A metro city has got to be one of the most exciting places to live in. Hearing the hustle and bustle happening out side of one’s house, seems to give a great dose of wisdom, Reminding us that we are not alone and there are others out there working much more harder than you.
There has to be so many pros than cons in living in a metro,of which, 3 things tops the list.
2. Convenience, and
Being able to go out and have a good time at any place of one’s choice. Reach your destination by many means of convenience. And the possibility to meet a random stranger who could be whatever you want them to be. These are few of the greatest perks of living in a metro.
And to contrast all metro cities, here is Bengaluru, the IT capital of India, A.K.A. the former IT capital of India. To score the pros, Entertainment is in abundance, but definitely limiting to Cinemas and pubs. Don’t agree? But that’s what Sheethal says to her friends over phone, she gladly advises them to choose any bigger city, but Bengaluru. Sheethal has spent 3 years and 5 months in Bengaluru, not counting her frequent on-site official trips. She loves the weather, though. While her friends are a lot into socializing, nightlife and partying, Sheethal always preferred to stay home. Only in her rented 2BHK apartment in the 1st floor,could she find peace. This gives us a context that most young women prefer to spend their after hours in seclusion in their own nests and, this is why Bengaluru evenings are losing it’s charm. But by all means, Bengaluru is the most praised city in India.
Most praised? Yes, until that evening, which turned all the faces weary and tired, put the city’s soul in shame and showed us how worst Bengaluru can become in a few hours time.
Sheethal was ready for her dinner date with a prospective person whose last name she was expected to acquire. It was kind of strange for her, to meet a random person and discuss things that involves love, sex and world tour. But she was determined to keep the date short and precise to the point of marriage, just like how she had practiced with her mirror last night.
When she stepped out of her home, the scent of jasmine from the neighborhood garden hung heavy in the air. Though it was her usual neighbourhood, she had never witnessed evenings like these at home. Blame TCS for that . As she rushed to the stairs, she witnessed how the evening skies were prepared for the twilight show. She stood there for a moment, inhaled without taking the eyes off the skies and exhaled, expressing a lost thought or memory that was deep within and smiled down at her in a reassuring way.
She managed to get a cab, that was to reach the destination at the right time, not too early and not too late. Her phone rang. “Have you started? Varun is already there.” her father told, she took a while to reply, her thoughts started to wander with a hint of the name. “Varun?” she replied, “Oh the guys name’s Varun?”, she took a moment to smile, this time with a gleam of light in her eyes, “I’m on my way appa, hope the traffic is not making me late”. “Seri ma.. reach there and call us!”, her father ended the call.
She managed to reach the mall at the busiest hour. She was excited, is a mere word to explain a woman who is en route to meet her prospective husband, she was thrilled and confused over the same time, what if the guy looks ugly? what if he is too cute? is this the thing that the whole universe conspired to make me get it? or what if it doesn’t work out? Should I say a No? Can looks be really deceptive? Shouldn’t I be wearing a palazzo today? Should I go for a Cappucino? What questions would he ask me? The questions in her head are endless. As the elevator approached the 5th floor, she could feel her heart banging from inside. She never thought it’d be that easy to spot him. “Hey hi.. you okay?” asked a man, stern and bold, in an English accent, his ‘you okay’ sounds like UK, to second the tone, he was in a blue jean and a black polo tee, with a backpack! Standing taller than her, closer to her than she expected. His voice had already turned her on if not for his eyes, which was brown and his thick brows. Before she could reply “Hi I’m Varun. You should be Sheethal?”, “Yes I am and..” before she could finish, he spoke again, “I tried calling you, You could have stayed home tonight, there’s a lot of panic happening all over the city” Sheethal just stood there looking bewitched with her eyes open wide, “Why? Sorry i didn’t notice your.. No, No,No.. i didnt get any calls.. and.. Whats happening everywhere?”, she slowly turned around to notice that everyone in the floor were in a hurried frenzy. “OK let me explain while I escort you home safely”, said Varun, leading her to the emergency stairs. For a moment Sheethal thought he was playing a prank. But the way people in the mall looked and how hurried they were to get into the elevator made her feel like it was a well orchestrated prank, except it was not. Varun didn’t speak a word and suddenly, “Hope you don’t mind if I..” he didn’t wait for her to respond and clasped her hands firmly and looked into her eyes, giving that everything-is-fine-while-I-am-with-you look. He rammed to the stairs, only to notice they were not alone and there was going to be so much suffocation. Sheethal was real scared to see that, she hugged his arms off guard and pretended to be fine. Not anyone in the entire place was ready for that day, few people were shouting “Fire!! Run!! Fire”, which had changed the entire situation out of control. The crowd was hard, even the regular BMTC commuters couldn’t take it, there were more unpleasant screams from the floors below, which gave everyone a bitterness. “Do not worry Sheethal, I’m with you” said Varun, only to notice Sheethal’s eyes were welled up and her lips were shivering in fear. Varun, never in his wildest dreams expected a date to turn out like this. He pulled Sheethal closer to him and hugged her around the shoulders and whispered in her ears “Varun’s here. No fear”. Why would he say it, may be he thought that would be a punchline that could make her feel better, except that she wasn’t giving attention to his words.
After a long hustle, they managed to get to the exit. Varun set her lose and she looked haunted, her hair looked much different, her eyes still puzzled. “Okay we’re now getting a cab or auto or what ever that takes us from here to Pandit colony” said Varun.
“How do you know where I live?”
Oh woman and their questions!
“Like how I know this would happen!” he said, pointing to the screaming crowd trying to exit the shopping mall, “..your father told me.” he added.
“Has he spoken to you?”,
“Yes, and we’ll talk all about it later when we reach your house.
“My house? why would I..”
Varun yet again pulled her arms close, this time with no courtesy or hesitation and crossed the road, in that place in the middle of the road Sheethal witnessed the dark skies looking angry upon the city, no one has ever witnessed Bengaluru City like that day.
“Hey wait.. But why would I take you to my..”
Varun managed to stop an empty autorickshaw who was trying to flee the place and pushed her inside, this time gently, though.
“Whitefields Pandit Colony 7th cross hogbeku, bega karkond hogira.. Please”, said varun pleaded to the auto while holding Sheethal’s arms firmly, “8th cross” she interrupts and frees herself from the strong clutch of his hands, while she hasn’t just noticed how long they are, she now also knows how strong they really are.
“aena nadathura? Aena problems?” she asks the automan.
“Kaveri vishayke yella kadde galate naditadde, karnatakada kelawo political party ya karyakartakaro TN gadigalana date madtadare.. Ivatu paristiti tumba ketogidde” said the automan without taking his eyes of the roads. Before she could explain herself what that all meant, Varun hugged her close and whispered “It’s all going to be fine..”.
Quicker than they expected, they were there in Pandit colony. Everyone in her apartment were busy getting something done, TN vehicle owners were covering their cars and removing number boards, “You better stock your place with all things and groceries, we’ll never know what brings us tomorrow” said Varun, “I’ll get you some stuff from the stores near, you go up to the house and wait for me, okay?”, he said coming to a stop. Sheethal had no choice, “Okay.. but are you.. to my place?”. Varun took off before he could hear her.
What happened that night with Varun and Sheethal? Is he not going back to his place? Are they staying over? Oh.. you should wait to know more of it.
To be Continued.. Read more at White in Blue: A Love Story – Part 3.
To read part 1: https://naveenwins.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/white-in-blue-a-love-story/