The empty bus stood-still defying Newton’s third law of motion. It was followed by an explicit blabbering from the driver. The last AMTS (Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service) of the night was like a bus three of us – me, the driver and the conductor owned. Tonight was no different. This routine was not soothing or a tranquilizing experience for me. But was not even a horribly monotonous one either. The driver and the conductor were like a part of my life now. “Help me, please! My father is dying! Please help me get him to the hospital!” – The girl cut off the driver who was spurting volcano with words dripping around carelessly. Had it been a volcano, basic human instinct was to get a shelter. She hardly cared about it, though. I and the conductor both were so engrossed in finding out about what happened from the driver that we hardly noticed the girl who got in. She was dressed in the most beautiful shade of blue. And flawless skin with a well mannered body language was not suiting up with the expressions on the face. Her perfect-shaped lips quivered as she tried to speak. But the words betrayed her. She stepped down in a hurry and started flying slowly (yes, that I don’t drive fast, fly slow type thing). Hanging earphones around my neck, out of impulse I got off the bus to follow her. It was a tough task to keep her in sight. I barely could, I managed somehow. I did not really know what I’d do to help her, but I had no time to think about it now.
I kept following her till I saw her open a small rusting iron-gate to a house. At least I know where I had to go now. In this old-fashioned street, it was hard to believe there were no streetlights, yet. “The good thing is there are no dogs here”- I tried to chip in a positive thought trying to be-fool my own mind. While on the walk half-panting and half-breathing, I tried to recognize the area looking for some sort of board or sign that could give me an idea about where I am. The surroundings behaved like a loyal comrade, just not ready to give in, to the intruder. Opening the ‘creepy sound-making’ gate I entered the house to find a dim-light barely going on as if wanting to die (just like Logan). The air was stale inside the cramped up room. It seems to have been trapped inside and wanting to be free for a long time now. It was hard for me to make out if the smell was from the old man lying on the bed or simply due to the trapped air. The only glance-worthy sight in the room was the photo of the old man and his daughter. “She is beautiful”- I thought to myself. I barely had a glance at her through this whole huff & puff.
Taking my phone I called the emergency number – 108 which seemed the most natural course of action to do. With a lot of in vain attempts, I finally gave in. There was no way I’d be able to explain the address. I opened the window that had in view the house besides. And I decided to go to the neighbour and inform them about the scenario. I knocked on their door and naturally, they were startled to see me. After plenty of hesitation, an old man of the same age as one lying in that house opened up. Without much explanation, I called 108 again and hand over the phone to him. Finally, the ambulance was on its way. While we were both walking to his house, in a startling manner he asked – “But, wait who are you?” “Oh! I don’t really know him. His daughter brought me here to help.” – As soon as I said, the expressions on the old man’s face went pale. I felt like the blood vessels on his face choke. He’d explode any moment. With a herculean effort, he said –“But that’s not possible. His only daughter, with whom he used to live, passed away barely a month ago.” It was my turn to go pale now. My feet froze on the ground as the world started spinning. I could see the flashes of the ambulance entering the lane. All, I could say to mind was – “RUN! RUN! RUN!” I tried, but the wobbly legs took some time to get back to senses.
I did not even glance at the old man besides. I couldn’t. I was too numb even to look behind. I kept running although I had no idea about where I was going or where I had to go. It was all too much to take in. Just as I felt my lungs were about to burst, I reached the main road and saw a cold bench there. I sat there for a while and tried to recollect my senses. Taking the earphones, I plucked them in. I did not even know that I had left the songs on. But, the one that was playing was enough to bring another chill down my spine. –
“Teri laadki main…. Teri Laadki main…
Chhodungi naa tera saath”
I felt like she was the one singing this song. The Girl in Blue.