Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell. The devil doesn’t come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns. He comes disguised as everything you’ve ever wished for. Pray that you will never give in to temptation. This is the life tale of Mona whose temptations came from her own desires and dragged her away.


She was the happiest upon hearing the news that she would be going to the big city, Delhi, for pursuing her further studies. Mona Singh, the daughter of the local ration seller of Gwalior had finally scored a 97 percentile and had steered her way into Delhi University. It was the first time she was going to set foot out of Gwalior. For her, a trip to the fort at the heart of the city and eating puchkas at the roadside meant her weekend or vacation getaway. The day she was about to leave, her mother cried and felt as if she was bidding farewell to her daughter after she was getting married, while Mona smiled knowing that her future was about to change.

She sat in the 6:45 A.M. Gwalior to New Delhi Shatabdi which was right on time. Her dad kissed her on her forehead and she waved him a goodbye as the train started moving, leaving trees, platforms, fields and her old identity behind.

She sat in her chair car, next to a group of three boys who she could make out from their conversation, had come to Gwalior for a field project related work and were now going back. The breakfast was served and soon the aroma of hot vegetable cutlets and French fries filled the compartment. She heard the boy sitting 2 seats away from her ask for an extra cutlet. She requested for the same and instead of eating it right away, kept it in her tiffin which her mother had sent with her.

She saw the guys laughing at her and make jokes about this action of hers in hush hush tones. She did not want to be a laughing stock. She only took that extra piece so that she could give it to her cousin as a present.

Did big city people not keep food in their bags? She took a note of this and resolute not to embarrass herself again.

The train stopped and she came outside at the station where her Arun uncle, her mama ji, was waiting for her. She did a quick Namaste to him and headed straight to his house. Mona’s mother had asked her brother to keep her at his house for three years because she did not trust PG’s or hostels. Mona was showed her room on the second floor. She slid the curtain and opened the window. As soon as she did this, she saw a boy of about her age, lean, muscular and with wet hair, come outside his bathroom in his towel. If she were in her small city, her mom would have slapped her for seeing an unknown boy like this. But this was Delhi. People here come like that out of their bathrooms without their windows fully shut, she thought.

Her Mami ji called her downstairs for lunch and also told her to wear a nice traditional dress for the evening as they would be going to their neighbour’s house for a puja and then have dinner there. It was the same house where she saw the ‘Towel Guy.’ Would she be able to talk to him? Had she developed a crush at first sight? The first ever, in her whole life of 18 years.