Next day, Madhuri woke up little late, around 10 in the morning. She looked around and suddenly jumped off the bed just like a cute doe. It took about 15 lazy minutes for her to realize that it’s an off to her work. She was on cloud nine and lay on bed blissfully.
Buzz…..Buzzz…. Buzzzzzzz………… Most irritating sound of her door bell, forced her to open the doors of her single bedroomed flat. Rubbing her eyes magically, she asked, “whom you want?”
“ Madhuri”, voice from outside the door answered. She nodded her head like a school kid. Ma’am, you have received a courier. Please sign here, delivery boy handed over a pen to her. She gave her signature which could easily reveal her profession as a doctor. Courier boy observed her curiosity to know what she got and gave her a box wrapped in sky blue color handmade paper and left the place.
With 100 guesses and questions in mind, she then opened the courier. Unlike most onion wrapped gifts, it had a single wrap which made her job easy to open it. She was shocked to see a pair of her favorite shoes, which she used to wear most of the times during her School. She lost her senses for a while. She was still in shock thinking who could have saved these for such long years, and why not one could have sent this to me long before if I had lost those. She wondered how one could maintain those lovely pink shoes as brand new ones. She didn’t bat an eyelid and wide opened her eyes with surprise. After a couple of minutes or so, she slowly opens a piece of paper from the same box which gave her unpredictable shock.
“How lucky these shoes were” – to touch your feet
“How lucky these shoes were” – to spend time with you
“How lucky these shoes were” – to be loved by you
“How fortunate these shoes are” – to be back to you after such long years
Thank god, I made my dear laugh out loud. J
This time Madhuri was even more surprised; how come this laughter was guessed by the sender. Someone who read my heart might have sent this to me. She continued reading…
Please let the sweat be out from you face. Wipe it dear. Don’t get tensed about me. I am your well-wisher.
She then wiped her face and looked deep into the letter again.
Yes… That’s a good girl… I know you are curious to know who I am. I will let you know for sure at the end of this letter.
Madhuri immediately glances at the end of the letter and laughs controllably.
Oh my lady detective!! I expected “you” doing this , thanks for making my guess correct.
In fact, you know what? You should have become a lawyer or at least detective. You didn’t change. You will never. You are a good reader of minds. But, Only I can fool you.
Madhuri was about to tear off the letter with anger for being fooled by an unknown sender, but her non turbulent character calmed her down. She continued reading…
“SORRY…. SORRY… SORRY”. I am sorry for irritating with all surprises. But now it’s time to reveal. But not for free of cost.
Okay. How much it will cost to reveal who are you? , Madhuri shouted loud as if she was talking to the sender directly. She took no time to realize that it’s just a letter and no one was physically present there to answer her question.
Hey cutie, Let me open the secret bag… Ready? 1………….2………….3…………..
“Just see my name on the gift wrap” J
With jet speed, Madhuri tried to see the name on gift wrap, but she couldn’t find it completely. The gift wrap lost its originality as it was dissected by her out of curiosity. She cursed herself for her foolishness.
“Couldn’t find my name? Okay… let my cutie tries for one more time” Underlined part in this letter is a big clue… Wish you a happy and prosperous birthday in advance. Take good care. Hope to meet you soon.
“SORRY…. SORRY… SORRY”.
Madhuri then started putting all her effort to decode the forensic clue; DNA fragment that the letter had left her for the day “SORRY…. SORRY… SORRY”…..
She had no clue to initiate her investigation. Though she initially wanted to let her mom know this, she dropped her idea as she knew that her mom will be worried of. It’s not as easy as pie, she said herself after spending an hour in guessing.
It was a sunny Wednesday; Madhuri went to a tribal area nearby city for conducting a medical camp. It’s her regular practice of conducting free medical camps for underprivileged people. It was a 3 days long camp, aimed at creating awareness on few diseases and hygienic tips to be followed. She planned this to reduce the count of deaths at remote areas. She neither wanted to curse anybody nor the system but she always wanted to serve the needy through all the possible ways. She closely observed people dropping like flies due to unknown diseases. She was touched with many incidents that made her heart so strong to face difficulties. She learnt that every cloud has a silver lining.
During day 1 of the camp, she analyzed cases and listed various reasons which are making tribal people to fall sick very often. Day 2, she demonstrated how to purify water using materials that are easily available in forest. Post demonstration, she tested blood samples of a group of people there against diseases like typhoid, malaria, dengue. It was day 3 of her camp, while she was about to pack her luggage, she heard someone calling her. She turned back and saw a tall, lean and fairy guy coming towards her. She expected him to ask doubts regarding her 3 days camp. But he didn’t seem to be from a tribal group in that sky blue shirt and black pant tucked in. He was happy as a clam.
Madhuri: Yes, tell me how can I help you?
Person: Hi Madhu, how are you?
Madhuri: Yes of course, I am doing charming.
Person: I know… you always charm.
Madhuri: Excuse me??
Person: Sorry… Sorry… Sorry… let me introduce myself first.
Though it was a hard pill to swallow, she could soon sense that it must be the same “Sorry” which made her week off, a suspense thriller movie.
I am Sagar, your childhood classmate. Sorry for troubling you these days with my surprise. I know you are Up in arms… I am surrendered wholly to you. Punish me please, said Sagar with a childish smile.
Madhuri: Hey Hi… How are you? How come you know I am here?
Madhuri: Who gave you my residence address?
Madhuri: How and when did you steal my shoes?
Sagar: Oh, no… I was wrong…
Madhuri: What? Why were you wrong?
Sagar: I said you should have become a lawyer or at least lady detective right?
Madhuri: Yes, you wrote.
Sagar: No, you are apt for a TV anchor.
Madhuri wanted to kick him so hard to show her anger, but she laughed out loud unexpectedly. Both were laughing cheerfully and Madhuri was the first one to stop laughing and asked him the same questions again.
Sagar: Madhu, I will answer all your questions later, but shall we start to city now? You are getting late already.
Madhuri: Yes, you are right. 6 o’clock bus is the last bus and that starts from a point 5 km away from here. I need to start now.
Sagar: How will you go? And please don’t tell me that you are going to walk.
Madhuri: But I planned to walk.
Sagar: If you don’t mind, I would be happy to accompany you.
Madhuri: Okay, if you want to, you can.
Sagar: Thank you.
Both started walking towards the bus stop which is 5 km far. Now tell me, how come you traced my address to send that gift? To my knowledge, it was only one day we chatted on Facebook and I suppose I had not given my mobile number too. Madhuri initiated a talk.
He became speechless for quiet some time, looking at her curious eyes. She looked gorgeous, in dark blue dress. Yes, she was charming and of course endearing.
Hello Mister, Where are you lost? , Madhuri shouted.
No… Nothing… Nowhere… Sagar replied right off the bat. Actually, it’s just like a yarn, but without fiction.
Oh!! It’s a Yarn? Interesting… tell me quick… Madhuri pleaded.
Sagar: I want you to be in tenterhooks for some more time at least. What do you say?
Madhuri: If I say, you would be kicked hard?
Sagar: Well, I would love to get kicked by you. But, I have to go back to square one, if I have to tell you how this happened. But to be very brief, I took help from my teacher and your best buddy, Sneha. I begged them not to reveal this until I meet you.
What? My mom and Sneha know you? Madhuri exclaimed. But they never happened to raise your name at least? They are at their best. Let me show mine. I just can’t believe what’s happening, she added.
You know what? I wanted to prolong this suspense but at the same time I didn’t want to bother you much, Said Sagar walking a bit slow than he was.
Oh… is it? That was really a nice idea. You should have done that. In fact, I was enjoying the suspense you created. You abruptly interrupted my job. This is not fair. Okay? She pointed her forefinger in a warning tone.
Alas! Thanks to the intelligent who declared, “It’s hard to understand women”, he sighed heavily.
Hello?? Excuse me?? It’s you’, who fail to read our hearts and blame us for nothing, Madhuri toned in a commanding pitch that could alert anyone passing by.
Hey, cool…. Ok… I do agree and I am left with no choice. Sagar pleased her like a child as if he was asking for a chocolate.
Those childish expressions of Sagar, made her laugh winningly.
They reached the bus stop on time and she boarded the bus. It was just 5 min before, when the driver was taking his position, she suddenly peeped outside the window of that dark dusted bus which was symbolizing the levels of pollution even in that dense forest area. He was still there. She gave a cute smile and signaled him to come near. As he was reaching near, she asked him the reason for not boarding the bus. He just smiled. She thought that he must be waiting for someone to pick him up.
The four wheeler vehicle which our heroine was sitting started leaving its black smoke in abundant quantity to darken the path behind. “It was nice talking to you, Happy JourneyJ. Don’t peep out now, you will beJJ” her phone beeped with a message tone.
Natural human tendency made her to watch out. Though she was not much surprised to see him coming on black pulsar bike, she doubted why he didn’t inform this before.
“I just wanted to accompany you till bus stop, so I didn’t tell you that I came by bike”, she read.
This time she saved the number as “Sagar”.
Madhuri: Hey, thanks for guessing my objection to join with you on bike.
Sagar: Most welcome… Take care… see you.
As the bus was reaching city bus stop, Sagar took his way home waiving off hand to Madhuri. Soon Madhuri reached home, she called her mom all set to shout at her.
Mom: Hey darling, How are you? How was the camp?
Madhuri: What’s this ma? Why did you do this?
Mom: What happened dear? Why are you on fire wheels?
Madhuri: You know what happened today? Sagar came to camp area. I was literally experiencing a jerk in my heart.
Mom: Oh… that should sound good of meeting your childhood friend right? Why jerk Madhu? Are you okay?
Madhuri: I am okay ma. I was shocked to see him there, though I was happy.
Mom: I just didn’t want to burst his bubble of surprising you dear. Hey did Sagar give any clue to you?
Madhuri: Yes…. He gave. But how did you know this?
Mom: Come on dear… That was my clue. Sweetie Smiles Sweet….
Madhuri: Oh…. God… I failed to guess it.
Mom: You won many hearts my dear child…
Madhuri: JJFine ma… even Sneha acted well you know?
Mom: I only gave him Sneha’s number.
Madhuri: Tell me something new okay? Who else would have dared to give?
Mom: Just watch yourself in mirror dear; you look prettiest when you are angry.
“This is how you cool the fire. “ Madhuri laughed. They both were on call discussing family matters and sharing some good time with each other for more than an hour.
Days passed by, Madhuri was completely into wheels of her passion in serving the needy, engaging her time to put worthy. Both Sagar and Madhuri became good friends in no time. They neither had talked over phone much nor had frequent meetings. Yes, as rightly said, souls of best friends are always connected. It was in the month of August, when Sagar called Madhuri to fix an appointment to meet her. As Madhuri was busy, she asked him to meet at hospital.
Madhuri: Hey Hi Sagar, How are you doing?
Sagar: Perfectly well Madhu. I am not disturbing your work right?
Madhuri: No…. Not at all… I have less time to meet you out. So, I asked you to come.
Sagar: That’s fine…I have something important to share with you…. Hope you would maintain secrecy.
Madhuri: Yeah. For sure, I will. Tell me what’s that?
Sagar: You know Pranav right?
Madhuri: Yes. He is my colleague. What happened?
Sagar: I will tell you… but tell me since how long you know Pranav?
Madhuri: It’s been almost 1 year that I am working with him.
Sagar: How is he? I mean, how will you define him?
Madhuri: But why all these questions suddenly Sagar, What happened? Is everything okay?
Sagar: Hmmm…. All the glitters are not gold Madhu. In your language, all sweet pills can’t cure the disease……
Madhuri: Will you please stop keeping me in suspense?
Sagar: ok… listen to me carefully… you were troubled by calls from unknown right?
Madhuri: Yes, but he stopped disturbing me since I warned him that it would be taken to the Police.
Sagar: you know it was Pranav who planned this?
Madhuri: Oh… No, I just can’t believe him doing this.
Sagar: I know you trust people so much. But it’s a bitter truth Madhu. He wanted to spoil your career; he was so envious of you being close to the management of this hospital. He tried to sling mud at you. He wanted you to get disturbed mentally. He well planned it and arranged someone to do that. His cruelty taken a step ahead; he wrote a letter to the Press mentioning that you are involved in some Kidney racket and making money out of it.
Alas! What’s happening around me? Why did he do this? Madhuri suddenly drooped down listening to him. Sagar made her to sit on sofa. “I am not worried about what he did Sagar, because I know what am I. But he lost trust. He would pay for this act”, Hasn’t this news out yet?? Where he is? I want to talk to him right now…. Madhuri stood up to walk out of her chamber.
Sagar held her hand tightly and signaled her to sit. As they both sat, he looked deep into her eyes and told that the news will not be out, as Pranav was beaten black and blue. Actually speaking, I wanted to meet you 4 days back, but due to some urgent work I had to travel. While I was way home, I got a call from one of my friends, chief editor of a famous newspaper. As my editor friend knew that you are from the same hospital, he informed me, Pranav handling him some fake proofs for this. You don’t worry Madhu. It’s all settled now. I just wanted you to know this to be more careful in future. , Sagar added.
Tears rolled out, Madhuri had no words to thank Sagar. Thanks a lot Sagar. Thanks for wishing my wellness. I still wonder why Pranav did this just out of jealous. I want to meet him. Actually speaking, I would feel much better if I slap him. What if his plan went well? I can’t imagine myself on blame chair, Madhuri said getting up from sofa.
Sagar: Madhu, you can meet Pranav, but not right now.
Madhuri: No Sagar, don’t say no. I just want to.
Sagar: Madhu, I told you right? He was beaten for his fault. Though you are anger, you can’t see someone suffering. I don’t want you to shed tears for his poor health condition. He doesn’t deserve it. Your tender heart will express sympathy for sure. I will take you to him after a week. Okay?
To be continued….