Dew drop, Sunshine and a Blade of Grass..! (Episode -6)

Chapter 5

One more truth

(Haven’t read the fifth episode yet? click here to read it)

Present

It perfectly synced – Me opening the gate and Anahita’s mom opening the door. I couldn’t have chosen a more inappropriate time.

“Good morning Aunty” I greeted her as my first act of defense. Anahita’s health was a mystery that was eating me from within. I was deeply concerned and anxious.

“I told you yesterday. I don’t want you here”.

“Aunty please”, I spoke like a kid – head bent down.

“I am getting late for the college. I don’t have time for this”, the principal of Claudia Arts College spoke in a tough voice.

“No no aunty, you carry on. I just have to meet Anahita and talk to her”, I spoke like a fool only to earn her glare.

“You are troubling us Siddarth. I have to act tough now” she warned me.

I looked up to see Anahita standing in the balcony. There wasn’t any wheel chair next to her.!

“Oh..! She looks fine. The wheelchair had scared me yesterday”, I let out a huge sigh of relief.

The response was an outburst- “Show some maturity and behave like a grown up”.

This time I was silent again. Not because I was scared, but because I was angered by the way her mom was treating me. I felt like punching the gate with all my might. Since I couldn’t do that, I put my every energy into swallowing words, that otherwise would have come out, in a fit of rage.

I made an exit.

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“Hello aunty. Good evening” I greeted her soon after she answered my doorbell. She responded with a smile as artificial as that flower sitting inside the large brass vase kept on their coffee table.

Artificial or not, the smile had caught me by surprise.!

Earlier in the morning, after all my anger had drained out, I had tried calling Anahita several times, but in vain. Going to their house in her mom’s absence didn’t seem appropriate. So, I had waited for her mom to return from office.

Now that I was at the door, I waited for her to invite me inside, but she didn’t. However, she didn’t ask me to leave either. Opportunist that I was, I walked into the house.

I was welcomed with blank stares and half smiles from a quarter dozen members of a family. There was a grey haired uncle, dark haired aunty and a handsome guy of my age. Anahita was sitting facing them.

Empty tea cups and half emptied saucer of chips smiled at me and I smiled at the family and then at Anahita.

There was an ugly silence that made me feel like a sari clad lady in a discotheque – completely clueless and out of place.

“He’s siddarth. My friend”, Anahita introduced me and the family was forced to smile again. “They studied in the same college. He’s here in Kolkatta for some work and I asked him to come over”, Anahita’s mom delivered a strategic lie.

I waited for the introduction of those guests and when that didn’t happen, I could arrive at only thought – The handsome guy must be Anahita’s prospective groom.

I was still standing in the middle of the room and no one had asked me to sit down, not even Anahita.

“So what do you do Mr Sid?”, the guy asked me. His intention was to make me feel comfortable I guess, but I wasn’t a high school kid answering his viva. Standing and answering would never make me comfortable.

“I run a company”, I replied.

“Oh. Nice.. And what does your company do?”, the dark haired aunty was the next to join the interview panel.

“We manage Catering”, I replied.

“Oh Catering service to marriage functions and all huh?”, her eyes twinkled at the hope of having met the prospective caterer for her son’s marriage.

I had to correct her.

“I run this company which helps people connect with caterers. It’s a website where people can search for these guys. You can choose items from their menu, enter the quantity and check the total bill using the pricing calculator available in the website. Once satisfied with the menu and the custom pricing, you can place your order with the caterer”.

I then remembered that in these last two days, I had missed my critical business meetings.. I was also not available on phone, for my startup partners to contact me. Facing them once I return to Bangalore, would be a nightmare.

“Oh..! That’s quite fascinating Sid. What’s the company name?”, the guy asked me with a fake curiosity.

Anahita and her mom had assumed the role of audience. They had stayed quiet.

“Caterkaro.com is our website”, I replied patiently. Had it been some other occasion, I would have played an opportunist and given a demo of our website. Right now, I was dying to know if my speculation regarding Anahita’s marriage with this guy was right or not.

“Very good, son! We need more young millionaires like you”, the grey haired uncle had turned too generous with his compliment. My dad was a millionaire, not me.

In India, owning a startup would draw two major reactions – either the guy is going to be filthy rich or the guy is going to be in neck deep debt.

Anahita’s mom had figured out that my business was not doing good – there was an unmistakable smirk on her face.

“I think we can have a look at his website. It should help us with Karan’s marriage”, his mom spoke to her husband, thus giving me his much needed introduction, in disguise – His name was Karan and he will be getting married to Anahita.

There are moments when you are angry, yet you choose to stay silent. This was not one of those moments.

“Ah.. You think I let you get married? Never! Not even in your dreams” I erupted with fingers pointing at him.

“What? What’s wrong?”, his mom rose from her seat and so did her husband.

“What nonsense is this Sid?”, Anahita’s mom shouted at me.

Amidst all the chaos, Anahita was still quiet.

“Aunty, enough is enough. First of all you have been treating me badly since yesterday and now this is happening. I am sorry, but I am angry and I want you guys to know it”, she was at the receiving end of my reprimand.

As expected, I had fueled Anahita’s anger and she ranted – “Sid. You cannot talk to my mom like that”, and there ended my brief Mangal Pandey moment.

The resentment had taken a nosedive and I apologized.

Karan and family, who were taken aback from my sudden outburst, communicated through sign language and decided to leave.

Anahita’s mom’s face had turned brick red out of embarrassment and anger.

“Karan. I am really sorry. But this is how it is. Me and Anahita, we love each other. And we have plans of getting married. I hope you understand”, I told him and then turned towards Anahita.

Without uttering a single word, Anahit’s mom rushed out of the hall and entered the kitchen. It was followed by loud thuds. Music in the kitchen could mean only one thing- the lady is annoyed and she’s not able to spit it out.

I looked at Anahita, who threw her hands up in the air and spoke to me in tough voice.

“Sid. You badly need a break. And it’s all over between us. You should stop being stupid and annoying. Who told you that I am getting married to Karan? He and his family were the ones to admit me to the hospital. They have come here to see my health and you are insulting them. You never thought about me when you got engaged and never felt for her when you called it off. I don’t want to see your face. Just leave”, she ran a lengthy speech.

Her moist eyes couldn’t let her hide her emotions.

I could have apologized again. I could have explained my unconditional love towards her. I could have cried. I could have also cursed myself for acting stupid and assuming things about Karan and her.

But, her reprimand earned only one reaction.

“Why were you admitted to hospital Anahita? And yesterday you were on wheelchair. What’s the problem?”, I spoke in anxiety.

Anahita walked out of the hall and closed the bedroom door behind.

Karan placed his hand on my shoulder and took me out of the house.

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That day when she had fallen off from her scooter after partial limb paralysis, Karan’s family had her admitted to the hospital. It was then, that she was diagnosed with Spinal tumor.

She was operated on and the cancer was removed, but the treatment was still on. Chemotherapy was advised in case of any further traces of tumor discovered.

Irrespective of its type, the stage in which it is and the chances of getting cured, the word Cancer always leaves you disturbed.

Tears rolled down my cheeks, but I didn’t feel like talking to her. I went back to the hotel, with a crying heart.

To be continued

Click here to read the 7th Episode

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