tapped his feet impatiently as he waited for the Red traffic signal to turn
green. Ever since he had got call from Roohi, he was impatient. The person who
spoke over the phone seemed to be nice. But a father’s heart wouldn’t listen to
any logics. He knew his worries would cease only when he meets Roohi and see
for himself that she was alright. His train of thoughts were broken when he
heard the vehicles behind him honk. He quickly turned the ignition and zoomed
towards the CCD which was just a few miles away from there.
paced through the corridor outside as she waited for the results of the
interview. She had been pretty confident about cracking it before, but after
the encounter with the Ice Lady, whom she had developed an instant dislike, and
the other panel members, she doubted her chances of getting the job. The
interview had felt like an eternity and she never wanted to go through so much
stress again. She watched as the puffs of her cigarette made patterns against
the night sky. Strangely, she found solace in it. “Jennifer” she heard a female
voice and turned towards the source of it. Standing there, staring at her with
a slight disapproval was the Ice Lady.
parked in a hurry and rushed inside the CCD. It had been years since he came to
this place. It used to be the place he came with Tara during their early days
of marriage. Those were the only days their marriage had – the early days. But
once Tara had started drifting apart, he had stopped visiting this place as it
brought back too many memories. But today, he had to come for Roohi. “Papa”
came the voice and soon he found little Roohi running up to him. He took her
into a big hug. Relief made him forget he had a company until he heard the
other person clearing his throat. “Uh sorry” he said as he turned to look at
the person who had brought Roohi back for him. He looked young, perhaps a
student. Though fair, he looked like a geek with those big spectacles. Shekhar
smiled as he introduced himself. “I am Shekhar. And as you already know, this
is my daughter and my life Roohi. I can’t thank you enough for finding her” he
was about to go on with his speech of gratitude when the guy cut him off. “It’s
fine. I found her wandering by the park behind school. It seems she sneaked out
from school bus to play and ended up missing it. By the way, I am Cyrus” he
said. “And you happened to be there at that time?” Shekhar asked unable to
contain his curiosity. For some reason, Cyrus appeared to him like a person who
would fit in a picture showing students in laboratory rather than park. Perhaps
his tone made it evident, for Cyrus’s face broke into a half smile. For a
moment, the stern look of his face vanished. “Though you might think it to be
impossible, I had a date. But my girlfriend ended up cancelling it. So I was
just walking through the park when I found your daughter. I must say, she is a
smart kid” he said stroking Roohi’s hair and she smiled. After a cup of coffee
and some chat, Shekhar offered to drop Cyrus back to his mom’s place as Cyrus
did not have a vehicle. He had said that he was from Delhi and was visiting his
mom. “Come on. This is just a small favour I can do in return of what you did
for me” Shekhar said as Cyrus declined his offer.
office, Tara looked at Jennifer and wondered if they had made the right choice.
The girl had been so much engrossed in her smoking that she hadn’t even noticed
Tara’s visit until she had called out her name after watching her for a while.
Of course her portfolio had been impressive and she was better than any other
candidates. But Tara wondered if the girl had the sense of commitment she
wanted in her employees. She sighed. If anything, she had learnt not to judge
people by their appearances, for looks could be deceiving. Time would be the
better judge. For now, she would let it go. “Miss Jennifer. I am extremely
pleased to inform you that you are selected for our post. Congratulations. We
hope you work with dedication and meet our expectations. And one more thing! I
seriously hope you can cut back on that smoking, at least here in the office”
she said and left without much ado, leaving behind a shocked Jennifer!
decided to pay a visit to Tara on his way back home and tell her about Roohi.
He wanted to believe that, at some corner of her heart, Tara had a soft spot
for their daughter. As he walked in, he saw Tara going around in the office,
issuing orders about their next project and the little hope he had vanished. He
was about to leave when he saw a familiar face. The photographer from the Kochi
Railway Station was walking out from the office. She stopped on noticing
Shekhar and gave him a big smile. “We meet again” she said and Shekhar smiled
forgetting his worries for a moment. For some reason, the easy-to-go attitude
of Jennifer attracted him. “I didn’t know you worked here” he said. “I didn’t!
But starting from now, I will. Just got a job today” she said. “Ah How good is
that!” mused Shekhar. He was happy he could meet Jennifer more frequently from
now on. “I wonder if it is really that good. Let me tell you a secret. My boss
is a Hitler” Jennifer said pointing towards Tara in her cabin. Roohi giggled
upon hearing this. “Hey is she your daughter who believes in fairies?” asked
Jennifer. After a long, stressful day, she enjoyed meeting a familiar person.
For her, it was the next best thing after cigarette – presence of good company.
Shekhar just smiled in response to her question and glanced at Tara and back to
Jennifer. He wondered how Jennifer would react if he told her that her Hitler
boss was his wife! It would be too good to see the expression on her face, he
was sure. But for now, he would keep it a secret. For some reason, he didn’t
want to disclose it to Jennifer; at least not yet!
Until the next post,
Keep Smiling 🙂