Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Employment

Part 16


The party was over. None of the girls ever bothered about the fact that Veena had partaken the dishes they had offered to her in spite of her being a vegetarian. That was a big relief to Veena. They left the place and parted in pairs to go to their homes. Rashmi and Jyoti were together and there Rashmi notifies to Jyoti about the thing that Veena had eaten the dishes. Jyoti warns her that it was very nice on her part that he did not refuse them. It would have been a bad manners for the party that the host refusing the helpings offered to her on some flimsy ground such as that she is a veg! Jyoti tells Rashmi that, “this shows that Veena is a very decent girl and we should not talk of it to any body lest she finds it difficult to manage matters at her home. Both the girls agree and the topic ends there and then.

Ibna and Veena were together and Ibna was driving her car. She asked Veena to show way to her home so that Ibna can drive her home. Veena liked the idea and they moved to her house. While in the car Veena realized that the place she was residing was not of the status so that Ibna be shown it. Veena became a bit restless and now she wanted to find some excuse so that she shall not have to take Ibna to her house, which was a small place and where no decent car could reach. The car was moving swiftly and soon they reached the spot where car road ends and after that they have to walk to the house in a narrow bye lane. Veena asks Ibna to halt the car, says bye to her and gets out of the car. On the other side Ibna also gets out of the driver’s seat and stands there; asks Veena as to where to go. The embarrasses Veena since she wanted to avoid Ibna coming to her small drab room in the chawl. Ibna stood innocently there looking with smile on her face full of curiosity for Veena’s residence. Veena was very much depressed at that; did not understand how to avoid this girl. Both stood at two opposite sides of the car at the doors. Veena, clearly trying to avoid looking to Ibna; scrubbing in her hair wondering how to shun the most unavoidable! Ibna softly enquired by sign of her hand, “Where to now”, Veena says nothing; she actually wanted to tell Ibna clearly, and that her house is not decent enough for guests of her stature; but she could not do that out of discomfiture. She looks plainly to Ibna and without saying anything keeps walking towards narrow alley that goes to her chawl. She dares not look back to find if the Arab girl is standing at her car or follows her. But sooner than expected she becomes conscious that the young lady was following her. Exasperated, Veena now looks to her guest, Ibna was all innocent, looking down continues to follow her. They reach the steps of the old shabby place and now Veena looks to Ibna to judge how she reacts to that place, to her surprise Ibna has no expression on her sweet pink face that could be interpreted as that of disdain. Ibna had all the unwariness that one can expect from the girl of her age. Veena whispers to Ibna, “I hope you do not mind coming to my very humble residence, it is not so stylized but good enough for me and my Aatyaa”.

“Aatyaa? What is that”? Ibna questions for the first time since they alighted from the car. “That is my father’s sister, we call aatyaa”. Veena explains. While climbing the rickety old wooden stairway Veena is trying to judge what must be in the mind of this girl and why at all I took a lift by this girl, was one question that was pestering her. Veena never thought that the girl will bother to come up to her house; she had thought that Ibna would leave her on the road and go, but things did not happen that way. Everything was getting up set for Veena. They reached her room and there some neighborly women came out to see, who has come and they look to them and give usual smile to Veena. Veena was not in any mood to reciprocate, as she would do, on other days. She sees a big question mark on their faces. The neighbors disappear in their rooms as Veena and Ibna stand on the door of her house. Veena knocks on the door but there was no response. One girl from the next door comes and tells Veena that Yashoda has gone out and had told that she may be late for returning. Veena takes out her bag and takes out the keys, opens the door and they enter. Veena was very much wanting to ask the girl that she be gone, but she could not say anything. She throws her bag on the cot; there was nothing else to sit on and at that moment Veena cursed herself for not having a decent home for the person of her position. She looks to Ibna, very nervous, not knowing what to say for the house she had received her. Veena justified to herself that this predicament was not of her doing but was caused just because she took the lift Ibna had offered. Why I accepted that lift? The question troubled her and while deeply involved in these thoughts she looks to Ibna. Ibna shows no sign of any discomfiture or rejection but on the contrary she was looking to the room with a delicate smile. “please say something”! Veena ejaculates uncomfortably. On that Ibna politely requests if she can sit on that cot. That was a big relief to Veena. “oh, yes be comfortable if you do not mind my simple home, I want to shift to better place but the construction work is yet not completed.” Veena gave an imaginary explanation, uncalled for! “Ibna you did not say anything about my this home, you must be laughing at my house, is it not”? Veena rejects herself before the Arab girl would do it.

After some silence Ibna requests if they can have the fan on the ceiling put on. Veena quickly obliges and goes in to change, wondering; what this girl is intending to do now that she has seen the place she should get away. After some time Veena comes out changed to her housedress of a simple gown and now wanted to know if Ibna would take some tea or coffee. She asks but Ibna refuses it by a simple and polite nod of her head. “You are my guest and I feel very awkward that you do not take anything at my place”.
“Never mind, I should be going but am waiting to see your Aatyaa”!
On that both the girls laugh and now Veena feels a bit comfortable that the Arab girl has nothing to say about this dingy house. Ibna takes out her mobile, talks to some body in her language, and then hangs. Veena typical of the woman wanted to know what she spoke to and to who? Was it about her house? So she enquires and the reply comes that Ibna had talked to her brother and had told him that she is at Veena’s place and that her brother is coming to see Veena now at her place!
“Why, why you called him here, I do not want anybody to see my this house, I am going to call all of you when my new home is ready”. Veena quickly and impatiently blurted out, looking very frightened.

“Please do not worry, my brother is not coming here, he is busy in some work. I just made some fun with you by saying that he is coming here. Veena why you are so skeptic about this place. I tell you in my country we were living in some place just like this a few years ago. Now we are in better place when my brother got the job in this company. So please do not bother for what I may think or otherwise, It is good that you are planning to shift to some more spacious place, nevertheless, let me tell you Veena, I really liked this small place”. On hearing that Veena’s face was red and it appeared from the expressions on her face that if possible she would punch Ibna in her face.



This Story continues in the next posting.
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