Abhi “Hey Rinku, Pragya went in already.” Rinku “We can’t go in na…” He said sadly. Abhi said yes. Rinku walked back to the car while Abhi took a glance at the hostel before leaving the place.
Rinku looks around in Abhi’s room. He realizes Abhi’s jacket is missing. He is searching for it in the room.
Abhi “What are you looking for Rinku? Still haven’t changed into home clothes. Do u want me to help you or what.” Rinku “No Papa, I am a big boy. I will change it myself. Papa check your phone of how many whatsapp messages are in my chota gang.”
Abhi “I think it’s 80+ messages.” Rinku shrieked “What!!! 80+!! Why u never told me earlier. What will my friends think of me!!” Abhi “What will they think….hmm..they will think u are busy in playing with me.” Rinku “Papa! Don’t say like that in front of them. They never play with their Papa anymore. I am good so only I play with u as u have no one to play with.”
Abhi “So sweet of you…” Rinku demanded “Give me your phone Papa.” Abhi passed his phone to him.
Rinku looking through the messages was seen to be serious.
Abhi “Any problem Rinku?” Rinku “Your jacket Papa! I need it Papa!”
Abhi “It should be here only…Did u see over there where we put our used clothes for washing?” Rinku “No Papa it’s not there. I have been searching for so long.”
Abhi looked around. He realized he had passed it to Pragya.
Abhi hesitantly “Rinku….” Rinku looking tensed “Haan Papa…” Abhi “It’s with Pragya aunty…”
Rinku chided “How careless are u Papa? U have given your jacket to Pragya aunty. Now how will I go for my meeting without that?” Abhi “Why u need my jacket for your meeting?” Rinku was in no mood to reply him. He called Pragya to ask for the jacket.
Abhi, What’s in that jacket that he doesn’t want to tell me.
Rinku “Hello Pragya aunty. Are u free tonight? I need Papa’s jacket. It have our shopping list.”
Abhi hearing it, Oh that is shopping list for chota gang. Now I remember the paper he passed to me. I kept it in the jacket pocket.
Rinku in shock “What?? Where is she??”
Abhi “What happened Rinku?” Rinku signalled him to be quiet as he is talking.
Abhi, Day by day I am confused who is Papa. He is very much controlling me.
Rinku in a low tone “Okay aunty. Ask her to take care.”
Abhi looked at Rinku ending the call. Before he could ask anything, Rinku said “Pragya aunty is unwell. She is in clinic now.”
Abhi “Oh…hope she gets better…” Rinku “Yes Papa. But u are very careless. Now how will I face my members? They want to meet tonight at here.”
Abhi “I will tell them. You don’t have to worry.” Rinku “Papa!!! Don’t say anything. They will laugh at me for giving shopping list to u! Later they will say I am still a small boy!”
Abhi “Rinku but u are still a small boy. You are just 7 years old. I still don’t know why u have to be part of this chota gang.”
Rinku “Papa…We can’t close our gang. We help others. You know this Papa.”
Abhi “Yes I know, through this u have become more smart & caring too. The way u speak is now a lot too. I am proud of it Rinku but sometimes I feel you are taking it very serious.”
Rinku softly “ Papa….” Abhi “Yes what’s up now?”
Rinku “You don’t like chota gang?” Abhi “I never say that way. It’s awesome but make sure you all don’t spend too much time on it. I don’t want it to affect your studies.”
Rinku nodded his head but was feeling worried for the shopping list.
Abhi “You don’t worry. I will get the shopping list. Let me go to her hostel now.”
Rinku “But Papa you say you want to sleep….” Abhi “I can sleep later but this is important. I don’t want my boy to be sad like this.”
Rinku kissed his cheek saying “You’re the best Papa!!!” Abhi “I know!” He said proudly making Rinku giggle.
Rinku “But Papa…you say men are not allowed?” Abhi “Ya…but I think I can talk to them…I will handle it Rinku. You don’t worry. Now you change your clothes. Have a nap first, I will be back soon.”
Rinku “Dadi is at home?” Abhi “Yes she is sleeping. Why not you wake her up slowly? It will be surprise for her that u have come early today.” Rinku said ok with a wide smile.
Abhi soon changed his attire. He then drove to Pragya’s hostel.
Upon reaching the place, he managed to convince the warden there. He was waiting at the waiting area for Pragya to turn up.
The warden said that Pragya had just reached to hostel from clinic so she will take some time to come down.
Abhi waited for her patiently. Pragya about half & hour later came down. She looked very frail until she need her friend to accompany her.
Pragya in a weak voice “Sorry…made you wait for so long…” Abhi “No problem Pragya. But what’s wrong with you? Any injury from just now?” He asked with concern.
Pragya passing the jacket to him said “ Nothing…It’s just fever…” Abhi saw Pragya’s friend reaction in denial. Abhi too felt she was not telling the truth. He felt maybe she was feeling uncomfortable to tell a stranger about her health condition.
Abhi “Take care. Sorry for bothering you. Actually you could have asked your friend to pass the jacket. You didn’t have to come all the way down from your room.” Her friend “I told her the same…She is the one who said she wants to meet you…” Pragya gave a deadly stare at her in response.
Abhi “Oh okay….so I take my leave now. Take care Pragya. Rest well.” He said it with a warm smile which melted Pragya’s heart.
She too said bye to him before heading up to the room with her friend’s help.
Her friend “Such a liar you are. Is it a fever you are having?” Pragya smiled faintly in return.
Her friend “For everything you have this smile. I don’t know how long you are going to move on like this.”
Pragya “Until my life ends….” Her friend “Stop saying this way. Even just now you could say to him that you are his….” Pragya stopped her by saying “We will talk the rest in our room.” She was very careful although there is no one around. She want the matters about him and her to be spoken behind closed doors.
Abhi wearing back his jacket, It smells nice. Nice perfume…..
Pragya from her window sees Abhi getting inside the car.
Her friend “Come sleep Pragya…You can’t stand for too long.” Pragya “Just one minute….” Her eyes were seeing Abhi driving off from there.
It’s like a dream seeing him. She may not be a great dreamer but she does dream of him in some ways.
Her feelings for him are very weak mainly because she haven’t interacted with him much. What she feels for him is not deep enough. It’s simply a feeling of a bond that is very distant from each other. Will her frail feelings become stronger?
Rinku startles as he sees Pragya hiding Papa’s photo inside her handbag.
Had sometime to type so updated this. Hope u all like it. And Happy Diwali again to all.