Mita’s workplace ensured that there wasn’t a dull moment around her. True, the occasional dry lulls made her cringe, retrospect at her career choice and wonder whether enraging her entire household to do what she felt was a perfectly normal thing for her, was really worth it. Today wasn’t one of those days.
Much to the dismay of her parents, as a child Mita was curiously drawn to the neon lights of a bar close to their house. It hadn’t downed its shutters even after continued efforts of the residents of the area. While Mita’s father reprimanded her if she even walked past it, on one occasion when the front door was left open she had observed in amazement a bartender performing some incredible fire tricks.
She had her heart set on it then and there. She wanted to do it too. Taking her parents’ threats and warnings of disowning her and not funding her education on her chin she went ahead and got certified. Mita was now a pretty girl who could rock even her drab bartender attire.
Standing against the backdrop of an assorted collection of shiny international labels and beautifully arranged colourful bottles, in stark contrast the bar counter she was currently working at looked overused and unkempt. She looked harried and slightly overwhelmed herself. Some India vs Pakistan cricket match was playing on the huge LCD screen inside and people had gathered there is hordes to watch it.
“Can I get a Vodka Martini please?” a female voice asked Mita as she took a moment off to press her fingertips against her temples which were throbbing with all the commotion. Immediately, she turned back. The lady was polite and a regular fixture at their lounge bar but hardly ever spoke more than a few words. Mita was surprised with her choice of drink today. Didn’t she always order a diet coke?
As she handed her the drink, Mita noticed that the lady wasn’t escorted today like always and had a deep cut on her lip. As if aware of it the lady blurted out, “I wonder how you survive in this man’s world. You’re so pretty. Don’t people come on to you, especially in a place like this? I bet they feel entitled. Ask me!” Absent-mindedly she brought the ice-cold glass near her lip and touched it there momentarily.
Mita half-smiled and said, “Ma’am, I’ve been doing this for almost a year now. I hear stories about lost love and broken hearts every day, every hour. I’m not sure if I can handle it. Of ice and men which one is colder, I have yet to figure out. Until I do, I have my uninhibited candour, karate and pepper spray to take care of myself. You must try it too. It’s awesome!”
This post has been written as a part of #Barathon on Blog-A-Rhythm
Today’s prompt: Of Ice and Men