A short story by K.Parthasarathi
Sulochana had moved into this apartment recently after her transfer. Her parents were expected to join her after winding up things at their previous place. Her apartment overlooked a lake and the complex had all facilities like a swimming pool, gym, walking pathway and a small store. She worked in a marketing company as Finance Executive. Her parents were looking for a good match for her through matrimonial bureaus and friends. She had come here just three weeks back and was yet to get acquainted with people there.
It was morning and she was going through the daily over her Spartan breakfast. Just then the bell rang. A young man was standing with a small packet in hand.”Are you Sulochana? There is a packet for you”, he said.
“Yes, I am Sulochana.”
“From whom could this packet could be?” she loudly wondered.
The young man, clean shaven and adorning a well pressed shirt, was very handsome. His curly hair did not fail to make a favourable impression.
“How would I know! The name of sender should there be on the packet”, he said with a smile.
Sulochana gathered herself from admiring his looks to the task in hand and said, “Okay, please give me the packet.”
He handed over the packet and said “Yes, here you”, and added, “this is the first time I am coming here. You must have moved in recently” he said in a baritone voice that was as arresting as his looks.
“Yes, yes, I came here three weeks ago on transfer. Thank you very much.” she said
Even after he left, she was still recollecting his pleasant features, without having opened the packet.
There was a romantic novel of Danielle Steele inside and she could not figure out the name of the sender.
Two days later, the same person was there with yet another packet.
He smiled at her and said, “You seem to be getting such packets frequently.”
“Frankly I do not know who sent the last one. I am unable to recall any one by that name. Let me see who the guy is this time” she said. On seeing the packet she said with a surprise, “It is the same fellow. What do you suggest? Should I receive the packet from unknown people? Why don’t you take it back?”
“I think you should accept this time. You can reject the next time or send a letter to him at the address asking him to desist from sending. What was that you received last time?” he asked.
“Some romantic novel. Okay I will take it for now but will surely refuse the next time. Now something personal, I wish to ask you. You speak well in flawless English and must be a graduate. Why are you working in a courier company as a delivery person?”she asked.
“I am a post graduate Ma’m.But I like this job and am doing it willingly” he said with a loud chuckle.
“Pretty strange. How I wish you had some ambition” she said with a touch of disappointment.
He looked at her intently with a grin.
Her parents had moved in during the week with their bag and baggage. They settled down at the new place and liked the ambience. The next Sunday when the three were having breakfast, her dad asked “Sulochi, can you please get me my mobile from my bag in the bed room”
When Sulochana opened his bag to get the mobile, a photo fell. She was surprised to find it was that of the young courier boy, who had delivered the packets. Wondering how his photo was with them, she rushed to her dad and asked him “Tell me, papa, how is it you are carrying this photo of a courier boy in your bag?”
Her dad looked at it and said “What crap are you talking?”He turned to her mom and said “Look at this foolish girl calling him a courier boy” He then turned to Sulochana and said “Do you know his qualifications? He has a doctorate besides a string of degrees and is working in a senior position in a reputed MNC in US. We are in the advanced stage of finalizing him for you.”
“Papa, he is a cheat. He has already delivered two courier packets to me. I know him. He is no doubt handsome and speaks good English. I think he is taking you for a ride” she explained.
“I know this young man’s parents. Anyway they are coming this afternoon to meet you. Let us have this matter resolved then” he replied calmly.
At 3pm they all came in a swanky car. He was accompanied by his parents and sister.Sulochana saw from the balcony that it was the same courier man. After some initial pleasantries, Sulochana was called to the drawing hall. When her eyes met him, he smiled at her with a faint wink. She rose to the occasion and asked him “Have you any packet for me to deliver today?”
His parents looked at him in confusion while her parents were embarrassed. It was then his sister broke the news that he had used this ploy to get a glimpse of Sulochana before this meeting. He had the details of her from his parents. His parents and sister broke into peals of laughter much to the amusement of Sulochana’s parents and, of course, to her delight.