The doorbell rang. It was the first day of the month.
On the doorstep of house number 104, George Street, stood Zeenat Amaan. She'd come to collect the monthly rent. This beautiful woman came calling because Mohammad Mullah, the house owner, and her father, told her to. He believed his daughter was his luckiest charm. So all money dealings had to happen through her precious palms.
Mohammad Mullah was an institution in himself. His life was straight out of Bollywood, with enough masala and intrigue to snap anyone out of their slumber. His daughter was his crowning jewel-his pride and joy. She held not just his heart but many more that came beating her way, taking some, kicking some.
Her appearance at the house ignited tumultuous feelings inside both Shehzad and Ali. The first wanted to bed her. The second longed to marry her. Shehzad and Ali stood drooling. And Rishi? He sat unmoving like an avatar of Vishwamitra. Life had bulletproofed that overrated organ throbbing near his lungs, making him immune to any degree of beauty.
Zeenat couldn't care less. She liked having both men dancing at her feet. One oozed sex. The other spelt grace. It was a heady mix, flooring her, but confusing too. She liked floating on Ali's compliments. And crashing on Shehzad's bed. The Pakistani warmed her heart. The Bangladeshi made her hot and sweaty. Both messed up her thermostat way too much. One thing though left her cold-and that was Rishi. The sour and sullen housemate was like furniture to her-existing, but not overtly mattering in the daily scheme of things. Rishi was okay with that, and both tried to outdo the other in this game of indifference.
Zeenat, on the other hand, was thrilled by the new complications in her life. Ali or Shehzad? Shehzad or Ali? Life was looking up for her. The Dhaka Romeo made her insides jelly. His angular chin, bunched and rippling torso, his unkempt hair . . . she couldn't have enough of him. Together they erupted like a volcano that had an overload of lava. On the other hand, small talk with Ali was like a soothing massage, gentle and comforting. She felt secure under his wings.
With Shehzad, things were electric. She was drawn. Pulled to him, she held on to Ali too, making a perfect triangle. The third angle in a love triangle is notorious for messing things up. This house was no different. Too many suitors in one house led to collisions-fiery ones.
But this was just the beginning, a trailer of things to come.
PS: Cover image is for representation purpose only.