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Missing - Episode 18


Ballard Estate - 

Sometimes I wish I was that child running in the garden with freedom, without any worries, because  I know now, bruised elbows are easier to heal than broken hearts.

Dr.Sneha remembered the scribbled lines on canteen table. The wood and wrought iron bench in the far corner, the hot cup of masala tea, lasting cinnamon fragrance in the air and those long conversations about life and death. The stolen glances, the fleck of ketchup on his pristine white shirt, Dr.Sneha replayed the most vivid moments in her mind.

"Doctor Phadnis - are you alright?" Tara asked craning her neck.

"Uh-Yes - yes, everything is fine, please continue" Sneha replied.

"I was just saying that Dr.Ahuja has been a great support to our family, he is a compassionate man and understands Roohi's complications so well. We are truly grateful." Tara said waving Roohi's hair.

"How did you find him?" Sneha asked.

"Come to think of it, he was like a divine intervention, a stroke of luck, out of the violet, that's how co incidental it was. Roohi was unwell yet again, had to rush back to Mumbai leaving a conference midway, Missed  a connecting flight, argued with staff, got a horrible co passenger, moved to someone else's seat and, and then I  met Aryan" said Tara while Sneha checked Roohi for any bruises .

"Roohi is fine, she's not hurt, in any way " Sneha emphasized looking at Shekhar.

"Oh thank goodness. Thank you , thank you so much, this is the best piece of news I've heard in what seems like a really long time. And I'm sorry, I was just too worked up" Shekhar said looking at Cyrus.

"Come here Cyrus, its OK, everything will be just fine, let me have a look" Sneha said while walking across towards Cyrus. He took a few steps back spontaneously, but stopped after a few paces as he saw Dr.Sneha walking towards him.

Shekhar walked towards Tara and Roohi while Sub Inspector Bhambore scratched his right eyebrow.

"Erm so ,now where are we with the case madam ? Do I  -" Bhambore asked looking at Dr.Sneha Phadnis.

"Inspector, Cyrus is studying in a law school, he is going to be a lawyer soon. He hails from a  good family, and I know his parents quite well. However, life has not been kind to him. 

In fact he is the one who should be complaining. He is the one who should speak. Haven't I told you Cyrus not to be the victim, be the victor, haven't I taught you to get up and fight  - where is that brave soldier, that brilliant lawyer gone ? Get up Cyrus, get up."  Sneha spoke as the only other noise came from passing  vehicles honking unnecessarily.

"He is harmless, he has been hurt, yet he would never hurt anyone else" Sneha concluded after a pause.

"So madam should I..?" SI Bhambore did not complete his question as looked at Tara.

"No inspector saheb  its not required, we are not pressing any charges" Shekhar said while looking at Cyrus.

"Uh-oh yes, I mean what was all the chaos about,eh?  You had raised hell on the kidnap issue just a few hours back" Bhambore attempted to raise the issue one more time.

Roohi managed to free herself from her fathers embrace and ran towards Cyrus.
Sub Inspector Bhambore realized the futility of his question shaking his head.

Tara extended her arms and said "Come on sweety, it’s a long way home, lets get going".

"I don't want to leave Cyrus alone, he's lost, we need to take him home too" Roohi cried out loud.

Fanus wiped the solitary tear rolling down his cheeks and looked at Cyrus with a hint of a smile.Shekhar pulled Roohi out of Cyrus's embrace and started to walk towards his car parked a few meters away. 

"Take care" said Tara while walking out of the warehouse. Cyrus and Fanus hugged each other as tears trickled down their eyes.

"OK,I think I will go as well, will have to make some report out of all this" said Bhambore following Tara's footsteps.

"Fanus - I think he needs rest, he needs to relax. Can you take Cyrus to the hotel? Also, please follow up on the return tickets. I need to excuse myself for a little while" said Dr.Phadnis.

"But where are you going, aren't we going back together?" Fanus asked raising his eyebrows.

"Don't worry ,I won't be long, its just that I need some time of my own - will be in touch on mobile" she said and walked out.

"Fanus, I'm not going back" Cyrus said looking down.

The two looked at each other without speaking any further. The  silent look was witness to a melee of emotions. The years of being together, the bullies and the bruises, the pleasure and pain , the chiding and the hiding , the losing and the finding, all summed up at that moment in time.

"We can face it together Cyrus, you are not alone, we will build a new life, our life, on our terms and conditions"

"My life is over in Delhi Fanus,I will make my life , a new life , on my terms in Mumbai" .

"Uff that’s all you know - I ,I,I, and more I - whatever happened to we Cyrus? Where are we in this new life? Where did you think about me ? Or does it not matter to you anymore?"

"Fanus its I,I,I and only I who was raped not you, it was I who lies here bruised and battered, not you, it  is I who is shattered Fanus. You were not pinned down by two hands in the back of a building. Your body was not humiliated, penetrated, ruptured and left to bleed. Your soul was not  hurt. You did not walk half naked to the nearest hospital. Your eyes did not see those snigger's, your ears did not hear those whispers, your hands did not shake uncontrollably. Yes Fanus, you guessed it right. It was me."

"It was not my fault that I didn't know" Fanus knelt down.

"I'm not leaving, Fanus-  its decided."

"I am leaving Cyrus - I'm going back to Delhi - I am going to complete my studies and face the world. Not hide here , I am not a coward, I am going to go out there and face the world - I don't believe in breaking, I believe in making. Besides,I am not leaving college,I am going to back and stick it out.What are you going to do about your law school? Abandon it ?" Fanus asked raising his voice.

"Law is not for me, I will make movies" he said.

"Make movies? You are out of your mind,you have no background, no godfather, no connections -who is going to let you make movies ?"

"That's not the point Fanus, let's see who stop me from making movies".

Read Episode -19


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It's 5AM and the clock is late,
the rush to dress up and change my fate,
but the wrinkle is annoying the mane,
and the greys are flaying the vein,
I carry the mirror in mind,
leave the resigned sigh behind.

The train is packed with eyes,
I stand under the strain of lights
the dark skin is brighter,
maybe they'll like me better,
their shampoos leave no clue,
only the fan comes to my rescue.

Waiting for the elevator,
a minty breath drifts over the shoulder,
the noose around my neck chokes
gasps for breath and the heart pokes
the lights are incandescent inside
empty faces on the outside.

The tube-light and the guard flickers
People wearing strange monikers
floating close to the floor
a door opens, the stupor
he sashays along leaving them behind,
my eyes lose him and hope to find.

Clocks go by and the hours shiver
the cardigan shrugs off and the  lips quiver
a sudden surge of reason, cold air ,
aimlessly slides off my ruffled hair
witness  to the porcelain teapot stare,
bits an…