I looked at the time… “8.30am.. hmmm time to go to work” I said.. I got up from the bench .. the highway had started buzzing with traffic now.. I took a taxi to work… the day seemed slow.. people having conversations with me.. but I dint seem to hear anything.. people asked me questions.. and all I remember saying “yah.. or sure.. or will do..” the day seemed to lost its meaning today.. I dint know why I felt this way… was it just that she left.. or was it something deeper?
I checked my mail at work.. Exclamation mark… alright.. important mails first..
This is to inform you that your business unit would be changed to Bangalore. For any clarifications and query mail ……
This mail came as something out of the blue.. it was different .. i just acknowledged it and left for the room..the next few days were spent to get some paper work done.. and make preparations to leave..
Within a week I was back home.. the days seemed dull.. I took the bus to work.. and bus back to home.. everyday on the way back.. I used to read her letter again and again.. trying to find what I missed reading the last time.. every time I reached the end.. I read it over again.. *A new Divide ringtone…. I answer the phone…
“Hey Mr. Sharma.. tell me how you doing”
I dint reply…
“….. ah fine.. I’m at my new school.. having some last minute work”
“oh nice.. the one in outskirts”
“yah.. your new in law is been great…”
“kya.. who what..”
The call gets cut.. the bus got stuck in an intersection… I got down from the bus.. and started walking ahead to avoid the traffic.. after a kilometer of walking I noticed a restaurant.. I recognized that it had a familiar signature in the end of its name… “ACHU’S “ …
Achu… the signature lite my face.. I had heard about a close friend of mine starting a chain of restaurants.. but I had no idea it was in this city too.. I had to eat something here… there was one thing achu was good at.. having good taste in chicken.. “so lets go for it…”I said and entered the restau..
The restau had a very nice feel to it.. I took a seat next to windon and waited to be served.. in the end of the restau I could see a huge figure yelling at someone… the back seemed familiar.. I walked upto him… Achu had not changed a bit.. the same black jacket .. the same blue jeans… and the formal shirts.. it was nice seeing something familiar again.. i said,”wassuuupppp!!!” for some reason I couldn’t help my self but say this in the most weird way… he turned around and replied,” what the…. Hey rk… wassup bro..”
Men also hug… we had a nice one.. and we sat by the window.. George Koruthu raised his hand and the chef came running out.. he enquired what was being made for the particular table.. and then he made few modifications to the menu.. to suit my liking.. I was kinda surprised to hear the Kalmi kabab added in the menu…
Our conversation went on for a few hours.. I told him about Saloni and how my days in Kolkata were spent.. he began reading the letter.. he read it twice.. and looked at me surprised.. he said,”really? Rk.. its not what it means..” he stopped abruptly when someone dropped a cutlery from the table.. to distract him from yelling again I asked him,” hey achu what’s with so many CCTv’s “
He gestured me to wait for a while and went inside …. He came back with a few photos … the pictures had Prachi in few of them.. this was surprising.. he said,”I remember seeing this girl somewhere.. I don’t know who is it.. “
“I know her.. I met her some time ago”
“she seemed quite scared.. “
Achu told me about conversation one of his attendants had overheard..
Achu and I knew what we had to do… he went around the back and came back in his black pulsar.. a reminiscent of the old days.. I sat behind him.. like the old days… college days to be precise.. We quickly came out of the busy city traffic…
Every now and then I asked Achu to turn left or right.. the sun slowly started going down.. the darkness was growing… it resembled the situation we were in… the moon was still hidden behind the clouds.. as we started riding into the outskirts of Bangalore.. towards Abhisheks new school.. the clouds grew darker.. I asked achu to get there before the rain got to us… even though Achu was always the safe kind he raced ahead.. sadly the rain got to us… we tried stopping under some trees .. but we had to get to his school …
Achu scremed,”hey rk… my shirt is wet..”
“ha! Atleast you were wearing a jacket.. think about me”
Achu kept taking quick turns in succession to avoid trees, a high speed truck.. and the mile stones.. the rain grew hard on us.. the bike slid every now and then it drove over the wet mud..
A last turn was left.. achu tilted the bike close to the road.. a bright light came towards us from the opposite side .. achu tried hard to maneuver the bike around the huge truck.. we reached the school.. the rain had completely filled the ground with slush .. Achu asked me to head inside the school.. while he tried to park the bike somewhere..
I looked around closely for a electrical power switch.. I flipped few switches.. they dint seem to work.. I assumed the power might be gone due to the rain.. I turned on the light from one of my cell phones.. I walked into the school.. using only the light from the phone.. I tried looking around.. I called out abhishek a few times..
I walked upto the first floor of the school.. “hey… stop…! “ I heard achu scream… I ran to a window.. achu screamed,” someone got into a car and fled away” ..
“ come up.. somethings not right..”
I walked ahead.. my foot steps were very distinct as I walked on a part of the room.. Achu came running with another light in his hand.. the bobbing of the light gave me flashes of the room around.. suddenly our foot steps were not heard anymore.. very slowly achu slid his leg on the floor and said,” this floor slime is too thick.. doesn’t seem like water…”
It wasn’t rain water.. the slime was thick and dark red.. both of us took quick glances at each other.. none of us wanted to know the source.. we pointed the light to find from where the blood came.. we walked ahead faster .. and found him…
The chapter doesnt not mean to hurt anyones sentiments in any way.. No one was hurt during this chapter..