Nayantara was stuck in the middle of the road. She could hear horns honking all around. She could see people staring through the windows of her car. She could hear the dust rising all around. The sun felt very hot that day and she was feeling choked in the cool air of the Air conditioner! She had been driving her car since she was 18, but today at the age of 30 she wasn’t able to turn the car engine on! Her mind wandered!
Is right the break or left the break..Why is it the Accelator? Wonder how they have in the US? Am I sitting on the wrong side of the car? Should I be sitting on the left? Where am I? Is this the dust in the city of Pune? The city that she belonged to? Is Ma just a phone call away? She was jolted back to sense when a police officer in white and khakhi was banging on the window with a brown little stick! She pulled down the windows and was assaulted with jargon of words that she couldnt understand.
The first sense of reality struck when she realised what she heard wasnt Marathi and this was not Pune! Her head reeled, her throat was parched and her eyes foggy. With this she got down of the car and could hear abuses being hurled at her by thousands of men on vehicles around her. She felt naked…or was she naked? Were they all staring at her miscomings and laughing at the anatomy? She knew her paunch was big and so was her rear. She wasnt like the taut bodies depicted on the magazine covers. And there she started hiding her face.
As if hiding the face would make her invisible to the surrounding crowd. Then she took out her mobile from the purse. And then stared at it. The blue screen looked empty. She did not know how to call him. What was his name? She knew he would help her out. But how to search his name? Ayaan? Ram? Philip? No No… Then what is it? By now she saw somebody sit in her car. He started the car and took it on the side. Then a lady helped her hand and spoke again in a language incoherent to her.
She saw the people moving away..all jeering in her direction! She sat in her car, rolled her windows back and closed her eyes. The next thing she knew was she was sweating all over. Her body wet with sweat and tears started coming out of her eyes. She wanted to run to him coz he always made everything perfect. And she remembered out of nowher…Nilay…That’s it…Nilay… Always they were teased for the similarity in the name..Nilay and Nayantara…They used to sign cards with a big N. And she typed N on the mobile and the first name was his.
She called him and wept…and the only voice she heard from the other end was “Darling I am coming..turn your google location on and I shall trace you” And she closed her eyes again and knew very soon this sweat will go and she will be cleaned and fed and cocooned in his arms!