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The first to apologise is always the bravest.

The first to forgive is the strongest.

The first to forget is the happiest.’

Kiara had heard these pearls of wisdom a zillion times in her life. Only right now, in this moment, she didn’t want to forgive. She couldn’t forget. And apologise ka toh there was no chance only.

She apologise to that two faced, cheating slime ball she used to call her boyfriend? No way. Actually, wait a minute, she would apologise to him, after she had made his life a living hell…

And that’s how the plan was born.

                        *                      *                      *                      *                      *

Gaurav woke up, blissfully ignorant of what awaited him. He was in the best of spirits. He was rid of Kiara, who while attractive and smart had begun to grate on his nerves with her constant bullshit about wanting to take the relationship to the next level. Things with Samantha were so much easier. It was just about having fun, bonking, she spoiling him with gifts and affection, the way he was accustomed to. Kiara had never spoiled. She was sold too much on those new-fangled notions of a couple as two balloons who had to work to keep the other soaring. Well he had punctured her balloon all right…

The madness began with his first cup of tea… That cuppa meant the world to Gaurav, without it nothing went right, not his bowel movements, not his workout, the day just didn’t get off to the right start.

It all seemed fine at first, he boiled the water, like he did every day, added the lemon grass, the ginger, a pinch of masala, milk and sugar to the brewed tea, the way the English made it. And then he raised the cup to his lips and took a deep swig.

Only to spit it out instantly.

How could tea taste so foul, these were the same ingredients, had the milk gone bad, he smelt it, didn’t smell bad, he took a sip.

Yuck… It tasted horrible… But not the way milk does when it goes bad, this was something else. As if something had been added.

But he couldn’t figure what…

Until he saw the note in the fridge that read – Hope that PISSED you off…

It took a moment for it to sink in, she couldn’t have, she wouldn’t do such a disgusting… Yuck… He needed to gargle… With Dettol… Yaaarghhhh!!!

She had. Gaurav should have had the brains to change the locks… He’d forgotten she still had the key.

And this was just the beginning…

He had just gotten the taste of the urine soaked milk out of his mouth by glugging down a peg of whisky, nothing else could do the trick, when he heard a knock on the door.

To his shock it was his landlord. But why? The rent wasn’t due. And he hadn’t played the music too loudly too nights ago when he’d had that party…

So then?

The landlord enlightened him forthwith, “Get out!”

Gaurav was stunned to say the least.

“But why… What’d I do?”

“I don’t want a gigolo as my tenant…”

Gaurav almost fell down in shock. Of all the things he could be accused off, this one made no sense to him. To his mind, selling his body for money was the most disgusting, reprehensible thing anyone could do. It never crossed his mind, that accepting expensive gifts from his conquests, allowing them to take him to fancy places could also fall within the purvey of being a commercial sex worker.

Not that, the landlord’s indication was in this direction. On the contrary his complaint was that Gaurav had been soliciting business from some of the older women in the building.

With Kanchan Wanare being at the head of the list…

Gaurav’s head was spinning. He detested the said lady, in fact had had multiple spats with her. What part of his behaviour could she have construed as solicitation?

Actually she hadn’t. She just abhorred Gaurav with a vengeance. She knew he had hit on her teenage daughter, Anjali even though he was dating Kiara. In fact she had warned Kiara as much but the latter at that point was lovestruck and unwilling to pay heed…

But all that changed post break up. Kiara and Kanchan had always had a great rapport. And when Kiara went to the older woman, bawling her heart out (more glycerine and histrionics than actual sadness), the lady was more than willing to play a part in the vendetta plan. In fact she had convinced a couple of the more mothers in the building to perjure themselves in order to protect their daughters from this wolf in Adonis’ clothing…

Gaurav was given no chance to explain or even try and prove his innocence. All he got was 2 hours to pack his stuff and get out, else the landlord was more than happy to involve the cops. That was something Gaurav couldn’t risk. As a budding actor who’d just got a big break as the lead in a TV show producing by the reigning Czarina of desi television, bad publicity would finish him.

Unfortunately for him, Kiara knew that only too well…

And as Gaurav was trying to stuff the bulk of his stuff into a cab, the cops arrived…

At first the Casanova thought it was again connected to Kanchan. If only… The allegation in this case was far worse.

His maid had filed a charge of molestation and attempted rape against him!

Gaurav felt like he had woken up in some Kafkaesque nightmare. Of he would have felt so bad he ever heard of that literary giant.

Sure he checked out the bai‘s tits and ass while she did the jhadoo poocha. But he did that to every woman who didn’t look like Kanchan Wanare. How could that qualify as molestation even?
Plus he had never had any issues with the maid. Why had she turned against him?

Quite true. But the maid was a woman. And she had had no shortage of assholic men in her life – from her alcoholic, abusive father to her lazy, layabout husband to her spendthrift son. She had huge grudges against the whole male species. To her Gaurav was just another Y chromosomed Dharti pe Bhoj who deserved any and all agony that a woman could shove in his direction. So she had been more than willing to fall in with Kiara’s plan. And Kiara had sweetened the deal with a job in her father’s bungalow and a joining bonus of 10k.

Gaurav had forgotten how rich Kiara was and the power that the wealthy could wield in India… It only hit him when he was in the squalid, stinky prison cell, his career in ruins, his life savaged beyond repair…

Which is where Kiara visited him and with a big smile said, “Sorry, darling…”

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