The goblets laced the edge of that massive table, clothed in an impeccable white cloth. The multi colored cuisines wrapped in their intoxicating scent appealed every eye to take a glance at their delicious contours. The wine, the mellifluous tune that fragranced the environ and the pageant of those delicate damsels that thronged the corners built a mesmerizing rather an invigorating climate in that massive hall. Gentlemen from the lustrous niche of the society, donned in expensive black clustered around the tables with goblets of wines, all consumed in vanity. They were the businessmen, scholars, socialists and figures of repute who occupied the clichéd podium of glamour and hypocrisy. They talked of politics, social affairs, food and other grave subjects with intense sincerity and seldom passed serious glances to the giggling bevy. This was the aristocratic populace with the taste of the finest things that wealth could buy.
The wives and the girls flaunted their beauty, conversed of men, their riches and responded to those serious glances with short peals of laughter. It was enticing and pleasantly disturbing enough to allure the pretentiously grave men. There was warmth, elegance and deceitfulness in every single character that populated the raving ambience. But the girl in that Prussian-blue chiffon sari....Was she not disparate from the chuckling flock? She stood with a fine goblet clasped between her slender fingers, silent and observant, at one of the obscure corners near the drinkery racing her curious eyes through that enthusiastic crowd.
There was a faint smile on her somber countenance and elegance in the tall frame work that she owned. Her voluptuous contour draped in the sequined Prussian cloth made her obtrusively significant in that dry corner. People walked past her without much concern but there was an inexplicable unusualness that held them for moments. They passed glances at her for a while and walked away with abrupt briskness. One amongst those sober gentlemen who had been observing the conundrum from a while, made his way towards her, perhaps to shred the monotony. He quietly stationed himself beside her, and ordered for a glass of wine. The attendant plucked out a fine goblet from that huge collection and poured into it a stream of red wine. He swirled it once with subtle tenderness and sipped onto its glazed edge. His dark dense brows rose up with delight and his stony visage brightened with contentment. He turned towards the ‘Prussian’ lady and muttered, “Ah…The wine tastes nice!” She turned her crest with a sudden jerk and looked at him, astonished. The man smiled at her astonishment and replied, “Did I petrify you miss?” A soft smile smudged the corners of her painted lips and she quietly replied, “No sir. Just a little surprised”.
The food spilled intense aroma and the scent of the feminine perfumes intensified the heaving ambience. The man took frequent sips from that goblet and smiled at the girl intermittently. It was rather a silent imploration to carry out a frivolous conversation. “What do you like the most in food, Madame?” he spoke again. She answered, “oh Sire….I am not a great food lover, still I have a corner for French delicacies.” He shrugged his shoulders and tucked his palms into his pockets, and smiled as if to acknowledge her taste. She talked of wines, people, their places and other aristocracies as she played with her silken overflowing mane that flowed down her delicate shoulders. She detailed every single subject that he started with. The man got entangled in that unvoiced charm and craved to talk more. He was ensnared by her plainness, her comprehension, subtle humor and her uncultivated sophesticacy. Had she not travelled across the lengths of the globe? Was she not the perfect one to have as a companion? Was she not a woman of deep understanding and learning? He wondered how educated and refined she was!!
There was a sudden rush. The people fleeted towards the dining court. The girl turned towards him and uttered softly, “I have to leave sire…..would you mind...” and before she could close, he interrupted with yawning curiosity, “I just forgot to ask! Do you own a restaurant?? I own one down the Khirpi lane. We call it the ‘Dining Row’. ” The girl smiled back to her and replied, “Sir…I do not own a restaurant, but I own a small corner at yours’. I am the assistant to your Kitchen Manager.” He stood shaken and speechless as she uttered a goodbye word and walked away with a tender smile. He contemplated his assumption for a while and broke into a smile, mocking at his inevident suppositions.