"Bhaiyya, jaldi gate kholo," she curtly told the security guard as she reached inside her bag for the car keys. She was in a hurry. It was 7.20 am now, and she had a meeting at eight. She put on some lip gloss, made the thin, dark lips rub each other a few times, and turned on the ignition.
At 7.20 the roads were empty and the air chilly. She rolled down the window. The drive to work -- that was the only time she had for herself. But today there was a meeting, and there was no time to enjoy the drive.
"Fuck you!" she muttered, as the car in front of her at the signal lingered for a few moments even after the lights had turned green.
She imagined herself at the meeting. Two prospective clients were coming to see her. Mr Dutt and Mr Rajshekhar. She tried putting faces to their names: dashing? balding? clean-shaven? pleasant? scowling? She gave up after a while: reality is always different from the imaginary.
Just then, a bike carrying two young men slowed down by her, and the man on the pillion shouted, "Hi sexy!" Before she could spit out her anger on them, they had sped away.
"Bloody bastards," she muttered. "Hi sexy! -- how dare they!"
She adjusted the rear-view mirror and looked at herself. First at the eyes, then the nose, and finally the lips, which were still glowing. She smiled.