Saturday, August 30, 2014

Chasing the Rainbow! - Chapter Two

Chapter One: Pete

Chapter Two: Anagha

Anagha began her day with going from one New York office to another, meeting up with her classmates and friends raising funds for her new venture back in India - 'Vaatsalya' meaning mother's unconditioned love for her kids. Vaatsalya was a shelter for the under privileged, the old and anyone who does not have a home. Vaatsalya also focused on urban science and informatics which included identifying and assessing urban problems in domains of transit, utilities and health. Vaatsalya was managed by Anagha and her mother Sheetal. Anagha was in charge of the urban science and informatics division while her mother looked after the shelter.

Anagha was a part of a typical Indian nuclear family staying with her parents and a younger brother. Her Father Mohan owned a small factory which manufactured industrial pumps. Mohan was a man allways ahead of his times and he gave Sheetal all the freedom even during those times when women were supposed to be in the kitchen according to the societal norms. Sheetal was a social worker all her life and had travelled extensively during her youth days working at grass root level helping in building schools and advocating girls' education and health. She had seen too much poverty and worst conditions around which kept her humble and rooted even though she belonged to an affluent family. Anagha's brother Saahil was currently pursuing his graduation in Architecture from one of the renowned colleges of India - Sir J. J. College of Architecture, Mumbai. Their family was a closely knit one with a lot of liberal minds and ideas at the dinner table.

After completing her graduation in India, Anagha had headed to the States for her post graduation. She spent 3 years in the States which included her one year Masters of Science course in Applied Urban Science and Informatics at the New York University and two years working at Lutron Inc. These 3 years had helped her create a network in New York on which she was banking currently for the aid of Vaatsalya's growth. After touring India and getting help from all known sources, she thought NRIs and her American friends are the next best bet to raise funds for her venture. And so she was in New York for a week, wearing off her shoe soles moving from one office to another and convincing folks to donate for Vaatsalya.

It was Thursday already and she was headed to India the coming Sunday. Last leg of visits were remaining when she thought of him. She wondered whether she should meet him just once before leaving for India. But then she brushed off the thought. 

She was staying in a cheap hostel in Manhattan. She woke up to her alarm and started getting ready for the day. Today she was going to head to Times Square and target all the plush offices down there. She took the bus from Manhattan to NYC, opened her diary and checked out the names to visit today. Scribbled in small font was a name.....and she went back to those times....

He was a charmer not in just looks but the way he carried himself. She used to feel at home with him. There used to be a time when they used to sit for hours in a room independently reading something - she 'The Fountainhead' and he 'The Crisis Caravan'. And yet she felt engaged with him. He would stroke her fringes and move it behind her ear lobe and in just the next moment put his fingers in her hair and mess it all up. He loved her cooked food especially the dosa and the spicy coconut chutney, he would call them love pancakes with a spicy twist. They would spend hours at Central Park, holding hands and walking and talking like the world will cease to exist tomorrow.  

Just then the passenger sitting next to her wanted to get down and requested Anagha to hold her purse while held her baby tightly. Anagha was awakened from her thoughts then. She pushed back all the thoughts in the 'do not open box' of her mind and read through the next names. While Anagha was getting down at her stop, the dashboard in the bus informed all the passengers of the heavy rains expected that evening. Anagha was distraught with the thought of having to wind up her expedition earlier today and heading back to her hostel, precious time lost. 

She finished her errands fast and caught the bus back to Manhattan. On her way to Manhattan, it started pouring and she saw the rainbow. 

Whenever he saw a rainbow he used to say to her, 'I want to chase that rainbow. I want to see what is there at the other side of it, at the extreme end of its horizon'.

Her hands unconsciously reached her cell and she dialed his number.

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