It’s raining heavily today. There is no one on the platform as all the trains were canceled.
According to the weather forecasts, the rain would continue for the next 48 hours and so all the streets were dead silent.
One girl dressed in traditional Indian wear is looking for someone. Someone who was with her earlier but now seems to have disappeared.
Just then she visualizes two people dancing in the rain as funnily as possible. This is her past, now she misses him even more. Without losing hope she tries to find the station master but find’s a lady ticket collector (T. C) who reminds her of someone. The person, whom she hated, hates and will hate the rest of her life. All she manages is to fake a smile and ask about the person who apparently was lost on the same platform.
Girl: Have you seen him, he is my boyfriend who was set to arrive here from Jarna express yesterday morning but now there is no news of him.
T.C: So madam, please register a complaint in the police station after completion of 24 hours (she smiles).
Girl: (Why is she smiling?) ok can you tell me where should I exit from?
T.C: Sure ma'am but I think you should wait in the restroom as it is pouring outside.
Girl: (Again faking a smile) No thanks, but I should find him.
T.C: Sorry but can I ask a personal question?
T.C: Did you breakeup or he left you?
Girl: Why would you say that?, he is just missing.
T.C: Because ma’am Jarna train is only scheduled on Friday means you will see it only after two more days.
Girl: Don’t lie to me (suspecting something fishy).
T.C: Why would I lie?
Girl: who knows she mutters to herself...maybe she is the girl whom she suspected to have an alleged affair with her boyfriend, she looks like her but is she dreaming!! Because all this seems unusual, and the feeling is killing her from inside
T.C: Please ma’am I think you are tired.
Girl: Sorry, where is the restroom.
T.C: Here on the left.
Girl: Thanks (smiling wearily this time)
**To be continued…..
Creaking tables and cackling chairs welcome her in the restroom. Dim lights and a fan hung high on the ceiling are rotating in almost dead speed. She spots an old weary bench in the corner and adjusts herself in there.
Suddenly she hears someone giggling from the other dark corner and wonders who could be that. May be a couple is making out and therefore she decides to ignore. But she can’t stop noticing a familiar voice, a lovable voice that is like music to her ears. The voice she is badly missing since some days but it feels like thousands of years.
Unable to control she decides to have a look because a part of her stable mind says that it may be her tiredness that makes her think all this.
With cold feet and aroused heart beat she tries to find, but alas it was all her imagination. May be her mind had recalled the old days when she was with him doing all the mischief which she herself was cursing few minutes ago. She drops in tears and sobs in silence.
This is what love can do, it has the power to weaken the strongest of souls and weaker souls can find love and turn into something powerful.
The walls close in and the glum ambiance makes her sweat in anticipation. She feels claustrophobic, so much that her legs start trembling and she finds it impossible to breathe.
Somehow she manages to gather herself and tries to stand up on her legs fail and she drops on the floor. Her duppata gets soiled and she faints.
Her eyes open after a couple of hours. She finds a ruffled muffler which looked damn familiar to her. In spite of the dust she sniffed it and managed to grab the fragrance of the perfume she was looking forward to.
Yes, it was his scent one which she could never forget in her life. Although she felt elated for a moment the next one was filled with anxiety and fear of how he could have left it here, in this god forsaken place.
She runs outside to find someone but it was as empty as it could have been. The ticket collector had also disappeared now and all she could find it was utter hopelessness which seemed to fill the entire place.
Somehow she manages to find the exit, boards a rickshaw and finds the nearest Jogeshwari police station. The constable directs her to the inspector and he greets her with a cunning smile.
Inspector Bharadwaj is a hairless handsome who always greets a visitor with an intriguing expression. An expression which is enough to set doubt in anyone’s mind. His lust for women was no secret in the entire area as everyone knew about his infamous visits to brothels. He eyed women with lust, suspicion and anger all the same time.
His reputation was no mystery for his seniors but they too had to keep quiet because of his solid political connections.
He inspected her from top to bottom once, took a half round around her and by holding the top and arm of her chair asked in a rusky voice,
Inspector: Madam is your husband missing from more than 24 hours?
Girl: (pauses..) No, he is not my husband.
Inspector: Then who is he? There must be some relation.
Girl: Yes, he is my fiancée.
Inspector: (laughs) is this arranged by your parents or you both have decided?
Girl: (thinks) No we have not decided yet but we are in relation from past one and a half years.
Inspector: Then till what point you both have reached?
Girl: (Angrily) means? I didn’t get you.
Inspector: Its simple did you have breakfast, lunch or dinner together.
Girl: (pauses & thinks) Sir, please be clear and specific.
Inspector: Arey….(looks at her decidedly) I am asking about the physical aspect of your relation.
Girl: It is none of your business (abuses him in her mother tongue Bengali but in her mind)
Inspector: It is because the interest of the boys of this generation does not sustain after the last part..you know what I mean right?
Girl: Sorry it’s my personal thing and I would not share it with a stranger.
Inspector: Ohh…..then don’t expect any help either.
Girl: (looks at him angrily) But it is your duty.
Inspector: It is but I need your full co-operation dear.
Girl: But why? I have a photograph of him you just need to investigate and find him, that’s it. (Looks frustrated)
Inspector: But you are not in direct relation with this guy, right? So you either ask some close relative of his to come here and lodge a complaint or I want the full details.
Girl: Can I take some time and come again?
Inspector: Yes you have all the time in the world.
(To be continued)…..
She comes out hires a cab and her mind drifts a few years back when she first met him. It was the month of September when she first saw him and he was not even looking at her.
It was certainly not love at first site but she was also not able to ignore him. He was not the coolest of the lot but there was some mischief in his eyes that touched her soul. He took out his glares and she felt she missed something. Feeling sad she entered her cabin. It was her first day in her new office and she was full of butterflies in her stomach. She was hired as an admin in the HR department and therefore she had to be on her toes 24/7, she thought.
When she saw Nandini, the HR she was awestruck and instantly felt competitive. Not that she was any less beautiful but anyways girls are like this and men think that women dress up only for them.
A long white Kurti and slate pencil jeans was what Nandini wore and even that simple attire made her look classy. Curly hair, inviting eyes and perfect lips made her look like an angel.
She took her to introduce to the team members and she felt the butterflies again. Not because she was nervous or anything but here she saw him again and that it was a feeling mixed with fear, happiness, nervousness and a lot more.
And to be the icing on the cake the vain guys asked the HR to wait outside as they themselves will conduct this rendezvous affair. She couldn’t believe that the guy she saw downstairs would be working in her very office and she could’nt digest it in one go. Fate plays a role in some ways when it has to make people meet, fall in love and finally separates them, she now thought and tears dwelled up in her eyes.
One guy: Are tension nahi lena yahan aise hi hotahai, please introduce yourself.
Other guy: Are Sir, ye rule sabke liye hai isiliye vrna hum khubsurat ladkiyo ko q pareshan karenge. (every one laughs).
Such bullies she thought.
That guy: Ruko yaar usko naam toh bolne do, fb me search krna hai ki nahi apko. ( roar of laugher even she could’nt control the laughter this time).
She: (gather courage) Hello everyone, my name is Phalguni and I have joined today as an admin in HR.
After that everyone introduces themselves to her and then the usual questions where you are from what are your hobbies are asked and she feels relived. They are not that crude, she thinks. No names are registered on her mind accept one. And she recalls that his name is Anek, how can one guy be called as Anek she thinks and laughs by herself.
She meets Nandini and she asks how the guys were?
Phalguni: Not as bad as I thought thank God!
Nandini: Smiles, they are mischievous but good at heart. Especially the bearded one Anek is the prankster among them.
Phalguni: (thinks about his joke and laughs)…
Nandini: what happened, he did crack some jokes right, God I saw want to hear them but every time they drive me out.
Phalguni and Nandini instantly hit it together and decide to team up against the guys and girls who have formed a group says Nandini.
Suddenly the car halts with a screech and her head bumps hard into something. She can feel the warm blood oozing from her forehead but at the same time her head is turning numb and cold. May be she will die, maybe she won’t who knows but that rainy evening only had this much to hold.
(to be continued)….