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AN UNEQUAL ROMANCE - 4 - An Unusual Romance

In the Hotel room

The meeting went off pretty well. The customer's Materials Manager and General Manager both were impressed by my presentation. There were some issues with the price, but after a negotiation round, an acceptable solution was arrived at. They will now have an internal meeting tomorrow and has assured me to give a positive response hopefully by the day after.

I had called up my boss and updated the developments to him. He suggested that I stay back and try and finalise the deal before I return. I came back to the hotel with a satisfied feeling.

Seema opened the hotel room door, rubbing her eyes. It was clear that she had a good nap. I told her that my meeting went off quite well and that I will now have to stay back at least till day after tomorrow.

It was around 5 pm then, so I ordered for some tea and pakodas (fried Indian snacks) through Room Service. I changed from my official suit into my casuals of Tee shirt and Bermuda shorts and relaxed on the couch. Seema still lazed around on the bed.

I asked her, "Did you have a good sleep, Seema ? You were uncomfortable in the small train berth last night."

She said, "Yes, my sleep is complete now. Why don't you come and lie down too? You also must have been uncomfortable in the train lying on top of me."

I said smilingly, "But I slept quite soundly, it was a very soft bed."

The tea and snacks had come. So Seema also came and sat near me. While having tea, she asked me, "Sandeep, I have told you all about me. Now you tell me about yourself. I know almost nothing about you."

I told her, "There's nothing dramatic in my life. I had been born and brought up in a metro city. My parents are there, my father retired from his service long back. I have only one younger sister who has just recently been married off. I had done my schooling in a missionary school. I had done my graduation from a reputed college. I had then passed the entrance examination for post graduation in Business Management, but could not join. My father had to take an early retirement due to ill health. As such, I had to leave my studies and started looking for a job. I got an opportunity in a major marketing company as a Sales trainee and started my job career at an age of 22 years. I am in the same company for the last 10 years and now am in a senior executive position. I am a bachelor still. My parents are now looking for a suitable bride for me. That's my story for you in short."

Seema sat silently. I asked, "What happened ? How did you like my short biography?"

She said, "Not good."

I laughed, "Why ? What did you find bad in that ?"

She said, "It's so different from mine. Your background is so much better than mine."

I said, "So what? How does it matter?"

She said, "You won't understand, forget it."

I said, "I'm really not understanding, Seema. Please explain."

She dismissed me with a wave of her hand and said, "Listen, I've called my room mate to come here in the evening. Once she comes, I'll go back to my flat with her."

I said, "That's good. I was also thinking how will you go so far all alone at night. But, since she is coming, both of you have dinner with me and then go. If required, we will have an early dinner. By the way, what's your friend's name, tell me something about her."

Seema said, "Her name is Fatima, she is also working in the Police department here. She is quite older to me, about 45. She is more like an elder sister to me."

I asked, "By the way, you didn't tell me, how old are you?"

She said, "Don't you know, you are not supposed to ask a lady's age. But still I'll tell you, I'm 31."

I said, "Oh ! So you are one year younger to me ? I thought that you would be older."

She said, "Why ? Just because I'm taller and bigger than you in size, doesn't mean I'm older than you too."

I said, "Seema, can you take one more day off tomorrow? Actually, I have nothing to do tomorrow. I'll get to know about my order only day after. So I was thinking, if we can spend the day together. May be go out somewhere, movie or some place nearby."

She said, "Let's see. Let Fatima didi come. I'll ask her advice. She'll know if I can extend my leave like that."

I said, "Fine. So what did you tell your Fatima didi about me ?"

She said, "I told her everything that happened since we met. And also that at last I've found a man who likes me for what I am; because I'm tall. And is not intimidated because I'm stronger than him."

I said, "And what does she think about me because of that ?"

She said, "I didn't ask her. You ask her yourself when she comes."

Fatima reached a little later. Seema went downstairs to the hotel lobby to receive her. Although she was wearing a casual saree, Fatima looked every inch a police woman. Stout, a little on the heavier side, not so tall as Seema, but still tall enough for an average Indian woman. I stood up to welcome her, whilst Seema came and stood behind me. Fatima came and stood in front of me. Seema put her two hands on my shoulders from behind me. Now standing right in front of Fatima, I could estimate her height comparing with Seema's and mine. She must be around 5'7" and with her heavy body, she made me look so small. Imagine me, a thin man, all of 5'3", sandwiched between a heavily built 5'7" woman in front and a tall 5'9" behind me.

Fatima, came close to me and extended her hand towards me. "I'm Fatima, Seema's friend cum didi," she said, smiling at me.

I extended my hand too. She clasped my hand; it was as if my hand got lost inside her big, fat palm.

"I'm Sandip, Seema's new friend and not her chhota bhai (younger brother)." I said, smiling back at her.

She laughed aloud, then she squeezed my cheek between her fingers and looking up at Seema behind me, smiling, said, "Seema, where did you find this little man? He's so small and cute. Just what you were looking for."

This was news to me. I looked up behind me. Seema was looking down at me, smiling broadly. I said, "What is this Seema ? You told me your story, but did not tell me this. That you like me because I'm small?"

Seema hugged me from behind lovingly and said, "Didn't you understand this, when I was carrying you in my arms and had you on my lap ?"

I said, "You told me that you like to tease your sisters and mother by picking them up in your arms. I thought you were doing the same to me."

Seema said, "Yes, that is true. But where would I get a small size boyfriend like you to tease like that ?"

I turned to Fatima didi, who was still standing. "Come didi, sit. Tell me, what would you like, Tea or Coffee or cold drink ?" I offered the only single seater sofa in the hotel room to Fatima. Seema and I sat down on the bed.

Before Fatima could reply, Seema said, "Let's have cold drinks; we just had tea."

I ordered for cold drinks and some snacks for the three of us. I turned to Fatima, "Didi, you must have dinner with us today, I'm telling you from now."

Before Fatima could reply, Seema said, "Arrey, you don't have to insist so much Sandeep. We never say no to good food." And she started laughing.

Fatima rolled her eyes at Seema, "What Seema, you seem to be too excited today."

Seema said, "Listen didi, can we take leave tomorrow? Sandeep doesn't have any work tomorrow, so he wants me to spend the day with him. I am just back from leave. Can I extend it for a day ?"

Fatima said, "That shouldn't be a problem. Call up Chief tomorrow morning and say that you are not feeling well. But the problem is, in case you go out with Sandeep and get spotted by somebody of the department, then you will have to do a lot of explanation. It's better you say that somebody from your family has come and you have to attend to him. That way if you are seen with Sandeep in the city, your excuse will stand."

Seema was ecstatic with joy, "See Sandeep, I told you, didi will give me the right advice. Didi, why don't you also take leave, then the three of us will enjoy the day?"

Fatima looked at me. She laughed, "You are inviting me without even consulting Sandeep", she said.

I immediately butted in, "What are you saying Fatima didi ? I would love it if you also join us."

Fatima seemed interested, "The idea is not bad. I haven't taken leave for a long time. I need a break to relax."

Seema jumped up in joy and went and sat on Fatima's lap and hugged her tight. Fatima started laughing and wrapped her arms around Seema.

I was astonished. The tall Seema sitting comfortably on Fatima's lap and Fatima seemed to be not bothered at all with the weight. I would have been smashed if Seema sat on my lap with her 5'9" height and weighing at least 18-20 kgs more than me.

Seema turned to look at me, smiling with a wide grin, still sitting on Fatima's lap, "See Sandeep, I requested didi once and she agreed. We'll have fun, all three of us."

I said, "But Seema, you get off Didi's lap first, you will hurt her with your weight."

Both of them laughed out together. Seema said, "What do you think of Didi? She is an ex State champion weight-lifter. That is why she got this Police job. She can lift me, the way I lifted you this morning. I sit on her lap, whenever I get the chance."

I said, "That is amazing. She is not young anymore, she must have left weight-lifting long back."

Fatima said, "Yes, I'm 45 now. I've put on weight also. I was in the 75 kg weight category when I was competing. Now I'm 82 kg. But I do my exercises even now to stay fit."

Seema said, "See, she's 10 kgs more than me. That is why she's stronger than me too, even at this age. She is 14 years older than me, but still I can't beat her in arm wrestling even once."

There was a knock at the door, the room service had come with the cold drinks and snacks. Seema got up and opened the door.

Seema said, "Didi, we just had some snacks, you have this full."

Fatima said, "No, not the full plate. We'll have to have an early dinner remember. Our house is quite far from here. We will have to start by 8pm."

Seema said, "How can we have dinner before 8pm ?"

Fatima said, "Then you stay back Seema. As it is, you are already booked in this hotel and you are not going to go to work tomorrow. I'll go home by 8pm."

Seema said, "In that case, why don't you also stay back, Didi ? This bed is big enough, we all can fit in very easily."

I said, "That is not required. The hotel will provide for an extra cot. I can sleep on that. Both of you can sleep on the bed."

Fatima said, "No no, why are you bothering yourself, Sandeep ? They will charge you for one person extra in the room."

I said, "Don't worry Didi. I get good travel allowance from my Company, and I'm well within my limits."

Seema insisted, "Then you needn't have any problem Didi. Also, we don't get a chance of staying in such a good hotel. And you said you are also taking leave tomorrow. We will chat till late night, then wake up late in the morning. Have tea lying in bed. It's luxury courtesy Sandeep. Please stay back Didi. We'll have fun."

Fatima looked at me, undecided. I could see, she was hesitating as she felt I'll have to bear additional cost for her. I insisted, "Didi please stay back. Let's enjoy our new friendship."

Fatima gave a broad smile. That means she has agreed. I got up and went to the hotel room phone. Called up the reception and informed that my guest will stay for the night. I asked them to charge for the extra person and arrange for an extra cot. Also to make the bed after 10pm only.

Then Fatima said, "I also need to talk to our Chief for the leave. But first, can I use the washroom, Sandeep ?"

I said, "Didi, what are you asking? This is now your room also."

I was still standing by the telephone table. As soon as Fatima went into the toilet, Seema came and stood right in front of me. She embraced me lightly and held me so close to her body, that I had to tilt my face upwards to look up at her eyes. She gave me a big smile and said, "Thank you Sandeep for asking Fatima didi to stay. See, I have also restrained myself. I have not yet picked you up in my arms in front of Didi. But it's getting very difficult for me Sandeep. I cannot restrain myself from taking you on my lap. See Didi is not an outsider now to you also. And I have also sat on Didi's lap in front of you. Please don't get upset if I take you in my arms in front of Didi."

Before I could reply, the washroom door opened and Fatima came out. Seema immediately moved away from me. Fatima saw this and smiled mischievously. "What's happening, Sandeep ? Is Seema bothering you ?"

I said in a complaining tone, "See na Didi, your sister is always bullying me".

Fatima laughed, "Let me call my chief first. I hope he doesn't say no, since both of us want the leave together."

She called up her Chief. She put the phone on speaker so that Seema can also join in if required. After the initial pleasantries, she said, "Sir, actually Seema has returned and her younger brother has come with her. He will be here for two days only. You know Sir, Seema is like a sister to me and stays with me. I know his brother also.This boy is asking Seema and me to be with him for these two days and take him around. Can both of us take leave for two days ?"

Their boss replied, "Ok, go ahead.There's not much pressure of work here. I'll manage with the others in the team. You enjoy."

As soon as the phone went off, Seema jumped up and ran to me. She bent down, put both her hands behind my back and stood up with me straddling her from the front. She swung me for three times and put me down. Lucky for me, she did not overdo it.

Seema was very excited. She ran to Fatima and hugged her and kissed her on her cheek. "You are great, Didi. You managed two days' leave."

Fatima was laughing too. I said, "But what is this Didi ? You said I'm only a boy and younger brother of Seema? I'm actually one year older than her."

Fatima replied laughingly, "Arrey Sandeep, I didn't take any chances. Supposing we go out and if somebody from our department sees us. And who knows at that time, Seema might be carrying you on her lap. So that is why I described you as a boy and younger brother of Seema."

I said, "Ok ok, now plan for tomorrow. Where shall we go? I'll book a car, let's go out of the city."

Seema got wild with joy, she rushed towards me. I knew what was coming.....

Continued in next part ...