Sharmila was standing last in the line at Enquiry counter in the post ofiice.There were about half a dozen people ahead of her.The clerk in the counter was slow.Just then a well dressed young man sauntered towards the counter ignoring the line and tried to catch the attention of the clerk.The others kept quiet though annoyed.
Sharmila shouted “Mister, Don’t you see the line.Please come and stand in the line behind me”
He turned surprised and said “I have not come to do any business.Just wanted to enquire about some address in the area”
“Do you think we have come to exchange pleasantries with the clerk in the counter.We also have some enquiries to make.Please fall back in the line”she said curtly in an angry tone.
“Sorry, You can tell me softly.Why do you have to raise your voice.Others have not objected” he replied even as he came back and stood behind her.
She then noticed that he was a tall handsome guy with chiseled features eminently suited for hero’s role. He did not look at her evidently unhappy with her rude outburst.She felt remorse for she is a gentle preson not given to such rude ways.Some tension and the urgent work at home must have triggered her temper.
She looked at him and said “I am sorry.You wanted to know some address.I live in this locality and can tell you about the roads.please tell me which place you were wanting to enquire”
“How sweet of you.I am new to this town.I landed at the airport just an hour ago.I have an appointment at a house in 3rd cross,21 st Avenue.Would you be knowing the place?” he asked with a smile
“Any land mark for the place given by them?”
“Yes, they said there is a KFC outlet at the corner of the main road” he replied.
“Surprising.It is just a stones’throw from here..I live in that road. I can take you there” she said
“Just tell me the route.I am required to go only at 3pm.I will have my lunch meanwhile at a restaurent ”he replied.
“Go straight about 200 yards and take a left at the signal.That is 21st avenue,then turn right on the third street and that is 3rd cross.Which number?”she asked
“Sagar apartments.I think the number is 22.”
“OK it is the 4th building on the right side.” She said in a tremulous voice.Suddenly she left the line in a hurry as if she had forgotten something to bring.
At 3pm when Nirmal entered the apartment, he was greeted by en elderly gentleman.There were a few well dressed ladies and gentlemen.After the pleasantries, an young girl entered with a tray of coffee annd snacks.Her father said “She is Nandita and is with Oracle after her B.Tech.”
When he looked at her he was very much surprised.He smiled at her and asked “Nandita, did we not meet at the post office a couple of hours before?”
Startled she said”No, I never went out today.” Her father and others present were intrigued by such a question.
“How could it be? You fought with me and raised your voice objecting to what you perceived as my jumping the queue.How can you forget so soon?It is really funny”he said
Her father then called “Sharmila, Sharmila” When another girl entered the hall and saw the bewildered young man looking at her and her twin sister Nandita, she could not suppress her giggle.
Her father asked her rather loudly”Why are you giggling? Did you go to Post office this morning and had an exchange of words with him”
When she lowered her head, Nirmal said “Yes this is the one I met.The two siisters are very much alike.I am sorry, Nandita, for my confusion.”
To her dad’s surprise Nirmal said with a mischievous smile ”Sir, I have a score to settle with Sharmila.If you have no objection I seek her hand.I can wait till Nandita is married”
Nandita laughed and taunted her sister “Serves you right Sharmi.We have got the right man to tame the shrew. I am happy.”