I’d been waiting for a while now. I looked around and finding her nowhere I called her house again. Her elder sister picked up this time and told me that she had just left home, and that I should expect her any minute.
I put the phone down, took my helmet off and pulled the keys off my bike. I began thinking of the weekly RC plan I’d been working on before Anjum had called, and how I just wanted to get done with it now.
‘Bhaiyya you promised you’ll come home for lunch.’
‘Yes yes, I haven’t forgotten, I’m on my way actually’ I lied before putting the phone down. I had forgotten, with what all the work that was pending and the deadlines looming. Nonetheless, I proceeded to shut my laptop down, took a quick shower, threw on a kurta and here I was.
I’d been staring at the narrow lane for a while now. It was a typical lane the sort you’d find in Malwani – a couple of goats straying around, a cow sprawled in front of a shop, a garbage dump, and a lot of people walking about.
And then the whole thing lit up, just like that and in an instant.
Wearing her bright green salwar, she tore through the crowd, running purposefully toward where she’d asked me to wait. She ran for a about a good five hundred meters, before stopping to catch her breath. Hands on her hips, she impatiently looked around and then I called her name, and as she turned around to look at me her face broke into a big smile.
An hour and a half later, she dropped me back to where I’d picked her up, she said she was scared I’d get lost. As she got off the bike, we hi-5ed our customary hi5, and then she turned around to leave. I paused and watched her run back the way same she’d come, her green salwar adding character to the otherwise unremarkable lane, and I thought to myself thank god I’m not stuck at home working on a weekly plan today in front of a laptop screen.
Eid Mubarak everyone, have a great day 🙂