She was looking anxious and worried. A glimpse of worry was covering the beauty of her face. Cheeks were getting pinker. The sunlight made her hair more golden. Her sparkling eyes were adding more glitter into the sunny morning. How I wished to touch her smooth hair! Interrupting my dream, she asked, “Would I get the bus to Shantigram from here?”
“A bus?” I thought. “Why would a girl wearing Versace dress, holding a Gucci bag and Jimmy Choo in feet would board a bus?” She didn’t look any less than a Mercedes for sure.
She stood next to me waiting for the bus. I was getting more normal. I have watched in movies that when that someone-special is standing next to you, you get nervous, you don’t know what do to. But none of those happened to me. I was very okay. But yes, my ears were more conscious. I was ready to answer her next question if there was any. In fact, I was willing for her next question so that I could talk to her again more than just a ‘Yes’ this time.
In no time, the bus arrived. We both got in. She was looking for a place. She looked at the roof, at the back seats, out of the window. Craning her neck to see from the front mirror, again looking on her left and right, holding the yellow pipe, she somehow managed to go ahead and chose the second row and settled there. Other passengers were looking at her as her search for a seat was a little different from others. I mean, how can you be so specific for just a seat? This showed that it was her first city bus journey.
Many passengers were still looking at her and some were checking out her semi-backless dress. I felt awkward. I was standing at one of the yellow pole. I managed to reach to her, tapped her shoulder and said, “Will you please free your hair?”
It didn’t make any sense to her. I don’t doubt if she considered me one of the road-side-Romeos. Well, I was dressing too well to be considered one. But my request sounded strange and more than that clueless, at least to her.
She gave me strange look with a lot of disgust. She ignored me. I didn’t find it okay to tell this thing again so I tried to stand at her back to block the view of her back.
We both dropped at Shantigram. Before she looked at me with disgust, I wanted to make it clear to her that I was not stalking her. But couldn’t say that.
I walked faster than her just to avoid any more misunderstanding. Now she was following me.
We both reached at the ‘Kala’ Art Gallery. We both showed our passes to the watchman and made our way to the auditorium. Now we were not with each other anymore and got busy with our respective friends, colleagues and fellows.
Anchor was there on the stage now to announce to start the show. It was a book launching event. Radhika Bajaj was the author, it was her 4th or 5th book to be launched. I really couldn’t keep the track of such information. But I don’t know why Shiv dragged me with him to such yawning events.
“By the way, what is this book about?” I asked Shiv who was so enthusiastic about this.
“It’s a collection of paintings by Radhika and the stories behind each paintings. It is quite interesting to read such legend’s journey.”
“Is she a legend?”
“She has been in her field from last 30 years. She is one of the most senior artists in her field.”
I showed a blank face. So he continued, “Do you know Avinash Bajaj? That Bajaj Oil wala? He is her husband.”
“Oh! Then she must be something, haan!”
Avinash Bajaj was an established business tycoon of the city. In fact, he was one of the most powerful business faces of the country. His name was taken with a lot of dignity. His family was also very respectable in the social circle. I had heard that his wife, Mrs. Bajaj, was very active in various social works. She was said to be a die-hard social worker who was running more than two schools in New Delhi and many more in various regions of the country. No wonder I couldn’t recognize her that day as she was never seen in any news, events or shows nor used her name. She was always known as Mrs. Bajaj. She had managed to keep herself low-profile.
I always had truly admired this lady. On that day, how gracious she was looking!
After a few speeches, Mrs. Bajaj along with Mr. Bajaj got on the stage to unleash the book. But everyone was looking for someone. Mrs. Bajaj spotted someone and said, “Yuvika, come up, darling!”
A young girl got on the stage. And what was I seeing? The girl who travelled to that art gallery in the city bus with me and to whom I had told to free up the hair was actually Junior Bajaj? Gone man! Totally gone!
Now that keeping-low-profile caught me this time!