Peace in parting
The next evening Prakash did not waste any time in nabbing Sharanbir even before the man could order a soda,
he walked over and spoke politely, softly and directly.
"We appreciate your business" he said with folded hands
"I love this food"
"Thank you but I dont think thats quite true"
"Umm" Sharan did not look up from his drink
"Look I know who you are... I didnt until that evening it rained... but now I do" Prakash
said softly as his apron clad daughter walked in and out through the swing doors to place the filled up salt and pepper shakers on the tables
A corner table by the wall had neatly stacked washed and dried plates and bowls and cutlery and napkins and bowls of sugar etc for those that ordered coffee at lunch
"Umm... if you do... OK" Sharanbir leaned on his chair "I come as a friend. Not to make trouble"
"I believe you. But we dont share a good past"
"Then we must not talk about it"
"I agree I dont plan to either"
"My daughter does not know about you" Prakash was almost inaudible
"Are u going to tell her?"
"Why not? She is no longer attached to your family name. Your grandson seems to have let go"
"My grandson behaved recklessly"
"No knew exactly what he wanted and achieved it"
"No.. No Mr Shanbag"
"Please dont argue... I will have to tell my daughter. Your coming here every night is not helping the cause"
"When you yourself said its all over why do you want to tell your daughter?"
"She must know why the boy married her"
"she doesnt have to"
"She is unaffected with what happened in Bangalore. She is home, happy and safe. She should know and you should stop visiting"
"You cannot turn away a diner"
"I appreciate your business. You area reminder of the foolish choice she made to help me out. I dont want you to remind her of it everyday"
"Has she spoken about Ashvin?"
"I havent asked her... he is no longer relevant"
"She does not hate him"
"May be not... but thats irrelevant since he is a nobody"
"You are still angry"
"He hurt my daughter"
"He is foolish. He didnt want to hurt HER or YOU. He wanted to hurt me"
"Then please sort it out with him sir... he is your grandson"
"I want to make things better"
"Things are better now"
"No.. they are not... Ashvin still thinks about her"
Prakash was a bit startled
"How? I mean... why?... what?"
"Like I said my grandson is not indifferent to the events of the last two months"
"He didnt even care for her, he married her and let her go in two months. How can I believe he thinks of her?"
"He does... I have known him almost 30 years" "I know"
"You two are colluding to take my Trisha away under some pretext?" "You cannot hurt her" "I wont let you"
"You just said she is unaffected by Ashvin. If she was hurt by him wouldnt she have told you?"
"Aaanu... Aaanu... the new cook wants to know if he can substitute tamarind for tomatoes on the shrimp? He has a anew recipe"
"I will have some too" Sharanbir waved
Trisha was startled.. she nodded nervously
"I dont know what games you rich people play. The incident warranted me calling the cops that night, they grabbed the
hand of that new bride. One boy was so stoned he couldnt even hear. What a horrible way to treat someone's daughter"
"I know... I know... I fully agree... I have many grand daughters.. no daughters...i was duty bound to help bail them out
every daughter is worthy of utmost respect...I think your daughter Trisha is like my own..c"
"She is mine" Prakash cut him off
"Umm... someone may be trying to lay claims soon" Sharanbir was amused
"You mean you?..Dont deny it
. I know... I appreciate you visiting, checking on her well being. She is no longer your responsibility.
She is my child" "Nothing more can happen now. I am holding back on sharing with my daughter,
all the events from 10 years ago and how it has changed the last two months of her life. I thought she is back safe.
But I think I will tell her everything tonight. She is unworldly and naive. She thinks he married her to please a relative or to appease a demand made by someone
She has no idea there is a dark history.
She will find closure soon. I will tell her me
being her father caused her life to be shattered, lose Jayadev, marry a stranger on a legal agreement, stopping studies, cutting vegetables"
"All my fault. The hurt and pain belong to me. Not her. I was the intended target. Not her.." Prakash was devastated
Sharanbir looked sadly at him
"Lets part peacefully" Prakash said fighting tears, with folded hands
"there is no peace in parting" Sharanbir said grimly looking at Trisha working at a distance "For her nor for my grandson"