Started at (K)nighted Men-Part 1
Contd from Someone somewhere- Part 11
“Mr. Suri?” he spoke.
Was that the only time he had thought of Sudha? And of course that fateful night when he met her parents. No he had thought of her more. He had found her to be a rather interesting case on the whole.
Fifteen. And homeless. And all these years no one bothered to even register a missing report in her name. In fact from the looks of her father he seemed to be more relieved and okay about her having run away.
Did they speak the truth that night? Tell him all that there was to her getting lost on the platform?
And in a rather sharp contrast, Rehan at same age who was homeless and burdened with the load of a widowed mother, found himself a home on that very platform. Funny how fate words.
Where he had no option she on the other hand manifested herself with one.
Could they have met there? How long has she been missing?
“Ten years,” he remembered the mother’s repeated words.
Rehan must be twenty back then. And successful. No it was impossible that they would have met. But something was amiss. A link he couldn’t see. Sudha had been calling Malini that day and by the sudden shock on her face, Malini looked to be hiding something herself.
“Ramlal, phone records,” he called out in the blank space of the room.
Mala went back to the platform that night. She even located the little corner where they used to put up night after night for four long years. And up there she saw the now almost invisible engraved words “Mala & son”.
“No maa, that is all what we will build. You and me. We don’t need no one,” a sudden tear dropped off her cheek.
Such vibrant dreams in his eyes.
“Mala?” and a man’s crippled voice interrupted her train of thoughts.
Time was moving. Slowly for the world but very fast for her. She could feel the heat on her neck. But the man in front had a million things to ask her today.
“You seem happy,” he mocked.
“I am doing okay. If okay is the new happy then yes happy,” she maintained a steady voice despite the fear inside her.
He laughed, crookedly.
“I admire your courage really. There must be something up your sleeve. A move I have missed all along,” he replied, gauging her strength by the balance of her eyes.
“There is no move. And there is no something. If you now please allow me the sanctity of my house again. I would prefer you call next time,” her sharp response caused him to laugh a bit more.
He got up with a jerk and shook her limp hands, “okay baby, this time I let you have your cards and your way. Until next time.”
It took her good five minutes to even regain her complete senses in the context of things.
Time was moving.
contd. at If not her then who?-Part 13