One Night Stand: A Tale of Love
Ronnie arrived in Calcutta on a December morning. This is the best time in Calcutta when the weather is salubrious and it's not hot. He checked in at the Park and looked out of the window below. He could see Park Street the hub of Calcutta and the center of most hotels and nightclubs. During the days of the Raj, the street had a charm of its own and was rated as the second entertainment center in the empire after London. But over the period after Independence, the city went into decay and Park Street became more like a relic from the Raj. However, it tried to make up for its lost glory by still having some excellent bars and hang out places.
Ronnie had been to Calcutta often because this was the headquarters of his company. He worked in Assam as the manager of one of the biggest tea plantations and this time he had come for the annual conference to Calcutta. He had a wash and then dressed up. He looked at his watch and found that it was getting close to 8 PM. He thought it a good idea to spend an hour or so at one of the bars that dot this Street.
He came down on the street and was wondering which bar to choose. He decided to go to Moulin Rouge. It is one of the oldest bars on Park Street. With its red brick semi-circular entrance, Moulin Rouge is certainly eye-catching. The bar has a very classy atmosphere, with dim lights and regular live music sessions. The drink menu offers wine and cocktails and there’s also food menu.
He entered the bar and one of the hostesses came up to him.
"Sir," she said," where would you like to be comfortable?"
She smiled at Ronnie and he realized the girl was good looking. Moulin Rouge has a reputation for selecting only attractive girls for the bar and hostesses. He pointed to a quiet side of the bar and the girl nodded her head. She led him to his seat and once more smiled at him and asked," would you care to order a drink and also something to go along with it as snacks?"
"Yes," he replied, " get me a Macallan, on the rocks along with some fried chicken kebabs."
The girl left and soon after the waiter emerged with his tray containing his first drink and the kebabs. Ronnie settled down in the comfortable chair and took a sip of the Macallan. He always liked his whiskey neat with just the crushed ice. As he sipped his drink he could hear the soft voice of the singer singing the old Elvis Presley song,' you are 16 you are beautiful and you are mine.'
He looked around and noticed that at one end of the bar counter a lady was sitting. She sat all alone and was slowly sipping a drink. Ronnie could make out that she was beautiful and a short skirt with crossed legs that accented her overall attractiveness. She was not young but Ronnie could not make out her age in the diffused lighting. Seeing the lady alone seemed to fire his imagination. He wondered who she was because he could make out that she was a woman of class. He was also intrigued that she had no escort. He finished his peg in one gulp and decided to try his luck.
Ronnie wanted to talk to the lady and got up from his seat and walked towards the bar counter. He reached the point where the lady was sitting and motioned to the barman.
"Come here my man and dish out another Macallan on the rocks for me"
He looked at the lady and smiled and said," what is your drink may I order one for you?"
The lady who had been sitting somberly all along now smiled and said," thank you, I'm having a cocktail and the barman and knows what I drink so he will bring another one for me"
Just as the barman brought a cocktail the lady smiled at Ronnie and said," why don't you sit down here only, I wouldn't mind company."
Ronnie relished the idea and sat down on the barstool next to her and sipped his drink. He saw the lady and liked her. She was slim and very fair with large eyes but Ronnie could make out that she was not a young girl. Her attractiveness and sexuality were overpowering and Ronnie couldn't help thinking that she was a wonderful piece of creation.
"Do you come here often?" she asked
"No," Ronnie replied," I'm going to be here only for another two days and then I am going away. What about you are you a frequent visitor here?"
"Yes, I do because I stay in Calcutta but it's a bit sad that you're going to go away after another two days."
They had small talk but did not exchange names or addresses and Ronnie also was not keen to say who he was and he cooked up a tale of being a casual businessman on a visit to Calcutta. "Would you come to Calcutta again?" she asked.
Ronnie thought for a moment wondering what to answer and then decided that the best course was to say that he rarely came to Calcutta and he was not likely to come back for maybe many months.
"That is sad," said the lady," but then I guess your work is very important."
"Yes it is," and he looked at the barman who immediately brought another drink.
Both kept on drinking and chatting for maybe an hour and a half. After few more drinks, Ronnie made the proposition. "Hello I am going to be here only for another day and maybe I won't come to Calcutta for a long time, would you care to have a cup of coffee with me in my room in the nearby Park hotel."
The words seemed to sink into the lady and her eyes sparkled," I hope you will serve me hot coffee" she said," It's getting midnight I wouldn't mind a cup of coffee."
Ronnie got up and signed for his drink and asked the lady," with your permission may I sign for you?"
She smiled and Ronnie noticed she had the loveliest smile of all time, "okay," she said, "it doesn't matter though I could have signed for you also."
They came out of the bar and walked next door to the Park. Ronnie led her to his room and opened the door and ushered her inside.
"You can use the washroom and I will just prepare a cup of hot coffee for you."
"Thank you" she said
After she came out Ronnie had a cup of coffee ready. He handed her one cup and then gently while handing the cup touched her hand. She did not resist but looked at Ronnie with clear blue eyes. In the light of the room, she looked really beautiful and to Ronnie's mind, he was smitten by her. What a wonderful thing, he thought if this lady could be his companion for years to come.
The coffee was soon drunk and then Ronnie took the step forward. He just cradled the lady in his arms with the words," let me see how heavy you are."
"What are you doing?" the lady said but there was no resistance in her voice.
Ronnie carried her to the luxurious bed and softly kissed her. It was a soft kiss, a chaste kiss but it soon turned lascivious. The lady made no protest and it was obvious to Ronnie that it was only God who could have ordained this meeting. They now began to kiss feverishly and Ronnie began to unbutton her skirt.
What followed was hedonistic love.
His fingers tightened in her hair, as he kissed her on the lips, and pleasure leaped in waves through his body. He lifted her blouse right back, till he came to her breasts. He kissed them softly, taking the nipples in his lips in tiny caresses.' I love you,' Ronnie wanted to say, and then the words were erased by the tingling and terrifying pleasure that spread in waves from the lady's lips over her neck, her shoulders, that rushed suddenly the length of his body.
The finale or the beginning?
Ronnie got up in the morning. The lady had left but he resolved to ask the barman about her in the evening. He realized that yesterday night had been surrealist, something which happens once in a decade.
He dressed up and wore his suit and tie and came out of the hotel. The hotel had arranged a cab for him to go to the Taj where the conference was to take place. He saw the signboards in the hotel reception and headed to the hall where the conference was scheduled. There were about 18 to other persons all senior executives who were to attend this meeting.
They all sat down in the chairs and waited. The man sitting next to Ronnie said," very soon the chairman will be coming."
There was pin-drop silence as the chairman entered and walked to her seat. Ronnie knew the chairman was a woman but he had not bargained that the woman who was entering and now sitting at the head of the table was none other than the woman he had made love to the night before. His pulse quickened and he wondered how this has happened.
The lady looked at Ronnie and there was no sign that she recognized him. Her secretary approached her and she whispered something in her ear. Nobody could make out what she was talking and the secretary was nodding her head. After some time the secretary left and the chairman started the meeting with the words; welcome all of you.
Just then there was a tap on Ronnie's shoulder and he looked and saw that it was the durban. He softly said, "sir there is something urgent for you, can you please come outside."
Ronnie got up and came out of the hall.
He led Ronnie to a small room a little distance away and there he saw the secretary to the chairman sitting. She got up when Ronnie entered and smiled at him, "I'm sorry sir but at the moment the chairman feels you need not attend the meeting."
"Why?" Ronnie asked.
"She is the head of the company and she has her reasons. Here is a letter for you please open it and read it." She handed Ronnie a letter. He opened the letter. It was a short letter signed by the director HRD. It simply stated," we are having a restructuring of our cadre and we find that you are redundant to our scheme of things. We are constrained to terminate your services with immediate effect. The company thanks you for being a valuable part of us for the last two years."
Ronnie looked at the girl and then at the letter. He didn't feel bad and realized the peculiarity of the situation. The girl looked at Ronnie and said," you are not unhappy, you seem to be smiling."
"My girl," Ronnie said," you will never know."
He quickly left the room and took a cab and went to his hotel and checked out. He felt free because he would not go back to Assam. He wondered what was in the mind of Lord Krishna to have arranged this tryst and then got him removed from the job. There had to be some silver lining to It. All the same, he didn't mind being removed because that one night He had spent with the lady was something he was not going to forget for a long time to come.
The lady's mind was also in some turmoil and she wondered whether she had done the right thing. She knew however that she could not have the man working in the company after what had happened between them at the night. Her heart told her to contact the man but she was wondering where he would be because he would not be going back to Assam. Did she contact Ronnie later on and did their love blossom? Maybe yes, maybe no but then that is another tale.