Sunday, September 17, 2017

Truth or Dare!

Continued from previous post

Pankaj and Kavya were now walking together...
"Pankoo, why do you follow me? I am observing this for  a few days.Bolo Bolo..?"
"Don't know. It just happens!"
"Don't act smart okay? You always catch every single bus i enter. Don't say it happens like this!"
"Aahh..Well maybe beacause i like to spend some more time with you! My feet takes me to your direction only Kavita."
"You can call me Kavya!There is no harm...only some very few close ones call me Kavya..." A smile rushed on her cheeky face. A face now glowing with happiness but with a little bit of uncertainty,"So you study in Bal Vikas Gurukul right? That boys school down the lane?"
Pankaj nods a little, "And you are from Mary's Convent right?"
Kavya smiles," Pankoo..may i ask you something?"
"I have never seen you with your parents..or your father or mother? Any brother or..."
"My mother is there, she works somewhere, but no sister." Pankaj, starts walking shakily. His eyes, a little bit wet now.
" I am sorry Pankoo. I know a little. Even i haven't seen my mother. you travel all alone?"
" always catch the same bus. Ha ha! " Pankaj hold his laughter a little. Their eyes searching for the comfort levels while walking and eventually they break out in laughter. This time both. Much more loudly.
"You are funny... But you are from boys school. You boys always talk rubbish and we girls hate it. You know? None of my friends will like that i am talking to a boy from Bal Vikas Gurukul. You understand right Pankoo?"
Pankoo stops. "Kavya...i think i am getting late now. See you tomorrow." He walks away slowly with his head down hitting every little stone that comes on his path with his white shoes.
"Pankoo...Kharaab Jhale? I am sorry if you're hurt. Can we meet for lunch?As i forgot to bring my tiffin and sadly you lost your school bag? I will give you a treat. A Chocolate Sandwich from my side. Done?"
Pankoo stops. He turns his head back and says, " Chocolate Sandwich?Pakka na? No cheating na? Promise?"
"Yes, Promise. Meet me for lunch, i will wait for you near this turning. Ok? We girls will go to Narayan's shop near to Rambhai's Market today. You also come but alone..Ok?"
Pankaj nods happily. All his pale yellow teeth visible. His eyes half closed in happiness.
Kavita with a snow-white smile moved on towards her school entrance. Her friends got along with her making faces to Pankoo as his attire didn't do justice today. A schoolboy with no bag roaming with a convent school girl. The barrier was man-made, temporary and situational. He was happy, damn happy today. 'Aila, Kavya noticed me today and is giving me a treat, that too my favorite Chocolate sandwich wow!'Thoughts got the wings and took a leap towards the sky, flying with no control, randomness guaranteed. But everything comes at a cost. And he was surely going to pay heavily soon for no fault anyhow.

Somewhere a phone rang. Three rings at a time. A loud one followed by two faint ones.
"Susheela...O Susheela....Tumchyasathi Phone Aahe, Paha." Manju Tai, a woman in her sixties called out Susheela to come downstairs. Susheela was busy packing Paithanis in her shop. A small shop in the city's busiest road full of beautiful colorful Sarees stacked one by one in the shop and a few bright colored ones on display. Susheela hurriedly reached down and took the receiver from Manju Tai's hand. The bell of the old fashioned clock hanging near the reception of the small shop rang eleven times.
"Hello...Mi Pankaj chi aai bolto aahe. Bola..."
Her face suddenly goes white in anger. "Madam, how is this possible? He cannot do that! He always carry his bag and I  always check his tiffin and books, his homework copy , classwork copy and...Madam...Thamba... me yeto.Thamba." She puts the receiver back to the place and wipes her sweat ridden face with her both hands." Deva re deva. What to do with this boy. Manju Tai..i got a call from Pakeya's school. It's urgent i have to go."
"Is everything alright? Anything serious? Do one take half day leave. Okay? no problem. But remember you already had enough holidays? Next time be go now. Your boy is like this only. Very notorious. Wish his father was alive, would have beaten the hell out of him. Poor lady. I feel pity for you Susheela. Go and see what happened. Take half day leave. I won't say a word. Now go!"
Susheela didn't utter a single word and goes upstairs and brings her carry bag and umbrella. She was tensed. Anger was evident on her face.

Its 1:35 pm, Susheela came out of the auto and handed the fare to the driver. She finds her boy in front of a few girls eating Sandwiches sitting outside the eatery.
Watching this she shouts hard," Pakeya?"
"Aai!" Suddenly Pankaj's face turns white as he finds his mother watching him eating with girls from a distance.
"Baba!" Shouts Kavya, this time with more excitement. Kavya leaves her sandwich on the table and runs towards her father who just arrived in his police jeep.
Susheela watches the little chubby school girl jumping on the arms of a police inspector. The tall, mustached man with a dusky complexion in police uniform takes the little girl on his lap and plants a kiss on her cheek.
Susheela watches in horror after recognizing the face behind the uniform. The same face that caused her living to be snatched away. The same face that took away her happiness and relations, her near and dear ones. The same face that proved the only evil in her life and beyond. Her eyes looking helplessly, her body shaking with fear and anger.
"Inspector Pratap?" Tears roll down her eyes as she utters his name in anger. She runs towards Pankaj and takes him under her cover. Pankaj was least bothered what was happening. His chocolate sandwich was still lying untouched on the table. Susheela watched the inspector taking out a small tiffin box from his jeep and handing it to his daughter.
"Thank you Baba... Baba come i have a new friend today..Pankaj." Kavya points him to Pankaj who was with his mother Susheela. Susheela was tensed. Pankaj was confused.
"S..S...Susheela?" Inspector Pratap was shocked, "Who is this woman, Kavya?"
"Aaah...maybe my friend's mother. He is Pankaj. He is from Bal Vikas, my new friend. He lost his father in some accident, he didn't tell me. And she may be his mother. You know her Baba?" Kavita was puzzled watching his father's expression on finding Pankaj's mother in front of him.
Both their parents were watching each other in complete discomfort, unbound silence on both sides. As if destiny had played with their lives. As if the day is cursed and everything is out of hand. The two little souls watched in complete surprise thinking what could have happened between their parents that they both are freaked out seeing each other. Is there any past incident or just a bitter future on the arrival?

What will happen to the newly formed friendship if their parents are not at all comfortable? What would have happened between the two rigid and tormented souls searching for the answers in this game of truth and dare or will destiny play spoilsport? Will Pankaj and Kavita ever meet again? Let's find out in our next part....

~~~ to be continued~~~
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