"And??" she asked ,now almost irritated by the guy gazing at her and talking intermittently.
"And i wanted to just come and meet the person who has got everyone praising,plus nothing much happens in the village anyway,so wanted to check you out" and smiled,showing 18 of his crystal white teeth(guess colgate salt toothpaste had helped)
"Check me out??,what do u mean?" ,her tone was getting more angrier now.
"No i dint mean the other way,i wanted to just meet the person,see what business is being run,just to get more informed thats all,sorry if it felt like i was meaning something else,btw i am Saraswathi Amma's grandson" ,he said thinking that the name of his famous grandmother may get him some leverage with her.
Her tone suddenly changed."Oh ok u are Sarsu Ajji's grandson,give me 20 minutes,i will just wrap up the accounts calculations and meet you in a while in the verandah.Just make yourself comfortable" and so saying she directed one of the maids to serve him a glass of butter milk.The drink was the default introductory serving in all homes in Kumta.
Aditya watched keenly as Inchara was handling multiple things at the same time.Doing the math,keeping an eye on whether all the goods were being loaded correctly into the vans,checking whether the guests were being treated well.In exact 20 minutes Aditya saw her finish off all tasks and freshening up and coming.
"Hello,sorry for being a bit rude that time,i m Inchara " she said extending her hand.That was a change,mainly because in villages the only greeting a boy and girl can make is a folded hand namaskar.
"I am Aditya,i had come on a vacation here,i am a .." and before he could complete
"Software engineer" she said moving her tresses aside with a mocking smile on her face.
"Yeah how did you know..hold on before you say that if you throw a stone anywhere in Bangalore and compare us to dogs,let us stop it there"
"No i did not mean to say that,Ajji had distributed sweets to us saying her grandson in Bangalore had gotten a job in a big company",although she wanted to say the exact same thing as what Aditya had feared,she dint want to insult in any which way,so ended up making a reason.
"Anyways what did u want to know?"
"Well whats your business all about,how did you bring this up and other stuff,want to see if i can get some inspiration"
"Dont mind,today is tuesday and its time for my weekly visit to the temple,can we talk some other day?,or will you join me,we can talk on the way",she said in a cool way.
"On the way,only us?i mean is that allowed here and all?" he asked almost conjuring up all the aunties coming together and gossiping about the boy and girl.
"Oh come on,i think the only thing outdated here is you " she said smiling."Come lets go"
They decided to walk to the nearby temple.The temple was on a hill and people had to climb a lot of steps to get there.From the top, the Arabian Sea could be seen in full splendour.All through the way she explained how she got help from KSSIDC in giving her the infrastructure and guidance for free.She used to export a whole variety of food items and lot many more ingenuous things.All through the "green route" Aditya was taking a lot of pics which irked Inchara a bit.
"Why are you taking so many photos?" she asked.
"This is the only place where i get to see nature and its beauty,at the rate the trees are being cut in Bangalore,i think very soon to even see trees we will have to come to Kumta" he said.
"Oh ok you are also nature conservator,so what would your views be on the dam being built on the agnashini river nearby?"
"Well it should be stopped,i mean so many ppl are getting displaced" he said almost in a "I am right about this" tone.
She disagreed telling that looking at the benefit it would giving in the long term,it should be done.They argued over the entire algae and moss filled steps to the temple.
Cool breeze was flowing at the top and Inchara was having a hard time keeping her hair away from her eyes.They decided to sit inside the temple to avoid the impending rain.However they were hardly getting anytime to talk given the popularity of Inchara.This was causing a slight ache in Aditya's mind and some envy crept in.
A few days after this,they again met on the occasion of the marriage of one of their common friends.Aditya's grandmom had forcibly tagged along Aditya. Dressed in a kurta ,he was standing in a corner trying to avoid the "family audience".Inchara came along with her father,dressed in a neatly embroidered red saree complete with ghungrus and jhumkas.Aditya overheard some of the elder women talking about Inchara and how she would be ideal for their sons.Some were apprehensive about a a businesswoman being a daughter-in-law.Most of the conversations bordered on the eccentric.
Aditya was amused by all this.He felt a tap on his shoulder.
"So Mr.Software Engineer of a MNC ,what are you doing standing in this corner" she asked.
"Nothing i am trying to avoid all the aunties,uncles,chotus,there is hardly anybody of our age here" he said.
"True,even i am forced to come along with father..hey tell you what after lunch i have a great idea,lets go to the beach"
"What?why the beach" he said
"Its been a long time for me,plus it would good to have a similar aged company.Lets go there, i will get some kokam juice and we can have a small party of our own."
"Kokam juice??thats your idea of a party?" he said."You just come along" she said.
Aditya agreed to this plan and soon after lunch they rushed to Inchara's friends home.She changed to a jeans and t shirt and they made their way to the beach.It was empty at that point in time.They sat under a coconut tree.
Aditya liked the way she was able to carry both the traditional and casual style with elan.
"Thanks for coming along,i am so busy the rest of the 6 days,sunday is one day i want to chill out" she said.
"Chill out!! " Aditya couldnt control his laughter now,he wanted to know what are the ways to "chill out" in the village."Oh we have our own ways to do it " she said."Of course we are not as adventurous when letting our hair down like you city people"
"So what do you do on weekends therein Bangalore" she asked "Pubs,booze?"
"Again a stereotypical image of banglaoreans.." and before he could complete it "Even u have about us,so why cant we have the same?" she asked.
"Anyways thats not the point,i usually go out with my friends or sometimes with family also"."what about you"? he asked
"Well dad and i go to Yana,Karwar,Gokarna and some nearby places in the weekend.Om Beach is my favourite,only place for us to see so many cultures intermingling with each other"
"Ya in Om Beach,the phoren women are too good"he said now almost smiling naughtily.
She cleared her throat and "Ya besides that also is fun,i mean the men there,some of the most incredible bodies i have seen".
"Huh,wow wasnt expecting that response" he said.
"Why when you ppl can talk lecherously about other girls we cant do the same is it,anyways it was more to stop you from talking like that in front of me,I hate this typical behaviour of ur gender"
Aditya was all zip sealed.
Changing the topic he said
"Hey why dint ur mother come along?"
"My mother passed away 2 years back in an accident and she fell silent" " i couldnt forget her,i tried all possible means,then struck upon starting my own business to divert my mind and put my brain to use."
"Oh i am sorry for that",Aditya could somehow sense that Inchara was feeling burdened both by death of her mother and her business.
"I am the only child.Dad has become very possessive about me after that,even tells that the boy i will be marrying will have to come and stay with us here,as he doesnt want to be left alone"
"But you will be coming to meet him and taking care otherwise also right,i mean ,i actually dont know,these things are very complicated for me,so i better not talk"
"You will,i mean everybody has to...............