Continued from Chapter 1 – www.storyhut.net/maya-chapter-1/ – where Adi meets an elderly gentleman, who hands over a mysterious note to her, before disappearing….
I shook my head; I was seeing things!! I threw the sheet down on the road and started walking towards the gate when suddenly someone called me from behind. Turning around I saw a school boy from one of the nearby schools; he had the note in his hand – he said “Ma’am, I think this was passed on to you and has been dropped by you inadvertently, I mean intentionally”!
Grimacing, I went and took the note from the child’s hands, turned and went back to the gate thinking to myself – “The local school attended by this child seems to be a real good one, look at the choice of words – “’Passed on to you!’ and ‘inadvertently’ and ‘Intentionally?’” I shrugged put the note inside my messy bag alongside many of the office papers, bills, chits etc., and went home.
I forgot all about the note by the next morning. I had a conference call with my team in Singapore, between 6:30 AM and 10:30 AM and hence managed to leave for office only at 11:00 AM.
Coincidentally, a bad traffic condition, a broken down truck, a vegetable cart that got upset by a cow, resulting in a strewing of vegetables all over the road and because of a strange coincidental coincidence of a strange set of tiny coincidences, I reached the sign-board that said – “Man Eating Tiger Sanctuary” at 11: 58 AM. Coincidentally the front-right tyre of my car also got punctured right below the signpost!!
I got down from the car remembering the note and grimacing at the eerie coincidences of the coincidences.
The place seemed to be empty except for two men who sat atop their rundown and rickety old scooters that were creaking under the load of large bags full of packets of candy; they had a unique way of wearing their helmets, one had the whole helmet perched on top of his head – he was using his chin guard to guard his forehead, the other one wore his small bicycle helmet backwards. They certainly did not seem to be a part of this coincidence.
I stood at a respectable distance, tried my best to ignore them and started watching my driver change the tire. When I looked back at them ten to fifteen seconds later, I realized that those two had company, more than fifty gentlemen, all on overloaded derelict scooters, wearing strange helmets in their own unique style had reached the place, without me noticing their arrival. They seemed to be waiting for someone to come and inaugurate their strange helmet and overloaded scooter fashion pageant. I averted my eyes, trying to shut my mind off the entire shebang and turned my attention to the driver and the road.
After watching my driver expertly working on my car for a few seconds, I walked up to him and asked him if he needed any help. My old emancipated driver was addicted to cocaine; he probably had had a snort in the morning and hence was behaving like a sumo wrestler at that moment.
He turned down all my offers to help and was all but lifting my car. I threw my hands up and walked back to the spot where I was standing earlier. After reaching there, I cast a furtive glance at the ‘strange helmet fashion corner’ and realized that the strange helmet fashion certainly seemed to be in vogue. There were more than a couple of hundred gentlemen standing out there in their crowned glory.
I walked up to them and asked – “Sir, is everything fine? Can I help you in any way”? Looking back, I cannot think of any reason why I imagined that I, a lone human being who could not even drive a car, could help a couple of hundreds of gentlemen with plenty of sweet sustenance at their disposal, standing next to a busy road straddled atop their respective if not fully, at-least partially functional vehicles. I heard the answer from somewhere in the middle of the crowd – “It is noon and yes, you are welcome!!”.