-Telugu Original by Dr K.Geeta
-English Translation by V.Vijaya Kumar
Surya woke me up in a hurry on Sunday, saying, “Did you forget my promise to Nidhi to show the San Francisco Natural History Museum today?”
It’s drizzling outside.
“Oh! Is it really necessary on a rainy day like this?” I said lazily.
“That’s not fair, Mom,” Nidhi started pampering. I got up because the majority is on their side.
After locking the house and closing the garage, Surya got out of the car and ran back into the house saying, “Just coming!”
“Make me rush all the while from morning… now… backwards, forwards! If so, how can we proceed? ” I became impatient.
Everytime same thing happens with Surya. He rushes back home at the last minute, forgetting something, saying that he forgot something.
Five minutes later he ran with the laptop.
“Why a laptop, why this program when there is so much work?” I was disgusted.
“It’s nothing, it’s just charging my cell phone. Anything more than that!” He apologetically said.
It was still raining a little all over. The drizzle on the windshield travels backwards.
Like a screen of drizzle between the beautiful rain sky and the earth, the sunless cloud prevailed around in the light gray in the morning.
As the car drove into the Golden Gate Bridge Road we were stuck in traffic.
The Golden Gate Bridge shines with great beauty from a distance as the sky clears all the colors in the rainbow and turns red.
It was too late to get close to the museum gate. On the same campus, there were a number of queue lines. The board already said that the underground parking for the museum was “full”.
We loitered two rounds on the same road for parking but nowhere to be found empty. In the Japanese Tea Garden adjacent to the museum, the car was parked at the “Temporary Parking” meant for Bus Parking.
The parking boy took five dollars and allowed the car forward. We had to struggle a little harder for parallel parking.
While Surya was having trouble turning the car back and forth, the parking guy guided him from behind and helped him a bit.
“The parking boy went to fetch the change, in the meantime you go to the museum. I will come back soon, hope you bring the printout of the museum entrance tickets. Give me my ticket paper,” he said.
Nidhi dragged my hand.
As the drizzling gradually showed signs of getting heavy, I rushed forward with Nidhi.
Most of the people were standing on the other side of the entrance rather than inside the museum. It was amazing to see the people standing in the rain.
“Why are you standing there?” I asked a girl.
“There is a concert for the night. Tickets are available with a 75% discount for those who seek in line now,” he said.
“Look, this queue line is for a concert. Concerts are so crazy in America,” I said with Surya who came with me.
“That’s why the parking lot isn’t empty,” he said. “Why are you still here? not going inside, So You started your interview!” I said smiling.
When I was in the second exhibit hall in half an hour, ”I said, I am feeling terribly hungry!”
Nidhi also nodded in support of me.
I casually said ” Where is the laptop? while taking meals.
“I was left in the car. If necessary, we can go and bring it here, ”he said.
“Keep the bag out of sight?” I said.
“Hey man! Have you come to see the museum or to think about the laptop? I kept the bag safe from being seen under the seat,” I said.
“We watched all the exhibits until the announcement made that the museum is closing at five o’clock in the evening.
Nidhi saw the models such as the dinosaur egg with her jaw dropped expression.
Rain outside didn’t subside. Still it was drizzling and the weather was very cold.
There was no line as in the morning. There were no people except one or two of us who had been in the Museum for so long and came out.
“Are all the parking lots empty now, Mommy?” Nidhi said.
“Yes,” I said.
“What happened?” I looked anxiously at Surya who was already in a shock looking at the broken windshield.
The back of the car was smashed. “Ah! I first looked under the seat.
“Someone smashed the car mirror and grabbed my bag!” he sighed.
“Wow! How such things happen?” I badly felt guilty.
Then I wanted to say something to Surya, and called “Surya!
He gestured for me to be quiet and pulled the mirror pieces aside in the back seat and sat quietly with a gloomy face.
“What can we do?” Only murmurs can be heard.
Such a situation never arose before us. I recovered in moments though.
Many questions were swarming in my head. Who actually did it? Who cares about having a bag here?
I looked back around the car. “The car mirror must be smashed in a single blow with some sharp object. How do they know that any bag is there? The rearview mirror is invisible unless both palms are folded close together. This is possible only if those who are accustomed to observing and cracking down like this!” I was thinking fast.
I searched for the parking ticket in my handbag. I ran closer to a nearby bicycle stand in the rain.
“Someone smashed our car’s windshield and took away our laptop in this parking lot. Do you know where the boy who gave the ticket went? ”I said anxiously
“I do not know. It is not a regular parking lot related to this park. Excess parking is arranged today due to the concert” he said.
“Did you see anyone sneaking up near our car,” I said skeptically.
In fact our car was two hundred yards away opposite where he was sitting. Must see if he stays there.
But he did not seem to give me any positive answer. Moreover he said “I know nothing” looking somewhere.
Probably this accomplice joined hands with that parking culprit, I thought.
I approached the car. Surya was sitting there hopelessly.
“I have to report to the police to get car insurance, I am exhausted, Priya, can you call 911?,” he said in a dull voice.
He was in great shock. I could understand why he was suffering so much. The bag contained a macbook that costs two thousand dollars which he bought recently. I called 911.
After hearing the details where we were actually calling from, the other voice said very casually, “Is the car windshield only broken, or is there any harm to the persons?”
When I heard my answer, the other voice said very formally, “If no one got harmed, it’s not a serious matter, you drive to the nearest police station and report.”
“Where is the nearest station …” I smirked, “Okay I will give you a connection to the nearest station, so you report on the phone.”
This time a male voice. Same indifference!, “Your case is not so urgent so you can report it to me over the phone now,” The other voice said.
“Is that so? Won’t the police come to look at the condition of our car and take a report? I said.
“No, no one comes for such small things. If you want, drive and report. Even then, there is nothing to see except to take the report,” he said.
It may be a small thing for them, but it’s a big thing for us.
For ten minutes I detailed slowly what happened, so that they can write it down though I am totally exhausted.
Then they said, “Note your provisional report number, Your original report will be online in three to four days. Tell your insurer the number I gave you. Now you go home.”
“And Sir, What about our laptop?” I said pleasingly.
“We will call you if any recovery if ever found.” He said.
Surya was sitting holding his head painfully while I was talking.
It is pity to Nidhi to see her father in such a pathetic condition and me so anxious doing something in such a hurry. To get back home we have to travel with a speed of 70 mph. on the freeway now.
How to drive in the rain without a windshield car through the freeway is unimaginable to me. This rain, which looked so beautiful while we were coming, now looks like an enemy.
The wind speed is very rapid, the shower hitting badly on Nidhi sitting in the back seat. She is trembling horribly though Surya wrapped his coat on her.
I searched GPS and turned the car into a small road where we could go at low speeds.
We arrived home after another two hours later. Surya seemed to have calmed down a bit though the pain had not subsided by then.
A post graduate in English literature and language and in Economics. A few of my translations were published. I translated the poems of Dr. Andesri , Denchanala, Ayila Saida Chary and Urmila from Telugu to English. I write articles and reviews to magazines and news papers. To the field of poetry I am rather a new face.