My unit was on the 5th floor. The unit in front of me was occupied by the mistress of a famous Datuk and unit by the side was occupied by an Indian guy ( Malaysian). We often met in the lift. He was very friendly and was very impressed with the fact that I spoke Tamil !. One day he asked me if I would have an eye on his apt as he is going home to get married.
My work hours were long and unpredictable and by then I was also told by my gynaecologist that I wouldn't be able to carry a baby. I wasn't too keen on meeting the newly arrived bride. My burdens were too heavy and I wasn't in a mood to be friendly. Besides, I also didn't own any accouterments needed to invite someone over for dinner. Each time I waited for the lift, I hoped I wouldn't meet the guy and his wife because I really didn't want to invite them over for a meal as required by the customs.
It was one such evening I was walking from the lift lobby to my apt with a great sense of relief that I dodged them again. I was also weary that they might come out of their house, so I usually quickened my steps when I was near their door.Just as I passed the door, I thought I heard a whimpering sound. Though I am deaf, I can hear sound at a certain frequency better and much as I wanted to think that I was imagining the sound, I was also sure that I did hear a whimpering sound. I looked at the door. Nothing unusual. I considered ringing the bell, but then I will have to talk and that would lead to the invitation for dinner. So I ignored the whimpering.
But over the next few weeks, I heard more whimpering. I also noticed that the guy started to lock the grill with a pad lock from outside.
Have you ever heard whimpering? It isn't a full fledged cry.it is not even a whine it is the little sounds of a broken cry..it is like someone is afraid to cry, and try to keep all the cries in a box and little cries escape every now and then. I heard it every time the guy left for work and it only stopped when he came back home.
I rang the bell one evening.
She didn't open the door.
I rang the bell again and again. She never opened the door. But the whimpering stopped everytime I rang the bell.
I kept thinking about the padlocked grill and wondered what if there is a fire? Has she got a spare key?
One evening, I rang the bell when I knew the guy is back from work. He closed the main door after him and came and opened the grill to talk to me.
I tried to chat. He wasn't interested.
I told him I would like them to come over for dinner. He had a dinner to go, a function at the temple, a friend's marriage etc for each of the sundays and public holidays till the end of the year. I finally tried my last card.
I asked " Where is your wife? I haven't seen her" and he replied, she is resting and went back inside.
I rang the bell every day.
She never opened the door. I don't think she was allowed.
Is she the only one? Nah, there were others..
ps. I haven't forgotten about the book. It is just that I am waiting for my tech support to finish the IT part, so I can publish the book as an ebook..and I can only write the blog in the morning and I tend to do that at daofto..