Anil meets a girl Siya in Rome and again in Venice . He thinks he had earlier met this girl in India but she denies .Now read further …..
I turned my face away, took off my cap , put it in my pockets and walked into the Basilica . Here also we found not much to our interest but once you are in Rome and return without seeing the Colosseum and the Vatican , you will be a laughing stock . We have read in school books - Rome was not built in a day .
Anyway we finished both the places and were back to our hotel in the evening . Next day both I and Alok kept ourselves confined in my room and finalized the presentation scheduled for Monday morning .
Both I and Alok got ready by 8 AM on Monday . Our presentation was scheduled in another hotel ‘ Albergo del Senato ‘ . We could reach there by 9.30 AM . We were guided to the mini conference room by the client’s official . Shortly after the formal exchange of introductions from both sides , I started the presentation on time . The presentation lasted nearly three hours with a short 15 minute break in between . After I was finished I sat in my chair and started covertly studying reactions on faces of the client's top brass . To me they seemed satisfied and happy .
After the presentation , the client's CEO invited us for lunch . Till then there was not a word from their side on their approval of our dream project . But soon after lunch there was a formal farewell meeting where the CEO announced his approval of our project . At last we could see the sight of relief and happiness on each other’s faces. I immediately informed my boss in India . Boss congratulated us and he too was very happy as it was a multi million Euros deal. Immediately he approved a one week paid leave and tour of Europe for both of us.
Alok And I went back to our hotel in the afternoon . Both sat over a cup of coffee and discussed how to plan a week trip to Europe . Both agreed that our job offered plenty of overseas trips and our tour should not be hectic and tiring. So we decided to limit our trip to Italy and its neighbor France . Both decided to see Venice first .
I booked air tickets for the two of us for Venice Marco Polo airport , the nearest airport to Venice . Next morning we were on a flight to Venice and it took nearly an hour to land there . I deliberately booked seats on the right side of the plane as I had learnt from friends that sitting on the right side while landing in Venice you get landing views which are simply out of words .
After a couple of hours of rest in the hotel we stepped out to see the beauty of the lagoon and its waterways . Water forms roads of Venice and the ferry is the only means of transport within Venice . We took a ferry to Murano island where a very famous glass factory is located . Tourists can have a live show of items being produced . They are taken to their showroom which displays items made by them . One can buy on the spot or he can order it and the company will ship it to their address . It was again a hot day and we were sitting on a bench under the cooling shadow of a tree and waiting for the next show time. Shortly two girls came near and one of them asked “ Can we sit here ? “
“ Sure , why not . Oh, it’s you here also . “ She was the girl I met in the Vatican city .
“ Yes , it’s me . “ she said laughingly
Here this girl was in a traditional Indian dress , Shalwar kurta with hat on her head and sunglasses covering her eyes and a part of her face . I looked at her face for some time and said “ I am sure you are from India .”
“ Yes, pretty sure , my dress can easily reveal that .”
Again my mind said you have seen this girl in India . I gathered some courage and asked “ Yes , you have learnt some lessons at the Vatican yesterday and didn’t take risk of any dress code. Anyway , which city of India do you belong to ? “
“ I am from Hyderabad . “
“ O my God , from Hyderabad !”
“ Yes , but what’s wrong with Hyderabad ? “ she said
“ Nothing wrong but something good . I am Anil , I am also from Hyderabad . That’s why I was trying to recall from the very first day that I have seen you earlier . Well, meet my colleague Alok . “
Both said hi and then she said “ I am Siya and she is my friend and colleague Rita . “ Again there was an exchange of hi from both ends . By that time the glass factory opened for show and we went in . All four of us were sitting on the same bench during the show and chatting in between .
After the glass factory show we wanted to wrap up sight seeing and enjoy the grand canal gondola ride the next day . Both Rita and Siya were also walking with us on the sidewalks of the canal. They had their backpacks on their backs. We had some pasta at the canal - side restaurant . Then in another three hours we finished with the Basilica and Doge’s Palace . All were tired and now I wanted to go to the hotel . Siya and Rita were too tired and their fatigue appeared on their faces . I took Siya’s backpack and Alok took Rita’s .
“ I asked Siya “ Where are you staying ? We will drop you there .”
Rita said “ We have yet to check in at any cheap hotel . When we came here , it wasn’t the proper time to check in . To avoid paying a 2 day price , we thought we would check in later on . “
Simultaneously Siya was looking for a cheap lodge / hotel on her mobile . I was watching her , and I said “ You can come to our hotel with us .I will try to get you cheap accommodation there .“
We all reached the hotel and all were sitting in my room . I called the front desk and said “ Is there any budget room available with you? I have some guests who need it .”
“ Yes sir , we do have but it’s a suit like the one you have. It will cost the same amount but as a goodwill gesture we can give a 5 % discount. “ hotel man said
“ Okay , I will let you know shortly . “ and further said to Alok and the girls “ there is a suit like ours but it’s somewhat costly .”
Alok said “ Don’t bother the girls . I have an idea .” and he whispered in my ears “ Our company has granted a trip for both of us . Why can’t we have two rooms separately in our names? The girls will be spared of expenses . After all, we all are from the same city ,Hyderabad . “
I said “ Good idea but do you want to impress or flirt with these girls ? “ Both of us started laughing looking at Siya and Rita .
“ What happened ? What makes you laugh at us ? “ Siya asked
“ My friend is trying to offer his room as a compliment . Probably he is trying to impress or flirt with you guys .” and I smiled
“ No, no . How can you think that we can share a room with you guys ? “ Siya said
“ Relax . I am not telling either of you to share with either of us . My company has given us two rooms, one for each of us . We will be accommodated in one room and you both will be in another room . And don’t forget to have a complimentary breakfast in the morning . Your dinner will be sponsored by me . No flirting or impressing any of you . “
“ You won’t impress or flirt with either of us . Rita already has a boyfriend with whom she is going to be engaged shortly . For me , to think of a boyfriend is next to impossible .” she said blinking her right eye and a cute smile on her face
“ But why is it impossible?”
“ Family reasons . Stop this gossip here itself ,No further talks on it .”
“ Ok. sorry .”
In the meantime the hotel informed me that the second room was ready . Siya and Rita went into their room saying ‘ thanks ‘ .