It was nearly 8 in the evening when Arnav shut down his laptop and leaned back in his chair. He massaged his aching temple as the acute pain that ahd started a while ago seemed to have increased to a dull ache. He sighed as he opened his eyes and started at the blinking light on the laptop showing its charging status.
He had hardly gone anywhere with the story and had spent most of the day researching more on the modus operandi of murder that he was trying to write about in the story. He had been on call nearly all day with his researcher who had in turn been checking with their friend in the CID who usually helped them with the case study for the murders.
It amazed him, how they had never shown any curiosity for his real identity and had been more than satisfied with the usual appraisal he showed them in his book's foreword...he had a good team of loyalists from medical, judicial and public offices that had been more than helpful for him to formulate and research on his topics.
But even after all the new notes he had made throughout the day and the direction he had thought was a good decicion to take the story in, nothing seemed to be tying up...he was very close to scrape the entire thing ot base his character on anyone but himself! This was the first time he had to solve a mystery to write one.
He got up and nearly buckled over as he felt pins and needles attack his sleeping leg, thanks to the long time he spent sitting down...he could also feel a desperate need to crack his spine but thought it was best to take an aspirin and sleep after dinner. He was still trying to get his leg to feel normal when his phone rang making him smile at the name that was flashing on the wide screen
"Saale...now you get the time to call me?" Arnav said with a smile as Manav's warm chuckle sounded from across "Oh Hello! You were supposed to call me...remember? All I got from you was a text that you reached yesterday morning, bas..nothing else...loser!...anyways, how you holding up? All ok down there?" Manav asked with concern as Arnav breathed deeply
"Yeah...all is ok...but i haven't gone anywhere with the book man...I just cant seem to figure out where i'm going wrong.." he said as Manav sighed "Arnav...give it some time...its only been two days since you reached there...don't stay cooped up inside the house, roam around a bit...who knows! Maybe the beauty in Coorg will help you focus better" he said as Arnav's mind suddenly conjured up Khushi's face
"Arnav? Are you there?" Manav asked as his friend's voice suddenly went quite "Uh..yeah, i'm here...sorry...what were you saying? Yes...roam around...I will be doing that tomorrow...i'm looking for alternative accommodation" he said as he got up and walked to the verandah to breath in the fresh night air, cool and refreshing
"What? Why? Did you not like the house?" Manav asked him as he looked down into the deep valley "No..its not that...I actually wanted the house all to myself, but the owner's grand daughter is living here too...she's repairing the house...and Its distracting...so i'll be moving out as soon as I find another great place like this" he said as Manav coughed animatedly
"Wait! Hold on...there is a girl living with you in the house?...and you want to move out? Dude! Is she that ugly??!" Manav asked in mock seriousness as arnav smiled "Shut up! She's not ugly...But I'm here to do my work Manav...not pick-up pretty girls...so its best I stay on my own...and concentrate on my work" he said as Manav started laughing
"Oh ho! Pretty girl huh? That answers my questions about her being ugly...and distraction did you say? Arnav when did a single girl started getting distracting for you? Hell, i've seen you type away to glory in your room, at that wild party you threw for me on my bachelors...that too with half naked chicks running around...so don't give me this bullshit...admit it, this girl is something special" he said as arnav sighed loudly
"God Manav! Its nothing like that...I just want some peace and quite and all she does is talk, talk and talk...and she drills...and fixes things around the house..." he said as Manav chuckled "yeah...sure, I believe you...go and look for another house all you want...but something tells me you'll be back to your distraction in a jiffy" he said as arnav rolled his eyes and was about to retort when he heard VK's hesitant knock and knew it was a call for dinner...He quickly wished Manav a good night and promised to keep him updated about the book and also about other things that Manav wanted to so desperately know about.
"So, hows your book coming along?" Khushi asked arnav as they sat sipping some mint tea outside on the verandah...they had just finished the wholesome dinner and were about to part for the night, when Khushi asked him if he'd like to join her for some refreshing mint tea
Arnav agreed with her despite the fact that he wanted to run far away from her...her proximity was making him feel all sorts of weird things and was not letting him focus on anything...plus today she looked extra fetching in a white churidar-kurta...and it did not help his overworked brain that he still found her irresistible in a fully covered form too instead of those little ganji's and shorts she usually wore.
So, in a bid to spend more time with her, he ended up saying a yes to her offer...plus the mint tea might do his headache some good...or so he convinced himself for his want to drink it...but all he could think of right now was how her plump lips blew on the hot tea before sipping on it daintily...his body reacting in unwanted ways as they sat in the verandah overlooking the guava tea, the steaming cups of mint tea which VK's wife Smitha had served them wafting their light fragrance around
"Uhh...its going ok...i'm still working out the overall storyline" he said after a prolonged silence which was bought about by his wayward thoughts. Hoping that she did not notice him stare, he smiled slightly at her as she looked on with interest "Oh..is it a fictional piece? I thought you were writing a factual book..." she said as he shook his head "No...i'm not an expert to write on facts...I prefer writing fiction...it gives one so much freedom to express what they never would in reality" he said as she nodded
"Yes, I agree with you...so tell me, who is the main character of your story? If you don't mind that is...i'll keep it strictly confidential" she said with a grin as arnav smiled back making her breath hitch...what was it with this guy and his smiles... "Well, he's a guy in his mid thirties...not much family...strong ambitions" he said as she looked on with interest
"Oh...political interests?" she asked him at which he frowned "Why political?" he asked her to which she gave him an odd look "Uh...cause you said its a political fiction?" she asked as he mentally slapped himself...he had made too many slips already and had to tread carefully here "Oh yeah..off course...but first his ambitions are not so politically inclined" he said as Khushi nodded and sipped on her tea
"I really don't understand why writers mostly have a man as the protagonist...why can't there be stories written on woman?...like even Agatha christie wrote for poirot, when she herself being a woman could have had a better insight for a woman protagonist..." she said with a wistful voice as arnav looked on with an amused smile"Maybe because its easy to write about a man in all difficult situations" he said only to get a scowl from her
"Thats so sexist!...women have so much more depth...and even though some might argue about how men are more logical...they fail to see how women have instincts...which is more important some times...take Pike for that matter...I love his books...the mysteries are so gripping...the storyline fantastic...I usually can't keep the book once I take it to read" she said as arnav felt warmth filling him up
"But, the protagonist is always a male...and he solves the mystery based on logic...how wonderful would it be if he writes from a woman's perspective...it will make the story more interesting...the findings based on instincts...that's what I feel his books lack..." she sighed as arnav suddenly felt like he was tied to his chair
Why had he not thought of it earlier? His current book was a supernatural mystery...bordering on lines of a thriller...having a woman as the main character and following it up with khushi's suggestion on instincts and maybe a sixth sense will probably work...hell, it would be great! He thought as he saw the woman in front of him calmly sipping her tea
She had no idea what she had done...he was so excited that he wanted to grab and kiss her for giving him such a brilliant idea...but he knew he obviously couldn't...so he controlled himself and finished his tea in silence...he saw her eyeing him over the rim of her cup "Why are you so quite all of a sudden? Don't tell me you agree with everything I just said" she said skeptically as arnav shook his head
"Not everything...but some of it" he said cryptically as she rolled her eyes and bid him a soft good night, leaving him in a whiff of fragrant citrusy smell...as heady as the eucalyptus surrounding them and as mild as the faint roses in the overgrown garden...making arnav smile at the unexpected twist that beckoned him.