Not(e)ty Thoughts

“Raghav beta, come. Dinner is ready. We are waiting.”

“Ya, ya coming Ma. In a minute.”

As the last throes of passion ebbed, Raghav gazed lustily at the model. She was clad in next to nothing and adorned the centerfold of Playboy magazine. He picked up the paper napkin to wipe both his hands and his spilled, err….spilled…well, ‘that’ (you know what!). Deed done, he pulled and zipped up his jeans.

Shoving the magazine into his college backpack, he straightened his T-shirt and ran a hand through his now unkempt hair. That done, he cast a last look at his room and table to confirm that all was in order. Satisfied, he opened the room door and stepped out.

His parents were waiting for him. As he pulled his chair out, his Dad gave him the once over. His Mom passed the dishes around and he was delighted to see all his favorites laid out – Dal Tadka*, Jeera Rice*, Alu Matar*, Rotis* and Raita*! Oh wow! It sure was a feast. Looking at his Mom, he smiled. His own happiness was reflected in her face too. Oh, how she loved him! She loved cooking for him, her darling boy.

“Raghav, aren’t your exam results out this month?”

Raghav gulped.  “Yes, Papa. They haven’t been declared yet,” he lied. He hated to tell his dad that he had flunked in two subjects.

“So, when are they?” his Dad persisted.

“Should be out next week, I think. I will let you know as soon as I get the papers,” he replied, eager to close the subject.

“Hmm. And tomorrow, I want you to come and help me in the shop in the evening. Bablu is taking leave.”

“No Papa, not again!” Raghav grumbled. “I have assignments to complete. Can’t you manage by yourself?”

“No. I can’t manage by myself. And listen, cut the grumbling. I know how much you stud….” his Dad rebuked, sounding irritated.

“Ji, Raghav is right. The poor child goes to college and then doesn’t get much time for studies anyways. You please manage by yourself. As it is, you will be alone for most of the day in the shop. What difference will a few more hours make?” his Mom jumped right in, as usual running to his defense.

His Dad understood that this wasn’t the right time to continue the discussion and let it go.

Poor Mom! How gullible she is, Raghav thought, hiding a smirk. According to her, he was the most dedicated and obedient child in the world, always buried in his books. If only she knew the truth!

Raghav was a typical teenager who had joined FYJC Commerce this year. Fortunately, he had been able to secure admission in an elite college of his choice, all thanks to his Dad’s contacts. What Dad had not bargained on was Raghav’s newfound interest in girls in the bargain.

A produce of a Boys Convent School, girls had remained a distant dream. Until Now!

But, now that he had access, he was tongue tied around them. His convent education had not pitted him against girls at all. He neither had friends of the opposite sex nor a sister. No sister meant that none of her friends too ever frequented his house. So basically, Raghav was a virgin in every sense of the word. He never learned how to be himself around girls or converse with them. It was all alien territory for him. Once in college, a few girls had tried striking a conversation but feeling nervous, he shied away.

All my friends have girlfriends. God, please give me the courage to at least speak to girls. How will I ever get a girlfriend if I cannot even speak to them? Be reasonable.

His friends bragged about how they had lost their virginity or how far they had gone to second and third base with the girls. Poor Raghav was lost! He did not even have the courage to fib since he knew nothing.

And it was only recently that he had discovered ‘Playboy’.

One day, on his way back from college, his eyes had fallen on a small raddikidukaan*. But what drew his attention was the stack of magazines that lay half buried in the corner, concealed under a stack of old and moldy newspapers.

Playboys! Oh, yeah…

Raghav was ecstatic. He had heard so much about Playboy Magazines and their X-rated content from his friends. And here was the opportunity to lay his hands on some issues! His interest was piqued and mustering up his courage, he struck a bargain with the vendor for 3 copies.

He walked on air all the way home that evening. As soon as dinner was done, he excused himself on the pretext of an assignment that needed to be submitted the next day. Locking the door to his room, he pulled out the magazines. Holding them close to his chest, he imagined himself with the model in the centerfold. Her ample bosom was barely confined in patches of clothing. Her supple curves looked sun kissed and golden, as if inviting someone to touch. Her lips, full and luscious, beckoned with their ripeness. She gazed at him with a come-hither look. Raghav was enraptured.

He felt uncontrollable stirrings of passion in his groin. Unable to control his ardor, his first tryst ended in soggy briefs. Oh shit! I’ll be more careful next time.

Taking learning from it, he ensured that henceforth he was safely ensconced in the bathroom with Playboy in hand when he indulged in his err…extracurricular passions.

***********

Next day…

Raghav left the college campus; eager for a tryst with Rosa (he had christened the model in Playboy). He kicked a stray stone on the road. It landed on a Twenty Rupee note lying by the side of the road. Oh wow! Free money. It’s my lucky day.

He picked up the note to check if it was real. Gandhiji smiled back sagely at him. He turned it to the other side and there he saw it written in small print, “980xxx1212. Call me.”

How weird. It looks like someone has left a message. But, why would someone write on a note? That’s odd.

He glanced about to check if anyone was looking. Seeing no one, he pocketed it and went on his way.

Back home, he changed out of his jeans and emptied the pockets (yeah, mom threw a fit otherwise!). The note appeared in his hand. He looked at the number again. A regular number, except the ‘call me’ written next to it. Intriguing!

Why would somebody write that? And why was the note lying unclaimed on the ground?

His mind in overdrive did not let him rest. Hmm…let me dial the number and see. He dialed the number.

‘You have reached 980xxx1212. To continue, press 1.’

As he pressed 1, the voice continued, ‘To speak to Dana, press 1. To speak to Julie, press 2. To speak to Monica, press 3. To speak to Rosa, press 4…’

Wow, who are these girls? Oh my God! Could this be a sex line number? Man! What luck! I’ve hit the jackpot.

The realization titillated him, stirring up another bout of hard feelings in his groin. Without wasting a moment, he replayed the message and paid attention to the exciting world that had just opened its golden doors to him.

Dana, Julie, Monica, Rosa, etc. Rosa! He thought about the model in Playboy. His fantasy girl! And he would be able to speak to her. Excited, he punched 4 on his mobile.

“Helloooo! I’ve been waiting for you,” a throaty female voice crooned into the phone.

“Umm…is this Rosa?”

“Yes, darling. This is Rosa. Who else? And you are?” she asked.

“I’m uh…. I’m Gaurav. Yes, my name is Gaurav,” he lied. Shit! I almost told her my real name.

“Gaurav. Ooh, such a sexy name. So, tell me Gaurav, what you reallllyyyy want,” she purred. “What can I help you with today?”

The cat got Raghav’s tongue. Her voice was like a velvety bedspread. He felt himself sinking into its comfy embrace. A flush worked its way up his body. Feeling hot, he loosened a few buttons of his shirt.

Raghav, say something, you asshole! Do you want to appear like a nit-wit? She is asking you what you would like. Tell her. Man up!

“Hellooooo, are you there Gaurav?” she giggled, “I’m waiting to serve you.”

Raghav felt heat rise up in his body. His groin throbbed painfully, demanding release. Goddamn it Raghav. Get a grip. This is Rosa, my Rosa. My dream girl, the one I keep jerking off to, in the bathroom. She is asking me what I would like. Aah! There is so much I would like to do to her.

Conflicted by his thoughts and trying desperately to keep his shy self at bay, he involuntarily yelled, “Shut-up.”

“What?” she asked, slightly miffed.

“Uhh, sorry.  No, no, not you. Sorry. It was my dog. I was shooing my dog away,” he fibbed.

The girl realized that she was dealing with a first timer here. Patience was the key with such clients. The longer they carried on with the calls, the better her package. She didn’t care whether they were satisfied or not, she needed her satisfaction which came only with a fat paycheck in hand at the end of the month.

“Gaurav c’mon, tell me what you need…I am right here. Who do you want me to be? How do you want me? Tell me. Let me be your fantasy,” she crooned again.

“I…I…Err,” thrown aback by her boldness Raghav rambled, “tell me how you look Rosa. What are you wearing?”

“Okay. Close your eyes. Now, imagine me in a lacy negligee. My hair is falling in silken waves, brushing against my bare shoulders. I am now lying down on my bed, on this velvety satin bedspread. I can imagine your soft breath on my face as you join me by my side. You are strong. Oooh my, such strong muscles you have. Gaurav, run your hands through my hair, touch my bare skin…,” she said, her voice barely a whisper.

Raghav could hardly contain himself. This is even better than the Playboy Rosa! I can actually hear her. She is real unlike the Rosa who I can only see as I…

The woman at the other end, smiled to herself. Gotcha!

She predicted his moves. He would be done in a minute or so, unable to restrain himself any longer and would hang up abruptly. And then he would be back for more in a day or two. She in the meantime, would continue on with others. An airhostess one day, a doctor the other. Some preferred Rosa, her pseudonym in a backless gown, yet others preferred the bare minimum, at times even nothing.

Oh man, if only they saw her now! She looked down at the tracks and t-shirt she was dressed in. And caught herself just in time, before she laughed out loud and destroyed the seductive atmosphere she had worked so hard to build on.

Sure enough, muffled moans echoed from the other side and an abrupt ‘Click’ indicated that the job was done. She looked at her time log. Not bad, it had still gone past eight minutes. Good start for a newcomer! The dude had some stamina and showed promise of becoming a regular.

As the weeks went by, Raghav continued to live in a dreamy haze. His friends noticed his changed mood as well, and when quizzed, he replied that he had a crush. Although, he refused to tell them more for the moment.

At home, he always excused himself on the pretext of assignments and studies, while all he thought of was what he would ask Rosa to do that night. Things were going well. Rosa introduced him to a world of pleasures that could only be described as ‘sinful’. She knew what buttons to push in him and he…well, he knew which ones to open.

He couldn’t wait for tonight. He had another idea and couldn’t wait to begin. Just the thought was enough for a delicious shiver to pass through his entire body.

***********

That Night…

“Raghav, Raghav! Open the door,” Dad yelled, banging upon the locked door.

“Just a minute, Papa,” fumbling with the phone, Raghav clicked the ‘red button’ on the phone screen in a rush.

Straightening his clothes, he hurried to open the door. Dad seems angry.

“Raghav, why did you never tell me that you had flunked in two subjects? Can you imagine how I felt when I got a call from your Principal today? He has even called me to his office tomorrow. What have you been doing, huh?”

“I….Uh, Papa…I am…,” Raghav fished for excuses in his mind.

“Ji, I will speak to him. Maybe the paper was difficult. Don’t worry…,” his mom tried again, as usual.

“Stop it Savitri,” his Dad admonished. “Stop covering up for him all the time. Do you even know what your dearest son has been doing behind your back?”

 His mother looked at him in confusion. “What? What are you saying Ji?” she finally asked.

“Hah! Your nawabzada* keeps saying that he is studying in his room. Here, take a look at his phone bill. It tells another story. I am too ashamed to tell you.”

Phone bill?  What Phone Bill? Raghav was clueless.

“Bhagwaan*! As if it wasn’t enough that he’s flunked,” his father continued, “I got a shock when I received the mobile bill today. Thank god, I opted for the Family Plan some months ago. Otherwise, this would never have come to light,” he finished, waving some papers in Raghav’s face.

Raghav snatched the papers and checked. The current due amount of ₹ 3152. 82 jumped back at him.

Bloody hell! How did this happen? Shit! I’m so stupid.

Pulling the papers back, Dad bristled, “This is all the studies you are doing? I even called the number 980***1212 to know what it was all about. Do you care to tell your mother where the number rings or should I?”

Dumbstruck, Raghav’s eyes pleaded with his father. He hung his head, chastised. He knew that he was done for. His days with Rosa on the other side were over, permanently…well, unless he found a way to pay for it out of his own pocket. But, that was a pipe dream.

Damn! Looks like it is back to Rosa on the centerfold again. Thank god, Dad doesn’t know about the Playboys!

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Glossary:

  • Dal Tadka, Jeera Rice, Alu Matar, Rotis, Raita – Indian Food Delicacies

  • Raddikidukkan – A shop that buys/sells old newspapers and books

  • Nawabzada –  ‘Born to a Prince’ in Hindi

  • Bhagwaan – Oh God! In Hindi

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Sheetal Ashpalia

With a teenage son and a full time job, writing is what Sheetal enjoys in her spare time apart from singing and reading. She firmly believes that “Something beautiful is about to happen”.

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