Last Sunday, Mr. Malhotra was engaged in a business meeting with his colleagues. He came from his business trip on Saturday and returned home with a lot of official work. His wife was even busier than him. She hardly gets time for her sweet home, though often claims her as a complete homemaker. Either she is involved with her charity or training her pets or going to the club salon. On that particular Sunday, she went out for the morning walk, followed by gymnasium and then to yoga class. After that, she had to go for a body spa and a little bit of shopping.
The attendant had already entered their room and started cuddling the child, Anu, who kept herself engrossed in playing with the pet dog, Jimmy. Anu's friends are fortunate enough, so have gone for an outing with their parents. But her plight is somewhat different from others. She is having same type of days as on weekends and holidays. She wasn't nervous at all for not seeing her Mom & Dad for a long time, as she's well acquainted with the situation. She completed her cornflakes and then rushed to the washroom for having a bath. Suddenly, she got interrupted by the telephone ring. Anu could hear the most annoying sound of landline. She was half dressed and ran to pick the land phone. When she heard the same voice of her mother, importuning the same topic about questioning for the homework, Anu felt slightly irritated. She behaved in a different manner and silently kept the receiver on the desk.
The attendant completed her households and was about to leave, since it was too late to stay with Anu, in fact she was staying overtime. Suddenly Anu's father came in and started talking to her regarding monthly wages. But the attendant was waiting for her bonus as she needs to buy clothes for the festival 'EID'. While the gentleman was paying a bonus, both of them became busy in talking to each other. Anu utilized that time and prepared her mind to leave the home in complete distress and dissatisfaction. But Mr. Malhotra could know nothing about this, as he was totally unaware of the condition.
He finished his snacks and went into his bedroom to change dresses and rest for a while. Almost an hour was over. It was 1 pm, the time for his wife to return. Mrs. Malhotra entered the house, took an apple in her hand from the fruit basket, kept in the dining table. She gave the first bite to eat and entered her husband's room first to show the dresses that she had bought for herself. After a while Mr. Malhotra got agitated, seeing the cash memo, the amount was in absolute round figure and it was exactly 27000. They continued to fight for a couple of hours and suddenly decided to go to their daughter's room to check whether she had taken her lunch or not. After moving to the next room, they discovered the single line written on a page, taken away from the diary of 'Methodist Mission High School', and there was the sentence,
"I deplore both of you, hence have decided to leave my home forever and you'll surely not be able to get the little princess in pink frock."
They got panic stricken, searched every nook n corners of the premises, even outside the building too, informed other families in their neighborhood. But most surprisingly, there was no sign of Anu.
They started their action, went to the local police station and explained all the details to file a missing diary. The Bangalore police is really very active and quite reliable. At that very night, they went to the nearby park, playing ground, school, church, gift shop, game parlor, coffee shop, shopping complex, cinema hall and also visited Anu's private tutor's home. The case was getting worse and they got perplexed. It was like a nightmare for Anu' s parents. They could not sleep for a single moment and life seemed to be a frightening and unpleasant journey.
Next day, they were eagerly waiting for one response from the police officer but the phone did not ring and same did the door bell too. Another day went on like this. There was almost no sign of hope. At the midnight, Mrs. Malhotra took a bath and was really feeling very fatigue because of struggling for the last few days. She was screaming loudly, as she got plunged into a state of complete darkness and a life full of uncertainties. She thinks, she's living in a graveyard. Only a mother can feel her intense grief. Her husband got up from bed and got ill tempered soon as he was obligatorily accusing his wife for her negligence. The lady's voice got almost choked with deep anxiety and loneliness. But she murmured that she'll never give up. She posted a comment on Facebook, asking for help, updated a photo of her child, and sent a request for bringing her daughter back if anybody has seen her Anu, wearing pink frock.
Messages were coming frequently to show sympathy but no clear results were obtained. Mrs. Malhotra shared the photo again in a local stationery shop and a confectionery as well and thrown an offer of paying Rs.000 hard cash if anybody is able to bring her kid back. At the late afternoon, they went to the attendant's house. She was in her home and was busy for the last few days in celebrating 'EID MUBARAK'. They started questioning her and interrogating like an investigating officer. The attendant felt humiliated unexpectedly because she could not even imagine to kidnap their daughter and in turn would ask for a considerable amount of money. The poor lady argued and pardoning continuously. But they lost their senses and was constantly complaining in unprofessional abusive words. Being very insulted, she started crying, sat down on the floor and said that she had not done the offense. But Mr. Malhotra was severely shocked on what's happening with him for a week. He was worried and upset. Being highly disturbed, he shot the poor lady apart and told her not to come to their house again even if Anu returns.
A day went like that. The attendant went to the neighbor's home, a slum for collecting the phone no. of a family member to get a job of a maid servant. There, she could hear a piercing cry of a little girl. The lady asked. A person answered that a newcomer has joined their home, probably they got the kid from roadside last night. The girl is reluctant to have a glass of milk. The attendant started running in bare foot taking sleepers off in her hand, through the narrow lanes of the congested slum. After taking several turns, she saw Anu, sitting on one's lap wearing the same pink frock. Anu lost her charming face and got almost drained out in sorrow and pain. The girl left everybody aside and stood up to complain the attendant about the behavior she's getting since last night. She pointed in her little trembling index finger, that an old lady is forcing her for not drinking milk. All of a sudden, everybody started hue and cry, witnessing the lady actually stealing the girl beneath her arms. Some people threw stones, some started chasing them with a motor bike, some were using slang, while some local robbers were ready with their sharp knife. Some scratched her, some took her bag snatched, her cell phone fell down on the ground, but she did not look back, just went on running, crossed high walls, barren lands full of garbage and at last took Anu at her back and then kept running again.
Then arose the last sign of hope. After hearing the calling bell, Mrs. Malhotra rushed towards the door, she opened and gasped in astonishment. She saw the attendant standing outside and again got highly displeased for seeing the lady. But when she saw Anu at the back, then forgot everything and got mesmerized. The mother came close to take her baby in her arms and expressed deep sorrow, love, affection and happiness too. Tears of joy flushed her eyes and flowing down the cheeks. Meanwhile, Mr. Malhotra also came outside to look at the matter. He took his child aside, kissed on her forehead, hugged and then lifted her up. But when both of them understood that the attendant has actually brought her daughter back, then felt ashamed for all the wrongdoings that have been done. Mrs. Malhotra cried again and repented for what she had done with Anu and also regretted for what was being done with the attendant. She looked at the door soon, went in front of the main gate in hurry and looked all around. But could not see her anymore, anywhere. The attendant vanished within a fraction of second, when Anu's parents were occupied in spending happy time.
On the next day, Mr. and Mrs. Malhotra appointed a new attendant. But Anu did not get her friend, her great companion, her one and only partner in crime, the most favorite 'Ayesha Didi' back. Anu still remembers each and every moment that she spent with her and most importantly, she had put that pink frock in her wardrobe, even though the time lapsed. It was her last birthday gift, given by the special person, Ayesha.