PART I : THE BEGINNING
As the day closed to an end , Maya gazed at the clear blue sky blankly . Her job ensured that her days were busy, and that hardly gave her any time to think beyond her duties.
School days were fun. But again, now she can’t even remember how many times she prayed to grow up soon. Her famous words then, were , ” I have a big to-do list after school ends. I will take all the decisions of my life thereafter, and no one will doubt my judgement thinking of me to be a kid anymore. I will celebrate that day, with all my heart. And yippee to no more exams”.
A sudden shake, a jerk and a thud . The car in which she was traveling home, came to a standstill. Maya was little vexed with this sudden interruption in her silent interaction with the blue. It was a pleasure watch certainly, to see the variegated hues of the firmament get darker and darker with the setting sun on the background. And this was her only ‘me time’. While returning from work, she would often stare into space, letting the limitless sky absorb all her exhaustion and negativities that emerged from failures and unpleasant experiences, in the course of her day to day life . Looking up at the welkin, and getting lost in it for sometime, was like therapy to her.
She leaned forward to ask the driver, ” Hari bhai, what happened?”
Hari bhai was little worried as the car broke down in an isolated area, with no shops or garage around. He glanced back at Maya and said, “I think a tire got punctured. Let me check”. He stepped out of the car and looked at the tires, and yes, he was right. A huge nail has made it’s way into one of the tires . Letting Maya know of the situation, he rushed to the back of the car and opened the trunk.
In the meantime, Maya took out a book from her bag, and started reading .And when it was almost 10 minutes since Haribhai started working on the tire, she requested him to make it as fast as he could.
Maya’s mind was always loaded with thoughts and memories, to which she hardly ever responded. Now, she suddenly got some time for herself, sometime to at last pay attention to her thoughts. The tranquility around, calmed her ever so restless mind and floated her down the memory lane .
With the book open on her lap, she went back several years into her school days. She could see blue and white colors shoot past her. Those were the colors of her school uniform and sporting them were her classmates, who played right in front of her. Her friends would make fun of her for not joining them. But, she was hardly perturbed by their actions since she had bigger objectives to fulfill.. First on the list was her father’s dream. She never took his words seriously before. Not until that terrible day , when the darkest incident in her life happened.
That day was a normal day, like every other day . Dr. Aloke left for his chamber soon after dropping Maya and her little sister, Saanjh in school. Maya was in the 8th grade then and Saanjh took her wee steps to the 2nd grade. Aloke , was their only family, as the girls lost their mother when they were too young. That day , their father did not arrive to pick them up from school. They kept waiting for him, at the usual spot, outside the school premises. But, he did not come. Little Saanjh was crying and Maya perplexed . Standing in a solitary corner of the street opposite their school , they kept waiting for their father. Never did they face anything like this before. Sometimes he would be late, on days with more patients. But, not this late -that it will be time for the streetside shops to close.
Maya could feel an intense anxiety within. It felt like the world was falling apart….
(to be continued)