Chapter Thirty Two - Manish

Manish Kumar walked out of the apartment and closed the door behind him. He had not expected to see her here, nevertheless, he was glad.

He opened the door to his own apartment and stepped in. The posh interior was reflection of his lifestyle. Even though he was born to a rich father life was not easy in the beginning because his father believed in ‘earning’ what he deserved rather than ‘inheriting’ easily. However, once the old man died things changed. He had all that he had ever wanted, until the day Mansi came in his life.

He remembered the first time he had laid his eyes on her. She looked fresh and beautiful; like the morning dew on a flower, the kind you cannot resist touching with the tip of your finger.
He wanted to touch her, feel her soft fair skin under his fingers. He wanted to see how she would react to his touch. Mere thought of touching her did things to him. He could not resist himself and continued staring at her from across the street as she dried her wet hair standing in the balcony of a chawl.

She deserved a better place to stay, he thought. She deserved him, he smiled. The way she titled her head to one side to dry her hair with the towel, the way her hands ran through her hair to see if the hair was still wet, the way she titled her head to the other side and wiped her hair again with the towel, these simple actions were enough to arouse him.

He could not resist fantasising about her. That very moment he made up his mind; he would find a way to become a part of her life. A few days later he found a way, based on that he chalked out a plan and soon began implementing it.

The first step was to know about her. He knew there was nothing much to learn about her from those staying in that filthy chawl. Also, he did not want to risk being caught questioning about her. He had to be careful even if he could consider the chawl as ground zero. He followed her one day to find out where she worked. He frequented the office wearing disguise, pretending to be the courier boy. Of course, for that he had to pay the real one to allow him to do his work. He did not mind. Every penny spent was worth it. It brought him closer to her.

He befriended the office peon and paid him for information and managed to find out the weak member of the team – one who needed a better job. He met the accountant outside the office where no one could see him talking to the fellow and offered him a better job through the contacts his father had. Once the dude was ready to leave the job, he knew he had found a way into Mansi’s life. Mansi – the name sounded so sweet on his tongue; sweet like honey. He wondered how she tasted.

He asked the accountant to send out a call for job in local newspaper and inform the boss about it. He sent his resume to her office to be considered for the post of recently vacated job of an accountant. He did not really need the job; he needed to be close to her. He hired a few people to apply for the job. He manipulated the peon to do as he asked. He scanned the resumes received and discarded the ones who had more potential than him. He laughed as he thought about working in the office. He wondered why people wanted to work there in the first place. His case was different – he wanted to be with her. Why was she working there? He had to find out. Why were others working there? Was there someone who was interested in her? Did he have competition? He wondered. If he did have one, he was ready to fight whoever it was. He followed her often, watching her closely as she moved. Sitting in his Mercedes he watched her across the street as she walked to the tea-stall near the bus stop from where she boarded the bus to go home. He watched her as she sipped tea standing under the tree. He followed her gaze as she looked somewhere and that’s when he saw him walking towards her; the same man from the chawl. He knew him, he had come across him a couple of times as the part of his plan but he did not like the way Mansi reacted to the man’s presence. It was time, he thought, to get rid of this man or the chances were he would be a tough competition.

He watched as Mansi walked past the man and hurried towards the bus – stop but instead of waiting for the bus she called out for auto-rickshaws. She continued walking and he started his car. He followed her as she kept walking and finally he saw her getting into the cab of the jerk who stayed next to her at the chawl. The man had been persistent seeking her attention. For a moment, he had decided to offer her a lift in his car, but he chose to be patient. There was time, and he knew the way he could get rid of this man.

The ringing of his mobile phone brought him out of his reverie. He checked the display and silenced the ring. He did not attend the call. He did not need to attend such calls anymore. His journey to getting the one he truly desired had begun. Other girls would have to leave him alone now. Even though there was a time when he preferred sleeping with them rather than sleeping alone, now he preferred sleeping alone so that one day he could sleep with Mansi. He thought about her sleeping next to him in bed. He walked to the bedroom and smiled. He visualised them sleeping together. Both separated from each other only by the thin fabric of the bedsheet. He was aroused yet again. He did not hold on to the thought, he let the moment pass instead of finding release. He always let his fantasy end with them sleeping in bed together but separated by bed-sheet. He did not want to visualise her naked body, he did not want to imagine how her naked body would feel against his – he wanted to see and feel it for real. Someday, he thought, someday he would have her in his arms, in his bed, their bodies not separated by bedsheet and she would find him inside her; until then he had to wait, he had to have a grip on his emotions because he did not want to ruin it. 


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