“You need to let go of this, sweetheart”, he said, gathering all the courage he could muster. He confessed that he had been trying to tell this to me, for long. The fact that he wants me to stop doesn’t bother me much, but how could he shift all the blame to my shoulders? He had enjoyed them too. He was my partner in this crime. Every time we were finished, we shared the same contented look. But now, now the blame is all on me, as if I was the only one behind it. Not that I was his first. Nay, he had tried it before, ample times. Though he kept saying that I have a knack, and he enjoyed it the best with me. I don’t know what changed, and how I got addicted.
In the beginning, it was just an occasional affair. I lived in a state where this wasn’t available. I tried making it a couple of times at home, nay, didn’t work out. But now, here, all away from home, freedom filling my veins, and money brimming my pockets, well, not brimming per se, but I do have some to spare, this was inevitable. The availability was just one of the factors; I knew I would go any distance for it. A monthly affair became weekly, and then daily. Now it is all I can think of. Control is a word which has become incomprehensible to me. I crave for it every time I cross by those areas, where those vendors look at me; They see right through me, the greed in their eyes meet the greed in mine, and I feel naked. Hypnotised, I walk towards them, unaware of the quicksand I was being sucked into.
But it had to stop. He was right, I was addicted. I made a mental note, and a firm decision, that no more. I will not succumb to my desires. We started walking, when a familiar sight, my favourite sight, beheld me. Just one last time, I said, loosening his grip, and running to the sight, of my favourite vendor, selling pani puris. I said, eyes gleaming, “Bhaiyya, ek plate pani puri.” Then guilt struck me, I took a deep breath, and said, “Do bana dijiye”.