The Copy Cat....
The Copy Cat....6 mins 406 6 mins 406
Sunita got dressed with a smile on her lips. After a gap of almost four years, she was going out for dinner to a hotel with Rohan. She smiled to herself as she remembered the good old early days of her marriage to the world famous microbiologist, Rohan Kapoor. He was the pick of the pack and the most eligible bachelor of those days and she was the lucky bride.
Rohan was a workaholic from the beginning but his love for his pretty wife prodded him to take off from the laboratory whenever possible to be in her arms. He used to talk non- stop and with great passion about his new project on gene cloning. To Sunita, all this was mere gibberish but she would pretend to listen anxiously as he went on with stories of his path finding research. “If I am on the right track I will be as powerful as your God “ he would say teasing her, “I can create the perfect clone – a carbon copy of any life form…..”.
As the days passed her husband seemed to have no time for her . He would spend endless hours, day after day with the research team. He even got a small bed fixed in his working space to catch up on a shut eye whenever he was tired. Everything else took the back seat…..the romance was out of the window….. Sunita was just Mrs Kapoor– wife of the celebrated scientist and was a special invitee to many social programmes where people would look at her with awe. People envied her but she was sad and lonely. The four walls of her home entrapped her like bird in a cage. She spent most of her time staring out of the large French windows at the deserted driveway to her house…waiting … for her husband to return from his work to her arms. She knew this was just a dream as his research was peaking… soon….he would be out with the startling results ….that would propel him into international fame!!
“Sunita….Sunita……….”, Rohan’s voice was choking with emotion “…. darling …..I have done it….finally my research is a success. I want to celebrate this day. Get into your best silk saree and wait for me. We will go out to the finest Chinese restaurant for dinner”. Sunita was shaken out of her reverie. God has finally answered her prayers and her sweet heart was back like the golden days!
Inspecting herself in the mirror for the hundredth time, Mrs. Kapoor smiled again. Her beaming face glowing with happiness. It was almost time…she started locking all the doors and windows and seated herself near the large French window…. She wanted to spot her jubilant husband as he drove in today. The clock was ticking away. Seven o’clock…what was the delay ? Rohan had promised to be back by 6 pm. Maybe he was busy with the last minute winding up activities. Maybe he was stuck picking up congratulatory messages and telephone calls from important people……….maybe the President of India had called him…… the thoughts kept coming to her.
Ominous clouds were gathering in the sky and suddenly the power went off in the entire area. Thunder proclaimed the arrival of a storm. The sudden pelting rain drummed on the tin sheets in the garden. Still no sight of the car and Rohan! Sunita was now getting angry. “Was he caught up again in a brand new project….just too busy to inform her….or had he forgotten that he was to take her out?”
It was almost nine p.m. The storm was on in full swing. The deserted road ahead looked gloomy. Suddenly life sprang out of the telephone and Sunita rushed to the machine. “Hello……….is that you Rohan?” her voice choking with relief. Silence followed from the other side. Suddenly a stranger spoke . “Good evening, Mrs. Rohan Kapoor. Madam, this is Raju from the Laboratory ….I have some bad news for you. Sir met with a fatal accident returning home at 6.30 this evening and breathed his last on the way to the hospital. I am very sorry”.
“Fatal…accident…breathed his last…who?? Who?? Cannot be my Rohan!” Sunita was becoming paranoid. Things were happening all at once. She was in a dream again…no…this was a nightmare! The voices didn't belong to her. Her body was cold ..the silk saree drenched with sudden sweat. “This cannot be happening to me” What was she going to do next? She has long lost contact with her family. Her body went numb with shock!
The incessant ticking of the clock and the mad drumming of raindrops on the tin sheets were the only sounds she could hear…like a percussions ensemble playing for a tuneless mob! Her thoughts were racing backwards…she was in his arms…his warm smile and warmer hug…so safe and sure….all those beautiful moments…those passionate meetings…all only a nostalgic memory now!!!!
It was well past midnight when the phone rang again pulling Sunita out of her reverie. This time she was hesitant to pick up the receiver. Her feet froze to the ground. But…maybe it was an important call with regards to the accident. Maybe…the hospital was calling about the body. After all, such an eminent scientist deserved a fitting farewell. She gingerly walked to the machine and lifted the receiver.
“Hi honey”………..the voice made her jump out of her skin, ”It’s me………….I am really sorry I got delayed…in the storm…..couldn’t find a landline to call you from and my damn phone had no signals in that area. You must be hopping mad with me. I am now close by and will reach you in a few minutes…see you baby”…. Rohan was his flamboyant old self! “But darling…call from your lab…fatal accident…..” the words were not coming out coherently….suddenly the bolt of lightning cut off the connection and the phone went dead. “Thank God he is alive…this is all a big joke”!!! The relief came in waves to her wearied soul.
Rushing to the window seat she fixed her gaze on the road ahead. Sure enough, through the curtain of rain she could see the headlights of the car as it stopped at the gate and Rohan got out with the umbrella to open the knob. She waved happily to her man and he responded with a flying kiss. What a blessing this was for her!!! The damn phone again…..back to life and ringing……Sunita ran to the machine and cheerfully said her hello. “Yes…who it this?”…………..”Hi honey! It’s me Rohan. I am sorry I got stuck in the laboratory and the roads have all become rivers….you understand, don’t you, my sweetie pie…………..please don’t wait for me. Sleep well and get ready for me in the morning….this time I will not leave you for a minute………”
Sunita started at the porch in front of her as Rohan drove the car into her home…..the telephone stuck to her left ear……Rohan was still online begging to be excused that night!!!!!!!