“Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" playing in the background...
Indian incense burning in the car's ashtray
I and mere zindagee are resting in my dad's Chevy watching the stars on a cool October night over looking AlBidi'e beach.
He was so dark and skinny when dad brought him from the airport. "This is Rajkumar" my dad introduced him to me. He was our new driver. His wife had just passed away before he decided to come to
Rajkumar came mainly to drive my dad to some distant areas my dad had to go to for business. There were days when I faked being sick just to let Rajkumar drive me to school. I was a senior at colleague and all my friends enjoyed driving their own luxurious cars, when I only cared for being with Rajkumar. I didn't know what I felt, but something deep inside made me want to be with him. The sorrow in his eyes? His tall slim dark figure? I didn't know.
Two years after my graduation and I still went out with Raj. He even drove me to the nearest co-op anywhere close or far; I just wanted to be with him. He was then a fuller man, less tanned, and smelled like my dad's after shave.
"You love him being around because your dad isn't around enough" my friend blurted out once. "He does what you command him to do. He's always there when in need. You are living a fantasy dear. Wake up; you can't be in love with your driver."
My friend's so called "reality shocks" hurt me but I couldn't care less. The joy of being with Raj was the reason I kept living. I had no sisters or brothers, and my mom was a social worker who helped people from the entire country, but forgot the one who needed her most; deeply captivated by lust for her driver.
"I can't touch you, mere dill, only 8 years till I gather enough money from your dad then we can go to Delhi and get married the traditional Indian way you dream of"
"Just like the indian movies? With all the flowers and music?"
"Yes, my dear, I will honor and cherish you"
"I will ride an elephant, run on the highest mountains"
"I will let my sister teach you how to dance"
"Kama sutra?" I thought to myself. "Remember that I don't like the smell of henna"
"Don't worry, our henna is original unlike the one you have here. You'd love it's smell. I will never let you cut this beautiful hair of yours. You will be able to wear sari without anyone gazing although I doubt that. You are so beautiful honey and you're great Indian grandmother's features are so obvious. I bet no one will know you're Kuwaiti there."
Raj plays "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" again with his curry scented fingers. My mobile interrupts the scene, It's "di3la" my friend who reminded me that it's near Fajir and my dad might wonder where his car is on his way out to the mosque. Raj drives me back home and I quietly sneak in to my room. I sleep for two hours dreaming of a lovely morning and a long nice ride with Raj to work.