1 min

          Diwali was just around the corner and the much-abhorred cleaning was underway. Anika had just finished with the fan and was now clearing out the loft. Poised delicately on a ladder, her head swathed in a towel to keep the dust-out, she swung the broom from side to side, much to the delight of Bingo, her six-month-old puppy. These were moments he loved and lived for. He had already chewed up a few magazines and plastic containers despite her threats and scoldings. He was now all set to hop up the ladder and take a look at the loft. A good long struggle later, he managed to reach the fourth rung.

        “Get off, silly fellow,” she reprimanded him. He looked up at her dolefully. She shook her head in exasperation and decided to get down. That is when the doorbell rang. Bingo jumped off in excitement, bringing down with him the ladder, the lady and the bucket of water that had been kept on the top rung. She lay there, face down, drenched in black liquid, with the ladder on her back and Bingo on her head. The doorbell rang again. She slowly lifted her head and stared blankly at the door. “Bingo,” she whispered, zombie-like. “ We need to get out of here .” Little did it register in her numb state that Bingo, helpful as ever, was already at the door, desperately trying to grab the door handle and barking deliriously. The doorbell rang a couple of times more. “Comming, “ she groaned. Slowly, she propelled herself forward, raised herself sufficiently to turn the doorknob and pulled the door open. A tall figure looked down at her with dark, penetrating eyes. She shrieked and slammed the door in sheer mortification. He was the handsome six-footer from the flat next door, her crush for the last six months. He knocked on the door. “Hello, are you alright? Could I help ?”

          “No,“ she yelled back .”I am busy .”

          “Uh, well, I needed your help to choose a dress for my girlfriend .”

          She stared incredulously at the door. Suddenly, the love that had been blossoming in her tender heart evaporated. “I am busy. Sorry,” she barked out.

       She waited for him to go and then dragged herself back to the bedroom and clambered up the dressing table to peer at herself in the mirror. A ghastly face with a purple lump on the forehead and a missing tooth stared back at her. “Oh Gawddd !” she moaned .” Life just ain’t fair.”

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