Friday, February 13, 2009
Harsh sprinted down the stairs, taking them two at a time. Reaching the bottom of the last flight, he turned and ran towards the door. Harsh, the smart suave CA who changed careers from Audit to Sales, found that Sales was his calling and rocked in the company. Smart and hard working, already moved into middle management at 30.Govind, the night-watchman wished him Good Night. Half-acknowledging the greeting, Harsh eyes searched in vain for an auto. One look at the deserted streets and it dawned on him that today was the auto union’s strike. Damn. What a day to give your car for servicing, he thought..Dammm..Silently cursing his bad luck, Harsh tried calling up his friend Shiv to summon help. Damn. The mobile was not reachable. Murphy’s Law had always worked against him and today seemed to be no exception. “I’ve got to hitch a ride. Preeti said 11 and I am already running late. Maybe I should buy her some flowers”
Walking purposefully towards the florist at the nearest chowk, Harsh saw a nice, sleek Black Santro a few metres ahead at the intersection. It appeared as if the driver seemed to be stuck in an argument with a traffic cop. Sensing his opportunity, Harsh moved in and said “Any problem?”
“Hey mate, I have no clue why this guy pulled me over but now he refuses to let me go and I can’t seem to figure out what he is saying.”
“Let me handle this” Harsh was a localite and spoke to the cop in Kannada and settled in just 2 minutes.
Harsh settled the issue by bribing the cop to ignore the “minor offence” of speeding,
“Thanks a tonne, mate. I am terribly late but I really owe you one so maybe you want me to drop you off somewhere?”
“That would be wonderful. Any chances are you heading towards Kormangala- Forum?”
“Touchwood – pile on”
“Wow. Thanks. So who’s the lucky chic?”
“Am just meeting a friend of mine – what about you, Mr. Flowers-In-Hand Romeo?”
Harsh grinned but did not reply back. It had been three months since he had first met Preeti in a training session and as usual, he had started off flirting shamelessly with her. Working together in the same department, Harsh had realized that he shared so much in common with Preeti as far as career goals and ambitions were concerned. Even so was their personal likes and dislikes. They both loved dancing, partying, but same time respecting and giving each other’s space to pursue career goals or other hobbies. Preeti still falls for his wonderful cooking, especially the chicken kebabs. They found tons of things likeable in each other So it didn’t surprise him too much when he actually found himself increasingly thinking seriously about the relationship. He had casually brought up this topic with her on a few occasions but had seen no green lights. Maybe something nice would happen today – his instinct told him there was a happy ending in store.
Friday, February 13, 2009
"F&^%, crazy son of a gun..f#$%^& !!!!" shouted Harsh from the side.
"Hey, what’s the matter with you, mister? Your girlfriend dumped you or something and you decided to end your life in front of my car. Would have happily run you down except that I’m just not in the mood for it - You better explain" said Vijay as he rolled down the glass and shook a fist at the visibly shaken guy standing in front of his car.
"S-s-sorry folks. I was just lost in my memories. I should not have strayed onto the road. I am sorry. I am kinda late for a date and I could not find an auto" mumbled the lanky jeans clad guy "Btw, the name's Girish" and proffered his hand.
"No time for all this. We're bloody late. I am heading to Kormangala- so if you want a ride, jump in" said Vijay.
"That would be really useful" said Girish, climbing into the rear and settling down after moving aside a big bouquet of flowers.
Watching him closely in the mirrors, Harsh asked "So. Where exactly are you headed?”
Fingering an exquisitely etched wooden casket, Girish exclaimed "Valentine Day party at Firangi Paani- There was so much work at office that I could not pick up my date for the evening - had to call her and fix up to meet straight at Firangi Paani. I just hope she is a good mood. Especially since I plan to ask her to marry me tonight."
Shifting gears and maneuvering the car ahead of a slow moving bus, Vijay remarked "Good luck mate". Harsh turned back and smiled. Returning the smile, Girish leant on the soft cushion, closed his eyes and tried to recall the strange phone conversation he had had with Preeti yesterday evening.
"Hi Girish. Guess who this is"
"Hmmm.. sounds familiar but please, I am no good at these guessing games. Can you please spare me this suspense?"
"Hey, its me - Preeti. Long time nuh..How are you doing ?"
""What a pleasant surprise. Hi Preeti. I am doing fine. Where were you these last six months ? I had called you up at office and even left behind numerous messages. You never called me back after that Barista date where I serenaded in front of everyone. Was I so awful that day ? We were supposed to see Dhoom:2, together, remember. What happened ?”
"Sorry yaar. But I shifted jobs and had to leave for the US on a short term assignment for my new company. You know how these things happen right ? I just came back on Wednesday and you are the first friend I am calling here."
"Great to hear that. So..Hmmmm...Whatcha doing tomorrow nite ?"
"Nothin' really...You've got any plans ?"
"Why don’t we hook up for that party at Firangi Paani? And I am leaving for Mumbai.
This is my last weekend in Bangalore.”
“Oh Really??/how come??
“Ya.I got promoted as a manager “
“So pucca na- Firaangi Paani?”
"Deal. But hey, I have to meet an old friend of mine so I will join you there directly. Shall we meet there at, say, eleven p.m."
"That sounds real cool. Ciao. Will catch ya then"
(To be concluded in next part :D )