Here is an excerpt from my story ‘The Indian Saloon’ which was submitted at the Indo-Norwegian fiction writing competition, ‘In your shoes’.
Felt like sharing this here. Hope you enjoy
Everything seemed so wonderful, everyone in my family was so proud of me, and one fine morning I woke up to the sound of the alarm clock, brushed my teeth, had my breakfast and got ready to go to my wonderful parlor as usual. Stepping out, I looked up at the clear blue sky and for a second or two, I stared at the burning eye of heaven but when I could stare no more, I gave up.
I liked everything that was going on and couldn’t resist my urge of singing Louis Armstrong’s ‘What a Wonderful World’ tuning in to my cell phone. As I was walking through the green grass to reach my parlor (it takes ten minutes to reach the parlor by walking), suddenly ‘what a wonderful world’ stopped playing and ‘Metallica’ started banging my eardrums – it was my phone’s ringtone – I glanced at the phone, Lisa’s number flashed on it –Lisa is my assistant at the parlor, by the way.
“Hello, Lisa!” I said
“Hello, sir!” she responded, “We have a problem here.”
“Problem, what is it?”
“A customer is going crazy, there is a slight discrepancy; the customer wanted a Sedu style haircut, but one of our stylist mistakenly did an Emo style haircut on her, and now the customer wants to speak to the owner and wants her money back . . . where are you?”
“Reaching in five minutes, make sure no one speaks rudely to her. Remember, customers are our kings and queens,” I said and hung up.
Is it a sign of some real problem? I thought to myself, I was expecting something good. Upon reaching the parlor I heard a girl speaking loudly akin to someone speaking with the help of a loudspeaker, “I want my money back! I want my money back!”
As I entered the parlor, Lisa pointed her finger toward me, “here comes the owner, ma’am.”
“Oh, so you are the owner, huh?”
“Yes, beautiful,” I said nodding my head, gazing at her for few seconds. I noticed Lisa trying hard to suppress her laughter when I said that, but her eyes betrayed her emotion and her eyes told me: I just did something stupid! I couldn’t help that; I never saw someone as pretty and beautiful as the lady I was interacting to, moreover, the lady’s plain black top and pink short really flattered her figure, she looked stunningly sexy.
“Flattery will get you nowhere, Mr.… whatever! I want my money refunded!”
“I apologize, ma’am,” I said putting a big smile on my face. “Sure, your money will be refunded, and, by the way, I’m Robin Kumar and you are . . .”
She seemed a little calmer, “Call me Emilie,” she said and smiled. With that smile she won my heart, I just fell for her like a child.
“Your name is as beautiful as you are.” I remarked and she reminded me ‘flattery will get me nowhere’, but I was adamant. I wanted a place in her heart right from the beginning of our conversation and asked her out for a cup of coffee, at first she wasn’t really interested, but I think she understood how I felt about her. I was not flattering anyway, I made her believe that I was being as truthful as I could be. We spoke for more than an hour, got to know each other, and finally she agreed to go out with me. But I was worried; I didn’t ask her if she had a boyfriend. My doubt was cleared when she said she doesn’t have one, though she had one previously. I asked my assistant–Lisa– to look after the parlor, she was more than happy to do that, and for the whole day I was out with Emilie. First we went to Grand Café to have some coffee and then to Frogner Park, then we visited the Akershus Castle and Fortress. She was on a vacation and had no problem being with me, I was obviously enjoying her company. The next day we went to the National Theatre. After a month, she took me to a beach called Strandskog Nude Beach (I was never aware about that before). We undressed – as did everyone out there – and just like some naturist, we spent our time as one with nature.
This way we kept on seeing each other regularly for six months until one day we decided to get engaged.
Emilie and I made a good pair. My mother was reluctant to accept our relationship, she was a little conservative type, and wanted an Indian girl for me, however, I somehow was able to persuade my mother on one condition that Emilie needed to wear sari whenever she was indoor, Emilie liked wearing sari anyway, so she had no problem with that.
Emilie’s parents were not very happy with Emilie’s decision of marrying a Non-Christian and a Non-White. But Emilie protested that. Her parents’ by no means could justify their views and opinions; gradually they changed their mind and accepted our relationship gladly.
Now, we’re happily married and have two adorable children. We run a school called ‘The Indo-Norway primary School’. We built a modest dwelling near the pond in Holmenkollen area. Ski Jumping is my favorite hobby and that of Emilie’s. There can’t be a better place than Holmenkollen for that!
Copyright © 2012 RAMU DAS