To read Part 5…Click HERE
As they lay in each other’s arms, they realized how complete their world was with each other. Akhshey had been very loving and gentle with her the entire afternoon and seemed to follow her desires instinctively. She felt that as if she had known him forever. He too discovered that the intimacy level between them was very high but was not surprised.
“I will have to go soon to pick up Sanjana”, she said glancing at the wall clock.
He looked at her.
“I don’t have the heart to be away from you even for a second”. He replied, pulling her nearer.
She closed her eyes and lay quiet for some time, absent-mindedly caressing the hair on his chest with her hand.
“I am amazed at the magic that has come back into my life after knowing you”, he said as he kissed her on her forehead and her eyes.
“And if we can be surprised and amazed….I feel blessed. You are very sweet”, she replied kissing him back.
After a brief moment, gathering her thoughts she looked up and said, “You have to catch the early morning flight so why don’t you come and stay at my place. It would be much easier that way .I could drop you to the airport and we would be able to spend some more time together. Sanjana would have some company too in the evening for a change”.
He thought over this for a moment.
“Not a bad idea”, finally he said. “How much time do we have? It would take at least 30 minutes to clear the dues and pack up.
“I think we have that much time”. She said, kissing him fleetingly on the cheek.
He picked up the phone, asked the reception to send his bill, and thereafter went about putting his things together for packing. She used the time to take a quick shower and freshen up.
The school was not very far and they were there well in time. She kept the air conditioner on as they waited in the car, listening to old classical numbers on the FM radio. All the time he did not leave her hand even for a moment.
“Do you sing?” he suddenly asked.
“Never!” she laughed at the suggestion. “Do you?”
“No, I don’t”. He replied. Then added, “but today with you I want to. I wish I could”.
“I can understand the feeling. It is the same here”.
He looked at her. “You have the most beautiful smile in the world. I wish I could kiss you all the time”.
“Don’t you dare!” she retorted lovingly. “This is scarcely the place. Far too many people know me as I come to pick her up regularly. Calcutta is still a small town in many ways”.
The children had started walking out of the gate and Dipa started looking around for her daughter. She had parked the car in the usual place but still it would be much better if she could spot Sanjana first and get her soon else she might come late after spending some more time talking with her friends.
Surprisingly, Akhshey spotted her first and pointed out to Dipa.
Sanjana was pleasantly surprised to see Akhshey who had got out of the car to welcome her with a big hug.
“Here is a surprise for you, my Princess”. He said and pulled out a small gift pack from his pocket.
“This is a surprise for me too”. Dipa interrupted. “You never told me that you had a gift for her. And nothing for me?” she laughed.
Akhshey, who was on his knees with Sanjana in his arm, looked up and winked at her.
“Don’t be jealous”. He started laughing.
They decided not to go home straight and instead took a detour to Dakhinshwar. She wanted to show him the famous temple built over a vast estate along the river bank. By the time they reached, it was evening and the sun was about to set. The main building of the temple looked beautiful against the backdrop the setting sun. Crowds of devotees made it look more like a festive occasion. He walked close to Dipa with Sanjana on his other side. She looked forward to an occasional touch of his arm with hers. It gave a strange electrifying feeling that she was discovering after years.
He took her by her hand, as they entered the temple. It was the most natural act on his part and she loved the feeling.
As they bent down before the deity, they both broke into a smile when the priest uttered his blessings addressing them as husband and wife.
They spent some time sitting on the bench in the garden outside as Sanjana feasted on an ice cream and Akhshey went around taking pictures with his cell phone camera. He took a few of Sanjana and Dipa too.
“I am not dressed for the photo shoot”. Dipa protested.
“How does it matter? I want to see you look as natural as you can. That is how I would like to think of you”.
“Is that all?” he teased him.
“No, that is not all”. He replied.
Then with a mischievous grin, “you wanted a surprise for yourself. You will get one soon”.
“Oh, is that so?”
He just smiled back knowing he had got her thinking.
On the way back, she rang up home and gave the maid some instructions so that things were in order when they reached.
It had not escaped his notice that she always had things well under control and had an uncanny way of thinking and planning ahead of any event. Her offer to take him home had surprised him somewhat but soon appeared to be most natural as he realized that she seemed to be a gifted planner and arrived at her decisions quickly.
Sanjana was happy in Akhshey’s company and was more open about talking to him and laughing at his jokes than it was on the previous evening. He appeared to be at ease bringing himself to her level of thinking and asking her to narrate about her school, friends and other things that interested her. Dipa used that time in fixing up a quick bowl of mushroom soup followed by dinner of cheese sandwiches, chicken salad with fish and chips.
After a long time she could sense of a family get-together as they sat down together on the dinner table with Sanjana doing most of the talking. The warmth of relationships had not escaped Akhshey’s observation either.
After dinner, they sat for a while in the living room watching television, making small talk, and generally enjoying the feeling of being together.
Soon it was time to for Sanjana to sleep Dipa rolled out the mattress for Akhshey on the carpet in living room and excused herself for the night reminding him to set the alarm to get up early in the morning in order to be in time for the flight.
Akhshey wanted her to stay for some time more but did not press too much since he knew that she had her priorities set very right and would not listen. He saw them off to the bedroom with a light hug each.
Once they had gone, he read the newspaper for some time while absent-mindedly flicking channels and finally decided to call it a day. Remembering Dipa’s parting advice, he set the alarm for 4:30 a.m.
He was asleep when Dipa came back after an hour of putting Sanjana to sleep. In the dim light of indicator lamp, she could see him stretched out on the mattress covered with a thin bed sheet and storing lightly.
In a flash, the day’s events passed through her mind as she realized how close they had become. The thought of every moment spent with him brought back a strange sense of warmth and belonging as an overpowering urge to be in his arms came back once again.
Making up her mind, she slipped by his side under the sheet without making any sound. However, he sensed her and reached out to take her into his arms as their bodies came together.
Concluding Part – Part 7… read HERE
(To be continued……..)
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