“Arre! Namaste Sharmaji. Aieye, aieye….,” exclaimed Anwar Bhai, as soon as he saw Sharmaji step into his shop. His shop, ‘Shahi Sherwanis’ was the best sherwani shop in all of Jaunpur.
“Namaste Anwar Bhai. Is Ajju’s sherwani ready?”
Ajay Sharma aka Ajju, the soon to be groom, quietly followed his father into the shop. While Anwar Bhai discussed things with Sharmaji, his trusted help Salim took Ajju to the counter.
“Bhaiyaji, this packet has your sherwani. It’s polished and pressed,” he said as he placed a big cardboard box on the counter. It was all ribboned-up with red satin. “And these boxes have your pagdi and jutees.” He added placing two more boxes on the counter.
“Wah! Everything is packed so nicely,” remarked Ajju, smiling. There was excitement in his eyes at the prospect of the impending nuptials.
“Yes bhaiyaji! We pride ourselves for complete service,” smiled and winked Salim. “We like to take care of all the needs of a groom in one place only. Full service guaranteed.” He nodded happily at having completed another order successfully. “Now remember, take out the sherwani only a day before the wedding and hang it to air. Of course, you can open the lid and admire it, anytime.”
The rest of the day passed in a blur. Back home, he placed the boxes on his study table. His bachelor pad had undergone a huge transformation under the hawkish eyes of his mother. Finally, she had had her way with the room. After all, her daughter-in-law was coming and she could not stay in a barren room. It was a good thing too because only fifteen days were left for the wedding.
So, gone was the steel-almirah and in its stead stood two wooden wall-to-wall wardrobes with a full-length mirror on the two adjoining doors. There was a new wooden bed with a decorative headboard. Mrs. Sharma had even cozied up a corner with a single two-seater love seat and a coffee table. The only thing Ajju had fought tooth and nail for, was his old study table. Eventually, Mrs. Sharma had relented.
Now a days, Ajju had only one thing on his mind. His virginity. He could not admit it to his friends, God forbid! I’ll never hear the end of it. All of them boasted of having lost it during their college days. He was pretty sure some of them hadn’t but proof was difficult to obtain.
So, fourteen days before his wedding, whence Ajju woke up from his sleep, he saw his sherwani box on top of his study table. He smiled and decided to take a peek at it, before he left for office. He was a Manager at Canara Bank, Mitrapuri branch, a real catch by Jaunpur standards.
Once ready, he walked up to the box and slowly, almost reverently untied the ribbon. He lifted the lid and carefully peeled away the layers of tissue paper that protected the sherwani. And there, right on top of the sherwani was an old fifty rupee note. Brows furrowed, he picked it up. What is this doing here? Is it Salim’s? Must have fallen in when he did up the package. He turned it over. There was a ten-digit number, handwritten, at the back. And below it, written in a beautiful cursive hand were two words ‘Call Me’.
What the…! He turned over the note a couple of times. How did this get in here? And whose number is this? Is this another ‘service guaranteed’ gimmick? Hmm…interesting.
“Ajju beta! What are you doing? You will be late,” bellowed Mrs. Sharma.
Ajju hastily put the note in his pants pocket and closed the lid to the box. He descended the stairs two at a time, waved a hasty bye to his mother and left for work. The day was busy and he had tons of things to finish before he took a two-week leave for his wedding. The note popped up in his thoughts a couple of times, but he could do nothing about it during the day. He caught a break towards the evening and took out the note and put it on top of his desk.
Should I? He pondered. Then shrugging he dialed the number from his office landline. It was picked up after four rings.
“Helllooooooo….,” came a breathy reply from the other end.
Ajju slammed the receiver down. He started aghast at the phone.
Oh My God! What is this? What kind of service is this?
Ajju’s heart raced. Gosh the voice was sexy. Embarrassed, he laughed at his own stupidity. He had heard a single breathy word and thought the voice was sexy. Then he sat up straight in his chair when he realized it could easily be a voice that had a bad cold. Yes! That must be it. Shaking his head in disgust, he shoved the note in the top drawer of his desk, locked it and left for the day.
The next day…
Ajju found the courage to dial the number at the end of the day.
“Helllooo!” said the same seductive voice, “No, no, no….. don’t hang up.”
“Huh? I…I, what’s this number?”
“What do you think?” A laugh tinkled down the line.
“Who are you? What’s your name?”
“Oh!” The seductress signed sensually. “Who do you want me to be?” Her voice sent a shiver down Ajju’s body.
“I will hang up if you don’t tell me your name.”
“Oho, don’t be such a spoilsport!” she gently admonished. Ajju could imagine her pout. “Fine. I’ll tell you. I am Menaka. And, you?”
“I am Vishwamitra.”
She laughed. Her throaty rumble vibrated down the line, going straight to Ajju’s nether region.
“My, my, my…,” she purred, “I do love me a smart man.”
Ajju blushed in the warmth that stole over him at the compliment.
“But I have a small condition,” she continued. “Before we proceed you have to Paytm me three hundred rupees. Then I am all yours, for half an hour.”
And just like that the nether region deflated, losing its libido to indignation.
“What? You want money?”
“Honey! Don’t be upset. It’s a trivial little thing. Once it is out of the way you can be the big boy, as big as you want and I’ll help you,” came the sultry reply.
“I need to think about it.”
“I’ll be waiting.”
Dang it! He could almost feel an angry glare from his southern dangling part telling him – ‘I too am waiting’.
Back home, Ajju slept restlessly that night.
12 days till wedding…
Ajju applied for a new pre-paid number. The only app on it was Paytm. That evening…
“I will Paytm now.”
He transferred the money to her mobile number.
“Aah! Then I am all yours honey,” she giggled as the phone went kachang indicating the deposition of money. “So, tell me what do you want to talk about?”
“Yes, I know. Where are you, office or home? You may want to be some place private when we do this,” she drawled and each word lingered on his skin like a caress.
Hastily, Ajju packed up for the day. Once back home, he dialed her again.
“Now that you are home, settle down on the bed,” whispered Menaka. “Just relax. Lie down. What are you wearing?”
“Shirt and pants.”
“Hmmmm….gosh! I love a well-dressed guy. You know why?”
“He’s fun to undress.”
Ajju sucked in a breath, rather audibly. She laughed her throaty rumble.
“Now, let’s start with your shirt. Let’s open that top button.”
Whether the button opened or not, she definitely heard Ajju’s breathing alter. She was a pro.
“Now, gently…all the way to the last button. Are you done?”
“Y…,” Ajju cleared his throat and tried again, “Yesss.”
“Good, now dispose of the shirt. Close your eyes, feel my soft hands caressing your chest. I am touching you from the neck to the chest and all the way down. Feel my hand as I stop, just at the waistband.”
Ajju sank into pleasure.
11 days till…
Ajju could hear heavy breathing. Oh! Its mine.
“Feel my fingers curl your chest hair. Do you have chest hair? I’m sure you do, a manly man like you.”
“Yesss, yes, I do…,” Ajju struggled to reply coherently.
“Do you like my hands on you?”
“I love your touch, Maneka.”
“Good, I like touching you too.” Ajju’s blood rushed in one direction at the praise. He took a shuddering breath at the affect. “Are you a sportsman? You have such broad shoulders. Hmmm…”
Ajju did not bother to refute her theory. She can’t see me anyways. Let her think that. I’ll just enjoy…
“Take off your belt. Unbuckle yourself.” The nights were getting steamier.
It seemed as if her words reached out to unbuckle him. Ajju nearly dropped the phone in all the excitement. Finally, he had reached this stage. It had taken a few days, but he was ready to take the plunge, so to speak.
“Now put it aside and look at the button of your pant. By the way is there some excitement brewing?”
“Yesss,” panted Ajju.
“Good. Now unbutton the pant and slowly bring down the zipper.”
Oh Lord! Yes, yes, finally. His soldier was stirring to attention and he wanted to get on with the action. The battle waited. It had to be won.
The sound of the zipper could be heard over the phone. Menaka chuckled. I am too good.
“Now, let’s make sure your machinery works. Put your hands inside the pants.”
OH MY GOD!!!!!! THIS FELT…. THIS FELT…….
“Ajju beta,” his mother bellowed from the base of the stairs. Then he heard her climb them.
Shit, shit, shit. This cannot be happening.
“I have to go,” he blurted out.
“Wha….” But even before she could complete the word, the call was disconnected.
The only place safe to sit in this condition was the study table. He fervently hoped his solider would settle down and quit displaying its displeasure. He pulled the chair right up to the table and opened the first file that he could lay hands on.
“Ajju beta,” his mom repeated as she opened the door and entered the room. “What is this new thing you have started these days?”
Aghast that his mother had discovered his little secret, Ajju stared.
“Now a days, you come from the office and go straight to your room,” she admonished as she sat on the bed.
Ajju turned towards her slowly, “Na Amma, just finishing work. Don’t want bank people to call on wedding day to ask for things,” he forced a smile.
“Yes, of course. I was thinking…”
“What?” he asked nervously.
“You are talking to Sujata every day,” she said. “I know we are a little old fashioned, but it’s just a matter of eight days. Then she will be here and you can talk to her as much as you want.
“It’s ok Amma. Sujata and I understand that.”
“Good,” mother said and smiled. “She is a good girl. I know it’s been barely a month since the marriage was fixed. But it is best this way.”
His mother looked around the room and said with pride, “Aren’t you happy that I started the renovation three months ago anticipating such a thing. The room looks so nice now.”
Ajju merely nodded, desperate to have her leave.
“Come down for dinner in ten minutes.”
“So, you don’t speak to your would-be wife?”
“She will be here soon, I’ll speak then. Till then I need to prepare,” he said with a rueful smile.
“Then let’s make sure, you are ready to take her.” She clucked, “Vishwamitraji, stop caressing the zipper. It’s time to go deeper.”
Ajju smiled, a little embarrassed. It’s only for Sujata’s sake. He really did not want to fumble with her on their wedding night. I don’t want her to know that I’m a novice, that I know nothing.
“Now let the hand dip inside and caress what it has been wanting to caress,” her sultry voice blocked everything else. The words and hand worked in unison. Finally, the mission was achieved and shudders racked his body. He could barely speak. The feeling of gratification was so intense. Oh God! This is heaven.
“Now remember she needs to know this kind of pleasure before you. Give her this and she will let you get away with almost anything,” said the sexy voice over the phone before it disconnected.
First night after the wedding…
An excited Ajju approached his bride. Although he gazed at her soulfully there was only one thing on his mind and on his…well, there too. Ten minutes later the bride shyly said, “Don’t you think we should know each other better before we proceed any further?”
A resigned Ajju walked out to the balcony and dialed his now favorite number. It was switched off. Shit! Not today. With only a chaste kiss to tide him over, he fell into a restless sleep. Unfortunately, things didn’t look up for the next few days, literally or figuratively. The only thing that went up was Ajju’s frustration. Damn it! Why is she not picking up the phone?
Fifth night after wedding…
Something miraculous happened. At his wife’s behest, he opened her suitcase to take out a sari.
“You choose. Red or orange?” she said before walking into the bathroom to remove her make-up.
Ajju picked up both the saris and lifted them out of the suitcase. He turned them over in indecision. Hmm…which one? Red or orange? A glint caught his eye. He pulled it out. It was a money clip. Ordinary enough, except it held fifty-rupee notes. What the…? His heart skipped a beat. He turned over the clip. And there in that familiar cursive handwriting was written the number he knew so well with the message ‘Call Me’.
Comprehension dawned as Sujata emerged from the bathroom.
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