Continued from Nivedha Part 2
Soon, the chaos died down. Each cabbie had found the right person they were looking for, and each relative had reunited with their loved one with happy smiles. They were all on their way back to their destinations. The airport exit became eerily silent when compared to the chaos a few minutes back. I was left alone on the benches with George. For someone talking over a headphone, George looked precisely like a choirmaster with a grim expression playing a serious note. I eavesdropped his conversation as I always had this special liking for the Malayalam slang. Notably, the way they tell your name was always different. Ranjitha becomes Renjitha, Lakshmi becomes Lekshmi, and so on! Everything about this land seemed to be romantic. Even the breeze seemed to whisper sweet nothings as it blew across me making me shiver like a leaflet prancing in love’s deep waves.
Why does this place seem to be so romantic in each nook and corner? Even the same black color autos in Bangalore looks good, evoking memories when I see them over here. Why is it so? Is it because my Nivedha is here? Is it because the very fact that Nivedha lives here makes me see the whole place in rose-tinted glasses? Again, I didn’t have answers!
I was suddenly brought back to my senses from my dream world as someone rubbed over my shoulder. It was a rough hand for sure! I turned around to see George standing behind me with a concerned expression written over his face. He was saying something to me, but I did not understand even a bit of it. My blank expression conveyed to him that I was not a Malayalee. He nodded his head in despair and tried again, “You going to the city?” It was English, but it had Malayalam written all over it. It was exactly like a burger wrapped nicely in a roti. I stared back at him and muttered, “Hmm, Yes, I’m headed to the city but don’t know how to go as it is raining heavily,” I managed to reply. Deep inside my conscience was rebuking me, “Idiot! You don’t even have an address with you!”
George seemed to be genuinely concerned as he looked at me and said, “Oh, evide? Kanatha mazha peyyunnu. I will drop you. Please come.” I couldn’t reply anything relevant and just muttered some gibberish words as if under a harry potter spell. Somehow, I could manage to tell him in my Tamil accent, “Vettucadu Church” He seemed to be relieved as I had finally told something he could relate to. “Oh, Vettucad Church!” he said, breaking into a smile, “6 am mass arambhikum. Varu. By the way, I’m V.S Jacob” he extended his hands with a friendly grin. Oh! So, I was right in guessing his religion! Still, I began to ponder what could VS stand for. I decided to dig my doubts inside my brain itself as I dared not to ask him the full form after my previous experience of asking for the full form of PT Usha back in school days.
He did not even wait for me to introduce myself or tell my name. He immediately signaled to his driver and to my extreme horror, it was a classic Maruti 800! For someone standing tall at 6ft, entering inside a Maruti 800 was like me being a magician’s girl performing the disappear inside box trick. I adored classics like an old ambassador, but never this matchbox!
As I stepped inside the car and somehow cramped myself inside the minimum available space, I knew that for the next 10 whole minutes, VS would take up the role of my interviewer. But, I had already decided not to let a stranger know that I’m here to meet a girl and that too at a church! I started thinking of ways to counter-attack him by adorning the hat of Arnab Goswami, speaking continuously not letting the opponent even utter a word or understand what I mean in reality.
VS was speaking to the driver in a stern and commanding voice, giving him directions to reach Vettucad church. Soon, I began putting two and two together. His disciplined way of dressing, rough hands and commanding voice! He sure must be an ex-military!
The Maruti slowly steered out of the airport premises and slowly embarked on a journey to Vettucad church. Cramped up inside the car, not even able to move my legs a bit, I stared outside to see another flight slowly landing, and I mumbled under my breath, “God! I would have preferred to be up above 30,000 feet than being smacked by an ex-military in his matchbox car!”