Chapter 28 |  Traveling is Liberty

Maya took her phone out and checked the next flight to India. She realized the immediate flight in the next 6 hours is the one flying to Mumbai. Maya booked her ticket and went to Shiv’s room. She knocked the door twice. Shiv opened the door and went back to sleep. Maya was hurt with Shiv. She quietly packed her clothes, took her passport and wrote a note: ‘I am going back to India. I am breaking up with you.’ She kept the letter on the table by the window and removed the ring and placed it on the letter with the ashtray lying around on the table.

Maya looked at Shiv who was lying like a dead man on the bed. He never drank so much that he didn’t notice what is going on around. She recollected Shiv’s behavior from the night before and rushed out of the door. While walking towards the lift, a hotel server asked her if she wants him to help her with the luggage. Maya asked the server if he could help her find a taxi to the Airport. He smiled and assured her he will get a hotel cab arranged for her.
After an hour’s journey in the cab, Maya reached the Airport. She was confused with the procedures, but she figured it out.
Once she checked in and was waiting for the announcement of her flight, she messaged Shyama: ‘I’m leaving for India.’
She immediately got a reply from her: ‘WHAT? Are you crazy?’
Maya replied, ‘I am not ready for the commitment and I just need to be left alone.’
Shyama replied: ‘Got it. Where are you going – Pune or Kolkata?’
Maya replied: ‘Don’t tell Shiv. Mumbai… I will take a bus from Mumbai to Pune.’
Shyama replied: ‘Noted’
Maya boarded her flight and till the last moment she was expecting a call or text from Shiv. The flight was the longest she has ever been thinking. She cried in the entire flight and reached Mumbai with swollen eyes. She got a cab from the airport to the nearest Bus service. While in the bus, Maya decided to not switch on her phone. She slept in the 5 hour bus journey and took a cab till her home. Her home was locked for quite some time. There were some letters in the mail. The watchmen helped Maya with the luggage. Maya locked the door and cried on the top of her voice, unless she fell asleep, once again.
She woke up with a headache. She looked at herself and asked, “What are you crying for? You broke off the engagement! You decided to stand up for yourself. You decided to not deal with his bullshit. Then why are you crying?” She ended up crying more and fell asleep on her couch.
The next morning, Maya woke up with the society children yelling and playing, under her window. She looked around and realized she was a mess. She took a shower and wore fresh and comfortable clothes and made a huge cup of tea for herself. She dreaded but tried to switch her phone on, but it was dead with no charge. May took it as a sign and kept it off and put it away for charging. She was nowhere near any electronic device that would connect her to Shiv or the outer world. She grabbed her wallet and went out shopping for grocery. She had to get her life back. She had been too dependent on Shiv and she had to get over it and move on. She went to the nearest grocery supermarket and got food for a month or two in a go. She treated herself with Ice-Cream and sat on the balcony of her house and looked outside. This was the time to analyze things.
Maya knew that Shiv was upset because she introduced him as a ‘friend’. Maya told herself, “Why did you do that?” After a pause she continued, “Because, I wanted to. I don’t have to give any explanation to anyone. If I had to flirt with Pranshu or any guy, I would have done that without Shiv knowing it at all.” She filled her mouth with a spoon full of ice cream and had a brain freeze for a while. She finally decided to switch on her phone and check her texts and emails.
She kept on getting messages as soon as she switched it on. The message tone irritated her. She wanted to run away from all of this, once again. She felt trapped.
She too out her weekend trip bag from the top of her cupboard, filled it with shorts, t-shirts, books, make up. She wore a grey T-shirt with dark blue jeans, kept her phone at home. She threw the house keys in the bag and grabbed her wallet and went to the nearest tourist place and asked the guy at the counter if they have any buses going to Goa. The tourist guy informed her there was a sleeper bus going to Goa but in 2 hours. She booked herself a bus ticket and decided to take a room once she reached there. She felt weird as she didn’t have her phone with her but she couldn’t handle it anymore. She took her bag and went to the mobile shop near the bus stop, she got herself a ‘second-hand’ basic phone that would help her call the police in case of emergency. She also got a SIM card and was informed it would be activated in 4 hours.
Two hours passed by, and her bus for Goa arrived. Her seat was a single seat which was third from the back. It was a bed like seat with a curtain and huge window. Maya got comfortable in her seat and took out her first book. She started reading unless the bus took a dinner halt somewhere at the end of Maharashtra. Maya went to the restaurant and was joined by a co-passenger who was from the same bus. He asked Maya, “Going to Goa alone? Work?” Maya looked at him and ignored his question. He introduced himself as Deva. Deva did most of the talking while Maya nibbled on her sandwich and excused herself from the table and got a lot of packs of chips and chocolates.
In the bus, Deva was right behind Maya’s seat and made himself comfortable at Maya’s seat to talk. Maya finally lost her cool and told Deva, “Dude! I am going to Goa to find some peace. I need to be alone and you’re not letting me do that. Please leave!” Deva smiled and said, “Looks like we are sailing on the same boat – hahahaha I meant riding on the same bus. Anyway, enjoy.”
Maya took a nap until Deva woke her up saying, “Hey Miss. Leave Me Alone our Goa is here.” Maya looked lost and for once she thought all this was a dream. She was shocked that she actually left Pune for Goa just after she came from New York. It also struck her suddenly that the break up was real. Maya gave Deva a friendly smile and thanked him. He strode forward while Maya gathered her stuff and climbed down the bus to feel the Goa breeze. She could hardly take in the Goa feels when she was attacked by a lot of men asking her if she wanted a room. Maya denied them all and started walking towards the market area. The bus dropped them at Mapusa and Maya wanted a room near a beach. She took a taxi from the Mapusa taxi stand to Calanghute and walked on the beach with her small luggage bag and stopped at one resort that was right in front of the beach. She enquired if they had a room that directly took her to the beach and they showed her the room. The room was small and had an open balcony, which connected to the beach. Maya kept her bag in the room, locked it and went right to the beach.
She quietly stared at the sunset with a bottle of beer in her hand.

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