“Can I speak to Sanika?” Atul asked in a stilted tone. He did not want to acknowledge how much the presence of Pranay in Sanika’s room was affecting him. “I know you are worried about Sanika Mr Trihan. I could not wake her up so I called the hotel Doctor to check on her. I am handing over the phone to Dr. Ellie Johnson, you please speak to her.”
“Hello Doctor how’s my wife? What’s happened to her?” Atul asked. “Mr. Trihan she seems to have taken a high amount of alcohol. She will sleep for at least 10 hours and then have a terrible hangover once she wakes up. Otherwise she is fine. I will advice the hotel staff to give her medicine for the headache.” The doctor assured Atul. Post this talk both Pranay and the doctor left the room.
It was a strange night. Sanika was fast asleep oblivious to the storm of emotions she had unleashed. And sleep was far away from the eyes of both Atul and Pranay as they were both tormented by their own thoughts.
Atul was lying in his bed very worried and confused. What had happened today? Sanika was never such a heavy drinker. Why the hell was she drinking so much in a foreign country.. alone.. Where did she meet Pranay? Why was he in her hotel room? Was there more to it and than what meets the eye. “No!! I must not doubt Sani.. I should wait to speak to her first. She will have some rational explanation for the whole episode.” His head was swarming with questions. He knew he would have to wait for Sanika to be awake to answer them.
Atul had been through a roller coaster of emotions from worry to anger to relief to jealousy. He did not know what to think anymore now. All he could feel was a growing sense of unease. Like something is gonna change in his life. He wasn’t sure whether he would like the change or not.
On the other end of the world Pranay was lost in his own thoughts. Couple of days ago he had met Sanika in a conference. He was the guest speaker and was on his way to the dias to give his presentation. As soon as he looked towards the audience he saw her sitting in the front row. The shock was clearly visible on her face. Though Sanika had seen Pranay in the market the day before, she had brushed it off as an illusion. After all, why and how on earth would Pranay be there – the world is a big place ! But, seeing Pranay walk upto the dais, made her heart stop.
Pranay made supreme effort to control his emotions.. He somehow managed to pull on his professional mask and make the presentation. Thanks to the endless prep he had done for it he could manage the presentation brilliantly. There was a huge round of applause. He thanked the audience and looked towards Sanika to judge her reaction but she was not there on the seat. Later he looked around for her but she was nowhere to be seen. Through the organizers he came to know the company Sanika was working for and the hotel she was staying in. For the next few days he had been trying to muster courage to go and meet her. But he just couldn’t face her..
Pranay’s thoughts turned towards this evening’s incident. When after office he had headed to the pub for a drink he never expected to see Sanika there. As a matter of fact after the way he had dumped Sanika he never expected to see her at all in his whole life!! He was sitting at the far end of the bar nursing a drink and lost in his own thoughts and problems, when out of nowhere Sanika appeared before him and collapsed near his feet. He was stunned. At first he thought that he must be hallucinating.. Maybe he had too much to drink. But the commotion around him made him realise it was real. Like a automaton he took charge. He told the bartender that he knew her, thanks to the little sleuthing he had done earlier he knew her hotel and company. Then things were easy. The difficult part was talking to Atul. Pranay could well imagine the kind to thoughts that must be coming to Atul’s mind. Thank God he had the presence of mind to call for a doctor. At least Atul would believe the doctor more than him.
Pranay’s mind was battling with another set of questions.. ‘But why, Oh God Why? Why has Sanika appeared in my life now? What sort of a weird turn of fate it is? Is it a sign from God? Has he actually lead Sanika to me? Why am I bumping into her again and again? At this juncture in my life when my divorce from Tanu is almost final? Is God giving me a second chance to right the wrong that I did earlier? Is she also unhappy in her married life?‘
Meanwhile Sanika was fast asleep.