Written in the backdrop of Bombay, Bubbly is a short story by Khalid Salamat which tells a heart-warming tale of love and relationships.
Bombay, December 1982
After the long flight from L.A to Bombay, though badly jetlagged, I couldn’t contain the excitement to be in my hometown after nearly six years. Unable to sleep, my train of thought took me to bygone years, the carefree days of youth and my friends, for whom I had great fondness. Then Alia Ansari emerged on my mind’s screen, sending a wave of ecstasy to every pore of my body. I had fallen head over heels in love with Alia. A love that was destined to remain unrequited. It upset me greatly that for her life partner, she chose Taimur Ahmad, who, in my opinion and that of many others, was not her match.
Though no femme fatale, Alia had an outstanding presence. She was tall, sensuous and her stunning figure made heads turn. Her hair was dark and long, and eyes, dusky and thoughtful. Despite her emotional volatility, she was unassuming. Above all, her innate compassion made Alia exceptional. She headed charity projects and spent days raising money for the underprivileged. She donated her earnings from part-time tutoring to the needy peons, gardeners, and clerks of her faculty. Her charity work didn’t affect her grades as she always excelled academically. Alia, Taimur and I were doing our masters at the University of Bombay. We had come from St. Xavier College but had chosen different majors. I had taken Sociology; Taimur, Economics; and Alia, in line with her ambition, Psychology.