Romance : a date — à la mode
A DATE — À La Mode
Story By Vikram Karve
Pune — circa 2012
Monday Morning — 10:30 AM
A mobile cell-phone vibrates on the office table.
The cell-phone is on silent mode.
The smart young woman executive looks at the display of her cell-phone.
It is her mother-in-law calling.
At first — the young woman is confused — then a bit worried.
She wonders why her mother-in-law is calling at this hour.
So — the smart young woman picks up the mobile phone.
“Yes, Ma…” the young woman says.
“Am I speaking to Swati…?” a male voice asks.
“Who is this…?” the puzzled woman asks.
“Am I speaking to Swati…?” the man repeats the question.
“Yes. I am Swati. But this is my mother-in-law’s number…” the young woman says.
“I know. I am speaking from Shanta’s phone. Your mother-in-law’s name is Shanta, isn’t it…?” the man asks.
“Yes. My mother-in-law’s name is Shanta. Where is she…? Please give her the phone. Is something wrong…? Is she okay…?” the young woman says — getting worried.
“Don’t worry. Shanta is absolutely fine. She told me to call you up and to tell you that she will not be able to pick up your son Aditya from school this afternoon. So — you will have to pick him up. The school ends at 12:30 — so make sure you are there well in time…” the man says.
“She won’t be able to pick Aditya up…? Why…? What happened…? Where is she…?” the anxious young woman asks.
“Don’t worry. Shanta is absolutely okay. She is here with me in ESquare Multiplex. We are going to see a movie — the 11 o’clock morning show. The movie may finish by 1 o’clock — or maybe — even 1:30. That’s why she won’t be able to make it to the school by 12:30…” the man says.
“Esquare…? Movie…? What’s all this…? Who are you…? You please give the phone to my mother-in-law right now. I want to talk to her…” the young woman says angrily.
“She has gone to the ladies toilet to freshen up. Anyway — I have passed on her message to you. Bye…” the man says.
“No — wait. Who are you…?” the young woman asks — with desperation in her voice.
“I am Shanta’s boyfriend…” the man says, matter-of-factly.
“Is this some kind of sick joke…? I will report you to the police…” the young woman shouts.
“Go ahead and report to whoever you want. I have nothing to fear. I have not kidnapped your mother-in-law. We are just watching a movie together. Can’t a girlfriend and boyfriend have a date…?” the man says.
“Date…? What nonsense are you talking…?” the young woman says, angrily.
“Nonsense…? Are you clueless…? Don’t you know what is “dating”…? Don’t tell me you have never gone on a date. How about that dinner date you have planned with your husband tonight…? Amod — that’s your husband’s name — isn’t it…? So you and your husband Amod will be enjoying a romantic candlelight dinner — and your mother-in-law will be looking after your kids at home like a nanny…” the man says.
“Please. Listen…” the young woman pleads.
“No. You listen to me. There is one more thing Shanta told me to tell you…” the man says.
“What…?” the young woman asks.
“You better be home when Anjali comes home from school. Her bus reaches at 3:30. And don’t forget to take Anjali for her skating practice at 5 o’clock. And — you will have to take Aditya for his Karate class at 4:30 sharp. I think you better take the day off. Make sure you leave your office at 11:30 so you reach Aditya’s school in time. It’s quite a long drive from Hinjewadi to Aundh — and you know how bad the traffic is in the morning…” the man tells the young woman.
“Please stop this. I am very busy today. I have got an important meeting with a client at 12. Then there is a project review meeting at 3 and it will continue till late evening. I have to be in office. I just can’t come…” the young woman says.
“Then maybe you can tell your husband…” the man says.
“He works in Magarpatta. You know how far that is. And Amod told me that he has a very tight schedule today. We are both very busy at work. By the time we reach home in the evening it is past 7 PM…” the young woman says.
“Ah, I almost forgot…” the man says.
“What…?” the young woman asks, confused.
“You two better cancel that romantic candle light dinner date tonight…” the man says.
“Why…?” the young woman asks.
“Because — after the movie — we are going out for a lunch date — and then — I am taking Shanta for a long drive to Lonavala. I want to show her all the spots — we will watch a romantic sunset — and then we will be spending the evening at my farmhouse. I’ll drop her back at night. And don’t panic if she doesn’t come at night — if it gets too late — we will sleepover at the farmhouse — and I’ll drop her in the morning…” the man says.
“Are you crazy…? Lonavala…? Sleepover…? How is that possible…? Please give the phone to my mother-in-law the moment she comes. I want to talk to her…” the young woman says.
“No. I don’t think that is a good idea. Shanta is scared of you. You may bully her or emotionally blackmail her into cancelling all our plans. I don’t want Shanta to talk to you. So — I am passing on her message. You better learn to look after your own kids yourself. Can’t you manage your own domestic affairs for even one day…?” the man says.
“Listen. You please ask my mother-in-law to call me the moment she comes. I have to speak to her…” the young woman says, angrily.
“No. I am switching of the phone. So don’t keep calling. We are going in for the movie now…” the man says.
“I have to talk to her. If you don’t let me speak to her I will come to ESquare …” the young woman threatens.
“Maybe — we are not in ESquare. Maybe — we are at Inox. Or — City Pride. Or — PVR. Or maybe — we are somewhere else. It is just a red herring — so you don’t go on a wild goose chase trying to search for us. You just look after your children for today — and don’t worry — your mother-in-law is in safe hands with me — and I will drop her home safe and sound…” the man says.
“Where is she…? I want to …” the young woman called Swati says.
“Bye. Take Care…” the man says.
“Please …” a desperate Swati pleads.
But the man interrupts her — and he says:
“Okay, Swati. Have a Nice Day. And remember to tell your husband that I am taking his mother on a date…”
Then the man disconnects the mobile phone and switches it off.
The man has been speaking to Shanta’s daughter-in-law from Shanta’s cell phone.
So — the man gives the cell phone to Shanta sitting next to him in the car.
Shanta puts her cell phone in her purse.
“You are very naughty…” Shanta says.
“Why…?” the man asks.
“You told my daughter-in-law that we were in ESquare — she may land up there in ESquare and search for me all over the multiplex…” Shanta says.
“Don’t worry — there is hardly any time — so — she will go to the school first to pick her son. But — if you are so worried — why don’t you send your daughter-in-law an SMS that you are going to Lonavala — and you will return in the morning…” the man says.
“Yes — I think I will do that…” Shanta says.
“But before you send the SMS — you too have to make a call…” the man says.
“Oh, yes…” Shanta says, with a mischievous smile.
The the man takes out his own mobile phone from his pocket and searches for a number.
The man gives his cell phone to Shanta.
“Now you dial that number and speak to my daughter-in-law — and you tell her what I told you to say…” the man says to Shanta.
Shanta dials the number and she starts speaking to the man’s daughter-in-law.
Meanwhile — the man starts the car — and they drive towards Lonavala.
Copyright © Vikram Karve
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
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Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)
Link to my source blog post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/08/a-curious-date.html
Revised Version of Story First Posted by me Vikram Karve at 2/14/2013 05:36:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/02/14-february-2013-happy-valentines-day.htmlandhttps://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/11/oldie-goldies-go-on-date-cheeky-romance.htmland https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/04/30/an-intriguing-date/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2019/05/18/a-man-a-woman-on-a-date/ and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/12/a-scandalous-date_1.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2019/10/23/dating-a-la-mode/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2021/05/25/dating-a-la-mode-a-romance/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2022/05/26/a-date-a-la-mode/ etc
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.