“When will you be back”? asked Sapna.
“I am not sure Sapna but will try to come as soon as possible”, I assured her.
“Only a month left now Sunil. Is it really necessary for you to go at this time”?
“You know it is important and I want to try every possible way”.
“You have been trying from past three months. What difference would it make now”?
“It would because this time I would be personally trying and don’t you worry Sapna I will be back on time”.
“You don’t know anything about her. How will you be doing it”?
“I don’t know but I am sure I will find her”.
“My parents will be coming here to Madikeri next week. What if they ask about you”?
“Do I have to teach you to handle these situations? You are good at it”.
“You take care and drive safely. Keep updating me, ok”?
“As per your command Mam”.
“I want you here at least a week before the wedding”.
I had to be back. After all how could I miss my own wedding. But finding her was also more important to me. She had completely changed my life. Sapna was right, I was trying to find her from past three months with no luck. So now I have set out on my own with little information I had about her.
I am Sunil, aged 34, 6 feet tall, light brown eyes, fair complexion, medium built, short light brown hair, living in Bangalore. I am a business man running my electronic industry that I inherited from my father many years back. But over time I have worked really hard and built my own empire. Lately I have also been awarded as the best businessman.
I had lost my mom when I was 5 years and about 10 years back I lost my dad as well from where I took over his business. I never liked people who didn’t take life seriously until I met her. She changed my perspective about life. From a angry young man she had changed me to a soft hearted and caring person.
“Ok Sapna, I will call you once I reach Bangalore. I know you will take care everything over here”.
“Be back soon Sunil. Love you”.
Sapna is a wonderful person and best companion anyone could have. She has brown eyes, black hair falling onto her shoulders, 5.8 tall, fair complexion and slim built. She is aged 32, a successful interior decorator and runs her own firm. I know her for past 5 years now and she has supported me in every aspect of my life.
Her dad is a well known advocate in Bangalore and her mom is a social worker. Sapna has one elder brother who is into navy. They all are wonderful people and always considered me one in their family.
I could have lost all this for the person I was if not for her. That one day had a deep impact on me. The memories from that day are still embedded in me.
“What!!! The flight got cancelled, but how”?
“They had some issues which I am not sure of. They have arranged for next flight but it’s in the evening Sir”, said my assistant Anurag.
“No use of it. The meeting is at 3. I will go by car”.
“Ok Sir, I will ask the driver to….”
“No need Anurag. I will drive myself. Its 8am and it takes at least 5 hours to reach Chennai. I can’t rely upon the driver”.
“But I guess it would be stressful for you. He can drive you before 2 Sir”.
“I said no Mr Anurag. I hope its clear to you. This meeting is very important to me and I don’t want to take any chances. After so many attempts, the client has finally agreed for this meeting”.
“Yes Sir, I will let the Chennai people know about your changed plan”.
“That would be better and also ask them to make some arrangements for my stay tonight”.
“Right away Sir”.
“One more thing, this meeting is very confidential”.
“Got it Sir”.
Nothing was going right for me from past few days. I was going through some crisis on personal front which was indirectly affecting my professional life.
This one client had kept me hooked for a long time but today I would finally get him under my contract and I am hoping all goes fine.
I was a typical businessman with no time for unnecessary attachments. I had been engaged to Sapna. She wanted me to spend more time with her but I used to be fully involved with my work. Its not that I didn’t love her but I was not the type to keep telling it hundred times a day.
She is a very emotional kind of person like any other girl who wanted me to do all those things that a boyfriend would normally do. We started to have frequent fights. Last night also I had a big fight with her. She wanted to spend this day with me as it was our anniversary but this client was very important to me and I couldn’t afford to cancel this meeting.
“Excuse me, Hi!! If you don’t mind can you give me a lift, thanks”. A girl asks and jumps into my car while I was waiting at the signal.
“Hey what do you think you are doing? Just get out”.
“Now come on dude, you just have to drop me a bit further. There is such a traffic today. I couldn’t find a single bus you see”, she says again.
“But I have some important work. I can’t change my route to drop you”.
“No need of changing your route. You go on your way. I will get down at one point”.
“But where do you want to go”?
“For now I just want to get out of this traffic. See the signal has also cleared now. Just move man”.
That girl had a blue eyes, fair complexion, about 5.6 tall, slim built and very short hair. She had covered her head with a scarf. She was wearing a blue jeans with a red top. She had one small tote with her. She had earphones hanging from her ears. With her looks she seemed like some student and may be in her early 20s.
“Now will you tell me, where will you get down”? I asked her.
“Just keep on moving. Anyways which way are you going”?
“That’s none of your business”.
“Ok ok, angry young man huh”?
“I am stopping now. Now just get out”.
“Hey dude, have you not been taught how to talk to a girl”?
“Look I am getting late and I don’t have time for your silly talks”.
“Ok fine. I am going and dude get some life”.
She gets down and goes her way. I move on. Bangalore traffic was getting so bad. It seems all the population has stuck at one place. With worst start in the morning and then getting stuck with that girl, there was still more to come. It started raining heavily. There were water blocks everywhere and the traffic didn’t seem to move at all. With slow moving traffic, I see that girl again. She was standing under some tree fully drenched in that rain. I usually don’t bother about people who don’t matter to me but somehow I felt like helping her.
“Hey, you still here”? I asked and moved my car next to her.
“Does it matter to you”? she says in a bit angry tone.
“Well I thought if you want to go still further”?
“Are you sure? I don’t want to get kicked out again”.
“Thanks dude. Sorry all your car is wet now”.
“No issues. Where do you want to go”?
“I was supposed to meet a friend but now she has ditched me. I don’t want to go back home”.
“So what do you want to do”?
“Where are you going? Now don’t say its none of my business”.
“Chennai for a business meeting”.
“Wow, can I accompany you. I promise I won’t disturb you”.
“You want to come to Chennai that too with someone you don’t know at all. Don’t you need to ask your parents”?
“They are out of town. No one at home. So am I coming with you”?
“I don’t think its a good idea”.
“No worries. Sometimes we should go by the bad ideas you see”, she winked at me.
I was not very comfortable about her coming with me to Chennai but somehow I didn’t feel like stopping her. This was may be because I was meeting someone of this strange character for the first time in my life. Her attitude had surprised me.
“Dude, what are you thinking”? she asked me seeing me lost.
“Then come on lets make a move”.
“Are you totally sure about coming with me”?
“Of course, I am 110% sure. It will be a nice adventure for both of us”.
“I am not here for any adventure. I have an important meeting to attend”.
“Ok ok, it will be an adventure for me. Happy”?
“As it suits you”.
All the memories of that day was coming back to me. She was a totally carefree bird. Till date I never understood how did she managed to come with me, a total stranger. But now when I think I am glad that she came with me.
I had set out to search for her with ample information I had about her. I know finding her is not an easy task but I also know that it is not an impossible task either. I didn’t had her photo, didn’t know where she lived in Bangalore, didn’t had her contact number but still I hoped to find her.
“Hello”? I answered my phone.
“Hello Sir, Anurag here. What time would you be reaching Sir”?
“I would be reaching around 5pm Anurag. If you have any work, just the leave the house keys in my cabin. You don’t have to wait for me’.
“I will be here till 6pm Sir”.
“Ok Anurag, see you then and I want those list of colleges as well”.
“Its ready Sir. Not to worry”.
Anurag is a sincere and capable employee. I had never recognised his hard work but he always did his job without any complaints. He is very good at his job and managed everything very well.
Anurag is in his late 20s, 5.9 feet tall, medium built, not very fair complexion, black eyes, black hair short and trimmed and always well dressed. He is basically from Kerala. He is not married but is into relationship from past 7 years. The girl is from different caste which is creating a problem in both of their families. She is also working in some bank. Anurag is the only son to his parents and belonged to middle class family who had come to Bangalore to have a better life.
I had told Anurag everything about her and even he had tried every possible way to find her with no luck. But now I would turn the luck in my favour and track her down.
“Oh man this traffic is not going anywhere”, I told to myself.
“Why are you getting so tensed? Just chill dude”, she said.
“I have an important meeting at 3 in Chennai. Its already 9:30 and we have not yet crossed the city. You are asking me to chill at this point”.
“See you can’t do much about this traffic. Instead of getting frustrated, just have a look outside. Study others, try to figure out what’s going on with them, enjoy this weather and…..”.
“Oh will you please keep quite now. You can’t even imagine how important is this meeting for me”.
“What will happen, at the worst you might have to bear some loss. What’s the big deal? You will still be having enough to survive. Some have to struggle just to have one meal, you know that”.
“Look I can’t help that and I don’t have enough time to think about all that. Right now this meeting is very important to me and I just want to get out of this traffic right away”.
She gave me a stare for a while and went back to listen to her music.
“You can still think about it. Do you really want to come with me”?
“Of course. I am not in a hurry”.
“Hey wait a minute!!! How will you be coming back”?
“With you of course”.
“Are you out of your mind. I will be staying there tonight and no way you would be staying with me”.
“Chill dude, don’t worry. I will take a train or bus back”.
“Instead you better get off somewhere. You can do something better instead of getting stuck here in traffic”.
“If you want to get rid off me, its fine. But I don’t have anything much to do”.
“As you wish. What do you do”?
“I thought you will never be asking. I am Neha doing my final year graduation in Commerce and you”?
“I am Sunil. I run my electronic business”.
“Hmm nice, you do look like a businessman in all this formals, blazer and all”.
Finally the traffic was clearing. We were almost out of the city when suddenly my car stopped.
“Oh damn, what now? Why this damn thing not starting now”?
“I guess water might have got into that”.
“Damn, where will I find a garage now”?
“Lets leave the car here and find a mechanic. There must be one, after all every corner has one or the other mechanic”.
“Ok, lets go”.
We started in search of a mechanic. Rain had stopped finally. We were walking for quite a while and finally we found one garage.
“Hey you, my car has broken down. I need you to fix as soon as possible. Don’t worry about the money, just fix the damn thing”, I said to the mechanic in a very irritated tone.
“They may be lower than you but that doesn’t mean you own them. This is not the way you speak to them”, she whispered to me.
She then asked that man in a very polite manner to fix my car and he agreed to come with us to have a look.
“Water has got into it. There is also some problem in engine. Have to take it to the garage”, the mechanic said.
“Ok but how long will it take”? I asked him.
“At least three hours Sir”.
“What!!! Three hours. Can’t you fix it right now”?
“I am a mechanic Sir not god”.
“But……”, before I could complete
“Ok you take the car to garage. We will come back later. Note down his number and give a call when the car is ready”, Neha said and gave him my number.
“Now how I am going to reach Chennai. Its already 10:40 now”.
“Just chill dude, we will take a bus. We can find so many on that highway. Come on lets go”.
“Bus.. are you serious? I have never travelled on bus”.
“There is first time for everything. Now come on. He will take care of your car”, she pulled me to make me move.
“Wait, I would better call my assistant. He can arrange something”.
I started to dial his number but Neha took away my phone.
“What are you doing girl? Give me back my phone”, I almost yelled at her.
“See you would never get such a chance again. Just enjoy this moment. Feel like a common man and come with me. I promise you won’t regret”.
“But I don’t think we will be able to reach on time”.
“Don’t worry. You will be fine. I will show you the essence of life. Now come on dude”.
“You are not understanding. This is not a joke. You are just a college kid. Once you are out, you will realise the true meaning of struggle”.
“Are you sure you will be alive to see tomorrow. Nothing is permanent. Just live life to fullest man. I promise you, you will never forget this day. Mark my words”.
Lost in my thoughts I was about to hit a tree now. She was right about enjoying the life to fullest. Who knows what’s in store for us. Her simple words had a deep meaning within. The way she used to talk, it was hard to believe she was only 20 years old.
I was around 14 years elder to her but still didn’t know the exact meaning of life. That one day spent with her taught me the essence of life.
“Hello”? I answered my call.
“Hey, how far to go”? asked Sapna.
“Another two or three hours”.
“You didn’t stop anywhere to revive”?
“Well I didn’t feel like. The road was awesome to drive”.
“But still Sunil, you must give breaks. Stop for a while and then start”.
“Ok ok, I will stop at some dhaba or small hotel to eat something”.
“Good, do stop ok. Don’t stress yourself”.
“Sure, you take care. I will call you once I am there”.
I don’t know how she managed to convince me but I was with her waiting for a bus. I had never travelled in a bus that too like this where there was no clue whether we will find one or not.
“Look over there, some bus is coming. Lets wave our hand”, she said.
“That looks like yuck……” I said.
The bus stopped for us. She asked if it goes to Chennai for which he said it goes only till Vellore and we have to take another bus from there.
“There is no way I am going in this bus”, I said to her.
“Do you have any better option? Now stop this drama and get into the bus”, she said and pulled me to come with her.
The bus was packed to full. There were people everywhere, inside, near the driver and top of the bus. I had never seen so many people in a bus in my entire life. With great difficulty the conductor arranged two seats for us as Neha requested him seeing my plight.
“Oh my god, what a bus. Its so congested”, I said.
“Why do you have problem with everything”? she asked me.
“Don’t you think its way too congested”? I asked her.
“It is but why do you have to blabber about it now. You managed to get the seat, that’s a big deal now”.
“Ya ya. I still don’t understand why are you with me or why I am with you”?
“May be we were destined to meet”.
“Ha, I don’t believe in such things”.
“But still you are in one such situation now”.
“Ya damn, don’t believe this. But you created this situation. Why is that”?
“What to do, I have fallen for you”, she winked at me.
“What!! Hello, I am engaged”.
“See how soon you came to conclusion. Don’t be judgemental and hey I was only kidding. You are way too old for me”.
“I know that, you are only a kid”.
“Stop calling me kid every now and then ok. I have more knowledge than you”.
But somehow that bus journey was not as bad as I had thought. She was talking non stop and slowly I started to enjoy her company.
“What do your parents do”? I asked her.
“They run orphanages and old age homes”.
“Oh nice. Very good deed though”.
“Yes, what about your parents”?
“Well I lost my mom when I was 5 and my dad died in an accident 10 years back. After that I took over his business”.
“Oh that’s bad. So you don’t have any brothers or sisters or other family”?
“No I don’t have any siblings. My other family members had left me alone after my dad’s death thinking I might depend on them financially. Now I don’t need them. I have worked hard enough to earn what I am today”.
“But don’t you feel like having a family or……”.
“I was busy setting up my business. Never felt like having anyone. More over I have my fiancee and her family now”.
“Wow that’s good. When are you planning to get married”?
“Don’t know, not yet thought about it. There is still so much to achieve before I settle down”.
The bus had stopped for a tea break.
“Why aren’t you satisfied with what you have”? she asked me.
“But what’s wrong in having more”?
“There is nothing wrong in having more. But how much do you contribute towards the society”?
“What do you mean? I pay all my taxes”.
“That’s your duty. But have you ever helped anyone in need or at least fed anyone in hunger. Have you helped any blind to cross the road, you know, some petty things”.
“Well I have always helped those who have asked for any favour”.
“That means you have always waited for someone to ask. You yourself have never realised it”.
“Well how can one know if they don’t talk about”.
“Let alone others, do you know your own staff. Have you ever listened to their concerns. Have you ever had a friendly chat with them. I guess no because the way you spoke to that mechanic made it quite evident about you as an individual”.
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