CTE PART 2
When did these three months pass, it was hardly acknowledged by him. After the meeting in the city auditorium he was called for a mission and during these 89 days to be precise he could not think of anything than to focus on the operation he was involved in.
But as soon as he got down in his sleeping cubicle that one face kept his heart to somewhere on a rainy afternoon.
It was such a stupid thing to not even knowing her name, in case he was starting a search for her than he needed her name first… that was what his mind told him as his bus reached his hometown.
A beautiful town in the Satpura hill range where his father lived with his beautiful family… People in this place were simple and didn’t need many things for them.
They believed in a sober lifestyle and his father was no different… it was him only who bought the city wonders to his house and even pampered her younger sister every now and then with costly gifts.
“it would be one of your annoying students who else..” he smiled on her sister’s words as she opened the doors.
The surprise he used to spot on their faces was precious and for that reason, only he never told them about his vacations and only surprised out of blue.
“Bhai… my God! we were just talking about you.” her sister’s eyes shined.
“of course! I am one of those annoying students of Father.” he narrowed his eyes and found his sister sticking her tongue out.
“Ma..” walking inside their house which was a humble wooden house built with so much love and care by their father when they were so small.
He used to miss his house at times, one reason could be he was always away for the last 14 years and another maybe he too was very close to his family and place.
“what are you guys doing?” he saw a few pictures on the centre table, empty teacups on the table but his parents nowhere in sight.
“Sia, where are they?” he asked her.
“arey, they have started these Yoga sessions in the evening… they are on the terrace, I’ll call them.” she was already to the stairs.
“don’t, I’ll meet them myself.” keeping the backpack and the bags on the floor he took a seat on the chair to put away his big boots.
“by the way who are these girls?” he asked his sister though he had a faint idea about it.
Sia who was entering the kitchen by now stopped and took a very dramatic turn then in a very animatic way answered his question.
“since it has been 7 years of your job, 32 years of mum acting the housewife of this house, 28 years of you as a freeBie…Father wanted to, wanted to, wanted to get us a bhabhi.” and she winked playfully.
“you and your dramas… I’ll meet them.” he exhaled a breath and stood up.
“already happy to meet them… hmm hmm.” she teased him.
“my naughty sister, I am going to meet our parents.” he did a whatever gesture through his hands and walked to the stairs.
“Okay just tell, was it in the country or some international mission?” their mother asked him as they sat after the tea.
“Ma, how many times I told you I can’t reveal.” he smiled as he kept his head on her lap.
“so an international trip…” his little sister chirped.
Giving her a you-would-never-change look he closed his eyes to have all of those moments of rest in her mother’s lap.
“Soon you are going to be 29, son!!! I guess you should start meeting them.” referring to the pictures her mother pressed his head gently.
“I don’t know Ma… doesn’t feel the right time.” on the mention of this topic he was reminded of those pair of eyes, filled with deep darkness and hollowed by some sort of despair.
“i think this is the right time… there have been many occasions when I wanted to tell you but now we think it should be done the soonest.” the caresses in the hairs seemed distant.
“did you tell the girls that your son keeps disappearing for long.” he joked taking her mother’s hands in his.
“it is not like that and I haven’t heard Army officers being single for life.” though a sad face but his mother had a point.
“So when do you want their phone numbers?” she asked and today she was not gonna leave him.
“so this has been the ritual lately…I thought we were going to meet them one by one and hog on those Samosas and sweets as it happens.” he teased his mother and in return, she patted his head lovingly.
“your sense of humour is gonna kill my daughter in law…I think it developed after army.” she smiled at him.
“Army did some good influences I guess.” he joined her mother in this venture.
A good five minutes passed in the silence and in his mother’s lap and when he was about to close his eyes…
“I don’t know why but I felt someday you were going to tell me about someone you wanted to be with…I don’t know son why I just felt that.” the words were solid and today he understood the presence of that precious bond between a mother and her kids.
“well,I always knew you were way ahead of your times…” he could not answer her at this moment and the only thing was avoiding this topic for now.
“by the way leave all this Ma, I had to meet a few friends so I’ll leave for Delhi in a day or two,” he told her about it because he didn’t want a second’s delay in this.
“But you came after, like 7 months son…I thought you would stay.” the lady was frantic in no moment.
“I’ll try to finish it as soon as possible with Angre then we will celebrate Diwali together.” he tried to make the departure feasible for her mother.
He understood the heart of his mother but now he didn’t want to delay it anymore… In these three months whenever she came in his thoughts it was hard to keep calm.
“okay son… of course, you should go, you hardly get the time of your own.” the lady sighed.
“and did you ask those girls, would they be comfortable living with you and father… since I keep going here and there so what is the purpose of living with me.” he waited for her mother to slap him lovingly and the lady smiled.
“that we will see who is going to stay with us and who is going to not leave a single chance with his wife.” and with the light banters he dozed off to sleep.
Even after three whole hours, he was not able to get information about the Dance teacher or perhaps he was not asking the right person.
His heart was sinking with negativity and disappointment.
Apart from how she looked and she was a dance teacher he didn’t know a single thing about her and that was not helping at all.
“Excuse me… do you remember, what was their team number?” the man who looked bored at him tried to help him finally but.
“No… I just remember she was a dance teacher or something, she always seemed calm and poise.” he had nothing more to offer and that was frustrating.
On what basis he came this far, to a city that was not even familiar to him, for a person he didn’t know a single thing about.
“do you have a video recording or pictures of the day.” his brain worked suddenly.
“Gentle Man, it’s all over the internet, go and type National day parade and you will get all.” this man was getting hyper on the silly questions.
“I know that but you might be having some pictures for office record or something like that…also, I am not asking you to do something, that is free.” in the end, he lowered his voice for the obvious bribery in his voice.
“well, there might be some records but I am not someone who can help you.” with that the man surrendered.
“Okay, so could you tell me who can help me with this?” he requested before the man walked away from him.
“Ummm, Go inside and in the right-hand side cubicle of the entrance is Mrs Katiyar she might be able to help you.” the man pointed the direction.
“okay thanks, Sir.” he thanked him politely.
“by the way what do you do Gentleman?” the man was staring at him every now than since the aura that radiated from his whole being was so infectious to ignore.
“oh… I am in the Army, Sir!.” he smiled and took his leave.
“one Minute Sir,” and the next thing was a proud and emotional moment for him. Changing into Attention mode the man saluted him and he could only smile in return.
“i was told you would definitely help me,” he said as soon as the lady in the early 50s offered him a seat.
“but it is about someone’s privacy.” looking through the fashionable glasses with a golden rim the lady concerned. In the short boy cut hairs, she looked a very calm yet strict officer.
“i understand that Ma’am but I wanted to know about her…it is very important for me.” perhaps the urgency in his voice or the desperation was sensed by her.
“Okay let me see but there would be conditions because I can’t just tell about someone who worked for us… it might be a privacy breach for someone, right Soldier.?” hinting about the tough roads ahead the lady declared before turning to her computer screen.
“of course Ma’am. Anything you say.” he agreed before relaxing on the chair.
“so we had 20 teams from different states and there were at least 25 lady mentors with them.” muttering in an audible voice she started the search.
“take a look at the profiles, you might recognize the one you are talking about.” turning the screen to him she kept her elbows on the table.
“oh, of course…he sat straight in no moment. The tiredness of the hours-long journey and then the search mission had finally worked upon him. He was starting to feel the tiredness.
He started scrolling down the profiles and on the 7th one he stopped…
“Ridhima …” along with a slight smile on her usually grim face he read her name.
A smile made way on his face and disappeared immediately as soon as he remembered he was not alone.
But he felt utterly happy knowing He was finally a step closer to her.
“so you have gotten the name… your smile says it all.” the lady teased her maintaining her composure.
“Yes Ma’am, here.” he returned the screen to her.
“So, what’s next …” the lady asked.
“Nothing more, i just need information about her workplace if that’s possible …” he asked earnestly.
“i thought you will demand her phone number or address… why her workplace?” the lady was surprised.
“because I don’t want to stalk her or trouble her anyway…” the beautiful smile adorned his face.
His face was beaming all of a sudden with the newfound joy and that was very much visible on his face.
“alright.” taking her note pad and pen she started scribbling the address.
“All the best with your mission, soldier.” giving the note to him she wished me with positivity.
He wasn’t a chit chat person so in return he just smiled at her.
“by the way… her profile shows she is married.” he has just reached the exit when he heard that.
One more time, right before he could touch her… she went away from him.
It was like cold water was poured on him, he didn’t think about one such possibility or initially, he thought that way but he didn’t know why his heart had lost that possibility somewhere in between these months.
He wasn’t in love with her or something like that, he just wanted to meet her once or maybe he wanted something else.
All of a sudden he felt so devastated, all the happiness he felt a minute back was dissolved in the thin air and flew somewhere else.
Hey guys!!! I am overwhelmed with the response to the first chapter so I was somewhat nervous about the second one.
how was this… I’ll wait for your response if you guys are reading this.