It was monsoon season in Kolkata. However, there had been no rains in the city for as long as one could remember. The skies remained overcast all day, but it never rained even a single drop. It was almost a very depressing weather for the poetic mind.
However, it certainly was not depressing for Rajesh and his friends. They were out on a drive, and they seemed to be content and enjoying themselves to the fullest. Like many other young adults, a night out with his friends meant lots of alcohol and craziness, loud music and lots of fun for Rajesh.
“Dude, take the next right. There’s an off-shop there. We need some beers.” Rajesh said.
So the car stopped in front of the shop, and Rajesh and his friends got out and bought themselves a couple of beers and some rum. They got into the car, and drove off again, without any destination in mind.
As they drove and drank, Rajesh spotted a girl walking on the sidewalk alone. He told his friend to slow down the car, and opened his window, and shouted out to the girl, “How much?”
“Excuse me?” the girl seemed puzzled.
“How much for a night?” he repeated louder, and then started laughing. Somehow, it seemed to make all his friends laugh as well.
“You loser! Don’t you have a sister or mother at home?”
This reply angered Rajesh. He opened the door, but before he would do anything, his friend Harsh stopped him and told him to let it go. Rajesh gave the girl a cold stare as she started moving back slowly. Then he simply spit at the girl’s feet and the car sped off again.
“Stupid girl! Thinks herself to be too smart!” he retorted.
“Leave it man. She was too petite anyway” said Harsh.
This comment sparked off another round of laughter among the group.
So they drank it all, and by the time Rajesh got home, he could hardly walk. He was wasted, and his friends had to carry him into his house. The moment he entered, he went to his room and went to sleep immediately.
Next morning, Rajesh woke up with a terrible hangover. He came out of his room and his sister, Raima, asked him where he had been all night.
“None of your business.”
“Did you get drunk again?” she asked.
“Don’t you have school? Just go already!” he replied, irritated.
“If dad comes to know about this, he will be very angry.”
“Whatever” he said sternly and went into the bathroom to freshen up.
Rajesh remained home that day. He did not go to college. He plugged in his Xbox and was playing on it, when a call came up on his cell phone. It was Raima’s call. He rejected it, and returned back to his game. A few minutes later, she called again. He ignored it again.
A few minutes later, once more. This time he picked up the call and with an irritated voice, said, “Why do you keep calling me continuously?”
“I’m really scared Rajesh” said Raima, with an air of panic in her voice.
“Why? What’s up?”
“I’m really scared” she said. “A car has been following me for a long time now. I’m scared, Rajesh.”
“What?! Where are you now? Tell me, I’m coming.”
Immediately Rajesh left the house. She was not far away from the house, and he rushed to get her.
When he got there, he asked where the car was. She pointed at it. He was furious and walked up to the car, and towards the driver’s seat. He opened the door in a rage, murmuring expletives.
“Son of a….”
He suddenly fell silent.
As the door opened, he looked at the familiar face of Harsh.
He was blank. Words could not escape his mouth. He wanted to say a lot of things, but he could not.
Only one sentence went through his mind at that time.
“Don’t you have a sister or mother at home?”