by Geetashree Chatterjee
Continued from page 1....
Mrs. Gupta had left the van too. Her office had shifted to Connaught Place. She alternated between a Chartered bus and the Metro. No, she was not in touch with Mala and Mohini.Mr.Rathi had shifted base to Mumbai while Awasthiji was planning to move to Jhansi on his superannuation next month.
“And Amaresh?” I asked hesitantly.
“He is still fighting it out…the expenses are bearing him down. But he persists. I met him the other day. He says it’s a matter of prestige now. I think he’s kind of enjoying the game…like the cat and the mouse.”
And that made me wonder…***
It was over crowded in the Metro. I managed a seat and was about to doze off when a familiar voice jolted me up.
“Mr.Sanghvi, we must give a strong reply now. No compensation and no compromise…”
He stood right next to the door. I could see him as the crowd dispersed a little at Inderlok. He looked gaunt and pale. His hair showed flecks of grey. I wanted to wave at him but checked myself at the nick of time. Perhaps he wouldn’t like the intrusion,not now, when he was talking so animatedly on the mobile!
The conversation continued. Amaresh seemed quite unaware of his surroundings…the people around who could hear him just as clearly as I did. There were loud retorts…once or twice he snapped angrily…an adamant, unrelenting stance.
At Kashmere Gate Junction I lost sight of him.***
Two years later.
Another chance meeting but this time it was Amaresh who spotted me in the Mall.
“So, how’s life?” I asked.
He shrugged his shoulders. I invited him for a cup of coffee.
Settling down in the cafe, I asked him about his job.
“Oh! I have been promoted.” A weak smile flitted across his lips.
I congratulated him.
“What about Nisha?” The question slipped out involuntarily.
“She has come back.” A colourless reply.
“And the case…”
“Wow! What a turn-around! A triumph for your indeed!” I exclaimed.
“Yeah! I guess so…” Was the terse reply.
“So how do you feel now?” My excitement was child-like.
“I don’t know. I am still coming to term with it. When she left me I was broken. Completely. But now that she has come back I don’t know how to take it. I suppose it will take some time. It’s like knowing each other all over again.”
Understanding slowly dawned on me. It would ever be a mystery why Nisha left him so suddenly,why she slapped a divorce notice, why she took back the case as abruptly and what made her come back after so many years. Perhaps she realized the futility of rashness. Perhaps there was more to it than Amaresh would like to divulge.
“All’s well that ends well” I concluded.
But Amaresh was not listening.
“I was leaving for Kanpur for the next hearing when she called up and begged me to accept her back. At a time when the case was positively taking a turn in my favour! Now, no more trips to Kanpur. No more battling and bargaining with lawyers. All over! ” He almost sounded defeated.
He misses the old rut.I squirmed at my own thought.
“I think he’s kind of enjoying the game…like the cat and the mouse.”Mrs. Gupta’s words echoed in my ears.
And they lived happily ever after… would it happen for Amaresh and Nisha?
We had finished our coffee.
“Why don’t you two take time off for your second honeymoon?” I suggested.
“No, that will not be required. Too late now.”
On that resigned note we said good bye.The End Back to page 1....