Scene 5: Travelling
Over the months, I got busy with work again. I started travelling cities as if I was a member of a rock band on tour. I travelled from city to city, Ahmadabad to Mumbai to Chennai to Amritsar and to many more. I talked to people, arranged things, managed food and boozing.
“Please fasten your seat belts; we will be landing Subhash Chandra International Airport, Kolkata in next 30 minutes. It was pleasure serving you. Hope to see you again.” a pretty woman of the Jet Airways announced, while I was half sleep.
I did not even unpack my luggage, when I had gotten another event scheduled to Kolkata. Certainly, I gained a little in this cultural ‘dating’ job. Perhaps I did not work out enough that month as I had expected. It was not hard for me even to settle my heart to work and mind in pursuit. The quest of better understanding began.
“Screech…” Voice of aeroplane tires scared the hell out of me. For this reason, I woke up with bumps on the runway. Grabbing my bag and pulling out my earphones, I stood in the line as everyone did, to get out of the plane ASAP.
The weather was humid, with the shady sun right upon us. I was shocked at the infrastructure of airport of a metropolitan city of India.
The moment I switched on my phone again, Phone started chirping and it was Geet. She replied my ping.
“Good Morning Rishh. Reply me when you land Kolkata” Whatsapp message said.
“Hi, I am in Kolkata. I am good here.” I replied.
“Great and I hope you will remember to get something for me from there.” within seconds, she replied.
I hired a yellow pre-paid taxi to Park Street. All the way through, I looked cursorily through the city. The airport was at a distance from the old city.
“Kolkata mein peohli baor aaya hai?” cab driver asked me in his Bengali accent.
“Haan.” I replied. “Kya best hai ithar khane ko aur kharidne ko?” I asked about food and shopping things, instead of places to see.
“Bahut Kuch hai sir. Aap agar kahe toh main leke chaolta hai. Kolkata pura ghuma dega.” He replied. I liked his accent. Rather, I must say I like Bengali Language. However, I could not get enough time to learn to speak. In those 3-day stay in Kolkata I learnt to read it at least.
After crossing miles of traffic, and having a scenic view of Victoria Memorial from the flyover, I reached my hotel. I asked the driver to come back again at 3 PM. In the hotel, after some paper work at the reception, I got my room with a window view to Park Street. I slept for an hour or maybe two.
For the next two days, I worked for the event. Other than work, I used to explore the roads in search of good street food. I talked with some people randomly. I learnt a few things. This city had never traded its joy over the brightness of the Sun. The city mesmerized me with its narrow galleys, trams and old world charm.
I got a ping from Geet. She asked about my day and about Kolkata. I promptly replied her. On this, I never forgot to get her something from Kolkata. However, I was not good with gifts. I called up Mehak Didi. After a little chit chat, I came directly to the gift.
“Ok listen; I want your suggestion right now.” I asked her.
“Oh, right, that’s why you called me little boy.” She teased.
“Sis, I got your point.” I replied. “Now, please help me to get something for Geet.”
“Geet.” She was shocked. She knew that we broke up, but not that we were friends again. “Are you crazy?” Didn’t you break up with her?” she bombarded her questions.
“Cool down di.” I tried to calm her. “I will explain you when I am back. But could you help me out now. I have this night only to go shopping here.” I said further.
“Okay, as you say so.” She murmured. “You are in Kolkata. I thought that you must be getting a Saree for your sister.” She taunted me, and gave me a hint.
“You are genius di. So, I am going to the Bada Bazaar here.” I thanked her. “I will ping you pictures of sarees and purchase which you think looks best.” I said.
“sab search kar rakha hai ladke ne.” She laughed and I just on the other side with a smile. “You know the price for the assist I gave to you.” She joked further.
“Yeah, I get it.” I pretended as if I know everything.
“On a serious note, why don’t you tell her you still think of her, still want her in your life, still Love her. You abhor the fact that she does not sense you.” She was serious.
“I do love her. But I am glad that she is happy. I don’t want to force anything to her.” I replied further. For next an hour, we both talked. She suggested me to focus more on the career. She even asked me to apply for government jobs. Fixed and steady salary, secure job, and the best thing about these government jobs are Reputation.
Next day, I had a flight back to Delhi. It was an unexplainable feeling, as I had a gift for Geet. She had no idea what it could be. Rather, I told her that I forgot to get her something again.
I was expecting to land in Delhi at around 7:10 PM, but because of the weather conditions, I took around 45 minutes more to land in one piece. Right after landing, I called at home that I would be home in an hour. In addition, I called Geet, if she could meet up at back street. She agreed, but on condition of being there before 10 PM.
“Hey, I am at street.” I called her and asked the driver to wait for a while. I pulled out a packet out of the bag and stood a few steps away from the cab. She took 2 minutes to be there.
“So, tell me. You wanted to see me?” she asked.
“Yeah, I thought you had something to tell me. Moreover, you must be expecting something from Kolkata?”
“Rishh, you seriously got me something.” She was surprised. She looked at the packet in hand. “But listen, I need to tell you something,” she changed her tone when we started walking.
“Okay.” I looked into her eyes, they were tensed.
“Will you be my friend, even if I am committed to someone else?” Situation got tenser now. I positively nodded.
“I am seeing someone else right now and I wanted to share it with you.” She said.
Note: Breaking up is a Short Story I wrote once. I hope you like it. Please read the previous scenes to stay in flow with the story.
Previously Scene 4: The Drive