Namz was feeling creative a few days ago. She is creative 24/7..no doubt but that day she asked me give her a brief outline of ‘The Tuscan Dream’ to work on. She then penned down some M ‘n’ B style story for me. Thanx again, Namz. Here’s what she wrote:
THE TUSCAN DREAM
(dedicated to my dear friend Shibani……who makes life jus’ a li’l bit more non-suck worthy!!!)
The sleepy little town of Montepulciano was buzzing with gossip. The world-famous muralist Marcus Zugno was getting away from it all and finally taking up residence in the plush villa he had acquired over the summer. And accompanying him was his gorgeous and talented wife, the graphic artist know for her edgy and unconventional style…SHIBANI (she preferred to go the Madonna way and ditch the surname!). The couple had travelled the world, seen it all and finally wanted to set down roots in the attractive little hill-town.
The first inkling of their arrival was when the kids sitting around the town square whooped in glee. The ladies peered out of their windows and the men looked up from their afternoon siesta……and all did a double take. A stunning red Alfa Romeo Competizione (**pimped up to stunning perfection and detail**) was purring it’s way up the narrow winding road and at the wheel was a grinning woman, waving excitedly. They didn’t know her from adam’s but already they warmed towards her . She radiated warmth and certain joie de vivre. They could only assume that this charming stranger was the artist, formerly known as Shibani A. But if so, where was her husband?
Hardly had this query passed through their minds that a Citroën C5 ground to a halt. Out jumped a tall, sturdy man. The ladies spluttered and fanned themselves. Although Italy was over-flowing with handsome men, this man could still make their jaded hearts go bippity-boom boom! He was fair, untouched yet by the Tuscan sun…..and his face when it broke into a contented smile revealed a dimple on the left cheek. His sandy-brown hair flopped over one eye and he had an air of solidity and confidence. He stooped to fetch something from the over-loaded Citroën. The villagers craned their necks and one old biddy almost toppled over her stool. She had just been provided with an unhindered view of an extremely fi-ine tushy !!! She cackled gleefully and continued to gawk. The tall stranger plucked out a small oval-faced cherub. She would barely be three years old but already her face was the replica of her mum . The little girl wrapped her arms around her father and they trudged along to the Alpha.
Shibani ( because now it was evident to all and sundry that this was indeed the famous couple ) swung the child from her husband’s arms and dropped a kiss on his travel-weary cheek. He was such a sweetheart, she thought. He knew how she was itching to drive the new Alpha and had decided to let her have a spin while he trudged along with the over-loaded station wagon.
They smiled at the inquisitive passers-by and headed off to their new home. Shibani led out a delighted gasp as she caught her first glimpse of the villa. White-walled with red roofs…….it had little green vines creeping up the entrance-gate . Her eyes flew to the white gazebo tucked into the end of the garden. Already she was imagining the impromtu brunches they would have……. Sparkling wine in tall glasses, delicious earthy cheese from the farm down the road and over-sized loaves of crusty garlic bread waiting to be drenched in golden olive oil. A constant tugging at her jeans snapped her out of her reverie. She looked down to see her daughter pointing delightedly to the right. A glimmer of light caught her eye and she hurried off to investigate. Trudging along on the soft grass, her l’il one’s chubby hand firmly grasped, they stopped short at the edge of a babbling brook (**ok, I couldn’t resist throwing in a cliché!!**). The late setting sun was sending golden ripples along the surface, and the lazy little stream made small gurgling sounds. She sighed with contentment and knew that her nature-loving husband would be spending most of his evenings here. And if luck would have it and Shibz Jr. would have fallen asleep early……..so would she! Before her imagination veered into more risqué territory she turned back….only to bump into her husband. She looked up and caught the same devlish glint in his eyes and knew exactly what he was thinking!!! He waggled his eyebrows suggestively and though she was tempted, she gave him a shove and they headed back home.
The house itself was everything she could have dreamed off……old world charm which neatly incorporated all the modern amenities. Just as Marcus headed off to view his studio, Shibani ran up the staircase and into her new study. It was done up in bright summery shades….with an old antique desk occupying center-stage. And perched on it was her latest acquistion….the super-stylish HP2133 MiNi notebook . What made her gizmo so unique was that the top was embossed with a representation of one of her husband’s most acclaimed murals. Hmmm…… he deserved a very “very special thank-you” for this latest thoughtful gesture. It was almost embarrassing how her thoughts always veered into naughty territory when she thought of her yummy hubby. All it took was one secretive smile from him and she was like a “cat on a hot tin roof”.
As thoughts of Marcus strayed into her head .. she went into the airy kitchen. He was propped on a bar-stool nursing a chilled beer. She stole a sip and knew what she wanted to do next. (**No Shibz, not that!! Get your mind of the gutter!!!! J**) It was time to surprise the neighbours….and a surprise it would be! Pooja and Namratha had know clue who their new neighbours were. With a lot of careful planning and plotting, Shibani had managed to get the entire deal through without revealing her true identity. For all her friends knew, their new neighbour could be a super-snobby, über-bitchy lady who would wreck havoc in their quiet paradise.
Just as she geared up to tackle her friends……she heard the doorbell ring. A spark of intuition told her that it would be Pooja with a bottle of the finest Rosé and Namratha with a dark and dense chocolate cake. The two would be curious as hell and would most probably have dragged their poor hubbies along. With a grin, she flung the door open. And the two outsiders stood gawping……like freshly caught fish. Shibani…..here in Tuscany…their new neighbour ……EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE…. With an ear-splitting scream (so not befitting their supposed-maturity !) they dove in for a big bear hug. The two hubbies shook their heads in mock-despair and headed off with Marcus to grab some beers.
The girls trudged on towards the gazebo….chattering a mile-a-minute Shibz Jr, had lost her initial shyness and was know sitting comfortably ensconced in Pooja’s lap, her face smeared with chocolate icing .
The bottle of wine was opened and they clinked their glasses gently. To new beginnings…to friendship revisted…to good, solid and enduring love that was just inside the doorstep. A time to rest, relax and indulge in a long-overdue cat-session!