I hate driving, but to get to work on time, I have to drive. Taking the bus would most definitely make me late, and to hear Mr. Chandra, that idiot who happens to be my boss, make a fuss for being a second late is not worth it. I’d have quit if it wasn’t for the money.
Today was different. Firstly, it was Sunday, so I was going to office on special duty. Secondly, it was market day, so going through the crowded roads of Jameli marketplace was more difficult. And then, the third reason…it materialized somewhere between the marketplace and the office…
There was a festive crowd in Jameli today. And as I struggled to keep control of the bike in the congested roads, she came into view. She was standing at a roadside stall, facing away from me. Her hair was green in color, which made the people who passed by her, stare. Her pale white skin resembled that of a foreigner, but she was dressed in a chudidhar, traditional Indian costume for women. It was also green, to match her hair. “Was she the one?” I thought.
When I returned later, the crowd was still there. They were all in front of the stage at the big ground, ready to view the evening programme. I walked through the crowd, eyes scanning for her. The curtain raises, my eyes smile. She’s one of the dancers. She’s in a pink dress now, a matching scarf across her face, her hair pink too. “It must be a wig”, I thought. She dances beautifully. I watch from the first row of the crowd and applaud as the curtain closes after the performance.
I follow her back to the dressing rooms. I hear someone say, “Neha, you were the best today.” My eyes find hers immediately. The wig and the scarf are gone. The eyes, blue like mine, are laughing with happiness today. I approach her. She doesn’t react, continues to smile and talk with her friends. I see the scar she got in childhood. It was her. I put my hand on her shoulder. She turns around. “What happened?” one of her friends ask. “Nothing”, I hear her reply.
I knew it was my long lost sister from the moment I saw her in the morning, but I hesitated. Eyes strayed, and I lost myself that morning.
I should have approached her sooner… I would have, but for the accident…