Monday, November 6, 2017

Gulab Part 6

Gulab and Santram come back to the hostel. While entering the hostel, Santram's eye catches the big yellow board with red writing that says - "Saritaben LADEES Hostel". He obviously pays more emphasis on the word LADEES. Never ever in his life, Santram has lived with any LADEES.

"This night will be the first and the last in this ladees hostel. I will go back tomorrow, no matter what and also take Gulab with me. Ahh..Good idea, how can she leave her father and stay behind in the hostel, if I put up a good show, she must go with me." And Santram is quietly stationed in the Guard's room that is setup for his stay as all the other rooms are shared by the ladies and there is no spare room where Saritaben could adjust him. Also because all the rooms are upstairs and Santram could not really walk to the first floor.

Meanwhile, Gulab is guarding every step of Satnram like a shadow. She helps him lay on the bed and puts a couple of cushions under his right arm. "Baba, here is water and your medicines. Just ring this bell if you need anything, someone will come to help you. This room is Kuran Singh's room, he is our guard. He must have gone for dinner and will come back around 11 pm." She is obviously very worried about her father's condition right now, but in her heart, she has started to dream again of the beauty parlour advertisement that she saw the other day. Waxing..Threading...Facial...It did not take more than 5 seconds after she turns her back on Santram to step out of Kuran Sing's room, she starts to drift towards her imaginary Chic world again while walking out.

Gulab keeps on walking towards her room on the first floor. With every step on the staircase, her anklets sound louder and louder. She is transitioning into her fantasy world and is going through all of those imaginary scenes in the biscope of her mind. She walks without looking left and right and enters straight into her room and throws herself on the bed. "What a day it was...! I thought Baba is not going to leave me here..and the destiny made this happen...Thank you Sarita Ben". She closes her eyes with a sigh of relief and goes to sleep with a satisfaction and peaceful smile on her face.

Santram is in a different world of pain right now. It is not the physical pain which is making him numb, it is the feeling of helplessness and being sheltered like a stray dog in a house at the mercy of the owners. On top of that, he is boxed together with Kuran Singh. "What sort of a name is this? Kuran is not a hindu name, but Singh is not a muslim sir name. Hey Ram, now I have to wait to find out when he comes. I hope that only his name is Kuran and he is not seriously into Kuran."

 Women's hostel, Kuran sign and one more thing was bothering Sanrtam. The creepy crawly lizard on the Wall right in front of his bed. This third room mate was no where peaceful as it was her time for the hunt. "Uff SaritaBen is such a tight ass, she cannot even get a mosquito repellant, she's kept her sisters to get rid of them".

Enters Kuran Singh, who is a 70 year old man, lean skinny fellow with a few hair left on his scalp just for the sake of it. He wears a khaki uniform like a police man and is holding a small stick in this hand. "Assalam Walekum Janaab" Santram holds his heart with the hand that works "Hey Ram, He is really a Kuran man, anyway I am going to go tomorrow". "Namaste" he replied in a very rude tone and closes his eyes.

"Is she here, I knew its her time, this weird Lizard keeps on jumping all night. She comes out when everyones sleeping and dances like Zombie on all the walls. I got this stick to send her back to her hole". He taps his stick on the wall a few times which unsettles SaritaBen's sister and she quietly goes back into her hole which is the gap between the roof and the wall crack.

This makes one less thing to worry about while trying to sleep. Sanrtam thanks Kuran Singh and goes to sleep. But Kuran Singh is too excited to see a man in the hostel and wants to know everything about it. Never in the 15 years of history of this hostel, a man has been allowed to stay in the hostel. "I have seen so many people come here and requesting to stay overnight but SaritaBen never ever allowed anyone. What have you done my brother? Are you her husband? The one who ran away with a dancer?" As curious as a cat, he waddles closer to Santram's bed and holds his broken hand.

"What is wrong with you? How dare you touch me? There is nothing that you need to know. I came here to take my daughter home. I have an accident and I got hurt. And that is why Saritaben gave me shelter for the night. I will go as soon as I can." He vomits out all this information in a single breath and then breathes with the last word! Uffff..."Now will you let me sleep?" He shrugs his shoulder and tries to sleep again.

Kuran Singh has been working here too long to know how this "accident" would have happened? How did he have an accident? He came to take his daughter home? Who is the daughter? Why did Saritaben let a man in the hostel? But he needs to do some investigation. As an ex-policeman, he has this habit of turning into  a self appointed investigation officer whenever something out-of-the-norm happens around him. He goes back to his cot slowly thinking about the entire matter and doses off in a second.

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