To read the previous Episode. please click here.(Longing Hearts)
In the cramped streets of the suburbs of Santacruz, live thousands of people in houses that almost overlap each other. There is no definition of storey here. The houses can be of different shapes and sizes and if you by chance land up in that area of the very first time, you surely will need a GPS to get out of it.
Although hundreds of people lived comfortably in this area, very few of them dared to walk into the 6th lane. It was called the abandoned lane. Unlike the other lanes in this area, the 6th lane wasn't crowded. The movement of people was restricted. There was only one commercial shop and that was of a barber at the beginning of the lane. No one dared to cross his shop and walk ahead without prior permission. At approximately the last house in the lane sat 2 people in their vileness desire, laying out a nefarious plan. There were three more people in the room, all well-built with broad shoulders holding guns of the Lee-Enfield make. Their eyes told stories of the number of crimes they had witnessed and been a part of.
The 2 evil minds who were working on the ploy seemed to be completely engrossed in their work as the light-bulb above their heads flickered.
"When will you be able to bring the samaan?" one of them spoke with a hoarse voice which could break the bulb into pieces if raised.
"I am trying master", the other one spoke in a feeble voice. She was scared. Drops of sweat fell from her forehead and reached her lips. The salty taste lingered in her tongue. Holding the corner of her cheap cotton saree, she wiped the little sweat that remained near her temple.
"Jaldi karo", the man asked her to be quick in her work.
"Saheb, Did you finalize on my payment?", she spoke as though it required a bucket full of courage to speak those words.
The man immediately placed a phone call and spoke something in Urdu, which the woman failed to understand.
"Finish the work first. My boss has a big heart. He will give you what you deserve.But that depends on how well you do the job and bring me my samaan. You know where you have to bring it, right? ", He emptied the last few drops of the local liquor into a glass as he spoke. She nodded in response.
"Leave now", He screamed and everyone in the room stood still. The woman could feel her blood race from her toe to her head. She got up immediately to leave. Her thoughts were submerged in the loud laughter of the man that echoed within the walls of the room.
Cyrus Daruwala, a final year law student, tried hard to flip the omlet on the frying pan. Even, after she teaching him a number of times, his omlet would always be broken into pieces by the time he removed it from the pan.
Living alone in a single bedroom apartment in Delhi meant that Cyrus had to do all his chores on his own. Adjusting the big spectacles that almost covered half of his face, he stirred the soup on the stove and amidst its flames his thoughts ran back to the early morning phone call that he had received from the person he loved. Or supposedly he thought he loved, owing to the recent fights that had crept in between them.
"Cyrus, since how long am I trying to reach you. Can't you just answer your goddamn phone?" Her voice that had been sweet in the initial days of their courtship had turned out to be sour in the last few months.
"Jennifer", Cyrus who managed to whisper her name in his sleep continued speaking, "Jennifer, I slept late last night, owing to my project related work. Can you once try and understand that I don't roam around clicking photographs, but I have a serious job to do?" He replied fuming in anger
"Roam around? Serious work? You think earning money is easy for me?" Jennifer retorted before Cyrus could speak anything furthur.
"There is no use talking to you. I called up to inform you that I will be out with Vijay for an entire day shoot. Do not disturb me till then", With that Jennifer slammed the phone and all that Cyrus could hear was the beep sound.
The heat that passed from the stirring spoon to his hand brought him back to the present.
As Jennifer packed her bag for the day, she slid into her beige colored shorts and a blue colored tee. The accessories in her hand jingled as she picked up her camera and walked toward the Endeavour that was parked outside her house in the plush green city of Kochi. Vijay, her colleague and confidant, helped her with placing the luggage in the vehicle.
Vijay drove the vehicle and took a reverse as they rushed into the calm streets of the serenely beautiful city. Jennifer's face clearly showed that nothing was right. Vijay who cared for her, knew that if not for him, Jennifer would have been happy with Cyrus. But, Vijay couldn't let her go. He had fallen in love with her ever since he had stepped in to work with her for on all her assignments. He knew he only needed some time more and he would pull Jennifer completely away from Cyrus.
Jennifer's gaze fell on the chinese fishing nets as they crossed the backwaters in Kochi. She reminisced the first time she had met Cyrus and her thoughts took a steep turn rewinding to what had happened two years back.
Jennifer had walked out of the Port Blair Airport and waited for a cab to reach the hotel where she would be staying to complete her photography assignment.
"May I help you Madam", she turned to see a tall, fair-skinned man with curly hair dressed in a mundu standing in front of her. He looked dashing.
Cyrus was completing the dare given to him by his bunch of friends as they stood waiting to catch their flight back to Delhi. He was given the dare to dress up like a Malayalee and escort a woman to the taxi. As he was wandering around trying to find out the right woman, his eyes fell on a girl who was dressed in casual clothes with a camera in her hand. She looked attractive in her dusky complexion and there was something in her, her aura or her attitude that drew his attention. He couldn't take his eyes off her and using the bet as a bait approached her.
Jennifer allowed him to carry her bags. She had never met him before, yet she felt a strong trust factor that let her fall prey to his plan. Cyrus caught the first cab approaching and the two of them sped through the city of Port Blair in search of the hotel where Jennifer's room was booked.
Cyrus kept cutting the numerous phone calls he had received from his friends as they waited for him relentlessly at the airport. Cyrus had no clue of what he was doing. He didn't want to let her go. He felt a deep connection that had sprung between them ever since he had seen her. She was smart, attractive and independent.
"Thank you so much! Er..... I didn't get your name" She collected her luggage from the rear of the cab as she spoke to Cyrus.
"Pappachan, Madam", Cyrus lied to her. "You want Guide Madam? I can take you around", he instantly asked her as she made her way inside the hotel.
"Hmmm. I really don't mind as I will need someone to help me with my assignment", Cyrus agreed instantly as he had just completed a tour of the entire Andaman and Nicobar Islands with his friends.
The next few days passed by as Cyrus toured around with Jennifer right through the beautiful islands of Ross, Jolly Buoy to the various beaches of Wandoor, Kala Pathar and Laxmanpur. Cyrus managed to save himself from any doubt that lingered in Jennifer's mind owing to the mismatch in his looks and his roots. Thanks to his mother who was a malayalee , Cyrus could speak Malayalam flawlessly in spite of him being Cyrus Daruwala, a Parsi. His parents had divorced a few years ago due to the differences of culture between them.
Cyrus and Jennifer had spent the whole of 15 days in each others company. Cyrus had forgotten that he had to get back to Delhi and complete his semester. Before he could confess his love to Jennifer, he felt it would be right if she knew who he actually was.
On the last night before Jennifer could fall asleep, Cyrus stole some moments from her and took her to the balcony of her hotel room. Under the moonlight and with a few glasses of wine gulped down, he spoke his heart out to Jennifer. Jennifer had turned furious and sent him out of the room. She had felt cheated.
Cyrus tried his best to convince her, but she wouldn't budge. Jennifer returned to Kochi and Cyrus flew back to Delhi. After a few phone calls and a few emails, Jennifer finally realised her love for Cyrus and flew to Delhi to tell him that she was madly in love with him.
They were truly deeply in love. Cyrus meant the world for Jennifer. She found reasons to travel to Delhi for assignments as Cyrus was studying and he did not have enough money to frequently travel and visit her. The cupid had struck and there was no way they thought of turning back.
Things had however taken a sharp turn when Vijay entered Jennifer's life. Cyrus had become extremely possessive about her and started to take control over her life which affected their relationship and also nudged the free-spirited Jennifer.
As Jennifer crossed the Mattanchery post in Fort Kochin, she felt a drop of tear roll down from her left cheek. She found herself hissing and trying hard to hold back her tears as she missed Cyrus. She missed the love they shared. Her heart ached. She longed to set things right between them. There was a deep hole that had been pierced in her heart due to his behaviour.
Cyrus, on the other hand had made a decision and he packed his bags.
Read the next part of the story here
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