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      I AM NOT LATE

I am sitting at the window.

I am looking at the stars in the night sky.

I do not know why.

It is one year 12 days and two hours since I met Dorothy!

I remember very well that day. It was a bright day in the Spring and the morning was beautiful.

I was in a mood of ecstasy.  We four friends Jack, Robbins, David and me were roaming in a multiplex building just with an intention to kill the time on a holiday by visiting all the shops in the multiplex and buying nothing.  The strategy was simple. One of us will talk to the sales girl

in the counters, about some product. After nearly a detailed discussion for half an hour, the

Other one will say” Yes! This item is very good. We’ll buy it!”. The third one will negotiate about

discounts and offers. The fourth finally will reject the product on some flimsy grounds, and we will

walk out with an aim to enact the same drama in the next shop.

In one shop that sells latest variants of Cameras, we could not succeed with this strategy.

A lady in the counters introduced herself as Dorothy and when David started inquiring about

a camera, she bluntly said to us ” Well gentlemen! You are not going to buy it! Will you please

checkout?” 

 “It’s an insult! You are not supposed to treat us like this” I retorted angrily.

She smiled sarcastically and said ” Yes ! you deserve more! a police treatment! See this recording!”

She opened her cellphone and showed us the recording of our previous enactment in another shop.

“Please don’t try to be very smart! My friend Isabella has recorded your conversation and sent it

to all shops in this multiplex.”

We felt embarrassed.  I decided to sort out the matter.

“ Well, miss Dorothy! We are not thieves or robbers! We just are enjoying the fun on a holiday!

We are all well placed and earn handsome income! We are capable of buying any product for that

matter. We haven’t come to buy rags”.

Dorothy did not show any symptoms of courtesy. “ Okay! That is why we desist from calling cops!

Better please leave our shop”.

We all walked silently to the exit door.

As it happens for youth always, we have forgotten the incident immediately and were searching for

other avenues of fun. Normally shame and fun do not travel together.

Next week, I attended an interview for the post of senior sales executive of Brownie Products Inc and was selected. 

My job was to report positive and negative variations of sales of the firm’s products by visiting retail outlets and ascertain the reasons.

Again, the same multiplex and the same shop!

When I entered the shop, suddenly I remembered the incident and I forcefully concealed my

embarrassment from public view.

Dorothy stared at me and asked “Yes?”

I gave her my visiting card and looked at her.

“ Oh! you are George from Brownie Products Inc.!, Please go left and our Sales executive is waiting

for you in cabin No.1. His name is Benjamin! I’ll inform him about your arrival through intercom!”.

I felt very much relieved and thanked my new boss ,within my heart, for having given me a protective shield by means of a designation.

Subsequently Dorothy and we met frequently and it developed into a cordial friendship.

Somehow. I was attracted to Dorothy because of her active and curt way of doing things and

her smartness in understanding minute details regarding sales. 

My friends frequently pestered me asking whether I am in love with her.

After a few days, on second thoughts, I could understand that love can neither be understood nor expressed. It can just be felt.

One day, suddenly I told Robbins that I have the feeling . The feeling of love with Dorothy.

Robbins laughed. “ Man! Use your brains! Feelings are like diseases. They appear and disappear.

Inquire well about everything. Her likes, dislikes, her ambitions, life style, tastes, and her past life too.

Marriage is, whether you agree or not, also a selection process like your job and career!”

I patted on his shoulder and said “ Ok grandpa!  You are not married even once and you advise

me!! Great!!”

I decided to propose her.

This time David Intervened. ” Robbins told me that you are in a hurry. That is not good. Wait

for three months. Interact with her. Find out her intentions. Remember if she nurses a wounded

heart because of a rejection or love failure your proposal will be an iceberg in a water pot.

I am your friend and you know I think twice before advising you”.

I waited for three months. In the mean time I tried to know about Dorothy’s likes and dislikes.

The best I could understand is that she likes ice creams and dislikes garlic breads.

I wanted to know about her future ambitions. All I could understand is that she wants to 

reduce her weight by 5 kgs.

I wanted to know about her past life.

All I came to know is that she loved Jimmy her pet dog for the past six years and is weeping in the

night every day because her father gave away the dog to a pet-welfare home,  because he felt

that both he and the dog have become old!. 

After three months,  I decided that tomorrow is the day I propose to her.

When I told this to my friends, Jack, whom we call as the Statue of Buddha, because of his silent

attitude, suddenly asked “ is it your final decision?”

I told him “ Yes! Yes! Final! Why not?”

Suddenly Jack remained silent again. He is a rare personality. Even he does not know when he is

going to speak and when he remains silent. He always looks like contemplating on the most serious

matter on earth which will doom the world immediately unless he intervenes. After repeated requests from all of us and pleading and persuasion by me personally

 he opened his mouth again.

 “See George! You did not get answers for your questions so far. What you got are peanuts in

place of burgers! You don’t know anything about her. Bad! Very bad! How can you propose?”

Jack again started staring at the roof and contemplating on more important topics of universal

Concern.

I decided to postpone the proposal for another 4 months.

Meanwhile, my friendship with Dorothy remained constant and status quo. All my efforts

to get personal and intimate to her somehow never percolated to the expected levels.

She always smiles. She speaks in a friendly manner. She laughs 

 for my jokes She accompanies me to restaurants.

But I felt that she politely and gently avoids being intimate to me.

Yesterday night I could not sleep well. I felt that I am dragging this matter more than a dragon

drags its prey,

As on today, one year 12 days and two hours have elapsed since I met Dorothy for the first time.

I thought that marriage is not a dish to be prepared as per specifications and tips by chefs called

friends.

Today is Valentine’ s day! 

I wanted to utilise this day of romance and love as the ideal day of my proposal.

I know that she will be with her friends at Grand-De-Plaza at West mount circle. I purchased

a beautiful Valentine’s day card . I purchased a bouquet of Lily flowers  and roses. I took a cab and

within 20 minutes, got down at the doorsteps of Grand-de-plaza.

I went inside. In the big crowd., I could easily locate Dorothy because my intuition directed my eyes..

 She looks beautiful.

 Yes. My day has come!

I went near.

What is this?

Dorothy is looking down with all smiles and Jack is kneeling at her feet.  The statue of Buddha uttered” Dorothy my sweet heart! Will you marry me?”

My mind told me that I am late.

But my heart yelled ” Dorothy! I am not late!!”

I am sitting at the window

I am looking at the stars in the night sky.

I know why. I am late.

N.Gurumoorthy

33 Vaadhoolam

2nd cross First main road

Kalyani nagar

Vasanthapura Road

Bangalore 560 064

Karnataka India

 Cell number 9789878929

s           

July 18, 2020 05:24

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