The Cell Phone-contd
by Lakshmi Menon
(Bangalore, Karnataka, India)
Back to Page 1 of the story
All of a sudden, an idea flickered in her mind. “You didn’t tell me your name, young man. Perhaps you don’t want me to know. It’s alright. But for the time being can I call you Ajay, if you don’t mind?”
“It’s okay. You can call me Ajay. I liked the name.” The harshness in his voice had come down considerably and she thanked her stars for being able to make him cool down a bit. Vidya imagined a tiny smile on the unknown man’s face as she uttered those words.
“By the way, why did you choose that name? Is it the name of anyone dear to you?”
Once again Vidya thanked God. She realized she was in the right direction. “Ajay is my younger brother’s name. So I thought it would be nice to call you by that name.”
“So you consider me as your brother?” asked the young man amusingly.
“Yes, …… anything wrong?”
For the first time she heard him laugh.
Was this the same man who spoke to her so angrily a few minutes ago? she wondered.
The attender was losing his patience. “Madam, please disconnect the phone. Let’s go. I’ll miss my bus.” He screamed, as if he didn’t mind if the caller at the other end had heard him. Vidya was sure the young man also must have heard it.
“Ajay, could you please come on Monday, if possible? Otherwise call me. I’ll be here on this same number by half past two.”
As there was no response from the other end, she continued, “I want to buy a cell phone for myself and want to get your advice on this. You seem to be a knowledgeable person about it. Bye for now.” She controlled her mixed up thoughts, hoping he would not dare to do anything wrong.
“Bye, M’am. I may not be able to come, but I’ll definitely call you on Monday,” said Ajay in a friendly tone.
Vidya had a sigh of relief and appreciated his response.
On the way back home and later reaching at home, Vidya’s mind was filled with the last caller and his problems. Will he wait until Monday as suggested by her? Or will his anger gain control over his mind?
The next day was Sunday. Before the paper man brought the newspaper, she found herself waiting for him at the door. As soon as the paper was in her hand, she glanced at each page as though she was waiting for the examination result. With a tensed mind, she scanned through each page and each column, especially the Crime news page.
The following day her bus was delayed by almost fifteen minutes, and she walked swiftly from the bus stop to the counseling centre, worrying about Ajay’s phone call.
Vidya volunteered her services from 2.30 to 6 p.m at this center.
As she stepped inside, she saw a young couple waiting for her in the visitor’s room. Ignoring them she walked towards her seat.
Hardly two minutes had passed. The tall man who was sitting in the visitor’s room was before her, with a smile.
‘Good afternoon Madam.’
She lifted her head up, and saw the man smiling at her as though he knew her very well.
‘I’m Ajay. I had spoken to you last Saturday. Do you remember my call?” He introduced himself.
She reciprocated with a smile, and offered him the seat, wondering whether this was the same person with whom she had spoken the day before? She couldn’t find any frustration or stress on his face now.
“I was disappointed not seeing you today. The office boy said you always came on time, and some time even before time. Since he didn’t see you he was telling me you may not come in today. Thank God, you have come!”
“So how are you today, all set to kill your wife?” asked Vidya jovially and looking at him.
“I’m sorry Madam. That is why I came over here to see you personally and thank you for everything.”
Bending his head down, he sat before her, embarrassed.
“Thanking me? What for? I haven’t done anything.”
“If you don’t mind can I call my wife here? She is sitting outside.”
As she was speculating he disappeared from the room and then immediately returned with a beautiful woman, clad in parrot green churidar.
“On Saturday after speaking to you,” he said, “I felt very relieved and decided to wait for a day. By then my momentary anger had subsided and I could see my wife in a new light. Then I realized that it was all due to a misunderstanding. We have sorted out our problem amicably, and you saved our marriage of five years. Few moments of your time saved our lives too.” They folded their hands in unison.
Vidya found no words to express her happiness, and just gave a broad smile as she recollected each word of the conversation they had..
“Do you still consider me like your own younger brother?” asked Ajay.
“Yes, sure! All the best to both of you. Be happy always.”
“If what you said is true please accept it. I’ve got a cell phone for you.” He held out a packet.
“No, I don’t need it. Thank you, Ajay. When I’m ready to buy a cell phone I will contact you.” Vidya had a secret smile on her face.
He reluctantly pulled back his hand and his wife handed her a visiting card. “Our number is here. Please don’t hesitate to contact us whenever you feel the need to do so.” ***