Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Chasing the Rainbow! - Chapter Four

Anagha called Pete while both of them were looking at the rainbow having completely different thoughts at that moment. Pete answered the call from the unknown number. The voice on the other end made his head spin and too many thoughts and images encroached his mind at the same time.

Anagha: "Hello Pete."

Pete was silent for a few seconds and then said, "Is it you, Anagha?"

Anagha: "It is me. I was wondering if we can meet this Saturday. I am in New York currently and will be flying back to India this Sunday." 

Pete: "Sure. How about Saturday evening 5 pm at our usual Stumptown Coffee Roaster."

After saying that Pete just realized the blunder he made. He went to cover up saying something but before that Anagha agreed and she hung up.

Pete and Anagha pretended to continue their routine till finally Saturday evening arrived. Anagha arrived earlier and chose the table from where the view was the best of the outside world. Pete arrived in 5 minutes or so. It was a little awkward for both of them and they greeted each other fumblingly. They ordered their bistros and while the bistros came tried to make small talks.

Pete: "So did you watch 'The fault in Our Stars'. They made a movie finally from your favourite book."

Anagha: "No, I did not. The book was too beautiful for me and I have my own illustrations of that book. I did not want to ruin it with the movie."

Pete: " what are you upto these days?"

Anagha: " I have started with an NGO back home and was in town for getting financial aid for the same. The name is 'Vaatsalya'."

Pete: "So you did what you always wished for! What does Waaats..what did you say the name was....what does it mean?"

Anagha: " means mother's unconditional love for her child.

Pete. Let us not do this. I will come straight to the point. When I came to New York, I did not fathom that I will meet you. I did not think that I will ever sum up the courage to see you again. But the nothing......
Something made me do this. 
I still want you to come and help me with my NGO back in India. No strings attached. Just a professional offer. I want the best people to make Vaatsalya a place for everyone doing the best for the under privileged. Just give it one chance. If you do not like it there in India, I will not force you to stay. You can work with my mom. I will not be interfering there as I am working on a different focus within Vaatsalya."

There was silence after that. Their eyes were searching each others eyes for any subtle hint as to what will happen next. Pete was the first one to withdraw his eyes from hers. He looked across the street. 

Pete did not say anything for a long time. After a while he mustered all his strength to say, "I don't know......I doubt if I will survive there."

And there they parted again and this time they thought forever.

Pete went to his Phily home straight from the coffee shop, drove for 4 hours without any stop with too many thoughts cluttered in the mind. When he barged at the door, Linda said giving a scorn "You are late for the marriage. It was today and not tomorrow."

Linda could have continued with her pestering and taunts but the aghast look on Pete's face made her stop. Being concerned she asked, "What is wrong? You look like you have seen a ghost."

Pete narrated the evening story to Linda. Both of them were silent for a moment. Pete had never told Linda the real reason for their break up, he had just announced that he is no longer seeing her.

Linda looked into his eyes and said, "You might be able to hide it from the rest of the world but Pete....I know your truth. I know why you cannot let go off New York."

Pete looked scandalized, he had taken enormous amount of effort to keep it as his treasured secret as he knew no one will understand it.

Linda with moist eyes said, "It is Grandpa. I know it is for him..."

And in that very moment Pete thought he was naked in front of the world. His heart gushed with too much blood from the arteries and mind flooded with so many memories. His Grandfather lived in NYC. The den where he lived currently belonged to his grandfather. His grandfather was more like a dad to him than Bill ever was or could be. He had too many treasured moments in NYC with his Grandpa until 9 years ago when he passed away.

He reminisced the time when he got his first pet, a Labrador which was just 2 months old. Grandpa had said, " He will be your best friend, the most selfless one with unwavering loyalty."
Pete had named him Balto after the famous sled dog who saved Alaska's children from diphtheria epidemic by delivering medicine over the frozen Tundra. Pete had always seens Balto's sculpture in Central Park while walking with his Grandpa and now thought I have my own Balto.

He remembered their fishing expeditions over Jamaica Bay. The pride he had felt when he caught his first fish and Grandpa was there to pat his back. Fishing while listening to Grandpa's childhood stories was the best thing ever.

Walking the Literary Walk in Central Park amongst the Elm trees and learning to observe folks around as Grandpa had taught him was his favourite pass time.

He felt his Grandpa's head on his shoulder in the hospital where he took his last breath. Everything came back in a flash to him.

Pete could take it no more and asked his mom to excuse him and went straight to his room.

Next day without informing anyone, he started driving for NYC. He directly went to Central Park. He walked to the Loch and sat looking at the springs coming out of the rocks. Hours passed and when he came back home he was a transformed man.

Something happened at the Loch that day and a week later Pete took a flight to India.

Had Murphy not played his part Pete would have never been able to take this chance. It was because of Murphy that he missed his guest lecture that day. Had he attended the lecture he would have missed Anagha's call and would have gone to Philadelphia for his neighbour's wedding over the weekend. He would not have been able to meet her then. Had it not been for the rain, the rainbow would not have come and Anagha would not have called Pete in the first place. So yes Murphy does work miracles sometimes.

The air hostess asked Pete to open the window shutter while landing. And as Pete opened the window, he saw a full bloomed rainbow going down towards the land. He did not know if he was going to stay there or not but in his mind he pondered, "Maybe this is the rainbow I have been wanting to chase all my life."

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant writing Pradnya... to be honest I just finished readin all the 3 chapters right now. You have a brilliant knack of helping the readers visualize the scene with your style of writing... Can't wait for the next edition...Keep the creative juices flowing...:)