Friday, July 26, 2013

Flirting with friendship: The bittersweet memory lane

Chapter 2: The bittersweet memory lane

While sipping on a cup of the strong filter coffee, I was silently scanning through the interiors and was wondering if Vikram could ever get more simplistic than this. He has always underplayed his elegance and always hidden his darkest of miseries. I still remember the day when Vikas, his best friend in college outcast him from his friends circle just because the principal overlooked Vikas and elected Vikram as General Secretary. Vikram had cried alone that day and I still regret for not being there during that time. Vikas was an arrogant S-O-B and even till date, Vikram and I remember him and abuse with that word. There was a time when all three of us laughed our intestines out on the sickest jokes I ever cracked.
Suddenly, while scanning through the interiors, I came across his parents’ photo hanging on the wall. I escaped from the lazy couch and inched towards the photo.
“5 months. And I still cannot believe they are no more.” Vikram’s voice trembled in pain.
Both his parents were unique in their own way. His mother, overflowing with sickness, and his father, overloaded with sturdiness, had never dreamt about what could happen. His mother was regularly being treated for her Asthma, and his father never stuck his foot on ground post-retirement.
“I am sorry to hear about that. I read the news.” I tried to console him; my weakest point. I always fail to console because tears make me weak and I go blank when someone is sad. I lose to utilize the power of words and I trust a hug which does the job very well. I didn’t speak much about the incident and we were accompanied by Anusha.
“So. Tell me Bhabhiji. How did you end up with this Saint?” I asked Anusha with a wicked yet out-of-the-blue context.
“Please call me Anu!” she insisted. “And this guy here is not a Saint. You’re his friend. You know him better.” There was a hint of mischief in her voice and Vikram couldn’t stop smiling. I looked at Vikram and threw another question on Anusha.
“This Devil then... How did he find you?”
“Oh him! He was desperate to get married and I was the only girl who loved him.” She had a cup of coffee in her hand too and her finger was constantly rolling over the edge. She wasn’t looking up while talking. A typical Indian bahu I could say, faithful to her husband, never-look-at-other-guy type. I didn’t feel intrigued enough to dig out more from her. I quickly gazed at Vikram and he was romantically staring at her while she was talking. I could see their made-for-each-other love in his eyes.
“Vikki. Why don’t you tell me? How? And why did you get married?” I chuckled.
“What do you mean by why did you get married?” he asked in a startled tone.
“As far as how did I get married question is concerned, I loved Anu.” He leaned back on the couch and his gaze locked on Anusha.
“WHAT? YOU FELL IN LOVE???” I exclaimed. I couldn’t stop myself and looked at Anusha. It was like, I was sitting in a tennis match and constantly watching an unending relay of obnoxious stares between Vikram and Anusha.
“What sorcery did you do on my dear friend Anu? He was never so romantic.” I asked Anusha with a concerned smile.
“I forgot to turn off the gas stove.” She went away escaping my question and Vikram’s gaze. There was an epic blush on her cheeks and she too couldn’t stop smiling while she left the hall. I looked at Vikram and approached him for the answer.
“Don’t mind. Anu is a shy girl. She....”
“I know” I said, interrupting him in between. “I thought she was an Apsara who seduced this Vishwamitra, but here the story is different.” I winked and put my hands around his shoulder to have a deep, in-detail chat on ‘how’ he spends his sleepless nights. Anusha had a knack of appearing before us in style. She suddenly screamed with a shrilling voice for a second and both, Vikram and I jumped from the couch to check on her.
“What happened?” both of us rushed towards her to see if she’d seen some ghost. She quickly turned her gaze down on us and said, “I thought you both were kissing.” For a moment, I too felt like screaming. “WHAT????”
“Don’t worry Anu. He’s straight and he loves only girls.” Vikram finally was speaking in my favour and Anu raised her head for the first time to see me in the eyes. The blush was still alive and kicking on her cheeks and she had nowhere to escape my gaze for the next 2-3 hours until I was done with the dinner.
“Is the dinner ready yet? We’re starving.” Vikram rolled his hands over his newly formed pot belly. I too looked at it and said, “Oh! Anu loves you so much huh? She made you pregnant.”
“I’ll set the dinner table.” Anu was all sprouting with relentless blush and her cheeks were red already.
“Let me lend you a hand.” Vikram too ran behind her and I watched them getting playful in the kitchen. I turned on the TV and lazily laid back on the couch smiling, imagining my future would be just the same in a few days.

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