She walks with the clangor of jingling jhumkas and anklets into the room of dimly lit, red and yellow lights. The fragrance of rose and citrus whiff through the air. Her face reflects into every mirror; small and big with which the room is heavily decorated. Her eyes heavy with kajal, bindhi slightly smudged, lips overboard with red lipstick and cheeks flushed with blush. It is a 5×9 square room, furnished with a huge bed and there sits a short man with a hunched back.

She walks towards him with the pallu of her Sari drifting sideways. He stands up suddenly and turns towards her and gazes in a wack. His eyes moving up and down, examining every part from her bright face to her long hair which was braided with fresh and dried jasmines. He opens his mouth, uncertain of what he would phrase it with and blubbers “Ghazal?

The sound of that name fills him with guilt and malice. He knows it isn’t her, how could she be? He was drunk but not insane, he thought to himself. Shaking his head he moves towards her grabbing her waist roughly. His shaggy hands tickling her smooth skin. Coys and smiles in the air. She pushes him gently on to the bed and throws herself over him. They exchanged kisses, too soft for his liking.

He moves his hand to unbutton his shirt as he slowly looks into her eyes. Bits of scenes flashes into his head. A woman staring endlessly in air. Her lips dry. Her face pale, arms motionless and her eyes, dead. “It can’t be,” he pants, wiping his sweat. But NO. He knew it. He knew those eyes, he knew those lips. Before he could process his thoughts she nabs a knife out of her pallu and places it softly beside him. He groans and tries to move away from the bed. But she places her arms, gently on his chest with a smile and pushes him back. Grabbing the hand of the knife, she slowly slits his throat. Gently, very gently. Just the way he had.

He doesn’t move, but his lips part to say “Ghazal…..,” one last time.

With a high pitched laughter and tears trickling down her blushed cheek, she shouts “Ghazal! Ghazal who? The one you stabbed mercilessly? She doesn’t live anymore, or does she?”

Glancing at him for one last time, Ghazal fades away into thin air leaving behind just the scent of jasmines, roses, citrus and the thirst of her revenge.



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