S06E02 | THE SUBMARINE DATE

Ayesha and the Devil Series

+Doveranalyst Mumbai Diaries Ayesha and the Devil series
You can check out so much more in the Ayesha series here or check out my archive for that treasure chest of stuff at j.mp/Darchive.

You know D can get the PhD for being lazy. So, forgive your girl. Link to Episode 1 coming soon.
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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They had been talking about this for real long. The perfect submarine date. But, how would it be given that Ayesha's got this cold on the day she's supposed to venture into the world of adventure?

Episode 2:


+Doveranalyst Mumbai Diaries Ayesha and the Devil series


Life is surprisingly funny. I'd thought I'll never see him again. In fact, the end of the first date is pretty vivid still. The cold night air brushing my hair, two equally weird absolutely ethnic wear clad us, were pacing closer to my home on his black Royal Enfield.

But his sudden charm swept me off my feet. Getting a salute everywhere I went with the officer, it had been really interesting indeed, to look at the artificial lights gleaming on the pitch Black Sea water, only showing the curves of the tiny waves. The reflection on the tiny little window of the boat is pictured in my heart.

'Ayesha, with me there are gonna be so many interesting dates, you can never ditch me. I won't LET you ditch me.'

Now, THAT was a killer line. So he will never let me ditch him, is it? Interesting.
6ft 3, the broad shouldered officer has a thin face. You can really see no cheek on the cheekbones. Squinting eyes. Sharp nose. But those eyes have some intoxicated way of looking at me. He's a gentleman. There's no harm trying the submarine.

'Oh, princess. I'm really sorry. I didn't know you are allergic to cold air. I would have got my car otherwise. I'm really sorry you got that cold because of me'.

'Array no! It was the cold water at Moshes for dinner. My bad. I did a bottoms up with water.'


He laughs, 'No, it has to be my bike. Cold air, darling.'

I laugh along. 'Now don't make me sound like a spoilt princess. Of course, I can sit on a bike.'

'Just keep one thing in mind', he says in his very stoic way of saying something — half intoxicated, half matter of factly,' Don't wear any dress or skirt.'

'Uh?'

'Remember the ladder I was talking about? Taking those officers who just got promoted down that ladder when they nearly pass out?'

'Ya, I still don't get it why you have to make them that drunk—'

'Array, custom hai yar. Every senior has to dip his hands in a beer mug and put it on his new stripes. And then the poor thing has to drink the whole beer mug. The new uniform is made completely old. And the chaps are so blown, they can't get out. It's very risky. But—you also have to get in and out of that. So, I'm not saying it for me or anything, I'm just saying it for you, ok? If you think it's any unladylike to not wear a skirt, the people on duty will have quite a view—'
+Doveranalyst Mumbai Diaries Ayesha and the Devil series

'Dear me! Why will I wear a skirt! But then, you are scaring me now—how high is it?'

'Thirty feet'

'What?'

'Ya'

'You got to be kidding me!'

'No'

'Oh, God! I'm never gonna make it! Thirty feet is way too much, don't you think? Of course, you don't think.' I add exasperated, 'I mean—think from my perspective, someone who's never really climbed anything. Anything at all.'

'That's ok. You can do it. Just wear shorts or jeans. And you are good to go.'

Shorts? Really now. I look gloomily at the hair staring at my date plans.

But somehow this man was really making me look forward to this date. He was keeping his promise. 'The submarine date' is a weird and different idea that is going to be a never before experience in my entire date diaries . I'm always a connoisseur of memories. So, let's create some now. 

.......

Do I even have to say this? Of course, you know already — I'm late. Hurrying, falling, getting up and sneezing, I manage to pull myself into my old thick green jeans, belt already inserted in advance, as usual. But guess I should change the belt. A matching thin pink one with the baby pink and cyan soft scarf. The figure hugging charcoal grey thermal top looks nice on my curves. I pull my hair up to a ponytail. Smart. Jeans are still loose, but they are the best in the wardrobe, given I've lost all this weight. Pink lips to go with the look, I hurry down as he is already waiting.

I WhatsApp, 'Walking'

'Roger'

I've to call him, 'Petrol pump? Where?'

'Look to your right'

'Oh? You can see me already? I hate this feeling when people can see me but I can't see them. Ok, Black?'

Firstly, I'm bad at spotting people. Secondly, it's really petrifying to get into someone's car for the first time. I mean, just imagine, what if you get inside a wrong car? Awkward.

It was a huge car. A shiny black duster with those cute front curves. 7993. And, he was right there smiling at me ever so coolly in a navy blue shirt, opening the door for me.

'Looking nice'. Probably that was the best he could be animated. Poker face, all the time.

'Oh, thanks.', I handle and settle my bag on my lap, 'I tried my best to get off the sick look. But I've my guards in place, you know', I show my scarf neatly tied to my neck, 'so that I don't get the cold any worse than it is. I'm pretty good at catching cold—'

'What else are you good at?'

I laugh,'Well, a lot of things', I relax a bit on the soft large black leather seat, 'but that doesn't include climbing. So, you have managed to really scare me. Let's see if I can win over my fear and do it. And yes, I'm wearing jeans because being as sick as I'm I can't remove now. And even if I did wear shorts, that's gonna make me more vulnerable to catch cold. I'm not exactly scared of heights but, you know...'


He gives his one-sided silent smile. 

'Roger'

He's very coy. Those eyelashes brush down when he looks at me as if he's blushing or maybe he's just being calculative and hiding for thinking. After all, he always claims he's the devil. But maybe, right now he's more about business.

'So, you were saying something about navy officers? I mean, the defence in general, right? And remember I had said we will have this discussion at the exact spot, when we actually get to it. Because when you actually see it your perspectives will change...'

'Ahmmm, I remember. Let's see'


There are some things you expect in a man when you know he's in the forces. And more when you know he's a Rajput. He has to be a gentleman. He has to keep his word, come what may. Driving through the lanes and bylanes of Colaba, we are heading towards VT. 

'It's not easy for the forces and now, you will know how', he swung the car around and we are in front of Lion's Gate.

'Wow, I always wanted to enter this thing.'

Coy, smug face says, 'But you can't. It is strictly not for civilians'. The twinkle of his eye said the rest. 

'Ok, thank you, Leftenant. Or lieutenant? How do you exactly pronounce it?'

He frowns, bending to reach the car window eyes locked at the little girl beaming with excitement, 'I got a photocopy of your ID so that we can quickly enter.'

Method, obviously. 

'Ayesha Mohapatra' I smile.

'Ayesha Mohapatra', he repeats as he gets down, his tall frame swaying the folded piece of paper, he bends by my window, 'I've to sign n all. You wait here. Usually, one is needed to come down in person. But I will manage.' You know that smile when you have everything covered? Exactly. He was finally behaving like an officer. Maybe the environment adds to everything. 
The insides, however, are very different from what one would have expected from the outside.

'They are, right? Look over there. This lane is completely built on foreign architecture. Parsis used to live here and a lot of inspiration is from outside—'

'Ya, it looks like a picture from abroad. It's beautiful, the walls, the curves, the architecture has such an old world charm but yet very well maintained'.

'Ya, but we can't let anyone know what we have. It's all top secret. But today is a Saturday. So, there will be many visitors today. Family n all. I had also informed in advance, so there was no problem. But I couldn't take you to the real place. This is the Dockyard, where ships and submarines that need maintenance or have any problem—'

'are kept to be repaired. I know that.' I smile.

'Yup, so — ok. We won't be allowed from this side. I was guessing we could take this road'.

'What? So, you don't know the roads now? Of your usual place? You are scaring me. Are you really an officer or a terrorist?' I giggle.

He turns with that side look as he is taking a turn. Killer. The way he looks at me. I cross my legs, my eyebrows playful, 'So? Are you now sure?'
He takes a sharp swag turn as if in reply, 'Array, I got a little lost in our talks and— here we are, my lady'.
I get down, my huge red bag hanging down my wrist, following him, marching ahead with cool. Everything was black and grey with stark white ladders horizontally on the decks.

'What? This is it? All this while, I expected it to be vertical', I say following him on plank after plank.

'Ya, that's there. But, first, we have to cross all these submarines on our way and jump to the last'.

I stare, God knows why, at the height. Oh, shit.

'Oh, God!' I try to breathe. It's gonna be fine, I tell myself. It's so gonna be fine. Ayesha, just Do.Not.Look down. I concentrate on the white metal, gleaming in the scorching heat, and put my sports shoes on them carefully, one at a time, not really looking at the gaps, and move quickly, real quickly, so that my outlawed brain doesn't take a peak at the water below.

'Whoooop! I managed! I managed!' I look at his smug, stoic face, looking slightly approving but yet mysterious, 'Oh, come on. I'm not used to all this like you, ok!'

'Now,' he takes me by the arm, 'look at this hole? We have to get in from here'.

Now, only that, that hole was really tiny. Which meant that it's a cylindrical tunnel-like passageway with steel railings. And yes, this is vertically way too steep. My biggest shy moment was — what if I don't fit? Couldn't even tell him that. I hesitated all I could.

'Let me show you. You hold these bars, ok? And you keep going down, like this'.

'Oh, God, but where do you keep your feet?' I was truly baffled, to say the least.

He hid a blushing smile, 'here'.

Now, I could barely see those straight little bars that are exactly in a straight line. How are they supposed to take my weight! 

'Oh, dear', I gasp, knowing well that now there's no turning back, now that I'm in the lion's den. This is the big moment and I've to do it. 'Okayyy....' The rest of my voice just got buried somewhere. 

'Here, give me your bag, I'll take it down'.

'Thanks' I gasp again, nervous energy making me skip beat after beat. I reach those bars, and let a leg free with a backward rush. It's in the air trying to find a place to hold on to. And he's right behind me. I don't want to fail. At least not in front of him. I'm a brave girl. I can do this. Ok, I'm lying.
Oh God. Somehow I find that thing. Now, it's easy to slowly, hunt for the next thing under it. Now, I can shift both feet. Now, I make a move. Phew. I could feel him really close to me. But now he's gone and the initial romance is now a daredevil task. All by myself, with him looking at me from the insides of the submarine, I somehow manage.

My feet touch the floor, or, something solid that feels flat. 'I did it! I did it! I'm alive! It seemed never ending. Oh, God! Where did you keep my bag?' He gestures to the bunk on the left. I catch my huge bag 'Or should I leave it here?'

'Ya, let it be. Staff is there.'

Even before I could catch a breath, he says, ' What you are standing on, right now, is 20,000 tons of ammunitions.'

I gasp, again. 'Oh. Boy.'

'Everyone of this slots leads to one. We need to be always ready to fire. We have to be always prepared for a war that may or may not happen. Come, I'll show you around'.
There's this man in uniform who salutes him and me. I smile, fluttering my eyelashes. There's a really narrow passage, as if I'm sneaking into a ship's work area. Laminated with light cream with steel pieces patched to make sections of the ground, it is quite something. 

'This is the TV room and also where we have our lunch'.
It is a small place with a table, a cute TV and some radio control equipment on the wall.
'That's how we communicate and get the announcements. We always have to be agile. Might need to run anytime.

It is a really small place. We get in further. There's not much space. Locking me to the table, he closes the door. His gaze is fixed on me. But he seems harmless. He puts my hands on his chest like paws. I felt like a meek little pup. It's really cute to look at the bone face like this. Maybe, he's expecting me to do something now. Talk about doing it in the submarine, underwater. But, I'm looking searchingly into his eyes, just enjoying this moment of locked gaze, as our hearts beat this close to each other.

'Sir'

Whoooops. We immediately part, me fixing my hair as his subordinate is right there at the door that he had to creek in, and slide open. Hearts racing at their best, he calmly instructs him, as if nothing had just happened. I just keep looking at the corner as if it is some rare Jewel and like a little baby coming to terms with reality, pass a natural smile to the man who's just interrupted us.

Check out the next episode. What happened after that? Was Ayesha able to understand what was happening with her life in that one date in this submarine?
+Doveranalyst Mumbai Diaries Ayesha and the Devil series


S06E03 | The Submarine Date | The BUNK BED


P.S: Talk to me, I'm right here. (Pls comment. Makes me feel great)



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