“For several days she read and reread the letter, wondering what to make of it. Then, one day, she went to the cybercafé, to try to find out more. Kanchha was helping a teenage girl and her parents Skype-phone a relative abroad. When he became free, Prema told the boy that she needed to place a call to an American Embassy.”
i was reading a novel and suddenly….
I heard the bikes stopping by.
Here I was at a café, RR burger house. It was around 8:30, I had just returned from my morning class. I just stopped to have a cup of tea to make a perfect beginning of the day.
I was playing with my phone, the most flexible and docile company that we human being have ever got.
“Your black tea, sir.” The servile waiter served me by a cup of tea with a smile in his face.
“Thank you.” I replied with same kind of politeness.
Then, as soon as i got the cup of tea, green colored in front of me, with the vapour still raising up above the surface of the tea, I thought now it was the time to put my phone into sleep mode and take out my novel that I’m recently reading. Specially, I prefer reading novels with the sip of tea at early morning. So, I did that day too.
I was reading this novel ‘seasons of flight’ by Manjushree thapa with solely concentrating in it and allowing the warm sip of tea to flow through my throat.
I got distracted by those sounds of bikes and i took my zealous eyes from the words of the novel and directed outside the café. There were two bikes, one hero Honda splendor and another shine. The man on the splendor bike was little bit aged around 30-35 and there were two people on another one who seemed a bit younger than him. They were all dressed up in formal uniform. Light blue shirt, black pant, coat, the aged one was in tie as well. I didn’t get time to notice their shoes though, I believe it must be party shoes. Well, who really cares. They were just the another strangers of my life.
They entered the café, sat on a table nearer to mine.
I ignored them and resumed with my novel again.
“Three cups of tea please. Two milk tea and one black.” the older man said from the respective seat.
Well, I don’t know why but I had to turn my gaze towards their seat. I saw that old man who ordered sat on one side and other two opposite of his. He seemed to be their boss, and he was kinda healthy. I could make an inference that they belong to a same business or office working together. And maybe they were going to their office and they just wanted to have a cup of tea for the same reason that I was there.
Anyway, I again got myself into the pages of that novel.
“The man told her that if she made the final selection, she would get an appointment at the embassy. She would leave her application pre-screened there. Only if she met the criteria would she be advised to apply for the permanent residency.”
“Here you are sir. Two milk tea and one black.” The same waiter served them the cups of tea.
I again got distracted. I put down my novel for a minute and had few sips of tea.
One of them stared at me as he must’ve thought that they might have disturbed me but to prevent him from such kind of feeling I picked up my book again and pretended to dive into it again.
“well, how’s the business dai?” one of the guys asked to asked to that healthy man sitting alone.
“umm. Not good bhai, I need new employees.” He replied.
I guessed he must have bleaked while answering.
Well, I got to know that they were not from the same company or office. The guy sitting alone was involved in different business than them.
I now resumed my read a bit in slower pace.
“hmm I heard the problem you’re going through. Many of your employees left your company.” That guy said in convincing tone.
“well, don’t worry dai we can send few of our employees to your company at least until your problem is solved.” The another guy added.
“That will be so generous of you Ramesh. I’ll return the favor whenever my days will come.” The healthy man replied.
I got to know one of the guys sitting together was Ramesh.
That man looked at me again. I knew it but i didn’t want to take away my eyes from my book. I wondered why on earth he was looking at me, can’t he just carry on with what he’s doing? Or was he looking for something? Was he doubting that I was listening them? Well, if u come sit beside me and talk about something, I just can’t prevent my ears from listening what’s being spoken.
I abstained again.
“what’s the time dai?” Ramesh asked. I guessed with the voice as I cant straightly stare at them.
“It’s almost 9:00.” Watching at his wrist watch that man replied.
“They shouldn’t have taken much time.” Another guy said with some doubting tone.
I was forced to guess that they were maybe waiting for someone there.
Well, it was being kind of interesting now. I didn’t want to leave soon so I was drinking that cup of tea too slowly so that no one would doubt me.
And there was this waiter and a guy in the kitchen. They would also raise their heads up and look towards them time and again.
“Let them take their time Subash.” That man said trying to keep them away from that restiveness.
So, another guy was Subash. Subash and Ramesh. And I could confirm that they were really waiting for someone there. I still pretended to be reading my novel and just to seem pragmatic sometimes I’d simply pick up my phone and do some unnecessary things that wasn’t supposed to be done at that very time.
“On their way, maybe.”Ramesh assured him.
They went on gossiping more with the tea level going down in their respective cups. The same green ones.
Some kind of euphonic voice I heard from outside the café and it was approaching towards us.
I couldn’t stop myself from checking out what it was. I lifted my eyes up and I could see two females entering the café. A woman of around 30 leading the way dressed with red kurtha surwal. A purse hanging by her shoulder. Behind her I could see a girl around 20-25 following her. She was something different. Perfect make up, red lipstick, blue jeans (skin tight type), fancy hills, v- necked vest that could show up her cleavage clearly.
Seeing her I nearly got lust. That happens with boys obviously.
So, this was the setup. They were waiting for them I thought. But what they did was they just went to a table just behind where those people were sitting, they shared few glances and smiles though. The girl was facing that healthy man and that woman was just sitting behind Ramesh and Subash.
I got confused. If they were there to meet those people then why didn’t they sit with them in their table? Now, my assumptions failed here. They were different one maybe.
“What’s her name?” that healthy man asked to Ramesh. For a second I thought he was asking that girl’s name who just entered.
“who?” he asked being oblivious of his question.
“Your daughter. I saw her yesterday with her mom. She has grown up beautifully.” He praised her.
“Oh! Yeah she is. She is now working in a company. Her name is Rosy.” He appreciated the compliment and replied with a smile.
“She is really good in her work. Excellent in her forte.” Subash added Rosy’s capability.
Meanwhile, the woman and the girl were whispering. Maybe they were deciding what to have.
“Two milk tea and a breakfast set please.” The woman ordered.
On the other side, now, I had finished my cup of tea. People would have wondered why am I there still, so I feigned like reading more deeply.
“Oh! That’s really nice. I like people devoted to their work very much.” That healthy guy answered in another table.
“So, are you fine with taking our employees in your company? We can help, you know, as you’re going through bad condition right now.” Ramesh asked diverting the topic.
“They will be serving you very well. I bet if they will leave anything to blame.” Subash tried to assuage more to him.
I could see the same waiter passing my table handling a tray with two cups and a plate with breakfast. He served the third table. The woman and girl started having their breakfast with their own frivolous bantering talks. Well, most of the girls gossips are like that.
“Yeah, I must and I will. As per your explanation I can hire them instantly.” Talks continued in another table.
I could feel that those guys were also finishing their cups and maybe in few minutes they’ll be leaving.
“I think it’s necessary to ask the amount salary they are taking from your company. Because according to that I’ll have to facilitate them as well.” The healthy guy asked them finishing his cup that I could feel by the way he put his cup on the table. And in the meantime I also noticed that he was giving attention to me as well. I don’t know why he was doing that. I wonder if he had ever seen a boy reading novel with morning tea or he was doubting on me about listening to their talks. Whatever it was, I didn’t look at him thinking that It was normal, people sharing glances when they are in peripheral tables.
“umm that’s negotiable dai. You can provide them the same amount as we did. Or according the work load and performances they show you can change. That’s not a big deal.” Ramesh cleared his confusion and subash confirmed him as well.
On the third table, I heard something related topic.
The girl said in complaining tone,” I need to fix this out hai didi. Else, they might recede my remuneration later.”
“No, no it won’t happen. You just don’t worry about it. I already talked to them. They have like your qualification, academic results and skills. You’ll be getting good amount of money.” That woman convinced her.
“okay. But if it happens somehow, you’ll have to sort out didi.” She sounded assuaged.
“Just trust me bahini. That company is my brother’s. why would they do this to my people?”
So, I got to know that the girl was recently being hired in some company with the reference of that woman. And they just cleared out the salary issues that happens with every workers.
And in the other table. The healthy guy was silent for few minutes maybe he had to ponder about the salary stuff that Ramesh had just suggested. Then he replied,”okay. I’ll be providing them the same amount of salary as you did. Because I feel the work they did and they’ll do here in mine will be the same.”
At that very moment, I just had a glance towards the girls table and they were smiling. I thought that was their own reason and maybe the girl was satisfied with what the woman said to her.
“Then, I’ll consider this deal to be finished. They’ll be happy to work for you too dai.” Ramesh concluded their discussion with the final sip of the tea.
“Ah, yes it is. If anything wrong goes with them, you can complain to us. We’ll talk to them.” Subash provided his opinion.
“hmm, then we should leave now. You can send them to my office straight. Today will be good to make them familier in my company if it’s possible.”
“Yeah, sure. They can. They’ve already accepted the deal and I’ll just tell them to visit your company right away.” Ramesh and Subash both agreed unanimously.
In the third table, I could see the woman finishing her tea, getting her purse and the girl still having her breakfast. Maybe they were about to leave.
Those people stood out of their respective chair. The healthy guy went to the accountant and paid their bill. I heard the accountant saying 55rs. for three cups of tea. And they were stepping out of the café towards their bikes.
And what happened was, the woman and the girl also left the table even though the girl hadn’t finished her breakfast. The woman paid 100rs. to the accountant and left the café giving a slight look towards me while I was still pretending to be taken away by the novel.
I saw them walking towards left side road which would lead them to a gully in few minutes.
The healthy man and those guys handshaked bidding goodbyes and they were setting up their helmets.
Getting on the bike Ramesh said laughingly,” okay dai. If you liked the deal and their works we’ll have party somewhere. Atleast you owe this to us.”
“haha. Sure bhai sure. We will. Let me check them out first” he replied.
Ramesh and Subash accelerated towards the right side road discharging smokes from the silencer. And the man rode his bike towards left side giving a final attentive glance to me while the workers in the café were busy in their own stuffs.
I was like what the hell is wrong with this man? Do I look something different that he’s staring at me like that? I smelled something fishy in that very moment. I stood up, put down my novel. And turned my head toward the side that man had geared himself up.
And what I saw totally startled me. Just at the turn of the gully, the woman and girl were standing. That man stopped his bike, they shared some words maybe, and the girl stepped up in his bike. She waved to the woman and the man geared up.
I sat down trying to deliberate over the event that had happened in that café. I went back 30 min. of my life and repeated each and every bits of it.
With my thinking ability, I came up with a verdict that, the employees they were talking about was that very girl. She might had worked for those two guys and now she was getting transferred to that healthy man’s business. The conversation actually was going between everyone of them, the two tables. And the deal agreed was actually between the girl and that man with the salary negotiation at the meantime. The reason why that man was noticing me time to time was to make sure that I wasn’t listening to them, neither I would know what actually was going on.
She was a prostitute.