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Thursday, September 16, 2004

A Tale of Two Cities

Mumbai, 1817 hours, Thursday 16 September 2004

Arun rang the bell. Reema answered immediately.

"What took you so long?", she demanded irritably. "I've been ready for ages!"

Arun sighed. "I know, I know. I'm sorry. There was this meeting ... by the way, may I wish my one and only beloved wife a very happy eighth wedding anniversary! And may I say she looks very beautiful this evening."

Reema dimpled despite her annoyance. Arun could be so charming. "Thank you", she said as she took his hand and guided him to their bedroom. "Now get ready quickly, we're having a little party at Taj Lands End. Everyone's coming."

"To the Taj, then", smiled Arun as he looked at Reema fondly. She had not changed a bit over the years. From the bathroom, Arun called out, "Oh, by the way, I'll be flying to Kolkata early tomorrow morning."

"Again?" Reema felt another surge of irritation. "Why do you always fly off to Kolkata the day after our anniversary? You're in Kolkata most of the year in any case."

Arun sighed again. "Well, you know ... running two separate businesses ... one based in Mumbai and the other in Kolkata ... "

"I know, I know", snapped Reema. "Ok, fine, go. Now hurry up or we'll be late."

Arun smiled to himself as he shaved. He would not be late. Today or tomorrow.


Kolkata, 0930 hours, Friday 17 September 2004

Arun rang the bell. Komala answered immediately.

"You're back!", she squealed in delight. "You're back!"

Arun smiled. "Of course, my dear! How could I not be here with you on this extra special day? May I wish my one and only beloved wife a very happy seventh wedding anniversary!"

As Komala excitedly led him to their bedroom, Arun smiled to himself. Today was indeed an extra special day for him. After all, it was his fifteenth wedding anniversary in eight years ...

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