Friday, December 2, 2011

A lot can happen over a coffee: A Love story


“Just love you so so much”
“Love you too my sweetheart” she said holding my hand.
I was getting lost in her eyes and a song started to play in the background,
“And now that your gone, just wanna be with You”                               

Oops wrong timing. No One’s gone anywhere Its  just enrique’s song from set as my ringtone. What a vociferous mum n three snoozed alarm couldn’t do, a ringing mobile did pretty well in the realm of waking up the prince from his slumber.  It was a dream. Damn…!!!

With one eye closed and the other too half open, looked at the mobile screen to see an unknown number calling. Somehow against my inner motivation to reject the call, managed to pick up just to see who was the lucky chap to get into my hit list today?
The only thing that could give you more warmth than a quilt in the great Delhi winter is a girl in your arms. And I certainly wasn’t having one. So I needed some payback.

Surprisingly a girl from other side spoke
“Hello, is it Ashu?”
“Yes .Whose  it?”
“Gud morning Ashu. Snigdha this side.”
“Sorry I don’t want any credit cards, I told you . I just love it as cash. No cards please.”
“Excuse me??” she said perplexed..
“What? Don’t you people at the bank sleep? And why disturb people at such early hours?”
“Do you even realize whom you are talking to weirdo? I am snigdha, sonakshi’s friend. Remember sonakshi?” she said agitated.

SONAKSHI.  That was the name that brought me back to my senses.

“I am really sorry. Actually I was half asleep. Moreover a girl with similar name as yours has been pestering me with credit card offers for last two days . So…..”, I lied.

‘It’s okay” she replied

“So what made you call me such early, everything fine??” I asked..
“Yup almost.”
“Almost ??”
“Tell me something. Are you free today??” She asked.

“Sort of. But why?” I replied.

That “sort of “meant, I had to to drop my sis to school, then have a 3 hour tuition, had to go shopping with mum for cousin’s wedding, had to attend a friend’s birthday party, etc etc etc.

“Can you come to meet us today?”
“What happened??”

Next voice from other side was Sonakshi herself.

As a matter of fact, sonakshi is a school friend of mine, a very close friend I must say. And in my confession mode I would say, I sort of liked her, in reticence though. Just couldn’t ever gather the courage to tell her. Her astonishing charm and entice always stood in the way. She was a sure shot 8 pointer on our “Rate-The-Looks” scale (her highness Katrina Kaif being the benchmark with 10 on 10). And me, being modest would say, could manage to get passing marks if the observer was lenient. However strong and true your feelings might be for your special one but in the end looks do matter.

“HI Ashu..”, sonakshi spoke in case u forget where we were.
“Hey, how are you?? Everything fine dear??” I asked
“Can you come to meet me today?”
A question in reply to a question meant something was wrong. She sounded low. Her usual sweet voice had a tone of sadness in it. Audible sobs followed after every two words.

“What happened??” I enquired.
Snigdha snatched away the phone from her.
“Are you coming??” Again a question in reply to a question. Girls. I tell you, they would never give you the answers.
“Yes, of course. But for heaven sake tell me what happened??”

“Meet us at Rajiv Chowk metro station at 8.30 .Will tell you everything there”
“But…But….but..” and she hung up. Can't these girls listen to us, just for once?
Now that wasn’t a great way to start the day. Agreeing to meet them meant I had to miss my lecture and  bunk the shopping trip or vice versa. But nothing matters now, I needed to go. Sonakshi wanted to meet me. She wanted to meet me.

I looked at the watch. I had 45 minutes to reach my destination. I started planning in my mind about what excuse I could make at home and what activities I could miss to reach on time. Could I miss to take a bath? Neah. Just couldn’t let the girls drown under my captivating body odour. In a dash got up from my bed and in 15 minutes (I don’t know how) I was ready. Had to miss my breakfast though.

Mind started to vacillate over the mode of transport to use. Should I use the metro? Economical, air conditioned, ecofriendly  or should I go with my R-15(yes I loved it). But why take the bike which consumed fuel no less than a ferrari on a race track when you don’t even have a girlfriend? Moreover being a Eco(h) student myself, had to think of my country’s fuel crisis. So weighing no pros and all the cons, decided to go with the former environment friendly and more importantly pocket friendly option.

The chilly January morning wind made me put a jacket on. The weather was in total contrast to beginning of my day, calm, cool and beautiful. Boarded metro from the nearest station and reached there almost on time.
Got out from the AFC (Automatic Fare Collection) gate at the station. Always wondered how they read those tokens. Damn. It wasn’t really a time for my scientific research.

There she was waiting for me at the exit, looking as gorgeous as ever in her black top n blue denims. Her flawless white skin, her cute face, those penetrating eyes, everything about her was so perfect. For a moment I didn’t even notice Snigdha standing beside her. But today those deep blue eyes had a hint of red in them, and it wasn’t tough to discern that she was up and cried all night.

A smile came on their faces on seeing me. Shona’s mattered to me more. 
“What happened?” I fired after a casual hand shake.
“Let’s sit somewhere n then we will talk” Snigdha replied though I never asked her.

And we walked towards the nearby CCD (cafĂ© coffee day). Walking inside the CCD with two girls and little cash in my wallet (Rs 423 to be precise) didn’t seem to be that good an  idea but couldn’t help it. Thought of calling Sid to bring in some cash. Sid is my best friend and owns a Honda city. But trust me, the city had nothing to do with him being my best friend. And even if it did, it wasn’t the right time to discuss that.

“What would you both like to have?” I asked them and I so badly wanted them to say oh nothing we are fine but sometimes things like these are not in your hands. ”A cold coffee would do” they both said in unison.

My mind started the calculations, 120 +120= 230 oops 240.
Don’t laugh. I was never good at maths and my class 12th  results stood a testimony to it.

“Here are your coffees .”
“You are not taking anything??” shona asked .
”Nah just had my breakfast .” I lied though I wanted to say If you are ready pay my bill I can give it a 2nd thought.
“Now tell me what happened??” I again asked or I must say pleaded this time.

“She broke up with him last night.”  Snigdha informed.
Who is HIM??
Him here refers to pulkit, sonakshi’s boyfriend. Pulkit was another reason for me to hide my feelings.

I was shocked to hear that though a little happy somewhere inside.And you know why.
”What??” That was all I said though I wanted to add “Good job done” but decided to  keep those words for some other time. “Yeah we had a argument last night and we broke up” this time thankfully shona replied.
“But why??” I questioned.
“Because of you” Snigdha replied to my question.
“Me??” I stumbled.
“Yeah you remember you and Shona went to kamla nagar a few days back?”
“How can I forget that day” I thought to myself reliving the entire day spent with her in my memories.
“So?” this was all I added in the conversation. “Pulkit saw you both there n when he asked her about where she was…..she lied to him about being with you. And you already know how fond of u pulkit really is” she said sarcastically. “So, what can I do about it?? I already told her not to talk to me if her psycho boyfriend doesn’t like it.” I said frustrated and agitated.

“You boys never understand anything. She broke up with pulkit for you” she fired on me. “Now what is that supposed to mean??” I replied puzzled.

“Do you like her?” Snigdha again fired like an AK-47. A bombshell was dropped on me.
”What?” I replied helpless to speak anything else.
“Don’t you understand simple english? I asked do you like her??”.
“Where does this come from??”
“Answer my question”?
Don’t know was it Shona’s captivating eyes or the sadness on her face which made me blurt out a “yes”.
“My job is done. Over to you.” Snigdha said to sonakshi.
I had no idea what was going on.

Finally Shona spoke.
“You are my best friend Ashu. But would you mind replacing the word “best” with “boy” ”.
I was gaping at her bewildered.
“I like you.” she enchanted.
The connection between my heart and mind was disrupted for a few seconds due to sudden downpour of feelings.
“Are you serious?” is all I could manage for a reply.
“Do I look to be joking? Tell me what you think about it. Do u like me??”.She said holding my hand.
It took me a few seconds to get back to my senses and believe that indeed a girl was proposing me.
“Have I ever said a no to you?” I said with a wink.
A beaming smile appeared on her face and she hugged me across the table.
“I think I must take a leave” Snigdha intervened.
“Yes you should.” We both said in unison for her job was done.
“Huh. Screw you both. Anyways thanks for the coffee.”
“Anytime.” I replied without even looking at her.

3 hours ago I was dreaming of a date with her now I was living that dream indeed. I was on cloud no.11 if it existed; no.9 wasn’t enough to express my elation.
Walked out of CCD with her by my side. I was a bit apprehensive because I had lied at home and here I was with my 45 minute old girlfriend on the streets of best couple hangout place in Delhi. I was amidst my thoughts when she held my hand and put it around herself. The apprehensions in me rose to a new level. Removed my hand on receiving a few “you are disgusting” looks from a few senior members of the society and the “You don’t deserve her” stares from the younger lot. She looked at me surprised and held my hand again and that comforted me enough that I could give everyone a “you better give it a second thought” look.

We sat down at the metro station with her head rested on my shoulder. She started showing me some pics of her family and friends in her phone. But honestly, to this day, I don’t have a clue about her family tree because I was too lost in the innocence on her face to give any attention to the snaps.

“Are you listening to me?” she asked catching me lost.
“Yeah yeah of-course”
“Oh really?? Then would you mind telling me what I was talking about??”
“Ummm about your family?” spoke my ingenuity.
“Thanks for such a witty answer.” She said mocking a punch at me.
“You are so beautiful.”
“I know.” she replied with a wink.

Entered the metro station, and damn, I still had no time for my research on AFC gates and tokens. My nobel prize deserving research paper was indefinitely postponed.

We both ran, she held my hand and we boarded the  metro. I wished I had brought my bike.
The announcement explained the ugly stares I received upon boarding the metro, “Male passengers are requested to not to enter the coach reserved for ladies.”

Oops I didn’t realize under the intoxication of her presence, I had got in to metro through the first coach  of metro reserved for ladies to be. I walked swiftly to the next coach dodging the glances of pretty girls and ladies.

And there we stood at the junction of 2 compartments (ofcourse I was not in woman’s compartment anymore,she was), our eyes locked. Wanted to personally thank metro man Mr. E. Sreedharan for giving us the metro gifting me the 20 most beautiful minutes of my life.

Her mum had called and she had to be home. So took an auto from the metro station though I wished to walk with her but we had to reach on time.
Stopped the auto at a distance from her home.
“I Don’t want to leave” she said.
“Don’t want you to leave either but u gotta go”

Hugged her tight and left her hand (unwantedly though which I held for last 1 hour) to let her go. She winked and left.
My God, I loved those winks.

My cell beeped a few minutes later.
“Am screwed.  Bhai  saw us together.” Her message read.
A shiver ran down my spine.
“Am coming to explain. Don’t worry”

“BAKKRA banayaa !!!! just kidding mum had to go somewhere, that’s why called me home.” a wink at the end of the message said it all.

My God I hated those winks.

“You just gave me a heart attack. I hate you.”
“Nothing can happen to your heart. Its in my safe custody. And I love you.” she replied.
“Love you too” was all I managed to reply.

Met Prateek in the evening , my only friend in the neighborhood, to inform him of the day’s happening.
“Hey guess what happened today??”
“You had a bath..!” he replied, his words drenched in sarcasm.
“How do you know that?”
“It’s visible on your face.” He said mocking at me.
“Shut up…I just wanted to tell you that I am in a relationship”
“Ok”. Ok?? That's it? Come on, I am in a relationship and he says, ok..

“Screw you” I replied.
“I can’t even say that to you. You are committed. You have screwed yourself already.” Pat came his reply and he started to laugh. The day ended with us celebrating with a few bottles of miscellaneous soft drinks down our food pipes.

Came home at night and yes I didn’t miss the b’day party (How could I?? It was free dinner..!!). A silent smile on my face was enough to let mum ask questions that I couldn’t answer.
“I am tired mum…going to sleep. Talk to you tomorrow.” I escaped.
And the day ended with a status on Facebook that read,

Ashu changed his relation status from 'Single' to 'Committed'.


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Copyright: Prateek Kinger