“Why are you girls so calm”, Pa asked serving himself some curry.
“Nothing”, we both answered in unison. After our little fight we hardly spoke.
“Really”, Pa asked looking at me narrowing his eyes and I had a feeling as if he was trying to see through me. Now I finally know where Ajay gets that expression from. Ajay looked a lot like his mum except for his eyes. Nupur on the other hand looked like a female version of her dad, a more beautiful version. Her looks were something a guy could kill for. She had a height and figure that gave every girl around her a complex. She was any guys dream girl.
“Pooja, how is your practice coming along?”
“It’s alright”, I said serving myself some sambar.
“It must be a huge advantage being daughter of Srinivas verma. You’re lucky to get into your Dad’s firm many people would kill to be in your position”.
“That’s the biggest disadvantage”, I said with irritation in my voice.
“What?” he said which was more of surprised exclamation than a question.
“Pa. It’s like everyone there sees me a daughter of Mr. Srinivas Verma. They address me as that. I don’t want to be known like that. I want my own identity. I was giving a thought of career shift. Along with that the biggest problem is the expectations and baggage that comes being my dad’s daughter. They expect me to be as good as him and think like him, act like in simple words they expect me to be him. But I am not him I am me. I think differently than my dad and none are ready to appreciate that. I want my own identity”, I said finally pausing after letting out everything in a single breath.
I could tell Pa what was exactly on my mind which I found hard to do with my dad. The day I discovered that I thought of him as my dad I called him Pa and he made me his daughter. He also introduced me as his daughter. It wasn’t like my dad was strict and wouldn’t understand but I would get scared and in secured at his presence. Since I was a child my dad was famous and everyone used to come to him for help. He would take up cases which none did and win them. He fought for poor without taking a single paise and he was a legend. I hardly saw him when I was young. My mom used to say his work is his first wife and his priority. We never bonded for the same reason. Now he ran a firm and was guiding all the young lawyers and the firm represented the biggest personalities in the city. He rejected the chance to become the judge and said he enjoyed court room more as a lawyer. I can never be him.
“And shifting your career is the way to do that?” Nupur said all of a sudden breaking into my thoughts.
I shrugged not knowing what to say.
“I know exactly what you feel Pooja. Everyone in my family thought as I was the elder son I had to take care of my dad’s business and run the shops. But I knew I dint have the business brain so I went and became an engineer. I enjoy what I do now. But Pooja you love law and you have a great passion for what you do. It will take you some time but you will make your own identity one day. You can’t quit now”, he said giving my hand a squeeze.
I knew he was right. And my dad counted on me too. I could not let him down. But Ajay is also a priority. This was one of the issues that I need to talk to Ajay when he comes tomorrow I thought and continued eating. The silence fell again.
Nupur and I were getting ready to sleep. I had decided to stay back as I was going along with them to receive Ajay tomorrow. I was excited that he was coming and for me every second now felt like forever.
“I am sorry”, both of us said in unison again. We did this a lot. We even completed each others sentences. Our friends out irritated as would start a sentence and stop abruptly as we knew that the other person understood what we wanted to say. But people around us never did. Some times we dint even need words to commute. We knew what the other was thinking most of the time. We would share secret giggles which none would get.
“I am sorry Pooja. I know you are right but I can’t help it. I am trying my level best but I need more time before I am back to normal”, Nupur said with a shaky voice.
“I know Nupur. I don’t want you to be sorry. I want you to be happy. That’s it”, I said hugging her.
“We need to get some sleep, Ajay will be here in 8 hours and we need to go and pick him up. What time are we leaving and how far is the airport?” I asked all excited. I found it very hard to conceal it.
“Some one is very excited. We are leaving at 7 in the morning. He will get here by 8 I think. It takes 45 minutes to reach there. I don’t like this new air port really. It’s too far from our place. Begumpet was much better.”
I dint care about the airports all I was thinking was how I can survive for 8 more hours.
I hardly got any people that night. Every 10 minutes I looked at the watch hoping that it was 7. But time was against me and it refused to move. I got up zillions of times and I am sure that Nupur hardly slept cause of me. My excitement was comparable to the excitement of a mother when she first sees her child. After the longest night of my life (atleast I felt like that) we were on your way to the airport. We reached their in 50 minutes and we went to check the arrival of the plane. It said plane delayed by 1 hour. Damn I thought and went to get myself some coffee while I waited for the plane impatiently. Nupur who I thought would ask me questions stayed calm as if my behavior was normal and even Pa didn’t react which shocked me. Finally the plane arrived and I was standing on my toes to get a glimpse of my knight in shining armor.
Finally I could see Ajay walking along with Kaushik towards us. He spotted us and gave his deadly smile which made me want to go there and welcome him with a hug. I knew that wasn’t possible and I stood there with a smile on my face. Kaushik spotted me and winked at me. He obviously knew about us. For a second I took my eyes off Ajay and stared at Kaushik. He had changed. A lot! When I saw him last time he was a tall and a skinny guy but now he was tall and was perfectly muscular. I stared back at Ajay and he had changed too. They both must have been hitting the gym. They both looked hot. Now Ajay looking much better would make me more insecure.
“There he goes”, Nupur signed pointing her hands toward Kaushik who was helping old women with her luggage.
“He has always been chivalrous”.
“He just pretends to be”.
“Hi. I missed you guys like hell”, Ajay said giving his sister, Pa and me a group hug.