Part 3 13/06/2018
On a cool breezy day with green lands and White Mountains surrounded blue skies brighten up the day. 7years old Adi was running so fast at Solang Valley forest, a girl in her 20’s runs after him screaming to him to stop. He didn’t heed her but runs even faster. The girl behind him can’t keep up with the pace stopped and catch her breath as she bend down holding her waist, Adi stop, she gets an idea how to stop him, she sat on the ground and shrieked which makes the boy to stop immediately and he runs back to her. He concern asked didi what happen. Are you okay? Adi immediately kneel down to check on her ankle, that girl immediately laughed and hold him saying I got you. Adi got irritated and try to let go of her grip but at the end he surrendered. Didi this is not right you tricked me? She replied what is the need to run like this, he sat with her and both eat their snack they bought earlier as they watch the people performing paragliding activity and Ski Lift activity. Adi asked didi shall we try paragliding one day. She immediately shakes her head and said I am scared to do all these, I can never able to do all these. Oh didi why are you scared of everything, An elderly walked to them and called Meera again you started to run around like small girl with Adi , come lets go home, she give her sorry face and gets up follows that elderly lady. It was none other than Mehak, 9 months back she left home and headed to bus station, she was very confused at that wee hour and blindly took a bus which goes to Manali. Upon reaching Manali she don’t know where to go and what to do, she roamed the city blindly till she ends up at a Gurdwara. Seeing her in that state a worshipper give her water and some food. She covered her with a blanket and asked her who is she? What is her name? Mehak choked as she don’t know what to answer and she replied her my name is Me…. she decided not to use her real name anymore and said I am Meera. The other lady asked where you from are you alone? Mehak slowly replied I have no one, my parents are gone so I am alone. The lady assured her no one is alone beta, you can come to stay with me, my husband died at military and my son and me are with my mother in law, you can stay with us. Mehak looked at them confusingly she is not sure whtr she should accept their help or not, just then her son Adi came and ask her son maa this didi so pretty who is she? Boy’s mom said she is didi who will be staying with us, now help didi get her things and let’s bring her home. She introduced herself as Anuradha. From then Mehak decided to live here as Meera and not to keep in touch with anyone.
The first few days was very hard for Mehak to sleep every night she will stand and look at the sky and shedding tears missing her family and her loved ones. Her moment with Shaurya will keep flashing in her mind. She told herself that she cannot fall for this, her heart should forget all these and move on as she has been the biggest burden to all. After few days at their place, Mehak ask them whtr she can go and find work as she is not comfortable staying like this not doing anything. Anuradha and her mother in law didn’t agree for her to work but they notice that she is very distressed and she need to do something to divert her mind so they agreed. Anuradha asked her what work you can do Meera. You are very new to this city and if you can tell me I can guide you. Can you teach, maybe I can check with my school principle for a job there? Mehak replied I know how to cook, I can do housework. Maybe I can go to some houses to do housework’s and cooking. Anuradha replied I can check with my neighborhood. In the meantime I told that you are my cousin from a village came to stay here so please maintain as it is. Mehak held Anuradha hands and said thank you didi. I am not sure what I will do if I have not seen you. Anu said it’s okay we all are human and we are send to help each other. Every weekend Anuradha will perform her duties at Gurdwara as a sewag. She help the team with cleaning and cooking. Hearing this Mehak gets excited and asked whtr she can join them as well and Anu brings her along. At Gurdwara Mehak performs cleaning and helps others at kitchen with cooking. One of the worshipper who tasted her cooking asked her whtr she want to work at her cafe as a cook as her current cook needs an assistant. Mehak agreed immediately.
From then past 9 months was like that for Mehak, she liked by all in her neighborhood, she don’t talk much, just goes to the cafe to work as cook. Her head cook Kailash bhaiya always scolds her saying she is clumsy. Mehak will make her funny face and continue to do her work. Evening after finish work she will follow Anuradha didi who finished her work at school and Adi return home. Mehak slowly has put her past away and started her life in this simple manner. Back at their home Mehak was preparing roti , Anuradha asked her to go and rest she is working at the cafe and back here also working, Mehak ask her to rest as she will stay up at night to mark books and papers at least let me handle the kitchen. Anu caressed her head and ask her to do it she went to accompany her mother in law.
One evening as Mehak finished her sewag at gurdwara a guy with camera bumped on to her. He offered his hand for handshake Mehak looked at him confusingly she didn’t respond. He said Hi I am Kunal, I am journalist photographer from Mumbai can you tell me more about places here. Mehak without replying her walked away. Kunal surprised at her behavior and said very peculiar girl, she didn’t say single thing and walk away just like that. Am I not handsome or scary? He smiled and took his DSLR camera as he take few shots on the market scenery.
At the cafe which Mehak working Kailash bhaiya scolds Mehak who came in late for work, he nagged her for being irresponsible. Mehak pouted and pulled her ears asking for forgiveness. She pacified him bhaiya please sorry I will be punctual next time, Kailash bhaiya brushes off and said daily you are saying like this but I didn’t see anything good. Okay start your work soon. Mehak quickly started her work. She wears her apron and ties them up. She asked bhaiya what we shall prepare today he give her the menu and proceeded. Mehak cleaned up the eating area and wrote the Menu of the Day on the board. She prepared cutting the vegetables as Kailash bhaiya started to prepare some dhal gravy and some vege gravy. She assisted him in between stirring them constantly. The waiter came to give their order from first customer, Mehak quickly rolled the roti and tossed them on tawa then she plated them properly and pass it to the waiter. He took the food and served the customer, soon the customers crowded the cafe and they get busy serving all. At night cafe owner Sheela aunty give them their salary. Kailash bhaiya took his and left immediately. Mehak and chottu the waiter cleaned up the cafe arranged the furniture and organize the kitchen before leaving. Chottu took his salary and left. Mehak collected hers and thanked Sheela aunty. Sheela aunty replied I should thank you, so many people come to work with Kailash but his attitude of nagging scolding others make them to quit and I can’t find anyone to work but you manage to work with him and his anger has subsided. You have a magic, Mehak denied she have done nothing but just being patience as her elders told her whenever another person in anger just use love to calm them and everything will be fine. Sheela aunty smiled and thanked her once again ask her to rest. As Mehak waited for Anuradha to return home but Adi came alone saying didi maa have some work at school she will come later let’s go together. Mehak walked with Adi, suddenly she heard someone calling them from behind excuse me hello please stop please stop they turned and saw it was Kunal the reporter again. He came and stand in front of them as he gasp for breathe. He asked Mehak hey you remember me few days back I ask you for details but you walked away, I saw you walking this way so I came, so can we talk, Mehak look at Adi and said lets walk ignoring him. Kunal continue to walk behind them, you are pretty and have attitude also, I want to be your friend but you are ignoring me treating me like a bad guy listen I am not bad you know. Adi looked at him and asked hello Mr what is your problem, why are you following us and talking rubbish here, Kunal said hey handsome I am a journalist photographer I need someone to show me around the rural area I asked your didi few days back but she walked away. By the way what is your didi’s name, before Mehak shush Adi, Adi told him her name is Pikachu. Kunal laughed loudly and said what Pikachu is that your didi’s name. Adi retorted him hey my mother taught us never entertain strangers but you are blocking our way and asking for my didi’s name. Told you its Pikachu and why you need to laugh. Kunal said okay calm down and say bye to them and he walks back. Mehak asked him is it necessary to tell him that, you have a big mouth she pulls his ears, he shrieked and ask her to let go, then he told her if I didn’t tell your name Pikachu he will continue to come after you and ask besides that you look pretty and he too look handsome but I have doubt whtr he is good or not that’s why. Mehak said you are grown up now, let’s go home before it becomes late and they walk to their home.
During their dinner Adi told dadi and maa, today one guy came after didi asking her name, Mehak tried to shush him but he already blurted out everything. Anu looked at Mehak and asked Meera who is that guy, Mehak replied don’t know didi he said he is photography journalist from Mumbai wanted to take photos of rural area and need someone to help him I ignored him the other day but today met again. Don’t worry didi I won’t talk to him, Anu said it’s okay no problem, we don’t say anything, there are many tourist comes here so they will ask the locals for help so its normal.
Next day Mehak finishes her work and walks back home, upon reaching home she saw Kunal siting at the house porch and she was terrified, this guy has traced me and came to the house as well , before he create any problem for me, she rushed and asked him what are you doing here , how did you know my house? You don’t have any work is it? Hearing some noise Anu came out from the house, she saw Mehak arguing with Kunal. She stopped Mehak, Meera what are you doing, why are you talking like this to Kunal, he is our guest. Mehak stopped and step back, you two know each other is it? Mehak quickly goes to her and said didi this guy is the one following asking for my name. Today he followed to my house. Anu replied no dear today he came to the school where I teach and asked the principal can anyone guide him for the rural area as a translator and help him to understand the local customs , principal referred me so he is here. Later after meal I will explain about our town and all. Don’t worry Meera, he won’t disturb you. Kunal asked so your name is Meera? Mehak didn’t reply and walk into the house, Anu seeing her behavior replied to Kunal she is slightly shy and don’t talk much so please don’t say anything to her, Kunal assured her is nothing he is fine.
Mehak helped preparing dinner and served all. During dinner time Kunal asked So Meera what you are doing. She replied nothing. Anu replied she is working in a cafe here in their kitchen as assistant. The food here is delicious, never had I had so tasty food in my life even 5 star hotel in Mumbai also won’t be this tasty. He complimented her cooking and said if she go out to some cities she have potential, she quickly replied as she is comfortable where she is and not want to move anywhere. Adi played along with Kunal and asked him what did you study to become this photographer? Kunal replied I did journalism and few courses for this photography and got a job in established firm in Mumbai. This is my 3rd assignment. So if this was selected then I will be promoted and assigned to jobs outside India too. That’s why I am very keen and asking around for help. Anu’s mother in law asked are you married beta? Kunal laughed heartedly and said no aunty why are you asking, do you have any girls want to marry me? She replied no beta just asking, how about your parents? Where are they? He replied my both parents died when I was young so I brought up in a home, from the fund donation I studied hard and now I am here like this. Adi quickly said so you are also same like Meera didi, her parents died as well. Anu shushed Adi and asked him to eat, Mehak’s eye welled with tears and she excused herself from the table saying she is full. Anu tried to stop her but she said she is fine and went to kitchen. Kunal asked did I said anything wrong. Anu said nothing her parents died as well as she is from my village came to stay with us. She don’t have anyone and all the time she is moody and won’t talk much. We never seen her smiled till date. Kunal told himself very interesting character I shall find out more about her. At night Kunal takes leave and left their place after exchanging some informations on local customs, Anu asked him to come after school as usual so can discuss more. At night in the porch Mehak sat and missing her family, how usually they enjoy her cooking and they share light moments. She remembered how Shaurya will find moments to kiss her and hug her. Her thought straight went to the day how he throw her out and said marrying her was the biggest mistake in his life and don’t want to see her again. She cried remembering those moments. Anu came there cover her with a shawl and said thinking about people who are gone will do nothing dear please think forward. They will watch you and bless you in all situations in your life. First try to change yourself, why are you wearing all these colorless clothes like white, and you don’t groom yourself. Trust me if you groom yourself you will look the prettiest girl I have ever seen. Add some colors in your life Meera she said. She replied there is no meaning in my life to have colors. I am okay to be like this for the entire life, but you are young you can’t live like this you should think about marriage family children and all. The word marriage pricked her heart like sharp torn. Mehak replied there are some people in their life are blessed to dream and to have such beautiful life I am not meant to enjoy all these. What are you going to do the rest of your life asked concern Anu? Just like that take care of people and help others I am already happy. Anu caressed her head and asked her to go to bed soon don’t stay so late. Mehak thanked her didi thank you so much, Anu smiled and went in.
Few weeks Kunal meet with Anu and discussed more about local customs and cultures. She accompanied him to the rural area to visit the people there. He always have dinner at their home. Every day he observe Mehak as she is very quiet and reserved type. He also started to have feelings towards her. He was busy shooting some scene and didn’t realized that he is standing on the edge of the bridge , Mehak tried to call him but the river water rushing made it difficult to heard. She quickly rushed and in nick of time push him from the bridge to a safe point and she also fell on him, she jerked and immediately gets up from there and scolded him are you blind or deaf can’t hear anything is, when standing somewhere you should be aware of the surrounding and alert, but you are too engrossed with your work and almost slip and fell into the river? What will happen if you fall? Kunal walks closer to her and said if anything happens to me what is your concern Meera? I am not your relation why so much of concern? Mehak felt tensed and the same dialog Shaurya said to her when she first told her feelings to him, she stepped few steps and she run back as she cry. Kunal keep calling her Meera sorry stop but she didn’t stop but instead run quicker and hides behind a tree and cried loudly asking why why are you keep showing me the past memories which I want to forget, she cried as she stumble behind the bark of the tree.
As it was a weekend Mehak went to Gurdwara and did her usual sewag duty. Anu told her that Kunal will be going back that weekend as his job completed, so she invited to have dinner. Mehak nodded. Dinner was as usual as chit chatting with Kunal as he made the entire atmosphere happy. Next day Anu ask Mehak and Adi to accompany Kunal to bus station as she have important meeting at school so Mehak obeyed. As they waiting for bus Kunal cracked some jokes to make Mehak smile but all his effort was in vain. His bus came he went to put his things inside the bus and gets down to thank Mehak and Adi for all their help and he apologized to Mehak for being rude or sometimes he talks too much and irritate her but it’s his nature. Mehak replied it’s okay and thanked and she walked away from there with Adi. After passing few steps, Kunal screamed Pikachu , Mehak stopped and turn to look at him, he took her shot and gets into the bus and he left from there. Mehak went to her cafe and started her work Adi went to play around.
Dear all, I will be away to my hometown for Eid break and will be back on 20th Wednesday. Till then I wont be able to update as poor internet connection also all my family members will be there. If they see me with laptop and mobile I am surely to be grilled by them. So please be nice to me as I will not be able to update.So once I am back I will provide my updates…love you all and wishing you all Happy Eid Mubarak and will miss you all