(As told to Joie Bose)
How the bachelor met the housewife
I met her in the lift. We used to live in the same building. She with her husband and daughter, and I alone. Honestly, I didn’t see her initially, for the hours of a bachelor don’t match those of a householder, but one day, they matched. And she smiled at me. That’s how our story began.
I can never forget that smile. It was genuine. She was going home after a morning walk and I was returning home from a party that went on till the morning. And there was just the two of us getting into the lift and I was barging in the moment the door opened and she too did the same and we bumped into each other. And I was embarrassed (I didn’t bump into her consciously like a creep), but she had smiled at me then. Perhaps seeing my awkwardness, she had smiled. But that smile was benevolent. That smile was warm. And alone in a city that is not my own, it was like hot momos on a cold winter morning. “Good morning,” she said.
Click here to read this story about a man in love with a much older woman.
Not just a bachelor’s fantasy
What happened between us might seem like every bachelor’s fantasy from the outside. A rather hot, horny dissatisfied wife and a young warm-blooded male are bound to have an affair if they are together. But it wasn’t just that. It was so much more. And I often wonder what that was. She was a lot older than me but naive in her experience. Her naivety made her a virgin for me, not that virginity mattered. She was as pure in her affection as the morning dew and perhaps that is why I find it difficult to put to words what happened.
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It was November or December when I first met her. I had come back to Delhi after spending time in Varanasi with my family. It was about a year I had been in Delhi and my bachelor’s pad had become my home. But it was a little incomplete, for it had no one except for me and solitude gets a little lonely at times.
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I have had women in Varanasi, but we were mostly sleeping partners. I felt no affection except for their bodies and that had translated into relationships. But those relationships had died out, for the connection had wavered with me coming to Delhi. Long-distance sleeping partners don’t happen. The physical touch needs to be there. I like it when my partner takes charge, but women eventually like their men to take charge. It was the same with each of the girls. Then they would all want more. One would want gifts. Another desired me to take her around, socialise with her friends. Another wanted to take me home. The dynamics between us always changed and these changed equations daunt me. I’m good at running away in these situations and that is what I did, I ran away. But with Mallika…
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She brought me luck
I was addicted to that smile and ever since that day, I had changed my schedule to match her’s. I would go for morning walks and plan my route in such a way that it coincided with hers. Then we would smile and she would say, “Good morning”… I had actually begun to believe that that wish would make my morning good.
I wasn’t exactly expecting this, but one morning when I came to office, I was told that I had got a promotion. My senior had suddenly left the company overnight and it was decided that I would take his place. And my essential superstitious self could not help but attribute this to Mallika. I went home straight after work and went up to her apartment. I hoped her husband would not be there and sometimes just the right things happen and he wasn’t. When she opened the door, I kissed her straight on the mouth and she didn’t stop me.
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Many things happen in silence and are based on chemistry two people share. We happened there.
“Do you pray for me?” I had once asked her. “Yes. I pray for everyone I know,” she had replied.
“Because if someone else had prayed for me, I would not have to be selfish enough to pray just for myself.”
“In that you are selfish, right? Your philanthropic intentions have a selfish motive.”
“We are all selfish. Even the pain we inflict on ourselves, the troubles we bear, bring us some sort of happiness. Just the degrees of selfishness differ depending upon how much harm it causes others.”
I think I fell in love
Mallika was a philosopher. She was honest. She lived in a transcendental zone. The way she looked at me when we spoke, focussing only on me and blurring out the rest of the world, was as heady as port wine. It was sweet, to say the least. For the first time in my life, I think I was in love. That’s why it was with her that we only made love. It was never lusted. Yes, I tried turning to her with lust, thinking I would go away after we have had sex, but when it was all done, the satisfaction in my heart came from a deep affection I had for Mallika. I felt like a stranger to myself, but for once I had become a stranger I loved being.
I felt like a stranger to myself, but for once I had become a stranger I loved being.
The next three years were crazy, for I was madly in love and so was she, though we never told each other that it was love. She’d begun making my office lunch. I had begun running errands for her. We were going for morning walks together. And we had begun realising that if we didn’t come up with some plan, people would start talking if they hadn’t already. So, we decided on ways to involve both her husband and her daughter in our equation. I began tutoring her daughter in math! Trust me, it was difficult to tutor the girl. And I didn’t remember my middle school math and it was difficult. But to live up to my status, I took online tutorials! My entry into her house became more legitimate.
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Getting to know her family
Her husband wasn’t too bad a man and I know Mallika and he shared a decent equation. He also joined my gym and I got to know him more. He was a friendless soul and developed a fondness of sorts for me. For Mallika’s sake, I bore him. He was a weird man, actually. He always ordered Mallika around and when he did that, my blood boiled. But I kept quiet. That made me love Mallika more, make love to her more passionately as if it was a consolation for the situation she was in.
We went on trips together as well. To Kashmir. Vaishnodevi. Ladakh. The hills never seemed more beautiful, for then, Mallika was there. She would sing songs, as our car climbed up the winding paths. And every song she sang reminded me of us. I was perhaps the happiest I’ve ever been when she was around.
Then it all fell apart
I still remember the exact date. June 29th, 2008. Her daughter’s board results were to come out and she had gone to her school. Mallika was tense and kept on calling me. I came back home. She was in my apartment. To ease her tension, I had begun kissing her. And her daughter came home and not finding her mother, came to my apartment. I had forgotten to lock the door. That was the last time Mallika ever met me or spoke to me.
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I tried. I tried to get in touch with her. Get something out of her. Nothing. She went away to her father’s house in Lucknow for some time. Her daughter went with her. She took up Arts and somehow I feel I was responsible for that. Her husband never failed to come to the gym, and after noting that I had no interaction with either woman, suggested I join him to watch porn. That was the limit. I quit my job the next day and went back to Varanasi. It was pretty dramatic, but that is how it was.
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I got married to this lady my parents chose, a few months ago. I see Mallika in my wife. And I think of Mallika every day. I know she too thinks of me. Some day, she will be mine. We were perfect together. True love is amazing and my life can’t ever be over till I can stand in front of Mallika and tell her, “I love you and forever will…”