The Bank3 mins 102 3 mins 102
“What are you doing at this time of the night?”. He parked his cycle gently against the wall and held the lady from behind as she stared at the river from atop of the bridge.
She turned around, shocked but with no sign of worry replied, “Why? Have you got the sole right to be here at this time of the night?”
“I was just returning from my duty. But how come you are here at this time…?”
“Why can’t I be here at this time? Is it because I am a girl?”
“Well, that is indeed the case but more than that is the fact that you are at the bridge with no apparent reason ....”
“Why, is there a need for a reason to be there at a place at any time? Can one not do something with no purpose in mind?”
“You do talk very interestingly, I must admit. Why don’t we sit by the footpath and chat?”
“Why, why do you wish to talk? If you are indeed returning from your duty, why do you not head home? Or is there no one waiting for your arrival there?”
“Forget about me and tell me about yourself. Out in the dark, at this time of the night. Don’t you feel afraid?”
“Why, Does one not feel afraid at home?”
He studied her carefully. “So the situation is so bad that there seems no hope…?”
“Not sure. Not interested to find a path, a solution, and what needs to be done, what does not need to be done - these things hold little meaning for me now. Why don’t you carry on?
I may not be able to carry on now. Do you know that my sister was also standing at this very turn one day? She tried very hard but we were unable to gauge the cries of her pain and she left leaving two little girls behind. Now I hear not just what these little girls have to say. I also make sure not to miss the undulations of emotions on their faces.”
He gently laid his palm on her hand.
He collected himself and asked - “Is there no one at home, someone who can understand your feelings?”
“There is a lot we have at home. People, money, lots and lots of it. And it is not true that they do not understand what one is going through. But often money and power do not allow humans to stay human”.
“Then what? You have ruined my program for the day”.
“You sure have a great sense of humor. And since you are bold as well, some solution or the other will sure work itself out. Keep trying”.
“C’mon, let me drop you home. I take it that no one at home knows your whereabouts?”
“There’s a party going on… Someone must be searching.. But that’s OK”.
“Let’s go, in that case”.
“How will you drop me? In a cycle”. Her eyes filled with the brightness seen in the eyes of little children. “I will ride. Years since I rode one. There's a very good chance that I will fall. But let’s face it”. She pressed hard at the pedal. The cycle swayed this way and that for some distance and then the cycling pace became steady.