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He next week’s party was at Suzanne’s place, which was quite far away from Ashish’s of­fice, yet he was the first one to ar­rive with great ex­pec­ta­tions. In time girls and boys started flock­ing in. Al­most half an hour went by but Joanna was not there. Ashis

Woman's Era - - Long Story -

“Can I say some­thing if you don’t feel bad.” Ashish nod­ded. “You have such lovely hair, why do you oil it so much.”

per­haps I liked your sim­plic­ity.” “Thanks a ton,” Ashish said. “I have no­ticed last week that you were only hav­ing that white drink, Nilo­pher told me it’s Vodka, so I bought a bot­tle es­pe­cially for you, the best that I can find, hope you like it.” “Try­ing to im­press me?’ Joanna acted as if she didn’t care but deep in­side she was pleased not for the Vodka but for his car­ing at­ti­tude. “Know what? You can never im­press a girl un­less she her­self wants to be im­pressed.” Joanna never ex­pected such an an­swer. “Im­pressed this time.” She had to ad­mit. “Bye.” He waved his hands and walked out of the room hastily. Joanna didn’t ex­pect this as well. “You are leav­ing so early?” “Yeah, no one likes me here, no one even spoke prop­erly with me till now. I was just wait­ing for you, as I had to apol­o­gise.”

Joanna could eas­ily make out that Ashish was re­ally dis­turbed from the mo­ment he saw her. He was try­ing his level best to hide his emo­tions but failed mis­er­ably in his at­tempt. Some­thing must have hap­pened at the party. Ashish was des­per­ate to leave, Joanna held his hand. “Leave me, I don’t need your sym­pa­thy, I am not a door­mat, okay,” he said with wa­tery eyes. “Okay, I’m sorry, tell me what hap­pened be­fore I walked in.” He was un­able to an­swer; it seemed like he’d break into tears any mo­ment. “Be strong, boys don’t cry – that too in front of girls.” She barely said it as large drops of tears rolled down his cheek. “At the party, I ac­ci­den­tally bumped into a girl, she slapped me just like that. I am not a per­vert, okay.” He was still in tears. “Yeah, I am not as smart as you peo­ple but I am smart in stud­ies, I al­ways stood first in my class, okay? If you don’t be­lieve me ask Nilo­pher and I am a real nice guy okay.” He took out his hand­ker­chief and rubbed his eyes. “Okay, okay, okay, can you do me a favour? Please stop cry­ing.” “I never felt so low be­fore.” He said with his head down. “Thank good­ness, you fi­nally stopped. Now one more favour. Can you please walk in with me and tell me who slapped you.” Ashish didn’t want to get in the room ever again, but she dragged him in. “Look, it hap­pened so fast hardly any­one no­ticed. Why are you stretch­ing it?” “Who is it?” Joanna was not the one to back out.

He pointed to the girl who was drool­ing on ev­ery hand­some sin­gle guy. She went up to her and slapped her tight. She was too shocked too re­act. “Mishy, Mishy, Mishy, how long you will take to un­der­stand you will al­ways re­main a wannabe? Joanna is inim­itable and you are so very dis­il­lu­sioned that you take out your frus­tra­tion on an de­cent guy like Ashish? Get a life okay.” She winked at him again. Ashish was so pleased, he al­most clapped. “Well said Jo.” Nilo­pher clapped on his be­half. She had also over­looked it or else she would have been slapped much ear­lier. Mishy left im­me­di­ately and no one cared, not even those hand­some guys she was drool­ing on. Pre­tence has a short-lived mem­ory.

An hour down, Joanna walked to­wards Ashish. Ashish didn’t take any fur­ther risk and only stuck to Nilo­pher all the time. “Can I bor­row your friend for a while.” “He is all yours, from the last week it­self.” “Thanks, nice vodka,” Joanna said. Joanna and Ashish were in the veran­dah with only stars and the moon for com­pany. “No, thank you, so very much, it meant a lot.” Ashish was ab­so­lutely not star­ing at her and stood far away. “You can look at me once in a while.” He smiled in re­turn. “Can I say some­thing if you don’t feel bad.” “Ashish nod­ded.” You have such lovely hair, why do you oil it so much.? “My mom tells me that if I don’t ap­ply oil on my hair it will fall.” ‘Mamma’s boy, she is right but don’t you re­alise you make a joke out of your­self in the process and what’a with the scare­crow­ish dress?” “It’s from Ray­monds. Why, I don’t look good in it?” Joanna smiled, “It’s not about look­ing good. It’s about feel­ing good. I can give you some ad­vice, buy them if you feel right,” she con­tin­ued, “To start with, oil­ing your hair twice a week is good enough, I do the same and I hope you like my tresses. “They are gor­geous,” Ashish said. “Go to the best of the sa­lons and deck up your hair, and wear fit­ting dresses.” “But tight clothes are very un­com­fort­able, they itch,’ he was upright hon­est. “Well a styles comes at a cost and never be so can­did, for ev­ery girl is not Joanna.” He kept silent. You can also go for a stub­ble, it’ll look good on you.” “Your boyfriend, won’t come to­day,” he asked her all of a sud­den. “No, we had a fight,” she said. “I’ll pray that every­thing gets well soon’, he an­swered. “I was ex­pect­ing some­thing like that. Can I kiss you then.’ But she re­gret­ted say­ing it since when she looked at him she re­alised, he didn’t only say it but meant it as well.

Wow,! that was ev­ery­body’s re­ac­tion as Ashish came to the party the next Satur­day. Sud­denly he be­came the cyno­sure, the most talked about amongst girls. “Isn’t he the same guy who is spon­sor­ing the ex­pen­sive whisky for the last cou­ple of weeks.” “Yeah, I heard he is well set­tled.” “The stub­ble looks so hot on him.” “5 out of seven sin­gle girls en­quired about you,” Nilo­pher whis­pered to Ashish. “Where is she?” he asked in re­turn. “Good and bad news for you, lover boy. The good one is yes

Joanna and Ashish were in the veran­dah with only stars and the moon for com­pany. “No, thank you, so very much, it meant a lot.” Ashish was ab­so­lutely not star­ing at her and stood far away. “You can look at me once in a while.” He smiled in re­turn. “Can I say some­thing if you don’t feel bad?” Ashish nod­ded.

she broke up and the bad one is she throws such tantrums post break­ing-up that you should for­get about her for a cou­ple of weeks,” Nilo­pher said. ‘Where does she stay?” Ashish asked. “As a mat­ter of fact nearby. But don’t you think of vis­it­ing her, she won’t be her sweet and nice usual self.” “I must.” “Okay, but don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.”

opened the door af­ter sev­eral rings. “What are you do­ing here?” she was in­deed up­set. “Can I come in?” he asked. Joanna was in shorts and a translu­cent T shirt that re­vealed her colour­ful bra. “You get dressed, I am wait­ing,” Ashish was hes­i­tant. “I am not go­ing to the party, I’m not in the mood.” “No, I mean cover your­self up,” he said in re­turn. “You know, the prob­lem is nei­ther with my dress nor with my body, it’s in your mind and don’t even dare to think that you have a chance now that I am sin­gle. You are way too pa­thetic for me, now get out.” “I know and I have no in­cli­na­tion to be with you, I have my heroine. You made me strong when I was weak, so I thought I must stand by you in your mo­ment of tur­bu­lence,” Ashish said. He was leav­ing, she stopped him. “Wait here, I’ll change and come,” she or­dered and went away. She was back in a few min­utes in an all­cov­ered-up dress, “Good enough for you or should I wear a mask as well.” “Bet­ter”, he smiled. “Sorry about what I just said. I didn’t mean it.” “Of course you meant it. Don’t worry I am used to this, see no tears this time,” he pointed to his eyes. “I didn’t and I don’t lie,” she an­swered. “Any­way, I don’t care what you say. My heroine is there some­where who will love me, pam­per me, re­spect me,” he said? “What’s this heroine thing? You have men­tioned it time and again. You are in love with a heroine kya? Who is she? Son­akshi?” she was cu­ri­ous. “Again the same stupid ques­tion. For­get it, I don’t dis­cuss it, “Ashish was frus­trated.” Please tell me. See, you owe me one, I made a hero out of you for your heroine,” she re­alised some­thing in­ter­est­ing is com­ing up. “It’s a con­cept, heroine is a con­cept. So she can be any girl but she should pos­sess the qual­i­ties of a Hindi movie heroine.” “As in dance, sing, look like a princess, throw tantrums, stand up for her rights, be at­trac­tive,” she asked. “Ex­actly. Such a sim­ple thing and peo­ple take so much time to un­der­stand. No won­der, I liked you in the very first in­stance. You are cra­zier than I am. This is in­ter­est­ing. What a way to get over that bas­tard,” she seemed su­per ex­cited. “You think this is a joke,” Ashish was of­fended.” “Ab­so­lutely not. I am sure you won’t go back to the party. Any­way, you went there re­peat­edly only for me. Here I am ex­clu­sively for you.” “What do you want,” he was not sure of her in­ten­tions. “Don’t worry, I won’t ex­ploit you sex­u­ally. My mom and dad have gone to the church, I want to show you to them.” “Show you to them.” That was ob­scene to say the least; you should say in­tro­duce you to them,” Ashish was not at all pleased. “You don’t know my tragedy.” “You and tragedy, I doubt it.” “Lis­ten up naa?” From my child­hood they al­ways said I am crazy. I am sick and tired of it. I just want to show them, a typ­i­cal Ben­gali boy with proper ed­u­ca­tion, de­cent job and ex­cel­lent up­bring­ing, is even cra­zier, “She just could’nt con­trol her thrill. “You are worse than my par­ents,” Ashish was deeply hurt. “But of course, I for­got the ic­ing on the cake. What does the con­ser­va­tive Sen fam­ily have to say about it.” “Well,” he smiled, “tomorrow is my first ap­point­ment with the psy­chi­a­trist.” “This is too good man, this is sim­ply rock­ing. Please take me along with you, I can’t af­ford to miss it, “she was on the floor laugh­ing.” “No ways.” “Okay, deal. You very well know my cir­cle is huge, I know a lot of sexy, hot beau­ti­ful girls. You take me tomorrow with you and I prom­ise I’ll find your heroine, I cross my heart.” Ashish knew she was telling the truth, thus couldn’t say no.

Joanna opened the door af­ter sev­eral rings. “What are you do­ing here,” she was in­deed up­set. “Can I come in?” he asked. Joanna was in shorts and a translu­cent T shirt that re­vealed her colour­ful bra. “You get dressed, I am wait­ing,“Ashish was hes­i­tant.” I am not go­ing to the party, I’m not in the mood.” “What are you do­ing here,” she was in­deed up­set. “Can I come in.”

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