
- Ravi I am leaving
Her voice starts trembling. She grasps her dress. To be still, calm.
- Where are you going?
- I will be gone
- Are you mad sweetie
This is better dear.
She hangs up hurriedly. She fears becoming weak. Its not easy leaving. She thinks of ma. She thinks herself selfish. But no other choice. The knot is silky. Vibgyor dopatta touches neck. Like a warm hug. She closes her eyes.
Ravi can’t sleep anymore. Lata’s call is disturbing. Hard days taught him. He is in love. Ravi dials Lata’s number. Will he call police? The consequences frighten him. He calls up Jai. The humbug switched off. He will thrash him. Restless, he calls police.
Early mornings are cool. HE always strolls now. This is HIS duty. HE reaches in time. HE stays with them. Even before the time. This morning is fresh. The rainbow is perfect. HE loves pictures as well. HE pans HIS frames. The boy is restless. He pants and puffs. He loves a girl. HE looks at her. She looks so radiant. Emotions recollected in peace. HE can’t squander love. HE remembers HIS girl. HE took her away. That sin pegged HIM. When can HE stop? HE doesn’t know yet. But HE leaves her. The boy comes in. Welcome HE says him. Then lifts and leaves.