THE LUCKY TICKET | CH:03

BANGALORE

14-02-2016
06:10 PM

New money, suit and tie
I can read you like a magazine
Ain’t it funny rumours fly
And I know you heard about me
So hey, let’s be friends
I’m dying to see how this one ends
Grab your passport and my hand
I could make the bad guys good for a weekend

Humming the lyrics along,Divya started her usual morning jog with her usual companion: her favourite JBL headphones.

Although she was aged 37,she didn’t show any sign of it. She was so fit that one would tell that she’s probably aged around 27. Not 37.

Her fondness for fitness,music and novels made her young from inside. Mornings meant jogging and spending time at the gym. Afternoons and evenings were reserved for novels,while evenings where reserved for some movies. No,not all movies. Just the one’s with SRK in it.

This had been her timetable since she completed her BA. She even writes a relationship column for a monthly magazine, even though her relationship with her husband wasn’t so great.

She got married to Suresh, eleven years ago. Suresh was aged around 32 at that time. He had all those educational honours that Divya’s family wanted. Plus,he was from a very reputed family of scientists who worked for ISRO! That sealed the deal and they were married off.

Suresh at first didn’t seem interested in the concept of marriage. He always felt that this marriage and stuff are all nothing, but distraction. Distraction from his goals and ambitions. But his parents forced him to marry. He couldn’t say a ‘No’ to them. So, finally he had to give in to their words.

Suresh felt weird with Divya always around him,looking at his research and stats that he has painstakingly collected till now. He was always shy and never opened up to people much, except during science conferences.

Currently he was working on a ground breaking theory which could change the way people look at physics. At least, that’s what he thought of it. Not Divya. She hated the sight of those vague theorems, scientific formulae , random probability graphs et al. She found the world of novels far better.

As obvious as it would sound, Suresh always suggested her to stop reading fictional stories and focus on scientific ones instead. Divya always used to mock him for that.
And that irritated him, every time.

The world of romance and mystery thrillers always excited her, but here in her real life, there was no romance, no thrills. Her husband just used to sit on his study table
and write research related stuff all the day. He acted as if Divya doesn’t even exist in the room.

At first, Divya found it difficult to adjust to Suresh’s odd behaviour.
But then with time, she realised how to manage her life. How to indulge in things which made her happy as a individual. So she focused more on her books and fitness regime. She decided to be a independent woman.
Suresh didn’t mind her decision. To be frank,he didn’t even have the time to think about her.

11 years went in a flash. Suresh became famous in the scientific community,all thanks to his hard work. His schedule was jam packed with research and conferences abroad.

Divya too enjoyed her leisure time reading lots of books. Her column worked very well and she got a better job at another monthly lifestyle magazine.

So busy they were in their respective lives, that they rarely talked to each other. It didn’t even seem as if they were married. They behaved like strangers forced to share the same room.

It has been a week since Suresh left for Paris,to attend some annual meet of the EuroAsian Scientist Organization. And Paris was Divya’s dream destination from her teenage days. She badly wanted to go there,but couldn’t. She had the financial capability to go there easily, but she didn’t want go all alone. And since now Suresh was about to go there, she asked for his company.

“Do you think I’m going there for a trip Divya? Are you mad?”

“No..I just meant to say that..”

“I don’t want to listen anything Divya. I’m going to Paris just for a couple of days,then I have to go to Amsterdam too..I’m not going there for sight seeing Divya..I have important work to do..”

She just left the room,banging the door in anger.

That sight still swam across Divya’s mind. She tried to distract herself by jogging fast. It didn’t help.
The music didn’t do anything either.

That’s when she reached her favourite place. Junction Road.
Tonnes of books-both new and used, lay there in heaps. The booksellers did a brisk business selling these beautiful pieces of literature.

She went to her usual bookseller, and skimmed through the ocean of books for a good read. That’s when she spotted the book that she had been searching for a while. ‘The Room on the Roof’ by Ruskin Bond. She always was and will always be a fan of this great writer which she admired from her childhood. The book was used by someone else,but it was maintained quite well.

She bought the book without any second thought, and headed towards Central Park on the opposite side.

The sight of grass, swings and young children playing caught her eye. Their cute faces and mischievous chuckles always brought a smile on her face.

She went to her regular bench only to see it was already occupied by two old men who were engrossed in their discussion regarding Indian Politics and increasing corruption.
She didn’t want to hear any of their terminologies or views and decided to be better far away from them.

A few more turns and she finally found an empty bench. She removed her spectacles and kept the book aside. She was drenched in sweat. But she was lucky,the summer hadn’t set in fully. The climate was cool and that helped her. After a few minutes of rest,she took the book and read the description on the hardbound cover (although she had already read it while buying.)

She turned the pages randomly to spot a bookmark falling from inside.
She had already been used to finding bookmarks inside used books.
Most of them used to simple cardpapers,some where business cards and a very few of them were handmade ones.

She picked the bookmark from the moist grass and had a look at it.

“THE LUCKY TICKET” said the bold centered title.

“Get a chance to fly to New York!” said the subtitle.

“NEW YORK!”,she shrieked out in joy.
Although it wasn’t her dream destination, New York didn’t mean less.

She realised that it was getting late and she still had to jog around 20 minutes to reach home. And she didn’t want to miss ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ which is one of the special romantic movies to be aired today as a part of Valentines Day schedule.
Although, she had seen the movie the first day itself when it released, it doesn’t matter for her. Every time, the craze remains the same.

She took the book and started walking back towards the road. She still held ‘The Lucky Ticket’ on which she noticed a silver scratch area on its front side. Before trying her luck, she decided to read the instructions behind.

1) Each Lucky Ticket has a unique 6 digit code on the upper right hand side called the ‘ticket code’. Scratch the silver area to reveal the code. If all the six digits are the same, you win a free trip to New York.

2) The Lucky Ticket scheme is only for registered members of ‘Wanderlust Tours and Travels Pvt. Ltd.’ Even though you aren’t registered, you can register with us any time on the website below.

3) There will be just 6 winners based on a lucky draw who will get a chance to fly to New York free of cost.

4) For more terms and conditions, please..

The next moment,a huge truck rammed on to her. She was so busy reading the instructions that she didn’t realise that the footpath had already ended way back and she was walking on the main road.

The speeding truck driver who was being chased by the police behind for smuggling sandalwood, did blow the horn multiple times, but her headphones cancelled out his efforts.

She fell on the road,lying in a pool of blood. Her headphones didn’t stand the fall and slipped away from her ears. The hardbound book cover now lay there,soaked in blood. And the lucky ticket?

It was nowhere to be seen.

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