There were a hundred things that I could not comprehend right now. The most important was what to do next. For clearly, there were at least two things that had engulfed my mind so much that I could not think of anything else. One was that house. How could one possibly live in such a small house? And I still felt something important was missing from that house. I could not make out what, but something wasn’t there, it felt incomplete. Second, why did I have to say, “I am from India too”? I was from India okay, but she kind of didn’t look much of an Indian. What was I missing out on? The week had only started and I was already full of questions. I had to stay here for another ten days. Just ten days. Keep calm and you can return home happily after ten days. But what was missing in that house? The thought kept coming back. The phone buzzed off.
“Hi,” said a voice on the other side. “Sir, are you from India?”
“Yes,” I said, unsure of what else I could say.
“Cool, Sir. Your cab is waiting in front of your building. You have a golf match in an hour.”
“What? But I..”
She hung up.
In all my life, I had seen only one golf match, let alone play one. What was going on? I had an eerie feeling something was not going right. I needed to talk. I needed to see her. I needed to know what was happening. Dressing up took another ten minutes and I was downstairs.
“Guten morgen”, said the chauffeur.
I responded with the only four words I knew in their language, and which I had been using for the whole of yesterday. “Ich verstehe nicht Deutsch”, I said. I had to go to her house before we went to play golf, or whatever that meant. I asked the chauffeur if he knew English.
“Okay, so we’ll first go to…”, I said, handing him the address which I had written down on a piece of paper.
Once I reached, I sprang down and paced up to her house. It was locked. I asked the neighbor whether he had an idea when she would return.
“No Sir. To the best of my knowledge, no one stays in this house.”
Rubbish. I thought I should write a note and slide it through under the door. She would probably read it and respond.”Hello, I came to your house today. It was locked. Your phone isn’t reachable either. Please let me know when you would be here.” I was about to slide it through under the door, when I suddenly realised how futile it was going to be. The keys had been slid through already, and it was intentional. She wanted me to open the door. I took the key, a single one, no bunch, no fancy. Once I was inside the room I looked through the entire house again. I had to comprehend what it was that was missing.
After a few minutes, things started becoming a bit more distinct. There was indeed something missing. There was no cupboard. No place to keep her clothes. And there were no clothes anywhere else yesterday. The neighbor was correct. No one stayed in this house. I locked the door, slid the key under it, and left.