Second Chance

Last week , while sharing the common space in kitchen, my cook timidly said in a half audible voice that she had dreamt of me visiting her humble pad. I was busy cooking my family’s favourite recipe for dinner. In my heart, I wanted her to go home early so she could make the last minute arrangements for her son’s birthday party the next day.  In the midst of all the action I missed her voice. She cleared her voice and repeated herself, this time a bit louder.

Kamna has been with me for three years now. I have seen her in her hard times and supported her as much as I could. She is a toughie. I nodded my head and said, “Sure Kamna, I shall see you tomorrow.” She grinned ear to ear as if my response mattered a lot to her. I looked at her and smiled.

With time, she has taken on the role of my personal assistant at home. From taking my phone calls, to keeping reminders of my child’s vaccination records to my doctor’s appointments and refilling my groceries, she does it all. So her son’s birthday party was an important To- Do in my list of things.

Next evening, I and my toddler were off in my car to her home. The little one had a special bond with Kamna and was overjoyed that she was visiting her home. Kamna had given the instructions very carefully and I had made a Google map of it on a piece of paper. We were great as a team and at that moment with the map on the car’s dashboard I could proudly say that we could well beat Google maps with our ingenious creativity!

Halfway through the journey however, my pride crumbled. The wide roads had given way to very narrow lanes, slightly broader than my car’s width and it seemed the width was getting narrower with each turn. There were houses everywhere, cheek by jowl, and I could almost see their dark interiors from my car’s window. By now, a few children had gathered around us, waving, making funny faces at my toddler. Soon they started running behind my car singing aloud some latest hindi number. While the toddler was overjoyed to see the amount of attention, I knew in my heart that we were lost in the maze of houses. To top my anxiety, the lane came to a point where my c