A week passed with many more fruitful events. Veena’s position was improving considerably and with that, friendship with Ibna. Veena decides to meet Govardhandas for further discussion on the offer of purchasing a new apartment.
On one day Veena along with Ibna and Yamuna visits a few newly built apartments in the city and finally they together decide on one good flat which was so placed that moving from that to the other places of their concern was fairly convenient. Ibna provides the initial payment and so her position in the family of Mahaale becomes all the more secured.
Ibna’s brother Kamaal comes to know of the new arrangement but he does not appear to be anyway disturbed about his sister wanting to stay away with a non-Muslim friend of hers. In fact he tells Ibna that her choice is very good since Veena is a promising person and the more they remain in contact with her the better it shall be for their business interests. This new arrangement was also going to give him some additional freedom of movements with his friends in his flat and so overall everything appears to be without any hassles. Things were going on very smoothly and one day Rashmi phones to Veena and tells her that she will not be able to attend the office as her father has been admitted in the same hospital for the same complain. This worries Veena and she calls Jyoti telling her to do the work of Rashmi and help in the office work. They plan to visit Dr. Purohit’s hospital the same day after the office. These days almost everything happening with Veena was being noticed by Ibna and so obviously she comes to know of Rashmi’s predicament. Ibna insists that Rashmi is her office colleague and so it shall be proper that she also come along with them. There was no reason to refuse it and they tell Rashmi about the visit they will be making to the hospital. Veena cautions Ibna that as the hospital in a narrow lane she cannot take her limousine there. On that Ibna smile impishly and gives a mischievous wink that; Veena could not understand but that remains and Veena turns to her work almost forgetting about that. At the afternoon time as other staff slowly prepares to close the day’s work the three girls collect at the joint cabin of Veena and Ibna. They wanted to plan ways to go to that hospital in city’s most congested locality. On that Ibna tells them that let the matter be managed by her and on that they come out and reach the street where cars of office staff and officers are parked. There Veena tries to locate Ibna’s limousine but could not find it in there. Ibna was moving behind the other girls deliberately as she wanted to give them a surprise. Ibna then moves quickly to one yellow colored Nano car and open the doors inviting the other two girls to sit in that. Veena looks very amazed, “You did not tell me that you have a new car, Ibna”. Veena retorts impatiently.
“There is fun in giving surprises”, Ibna replies with that same impish smile.
Before entering it the girls keep observing the décor of the small car touching it at places as if they were testing the decency of the car. They occupy their seats one sitting next to Ibna, that was obviously Veena, and Jyoti settles at the rear seat.
“I hope this small car can ply through the congested streets of that locality!” Ibna
Nobody says anything on that, the car moves out smoothly and they are on their way to the hospital. During the travel they were talking about the sickness of Rashmi’s father and in that Veena tells them how, last time he was ill, she helped Rashmi.
As they reach to the hospital they see Rashmi’s brother standing outside the hospital talking with somebody they did not know of. Ibna parks the car close to the entrance of the hospital. Veena shoves herself to brother of Rashmi and greets him but sees a melancholy in his face. It clearly indicates to her that the situation is not good. She is now surrounded by her other two friends and that makes him say, he murmurs sheepishly, “He is no more, your friend is inside near the body, if you people want to go you may go and meet her, but Rashmi is not in good state, she is, like all of us, very much disturbed at the loss.”
That was a situation; these three girls did not know how to handle. They looked to each other, sadness had surrounded them, being girls they were naturally very sensitive about such happenings and Veena broke. Rashmi was the one on whom she always depended for advise about how to live in this city, and they were very close to each other. Jyoti was trying to control herself and Ibna knew nothing, terribly confused could not know how to react. Embarrassment had gripped the three. Slowly and intuitively they began to move inside the hospital.
This Story continues in the next posting.
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