Like many young boys coming from a small city, Mumbai seemed to be an overwhelming experience for Sumeet. The traffic, the people and the sheer pace of the city was too much for this young lad from a small village of Shriramgadh. He did not like the city at all. He did not speak the local language and his English was mediocre (something that he never regretted, thankfully!).
Back home he had lost everything; his house, his family and friends. Home was no longer home and one day he just decided to leave the village. ‘Why Mumbai’ was a question that even Sumeet could not answer. He just did spontaneously and was regretting the decision the moment he reached the place. But then he decided to give it a go with a positive attitude; at least he promised himself that he will give some time to this.
With little money in his pocket, Sumeet had to compromise on his living space. Not that he was used to living in a manor; but sharing a single room with five other occupants was something he did not like. He had landed himself a job at a local business as a junior clerk. The salary was not so great but it took care of his little expenses.
It had been more than a month that Sumeet had been in Mumbai. Like any other day, he started getting ready for work. One of his room partners reminded him of the monthly rent.
“I’ll pay it this evening, don’t worry” said Sumeet.
At that very moment the tranquility of their little society (read ‘chawl’) was disturbed by a loud horn. Sumeet and his roommates went outside to have a look at the chaos. As they came out they saw a big car parked right down their building and the honking was from that vehicle. Sumeet headed downstairs. As soon as he came down, a girl came out of the car. She was very beautiful; she had long luscious hair and had big dark eyes. Sumeet was mesmerized by her beauty. He found himself staring at her with almost open mouth. He saw that the girl was now talking to another girl who lived in his building. They were discussing about some subject or a book. By this time Sumeet had come quite close to where the girls were standing and slowly passed them. The beautiful girl did not even bother to look up from her book. The other girl, sensing that they are being watched, gave him a look that broke the spell Sumeet was under. He quickly looked ahead of him and started taking long strides and was out of the premises within the next minute.
Sumeet could finally answer the question – Why Mumbai?
Few days passed in the hope of seeing the girl again; but no luck. Sumeet finally gathered some courage and decided to talk to the girl in his building and try gathering some information from her. Taking a deep breath, he knocked the door. The girl in question opened the door.
“Hi! I am Sumeet. I live in this building..”
Before he could say anything else the girl said, “Don’t even think about it!”
“Think about what?” He said.
“I will not tell you anything about my friend.”
Sumeet was taken aback. Recovering quickly he said, “What friend?”
“Ayesha, the girl who came to meet me the other day” She said, “I will not tell you anything about her, is that clear? Now please go.”
A smile came on Sumeet’s face. “I know her name now..” he said and still smiling and turned to go.
“You won’t be able to have her, you know. She’s off your limits. Just walk straight towards the next square and you’ll see her mansion. Go have a look at it and then you’ll understand.” She was furious.
Sumeet did just that. The bungalow was very easy to spot. It was surely a mansion and his princess was sitting in the balcony sipping what seemed like tea. And Sumeet forgot everything else.