Friday, June 26, 2015

Another Day In Paradise

I took the jacket out of the wardrobe feeling elated with memories striking back to the day I was gifted that jacket  as a birthday present with my favorite things stuffed into the pockets. The jacket was full of chocolates, a couple of hot wheel cars, Charlie cologne, a keychain and lovely card.  "Even if you don't like the jacket, I'm sure you'll like everything it is loaded with" she said, after a pause " specially my love". Date on my biological calendar took me a back to last December, charming birthday ever.  An unknown and unnoticed smile kept creeping to the fullest.

Threw a glance on the mobile. 3.10 AM and more than 10 minutes, No reply Yet. I read to myself the last message I sent " Someone said If a guy waits all night to ping you at middle of night, You are Lucky" . "Another shot on self ah...." came a message a couple of ticks later, "3.50..55  gate to the dosa cafe don't be late...and plz do not forget to get the pen-drive" the message read further. And that was "Affirmative over" as far as I'm concerned. It is more than an idealistic pact to work all week and meetup early Saturday mornings after her shift gets over.  Saturday mornings are the ones I wait all week. Before I started my bike I rang her to find out which pen drive she wanted, the red one or the black one. Out on the roads, city's still in yawns and dreams. Things I was racing past were not just vehicles, I was racing past every thoughts of self.

Zoom past the St. John's church, roundabout the villa lake, through the one way at software bazar , over the flyover beside central stadium, continuing along left of milk dairy, competing with the shadow of self every time I near an over head street light, I made myself comfortable blocks away from my destination. "Naa hai ye....paana....naa khona hai ye...." a pleasant caller tune which made me think of everything beautiful whenever I called her. I can hardly choose what makes me more elated, the song or the person who's gone receive my call.

Call was disconnected and then came a SMS shooting back in speed of knots, "Manager's around.....". Without letting a minute pass I shot back "3.50 or 3.55...??". "Who else is waiting for your date, Obama...!! 3.50...55...60...wait...!!" . For moment though, I thought if I would be as excited as I was if I have an appointment with Obama. Time on mobile was 3.47 AM and I made another call. The call was disconnected again and there was another message; " Wanted to check if it is gate 2 or gate 3 ah....anyway 3 babu" . Beauty with brains I said to myself as I started to move towards the dose cafe. 4.04 on my mobile, few people driving left of me, the quite morning stated to make a grunt start.  I made another attempt at listening to that lovely caller tune. She came running from behind, almost pushed me off my bike, showed me the new display picture of mine on her mobile and gave me my favorite chocolate. After a routine share of fanciful conservation, she said "Why do you have to call me and confirm when I already told you the time and place on the first message...and also about the pen drive" . I said nothing, I asked the same question to self and gave myself an innocent smile. We took a long walk along the avenue. The black starry sky gave way to orange tinge towards the corners, tranquil breeze over us, birds tweaking may be waking up their friends, the environment becoming more and more bright; and I found myself on that lonely bench, my hand quietly making its place in hers . I was listening to everything she was telling me. 

"Are you worried about the bad breath" she asked, setting her hair over her ears and widening her eyes. Even before I said anything she withdrew her hand out of mine, folded them together and with lopsided lips and a typical girly expression, " Why are you not speaking a word... Am I boring you or are you sleepy...." . I delicately took her hand back, gave a charming smile and said "Good Morning" Indeed it was a fantastic morning. All your senses are comforted with an alluring human sitting next to you and how can it not be a fantastic morning.  Walking back hand in hand, " Saketh did you get the pen-drive I told....". I took a halt, then let her take a few strides forward and put a "excuse me" kind of expression to tell I forgot. "Ah... you called me to confirm if I wanted the red or the black one....finally you forgot...." she began to walk a bit faster. I took a couple of quick stroll further towards her " Diya, I promise I'll not forget it when I come to pick you up....9'oClock.... Temple...the program is On right ", I stressed on the temple part. " You know what the first bright  thing that I heard from you today is my name..." with the most charming smile she said " I'm glad you did not forget ". 

I dropped her back home at 7 in the morning. It was an hour later, I picked up my mobile to ring her back. That lovely picture of her, on my bike with a broad adoring smile which makes my phone the best one in this world. She picked up the call " Saketh....the Program is on....!! you don't need to check and recheck with me....pick me up at 9....see you " she waited for me to say something and I said "Okei" . "And please don't forget the RED 8 GB Pen-Drive....Sandisk wala". I liked the way she stressed on the signature of the pen drive. I rechecked my pocket and it was still in the left pocket of the jacket, the very place I left it in the morning. Reached her place on time, gave her a missed call just to let her know I was there. She came minutes later looking vibrant. After getting done with registering our presence with Lord, we had a great conversation that included latest I-Phone release to next Saturday's plans. On our way back, I choose the Airport route, the longer one instead of  the Clock Tower  which we normally use. "Are we off on a holiday...?? "  she quipped, and adding further  "there's lot of time for that Saketh....". I just shook my head and said "Anytime...!!"  . Dropped her back home and before I said  see you, " Don't tell me you forgot the pen drive again.... " . I silently put my hand inside my pocket, took out my mobile and sent her a text which read, " I'm Sorry Dear..." . She checked her mobile and said nothing.

"How about a coffee, Cups....I'll go home...get the pen drive mean while....". "Certainly yes for the coffee part, but you don't have to go back all the way now..." I tried convincing her, and met her at the Cups . We were on the central table, coffees made their way on our table. She started to move her hand towards the cup and found the pen drive just next to the cup. "So finally I get it .... do you expect a thanks now...." she asked. "As far as you are concerned, I always look for opportunities Diya....".  She stopped sipping away her coffee and said "what sort of...??" .

"I carried the pen drive right inside my left pocket all day" . She put down her cup, "Then why didn't you give it to me in the morning...." . "Because it gave me a chance to meet you again, a chance to sit down in the lovely cafe and have coffee with you". She did deny, but I could see her blush with a feeling of being loved. "You know why I call you just to confirm the obvious, because it gives me another chance of speaking to you." After a brief Silence I added, "Why do you think I take the longer route while dropping you lets my bike look gorgeous for a bit more time with you on the back seat. It gives me a chance of spending more time with you." As far as I can remember, this was the longest I spoke all day. We did not speak anything until she paid the bill and we started to move out. On our way out she told me the most magical words ever "Saketh, you don't need a chance, opportunity or an  excuse to call me or speak to me." She took my hand and said " I'll always be there...." .

I was ecstatic, blissful and punched my pillow. Next thing I realized was a pain in my right wrist which had a bang against the window beside my bed. Creeping out the bed, dragging myself to the mirror, I saw a person on the other side of the mirror. His hair undone, clothes stretched, eyes bulged, face sleepy, and a  husky voice which said, " Which Saturday did you get up so early boy.....dream of such dreams only when you can dream of getting up 3 in the morning...... for now it's a good morning from my side...."

Sakethursforever : )

Friday, June 5, 2015

Dil Chahta Hai

Friends, Unplanned Road Trip, Experiences, Adventures, Food, Drive, Letting heart beat a different rhythm and finally back to busy life with a soul different from the one that existed thus far. A perfect script of a blockbuster Bollywood tale. And this is my blockbuster Tale.

A rainy evening, a troop driving home after a medical diagnosis, group of confused minds, mercury well past the 100 mark on the thermometer and questions pooping out trying to figure out permutations & combinations. In hand were Examination Admit Card, Reserved Railway Ticket for the following morning and most importantly a Blood report which said the count of CRP which read 98.6 mg / L. The report meant the biological reference range of C-Reactive Protein was 20 times more than what is ideally suggested; 0-5 mg / L. This also meant he had to be put on a drip, have an IV-Cannula on either of his two wrists and given a couple of injections every 4 hrs. And it finally all this implies that he was unfit to take a 12 hour train journey and make it to the exam a couple of days later. Then said someone; lets go by 'CAR', Start early tomorrow, carry all the necessary medical stuff, get the pharmaceutical therapy uninterrupted, let him complete the exam and let us take his responsibility. That statement was just a quip until his parents gave a surprising nod and the journey began as early as 6 the following morning. The first song that was played made all the sense as Shankar Mahadevan sang "Hum na Rahe khabi Yaaroke Bin................

If all the introduction made you think of a Merc, BMW, or at least a 6 seater Indian Made SUV, I can only sponsor you an ounce of goodwill. It was a Maroon Color Alto. And the best part of the tale is, the car ran on CNG which meant whole of the place that was allocated to luggage in normal petrol cars was only occupied by a hefty CNG tank. So we headed towards the outer ring road in an Alto with  all the luggage on our lap, laptop and camera finding the safest place in that cramped car. But that was the theme of our voyage. It was no luxury trip with one of us really ill, but we had all the virtual space on this earth throughout the journey. I personally learnt what space is . It is not always measurable. Space is something more than luxury. It is emotional playing ground that you and others share rather than a limited boundary. And we five shared an endless emotional space.

 Everything was like a jig-saw puzzle with five different people, different mind set and with different ways of thinking. But everything was driven by a divine force and I felt as if everything fell into place. When you have 5 people on an unplanned trip which is not so luxurious, the possibility of everything happening correct is a rare probability. It is like having that unique combination of stars aligned in a particular order once in hundred years.  

It is a story written with five characters, where each one had a  definite role to play . Bharath was our pilot and really adamant when it came to decisions he made. There were 3 people who could drive, but believe me, me and goutham were mere spectators through out. After every 100 kms we would look at bharath and he would quietly ignore us.  And then came the famous decision of taking a detour for 100 kms just to find CNG station. At an unknown town, we were circumambulating all around to find the CNG station that too dead night. All 4 of us asked, warned, threatened, begged him to stop searching for CNG . But he was never playing yes to drive on Petrol. Then there was Karthik. Long ago sometime he did travel that route by road. And every time we passed through a place, or read a name board, he would jump into conversation and say, yes this is the correct way.  He was obsessed to say the least about the places we traveled through.  Kranti was Virat Kholi of our group. I called him kholi for two reasons. One because he doesn't like cricket and Two because he can never start or complete a sentence with out having a Censored word or two. Goutham was a mere spectator through out the trip. He is one of the best drivers on board and never got to ride throughout the trip. He was like a kid who though his dad would buy him a chocolate in the next stop. But Bharath was his dad and he never got to sit behind the wheel. 
Every moment  let us experience something new. Glitter in our eyes at the beach, enjoyment we had at bay of bengal was fantastic. Food at one of the famous hotel was yet another surprise . Believe me even Google maps played its part in giving us a share experiences. When we checked for navigation, google guided into small towns rather than taking us to the express highway. Thanks to maps we experienced what is it like to be on an old barrage in the dark with water gushing beneath us. And  how can I not quote that unexpected guest on the highway who asked us a lift. 

 Someone said you experience the best when it is unplanned and when everything you experience is a surprise. I would brag that someone with the wealthiest regards because he is spot on with his statement.  More than anything what the trip has done is it brought 5 souls wandering together. It gave us bags of memories and I try to save few on this blog. We now have tales about each five of us which would really spice up the environment when we get to meet the better halfs of each one of us. I would thank every virtue out there which made this trip what it has been. Every time we think of a road trip, every time we think of Vizag, everytime we meetup the memories come crashing back. Thankyou Bharath, Kranthi, Karthik, Goutham for giving an experience which we would cherish for a long time.

This is one of those blogs which I can never put a full stop to, so leave it without one 

 Sakethursforever : )