Monday, December 2, 2013

Stung By The Bitterfly

instagram coffee table

It has been more than a year since I'm using a touch phone but I still can't type as fast as I used to on my last Nokia phone. It's not that my fingers are too thick to press the alphabets. I think I just miss the joy of pressing-a-tiny-button feeling.

I couldn't convince Ratul about this silly nostalgia. He unwrapped the chicken sandwich, took a mouthfull, and started talking like that.
“Mmm, what nonsense. Don't be so prehistoric.”

Ironically, I thought of the same line looking at him talking with his mouthfull and his half chewed food dipped in saliva. But I don't readily participate in arguments.
I wanted to talk about something else."Hey, do you remember Ananya?"

He squinted his eyes to remember someone whom he has forgotten long back...

Oh that girl, what's her name? Ananya, that's right! My god, you still remember her?
I smiled. Dude! You were the one who used to stand outside the girls' college for a glance of her.

Yes yes now I remember that bitch. Ratul smirked. I wanted to talk to her for so many days but that bitch didn't care about my feelings.

I didn't want to ask anything about his love life any more. I didn't want him to tag me as one of those boring aunties who keeps on asking about relationships. I just wanted to continue the conversation with my friend whom I've been meeting after 10 years. I took a quiet sip of the cappuccino I've ordered 15 minutes back. The coffee felt good, it was the only thing that was familiar and comfortable in this unfriendly atmosphere.

I was searching quickly for topics to take the conversation forward – college teachers? Old friends? College canteen? Those short walks after college? Cricket matches? Politics? Before I could select any of these, Ratul's voice jerked me back to the sandwich joint.
You are in corporate sector, no? I could sense he wanted to know more about my profession.
I nodded, It's a software company. I'm...
Huh! These private firms you know? He shrugged his shoulders. You never know when they are going to fire you. Look at me, leading a secure life, a business that's doing well...
I was wrong, he had no intention to hear about me. He asked so that he can speak for himself.
I smiled and nodded gently. I couldn't find the guy in me who used to protest and argue every time he didn't like something. Rebels! I smiled at my own thought. Ratul interpreted my silence differently, like I have nothing to say and he had well established that he's leading a better life than I am.

So why did you want to meet me after 10 years? I asked him.
To let me show how badly you eat? How badly your breath stinks? Or how well your business is doing? But I couldn't mention any of these to him!

Oh I found an old photograph of ours. Remember the one we all took together on the last day of the college? I wanted to meet some of my old friends and you are one of them.

Am I the first one or have you met others? I couldn't hide the curiosity in my voice. 10 years have passed since I haven't met them.

Yes, I met Nikhil and Raghav. Ratul grinned.

Nikhil? The one we used to call Ramu Kaka? I chuckled.

Ratul smiled, yes our Ramu Kaka... God you should have seen his expression when I called him by that name. We both talked about you, our in-house artist. By the way, do you still draw? I was looking for a good drawing teacher for my niece.

I laughed out. Perhaps a bit too loud. I imagined myself teaching a snobbish kid how to draw straight lines after spending 12 long hours in office.

I still paint, but I didn't learn from anyone. I know someone who can help you, I'll give you his details. I didn't want to sound rude and one of my old friends run a drawing school too.

Hey, are you single? It came too fast. Faster than I can leave the ball without calling myself any trouble. I nodded and smiled, didn't want the bowler to realize how nervous I was.

Ohho! Who's the lucky one? Is she someone from our college? Ratul didn't look happy bowling just one bouncer.

Yes, she is from our college. I wanted to get out of the place and avoid this topic desperately. I stood up. Hey let's get out of here, there's a nice park nearby. Suddenly my cellphone rang, I took out the mobile from my pocket, it was her! I grinned and received the call without letting him speak anything else. He shouldn't forget the rule, there's only one bouncer allowed in an over.

"Hi, where are you? I've cooked your favorite dish for lunch."
I thanked my lucky stars, I got the right phone call, the right voice, right in time. I wanted to tell her how much I loved her but I wanted to do it the other way. Honey, I'll be there within 15 minutes with your favorite Kaju Barfi. After I disconnected the call, Ratul patted my back... family man! I'll meet Bhaviji someday and tell her how lucky she is. I shook his hand sincerely. He sat on his bike, a new model that became popular for a movie but 2 wheelers never attracted me. Still I patted his back, nice bike dude.
Isn't it? He smiled, 4 lakhs, imported. The one Amir Khan has in Dhoom 3. He kick-started the engine...
I knew this was the last time I was going to meet him. I took out the mobile from my pocket and dialed my wife. She picked up almost instantly.

I always loved the way she said that special 'Hello' to me.
Ananya, would you like to have Gulab Jamun too? I could still see Ratul's bike far away.
Then finished my sentence, OK great! By the way, you won't believe whom I met today...



  1. Great story Ajesh... An awesome storyteller plus a brilliant painter... Mind blowing combination :)

    1. Gosh! Thanks for the awesome compliment. Your words are too kind, Alolika. :)

  2. U know na how much I like ur blog posts Partner :-) This one sounded so real :-) Nice one !

    1. Yup, I know how much you like reading my posts, Shilpi and I'm glad you do. :)
      I wanted to give it a realistic touch. ;)

  3. Unbelievable. Loved the sweet ending. It sounds so real... Good one, cheers! :-)

    1. That's the significance of the Gulab Jamuns at the end. ;) Glad you liked reading the post.
      Stay tuned for more posts.

  4. You write so well! I bet you have used fragments of your real life to frame this beautiful story! Its Bollywoodish...real cute!
    Your blog's so versatile! Congratulations! Please accept the Versatile Blogger Award from me :)

    P.S: and would you plz mind removing that irritating human verification thingy from the comments? I want to be regular here! :)

    1. Let's put it this way, I'm as happy as a duckling who has just learnt to swim. :)
      Thank you, I'm honoured that you found my blog worthy for the award. :)

      A major part of my readers think this story is based on my real life experience. But it's just a random story & has no link with any person or incident. I'm happy that you liked it so much!

      Yes, I've removed the "word verification" process upon your request. :) :)