Chapter Six

It was an established ‘Friends with Benefits’ relation that just started off. Both were satisfied and frantic about being together all the time. Unfortunately it was Sunday and Shiv had to get back to Kolkata and Maya’s work would begin from tomorrow. Though she was a freelancer, but to earn her bread and butter she had to do many things. Well, she wasn’t only a writer but also a freelance photographer, and she was really good at it.


It was Sunday and since morning Shiv was at his cousin’s place and Maya was out for her photography exposure. She needed company during photography and this company was no one but Shubhro (her gay friend). She was dressed in a salwar and a Kurta, her comfort zone during photography. She had her Canon EOS 1000D and was busy clicking children and temples, while Shubhro was more into wild life and hence loved clicking plants and animals and things that Maya never clicked. She had a jhola kind of bag that she carried for her photography spree.


She was freelancing for a small local magazine, which was based in Mumbai. She started working in this place when she was in Mumbai. She never went to the office of this magazine rather sent all her photographs through mail and got a cheque without fail through post. The person she used to report there was Mrs. Nivedita Dutt. She never met her, but rather all her correspondence were mainly through e-mails, BBM and phone calls.


After a tiring Sunday morning by clicking so many pictures, Shubhro and Maya decided to have lunch together. While they ordered Chinese at Shubhro’s favorite joint, he asked Maya, “So looks like your weekend has been amazing!!!” Maya looked at him with an exclamation on her face and he pointed towards the love bite that she was trying to hide with her hair. She looked at him and ignored his looks and told him about the new venture that Ganesh is going to assign her the coming week.


He looked at her and smiled. She finally had to give up pretending and finally said, “Shiv. His name is Shiv. He is from Kolkata. My childhood friend. We are not in a relationship and it’s just a NO STRINGS ATTACHED relationship.”  She said all that in a breath and avoided all the looks by Shubhro and rather tried to cover her love bite again.


She finally reached her apartment and saw it neat and tidy. She left it messy. She understood that Shiv is back, so she yelled and asked, “How’s the baby?” he answered from her bedroom, “cute…” Maya asked him again while getting rid of her sandals, “how’s your cousin?” “She is not too bad, just in a bad mood due to so much of medication.” He replied and came to the drawing room with a pile of books in his hands. He kept them on the table and went inside again and came out with some bags in his hands. Maya was confusingly looking at him and then went to the kitchen to have some water. She tied her hair up sat on the sofa with her legs folded up and said, “What are you doing?” he sat on the sofa, started separating the books and said, “Went for some shopping today after the visit to the baby. Bought few novels, some for you some for Me.” handed her four novels. She looked at them and said, “Hmm looks good. When’s your flight?” she started turning the pages of one of the novel while kept the rest on the table.


“Tomorrow. At 4 in the morning. Will you come?” he asked. She looked at him and nodded her head. She went from the room to freshen up as she has to work on the photographs she clicked. When she came back she asked him, “any plans for the evening?” he said, “no” while was engrossed in his laptop. She continued, “My friend, Shubhro would like to meet up for dinner. You want to join?” he just nodded his head in a yes and continued with his work. His phone rang; he looked at it and went to the balcony to attend the call. He spoke intensely while scratching his head in anxiety. She understood its work. She carried on with her own editing and in an hour or so she mailed them to Nivedita and sent her a text saying: “Sent this week’s assignment to you. Maya” she looked at the watch and was amazed that it was just 5 in the evening. She decided to take a nap and hence went to her bedroom and just crashed on her bed.


On the bed, she could still feel the excitement and while going in the flashback she didn’t realize when she fell asleep. Her phone rang and she managed to get up to receive the call. It was Shubhro. She looked at the wall clock and she cursed herself: “Freak its 8 already?!!?” she received the call saying, “sweetie in the shower. Will call you back when out. See you at the regular place.” She disconnected the call and went to the drawing room to ask Shiv to get ready and she was standing there blankly when she saw him already ready and sitting on the sofa watching TV. She said, “You remember that we have to go for dinner?” Shiv replied saying, “yes, that’s the reason I am wearing my jeans. By the way you were looking so cute while sleeping so thought not to wake you up. Getting ready now?” she was blushing, and then she told to herself: “it’s just a NO STRINGS ATTACHED relationship!!!” she told him, “10 minutes, I will be there…” she got out of the bathroom wearing a grey kurti and was about to put herself into the jeans just when Shiv knocked at the door asking, “you descent? Should I come in?” she yelled in a NO and wore her jeans and opened the door hastily.


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