It was around when the alarm clock struck. Maya woke up without any interest and stopped the alarm. She had to attend an interview at Accenture Bangalore. Her phone bell rang and it is her boyfriend Srikanth. He asked her to get ready soon to attend the interview. It was almost when she was ready. Maya stayed in a PG with two other girls at Marathahalli. She was born and brought up at Chennai and later moved to
Maya stayed in a costly PG paying 3000 rupees as rent and another 1500 for food. She was worried about her safety but still could not help it because her prime interest was to get a job and her parents wanted her to stay with her friends. Her boyfriend called her again when she was at the bus stand waiting to take a bus to
Maya reached the company at around 8.00a.m. After the bag check was over she proceeded towards the reception. Her interview was at 10.00a.m but she always felt reaching a little prior to the mentioned time would make her feel comfortable. She always decides what to speak and what not before she met the interview panel. Maya was able to clear three rounds of interview and she was waiting for the final round. It was for the position of 'Technical Support Executive' . Since Maya had prior experience in that field it was not difficult for her to clear the rounds. During the lunch time she met one of her college mates who was working there and had a chat with him. After the final round of interview she was asked to wait in the reception for knowing her results. It was around and the phone rang. She was happy to see Srikanth’s number flashing. She happily picked the call with a confidence and whispered,
‘I love you dear, what you doing?’
He said ‘Hey sweetie, I might leave office early. Where shall we meet?’
She was blushing while she said ‘ We will go for a movie. Wait till I get the results here.’
He said ‘OK, let me know once you get the results’ and he cut the call.
Srikanth works for a renowned IT firm as a software engineer. Maya and Srikanth are in love with each other for almost one and a half years. A gentleman in grey suit came towards the reception where Maya and other people who came for the interview were seated. He called out a few names and Maya was delighted to hear her name being called. The selected people were asked to call up the HR in a week time to confirm their joining. Maya collected the required information and left the place. Once she came out of the company she called up Srikanth . He was excited to know that she was selected. He asked her to come and wait near Silk-Board at around She blushed again and said ‘OK dear, will be there at five. Don’t make me wait. Ciao.’. She proceeded towards the ATM to draw cash. Then she took an auto to the nearby bus stop. From there she took a bus and reached Silk-Board at 4.30. It started raining heavily. Maya was brave enough but when it comes to handling lunatic or drunken people her hands starts shivering especially when she is alone. She was praying that nothing should happen to her till Srikanth comes…..
There were a few men who kept staring at Maya at the bus stand.
It was a dark evening. The heavy monsoon clouds were looming and threatening her but she would never be afraid with Srikanth around . Maya was watching the big movie banners displaying at the cinema . She was deciding which movie to watch. Srikanth suggested ‘hey, how about Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya?’ Maya had learnt Hindi till her eighth grade. She was a beginner in Hindi, who understands well and could partially speak. He got the tickets and bought two fountain Pepsi. They rushed towards the hall and finally settled in their seats and it was usually Srikanth who drinks both the Pepsi. Luckily, for that movie Maya did not need much of translation, she was able to understand and started enjoying it. As usual they had a small fight in between which lasted for five minutes. The theatre almost was empty since it was a Thursday evening.
Srikanth wanted to go to the men’s room during the interval but Maya didn’t leave him. She was scared to stay alone even when she knew there were few people around her. Movie got over and it was almost around Srikanth made her stay near the security and left to the rest room. She was still afraid since it was raining heavily. She is always scared of sudden power-cuts combined with heavy rains. She was happy to see him coming towards her. They were waiting near the multiplex entrance for the rain to stop. It was almost and Maya started getting scared. There were two other girls accompanied with their boyfriends which kept her a little comfortable.
The frequency of the rain started decreasing gradually. ‘Shall we leave da? It’s getting late’, she whispered to him. She took her duppatta and covered her head with it. He held her hand and they started walking towards the auto stand. She was very careful in keeping her steps as the mixture of rain and mud would spoil her white dress. She never knew it would rain that day when she wore the white-and-white combination. Unfortunately there were no autos in the stand. It was almost a ten minute walk from Multiplex to her PG. But they could not even make a step as it was raining heavily.
Srikanth’s tone was a little harsh ‘You got to walk, no other go. No auto, no van .what the…..’ He pulled her hand and started walking fast. The mud mixture slightly started dirtying her pant. She felt it was the last day for her slippers. They reached the main road where they saw a bus numbered 501. That bus goes from Marathahalli to Banashankari via Agara. Srikanth stays in Koramangala with his friends. He usually takes a bus to Agara after dropping Maya at her place. From there either an auto or a van to Koramangala. Most of the times he takes the last bus after which there are only vans to Agara. It was almost around Maya didn’t want him to take the van because she didn’t want him to travel with drunkards. She asked him to take the bus. Srikanth was worried when he said ,
‘Will you manage?’
Maya said ‘Just one road nah….don’t worry. I will take care. You don’t miss the bus. Cya. Call me once you reach’.
Srikanth ran towards the bus and got into it. He waved his hand and watched Maya with a dull face waving her hand………
She lowered her duppatta while she walked towards the four-cross. She was careful while crossing the road because that was an accident zone. She was having a handbag and a plastic cover in which she had her resume and copy of certificates. She put her handbag in the plastic cover as she felt comfortable in carrying just one of it. She reached the street in which her PG was located. Street lights were on but still she started walking fast as it was raining heavily.
Maya suddenly heard someone running towards her with bare foot. But she thought that was usual as it was raining. Another two minutes was left for her to reach her PG gate and to her fear and surprise someone held her tight from behind. She had mild thoughts whether it would be Srikanth trying to give her some daring surprises as he is good in doing that.She managed to turn back to see dark short guy who was drenched in rain.She was shocked to know that 'this ' had happened to her in her life. A rogue was trying to hold her tight from her back. She had seen and heard such scenes in movies but experiencing it for the first time. She never wanted such a thing to happen to her.
This was her first ever worst experience. She started yelling at the peak of her voice. The doors of almost all the houses were closed as it was already Only the street lights were on. People inside their houses could very well hear her voice but to her surprise no one came for her rescue. Maybe they would have thought the noise came from a television as most of the daily soaps are based on crime. The culprit held her tight and gave her a knock from behind.Maybe he was an expert criminal and knew the various methods of handling a victim. By that time she decided that his intention was not just to rob her items but something else too. He gave her a knock at her leg and hand after which she was not able to move a bit. Maya could not even lift her hand to fight back. From her childhood Maya wanted to learn Karate. As she was busy with her studies she never had an opportunity to do that. Maybe that would have helped her now.Finally she fell down on the dirty mud and her white dress now had various shades of brown and red(brick sand) streaks.
He grabbed the cover from her and ran away within a fraction of seconds. She kept shouting as she could not even lift her body up. She had her mobile, ATM cards in her purse along with the resume and copy of certificates in the plastic cover.Maya had already worked for two other companies in Chennai from where she was created new bank accounts and was given ATM cards by them.She knew the culprit could not do anything with the cards without knowing the PIN number.She never expected such an incident would happen to her....
The road ended at a junction where two other roads joined. Mrs. Rekha and Maya had no clue which direction the culprit would have run with her valuables. They asked a man standing near a tea-shop which was open at that time. He directed them to a road into which he had seen a guy running. They both went to that narrow lane and two other kind hearted men followed to help them. They reached the dead-end of the that road. They could not find anyone. Few other people peeped out through their windows to know something interesting was going on outside their houses. Few of them gathered out. Mrs. Rekha had enough people to help her find the culprit.
They all went in search of him. There was no way the culprit would have escaped. Because the road had only one entrance and the tea shop owner was sure that he came into this road. Only way with which he could have escaped is to hide in one of the houses. A small guy was moving towards a car which was parked near one of the houses. He had observed something there and he called the other men to look at it. To everyone’s surprise they saw a man hiding there. One of the men who came for helping them went towards the car.
It was a white ambassador which was parked very close to a compound wall of a house. The gap between the body of the car and the wall was very little such that only a stick-man could enter. To everyone’s surprise they saw the culprit hiding himself squeezed in the little space, clutching the cover. The man who went towards the car pulled the rogue out of that place. He was hefty enough to pull him out bang his head on one of the walls and grabbed the cover from him. He handed over the cover to Maya. She was waiting for this moment. She immediately checked her cover and saw her resume and certificates wet. She opened the purse and saw her mobile and cards. A sense of satisfaction was seen in her face.
She felt the phone was ringing. She saw Srikanth’s number flashing and picked the call and yelled at him. She knew that was not his mistake to leave her alone. But at that moment Srikanth too looked like a culprit for her.She cut the call saying 'Are you happy there? But i am not. My life was gonna end now. By god's grace I escaped. Get lost!'. Srikanth was puzzled. Mrs.Rekha took the cover and handbag from Maya and tried to comfort her. Though Maya was not able to recover immediately from whatever happened, she acted as if she was alright. They both reached the PG and Mrs.Rekha gave her some water. Mr.Dharmaraj, Rekha's husband was comforting Maya by cracking some jokes. At around 10.45, Maya was puzzled to see Srikanth at her doorstep. He came rushing towards her and hugged her. She explained the entire story to him and his blood became hot after hearing this. In the meanwhile the culprit was beaten by the public near the PG.
Mr and Mrs Dharmaraj left the place to give them some privacy. Srikanth looked at Maya with a feeling that he was responsible for whatever happened. Maya looked at him and smiled. By seeing her smile tears rolled over Srikanth's face.He held her hand and put his palm over her's promising that he will never leave her alone. He gave her comfort saying she will never ever face such an experience again in her life.After an hour Maya forced him to leave as it was getting late for him. Srikanth left the place. Maya lied on her bed , prayed to god that she should never come across such a situation again and closed her eyes....