Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Handsome Prince - Short Story, India

My Handsome Prince - Short Story, India

"Demeitri reminds me so much of a handsome prince I almost knew once,’’ said Tanvi one evening. Demeitri was her salsa partner. "What do you mean,’’ quipped Roxanne. "Although I never caught the prince’s features up close, from a great distance, these two look alike,’’ Tanvi replied. "Never mind all that. Who is this prince you speak of? I mean, did you really know a prince,’’ Roxanne shot back.

"At least, I thought he was one. He looked quite regal, you know,’’ her friend noted. "Tell me about him,’’ prodded Roxanne. She and Tanvi had been friends for about a year now. "You know that we used to live in Delhi before we shifted to Pune,’’ began Tanvi. "In the Jama Masjid area in old Delhi, houses are quite close to each other, so much so that terraces are adjacent to one another, and we could jump from one terrace on to another. We would often be on our terraces in the evening, playing hide and seek or flying kites or simply playing out characters from a drama,’’ she elaborated.  "I also studied on the terrace. We would normally play from 5 to 6 p.m. after which we would have our bath and begin studying. My brother would study downstairs. He was very loud when he memorized his chapters. So, I would invariably be on the terrace until about 7.30 p.m. One evening, as I began walking up and down our huge terrace with my Hindi book, I noticed a wonderful sight, far away from me, on yet another terrace,’’ Tanvi said.

"A tall, strong boy had suddenly come into view. He took uncertain steps to the centre of his terrace and then vanished from sight as I turned during my walk and had my back to him. When I faced that terrace again, I saw him exercising. He was lifting huge wooden clubs which weight-lifters and body-builders or wrestlers in India use, and was swaying them about in a rhythmic motion. I was transfixed. I had seen no one do this before, and particularly not after sunset. In the fainting light of the evening, he looked very impressive,’’ Tanvi recalled.

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