Posted: 30 April 2007 at 4:57am
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After Tehzeeb had calmed down, she left her room and went to the floor where all the shops were. She checked out some clothes and jewelry, but nothing caught her fancy. She was used to shopping at the best department stores back home in NY. Her dad had given her freedom to spend as much as she wanted on clothes, accessories and jewelry as long it met his conservative tastes.
Tehzeeb finally checked out some swimsuits. She was a good swimmer and very fond of the water. Back home, they had a beautiful indoor pool at home, where Tehzeeb spent most of her time during her summer breaks. She was not allowed to swim in public places or the beach. Her friends loved coming over to her indoor heated pool and they would spend hours frolicking in the water. She became a little sad as she thought of her friends in New York. She had not informed even her closest friends that she was leaving home. She had left on such an impulse and at this point she thought, 'kaash maine Aaliyah ko tho bataaya hota…yadi mujhey kuch ho jaaye…tho kisi ko pataa nahin hai ki main kahan hoon….." Aaliyah was her best friend from school. They had grown up together and were virtually like sisters. Her father did not mind Tehzeeb spending hours with Aaliyah, as Aaliyah's parents were also devout muslims with similar values as Javed.
Tehzeeb had always envied her American friends for the freedom their parents had given them. How she wished she could also date, dance and kiss boys freely….go out with them to night clubs…..swim in a bikini on the beach….. Most of her American friends had already slept with a number of guys, some of them were even planning to get married to the guys they had fallen in love with.
Tehzeeb loved the idea of falling in love one day, but she had never liked any boy so far. Her dad wanted her to marry Aamir, who seemed like a nice boy, but somehow did not evoke that feeling, her heroines in the romantic novels felt when they met their dream man. Tehzeeb dreamt of getting swept away by a man of her dreams…….pata nahin kab hoga aisa…..kyon na abhi cruise par masti karoon…..may be even have a fling with some hot guy, so I can tell my friends……
Her dream man….hmm…he would treat her like a princess, would be tall…handsome….with a good sense of humor……make her go weak in her knees every time she would see him….she was lost in her thoughts when she bumped into a tall figure.
She looked up and saw Angad Khanna smiling at her, "looks like you are lost Ms Tehzeeb….kahan jaa rahi hain?"
Tehzeeb was infuriated; she was upset that she bumped into Mr Pain-in-the-neck again and he had interrupted her sweet chain of thoughts about her dream man!
"aap mere peeche peeche kyon aa rahe hain?" Tehzeeb asked angrily
"I am sorry Me Tehzeeb….par peeche peeche tho aap aayi hain….main tho deck se seedha issi floor par aa gaya tha…..aap baad mein aayi hain…..waise zaahir hai ki ship par baar baar mulaqat tho hothi hi rahegi…..unless you want to go outside….if you want I can arrange for that…..we have some small rescue boats on board…."
"May not be a bad idea…..aap se RESCUE hone ke liye mujhey shayad ek boat ki zaroorat padhe….now if you will excuse me!" she walked away.
Angad turned around and shook his head, "pata nahin kiska gussa mujh par nikaal rahi hai….par gusse mein aur bhi khubsoorat lag rahi hai…."
Angad did not know why, but he had felt an instant attraction to the petite, pretty girl from the moment she had entered the lobby of the ship. He felt protective towards her; he could tell that she was not used to being away from home, and that too in the middle of no where…..whether she liked it or not, he was going to make sure no one would harm her or take advantage of this nave, spoilt rich girl……..
Tehzeeb purchased a swimsuit. As she was paying for the swimsuit, she saw Angad was still standing outside the store and looking at her. As a part of her defiance, she exchanged the suit for a two-piece bikini! She had never worn one before, but somehow she thought Angad was trying to challenge her by saying, "mujhey nahi lagta tum itney logon ke beech, issey carry kar paaogi…." She was bent on showing him that she could carry off the bikini as comfortably as anyone else on the ship. She gave him a sharp look as she exited the shop with a defiant expression on her face. She hung the bag with the bikini on her shoulder, almost teasing him to follow her.
"Aakhir main usey kya prove karna chah rahi hoon? Wo mera lagta kaun hai?….I think he is just a typical Indian male…..I don't care what he thinks about me….I will do as I please…..may be I will find some hot Italian guy to hang out with…tab Angad ko pataa chalega ki main ek cool American ladki hoon….not a conservative Indian girl!" She talked to herself in the elevator.
She changed into the bikini and checked herself in the mirror, "hmm not bad Tehzeeb!"
She headed out for the deck. As she stepped out towards the elevator, she became a little self-conscious and went back to her cabin. She was not used to parading around in a bikini so openly. She went back to her cabin and put on a bathrobe provided by the cruise along with her sunglasses and hat. She checked herself in the mirror again, picked a book and headed for the deck.
The deck was even more crowded now. There was a live band playing some mambo music. Couples were dancing and tapping with the music. Tehzeeb was also fond of dancing, but was hesitant to join in. She had always danced with her friends in a group, but there were no familiar faces here she could dance with.
She saw a handsome white man with dark hair, well-sculpted body wearing a Speedo walking towards her.
"Senorita….come dance with me….," he spoke in his Spanish accent.
Tehzeeb put her book down and smiled at the stranger.
He held out her hand and pulled her towards him. She was a little startled at his aggressiveness, but shocked when she saw he was loosening her bathrobe and trying to pull it off, "senorita…..I need to see your beautiful body….then we can dance…."
Tehzeeb hesitated but complied. She was very self-conscious and uncomfortable. The Spanish man had his hands all around her waist and tried to rub his body against hers while dancing. Tehzeeb tried to keep a distance and was very stiff while dancing. The Spanish man was getting a little frustrated, "what's the problem senorita?"
The man pulled her closer and tried to squeeze her bottom.
Tehzeeb turned red with anger. No one had ever dared to force her like that.
"Stop!" she said
The Spanish man, obviously under the influence of some drinks, did not budge. The music was playing louder now and no one noticed Tehzeeb struggling to free herself from the Spanish man, except someone who was standing at a distance…...
Just then there was a tap on the Spanish man's shoulder, "por favor…Mr Ricardo….your wife is looking for you…..," Angad spoke in fluent Spanish.
Ricardo looked behind and was shocked to see his wife approaching them.
"Gracias…." Ricardo let go of Tehzeeb and bolted from there.
Angad looked at Tehzeeb standing with her arms shielding her chest. She looked a little embarrassed and lowered her head.
Angad picked up her robe and handed it to her. He did not say anything, but turned around and left.
Tehzeeb put on her robe and walked away from the dance floor.
She was relieved to get rid of Ricardo and silently thanked Angad for 'rescuing' her….
….to be continued….
Edited by bheegi - 31 May 2008 at 1:47pm
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