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Call the number : 3 votes.
Do not Call the number : 4 votes
The Greatest Emotion Cannot be Expressed- Only Felt,
Just like a Diamond can be worn not stared at.
Just like a Diamond can be worn not stared at.
(Tap…tap…tap…tap…tapp…. ) .. preparing for meetings is the trickest thing to do.. you need the concentration to stay concentrated.. and to beat it.. I was doing it at over time…
*tring….*tring… “hello? May I speak to rk “,said the voice from the other side .. I couldn’t believe my ears.. “ hey Sal.. what you doing I am at work..”.. “come down na”,she said.. in a bigger shock.. “where!! Where are you..” “neeche , come down already, in the p.c.o”
In my head.. I said.. she is one crazy girl.. I quickly left the office and ran outside.. she was standing on the other side of the road.. with her green beat.. it seemed greener the usual.. may be she took her car for a wash!! I sat in the car and said,”why don’t you get a phone” .. “I don’t need it.. why dint you call on that number” .. I kept quite.. I dint know what to tell her.. we arrived at the highway… for the next few hours we walked on the side walk.. after having dinner together, she dropped me to my room.. and left..
From this day , the routine continued.. after work.. I find her at the parking lot.. we both go to the highway.. walk and enjoy talking to each other and have dinner at the road side food stalls. On the days we ate the street food.. I always went back to my room and have another light meal. After a month , we started trying out various restaurants in the city. But one fine night came, when she saw me eating like a carnivore.. she ended throwing up, since that day we either dint eat out at all .. or always went to a Vegetarian restaurant.
How time seemed to pass with her, was something I never knew. This city seemed fuller of life when I was with her.There were some evenings she never came , or she came late with her eyes holding back tears. I never got the courage to ask her what her pain was. I usually ended up giving her unique performances every day she was sad. Days turned to months.. and in no time three months had gone by..
After finishing up my work, my collague informed me of having me to go to bangalore to give a presentation on a project.Excited to get back home for a brief time.. I packed my stuff and came out.As usual Saloni was standing at the gate.
“hey you seem happy”
“ahh !! yah, I need to give a presentation”
“so? Why you happy about that”
“I need to give it on Monday in bangalore”
The low tone voice made me realise she wasn’t as excited as I was..
She kept quite for some time.. and then said,” when are you leaving?, are your tickets confirmed,?” “Monday morning flight, yes they are confirmed.. the company…..” even before I could finish she asked,“for How many days are you going to be there?, when will you be back,” ..”oh.. relax.. just for two days .. the return is for Tuesday night” ..she quicky replied , “whats going to happen to me..” I had no answer for her question.. I just looked at her.. very slowly the blush on her face grew.. I smiled.. the weird gut feeling I felt at this moment was amazing.. I couldn’t describe it.. she turned away looking at the road ahead.
The highway came, she parked the car.. and quickly said.. “ok lets do this, come to my place...”
She invited me to have dinner with her.Her dad’s younger brother was on a connecting flight from canada, as the next flight was few hours apart..She had decided to cook dinner for her uncle till the time.. “ok .. so I can finally meet your aunt and niece.. ,also nana its been a long time..” ,” and what about your dad” .. “I don’t know”,she replied. Confused about her answer I asked,“will he be there.” She yelled back,”I don’t know.. I told you na.. so leave it.” I did not ask her anything else.. after eating chaat and a burger.. we started heading back to the car.After dropping me at my room, she pulled down her side windown and said,”and suno.. better clean up nice ok??” “clean up nice, what is that supposed to mean” I enquired. She just laughed and drove away..
Half of my Saturday was gone into making preparations for the presentation, once that was done I started to ponder about more serious matters in hand.. “Clean up nice” meaning shave properly?? or wear formals?? Or wear something appropriate.. the unknown was driving me crazy.. I finally decided to wear my favourite pair of jeans..
“ah!! Five minutes to eight..”, looking at my watch.,”why did I come so early.”, “I am never on time” I had various similar questions in my head.. as I rang the door bell.. Saloni opening the door.. she looked beautiful as ever, the white salwar suit with the red dupatta made her look very pretty, she pulled me by my hand and with a smile said,” oh .. you can clean up nice… anyways all the best “ , and she called her mom.. I has startled.. thinking what was more shocking to hear.. the clean up nice.. or the latter…
From the door in the front, a group of people came rushing out.. saloni quickly introduced me to her mom,
Her mom wore a dark colour saree.. was wearing glasses just like the pair nana wears.. nana stood next to me and gave me a hi-5 for some unknown reason.. the uncle and aunt- Raj and Priya seemed like a match made in heaven.. they both completed each others sentences.. even though Raj uncle, stayed away from home they had a very good bond. Next came saloni’s younger brother Rishab.. blue jeans and yellow t-shirt.. with a thick pair of geeky glasses.. he came and stood close to me but dint speak a word.
Raj uncle’s daughter Alisha went to sleep early, so I wasn’t introduced to her, I looked around for a while to see which one is saloni father.. noticing me looking around, saloni’s mother said,” her dad has gone out, to meet his old friends.”
Quickly I was dragged to the hall.. everyone sat around me and kept asking random questions.. for a while I dint know who to reply to first.. saloni wasn’t seen around .. after few more minutes I heard her calling her mother.. slowly priya aunty , nana and her mother left the hall… Raj spoke to me for few more minutes before he got a call and so left the room.All this while Rishab was sitting next to me swinging his legs. Very slowly he asks me..,” are you a computer engineer”, “yes rishab tell me”I replied.. he pulled my hand and took me to his room..and said ,” my computer doesn’t work.. daddy is not fixing it.. what is wrong” I smiled at him , pulled up my shirt sleeves and started inspecting the computer. I struck up a conversation with Rishab.. he quickly started talking about everything he was interested in..As soon as I finished finding the root of the problem, Saloni comes rushing in and says,”her dinner is ready.. watcha upto”.. noticing what her brother made me do.. she said,” he is really missing his computer games..” and sent rishab to the dinning room.. I started walking out with saloni slowly behind him..
Reaching the dinning room.. saloni said,” there is a surprise for you!!” ..not knowing what to expect I just followed her to the seat she reserved for me.. quickly the food was brought from the kitchen. Saloni quickly took a spoon and started serving me the food.. ,seeing her so excited I enquired, “ did you make ? “ I finished my sentence and she places a big piece of tandoori chicken on my plate.. for a second I didn’t know how to react.. I looked up at her.. her hair was covering her eyes.. she tried very hard to hide her face.. but seeing her cook something which made throw up made me hold her in my arms..Uncle Raj quickly said,” you are here so she’s cooking chicken, you must be really special.” The latter phrase made both of us smile uncontrollably..
She kept serving me food.. and I kept eating.. I dint find myself say no for anything that she served me.. the red tandoori chicken had the exact amount of flavour in it.. the chicken biryani although seeming ordinary tasted like heaven.. such delicious food made me even hungrier. After the dinner I went the balcony and spoke to raj uncle for some time.. Saloni came with 2 bowls of ice cream.. uncle raj went inside.. I stood there staring at saloni without saying a word.. she kept asking,” kya hua ?” I smiled back. Rishab came rushing into the balcony , he did not anticipate where I would be standing..he tripped.. his bowl of ice cream fell on my jeans.. rishab got up ..looked at saloni and said “hes here.” Saloni replied,” ok take him to the washroom , ill take care of it “
Saloni went out.. Rishab held my hand and started taking me out slowly.. rishab’s hand was cold.. I asked him,”who came?” .. he looked up at me and replied,” My dad.” We went out of the balcony back into the house.. Saloni’s dad was standing there shouting at her mother.. Raj uncle trying to stop him from getting violent.. priya aunty and nana standing in the corner.. Saloni went upto him and said,” why are you drunk again” he moves forward to slap her, uncle Raj catches hold of him.. rishab slowly moves me across the room to take my upstairs.. his father looks up and yells,” and who is he.. hey you” . Nana just signals rishab to keep walking. Rishab quickly takes me to the washroom. He then says,” last switch on the left,”.. I replied,”ok cool.. and rishab what happened to him..” rishab replies,” oh don’t worry he gets drunk quite often these days.. his retirement made him lose his cool “ Rishab runs away downstairs.
After sometime the loud noises from the below seem to have gone down.. I walked out of the washroom and I see a 7 yr girl standing at the corridor.. “hey diya, I am rohit..” I said looking at her.. slowly rubbing her eyes she replied,” I know about you.. didi talks about you a lot..” In my head i kept thinking ,’why is everyone wanting to embarrass me tonight??” I told her.. “why are you awake.. chalo go sleep” .. she replies..” no one told me a story tonight..” I replied,” oh ok.. ill call saloni”.. she looked up with a bunny in her hand almost falling on the floor and said,”why don’t you read it for me..” Hating the idea.. i took Diya to her room.. took a book and slowly started reading little mermaid… as Diya tucked herself into her bed... By the time i finished 3/4th of the bedtime story.. Diya was fast asleep.. her bunny was thrown somewhere. And she was hugging my arm as hard as possible.. afraid of waking her up again.. I reached out for her bunny with the other arm.. slid it into her arms .. and took my arm away.. I got up and lifted her blanket to cover her. Slowly I walked out of the room, and Saloni was standing at the doorstep. Saloni had tears in her eyes.. I went close and asked,”what happened” .. She wiped her tears and said,”thanks.” We went downstairs.. where the whole environment had become silent.. uncle raj and priya aunty sitting on a table.. with distress all over their faces.. I suggested saloni that’s its time for me to leave. Saloni decided to drop me .
While Driving back, Saloni broke into tears. She stopped the car.. sitting on the car bonnet.. Saloni told me the long pain she is bearing. The reason why she met me with tears in her eyes. Her Father retired a year ago.. since that time Saloni was the bread earner in the family.. Uncle raj left India to work abroad.. Her father couldn’t bear that a girl was running the family.. he came home drunk every day yell at everyone and collapse.
I stood with saloni.. her head on my shoulders and she trying to control her tears.. she let out all her feelings.. after some time.. she stopped..guessing not to say anything wrong.. I told her to go home..after denying for sometime.. she finally drove the car and went back.. I called a cab.. and went to my room.. and went to bed with all the alarms prepared for the flight next morning..
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