Words flowed less smoothly since the thoughts were rushed, but my need to finish this article was urgent and nigh.
It was well past 9 PM and my hunger was gnawing at the edges of my mind. Not yet, I replied to it. I was writing a piece on “Death”. I know, this topic is more clichéd than a Bollywood love story, but “hey, that’s what the people want,” was what my boss had said before he boarded the plane to Spain. From a first person’s perspective, I wrote as if Death was describing herself, “I’m a morning bird,” I wrote. “I chirp approvals while young bird-lings beg for food. I am the dawn’s dew drop that makes them slip, trip, fall, fade. I am the broken wire of a car’s brake. I am the highway, I am the cliff, I am the basement, I am the top storey, I am at the temple, I am at the iron-gate. I am the accident and I’m renamed as fate.” I was reading it aloud. I was enjoying this, but I was going nowhere.
I heard a voice that shattered my chain of through. “Nice!” it said. I heard that voice for the first time that night. A young girl’s voice it was and sounds of her clearing her throat followed, echoed around the empty office.
I stood up and saw her. She was sitting on the couch, looking at me with curiosity in her eyes.
“Nice!” She said again.
“What? Who are you? How did you get here?”
“Mum said, she’ll get Nice biscuits for me.”
“Who is your mum?”
I paused in my thoughts. Veena Tanwar was from the HR Department. Very chirpy, very nice, pleasant to look at, cooked grade A prawns curry, liked Ghulam Ali ghazals.
Had lost her daughter in an accident 3 years ago.
I kept staring at the little girl, as she got off the couch and picked up her bag.
She came towards me and said “Rohan.”
“You know my name? How do…”
“It’s written on your desk.”
“Veena’s daughter is… is… no more.”
She looked at me with a stone cold stare as her tears welled up. I heard the office door open and Veena walked in. “Neha,” she said, “I am very sorry, I was held up due to traffic. I see you have met Rohan.”
I looked at Veena in horror!
“But…,” I began to speak, but my words betrayed me.
Veena ordered her daughter to pack her belongings. She looked at me while walking out of the door and said, “This one’s Neha. The one who left us was Pooja. They were twins.”