January 25, 2014

Untitled: Part 10

[Previous Part]


"Ohh...". I was both delighted and disappointed at the same time. 

I was happy that my 'A-ending name' theory proved to be right. But Saara wasn't a South Indian Name. 

"Shraddha would have been golden! Even Saarika, Sirisha, Sachita, Sadhna, there were so many choices. But Saara? Really?", I thought.

"Saara? Really?" I said. I realized, I was thinking too loud.

"Yeah, Saara", she said in her typical faint voice.

"But...", the phone started blaring again. I made an apologetic smile, and took out the phone from pocket. As I looked at the caller ID, I could see she was waiting for my question to finish.  

It was Parag. The God damn of a Parag. The utter disgrace in the name of a friend. 4th call in last 1 hour. Why can't he just let me be alone for a few minutes?

I knew he had to be terminated from the scene. I picked up the call this call this time, "Yeah Parag". 

"What the hell!!! Where in the freaking hell are you? You know I am going to smash you into half once I meet you", Parag was at his loudest best.

"Mate, I am stuck somewhere. My bus got into an accident, and I am just trying to find my way out.", I tried to remain calm and not utter back cuss words in front of the lady. But Parag's voice and timing were not helping the cause.  

 "Oh, to hell with you and your accidents. The movie starts in 15 mins, and I am going in. Saif and Pankaj are also going with me. You can stay wherever you are and have fun yourself.", Parag said. 

"Screw you too mate!!", I shouted back, and disconnected..

I immediately apologized, "I am so sorry. He is just an annoying friend I met a few days ago". 

I knew Parag since 7 years. He was probably my best friend. He was there when I had nobody to talk to. But I thought the details didn't matter at this moment.

We started walking again. The weird silence crept in as we paced through the almost empty pavement with the dark and cloudy weather setting the scene. It was getting unusually cold, and I could see her shivering a little.

I so wanted to offer my coat like a movie hero, and earn some brownie points. Only problem was that I didn't have any coat, and I was probably shivering more than her. I felt helpless.

"But, Saara doesn't sound like a South Indian name", I completed my question after 8 minutes. 

"Yeah", she was terse again.

"Then?", I wasn't going to take a short answer for an answer.

She paused for a few seconds. I waited patiently.

"My father wasn't from here. He was from Jammu. He named me Saara.", I noticed a slight quiver in her voice. 

Daughter of a guy from North! It was getting interesting. 

"Oh, OK. But what does Saara mean?", I had this habit of asking for the meaning of names which I don't understand. 

"The name Saara is of Arabic origins. It means Princess. He used to say I was his little princess.", her father was quite right, I thought. It brought a slight smile on my face.

"I am so sorry about your father's loss", I tried to be sympathetic.

"He is not dead". I stopped for a second, but she moved ahead without emotions.

"I don't understand."

"He doesn't live with us. My father's parents didn't like my mom. So, he left my mother when I was 3 years old. Sometimes he would send me gifts. But he never calls. I don't know what my father looks or sounds like", I could see a deep pain run through her face.

"My mother only has a few old photographs of them together. A few years ago I found out, he married someone else.", I sensed she needed someone to hold her. But I was just a stranger whom she met 20 minutes ago. I didn't dare to move an inch.

She took a minute to come back to her senses, "So while he isn't technically dead, he is as good as dead for us. Probably you can be sorry for my father". 

Who knew a pretty girl sitting on a bus stop would have such a terrible history. World is such a strange little place. I was also surprised she was telling all this to a guy about whom she didn't knew anything, except his first name and hometown. I deducted she didn't have too many people to talk to about this.

We reached the end of the road and took a turn to a narrow lane. It seemed to be shortcut to reach the other end, and take the next road. The lane looked like the backyard of some abandoned buildings.

"Aaayyy...", a strong burly voice coming from behind us, startled us.

I feared the worst. This was a secluded place, it was pretty dark even in the middle of the afternoon. I could see two long shadows on the road in front, coming closer slowly. And I had a girl alongside me.

With a pounding heart, I turned behind...

[To be Continued]