A week went by. Akash had to complete a lot of work at office, not to mention work on his final draft, and Deeksha was producing a road show for the radio – promoting a new film. They decided to stay in touch in case Akash ‘heard’ anything (from Akanksha), or saw anything. She called him up in between a couple of times, just to be sure. Nothing had happened so far.
Deeksha reached home at around 10 pm and entered the house using her set of keys. Her mom, who usually dozed off on the couch in the living room until she came, muttered something about girls returning at un-Godly hours and cursed the radio job some, before dragging herself to the bedroom. Deeksha’s found her father reading by the bedside as usual. Their eyes met briefly and they smiled.
“Hi pa,” She said.
He smiled and blinked in reply. The warmth in that face was reassuring.
She looked at her parents and sighed. Deeksha hadn’t mentioned about Akash. It wasn’t time yet. She shut the door of her room and changed. She opened the door of the attached bath and was about to get in, when the wardrobe door made a small creaking sound. She turned. The window was open. Probably the wind, she dismissed it.
When she emerged, she found the wardrobe door ajar.
“Ma?” She cried out.
“Did you just come by my room?”
“No. What happened?”
She was about to shut the door when something caught her eye. She reached out and pulled it from the top of her clothes, which were neatly ironed and stacked. It was a business card. She flipped it over. Nothing. She sat on the bed and looked at the card.
Her heart pounding, she called Akash.
“Akash. I found something in my wardrobe.”
“A business card. It says - "Planter’s Haven".”
“You found it in your wardrobe.?"
“So? You said it belonged to Shashank’s father, so your sister might’ve had it. Right?”
“Ok, ok I’m sorry.”
“I happen to pull clothes out from the same wardrobe everyday. I didn’t find it this morning. I found it now.”
She recounted about the creaking of the wardrobe and the open window.
“You think Akanksha…?” He said.
She was breathing heavily now. “I don't know...maybe?"
Akash was sitting in his car when Deeksha crossed the road and came over.
She got in beside him, catching her breath and sighed loudly.
“Take it easy,” Akash said and smiled.
She smiled back. “Hi.”
She pulled out the card from the hind pocket of her jeans.
Akash looked at it blankly for a minute.
“This is crazy.”
“Why do you think so?”
“I don’t know Deeksha. I mean, I hardly know you folks. Your sister passed away two years ago, nothing happened. And now, she’s trying to communicate with us. Starting with me – a total stranger. And at a time when your folks …,” he stopped. “Have you told your parents yet?”
Deeksha shook her head.
“Hmm. Good. I don’t think they should know of this yet, at least not until we make sure what this is all about. I guess it’s a no-brainer where we must start.”
“Planter’s Haven,” Deeksha said. “You think we should tell someone else also about this?” She bit her nails, reminding Akash about her sister. But she it was more like thinking out loud.
Akash frowned. “Like, who?”
“I don’t know. Appa, perhaps?”
Akash thought for a moment. “Would he believe us?”
“No. He doesn’t believe in spirits and the other world. And it would just pain him further. He loved Akku to bits. But he’s not the one to show his emotions openly. This might just…”
“Wrong candidate, then.”
“Ha, you must be kidding,” Akash said and chuckled.
“Are you saying we do this ourselves?”
“Do we have a choice?” Akash waved a hand through his hair.