Lost and Found

For the better part of an hour now, she’d been walking around, looking for any clue about the rest of her tour group. She accidentally got separated while trying to grab an ice cream from a near by parlour. “Damn that ice-cream”, she thought cursing herself to be so careless. ย Her phone was dead and there were no taxis or rickshaws in this part of the town. She tried asking for directions but she didn’t understand the local language. Finally she spotted a guy sitting on the side of the footpath, a little distance ahead of her. He was carrying a backpack and looked like a tourist himself.

“Excuse me, do you know the way to Astitva Gardens?”, she asked walking up to him. He looked up from his cellphone and for a second or two didn’t say anything, just kept staring at her. She immediately regretted her decision, feeling nervous, she started to step back a little just as he smiled, shook his head and stood up. “I’m so sorry, that must have been so weird. I was just surprised and a bit relieved in fact to finally find someone who speaks English. But then I realised you’re lost too!” “Oh…”, she eased up. “By the way, I’m Swastik”, he held out his hand. “I’m Anamika”, she said taking it. “So, you’re heading to Astitva Gardens?”, he asked. “Yeah, I got separated from my group and my phone’s battery is drained.” “That’s alright, I was just looking for directions to the gardens on my phone, thankfully it’s not dead. See, we gotta take that side road over there and walk for 600m”, he said pointing to the left. “Alright, let’s get going”, she said as they started walking.

Twenty years later, a middle-aged couple was standing at the same spot. They seem to be arguing over something. “It was the left side road”, the woman said confidently. “No it was not! It was on the right. And anyway it was me who lead the way that day. You were walking around like a lost scared kitten when I found you”, he mocked her. “The hell I was! As if you were any better. And reading from your phone isn’t calledย leading the way.” she replied. “Alright, let’s see who is right”, he said taking out his phone from his pocket. He quickly typed in Astitva Gardens and turned on the navigating button. ‘Take the side road on your left and walk for 600m’, said the computerised voice. “So, who’s leading now, my dear husband?”, she asked triumphantly as they started walking.

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