The Perfect Road Trip

The Perfect Road Trip
Runners Up Award- Ambipur Contest

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Just for You

The sky was metallic grey and gust of cold wind was blowing. The city was  glittering in the neon lights and roads were crowded.  I was rushing through the weekend crowd to reach her apartment on 48th street, having walked from the Grand Central station, I walked past the Rockfeller Centre and climbed the lift.
The phone in the hotel rang on the previous day and I immediately recognized the voice at the other end.
‘Hey Alok, I just came to know that you arrived here yesterday for the training, come over to our place tomorrow for dinner, she sounded excited. Barkha was the Regional Manager of our company based in New York! I had arrived in New York two days earlier  for a month long training, and was staying in Long Island .
‘Sure Barkha, it will be a pleasure to meet you, as I jotted down her address’, feeling happy inwards that here I am in a new place and what a stroke of good luck to be invited for dinner on the very first weekend itself!

I pressed the bell and the door opened!  I was swept off my feet as I looked at her! Sparkling eyes, diamond trinkets, curled tresses, a soft shade of pink gloss and a striking yellow saree! She did not appear a day older than 30 years though she was mother of  two young girls aged 14 and 10! It seems that the time had stood still since I had  first met her in our  office canteen many years back. She was very popular and I had a crush for her!  Then one day she came and announced that she was getting engaged and I shook her hands and  congratulated her as my dreams  collapsed like a house of cards. She welcomed me, as if  was a member of her family. How time flew while chatting, eating and drinking, I did not realize. Her husband worked as a doctor in Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital in the New York City, and was a equally warm person.
While talking, she casually inquired, why I had not married? ‘
I joked,’ I could not find someone like you’.
‘Ha ha , I don’t have a younger sister, or else would have suggested to you’, she sportingly replied.
I thanked her and her husband who bid me good bye as I got up to catch the late evening train from Grand Central Penn station back to the Long Island. During my month long stay, I met them one more time.
Time elapsed and I got married to Tanvi who had almost similar features as Barka, a role model in my mind! Barkha too came to India and was posted in the same office as mine as a Senior Director now ! She had a  knack to make the team work like a clock-work mechanism, rarely loosing her cool. She would write letters to the wives of some of her co workers every year around the New Year time, conveying her thanks for support they indirectly gave in achieving the targets of the company. A very rare gesture  in today’s world! She treated the entire group as her extended family.
One day she came to the office and called for an urgent meeting with everyone. We assembled, about thirty odd employees, in a small conference room. ‘ I wanted to share a news with you all before you hear from others’. ‘ In two months time I am moving to our London office, my daughters are already there with my husband’ she continued. The meeting lasted for just fifteen minutes!
After two months she had moved to London on a promotion. Time went by! It was almost an year now, since she had gone. One day about ten of us got a mail from her, to join her with her family on the Silver Jubilee of their Wedding Anniversary in Dubai. We just had to pay for our tickets and rest of it was being taken care by her. When I broke the news to my wife, she was equally excited and the promise to see a new place was difficult to resist!  Within a week at least five of us replied to her in affirmative for a function about three months away!
The wait was over and we arrived in Dubai to be carted away to the Sheraton at Deira! Barka and her husband gave us  a warm reception after introducing us to her family . We felt refreshed after a long flight having remained awake for most of the night. The next three days of festivities, including a Desert Safari, a visit to the Gold Souk , Spice Market , and a visit to the tallest tower Burj Dubai became permanently etched in our memories! I do not recollect having so much fun ever and Tanvi too had never experienced such a royal reception earlier! What made it even more memorable was that Barkha was more than a family where some relations become special and get stronger even if not related by blood! All of us had traveled all the way from India just to meet her on this special occasion even though we do not attend many a functions  of our own relatives even when we stay in the same country!

PS: 1. Image Kind courtesy Google
 2. Story submitted for ‘Go further to Get Closer Contest’ by British Airways and Indiblogger.(http://bit.ly/1epU8Uj)

46 comments:

  1. laughing at myself....for waiting for an unexpected twist at the end where as the story is a plain simple one. Good luck for the contest, Rahul sir.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha Ha you expected something spicy, Latha:) Won't disappoint next time! Thanks a lot!

      Delete
  2. A very simple tale told in your trademark style. Good luck, Rahul!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your best wishes Rachna! Simple story:)

      Delete
  3. Barkha sounds too good to be true!

    All the best for the contest, Rahul and congratulations on your win.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True Purba, but I have been fortunate to run into a number of nice souls! Thanks for your best wishes!

      Delete
  4. A beautifully simple post. Best of luck with the contest!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Red for reading and your best wishes!

      Delete
  5. Very nicely written :) and All the Best! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. and here I was digging each line for clue about the endings when I read the story,:P I was trolled..:P
    Good luck with the contest Rahul Sir..:D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha Ha Jemina, no unusual twists to the story! Thanks a lot for your best wishes:)

      Delete
  7. You are right......expected something spicy

    ReplyDelete
  8. Interestingly narrated, simple story! Enjoyed the video too! This happens in many Indian families!

    ReplyDelete
  9. And they all lived happily for ever after ! I love happy endings :) I loved your description of the young lady "Sparkling eyes, diamond trinkets, curled tresses, a soft shade of pink gloss and a striking yellow saree". You describe well !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Rama ! Not enough words to thank you for that comment!

      Delete
  10. Who else could win if you write such fantastic engaging posts???? Awesome one Rahul sir it takes real skill for a contest and yet keep the readers engaged :) loved it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ramya, readers like you make my day and make me feel like a bird perched on a tree top:) A huge thanks!

      Delete
  11. Such a wonderful post. All the best. I am a sucker for happy endings :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A big thanks Jas for that nice comment:)

      Delete
  12. I loved the unique take on the contest.. going further is more about the feeling than the distance...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A matter of interpretation but surly agree with your view point, Manjulika:)

      Delete

  13. I like your post very much , i like to read this article

    ReplyDelete
  14. A great entry for the contest!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Barkha sounds like an all round amazing person, so spirited and kind! A wonderful post to remind us there are still wonderful people out there. All the best for the contest!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sam! Some people leave a lasting impression:)

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much for kindly stopping by...wishing you a marvelous weekend!

      Delete
    3. A pleasure always Sam:) You too have a nice week ahead!

      Delete
  16. I wish I had colleagues like Barkha :-). Nicely written Sir. Good Luck :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True Ashwini! Nice colleagues can make all the difference! Thanks for your best wishes:)

      Delete
  17. Excellent story. I want a colleague like this too.
    www.thoughtsofpaps.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I was drawn this nice story. And I remembered New York where I visited once and nice people pleased me.
    Have a nice day!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love the story Rahul. It will make a brilliant short story if you add a twist in the end (definitely competition worthy). You write exceptionally well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A sincere thanks Rachna for those words! I now have to pen a story with twists very soon:)

      Delete