It was the winter of 2017. I was in 11th standard and had decided to visit my sister in Pune for winter break. I felt going to my parents in UP from Hyderabad would be expensive. My sister had said that when she first came to Pune, she had a wonderful feeling about the city. I on the contrary had no such feeling. And that’s in fact a good thing. The things or people I start liking from the very first meeting usually turn out to be ones I hate a lot. Till date I have not found any negative point about the city apart from the part that a lot of marathis take the help of sympathy to woo girls, but that only makes me smile. So that dosen’t count.
It was my second day there and my sister had gone to office. I did have a list of things I wanted to do in the holidays but was still a mooch until my sister came back. I did have the freedom to explore the city. I just didn’t have the confidence. One of the best things about visiting your siblings living in a different city is the freedom they give you . I did not have much freedom at home. Not even in hostel. I didn’t even have complete freedom in my first year in college.I had thought that I would have complete freedom after entering BITS. But that didn’t happen. My plan of going for a trek was taken with much reluctance and was finally called off. It was only now in my second year that I was allowed to go for a trek.
I went to the hall. The flat was a furnished one. The flat owner was a lady who lived somewhere abroad with her husband and had kept the rent considerably low. At one corner of the hall there were some books piled up. There were a few national geographic magazines.I selected two of the ones which I felt like reading and was checking out the other books when I spotted a diary in the pile. It was a normal black diary with the year written on it. I expected it to be a to do list or expense monitoring diary. Nevertheless, I took the two magazines and the diary and sat down to read them near the balcony(my sisters flat is on the 9th floor). I opened the diary. It had the name Milan Preet Kaur. I instantly felt that I was familiar with that name and soon it struck me that the name of the WiFi in the flat was Milan. Earlier when I had asked why was the WiFi name Milan, she had said that milan was the name of the girl who used to live in the flat, probably few years before my sis moved in.
I had someone’s personal diary. The book that tops my list of favourite books is others’ personal diaries. I opened a random page. Milan had written in the whole page and had scribbled all the lines one by one. Yet it could be read but with some difficulty. I flipped back the pages to read from where the diary entry started. In the diary entry she talked about how her elder brother had more freedom than her. She had wanted to go to a concert but wasn’t allowed. After reading the entry, I turned to another random page. This page had some photographs. In one of the photos there was a girl and a boy. I could tell it was Milan and her brother . she was in her teens; probably 15. She had sharp features and lithe body. I kept flipping the pages and reading her. Not the present Milan. But Milan as she was in her teens. I had been reading for 2 hours when I reached the last page. On the inside of the back cover was her email id and google + id.
In the evening when my sister came home we went out. When I came back I took di’s laptop and sent milan a mail saying I came by her diary which she must have left behind and that I would be leaving that diary near the shelf where I had found it so that she could collect it the next time she visited Pune.