On the contrary, Ayesha now cut a sorry figure. Her face was sans makeup, hair in a state of disarray, with not a piece of jewelry on her body and clothes that did not do justice to the glory of the Ayesha of yesteryear. Shikha noticed with disbelief that the dress that she was wearing had worn-off and was also giving away at the seams. Suddenly her eyes met Shikha’s. She took a second to recognize Shikha before she brought herself to respond to her old friend’s cheery wave with a forced smile. But her eyes welling with tears had another story to tell. Before they could exchange any form of communication, the signal on the other side turned green and the bus moved forward, taking Ayesha away towards her destiny.
There was no way Shikha could get in touch with Ayesha after that. She was not accessible on her old numbers and neither did she respond to her emails. After much digging around, a few days later Shikha got to know the reason behind the state Ayesha was seen in. Apparently, Ayesha’s husband and her father had tied up to setup a massive business venture. It was all going well till the time Ayesha’s husband was alleged to have been involved in some dubious scam that left them bankrupt. Her husband was behind bars and her father had lost all his money in the venture. Her father could not handle the stress of the turn of events and passed away shortly. Each and every asset they had possessed was seized in the process. Though Shikha had heard of the scandal, she had not associated with Ayesha’s husband, since she had met them only once in the recent years.
Ayesha was on the roads, rendered helpless. In spite of being well-educated she was rejected at many job interviews due to her husband’s scandalous background. Ayesha now worked as small-time clerk in a small private company which paid her a paltry amount to fend for herself.