“Why am I supposed to do this? Why can’t Papa go? I need to work on my photography assignments.” cried Kaisha as she took a slice of toasted brown bread from the plate on the breakfast table and started coating it with butter. Her mother looked up from the newspaper and said, “Papa is very busy these days. Don’t you know that? He comes late and leaves early and that has been a routine since a month now. I can’t take a holiday from college. I need to deliver important lectures this session.
Besides that Chail will offer you a fine opportunity for coursework. By the way, why are we discussing all this again? Why do you have to throw up tantrums after assenting on something? ” “Mumma, try and understand. I don’t know her. I haven’t spoken to her in years. Moreover you always say that she is very tenacious and that she would never agree to leave Chail. Why are you sending me on this expedition then? ” debated Kaisha. Her mother retorted, “We can’t let her stay alone anymore. Just because she is a little persistent, we can’t be indifferent to her aging. Can we?” “What if she doesn’t agree to come with me?” asked Kaisha. “Then you will have to cajole her” said her mother. “Me?” said an astounded Kaisha. “That is it Kaisha. Get started with the packing”, affirmed her mother.
Kaisha was about to say goodbye to her parents at the airport when her father asked, “You remember the name of the person who will come to take you at Shimla airport, right?” “Yes Papa. Maan Singh. Nikki didi’s driver. I know him very well. And yes I also know that Chail is 63kms from the Jubbarhatti Airport in Shimla and it would take two hours to reach Chail. I will be fine. I am not alien to Himachal” assured Kaisha.
“Why don’t you talk to Beeji on the phone before you leave?” suggested her mother. “Here, take the phone”, she added. “Hello”, said a lax voice. Kaisha could sense the lonesomeness around Beeji. Her voice was augmenting the solitude that was incipient. “Hello Beeji, this is Kaisha here. How are you?” said Kaisha smilingly. “I am fine Kashu beta. How are you? All set to come to Chail? ”, responded Beeji. Kaisha could sense the affection in Beeji’s voice and quickly said, “Yes I am and what about you? All set for Delhi? ” “You come down to Chail, Kashu.
We will talk about it later. I will wait for you” said Beeji and hung up. Kaisha had sundry thoughts filling up her mind. She waved a goodbye to her parents and was soon on board the airplane on her way to the second sister of Shimla, Chail. Throughout her two hour journey to Shimla she kept imagining the unaccustomed town and the unacquainted lady she was about to meet with whom she had exchanged a formal conversation a while ago.