With Prachi by my side, I followed the same route I had the day before. Surprisingly, this time, it led me to the right neighborhood. I kept backtracking, but I couldn’t figure out where I had lost my way the last time.
The area was modest. Nothing fancy, a couple of big houses but mostly smaller ones. We could sense people watching us from the closed windows. This wasn’t a neighborhood frequented by tourists or strangers. We made our way through the narrow street, conscious of how we stood out in this place.
We couldn’t have been more conspicuous if we had a clown costume on.
As we inched closer to my parents or mother’s, as I had recently discovered house, I felt suddenly apprehensive about what I was going to find there. What if I didn’t like it? Would I be able to forget it and get back to my life?
I sighed involuntarily. There were so many unanswered questions. Was I ever going to get any answers?
And suddenly, there we were, in front of THE house. It was exactly how Om had described. Huge and abandoned. There was an old car parked outside which looked like it hadn’t been moved in ages. Dry leaves and twigs covered the lawn area. The main door, had a huge padlock on it, rusted to the core. We stepped in a little closer and I peered inside through the window. Utter darkness, I couldn’t see anything.
Disappointed I turned around, a sudden movement caught my attention. A woman, from the house on the opposite side of the road was staring at us, alarmed.
Natural, she must have been surprised to see two strangers lurking about, looking at abandoned house.
“Hi, I’m looking for Mrs. Gurung!” I called out to her.
She eyed me suspiciously.
“She stays four lanes ahead.” She said briskly.
“Oh, I guess we got the wrong address,” I tried to engage her in a conversation.
She folded her arms in front of her and waited. I guess she was waiting for us to leave.
“How long has this house been abandoned?” I pointed at the house and asked with a polite smile.
“For as long as I can remember.” She didn’t want to make conversation, she just wanted to see us gone. I wondered why she was being so hostile.
“Did some Sinhas stay here?” I wasn’t about to give up. Who better to give me information, than the
“Who are you? Why are you interested?” she stepped closer to her door, as though afraid that Prachi and I would attack her.
“We are friends of Mrs. Gurung.” I tried to pacify her. To my surprise, the woman went inside and slammed the door shut.
“What just happened?” I asked Prachi.
“I think, she thinks that we’re dangerous.” Prachi was trying not to laugh. I gave in to the moment and joined her in the laughter. A couple of moments later,
tha the lady came to the door. Her demeanor had changed completely.
“Why don’t you girls come in?” She asked with a smile.
As we accepted her offer, I couldn’t help but wonder what had triggered the change.