Hakeem walked towards the stove to put the boiling kettle down. As he took in the fresh smell from the kettle, he stirred the dull brown colored tea with a steel spoon. He walked towards the fridge and bended a little bit to look for the milk container and something sweet. When he found it he placed all these things on a tray and took it to her wife lying upstairs in the bed.
” Ah! you bought me your special” said his wife.  Hakeem handed her a cup. When her hands felt the cold surface of the saucer  she said “And I am guessing the milk is cold”. “Just how I like it ” Hakeem replied.54465476712989467mrolyrzdc
Hakeem was a 67 year old married man who had undergone 2 hip replacement surgeries and could only stand for an hour not a minute more than that. His facial skin had lost the charm that it had when he was young, wrinkles had taken place of a stubble, His hair had started to fall off and you could see his scalp easily. His lips were always chapped and his eyes always tired. Hakeem had married his college sweet heart and were now together for 40 years.
Sarah was just 2 years younger than him and they loved each other dearly. They couldn’t have children because of some medical problems but that didn’t stop them from loving and caressing each other.
Sarah and Hakeem had decided to go on a vacation after a very long time. The bags were packed and the doctors had approved. They were all set to travel all the way to Mumbai for there long awaited vacation. After flying for almost 3 hours they boarded a taxi and journeyed towards their hotel. ‘THE AMBIENCE’ read the huge board on the building. Sarah got out of the taxi and walked towards the door when a young man who was a valet offered to take her bags. She pointed towards Hakeem and asked the man to take the bags from him.
When Sarah crossed the hotel gate, Hakeem got of the car easily and steadily because of his weak hip. He had one hand on his back and the other on the taxi door as he finally got out. He was straightening his pants as his eyes met another. There a was man in his sixties standing on the door in red uniform. When Hakeem saw him his heart jumped out of his chest. For a second there he thought that he was having a stroke and took his hand toward his heart. Suddenly a young man came towards him and offered to take his bags for him. Something snapped in Hakeem’s mind and instead of letting the valet take over he pulled the huge bag and dragged it towards the door. Since the door was close he stopped to open the door himself when the man in the uniform interrupted him. He stood there with his hand on his hips and they looked deeply at each other. Hakeem’s eyes moved towards a badge on the mans uniform which spelled ‘Brijnath’. He held out his hand and Brijnath shook it without looking away from him.
When Hakeem entered the hotel all he could think about was that doorman. How he looked at him and how he shook his hand and for a guy who had lived most of his life it didn’t feel wrong. That night Sarah and Hakeem had decided to go out and explore the city but Sarah had a very painful ache in her back because of which their plans got cancelled. Sarah felt bad for keeping her husband indoors, so she asked and begged him to leave the room. She told Hakeem ” I am going to need some rest, you should go out and have fun”.
  So Hakeem left. All his day he had been thinking about Brijnath and when he walked towards the entrance of the hotel he stopped and straightened his pants and ran his hand through his hair. Even when the faces look old, hearts still want some young love. He walked towards the door and the man from his mind opened it for him. This time Hakeem looked at him carefully. Brijnath had chocolate brown eyes just like Sarah’s, he had a lot of hair on his head unlike Hakeem himself but the hair was white and complimented Brijnath’s face which was as brown as his tea. In a soft tone Brijnath said ” Plans for somewhere Shahab’? “Hakeem” replied the old man and there in the starting of a raw night, in the entrance of a old yet modern hotel emerged an unacceptable love.4071750861_5f13a8eaf3
Hakeem didn’t leave Brijnath alone for the whole night which ended too quickly for both of them. They ate the same food that Brijnath had bought for himself, they talked, laughed and looked at each other for the whole night until Brijnath yawned. Hakeem felt responsible for the doorman he thought he had occupied him the whole night and it wasn’t just a feeling of concern but it was something much more than that. When they left each other for the day they looked back at the door at least 10 times.
In his room Hakeem panicked when he saw Sarah sleeping peacefully on the bed. He thought about what just had happened. He kept finding a way to figure out what he felt when he was with that man. His heart that had been feeling the same things it felt with Sarah suddenly became weary and old again. When the idea of something absurd to him popped in his head he felt disgusted. He felt as if his experience had melted. Hakeem decided to forget about the whole incident after all with his wife on the bed he had to spend the whole vacation in this hotel. but we all know love, it cant be stopped.
 Hakeem  went by that door at least a hundred times and saw the doorman a hundred times. He tried to ignore the door all day, until the time came when their “feelings” had born. He was staring at the door when he saw Brijnath looking right back at him his first instinct was to make a run for it but his weak hip was a big hurdle for him. Brijnath came closer and closer and Hakeem’s forehead kept getting plainer and plainer. When Brijnath smiled at Hakeem, he let out a sigh and the feeling of disgust was replaced with a feeling of young love.
Again, all night. They ate the same food and they laughed the same laugh. Brijnath and Hakeem shared stories from their 60 year old lives and somehow it felt they were together all those years. They spent constant three nights together and they just had four more left. One night Hakeem felt a little bit sad about the fact that he would have to leave soon and Brijnath read his face. They didn’t say much that night but one thing was clear. They both had the same love in their hearts.
When Sarah asked Hakeem where he spent his whole night Hakeem said “I was just in the restaurant reading a book”. After all how could he tell the only women he loved about the only man he will ever love. Hakeem knew that he would never leave Sarah as I said earlier he loved her too dearly. He could never do that to her.  Days passed by with her wife and nights passed with his lover. On the last night of his vacation he held Brijnath’s  hand without saying any words. Brijnath knew it was goodbye but they never said it. They held hands like any other young love and the night passed by.
In the morning they were all packed, Sarah had stepped in the lobby for the first time in her vacation. Hakeem had given all the bags to the valet as he got nearer to the door his heart started jumping again. There he was, The Doorman that he fell in love with, opening the door for his wife. They both got out and Hakeem held out his hand for the doorman to shake. They shook hands but what really was shaking was their hearts, suddenly Sarah opened her purse and pulled out a 50 rupee note. Holding Hakeem from one hand and the 50 rupee note in the other. She offered it to the doorman and said  “Thank you For Your Services”.tlumacki_bellmannormanretires_metro602
Babra Shafiqi
Babra Shafiqi
Studying in DPS Srinagar. Love to read, write and bask in the glory of Paradise on earth. I pour my soul out on paper. Nothing stimulates me more than intelligence, kindness and compassion. Hopelessly romantic (sometimes) solid listener (most times).

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