A rare experience of impersonal corridors of Shimla….cold and shady
“Where would I go?”
“What would I do?”
I was tormented with this question. Simla had been a home to me….the small house was like Amma’s womb providing me much needed shelter. But there was no home to welcome me in Simla…the three houses I had stayed in, during my 21 years of life in Simla, were occupied by people I had no reckoning with. Similarly I had no answer to the question what would I do at Simla? I didn’t know a soul who could help me. It was like falling seriously sick and desperatly wanting someone, some doctor, to cure you but you don’t know where or how to begin with. I was mostly silent throughout the ride to Shimla from Hamirpur, deeply immersed in thoughts…. My colleague did most of the tslking.
When we reached Ghannahatti, I was tormented by the thought, once again, “where would I go?”
I was travelling to Simla in car of one of my colleagues who was magnanimous to offer me a ride to Shimla and take me to his lawyer. He, too, was going to consult his lawyer for some advice. So I trudged along with my colleague to a part of Shimla where I had never ever set my foot…
The Simla I remembered, the Simla I carried in my memory, was warm cozy and endearing… It would be cold, only, during the long winters when we would search for some sunny patch to have warmth and light! But we walked to comparatively cold area.The entire patch was shady and cold. The big building with small office rooms opening to narrow corridors seemed so impersonal. And in one such room was the office of an advocate that my colleague was going to consult.
It was a Sunday we waited for some time and then he walked in. There was no black coat….he was looking smart and happy.
He opened his office room and we all entered it. My colleague started discussing his case….and my head started to spin when I listened to all that. Nothing made sense to me. After some time when he was done and about to call it a day my friend said, “She also wants to discuss her case with you.”
He looked at me with interest as hitherto he had been thinking of me as not a client. Could I detect a spark in his eye? Perhaps teaching non-verbal communication had given me extra sensory perception. I shrugged myself off of the feeling.
” What has happened?”
“What was the charge?”
A tirade of questions were shot at me…all in a mechanical manner.
“I was alleged to have abused the Director and to catch him from the collor!” I mumbled. I was not comfortable speaking about it.
There, if I was right, I could see something on his face ..perhaps I was imagining it. He was a lawyer and many people must be having a privrleged conversation with him.
“Caught from collar?”
Nowvavwiman subordinate catching hold of the Director from collor and abusing him made an interesting case. Whenever I would talk about it to anyone….people would gaze at me as if I was a creature from another planet. These kind of *women” earned a second gaze for sure.
“No..no…I never caught him from the collor or abused him..” I blurted out in self defence…”they made up this false accusation against me!”
Perhaps he had some plans for an exciting Sunday with friends or family so he asked me to come the next day in the evening. My black bag…carrying all those papers….was my only companion. I was feeling lije a naked woman….pleading innocence when the papers in the black bag said it otherwise!
We got up…my colleague had to drive back to Hamirpur…he asked me solemnly, “Where would you go, now?”
And this was the question that I, too, was haunted with…”Where would I go? and “What whould I do?”