At (S)himla

At (S)himla

Varun woke up in the morning at 7.30 AM. When he went to Gayatri’s room, he found she was wide awake. Her eyes were slightly reddish as if she had been crying. The moment she saw Varun she gave a ghost of a smile and tried to grin. Varun remained noncommittal though every nerve in his body strained to pull this lovelorn girl into his arms and comfort her. But he realized he could do without more complications than what he already had on his plate.

Gayatri indicated the phone and asked, ‘What would you like for breakfast?’

‘How about some egg sandwiches and coffee?’

‘Okay, that is a good idea. I will have the same.’

Gayatri picked up the phone and called room service. Soon the waiter brought their breakfast and they dug into it with relish. After some time, Varun said, ‘The more I think of this affair the more I get the feeling that we are barking up the wrong tree. The only reason that I am sticking to this wild goose chase is because the gypsy’s words clearly tell us to trace the route by which we came. Another fact is that at some point Anandi’s nature changed distinctly. At first it was just irritability and then she slowly started throwing temper tantrums and finally a red hue started emanating from her eyes when she spoke to me in anger.’

Gayatri looked up and said, ‘What red hue? I never saw anything like that coming from her eyes. And after you called me to the hospital, she has spoken angrily to me too.’

Varun said, ‘What? You did not observe that? That is funny. Every time she says something in real anger to me, I can see a red hue emanating from of her eyes.’

Gayatri said, ‘Maybe it is something that only you can see. That fits in with our theory of something supernatural being involved in it.’

Varun stared at her speechless, ‘You mean that I am seeing things that don’t exist now?’

They subsided into silence not being able to make anything of this new discovery. After some time, they packed their bags and checked out of the hotel. They reached the airport in forty-five minutes. They bought tickets to Shimla and landed at Shimla airport in two hours. They checked into a 4-star hotel.

Once they had settled in their rooms, Varun said, ‘We shot at a Hanuman temple here. There was no fight scene here, but I travelled with the team anyway as the director was not sure whether I might be needed later.’

Gayatri looked up at him, ‘Did you say Hanuman temple? How uncanny! Again, there is a reference to monkeys. Hanuman is the monkey god. I cannot understand how monkeys are connected to this business.’

They hired a car and were soon at the Hanuman temple where the shooting had taken place. There was a park attached to the temple and there were several monkeys on the trees, but they did not show any hostility towards Varun and Gayatri. After having darshan at the temple they went back to their rooms.

On the way to the hotel Gayatri asked, ‘What was the scene you shot in Shimla?’

‘The hero and the heroine secretly marry each other at this temple. No need for a stuntman as I said before. By now I am more are less sure we are barking up the wrong tree. Tracing the route probably means something different.’

‘But how are monkeys involved in this whole thing? Can you explain that?’

‘I do not know Gayatri, but I am fed up.’

‘All right, the next place we go to will be the last. After that we will try to reinterpret the gypsy’s words and try something else. Where were you before you came to Shimla?’

‘We went to a village called Narnommalporom in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu…’

                                                                                             To Be Continued...

This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter S

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