“How much do I have to pay, Dai?” I asked to the guy who was the owner of the ‘Khaja ghar’ even though I knew the amount of money I had to pay.
“You had just a cup of tea. 15 rupees only.” He replied with complete politeness with a huge smile.
“Here you are.” I handed him the money and thanked for serving me with warm tea in this cold environment.
It was around 2:45 PM. I got a bit late for my lunch today as I got myself stuck in some work. As I was alone and my colleagues left me behind, my mood wasn’t helping me to have anything to eat. So, just a cup of tea was enough for today.
While I was almost done paying the money, a girl walked into the hotel taking the way just behind me. As there was not more than a 20cm of distance between us, my sense organ could feel the hard perfume she had on her body.
I had a glance on her. Red jacket and blue jeans was what she was in. I didn’t notice her shoes cause watching a girl from top to bottom would be a clumsy thing to do in public. I had a complete glimpse on her face by the way. By the appearance, she seemed too young. No lipstick on her juvenile lips, no make-up on her babyish cheeks. But her eyes were scorching. Fiery they were indeed with the heavy eyeliner on her eyebrows. Her hair was tied together at back.
At first, I just took it as normal. A girl just comes in, have something to eat and leave. That’s what goes on everyday in that hotel. But, seeing that girl’s face, I had some kind of intuition coming out of my mind. Maybe she was not the type of girl I was assuming from the external appearance. Maybe there’s something hidden inside her. Maybe there’s some unexpectedly immense story written behind her childish face. I was kind of baffled and I didn’t know why I was feeling like that. I had no answers for that besides staying there for more time to explore the reason behind my uncertainty.
“Dai, please pack two ‘samosa’ and a plate of ‘tarkari’ for me.” She gave her order to the same guy who accepted with a great smile again.
Damn! Her voice. That was so sweet and euphonic. I felt like her words didn’t have to interfere with any kind of noise on its way to my eardrum. That was the second shot straight on me from her side while the first was her blazing eyes off-course. I couldn’t stop myself from staying there more.
After stating her order to the owner, she walked inside towards a corner and took a seat. All this time, I was there standing at the front door of the hotel looking for someone I was waiting for. But, as I saw her walking in and my heart was pushing me inside the hotel again, I couldn’t deny it. So, I just walked in again.
I took a seat by the side of her table. Obviously, I didn’t have that guts to go and sit on the same table as hers. As I was there to explore the reason behind my confusion about her rather than being attracted to her, I was frequently having secret looks on her. But, as usual I didn’t find anything that was anomaly in nature in her.
After two minutes of staying there like a statue, she put her hands inside the pocket of her jacket. And there she was, fishing out a packet of ‘Black cigarette’ and a lighter.
There I was, startled and shocked. So, was that the thing, which was creating a kind of intuition in my mind? Was that the awkward story hidden behind her juvenile face? Was that the reason behind her flaming eyes? A myriad of questions came around my mind for which there were no answers.
However, it’s normal these days about a girl smoking. But, she? That young child? Who seemed not even old enough to get make-up on her face? My mind was not able to process for further responses.
Whilst, I just sat there having secret looks on her, there she was pulling every drag into her mouth letting the smoke climb down into her lungs through the throat and then departing through the same route. I could also feel her young lungs screaming in pain but she wouldn’t give a damn. Her juvenile lips, which I figured out earlier, now seemed like turning into a nasty thing. Her lovely and babyish face now seemed like turning into an obnoxious platform.
Her every puff of the smoke obliged her to make a different type of face. Her face didn’t seem okay in that very moment. Was there anything going in? Was she having some problem? Was she smoking to forget all the pain she was going through? I was more bewildered.
Then, I had a glance on her hands. Oh! My lord, her skin was so fair. Her tiny fingers’ holding that black colored cigarette was so unfair. And But, somehow it was quite a nice scene to gaze as well. I felt amusing in some sense.
An amateur girl with no make-up, no fancy dress up, fair skin, tiny fingers and a stick of cigarette. A blast of smoke coming out of her mouth in an interval of 15 seconds and the age of her lungs could be seen flying out of her life along with that smoke. What a terrible thing was that? But still I found it somewhat pleasant.
I was smiling inside. I didn’t know what she was thinking. We had our eyes met a few times as well but that wasn’t enough to compel me to stand, go by her side, put that cigarette down and talk to her cause its Nepal not Europe where people would just go and interact with a stranger with no worries. I just had that feeling playing in my mind, did nothing besides staying there and flirting her in silence.
Five minutes and then she stood up. My heart felt a kick while my mind generated a stupid response “You are such an idiot. That girl was waiting for you there for five minutes and still you couldn’t go there and talk”. #lol
And then she paid her money and left leaving a blast of smoke roaming in there which flew towards me and I felt the touch of hers. The charming one.
All those time I was sitting there doing nothing. I wasn’t having anything to drink or eat as well. Maybe she thought I was there giving looks to her, flirting in silence. Maybe she thought I was a jerk. Whatever she thought, whatever her smoky mind thought, it didn’t matter. What really mattered was, I had a congenial time to spend at least for that moment.
I had a reason to smile before I went to work again.