March 02, 2014

Untitled : Part 13

[Previous Part]

"Saara, are you listening to me?"

I did not know if I had the right, but I was starting to get angry at her. I had been pleading her for last 3 minutes to divulge what she told the inspector. 3 minutes. That felt more like 3 decades to the fearful mind and heart. God, please God. Anything but Anna God. Just don't let it be Anna, God please.

But Saara was enjoying all that. She knew I was desperate to know. But instead of being merciful, she was busy gloating on her heroism - oh, how she handled the situation single handedly. 

But I didn't give a damn about all that. She was a hero to me from the moment I had laid eyes on her in the morning. A hero without the muscles on the biceps but a dogged determination in the eyes. A hero without the steel abs on the belly but the guts inside it. And a hero with the superpower of most charming smile in the world.

 "If you don't tell me, I am not walking with you anymore." I give up. I stopped walking.

"Suit yourself." She moved ahead. I waited for her to stop, but she didn't. She reached the end of the narrow lane and hastily took a left turn.

I kept looking at the end of the lane anticipating she would appear again. I waited there. Looking for her. Tick tock. Tick tock. 2 minutes passed but she didn't come.

Is she gone? She abandoned me? Just like that? No, no, no. NOOOO..... 

I ran like mad towards the road, shouting her name, "Saara, Saara...".


I didn't anticipate that happening as soon I reached the end of the lane. I lost control and slipped on the pavement. 

She started laughing hysterically. And then she wouldn't stop laughing. 

If there could be a time at all to be angry with her, it was probably right now. She wasn't telling what she told the inspector. She shunned me in the lane, and now she made me fall on the pavement ruining my clothes. But right now, she was her happiest self since the last 3 hours I had been with her. It melted my heart. I joined her in her laugh.

Her stomach started to ache, and she sat down on the pavement where I was lying. Her eyes had started to sparkle from the water droplets over her pupils. 

Then she looked at me, and smiled, "I am sorry. You didn't think I was going to abandon you, right?".

"In fact, I thought you did"

"You called me your friend in front of the inspector." She paused for a second. "Friends don't abandon each other".

I didn't exactly know what she inferred from that last line. Was she implying we were friends now?  Or was she thinking of her father abandoning her mother. Or was she actually being sarcastic about me abandoning Parag. 

"Yeah...", that's all I could mumble.

"OK. Com'n get up. Let me tell you what I said to the inspector". She stood up and extended her hand. 

It couldn't believe she was the same girl who was hesitating to shake hands with me just 40 minutes ago. The verbal fight with the inspector had really fired her up. 

I took her support and got up. Then I wiped the dust off from my clothes and we started to walk again.

"The inspector knew you didn't understand the local language. So he was saying all sorts of nasty things about you. I tried to intervene....". She started. 

"What kind of nasty things?". I quickly interrupted. 

"They were mean. I don't want to repeat them".

"No, but I want to know".

"It's not that important".

"But, I want to know".

"Do you want me to tell the whole thing or not?"

That shut me up.

"So.... as I was saying, I tried to intervene. But he wouldn't listen to me either. I don't know why society can't expect a guy and a girl to be just friends. Why do they always need a validation?", and she looked at me, probably for validation on what she just said.

Don't look at me, lady. I don't care about what the society thinks. But I sure don't want us to be 'just' friends, now that we were finally friends somehow. 

"Ahh, well... what can I say. That's how the society works, I guess."

"Who needs such a society then? We need our near and dear ones to live our life right, not the society. Families make society. A society can never make up for a family". She was definitely referring to her family right now. I really didn't know what to say.

"Anyways. Sorry. So, the inspector wouldn't buzz. Hence finally to shoo him away, I had to tell him that I am the wife of your elder brother. He wasn't well so he couldn't accompany us. But since you are here only for a days, he asked me to show you around the city. ", and then she pouted.

She delighted and disappointed me together yet again. Pheww... So I am not the Anna. My Anna is my  Anna, except that I don't have any Anna. I was the only child of my parents, just like her. 

But if she had to make someone her husband, why choose my non-existing elder brother. Why not me? What's wrong with me?

"What's wrong with you?"

"What?!", she said, clearly surprised

"No, I mean why did you lie to the inspector. I saw him checking your ID card. What if he now tries to enquire about you. He will find out the truth, and then they will unnecessarily harass you."

"That will never happen, that I am sure of", she smiled.

My concerns were valid, but she knew more about the efficiency of the local police. May be she was right. Police had a lot more to deal with other than finding out about ourselves. I didn't try to argue after that.

After walking for about 10 mins, we saw a shared auto coming from a distance. Saara signaled the auto to stop.The auto stopped near us and the driver signaled us to get inside. 

Saara got into the auto. "Come, we will get our bus from where the auto will drop us".  2 elderly ladies were already occupying the seat opposite to Saara.

I looked at the sky, it looked like it would start to rain at any moment.

"Rids, com'n". Saara called again. I got into the auto and occupied the seat next to Saara. The auto started to move down the scrappy road...

[To be continued]