This story will loom as two fragments as it is slightly lengthy.
A couple of months darted away from the view of the remaining ten. I dropped into Ramani’s dwelling to have a glimpse at her present juncture. She was totally a new female ready to daringly face every set back. Her visage was proclaiming that she was not going to let the villain be triumphant in the society. I just rewound the incidents.
Once I was waiting for a bus in the shelter. Ramani, a quadragenarian woman scurried to the bus stop instituting a sort of uneasiness looking at the watch and then to the bus direction. She didn’t notice me as her fret-plated visage was expressing some agony.
I just silently watched her doings, without disturbing her. She is known to me. I felt if I uttered a word even, it would dig a channel for her tears to surge over there. Even then my anxiety to know about her anguish let my tongue come out with some words without my okay.
“What happened? If I can help you, Ramani…..”
“O! Sushma,I want to go to the hospital urgently. My husband is not well,” half-crying she uttered.
“Can’t you hire an auto, if you are in a hurry?”
“This is no taxi stand, Sushma, nor an auto stand.”
“O! I forgot that.”
Right then God appeared there in the form of one of my cousins in a car. No sooner did he stop the car in front of me than I ran to him and turned him altruistic. Since my destination was only a tailoring shop to obtain my new dress, I nodded for my cousin’s invite to go with them. I seated myself in the front and turned back to Ramani with the question in my eyes.
“My husband is admitted in the hospital. My neighbour informed me about it. That is why I am rushing. I don’t know anything more.”
Ramani is a saleswoman of a textile shop. Her better-half, Prakash served a company in billing process. And their two daughters-elder in the ninth grade and younger in sixth-were reading in a reputed school.
From morning to gloaming Ramani entertains the customers forgetting all her personal chores. Diwali-purchase was in progress and therefore the shop was crowded with customers. New arrivals of garbs and fabrics glittered fully attracting the sights of customers. That day as soon as she reached the shop she got engrossed in satiating the customers’ demands. Always an appeasing grin dwells on her pleasant face. And then suddenly out of the blue a phone call interrupted her work. Prakash, Ramani’s husband got admitted in the central hospital with the help of his childhood buddy who stays next door. Ramani and I are travel-mates i.e. we share the same bus stop for the journey towards our offices. Before the appearance of the bus we get a few minutes to do chit-chat. Persistent journey had sowed the seeds of friendship too in us. Today is a holiday for me.
[To be contd.]