Chapter Fifteen - Facing the Fear
Context - Blogadda is conducting a contest (Game of Blogs) where it chooses 10 random bloggers per team to write fiction based on 5 character description it provided. Each blogger has to continue the story from where the previous team member left off.
Read the previous part of the story here.
Chapter Fifteen - Facing the Fear
When she first heard about the client she took over from Megz, she had discarded the coincidence of the name with nonchalance. But when she took the file and read the complete name, she couldn't believe it. She did not know if it was just chance or there was a higher purpose behind. Otherwise how can someone explain such a overwhelming coincidence? But there was nothing she could do. After wasting lot of time she explained to herself that the whole situation was in her favor. If her stars are good, she might see her child again, and possibly more than once. This made her mind stable and cheered her a little. She was now looking forward to the meeting.
The only fear was Mr.Dutta. Her only contact with the man was his last and only call to her. There had not been any contact after that but she had gathered he was a man of kind heart. On the other hand she herself had not shown any trait of a mother. She may have tried her best to be around the child but that was all in unawares to Mr.Dutta. To them, she was just a woman who had responded emotionally on a phone call after which never cared to call back. The thought made her tizzy. She sighed. She could do nothing. The ball was in his court now and all she could do was wait and watch.
Shekhar scribbled on the notepad as Roohi played in the swimming pool. He was watching her but his mind was engrossed in the magnanimity of the sudden turn of events. Who would have known? The woman who they have tried to stay away from was brought back to them by the fate. He tried to connect the dots but it was beyond logic. However, the writer in him was mesmerized by the randomness that converged their destiny. What was he supposed to do? He knew nothing of the woman. He did not want to cancel the meeting with Jennifer as he had accepted the decision made by the higher, to bring them face to face. But his mind kept whirling, What kind of mother Jennifer was? She didn't care to even call back....he watched his little girl, and thanked God repeatedly to bring the child to them, she deserved better care, and Tara and he would give Roohi their best.
Finally it was the evening of their meeting. Shekhar sat shifting weight as he watched a woman approaching him. "Hi, How are you?", she spoke first. Shekhar even though a freelancer, wasn't an uncommon face, his articles getting published regularly in leading People's magazine. They smiled artificially and greeted each other. Each of them noticing the hint of uncertainty in the greetings exchanged. They had agreed to meet at a beachside open restaurant. Silence lingered at the table as they took in each other and the reality of the meeting. Shekhar cleared his throat and took the initiative. "Jennifer, I don't know what to say (pause) But I would appreciate if we jump in to our reason why we are here." Jennifer nodded, she had expected it. When she had arrived, her eyes had searched for her daughter, even though her mind plodded her with the reality. Holding herself together she nodded. "Yes", she said.
Shekhar began explaining, "I believe you have the transcript of my article. I am planning to release it in parts. I am in touch with the planned magazine. Sorry I cannot give you the details until it is finalized. I actually had a discussion with Megz and we had decided about the approach. I am not sure how much of it has been transferred to you. But I am okay with discussing again and listening to your ideas".
Jennifer nodded. He continued after a silence, "You are native of Kerala. And I have seen your work. And I must say I am impressed."
Jennifer nodded. This time she took over, "I have read your transcript and have talked to Megz. I understand you had decided to show the story in progression of the local industry. However I feel, in case of Kerala, it's about people. It's their dedication and their tenacity to hold and flourish the culture is what makes them special. What I feel is, instead of showing the Kerala cultural industry in terms of periodic progression, why not add it a human perspective. Why not capture how people saw the their living and how they and their culture evolved"
"I like your idea. But how exactly would you want to execute it?", Shekhar enquired.
"I have a lot of friends and families who have started from zero and are now a big name here. They might have some old pictures. I know they would not contribute to my work but they would certainly compliment my photos of the new era of Kerala. It would add a dimension to our portfolio and make it complete. Besides I know Kerala in and out. I can take you to places less known but not necessarily less valuable, be it beaches or industries", she answered.
After hearing her, Shekhar was confident Jennifer would do justice to his article. He smiled. She acknowledged with a smile and the tension in the air turned a bit lighter. For the next thirty minutes they made plans on the places to visit and their approach. By the time they were done, the coffee they ordered was cold. With business already discussed, the sullenness returned to the table. There was no question they would spill a word about their personal life. Each had a thousand questions to ask the other but they held it inside. Fear lingered. After looking at the watch, they both got up in unison calling it a day.
He watched her as she walked away. A decent woman. What could have ...? his mind mined questions and doubts. He was a non-judgmental person but today with his daughter at stake, his mind questioned and judged the woman, walking away, who called his child as hers...still watching silently, saw Jennifer turn.
To her, the business went well but there was still something incomplete. Thousand of questions mixed in the dizziness of emotions in her mind. She felt a bit unsteady. She wanted to ask him. She turned around and looked him into his eyes. "Shekhar", she mumbled. "Would it be possible....?" she held her words as she saw his eyes turn wide. She shook her head and walked away...
Shekhar stood watching her, his heart now beating faster...he almost thought she would ask him but she didn't. He collapsed in the chair and watched her. Would he call her selfish or a figure of strength?
Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.