Part 4 21/06/2018
At Mumbai, Kunal submitted his work after much compiled in reports and journals. While doing some editing he noticed Mehak’s photo and admired how serene she looked even without makeup. His colleague saw him smiling alone at the monitor walked behind him to see what is he seeing and asked, who is she yaar? Beauty from the land of Manali is it? Kunal brushed off and told him remember I told you about a teacher helped me at Manali for the rural area report coverage and all, I met this girl at her house, very quiet girl who hardly smile. His colleague asked him to finish his work, Kunal gets busy with his work.
In the evening he played back one of the video he shot as he edits in between, he saw from far away Mehak with Adi playing he paused and zoom the video, he admired her natural beauty. She is simple and there is something about her that his heart saying and he is lost for word, he remember their first meeting how she ignored him and walked way, and how she argued with him and how she saved him from falling in the river. He talk to himself she is cute yaar. His colleague overhead him asked who? Kunal didn’t reply, his colleague asked again Kunal who is cute yaar? He immediately replied nothing just I am seeing my report and my pictures so it’s the picture I mean. He hide himself under his cubicle what happen to me, I am talking to my computer and this cute girl Meera making me nuts.
Life was as usual for Mehak at Manali. She felt calm and although deep down in her heart there is pain throbbing her but she maintain herself with the current flow. She plays with Adi after his school and spend time with neighbor’s kids telling them stories makes animated face with them. Anu and her mother in law sees her from their house and her mother in law asked this girl is here till when beta, I am sure her family or someone will definitely searching for her. Her eyes speaks the sadness which she have in her, she might be act happy in front of us but she is lonely. Anu replied what to say maa if I don’t bring her home then where she will end up and how if anything bad happen to her on that night. Let’s hope she opens up with us one day till then she is our family maa.
At Mumbai in one of the tourism related exhibition, Shaurya was there attending with some of his partners at their insistence. He was going around checking the booth on the local tourism and bump into a clumsy young man in his 20’s. Shaurya lash out at him to watch properly and walk. The boy apologized at him and move on. Shaurya’s mobile ring and he took it out to answer as he can’t hear the other side he moved out to a quiet corner to answer his mobile. As he finish his call he turn to walk back into the exhibition hall something strike to his sight, he saw at the big exhibition screen and was in shock of what he saw he can’t believe it on his own eyes. He was in confusion as is he in delusional or is it real? He took his mobile out and before the picture move to next slide he snap a picture of it and wait for the slide show repeat again he watch it attentively again and smiled to himself. He wants to confirm of the image in front of him, he gets a man near him and show the photo in his phone and the slide is the person same. The man looked at him confusingly after seeing both for sometimes he said looks the same but not sure. Shaurya thanked him and quickly dialed Mr Shukla to meet him immediately at Delhi.
Shaurya flew down to Delhi on the next available flight and rush to White Chilies. He asked Melissa is Mr Shukla is in and she replied said yes, Shaurya rush to his meeting room and Mr Shukla was seated in the meeting room. Mr Shukla gets up to acknowledge Shaurya but Shaurya ask him to sit down. Shaurya took his mobile out and show the picture he snapped at the exhibition at Mumbai and Mr Shukla zoom in to see the image clearly and he compare with photo he have in his file. He smiled and said yes sir this is Mrs Khanna but we need to check is it really herself or someone looks like her. Can I know where did you get this picture Mr Khanna? Shaurya replied it’s from a tourism exhibition he attended in Mumbai he saw this at their giant screen showing the slides. First we need to know from the organizer who is the photographer took this photo then we can check with him on the location sir, I can go and check on the location personally. Shaurya ask him not to delay and asked him to start working on this immediately as we are so close now Mr Shukla. Mr Shukla assured him he will get the information the soonest and will furnish him with the details Shaurya thanked him as he leave the meeting room and Shaurya sat down on the leather chair and a smile sprout on his lips, he looked at his mobile on the image and he couldn’t believe it was her again, he said I am coming soon to meet you.
The next few days Mr Shukla manage to contact the exhibition organizers and get the details on the team in charge for the audio and video team. After enquiring the team member he got to know that they get those images for promotional purpose from a firm here in Mumbai. It was shot by a photography journalist. Mr Shukla waited for them to retrieve the details of the photographer and by evening he get to know the details. He went to the firm but they told that Kunal is off duty as he is on leave. So he asked casually about the photographs in the exhibition and the staff explained that it was work of Kunal. Mr Shukla gets further details of the location after he persuaded for some more information like location and the staff said it was from his portfolio as Discover Manali and taken in Manali. Mr Shukla checks Kunal’s portfolio and his recent shots taken in Manali. He discreetly took a few shots with his spy pen. Later he left the office and called Shaurya to inform he have checked the whereabouts of the photo it was taken by a journalist at Manali. He wants to leave to Manali to check further but Shaurya stopped him and said he will go and check on his own but Mr Shukla tried to reason out saying that why does he need to go all the way to Manali as he will check and let him know whtr she is Mrs Khanna or not or else he will be disappointed Shaurya replied him with a groan she is my Mehak I am very sure about that. Mr Shukla let me handle this now. I will make sure you get the balance payment as per our agreement send me the details in short while I will leave to Manali the next available flight. Mr Shukla obeyed him and wished him all the best and hang up.
Shaurya packed his stuffs and told Vicky that he will be away for some important things and asked him to handle house and business call him only if it’s important. He took blessings with Karuna maa and she asked is it Mehak? He just smiled and said I am not sure maa please take care of yourself, maa replied Matarani will bless and everything will be fine soon. Shaurya kiss on her temple and left to airport. Many questions run through his mind what if it’s not his Mehak, what if it’s his Mehak, how will she react. He placed his mobile with her photo on the screen saver on his chest near to his heart and takes a deep breath. He reached Manali in the evening and checked into a hotel. He took his mobile and went to the receptionist and asked about are they aware of the location and some details. The receptionist replied this is at some rural town which is quite far from here, Shaurya asked for rental car services and they recommended him an agent. The next day Shaurya got his rental car and drove down after much checking in GPS for the location and he Waze there. He reached a village there and decided to park the car and walked around to see. The market street were so busy with tourist buzzing on the weekend. He walks in the packed street till he saw a gurdwara. He decided to go in. He ties his handkerchief on his head and proceeded in. He offered his prayers and walks around the gurdwara. He stops at the entrance to wear his shoes and his mind asking him to turn and he turned slowly he saw a lady covered her head she was wiping something on the floor. Shaurya tries to see the face but it was packed and he couldn’t see it clearly. He left gurdwara. It was Mehak who was wiping the floor at gurdwara.
Shaurya spend more time discovering the town at Manali. He takes a deep breath and tell himself where you are Mehak? I can feel you are here I am already very close to you, is just matter of days I will find you soon.
Next day at Mehak busy cooking at the café and chottu came to her saying di there is one guy looking for the one who cooked the food today, Mehak asked why what happened, he complained food no taste and bland. That incident remind her of her meeting with Shaurya, her eyes moistened. Chottu interrupted her and she asked yeah what you say, he wants to meet the cook, Kailash bhaiya went out so how di. Mehak wiped her eyes and decided to go and see who that is. She walked to the eating area and chottu pointed to a guy wearing a hoodie, she felt burden in her chest as she walked slowly fidgeting her duppatta, she reached the table and asked in low voice, Ji is the food not nice any problem? That man didn’t move and she felt so much uneasiness in her and started to sweat. She again asked JI any problem, can I help? After a moment that figure remove its hood from the head and Mehak’s breath got hitched seeing it. It was Kunal. She was still in daze looking at him, he screamed Pikachu I am back. Mehak jerked back a bit. She was like any moment will cry, seeing her expression Kunal laughed , just then a tear run from Mehak’s eye and he stopped immediately asking her Pikachu are you alright , I am so sorry I didn’t mean to scare you, I was just want to surprise you. Mehak felt so annoyed with him and retorted at him for his stupidity and his immature behavior. She asked him don’t you have sense or manners to behave like this. By the way why did you come back here again I thought your work is over? Kunal stopped hello Pikachu don’t talk like Metro train speed. She stopped. He said I have some work so I came so thought of seeing you first at the café before I go, that’s it. Don’t get upset. She walked away from there when Kailash bhaiya came and asking what is going on and why is she not in kitchen and wasting time here. Back at kitchen Mehak grumbling to herself why on earth he has to comeback, now he will not stop bothering me. She huffed as she knead the dough, Kailash bhaiya tap the metal ladle on the wok and ask her to be quick and stop day dreaming. She quickly put her thoughts aside and did her work quickly.
It was evening and as usual Mehak was waiting for Adi to comeback from school. She sat at the nearby bench and read a book she took from Anu. After 15minutes gone, her moment was disturbed with loud boo sound and it was none other than Adi and Kunal. Anu was smiling from behind them. Mehak wanted to scold Kunal and Adi but Anu came to their rescue saying it was just a joke Meera calm down don’t get tension for all these small stuffs. Mehak decided to stay calm and ignored Kunal as he was keep playing with Adi, Adi seems to be so happy in company of Kunal and they headed to home.
Mehak went to her room and rested for a while she didn’t like the presence of Kunal around. Anu called her, she quickly came out. Anu asked her to help her prepare dinner as she will be busy helping Kunal on his project. Meera obeyed and went to kitchen to prepare the dinner. In the meantime Anu and Kunal was outside away from their house. He opens up why is he here, he conveyed to Anu that, he likes Meera and wants to ask her hand for marriage. Anu feel happy but she is not sure how will Meera will react. Anu continues. Kunal I know you have sincere intention I can see from your face but I can’t decide for Meera. Also let me tell you the truth, Meera is not my relative. Almost 11 months back she reached Manali at night and she was totally shattered and broken as both her parents died. She don’t have anywhere to go so she was lost when she reach Manali. I see her at the gurdwara and immediately feel some connectivity between myself and her take her in to my house. Till date she don’t talk much, she don’t share much things with all. I can see that at night she will not able to sleep she misses her family and cry. She is not able to overcome her lost. She is very young girl even maa and myself tried to convince her to move forward in her life but she refused. Maybe I need to talk to her about your intention and I need time to convince her. Kunal taken aback hearing her story about Mehak, he felt bad for always pulling her leg he didn’t know she is suffering so much deep inside her. He asked Anu not to say anything as he will try to see what is inside her does she like him or not. Anu said okay and both went back home. At dinner table all enjoyed dinner, Mehak ate quietly avoiding Kunal. He in between steal glances and once he asked Meera apart from cooking what else is your hobby. Meera replied I don’t have hobby, he further on asked her why don’t you learn some embroidery skills, some photography skills and there are many more, you can divert your mind and able to widen up your thinking and you will feel relax too. Mehak didn’t answer him, just than Adi join the conversation ask Mehak to learn photography so Kunal bhaiya can teach her as well. Now Kunal bhaiya has promised me that he will teach me photography you and me can be his student too, Mehak asked him to eat first also do his homework his been playing since he came back from school. Adi didn’t stop di answer can we learn photography with Kunal bhaiya after your shift finish at café, we learn together. Mehak knows Adi is adamant and wants reply by hook or crook. She replied with biting her teeth’s okay now quiet and eat. Kunal and Adi screamed in happiness.