The couple met as planned near the park’s third bench. There was a heated argument and woman said “I’ve already given you half in advance! I will pay you rest after you complete the job. Do not call me until you’ve finished it!”
Yogi sat on the bench but for all they cared he was a piece of furniture! He looked like a washed out junkie, best ignored.
Yogi quickly taped the whole meeting on his camera. Then, after reversing his jacket, combing his hair and with a scarf round his neck, he was a changed man! After all he was a famous detective who had honed his talent for disguise into a fine art. Like a shadow he weaved in and out of gatherings with no one the wiser. He was a great success in his game.
Raj Kumar was a makeup man. He fell into this job by chance. His mother Neeta was famous movie star Ruby’s housekeeper and took him with her as the madam did not mind it. Ruby often threw away her makeup after a single application and Raj would retrieve it. He loved to draw and paint and once his mother allowed him to apply makeup on her as Ruby had asked her to be present for her birthday party. Neeta looked so stunning that Ruby noticed her makeup and asked about it. When she came to know young Raj had applied it, she asked him to do her face as an experiment. Raj enhanced Ruby’s already gorgeous looks in such a way that even her agent whistled. Raj’s career was decided. Neeta’s only stipulation was that he had to study side by side and Ruby felt the same.
Raj had lost his father in infancy and mother and son had a close relationship. Neeta’s widowed aunt took care of their house and watched Raj whenever needed. She loved young Raj as her own son. Raj fell in love with a classmate Yogita and married her as soon as they both turned twenty-one. Yogi came a year after and their family was complete.
Yogi went home and relaxed in his swanky apartment. He had several places of residence and carried many passports and aliases. They came in handy in his line of work. The only way people could contact him was via his front man, business partner Andy who had an office in the business district. Due to word of mouth and goodwill their business flourished by leaps and bounds. They had ethics and were very discreet. Andy helped whenever Yogi needed a second person. They were very close. Both were a mere twenty five in age.
The bonus from his recent job was substantial. The woman was his client’s rival who wanted to access his quotation on a prestigious contract bid. Yogi’s legwork had not only disqualified but also blacklisted her firm.
He wished his parents and aunty were alive to share his happiness. They had died in a horrific accident after performing the last rites of great aunty (Neeta’s aged aunt). A bus had lost control and swerved into their car, killing Raj and Yogita instantly. Yogi was spared as he had final exams and had stayed back with granny Neeta His most prized possessions were an ornate handcrafted cane which had a sword inside. It had been used in a blockbuster movie and had been gifted to his dad Raj by the movie director. The cactus was made of glass and was exquisite. It looked so real. His parents had bought this for Neeta who had a green thumb and loved cacti best. Neeta often told Yogi that he should be tough like a cactus- strong, resilient and a survivor. On his eighteenth birthday, she had gifted him with her glass cactus as Yogi loved it very much. Whenever he missed his loved ones, he would sit for hours in front of their family portrait together with the cane and the glass cactus by his side. He had many such blue moments. Much against her will granny Neeta had allowed Yogi to bring a puppy home as that would take the edge off his loneliness. His friend Andy often came over to spend the night with him. Time had flown and now his pup Rocky was seven years old and weighed sixty pounds and was 25” tall. Granny Neeta was pushing eighty six and wanted Yogi to get married and settle down. She kept saying she would die in peace once he had settled down with a bride of his own choice.
Yogi was playing with Rocky on the beach when a Frisbee came flying and hit him on the head. A beautiful vision came running and abjectly begged his pardon. Yogi’s moth fell open! The young lady was the spitting image of his late beautiful mom! He shook his head to clear it and promptly stuck out his hand for an intro. The beauty’s name was Ankita and she was visiting her cousins for a week. She was from Delhi.
Yogi promptly invited Ankita for dinner as a price for bopping him on the head. Reluctantly she agreed. Over dinner, much to their delight they discovered they had much in common. At close range, she had a strong resemblance to Yogita, Yogi’s mom, yet she was unalike her too. For next seven days, they met daily and became quite comfortable with one another. Yogi proposed and she accepted. She could easily transfer to a Bombay branch of her firm. Rest is history….