Fiction Five00-10

Evergreen Cafe 

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“Madamji, your breakfast.”

Sufi looked up from her book to give Ram a grateful smile but he had already scuttled away.

She stretched up her arms. The spring sunshine was warm on her face, the cardamom scented steam from her chai was teasing her nostrils and right in front of her rose a majestic snow-capped peak. Who had said that luxury was the fulfilment of all senses together?

Her peaceful musings here interrupted by the arrival of a couple at the next table, their voices raised in argument.

“I want to go shopping, not climb a stupid mountain.”

“I’m tired of the shopping and crowds. And it’s not a mountain, it’s a trek to a tribal village.”

“But I don’t like walking!”

There was a defeated sigh. “Ok fine, I’ll take you shopping today. Then tomorrow you get some rest and I’ll go for the trek with the group we met at dinner. Or you could sign up for the Himachali cooking workshop. You were interested in that.”

“But we are on our honeymoon!” The woman wailed. “We have to do things together! How can you leave me alone!”

Sufi hid a wry grin and went back to her book.


The clock struck twelve as Sufi snuck back into the room and tiptoed across.  The covers on the bed still rose and fell rhythmically, punctuated by the tiny snores she was still getting used to. She was just pulling off her boots when a hand grabbed at her and proceeded to tickle her unmercifully.


“Arun please!” Sufi could barely get the words out between the laughter.

He finally let her go and sat up himself, grinning from ear to ear.

“I finally caught you today. Is this how a woman on her honeymoon behaves? Sneaking away and back again? What have you been upto?”

Sufi gave him an impish smile. “If a husband prefers sleeping till noon on his honeymoon, what is the poor wife to do except go find someone else to entertain her?”

A snort of laughter escaped Arun as he pulled her closer, nuzzling her neck.

“Your skin is blooming like a ripe peach, your fingers smell of basil and your bookmark is much further than it was yesterday.”

“Ok Sherlock?”

“You were sitting out in the sun at the cafe, reading and having endless cups of chai and bruschetta. Like you do every morning, my dear Watson.”

Sufi pummelled him with a pillow. “You beast! You knew!”

“I always wake up when you do and watch you leave quietly.

I just didn’t want to encroach upon your ‘me’ time.”

Sufi gave him a grateful smile. “ And I didn’t want to disturb your


Arun kissed her nose and pulled her up.

“Let’s go lazy bones, time for breakfast. And I’ll pretend I’ll believe you when you order just a small chai and say you don’t eat much in the morning.”

Not surprisingly, a pillow landed on his head.


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  1. Not just a story— It’s is an experience. The reader who responds to this little tale will feel less like a reader than an unwritten story character, living it all out from the inside … In this ‘love story’ you are not just an observer..