There was a knock on his door three mornings later at 5 AM after he returned to Bangalore from his unfruitful trip to Ullal. Rachit, his Dadu and his wife appeared.
"Whoaa?" he exclaimed
"You had an accident?" Sharanbir waved his walking stick leaning on the entryway table
"That was almost a month ago? two months ago?"
"HOW?" asked Rachit
"I fell off Oz's bike. What are you doing here man?" Ashvin and Rachit shook hands and did a man hug
Sharanbir waited for the feet touching
It never came
"Dadu said you had an accident."
"And you?" he asked Trisha
She turned crimson
she was wearing a green tie dye skirt and a sleeveless yellow blouse, her short hair tied in a high ponytail
"Umm.. Da... Mr Narang said you had a accident" she mumbled
"YOU were HERE" he whispered trying to suppress his anger
"I thought it was another one" she mumbled praying she had something to hide behind
Sharanbir watched the couple with unconcealed curiosity
"Ghar par batana zaroori nahi samjha?" Sharanbir accused
"Umm.. Mom knew.. I had asked her NOT to tell you"
"Ouch Dadu" Rachit grinned
"How did you all arive at the same time"
"rachit drove her" Sharanbir said proprietorially
"Tri..?" "Did u ride with him?" Ashvin asked
Trisha nodded cringing "I thought you were hurt"
"You are welcome" Rachit pretended to tip his hat
"You were in the hospital and broke your shoulder?" Sharanbir asked
"Like I said... over a month ago.. did not break..." Ashvin was exasperated
"Kal ratti phair gira?" Sharanbir asked
"I didnt fall, I bumped into a kid's bike in the service elevator" Ashvin mumbled
"Seee Dadu's spy was right" Rachit did a high five with Dadu
"Really?" Ashvin was not amused
They all crowded the now wide open doorway
"He doesnt even have a cook, how did you know Dadu?" Rachit pressed
"Were you hurt badly?" Trisha asked softly
He didnt respond to her
"Chai milne ki ummeed haigi?" Sharanbir cleared his throat when he found the young couple ogling each other
"You will have to make some yourself, since I am injured." Ashvin said gleefully "Or the knight can make some" he pointed to Rachit
Rachit made chai, Trisha fidgeted in the living room, Rachit and Sharan drank theirs in the kitchen
They grilled Ashvin about his first accident. Mandira knew but no one else. Ashvin wondered WHO tipped off the old man about it last night
And what the hell was he doing in Ullal again anyway?
Trisha was looking through a glossy mag setting her half empty chai cup on the entry way table
"Was it Chirag?" he accused
"Na jee na" Sharanbir smacked his lips appreciatively at Rachit's chai
"You need to be careful of the old man, he has eyes behind his head" Rachit grinned
"Chaliye jee" Sharanbir got up
He walked over to the living room
"Let us go. He seems to be fine. The kid's bike did not break any of his bones" he said bluntly
Trisha was horrified and devastated she was being asked to go
"I suggest you two leave. I can" Ashvin stopped
Trisha colored self consciously
"I will pick you up at lunch, koi hore samaan reh gaya ho na you can take it Ms Shanbag" Sharanbir ordered
"See you dude" Rachit waved
Trisha waited for the door to close
He shut and bolted it as every sound emnating from the brass bolt causing her insides to somersault
His phone rang
"Later..." he texted looking at her
He scrolled to the Contacts list and looked up Trisha Shanbag and changed the name to "A's for First Name and "Wife" for last name, tucked the phone in his pocket and closed the gap