Sunday, 17 February 2013

The Love Story - Part 1

Baba Gyani Triviani said:
"And he wondered who in heaven's name makes mushy love stories and why they are popular... and he realised when he fell in love"

"So you are going to get married to that guy? What's there in him that's not there in me?" I asked indignantly. 


"It's not about qualities Amit, you know it. It's my parents' wish and I can't go against them" she replied


"Of course, I've heard that rot a million times. But I don't understand why him? I mean, he looks like a horse I tell you."


"He looks nothing of that sort" she replied shortly


"Oh defending him already, are we? Why, if your father was interested in horses, he should have been gambling and betting on horses in the race course. Not gambling your future on this horse" I said with great gusto. Future on this horse. I beamed at my own cleverness. That was capital. I then saw the smouldering look of hers and somehow got a feeling she didn't feel the same way about the my wit.


"What did you say about daddy?" she asked in that tone. That tone... Anything I say now is going to get me in trouble. In situations like this, flight is the best solution. Men will scale the tallest of peaks and swim entire across a crocodile infested lake, walk on hot coal, battle barbarian hordes and put heads between the jaws of alligators whom they had poked a couple of minutes before; but there is something about a woman's anger that makes even the mightiest of hounds tuck their tails and yelp. Politicians, however, have invented the best line for situations like this - The Misinterpretation card.


"Oh Priya Priya Priya" I ventured "You got me wrong. I didn't call your dad a gambler. I was merely focusing on horse-face. Oh check this out. I think that guy is very reliable, you know, because everything he utters comes right out of the horse's mouth" I grinned. My words had no effect on her.


"I've got to go now"  she snapped, adding "I wish we can remain friends. Goodbye, Amit" she said and turned around. I felt a jab. She was walking away. Should I let go of my ego and try to knock some sense into her? Or will it seem like I am grovelling? I don't want to thrust my society upon her. But should I let her go? I quietly pulled out my cigarette case and pulled out one. I was too agitated to think straight. I put it in my mouth and began groping in my pocket for my lighter. 


Suddenly someone held a lit match in front of my cigarette. I raised my eyebrows and looked at the owner of the hand that was so kind. "What ho what ho!" he said. It was the horse incarnate. I threw the cigarette on the ground and put my shoe on it. Then, I decided to show him who's the alpha dog around there and so I ground my foot over it, repeatedly drilling the unlit cigarette into the earth, as I looked at him with gritted teeth and I imagine, gleaming eyes. "Well well well, hallo there yourself my dear chum" I said, adding "I have quit smoking by the way". There! That should put him in his place


"Oh, I beg your pardon. It's good that you have quit the filthy habit" he said, "but I suggest you stop wearing your sole and look down for a moment" I look down as he had suggested and saw that the cigarette was a few inches to the left of where I had been rubbing my foot. I sheepishly looked at his grinning countenance. "It was merely symbolic" I tried to save face. "Quite. Say, Priya speaks highly of you, quite good friends you both must be. I'm sure you'll miss her when we move to the States" he said. At this juncture of my memoir, I would like to point out that which you might have already divined. The steed knew nought about our relationship, our past, our history or whatever rot you would like to term it as. I was explicitly forbidden from revealing the truth, and I was bound by oaths, curses, promises, threats and what not. "Indeed" I said.


"So, when are you going to get married friend?" he asked me. My mind quickly started generating a bunch of sarcastic retorts and witticisms, but none of them cleared the quality check. I personally believe in high degree retorts only. Poor ones, well, they dilute my image and what not. And I am very image conscious. 


I decided to answer it straight... for a change "Ah! What's the hurry. It'll happen when it has to happen. Besides, not everyone is as lucky as you are" I tried to smile a smile, it was not genuine of course, you have to understand. 


He didn't seem to notice - "Ah yes, I am lucky indeed. Say, you sound like a decent chap, how would you like to help me pick up an engagement ring for Priya? You know her likes and dislikes better than me". 


I am a decent chap alright, but asking me for a favour of this nature was like expecting me to tell a thief in which room I hide all my silver. There is a limit that even a well meaning cove like myself will not stretch beyond. "I don't know, I have a headache", I lied.


"Come on, I'll buy you an analgesic along the way. Say yay, don't be a naysayer" he cajoled. "I don't nay, YOU neigh you old horse" I wanted to say, but the old chap was being so nice, I decided to go with him.


"Alright, what the hell" I agreed. 

"Really? Are you serious?
"Well, I don't horse around... ordinarily" I grinned. As you might have noticed rightly, I added the ordinarily as an afterthought, just so that I had a legitimate reason to grin.

"So, my dear friend, what is it that you do?" he questioned as we settled comfortably in his car. "Oh, I am a programmer. So these babies do all the work" I said merrily wriggling my fingers at him. "I never understand why it is that software developers get paid a lot. I mean, all you do is sit in an air-conditioned room in a comfortable chair and type away to glory." I narrowed my eyes and could feel my ears getting hotter. "Could you please turn on the air-conditioner?" I asked, and continued "Oh yes sir, nobody really knows why. Considering the number of software engineers out there, I would expect the contrary too. So, what is it that you do?"

"I am a doctor." he replied. "Gosh darn it", I thought to myself, "A doctor? That's a more respectable profession that a software engineer. He's saving lives while I am... I am... oh who am I kidding, while I am checking notifications on Facebook. Alright, Horse-Face 1, Amit 0" He eased his expensive car in front a store. A man in what seemed to be a greatly decorated uniform like one of those dictators of one of those unheard of countries hurriedly approached his door and opened it for him, gave him a salute with a wide grin. After receiving the keys, I was expecting him to hobble around and open the door for me too and mete out a similar treatment. Instead the man simply peered in from the driver's door wondering why I hadn't alighted yet. I got the message. I opened my door and slammed it, adjusted my shirt, trying to look dignified. But for whom, I didn't know. The valet drove the car to some location that the customers needn't be bothered with.

I looked at the building we stood in front of. The edifice had a huge sign that read "Jewels De Paragon", and it immediately dawned upon me that the whole complex was a jewel store. That valet, for all that you know, could really have been a dictator of some country before. Stupid fancy French place. "Come on mate, we didn't drive all this way to admire the building." he said, beckoning me to enter the complex with the centralised air conditioning and that dim yellow lighting that makes those elegant places elegant.
I let out a little groan as I followed him in. "Good evening, Mr. Ashva"

--- to be continued...

1 comment:

ashvin srinivasan said...

Good read! Waiting for part 2 :)