Monday, October 17, 2011


A decent drinking joint on Friday evening is something which turns me on. I was with Aditya, my only friend at my new work place. In just a span of 2 months he had become a close friend of mine. Aditya was telling me about his future plans with Natasha. They had known each other for many years now and recently Natasha proposed him. Normally, girls do not take this initiative but in their case Natasha did. Though, Natasha was in a different team (in our office only) but I knew her well.
“Man, she is cute…I never thought of marrying her but it all suddenly changed after she proposed me last month. I would be spending life with my best friend. Isn’t that great!!..”
“Yeah, absolutely;” I said carelessly. I was on my fifth peg and alcohol was dominating my senses now.
“I am staying at her place today;”.. he said
“Sooo..what am I supposed to do. Gift you condoms;”.. I said and smiled.
“Fuck you man.. You are crap..” This was the obvious reply from him. Normally I do not speak such language when a friend is in serious relation but this case was different; they both knew me well and never mind my crappy jokes
I smiled again and took another sip of my drink.
“By the way; I must say, you are lucky. She is nice. I have seen very few girls with so good sense of….
“Oh my god” He whispered
“What happened” I stopped my sentence in between and asked. Before, I could say another word, I saw a female standing besides our table. They both were looking at each other’s face. I noticed that they both are so stunned that they are not able to speak. I waited for some conversation to begin but it seemed they both were hypnotized. I waited some more seconds for something to happen and nothing happened. Alcohol had made my mind bit volatile and somewhat funny. In next few seconds, I imagined a world where no one speaks. I liked this thought and was going to build a story inside my mind but a sweet voice brought me back to the real world.
“I cannot believe this. How are you Adi? I….I am soo happy to see you (her voice was literally trembling)..”
“Sher…shreya……oh my God, I am are you and what are you doing here in Delhi. Its...its been so long, where were you all these years?..”
He stood up in excitement and suddenly something happened. They both hugged each other. “Old buddies” I thought. I waited for few seconds but nothing changed. “More than buddies” My thought changed .
“This is a long hug man, seriously” My mind was being funny again. “Seems I should Join them otherwise I will start crying..this situation is so senti” I would prefer funny over senti. I was trying to make all this humorous but suddenly something else happened…the girl started crying. this is too senti…I can’t handle this; a crying girl spoiling my Friday evening. I made a stupid looking face but no one noticed.
Actually, I was just inches away from them but it seemed that I don’t exist. I felt that I have become invisible. My mind again went off the track…a world where I am not visible. “It would probably be very interesting” I had started a conversation with myself. Talking to me was my only choice; no one was noticing me there.
I came back to reality. Few minutes had passed and good thing was that she had stopped crying. She was saying something to Adi…I mean Aditya. Natasha calls him A and this girl calls him Adi. I wondered why people shorten the name of their loved ones. Is it just because of comfort or shortening the name has something to do with degree of affection? A new theory was about to come in this world.
“Length of nick name given by friend of opposite sex in inversely proportional to the love they have for the person” I declared. Of course, nobody heard or responded.
I noticed she is speaking very slowly. Something was troubling her throat.
Shreya: “I am here with my colleagues. We came to Delhi for campus hiring. I saw you and couldn’t believe my eyes. It’s been more than 4 years. You haven’t changed a bit. Still hot..”
She tried to crack a joke and smiled as well, but, suddenly 2 large tears drops rolled out of her eye. I knew now, what was troubling her throat.
She wiped her tears and then for next few seconds no one spoke. I was about to move into some other world when I heard her voice again.
“It was my fault. 2 years are not that long time but I thought we would not be able to take it forward. I was so stupid. I missed you all these years. I should have contacted you. It was not that difficult but I am paying for what I did to you and………… me
“Ohooo, so this is a matter of purana pyar” I have started being interested in their conversation. And yeah, I was still invisible to them
Aditya: “It was not all your fault, it was mutual. Even I was not sure that long distance relationship can work. I was not even sure I would come back to India. I don’t have any bad feelings for you or about our relation. The time I spent with you is the best time of my life.”
“Ohhhh man, this statement is politically incorrect. I am glad Natasha is not here.” I almost smiled at my thought
Shreya: “We had a perfect relation Adi. I loved you so much but I screwed it all.”
She again started crying.
‘why girls cry so much?’.. I asked a question and my inner self replied almost suddenly ‘No idea idea at all’.. I suddenly felt an urge to smoke.
While I was standing I saw they are holding each other’s hand. I moved towards the smoking zone.
Aditya: “Why are you blaming yourself again and again? We were not that mature probably…we never thought our relation could…(he didn’t complete his sentence, I felt good about this, don’t know why). I tried to connect with you when I came back from Australia but then Venkat told me that you got married”.
It was an interesting turn in the story. The girl is married. I wish I could stay and hear the story but my priority was clear…cigarette!!
Smoking zone was actually at the terrace of the restaurant located on fifth floor of the building. When I reached there, I felt good. It was around 11 in night and cold breeze was making the environment perfect for smoking. I looked towards sky… was clear. The restaurant was at a quite place. I could hear the faint sound of moving vehicles somewhere. I don’t know how long I stayed there..probably half an hour and then I realized that I am missing the story. I turned back to move inside.
When I reached at my table I saw Aditya sitting quite with his heads down. He was lost. I knew he wants to cry but he wouldn’t.
I sat quietly. There was some drink left in my glass. He looked towards me but I didn’t ask anything
Aditya: “We should not have come here. Everything would be screwed now..”
“Why? What happened?” I asked
Aditya: “This girl was my ex girl friend. We had an affair during graduation. We were living in together for almost a year. We were so happy with each other. But we never looked at long term relation. I don’t know why. Probably we were too young and career was our first priority (Just like cigarette was mine, few minutes back…I understood the feeling). After grads, I was moving to Australia for my MBA and then we decided that we should finish this. We thought it would be cool. We both are of same type. I went to Australia and we were in touch for almost 6 months but then we couldn’t carry it further. I remember she once called me and said that she is not able to concentrate because of me and we should end this. We stopped talking after that but I used to ask my friends about her. One day my friend told me that she is going to IIM K for her MBA and then got engaged with someone. Life moved on…”
“So why are you worried? She is married and you have a girlfriend. Past is past. Forget it and don’t keep in touch with her and Don’t tell me that Purana pyar just revived after meeting her.” I said
“Her husband died just two months after their marriage. She is living alone since then” Aditya whispered. I couldn’t speak anything
She asked me whether I am married or engaged….”
What did you say?
Aditya: “I told her that I have a girlfriend. She did not say much after that and left soon…”
Good. Let’s move now.
We were sitting in his car. He wasn’t speaking anything. Alcohol effect had suddenly vanished from my mind. I knew what he is feeling inside. We did not speak to each other after that. He dropped me at my place and was moving.
I thought something and turned towards him “Don’t get in touch with her again. Did she give you her number or something?”
No ..
“ go and sleep and forget about this evening…”
I knew he would not. I was moving towards my house. I knew he would contact her. I also knew his present is going to have clash with his past. I don’t know why but I was feeling bad for Natasha. She had nothing to do with this complication but she was going to be a part of it soon. She is sweet and she truly loves him. At least as per my recent theory of shortening the names, she loves him more than Shreya.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

...and the journey continues

I wasn’t sure that the decision of leaving for Bangalore is right or wrong. It had been 2 months I was without job in Delhi and Bhai was suggesting me to try in Bangalore. When I put my papers in EY, I was very positive about the job offers from two companies. At both the places HR people had communicated that I am through. EY experience had not been good for me and I always wanted to leave the firm. I took a bold (or may be stupid) decision and resigned from EY without getting job offers from any other firm. Things turned rough after that and both the firms did not make the final offer. In the next two months, I had understood that if 2007 was a bad year for me, 2008 is going to be worse. I was right. Apart from the job factor some more surprises were waiting for me. Some really good ones. I was almost broken down by the way things were moving and then I decided to move to Bangalore. I was sad. I never wanted to leave Delhi.

I reached Bangalore on 23rd July, 2008. I was dying to get a job. I learned that the worst part about being jobless is not that you don’t get money; rather its loneliness you get when you have nothing but time. Pizzas losses its taste and all movies become boring when you are not happy from inside. Another thing which I realized during that time is that when your own strength breaks, the only thing which can force you to move ahead is the trust and motivation of your loved ones. Bhai and Bhabhi were doing the same thing for me at that time.

Somewhere in the last week of August I received a call from a consultant regarding some job opening in Kotak Mahindra Bank. I have never been interested in Bank jobs but I decided to give the interview. When I reached at the main branch of the bank I saw a big crowd of not so professionally dressed people (mostly boys and very few girls). I was under impression that this interview is for the operation division of the bank but to my surprise it was actually for a sales job. The profile was to sell credit cards to corporate sector people. I don’t know why but I gave the interview. Most of the guys there were simple graduates. I met with the regional head of the bank in last round and after having a look at my resume he just told me one thing.
“I know that you are not going to stay.”

I thought they will not take me but I got the job offer from the bank and they were offering me Assistant Sales Manager profile with the same package on which I had left EY. Keeping in mind the fact that I was not doing job since 4 months, the offer wasn’t bad. I was in big dilemma. From consulting to sales……doesn’t sounds to be a good switch. After doing analysis of each and every factor I decided to take up the job. I wasn’t happy. I felt like a looser.
Till the time Bhai and Bhabhi reached home from office I had already convinced myself to take up the job. When I informed my decision to them, Bhai just said two lines.
“You are not born to sell Credit Cards…forget about the job and keep searching the profile you want.”
(No offense to sales people. Its just that I am not interested in sales job)

I did not join that job. I was confused between two thoughts “am I missing an opportunity OR I am refusing to compromise”. I know time will give the answer. It gave.

Next week I cleared interview in a small business research firm. This job offer was special coz it offered me the profile I wanted. I stayed there for 2.5 years. Time moved on and I regained almost all the things which I had lost. My confidence, my self respect and above all “Myself”. Pizzas had become tasty again and movies a good option to pass time. People who had been criticizing me for many of my decisions had started taking my favor. And I was there noticing that how people change with time. Both the best and the worst part about time is that its keep changing. That’s how life works. 2009 went really good and I met some very good people who helped me a lot in erasing the bad memories of 2008.

2009 and 2010 passed very quickly. I guess that’s why people say that good time flies. Good friends, parties every weekend, regular holiday trips and no worries. But there was something else which made this time wonderful…company of two most wonderful people and closest friends throughout “Bhai and Bhabhi”.
During the second half of 2010 I had almost decided to settle down in Bangalore but destiny has got the best sense of humor in the universe. There was a time when I did not want to move out of Delhi and it forced me to move to Bangalore and when I had almost decided that I will settle down in the city I got a job offer from Delhi. Surprises meets you when you least expect them.

I had put down my papers and was serving my notice period. One day, I got a call on my mobile and some lady spoke on the other side
“Am I speaking to Mr. Niteesh?”
Yes you are.

“Sir, I am calling from Kotak Mahindra bank and we are offering you a life time free titanium credit card. Would you be interested in it? I can send my executive to your office to collect the documents”
No. I am not interested.

I cut the phone. I thought something and I smiled.
The small calendar on my work station was showing 7th dec 2010. “Just 5 days left, Bangalore….so many beautiful memories….so many wonderful friends….an awesome stop in the journey of life” I though and I put the calendar and some other stuff inside my bag. These all were gifts from my close friends. After all, memories and souvenirs are the only things left after a journey ends.