Chapter Nineteen - Mansi

The entire office became silent all of a sudden. It seemed as if everyone had pressed the mute button. The only sound heard was that of ceiling fans. Uncle and Mansi felt as if they were enveloped in a time bubble – drifting into the past, exposed to memories – pleasant and unpleasant ones. They had so much to tell each other but they could not speak a word. Their gazes did the talking.

Outside the cabin, the entire staff focused on the happening inside. From what a few people could see through the glass window, knew that something dramatic had happened or was happening inside the cabin. They all were stunned to hear the sobbing sound coming from the cabin. They had never seen Uncle shed a single drop of tear, in fact – they had never seen Uncle being sad, even. He was the inspiration for all of them; giving them the strength to face life with a smile on the face. To hear the heart-wrenching sob coming out from him made a couple of ladies shed silent tears of their own, wondering what could have been wrong.

It seemed as if each one of them was placed on hold – a pause – a vacuum of noiselessness; nothingness. The whispering, murmuring and the gossiping would begin later. 

Uncle wiped his tears and looked towards the glass window. A few people gathered there hid out of sight immediately. Uncle looked towards Mansi and said, “We need to talk” and after a short pause, he added – “somewhere outside.” Mansi got the hint. Suddenly, she felt ashamed of herself. She had humiliated him. Not once, but twice. She had hurt and humiliated the only man who respected her; only person, who loved her very much, after her mother. She had been adamant. First, she had walked out on him and then she had opposed a decision Uncle had the entire right to take – even though she herself had not been sure about her own decision. She had known all along; she had known that he played an important role in her life – she never tried to confirm because she did not want to ruin what he meant to her by knowing what he was to her. Perhaps it was this knowledge of being important in Uncle’s life had given her the courage to behave the way she did - Arrogant, adamant and careless. Mansi nodded and turned around to walk out of the cabin. She stopped and turned back to look at Uncle and apologized for creating a scene. 

Instead of saying anything he smiled – an expressive smile that conveyed, “you-are-my-daughter-and-it-is-okay-you-need-not-apologize.” The smile had an adverse effect on Mansi and instead of feeling at ease she felt all the more awkward and ashamed of herself. She felt nauseous and had to rush out of the cabin directly to the restroom without caring a damn about the eyes that followed her footsteps. Once inside the restroom she fell down on her knees and vomited in the commode. She felt dizzy and before she knew what was happening, her head hit the restroom floor and she became unconscious.

When Mansi opened her eyes, she was in Uncle’s cabin again. A couple of ladies staring down at her with genuine concern etched on their faces. She found Uncle kneeling down besides the couch she was lying down on. 
“Let’s go home.” He said and Mansi nodded in agreement. The ladies assisted her to get up.
“Can you walk?” Uncle asked again, his voice full of concern.
“Yes.” Mansi replied and stood up. A little too fast, she realized before falling back down on the couch. The nausea was back and so was the dizziness. She was made to lie down again. Mansi closed her eyes and willed the nausea to go away. 

When the moment passed by, Mansi opened her eyes and looked at the confused faces of the lady colleagues. The confusion was replaced with doubt and then a weird smile, which yelled – are you pregnant? Is this what you were creating a scene about in Uncle’s cabin? And – why was he crying? The last silent question expressed with the dramatic turn of gaze towards Uncle. Mansi felt the nausea crawling back in; she wanted to empty the gastric contents on the disgusting ladies. 
“Let me take you to a doctor” Uncle said moving closer to Mansi and holding her by the arm. Mansi stood up and the women moved back; watching Uncle and Mansi closely. A moment later they walked out. When Uncle walked out of his cabin with Mansi; she saw the two women in head to head conversation with other female colleagues. 

Return to Main Page