Thursday, January 01, 2009

The sands of time

Hello Arun, how are you? When did you come back from US? I thought you still had six more months left, gushed forth a chirpy voice on the phone.

Oh, I came back last night. I just had to take care of a few things here before I can return, I said, as passively as ever, compared to her oozing enthusiasm.

OK, this is going to take you by surprise. I am getting engaged next month. Arvind and I have decided to get back, and I think, we have really understood each other well. Our marriage should take place in the next couple of months.

That was a bolt from the blue. Generally, girls come out with this weird statement, "You know, I need to tell you something important?" This sentence is generally the crucial sentence to analyze what's coming next. It does not require an Einstein to figure out whether she wants to confess her love for him or wants to confess her love for somebody else to him. But this was something different. She had blurted out without the usual clues.

I wouldn't even have thought of proposing to her if Arvind was still a part of her life, but both of them had separated at least a year and a half ago. All our lives had changed considerably during this time. Arvind had moved out to Bangalore with a different job, while I took up an on-site assignment in the US. Sahana stayed put in Madras, but worked for a different company. I lost contact with Arvind, by default, since I knew him through Sahana.

I held the phone in my hands. It had been almost a year since I had met her. A million thoughts ravaged the small portion in my head, and my contemplations turned confusing by the minute. I finally realized that there was something between us that was just more than friendship. She too hadn't found anyone during this time, and I was sure, that if there was somebody else in her life, I would have known. I had just returned from India, and friends and relatives had made a beeline to my house. At this point, I just wanted to stay confined to my room. In such a populous country, you just can't imagine how an 8ft by 10ft room can give you a lot of solace. I dialled her number, and just before I could hear the ringtone, I disconnected the line.

I did this a couple of times, before I summoned enough courage to establish my connection with her. My heart was beating as though it was taking part in a Grand Prix.

Hello Arun, how are you?...

I was standing in the airport holding her hand. I am sure it's all going to be fine. He didn't deserve you. Just don't worry about anything. I did not know whether I was comforting her or irritating her. I was never a person to indulge in such talks. I was the last person that anybody would look for at times of discomfort. I could make a complete fool of myself in such situations. I wanted to be careful as to what was coming out of my mouth. My company was planning to send me on an 18 month project to the so called land of opportunities, the United States. A lot of things can change in 18 months, and I was just hoping that even my life changes for the good. None of my family members came to the airport. They had got bored of sending me off on on site projects. It was no more exciting to see me off to distant lands. So, in a way, it was good that I could spend a few moments with her before the flight took off.

So, what's next? I asked her.

I am changing my job for the time being. I don't even want to be in the same company, she said.

I think it makes sense, I said, trying to add something.

After a few months, both of them had a big fallout, on something which was really silly. That's what I thought. All these great relationships come to an end not because of a silly incident, but because, there is so much of friction between between both of them, that at a particular point, the whole thing just escalates.

What's the problem? I asked both of them, who were standing in front of me as if a murder mystery was being solved.

I don't think it is going to work out between us, he said. There are too many differences, that I don't think it is a wise option to stick together. Even if we did try, it will be just a matter of time before we broke up again. Moreover, I want to concentrate on my career now. I just could not understand what Arvind was trying to say. I wanted to tell him, it is easier to make your career if you have the right person to spend the rest of your life with.

So, who wants to break out of the relationship? I questioned.

Neither of us, shouted both of them almost immediately. I thought I had just heard that there were too many differences, but the similarities were just too difficult to ignore.

We do not want to stick to each other, just because we have a few similarities. In the long run, it's the similarities in important matters that matter. She tried hard to reason, knowing fully well, that both of them were not taking the right decision.

Well guys, both of you are mature enough to decide what you want. The least both of you can do now is to part as friends!

The three of us walked on the sands of the Marina. I picked up a stone lying around, flung it as far as I could and shouted as though I had made a million bucks. Ennada, what are you doing, shouted Arvind? I am Murali, the chucker!! Hahaha, I laughed loudly. Why don't you get a ball and bat? Let us play cricket on the sand. Let's practise hard, that's the only way to get into the team.

Dei, what team, which team? You somehow lose your senses with a few drops of Vodka, she shouted to get herself heard, as the sea breeze was blowing away from me, taking the words with it. We better get going. I don't want to be running around with two drunk guys in the middle of the night.

Somehow, Arvind made sure he was in his senses to utter the right words at the right time. I always envied him, for he could pick himself up even when he was drowned in drinks. That was a quality I could trade with him for any of mine. Unfortunately, I had none of the good ones to pass it on to him.

Come, let's go to a movie, I said, the only sensible thing that I had spoken the whole evening.

Yeah right, all the theaters are open now to grace our presence, she smirked with a wickedness.

I want to watch Memento now, I screamed, as though I was fighting for my life.

Great, I want to watch Dracula, she said.

I woke up the next morning comfortably tucked in bed. These two were standing by my side. Because of you, we had to pay two hundred bucks extra to the auto rickshaw fellow!

Arun, I need to tell you something important, she said, as I was sipping my coffee early in the morning.

Just give me a minute, let me finish the sports column from The Hindu, and then get back to you. Just want to see what happened to the test match. Never had the chance to follow the game yesterday. It was a goddamn busy day. Just hold on for a second.

She just pulled the newspaper from my hand, and the top half of the sports section was brown and soggy, thanks to the coffee that had transferred itself beautifully from the cup to the newspaper. Wow, real time explanation of fluids flowing from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration, she blurted out.

What a way to use your imagination! Ok, now that you have got my concentration transfixed on you, tell me, what is it that you wanted to say.

Don't be shocked or surprised. Arvind proposed last night, when we had gone out for dinner.

Poor guy, does he not know you completely?

Just shut up and listen! It was so nice of him, and the setting was so romantic. We have known each other for close to a year now, and I somehow think, that he is the perfect guy for me. So, I guess it's all great the way it has worked out.

Great, then the three of us should celebrate!!!

I am not sure which year it was. I was in the New Year Eve party organized by a group of friends. It was quite a gathering. I was still in under graduate school, or college, which ever is convenient. I was talking with a friend, when suddenly, a friend of a friend of a friend, introduced Sahana to me. We sat talking for a few minutes, when we discovered that our lives were governed by a lot of similarities. It was really funny, and set the tone, for what would blossom into a great friendship.

As we took leave on that night, in her usual chirpy voice, she said




  1. maga..good attempt..but honestly i got lost...never had the brains to figure out such things maga!! :)

  2. Don't worry maga, I am sure, I have lost most of my readers with this post :-)

    I tried to write something different!! Anyway, will get back to my usual posts soon :-)

    Take care!

  3. You were missing me when you wrote this!!! hehehehe

  4. Yeah, actually, I wanted to post your photo in my post and put the "WANTED" caption :-)

  5. yes yes..i am most wanted by you :) i am aware of that