It was a white bungalow. There were pink bougainvillea flowers growing along the walls. Outside, near the imposing black gate, two police officers in khaki uniforms stood guard. They had pistols attached to their belts.
This was the house of the governor of the State.
The governor was a woman. She studied and got into the Indian Police Service. She became a successful police officer. She then took an early retirement. Now, she supported a political party that came to power at the national level. The government appointed her as governor.
But she had a secret.
She had a Muslim lover.
This was anathema for the party. They believed in the supremacy of the Hindus. They had a visceral hatred for Muslims. The governor’s career would be damaged if the government came to know.
But it would be difficult for the government to know. He was her personal security guard. So, he accompanied her everywhere. At night, he stood guard outside her bedroom door. Occasionally, he would go in and make love to her. Nobody knew. He was the only security guard.
The governor had never married, much to the disappointment of her parents. She had focused on her career. But now in her mid-fifties, time had run out — to marry, have children and enjoy family life. Plus, she was not keen to be bogged down. She wanted freedom above everything else.
This arrangement worked fine. The security guard was also not interested in anything permanent. The governor was 20 years older.
He had no intention at the beginning. But working so closely next to her, one thing led to another. When she undressed, he discovered she had a supple body.
She gave no hint because she wore loose-fitting shirts and trousers. She wore no make-up or any form of jewellery. People thought she had no sexuality at all. But that was not true. In bed, she was an active participant. And she gave as generously as she took. So, the security guard enjoyed his time with her.
This arrangement continued for a few years, with both parties satisfied with their roles.
Then the governor resigned. She decided to stand for elections in the party’s name.
The party offered her money and resources. She campaigned from morning to evening. She went in and out of houses, up dusty lanes and down tarred roads. She rode in a cart, a car, an auto-rickshaw, a truck, a tractor, and a minivan to show she was in touch with the common man. The security guard remained by her side all the time. But it was too risky to share her bed because they were staying in unknown houses and hotels.
Despite the enthusiasm shown to her by the people in the constituency, she lost. But the governor was not disappointed. It was her first time. In politics, it is difficult for a newcomer to win.
But it disappointed the party she had lost. They had pinned their hopes on her winning the seat. She was well-known and appeared in the media a lot.
‘Now what?’ she thought.
‘Now what?’ thought the security guard.
She went to her home in New Delhi. From her own resources, she began paying the security guard. He stood outside. When nobody was around, he stepped inside and served her.
The arrangement continued.
But the pressure was growing on the security guard to get married.
So, he did.
He had a charming wife who grew up in a village. He enjoyed his conjugal relations with her.
The governor requested he continue with the ‘private arrangement’ with her.
He thought about it for a couple of days. His mind told him, ‘Why not?’ His wife would not know. If they remained cautious, like he and the governor had always been, things could continue.
And they did.
Four years later, the security guard became the father of two boys.
The marriage continued. He was a devoted husband and father. He also looked after his parents. He celebrated Id, Holi, Christmas and the New Year.
As for the governor, she had joined an NGO that helped rehabilitate sex workers. The pay was good. She was happy with her job. She was no longer in the limelight. Unlike most people, she did not miss the spotlight. She felt she lived a more authentic life now.
One afternoon, the governor had a heart attack.
The security guard rushed her to the hospital in an ambulance, sirens blaring.
But it was too late.
The hospital pronounced her dead on arrival.
The security guard shed tears at the crematorium. They had a beautiful relationship of mutual respect and love. The governor was only 64 when she passed away.
Life went on.
Two months later, a lawyer contacted the security guard. He told him the governor had given him a flat worth Rs 1 crore in New Delhi and Rs 20 lakh in cash.
The security guard almost fainted in shock.
He asked the lawyer why.
“In the will, it is written, ‘For services rendered’,” said the lawyer.
“Thank you,” said the security guard.