Kabir Singh

May 22, 2022

Age Gap, Interfaith


Surrogate's feature image

Tridha Chattopadhyay was a brilliant student. She was pursuing her MBBS and lived in a girls' hostel. Her family lived in the same town, but she chose to stay at the hostel because it would give her more time to study. She has been studious ever since her school days.

Tridha watched many Disney animation movies and read romance novels while growing up. She was under the notion that God had created a Prince charming for her. That she would certainly bump into him at some point in her life. She thought she had found him when she met Jitesh.

Jitesh was a brilliant yet badass student from her college. No one in the college had ever seen him studying, despite never failing to impress with his mark sheets. Tridha fell for him, and they hit it off. Tridha lost her virginity to him.

The relationship with Jitesh reflected poorly on Tridha's performance. Her focus was not as sharp anymore. Marks kept faltering with every test and exam. She wasn't affected by the side effects, but she's heartbroken when Jitesh breaks it off with her. She finds herself under stress and anxiety and opts for alcoholism.

All this while there's an Auto Driver, Umar Iqbal.

Umar is in his early forties, married, and has two kids. He wears a traditional Kurta Pajama and skull cap at all times. Whenever he is driving, he wears an oversized Khaki shirt on top. Umar is scrawny, five feet eight inches tall, and malnourished. The meat of dimension 7.9x3.1x3.4 keeps wilting between his legs. He is incredibly thick for a man of his shape and size. He is addicted to tobacco and chewing the Pan Masala throughout the day. His teeth are tainted red, and his mouth reeks of the specific brand of Pan Masala he consumes regularly. His unkempt beard turning white tells everything about the stressful life he is leading.

Umar lived next to the building where Tridha's parents lived. A few months ago, Tridha got on his Auto-rickshaw on her way to the hostel. It happened a few more times. Umar would park his auto next to Tridha's building every Sunday evening. It became a usual thing for them. He always called her Ma'am and treated her with respect. Tridha felt pity for him just because of the way he looked. Tridha then started to call him to pick her up whenever she had to come home from the hostel.

It was a regular day for Umar when he received a call from Tridha. She told him to pick her up from the hostel; she had to go home.

Umar arrived at the hostel, but she was nowhere to be found. Usually, Tridha would be waiting by her hostel's main door. After waiting for fifteen minutes, he calls her. She didn't pick up. Umar was on his way back after waiting for another fifteen minutes when Tridha called her. She said she had a mood swing and went to Irish House pub to get drunk.

Umar turned around his Auto-rickshaw and went to the pub. He had to wait outside for a while. When Tridha comes out, she's hammered and barely able to walk. Umar had to help her get in the backseat. She kept blabbering about random things on their way. Everything felt gibberish to Umar.

When he was driving by on a bridge, he made a decision. He deviates from the main road and leads his rickshaw onto a muddy road that leads to the river bank flowing underneath the bridge. When he parked the rickshaw, he noticed that Tridha had passed out. Umar went to the backseat and ogled at her pretty face at a few inches' distance. He holds her hand, touches her bosom hesitantly, and even squeezes.

She retches out of nowhere and wakes up, still dazed. She turns her face away from Umar and starts to vomit. It was disgusting for Umar. All the lust he had for her dissipated in a second. Tridha whispered the name of Riya, her roommate from the hostel. Umar takes her phone from her purse and unlocks it using her thumbprint and calls Riya, and explains the situation to her. Riya told him to bring her hostel and not to take her home. So he does after he cleans up his auto using the water from the river and dirty clothe he had for cleaning his rickshaw. He gives a sponge bath to Tridha to keep the backseat clean when driving back.

The next day Tridha woke up and learned how Umar saved her from getting in trouble. Umar had told the story to Riya except for the groping part, and now Tridha's emotions for Umar had changed. She thought of him as a Saint and even felt guilty about putting her through such a night. She thought of him as a father surrogate now.

The same evening she called Umar and asked him to pick her up. She wanted to visit a temple that she'd used to every week before her breakup. She had decided to quit alcohol and ask for forgiveness from Umar personally.

To be continued...

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