Girls are not meant to be understood, they are meant to be loved.
“At least tell us where you are going ?!!” Naksh asks us as Naira and I step into a taxi to go and meet MSD.
“Later.” we say and wave at them.
Naksh stands there confused and Keerti smiles at us meekly. She has both her hands on her head; her hangover is still pretty much kicking the shit out of her.
The taxi drives away from them and Naira snatches the piece of paper from me.
“Have you called ?!!” she asks, pointing to the piece of paper with Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s name and address.
“The number doesn’t work.” I state.
She still calls on that number. Same result.
We move through the streets and Naira waves and asks about the address from anyone she can get hold of. People stare at her for a while, then shake their heads. No one has seen the place.
Finally, after going to all the wrong places, we reach the house we’re looking for. It’s nothing like what we’d imagined. We stand outside a house, wrecked by weather and time, the walls covered with overgrown algae and stripped of their plaster — the bricks lying almost bare. The address is barely visible.
Imperial Academy, Dehradun, is a school for rich kids and this is not what we had expected. The house looks deserted. I point to the address plate. It’s the same place for sure.
“Are you sure they still live here ?!!” she asks, almost disappointed.
“Let’s see.” I say and we walk towards the door.
I ring the bell and there is no answer. We wait for a couple of minutes and I ring it again. I look at Naira and she shakes her head.
This can’t be a dead end. I am dejected.
Just as we’re about to leave, we see an old man walking towards us. His clothes are in tatters; time and old age seem to have taken a toll on the man.
“Hi, Uncle. Is Mahi there ?!!” I ask.
“Beta, you are ?!!” he asks.
“We are his friends from school.” Naira says.
“No, beta. He lives in Bhopal. He works there. Come inside. Have something.” he says and opens the door.
“No, Uncle, thank you. We were in the area so we thought we would meet him.” I say.
“Can we get his number ?!! Or address ?!!” Naira adds.
“Yes, sure.” says his father and insists on us coming inside.
We politely refuse. He goes inside and returns with a business card in his hand.
“Here.” he says and hands it over to us.
Naira takes it from his hand.
“Thank you, Uncle. Umm, does he come here often ?!!” she asks.
“We haven’t seen him in a year.” he says.
“He is working hard. His mother has not been keeping well. She needs a lot of medical care … lung cancer.” His dad says.
The old man has tears in his eyes. They are of pride and sadness. He has a good son, but a dying wife.
Life throws such immense riddles at you. I look at him for one last time and feel lucky about myself. In moments like these, I believe there is God.
We smile at the old man and take his leave.
“Show !!!” I say and snatch the card from Naira.
“So, are you going to call ?!!” I ask her.
“Should I ?!!” Naira asks back.
“Why not ?!! Go ahead.” I say.
Naira calls on the number and there is no answer. The call goes to voicemail and it plays a recorded message.
“Hi. This is Mahindra Singh Dhoni. I will not be available till the 22nd of September on this number. I’m sorry for the inconvenience. If it’s urgent please call on the office landline or else record your message after the beep. I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you. Beep.”
We call on the number thrice and it goes to voicemail every time we do that. We call on the office landline number and his colleague tells us he is visiting the power plant site and cell phones don’t work in that area. He adds that he’ll be back by tomorrow morning.
“What do we do now ?!!” Naira asks.
“Twenty-second is tomorrow, right ?!! So we stay here today. And we call him tomorrow and ask about Anushka ?!!” I suggest.
“How long is the drive from here to Bhopal ?!!” she asks.
“Wait.” I say and google “Haridwar to Bhopal” and it says, 919 kilometres.
“It will take approximately thirteen hours to get there.” I say.
“So, we can be there by tomorrow morning ?!!” she asks.
“If we leave in a few hours, yes, we can.” I say.
“We can go there then.” She says.
“But we can call him tomorrow too ?!! Why go all the way to meet him ?!!” I ask.
“Karthik, it’s a road trip, right ?!! And there’s nothing to do here. Just an overnight drive away. What say ?!!” Naira suggests.
“Seems like we’re going to Bhopal, then.” I say and smile at her.
It’s hard to turn down her requests. She looks so adorable when she asks for anything.
“Wouldn’t Naksh mind ?!!” she asks.
“He wouldn’t ask.” I say.
We get back into the taxi. Naira keeps staring at the address and the phone number for quite some time.
“It’s good that we’re going there. I wanted to see what he’s like.” she says.
“Why would you want to see what he’s like ?!!” I ask out of curiosity.
“I think I have a little crush on him. He’s so sweet.” She says.
“Crush ?!! You read two lines about him, Naira.” I say.
“I’m kidding !! But I’m curious.” she says, smiles and looks away from me.
I really don’t get her at times.
But then again, she is a girl and girls are not meant to be understood, they are meant to be loved. I do that job well enough, I guess.
Precap : Naksh and Keerti’s escape. Naira is OLD. A makeover
So here I am again to pester you all with another chapter. Can’t believe that the next one’s going to be the 20th chapter of this FF. So since all of you supported me and my work so that I could reach this milestone. There’s a small surprise for you in the next chapter.
The 20th chapter will be a long one and will have only kaira in it. It won’t be some extravaganza as I want to stick to the plot but something you all will hopefully like. So stay tuned and I promise I will post it soon and won’t keep you all waiting for too long.
Do comment. Keep smiling. Keep watching Yrkkh !!