Monkeys At (Q)utub Minar

Monkeys At (Q)utub Minar

When his eyes opened the next morning, Varun found that Gayatri had already left his room. Varun felt extremely guilty about what had happened the night before. He had acted like a fool. He had allowed a moment of weakness to land him in a mess. He dressed up and went over to Gayatri’s room and their eyes met briefly for a few seconds. But neither spoke about the previous night.

They had breakfast in the restaurant attached to the hotel. They caught the earliest flight to New Delhi. They hired a cab from the airport and went to the five-star hotel Hyatt Regency. After checking in, they hired a cab again to take them to the Qutub. It was a pleasant journey and Gayatri finally said, ‘Now I am deeply in love with you, Varun. I can’t hide from that fact anymore. Do you feel the same way about me?’

Varun gritted his teeth and said, ‘My feelings towards you are immaterial. Maybe I slipped a bit last night. But Anandi will always be my priority, Gayatri. She loves me and I am not, I repeat, I am not going to drop her like a hot potato in her hour of need.’

‘I don’t expect you to Varun. But you must be honest with your feelings. When this thing is all over, I have a sharp feeling you will have to choose between her and me.’

Varun closed his eyes and clenched his fists. He realised that somehow what Gayatri was saying could turn out to be true. Ever since Anandi’s behaviour had changed and she had started becoming very aggressive, Varun’s love for her had started waning. And now Gayatri was slowly taking her place in his heart.

Soon they entered Old Delhi and were cruising along the road leading to the Qutub Minar. Gayatri grinned and asked, ‘What sort of fight scene were you a part of at the Qutub?’

‘It was not exactly at the Minar. In fact, we were not even given permission to climb to the first floor of the Qutub. So, the fight sequence had to be shot around the Iron pillar. The one that has not rusted since centuries.’

‘What were you doing this time?’

‘Well, the villain was supposed to be abducting the heroine when she is visiting the Qutub with her college friends and as usual the hero comes into the picture and the stuntman does all the dangerous scenes.’

Gayatri grinned and Varun thought she looked lovely. Her grin was childlike, and it made Varun feel very tender towards her. The kind of emotion a man feels when he wants to protect a woman. They soon reached the Qutub Minar. As soon as they got out of their cab, a guide attached himself to them. Varun was just about to tell him he was an unwanted guest, but before he could open his mouth Gayatri asked the man, ‘Can you show us around?’

The man was delighted. He said, ‘I am a regular guide here and know the entire history of the Qutub Minar, how it was built and everything else you may want to know about it.’

But before the man could proceed further Varun observed that 6 to 7 monkeys had gathered in the trees nearby and were eyeing them balefully. Suddenly one of the monkeys moved rapidly towards them and gave a ferocious shriek. It was just about to attack Gayatri when Varun rapidly pulled open the door of their cab and pushed her inside. He got in himself very quickly and banged the door shut. The guide fell to the ground in surprise and the monkey shrieking and screaming slammed itself wildly against the car’s closed window shutters. But once it realised there was no way to get in, it went back to the trees.

Varun said, ‘Gayatri, I think it is dangerous for us to loiter here. I think we should leave this place.’

Gayatri was shaken and Varun put his arm around her and comforted her.

After the monkeys had gone Varun gestured to the guide who was still standing outside the car some distance away. When the man came near, Varun pulled down the window shutters and asked him, ‘Are you a regular guide here? We want to know something about the things that happened here in the last month or two.’

The guide said, ‘Yes, I am a regular guide here and I am an employee of the tourist department that oversees the place. It is funny you should ask about the last two months. A couple committed suicide here by hanging themselves from one of the trees. There was just a brief mention of it in the papers…’

                                                                                             To Be Continued...

This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter Q

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