Dr. Rudra picked up his phone. Amidst his continuous flow of patients, he suddenly remembered to make the call. He is a very busy man with little time for triviality. He sees close to hundred patients during his evening session alone; what can be termed as his rush hour. He called up Sunita and when she answered, he said-' Hello. Dr.Rudra here.'
'Hello... How are you doing?'
'Good good'- he replied impatiently and continued-' Listen, I called up to inform you, your husband is at my house.'
'But... but why?'-her alarm bells ringing incessantly.
'I don't know...'- he answered truthfully.
Looking at the watch for umpteenth time, Akash finally let out sigh of relief. He wrapped up his work for the day, cleared his desk and shut his system down. Walking down to the basement to get his car, he gave a call to his wife. 'Hello...didn’t you start yet?-she asked immediately. ‘Yes dear. I will be home in one hour. Just be ready.'
'Ready? Couldn’t you think of coming early at least for one day?'
'Yes....’- He replied sheepishly and said-' Okay I am driving now. I will see you in an hour.' Disconnecting the call, he called his boss. His boss, Mr. Ramesh is a busy man who hates to get interrupted by phone calls when he is at work. Akash called him up to inform him that he was leaving for the day. Ramesh merely grunted his approval and got back to his work as if the call never took place.
Driving in the traffic, his thoughts began to wander. On this very day, he got married to Sunita two years ago. Last year, being the ideal husband, he forgot his anniversary date and ended up going late in the night to home. It goes without saying that he was very lucky to escape without any bruises. Of course, his phone took the brunt of it instead as she flung it across the wall and broke it into pieces which even the phone makers couldn’t reassemble it. But no matter what all philosophers in the world joke about women, wives will always love their husbands. She bought him a new phone the very next day and the first thing Akash did in his new phone was to set up a reminder for next year anniversary date. That small spark of intelligence saved his day today. The reminder went off in the morning when he was planning a long day at office. Akash smiled to himself, as he drove around the city. Sunita is a strong headed girl. He remembered how he quit smoking just after his marriage when she casually remarked-'If suicide is a crime, I wish they arrest all smokers soon.’ It hit him like a thunderbolt.
Akash smiled again to himself and steered his car into the parkway of the Almond House, one of the best sweet house of the city.
Sunita was nervous. She has been trying his phone for a long time but couldn’t reach him at all. She knew Akash’s phone is never unreachable and her worst fears started haunting her as every second passed by. All sorts of thoughts and questions started taking a shape in her fickle mind. She was sitting at the portico of her house when she received the call from Dr.Rudra. Her fears got confirmed when she heard his impatient words. Even before she could enquire him further, he disconnected the call. But a sense of relief went through her body realizing that her husband was safe. It was only after few minutes did she start thinking clearly and new questions started to take form in her mind. Why did Akash go to doctor’s house? Did he fall sick? If he did, he would have gone to his clinic. Why did he go to his house? Why is his phone switched off? Of course, the doctor is his brother. So if he was just visiting his brother’s family, why didn’t he call her? She needed answers and she wanted them fast. Her fears were slowly replaced by cold anger.
Ramesh was busy at his work. One can't really say if he loved his work or hated it, but he surely works hard. He hates disturbance of any kind and despises people who call him without any real purpose. While his fingers were tapping the keyboard with ferocity, his phone rang. Twitching his nose irritably, he glanced at the screen to see the caller name. It was Akash. He vaguely remembered that they spoke just a little while ago when he called to say he was leaving. He couldn’t comprehend as to why he was calling again except perhaps to give some stupid reason to take leave from work. He ignored the call and got back to work, when the phone rang again. Without taking his eyes from the system, he answered the call and said-' Yes Akash...'
'Hello. Am I talking to Ramesh?' said a gruff voice.
'Yes Akash...Who else do you think will answer my phone?'
'Yeah! But this is not Akash here.'- pat came the reply. Ramesh sat straight immediately and asked cautiously-’who is this?’
‘I found this phone on the road. How do I return it to the owner?'- A voice not older than 15 years, said. Ramesh mumbled something to the tune of ' irresponsible bugger' and said,-'Yes. It belongs to my friend. Where are you right now?'
'Near Almond House.'
'Ok. Can you stay there for 15 mins? I will ask my son to come and pick it up. What is your name?'
'Okay, but this phone is dead. I charged it temporarily at a store near by to make this call. I will be standing just outside the Almond House. I am wearing an Orange shirt, in case your son wants to recognize me.'
'Okay. Thank you'-The phone gets disconnected and Ramesh swore under his breath. He called up his son and asked him to take the phone immediately.
Akash stopped his car and started searching everywhere in the car. It is scientifically proved that even if one loses his wallet, he would remain calm but if he loses his phone, he loses his mind. He immediately found the nearest public telephone and called his number. It was switched off. Standing on the pavement, he couldn’t believe he lost his phone. It was with him all the time and it was impossible to lose it or getting stolen. He looked at his watch and thought of informing his wife. His husband instinct told him to wait for sometime before telling her. He knew, this time he would face the brunt and no phone would save him. Swearing loudly, he started thinking of all the places where he might have dropped it. He could think of only one place-The Almond House. He drove back to place and started looking at all the places where he walked by. It is but quite natural that he didn’t find his phone. That phone was special to him in many ways. It was a gift from his wife and losing it on his wedding day just made things worse. He went across the counter at the sweet shop and enquired about it, but none of them had seen or heard of it. Swearing again under his breath, he walked out furiously to his car. Life without a phone is like trying to eat without your hands. A person feels handicapped when he doesn’t have the weight in his pocket. With his mind clouded with confusion and anger, he drove his car to his brother’s house near by. It was time he informed his wife that he was running late and has to admit he doesn’t remember her phone number. With the advent of mobile phones, the old art of remembering the phone numbers is quietly diminishing and Akash learnt it the hard way. He reached his brother’s house and realized his brother would be at the hospital. He asked his sister in law, if she has his wife’s number. If Da Vinci had seen the look she then gave him, he would have never painted ‘The Mona Lisa’ She smiled and said her husband would be having all numbers. She called him up, hoping he answers but to no use. She told Akash that she would ask him to inform Sunita if he calls back. Nodding his head, Akash took his car out again and started driving home. He gave a quick glance towards the Almond House, as he was passing by. But he never noticed a man standing at the entrance, wearing an Orange shirt.