I confess I become dizzy with arousal (an emotional and innocent kind of arousal, so to say) whenever Susie calls out in her husky coconut milk flavoured Mallu accent, and today her pitch had that unique seductive chirp to it that augured a sense of general happiness and robust well being. This girl is something, I tell you. And she was smelling quite strongly of coconuts too.
“Yes Soosie” I extracted myself from my reverie and looked up. Whoa! Susie was standing at the door of my chamber wearing a pair of tight blue jeans and a bright red tee shirt that proudly proclaimed ‘Oops!’ in striking white letters across her voluminous, well, you know, frame. My God! She looked stunning!
I doubted if she had indeed chosen the tee shirt for herself. It was quite possible that either Sebastian or Verma had gifted it to her. Sebastian was the shy lab techie with a bushy moustache who watched only aesthetic Mallu movies on his computer when no one was around. Verma, the sly office clerk, preferred western atheletic workouts. Both, I knew, had designs on Susie, and I had on earlier occasions apprehended both of them red handed for trying to slip uncouth love letters into Susie’s purse. Verma had even the gall to write ‘Sozy I will dye far you’ in red ink which he tried to pass off as blood! But you cannot really hoodwink me so easily, you see. I made Verma confess that it was indeed red ink, and as punishment bade him to pay for a round of kachoris and coke that was relished by the whole department, including Phadnis, Dimpy and even the Hospital Director’s peon. But presently, the smell of coconut oil was so overpowering that I couldn’t really take my eyes off Susie’s tee shirt.
“Saar…what are you looking saar?”
My gaze was fixed on the ‘Oops’. Why ‘Oops’? What had spilled over? And it must be Sebastian. Now I remembered. He was untraceable for a couple of hours the day before. The scoundrel must have slipped away to buy this for Susie.
“Saar….o saar! What are you looking saar?”
“No no….I mean….no…er….not coconut, I wasn’t looking at coconuts….I said you are looking wonderful!” Though I was thoroughly shaken, I barely managed to recover my composure. That was a bad slip of tongue.
“Oh..thank you saar.” Susie smiled coyly.
“Not wearing white today?” I cleared my throat.
“Today is my bird-day saar. I thought I will come to hospital without wearing my dress.”
There was a loud clatter as I choked and dropped my coffee cup, making a mess of things. A lizard, which was lustily eyeing Susie from the roof, quickly disappeared behind the tubelight in deep fright. In trying to move back, I knocked over the examination lamp, kicked a jar of spirit and broke a couple of glass slides on the side table. The spirit jar toppled over, spilling over a litre of the precious thing on the floor. What a waste. Though it was spiked, it was alcohol nevertheless.
“Without wearing your uniform you mean…” I barely croaked. I noticed that my voice, among other things (my back, for example) had gone stiff.
“Yes saar…” Susie squeaked. Her face was rapidly turning purple (a heady mixture of dusky and crimson, you see).
“Happy Birthday Su….”
But Susie wasn’t there at the door. She had already disappeared into the adjoining room.