Susie had been hovering around me for the past few minutes doing all sorts of unnecessary things. Surely she had something in her mind. She had dusted the books on the table five times and washed the same tea cups thrice in the last ten minutes. When she looked like approaching the wash basin again, I could take it no longer.
“Yes Soosie? Is there something that you wished to ask me?”
“Any doubt….come out!” I quipped, trying hard to avert my gaze as Susie stood on her toes and stretched herself in the most seductive manner to replace the cups on the topmost shelf of the cupboard. It was 2.30 in the afternoon and we were nearly through with the day’s OPD.
“Saar…I mean…can I yask something?”
“Hmm…hmm. Yes. Go ahead….”
“Saar, are you going to see a fillum today?”
“Who told you so?” I sat up bolt upright.
“No saar. I overheard you and Phadnis saar…..” Susie flashed her 32. (Thirty two teeth, I mean. Moreover, that isn’t 32, that’s probably 34 or 36. Whatever.)
“Uh…yes, Faddu and I are going to see Kambakkht Ishq today. So?” I deliberately hid the fact from her that we had roped in Dimpy Minochha as well, and that the tickets had already been booked on phone. Faddu and I had planned to make the most of the afternoon by having Dimpy Minochha sit between the two of us in the cinema hall. We were banking on the assumption that Dimpy would fall asleep sometime in the second half and eventually roll over to one side, resting her head on one of the two gallant shoulders. I knew Faddu badly wanted to win, though I too was not exactly averse to the idea of shouldering Miss Dimpy’s little siesta.
“Saar…” My reverie was broken as Susie dropped all pretense and came straight to the point, “can I also go saar? I promise I will sit quietly next to Dimple docsaab. “
WHAT? She knew about Dimpy too?! I suddenly felt like a fly which had fallen into a bowl of sweet corn soup. Plenty of sweet and corn, but still a soup nevertheless. I brushed aside an unpleasant image of Dimpy’s head resting on Susie’s shoulders and Faddu’s oily head dumped on mine. Susie was eyeing me expectantly with the gaze of a benevolent cow (there, in the pic) that had just been shown a sackful of delicious fodder. There was no choice but to relent.
“Hrrrmph!” I grunted, and reached for the phone. ”Let me see if we still have any tickets left!”
Nothing much happened between then and 3.30 pm when the four of us reached Fun Cinema for the afternoon screening of Kambakkht Ishq. Faddu had grumbled quite a lot on hearing about Susie’s inclusion in the party. Dimpy seemed exceedingly pleased. I struck her name off the samosa list for her misdemeanour.
And Susie exclaimed once, “Saar…I am watching the maternity show after a really long time…” Poor confused girl. Didn’t know the difference between matinee and maternity.
To be continued.