Left, Right, Left, Right……..forward march.. Gajendran started his usual evening walk with his wife, inside the MOP Park. This has been his usual routine for the past five years. His Doctor’s advice. “You have turned forty years Gajendran. Don’t miss even a day. This one hour walk will reduce your cholesterol and BP, and reduce my Bill.” Gajendran took this advice seriously from day one. At seven in the evening he would even miss wearing his shoes, but would never miss his wife accompanying him in his walk. They held hands together and walked with such force and vigour that passers-by could feel air gushing out by the swing of their hands. Today was no different except that it was a bit more crowded, since it was Saturday evening.
The Park Garden had a nice stretch and the right mix of greenery and plants laid out on both sides. Gajendran was unusually walking faster today, since he had to catch the 11 pm Mangalore Mail. His grip on his wife’s hand was a bit harsh, and at times she yelled out in pain.
As they took the final bend, the lights in the park flickered once, then again, then it went out. Complete black out. Gajendran didn’t see the manhole in front, and tripped and fell down, but luckily he rolled over and didn’t hurt himself. He got up, rather fast, did not wait to clean up, then caught his wife’s hand and started walking much faster. Now he was nearly in jogging mode. She shouted ” Ouch “, “What is this”. “Ooh ” As Gajendran was reaching the exit gate, there was a crowd of policemen checking everybody. Gajendran instantly knew the cause of the search. One smart policeman came forward and blocked Gajendran and smiled sarcastically. He said ” Look Mr. You look pretty decent. Where do you work? It is only 7.30, and how dare you can do this in this public park. Look at your age. You must be forty and she must be twenty. How dare you can bring girls inside the park and do “Jalsa”. You should set an example for youngsters. OK. Walk to that Mobile Court. The Judge is waiting. We don’t have time.”
Gajendran turned to look at his wife and was horrified. “Oh God, Sorry, What have I done, Sorry who are you?”. The dark girl with full make up splashed all over her face was fuming. She slapped Gajendran and said ” You idiot, You have dragged me for nearly ten minutes, in this useless garden , just to drop me in the mobile court. Now go there and pay the fine.”
Gajendran was nearly crying now, and his phone was vibrating along with him. He took it out and the screen read ” Thirty eight missed calls”.
His wife was waiting at the entrance gate. Thirty eight missed calls in ten minutes. She was wondering what was going on.