Part 2- 3 days & 3 Nights in Rathambor – Ragna (EMA)
His eyes closed and he let out a tight breath he had been holding. For a moment he really thought she was going to walk out on him, smiling from ear to ear he swooped down and picked her up in his arms twirling her about in an totally abandoned fashion.
“Raghav!” Her laughter filled his heart, her squeals of “Raghav! I ‘m getting dizzy!” made him spin her faster.
Finally as she squealed and pressed her face into his chest did he stop, gently he let her slide down his body and whispered back in the same teasing tone. “Yes, Kalpi!”
“Sammy sir was right you have really become a teenager.” She smiled up at him.
“Kalpi you have opened my world to a whole feast of colours and experiences, its not my fault I am behaving like this, the fault is totally yours.”
Kalpi’s eyes brightened, she was on cloud nine, that he actually had brought her all the way here in this completely opulent place just to spend time with her. She couldn’t even imagine the cost of staying in such a place. For him to admit that he was driven to this by a desperate need to be with her alone excited her beyond measure. She had never imagined that a world wise man like him would even be effected by someone so ordinary like her. That she held such attraction for him surprised her. Her love shone out of her eyes as he gathered her to him again, his hands moulding her to him as if he couldn’t get enough of the taste and feel of her.
A loud buzzing seem to fill her mind, she dismissed it as mounting excitement as his fevered hands caressed her, but the noise was insistent. Reluctantly she opened her eyes and realised it was her mobile that was ringing quite loudly.
“Damn!” Raghav muttered as he reluctantly let go of her. There was always something that came between them.
Giggling she fished out her mobile and stared at the display.
“Aai!” Her face paled.
“Kya bolu?” The thought of blatantly lying to her mother worried her.
“Shall I answer for you?” He moved forward and held out his hand.
“But then she will wonder where I am.” she held the phone away from him.
Raghav’s eyes darkened, he really would have to teach her get a grip on these types of situations. With alarm he watched as she paled to an frightening extent. Raising a brow he took immediate action by pulling the the still ringing handset out of her shaking hands.
“Kalpi! What took you so long?” Demanded Kamla maa. “What are you up to!”
“Kamla maa, its Raghav baba, Kalpi has actually just gone to get refreshed after our long journey. We have arrived safe and she is fine. We are just about to go and eat when she comes back. Is there any message for her, because she will be busy from now on and wont have time to call you.”
“Err Raghavbaba….Oh..” Kamla maa stuttered, unable to say any more as he had explained their activities in such detail.
“No ..no…ok please tell her to call me tomorrow…I just want to make sure she is OK.”
“Don’t you trust me?” Raghav demanded.
“Of-course Raghavbaba…its just that…”
“I’m afraid Kalpi will be very busy over the next three days, I am not sure if she will have time to check in with you all the time.”
“Oh!” kamla maa frowned.
“Yes, but don’t worry I will have her safe and sound back to you soon. Bye now.” With that he cut the call.
Kalpi stared at his calm face in wonder, finding a chair with a shaking hand she sank down on it, amazed at the way he had handled her Aai. He had sorted her Aai out without actually saying anything untrue. She on the other hand was a bundle of nerves.
Sinking down on to his haunches he looked into her pale face. “Kalpi everything will be all right I promise you.” Taking her hands in his he caressed them with the pads of his thumbs and brought them to his lips to bestow a gentle kiss.
“But Aai she will suspect.” Still shaking Kalpi stared at him with a worried frown.
“No she wont and anyway we are not doing anything terrible. Now come on I am famished, and I don’t want to waste one second of MY precious time with you worrying about your Aai, especially when I had to make a whole plan to get you alone.”
He pulled her out of the chair and tugged her with him, grabbing the swipe card and his phone he ushered her out of the little Villa. Smiling into his eyes she fell into step with him shyly reaching for his hand.
He raised his brow at her and smiled a ravishing smile, squeezing her hand tight in his. Eventually they found their way back to the main reception.
“We are looking for a restaurant, what do you recommend.”
“What kind of cuisine would you like tonight sir, we have Chinese, Continental, Thai, French and Indian.”
“Which one would we like?” he asked Kalpi looking down at her fondly. Then realised probably she would like only Indian, after they were married he would take her around the world and introduce her to various cuisines, he was sure she would like them all once she experienced them.
She shook her head and shrugged, not want to specify in case he didn’t want Indian.
“We would like Indian.” he stated firmly as he watched her fiddle with her dupptta.
“Please follow that corridor and at the end of it you will come to our award winning restaurant ‘Tigers Haunt.”
Following the woman’s instructions they ventured down the corridor to a fabulous exotic looking place. Kalpi’s jaw dropped open as she saw the gold leaf decorations and grand Moghul style setting. The place was quite busy but the Maitre d was very accommodating and able to find them a table.
Kalpi looked around in awe, she had been to restaurants before but never one this grand. Everyone was looking well turned out. Looked very high society. Her eye was caught by some women who were openly staring at her and making faces. She couldn’t hear quite what they were saying but from their expressions she could tell that they were talking about her and her clothes, in-fact they were all but pointing fingers at her.
Self consciously she looked down at herself, her white salwar khameez which she had thought was one of her best did look quite down market compared to their designer sari’s and outfits that would be equivalent to many months pay for her.
She turned back to see Raghav was frowning at her.
“Whats the matter with you? I am asking you what you would like to start with.”
With an embarrassed glance at the awaiting waiter Kalpi said, “please can you order for me.”
He frowned at that but gave the order to the waiter, reeling off quite a few dishes from the list.
“Raghav that’s a lot of food! Are we going to manage that.”
“Kalpi I am famished and I am not sure out of all this what you will like so I have ordered what I think you may like.” He stared at her, why was she so fidgety and distracted. Why was she fidgeting with her clothes so much and trying to blend herself into the chair to make herself invisible?
Then he saw the women a few tables away who were blatantly pointing and making faces at Kalpi. His blood boiled. So that was it , she was conscious of the clothes because they were making her feel she was somehow lacking. She looked more than fine to him. He vowed to do something about it.
Thankfully at that moment their food arrived. “Kalpi eat, don’t let anyone bother you. You are the most beautiful woman in this restaurant by far.”
Her eyes widened. How did he know she was feeling bad?
“I have eyes too you know.”
What could she say…again the differences between them were glaring. Pakhi would be suited to these surroundings, she was sure she would have the right wardrobe for this place.
“Don’t even think about Pakhi being here with me, I want YOU Kalpi!” And if those women are troubling you…” he made to get up.
Her hand shot out to restrain him.
“No I am fine, lets just eat. I am starving.” She spooned some food on to her plate and sampled.
“Ummmm! This is good!”
“Truly?” He was sceptical about her enthusiastic response knowing she was trying to distract him from giving those women a piece of his mind.
“No really? Its wonderful, Raghav please sit down and lets eat.”
He slid back into his chair and spooned more of the various dishes on to her plate. Sampling some of what she had been eating from her used spoon.
“Hmm…really sweet.” His eyes were liquid pools of want.
“Raghav!”Blushing furiously she smiled shyly, glancing away unable to look him in the face.
He signalled the waiter, “bring some chilli’s, this wont be hot enough for madam.”
Startled she looked up at him. How did he guess that. “Kalpi you cant lie to me. I know you now.”
She watched him as they ate, his eyes hardly left her at all. By the time they had finished she felt warm and loved all over. Brushing his lips with a napkin, he asked her if she wanted desert.
“No I am so full I am going burst!”
Effortlessly sliding out of his chair he took her by the hand leading her towards the women.
“Raghav!” She hissed, “the door is the other way!”
He squeezed her hand tighter, and pulled her along with him.
He heard one of the women say…”look look they are coming this way, shameless girl, she must trapped that good looking handsome man by…!” Her innuendo was clear.
Kalpis face burned.
Raghav walked straight up to them, looking around at them he said “ ..oh I see you are wearing Satyapaul….so last year………”.then he gave them all a ravishing smile as the women all gasped in outrage.
“Come along darling…” he ushered Kalpi out firmly.
“Raghav that was so…” she couldn’t find words, She wasn’t sure if she should be happy that he had stood up for her or be annoyed that he had been mean to them.
“Kalpi they were being so low class, no manners at all. People like that need to be taught a lesson.” He dismissed them away. They walked out into the sultry evening, Moti the butler came up to them, “Sir Madam..please come this way if you wish …there is a special place where you can watch the setting Sun?”
“Forget them..lets go and watch the Sun set.” She fell into step besides him, her mind filled with more nagging thoughts on the tremendous divide between them. He had even knowledge of the designer that they had been wearing where as she didn’t have a clue about that sort of thing, designers like that didn’t quite sell their wares in the local market where she shopped.
He could almost hear the cogs in her brain whirring. She was upset he knew, and he knew exactly how to sort it out.
Surprisingly Moti led them to their own bungalow, leading them up some side stairs to a terrace with some comfortable lounge chairs and a table, from there they could already see the Sun was rapidly plunging into a deep valley between the mountains. A red golden glow filled the air.
Distracting her he pulled her down on to his lap as she was about to sit down.
“Koi dekh lega!” Flustered she made to pull away.
“Na…this is our special terrace…and there are only two chairs, no one will come here. I want to watch the sunset with you in my arms.” His eyes filled with love and mischief and as a waiter appeared, he held her tight so she couldn’t jump up and run.
“I’ll have a brandy….” then as he saw her pull a face “…Ok make that a coffee, and for madam?”
Kalpi nodded a no…!”for madam chai.”
As soon as the waiter left Kalpi tried to pull away. But he held her fast.
“Bas just sit and watch the sunset with me…look..” he made her turn to look at a flock of birds that flew right across the sunset. The scene was so beautiful Kalpi forgot about trying to escape from his arms, mesmerised she watched the sunset not even noticing when the waiter reappeared and placed their coffee and tea on a table in front of them. She sank into his hard warmth and they sat in silence watching the incredible view. Finally as the last deep red rays of the Sun sank into the darkness he sighed and feathered his lips against her hair. She wasn’t sure how long they sat in complete silence and yet totally in tune with each other. Kalpi didn’t want to move an inch, it was sheer bliss just sitting with him like this. She heard the steady beat of his heart as she lay her head against his chest, her body tuned itself to the rhythm of his breathing. Her eyes fluttered closed after a long and busy day.
He sat there for hours just enjoying her innocent sleep. Finally as a chill started to set in he gathered her up and carried her down to the bedroom, laying her down ever so gently so as not to wake her, he pulled the blankets over her.
He was far from sleepy. Sleeping like this she looked temptation itself, but he had promised her and he also had a few things to arrange. With a sigh he brushed his lips across hers stealing a kiss that no doubt she would have had many qualms giving. She stirred and smiled, with a growl that spoke volumes about his state, he left the room softly closing the door behind him.