Monday, January 11, 2010

A Truth Stranger Than Fiction



The characters mentioned in the following post are not fictional, they are very well alive and kicking, and would love to kick me after going through the events mentioned in the post. Most of the events have occurred in real life and some were included to make it a bit more lengthy and bit more boring. The names of the characters have been changed to avoid embarrassment.

Chapter One: Taking the plunge

Guys will always remember how they have proposed to a girl, and they can never forget how they had been rejected unless the guy is a real slut who has proposed to probably every chick he laid his eyes on. When you have a good set of friends with a crazy sense of humor, it is usually they who fire you up to do the unthinkable. They say things like "Hey she laughed at your joke man, way to go!", "Hey she kept looking at you during economics class, I bet she has a thing for you!", "Wow man, she saved you a seat at the canteen, she definitely likes you", "Hey you don't have to study much to clear the Management Accounting paper, its easy" and they are really good at making you believe it.

And I being a coy boy who had freshly passed out from an all-boy's college had a misunderstanding that that's how things worked out in the real world, those silly lines like "hassi to phansi" made me believe that that's the way guys used to find their "true love". All they needed to do was crack a shitty joke, and the chick who laughed the longest was the target. So I thought, why not give love a try... again for the second time in one year. And my friends sure did a great job at making me believe that I will have a happy ending. 

Meera: "So when are you gonna tell her?" she asks excitedly. 

Me: "I don't know, I haven't thought very well about it. Iam not sure about the right time." 

Sanjiv: "Dude, you should just go ahead and do it man. She'll definitely say yes, if you keep waiting for the right time someone else will seize the moment." 

Meera: "He's right, and I also heard that Bharath is making a move on her. So you better be quick" she warns me

For a second I was wondering if they are asking me to book a ticket on a train or are they asking me to say my feelings to a girl.

Me: "That guy is a such a jerk, I thought he already had a girl."

Sanjiv: "He does, and if you still keep thinking he's gonna have two."

Me: "Fine, I'll do it. What's the most she's gonna say, just a "No" right, I've heard it before. I can hear it again." I said with all the calmness that only a professional could exhibit.

Little did I know that after the "No", women say a lot more and sound a lot more ruthless.

Meera: "Oh this is so cool, you and Ritika!! If it works out it will probably be the first couple in our class."

Me: "Yeah, "First Couple" that sounds like Mr.President and his First Lady. I think I'll take the plunge."

Chapter Two: Ritika

Ritika was a fine looking girl. She was just like any other girl, was crazy about Hrithik Roshan (predictable!), loved chocolates and Harry Potter(predictable again!) was good at cracking really bad jokes and had teddy bears at 21(yikes!). She was also crowned the Miss Fresher during our freshers' day party. That night some people sung, some people said tongue twisters, some people made a fool of themselves like yours truly, some people danced like no one was watching, and some people danced with a broom as a prop. Ritika was the one who danced with the broom, she swayed on all corners of the stage and with a broom she pulled it off quite gracefully. Some moonwalk, but Ritika "broomwalked" into my heart, and was crowned the "Miss Fresher" along with "The Queen of my Heart". It was a classic case of the Class Geek(I looked like one though I may not be one) falling for the Prom Queen. In movies the Geek gets the Prom Queen, but I was not living a movie. 

Chapter Three: Crashed and Burned

I hate it when people use the word "propose" whenever someone lets their feelings known for someone. Girls and Guys, you propose ideas, you propose theories, you propose terms of peace, you propose marriages not love! You propose a marriage when you been with a girl for long enough to realise that she's "the one", and you profess love when you find someone you got a thing for. Even after all this while whenever Iam accused of "proposing" to Ritika, I correct them that I professed, I did not get down on my knees to propose. So far, I've gotten down on my knees only when I pray and when I tie my shoelaces. 

Having reached home after having been injected with some optimism by my friends I decided to give it a shot. I decided to sms her, the best way of letting it out without getting slapped, if bosses can fire colleagues through smses these days, declaring my feelings should be risk free... and cheap. And thus I typed the fatal words. 

me: hey u thr?
she: ya, wassup :)
me: I gotta say somethin...
she: wats up? is al ok?
me: ya ya... i dunno hw 2 say dis.. i hope u dun judge me wrong..

In such situations when you utter these words like "i dunno hw 2 say dis.. i hope u dun judge me wrong.." the "target" or the "receiver" would have gotten a rough idea of what to expect next. 

she: wat is goin on?
me: i think i got feelings for u... i'm sorry.. jus wanted to tel u dis... i kno its nt right.. but i jus wanted 2 let u kno... 

She was taking more than her usual time to respond to my message, which made me know what the end result was going to be. But surprisingly enough she called me, and not surprisingly enough she had lot more to say then just "No". 

Me: (timidly) "Hello "

She: (barks) "What the hell are you thinking of yourself?"

Me: "I'm sorry, I thought something could happen between the two of us...."

She: "When did I ever let you know that something can happen between the two of us?"

Me: "The way Meera and Sanjiv were talking about you... I thought something could happen between us, Iam sorry..."

She: "I don't care about all that, cant you think for yourself? What were you thinking Anuraag?"

Me: "I clearly was not thinking, can we not make a big issue of this please and instead sort it out? Iam really embarrassed."

She: "I need to talk to you about this and not over the phone, I will see you tomorrow. Leave me alone till then!"

Saying this she hung up. My brother who was listening to this keenly was giving me a sarcastic grin as I turned around to face him.

He: "So this one didn't work out too eh?"

Me: "Shut up and go do your homework, you got school tomorrow." 

He: "How long you known her?"

Me: "Roughly a month."

He: (sarcastically) "Wow it took you four months last time!"

Me: "I know, maybe the next time it will take me just a week."

He: "What is her name?"

Me: "Ritika."

He: "What's her full name?" he asks.

Then it dawned on me, after having known her for more than a month I still had no clue of what her whole name was. That was some bad research on my part.

Me: "Shit! I have no clue man, I've known her for a month and yet I had no idea about her full name."

He: "No wonder she turned you down man. How are you gonna face her tomorrow?"

Me: "Don't freak me out more than I already am! what do I do?"

He: "I have no clue, I guess you should call up those loser friends of yours. You guys have given some shitty advice to each other over the years"

It was then decided that it was time to send an SOS to The Brethren.  

Chapter Four: S.O.S to The Brethren 

The Brethren is just a name I borrowed from a John Grisham novel, it consisted of me, Vishal and Kumar whom I had met during my brief days at an engineering college, they don't even know that I had a secret name like this for the three of us. It is strange when you think of a serious issue when shared with your closest of pals ends up seeming to be so trivial. That is what we were good at, we listened to each other's problems intently and we made it look so simple as if it was a piece of cake and was not worth breaking our balls over. Be it an exam we flunked or a problem we had with our seniors in college, we always gave each other a hope that "tis too shall pass" and that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Even though we knew deep within our hearts that "Boy he is in serious shit!" we never dared to say it out loud, you feel strong when the people around you are strong. And we were good at faking it.

Our meeting spot was a secluded railway station, the place looked like a ghost town where there was only one local train every hour. The place was perfect for lovey-dovey couples whom we eyed with jealousy and disgust, mostly the former. 

meet me at the stn, need 2 c u guys, chik trouble, be there at 8. Wil tel everythin vistaar se wen we meet.

Chapter Five: Gearing Up For The Attack

It was 8 pm when we decided to meet at the station, they would have given up anything in the world to hear me make an ass of myself. 

Vishal: "So kaminey, got rejected again? ladki kaun thi?"

Me: "That girl I was talking about to you guys Ritika, remember ?" I said solemnly

Kumar: "Yeah yeah, you hardly known her for a month..."

Vishal: "Did you get down on her knees and proposed?"

Me: (irritatingly) "I did not "propose", I professed and I sent her a message to let her know"

Vishal: "That's so typical of you man. Saala Cheapo!"

Kumar: "How did she react?"

Me: "Obviously she did not take it too well, she wants to see me tomorrow and that's what I'm worried about"

Kumar: "She may say "yes", maybe she needs time to think overnight. Girls are very thorough when it comes to stuffs like these, they are not like us who say "yes" without thinking, she will probably weigh the pros and cons though in your case its the cons that are more than the pros."

Me: (sarcastically) "Thanks that raised my spirits"

Vishal: "Maybe she has a boyfriend or something."

Me: "No no she does not, I'm sure about that."

Vishal: "Did you ask her?"

Me: (scoff) "Of course not, why would I ask her something like that blatantly, its like letting her know what to expect next."

Kumar: "Then how do you know that she is single?"

I felt very proud of myself with the research work I had done on this part, I just could not wait to tell them about my stroke of genius.I announced proudly:

"I checked her Orkut account."

Vishal: (wildly) "What the hell would that reveal?"

Me: "Duh! Her relationship status was single, thus proved that she had no boyfriend."

Kumar: "And you are saying this to us proudly?"

Me: "What's wrong with that?"

Vishal: "I can't believe that you are such a dumb ass man. People have no time to fill such stuff on Social Networking sites, most of them don't even fill their "about me" part. And you took Orkut as some info gathering website on chicks, you could as well have done a google search on her. Jeez!"

Kumar: "You know what, I feel like you did it on impulse. You just got carried away by the moment and without thinking twice you let it all out, and its proven to be costly. Now your friendship is gone and chances are bleak that she might give you a second chance. Your image is kaput and now she thinks of you as some kind of immature loose cannon who thinks every girl who tries to be nice with you is in love with you."

Vishal:(coolly) "And it could be worse if she has a boyfriend to whom she tells all this, and he might come over tomorrow to rip you apart."

Me: "Thanks, that is very reassuring guys, I agree I did it on impulse, truth be told I would have had no clue what to do next if she had said "yes"."

Kumar: "You just go ahead and talk it out, if she says "We can't be friends" just accept it, you can't hold her at gunpoint and threaten her to be your friend. Just chill and take it easy, as time goes by she'll understand that you are not that large type asshole as you seem to be."

Vishal: "And if her boyfriend comes over to kick your ass, just let us know we will come over and watch the fun."

Me: "Assholes! You guys haven't been of much help but thanks for being a sounding board."

Kumar: "It's always our pleasure to hear you make a clown of yourself, it kinda makes us feel better about ourselves."

Chapter Six: The Final Verdict

It was a Friday the next day, which meant I had the whole weekend to get over her. But before that I had the tough task of facing her, and I had a constant fear that she might lose her temper and slap me. It was a day I wished I could spend in the comfort of my bed, facing her in college seemed tough and humiliating. What if she blasted me in front of the whole class? That would damage the little bit of reputation which I had beyond repair, I could probably not even make my move on any other girl I thought wryly. But As you sow, so shall you reap. I had to step up and take the blame, and try to sort out the mess. 

As I entered the class I could see her all fumed up, she was Mount Fujiyama waiting to erupt. She had distanced herself from our group and was at the last bench looking at the black board with a silent rage, that did nothing to boost my morale. As the class got over I went over to her in a casual manner and tried to be smooth and asked "You wanted to talk?", "Yes, lets go!" she said impatiently. I followed her as if I was Mary's little lamb who was about to get slaughtered anytime, I could see Meera and Sanjiv give me a thumbs up sign probably praying in their hearts for my soul to rest in peace. 

We entered the canteen where we went over to a corner.

She: "What the hell were you thinking Anuraag?" She said pointing at me, I moved back a step just in case she decided to slap me or grab me by my throat. 

Me: "Iam sorry, I cant ask you for your forgiveness enough..."

She: "I don't care about all that, I thought we were friends. When did I ever let you know that something could happen between us?" She was swinging her arms wildly as if she was conducting a symphony. I was secretly praying that nobody from my class witness my pasting. 

Me: "Can I get you something? I'll buy you a Slice" I offered hoping the bottle of Slice in her hands would stop the wild swinging. 

She: "I don't want anything" she said irritated.

Me: "Please have something for the sake of making it look to others that we are having a pleasant conversation" I pleaded her forcing a fake smile on my face.

She: "Whatever" she said gruffly. 

I handed her the bottle, but it was not of much help as she resumed her duties with the other hand. Then she asked the cliched question which every girl asks to the guy when in the process of rejecting.

"What do you know about my past?"

And I like every other guy who had been rejected gave the cliched answer, an answer that was as cheesier as any cheese cake that you would find.

"Look, Iam not interested in your past, I don't care about it and I don't care what you have done or whom you have been with, all I know is that I like you for who you are." I said trying to sound convincing while biting my lip and all the while praying to God that she did not have a dark past of mental illness.

She: "Forget it, its not gonna work out Anuraag". She said as she was preparing to walk away probably unable to digest the cheesy answer. 

Me: "Can we be friends atleast?" I asked trying a last ditch effort to save whatever was left between the two of us.  

She: "I don't think we can" she said and walked away. 

Chapter Seven: Healing 

"Screw it yaar, atleast you did not die wondering "what-if?"" said Kumar. The ever-so-optimist among the three of us.

Me: "Yeah, but I don't blame her either, obviously any girl would have freaked out, and the thing she asked about her "past" does seem a logical question now, I have no idea what I did and why I did it, I didn't even know her full name man!, I still don't know it!. Maybe in a few years time when I think of it I can have a few laughs." 

Vishal: "Abey these chicks are like this. When you treat em as friends, they laugh, they play along, they flirt, and they shower all that care and affection. And the minute you tell em that you like em and that they are special to you they shut shop and pretend as if nothing ever existed. Yeh love-shove apne bas ki baat nahi hai."

Kumar: "So she is not even gonna be your friend?"

Me: "Yeah well what can I do? I did not want to plead to be friends, I had lost enough respect as it is."

Vishal: "Good for you that you had little bit of your balls left, and Iam glad that you found it on time."

Just then my mobile rang and I saw a familiar name flashing, "Ritika" it blinked. I grabbed the mobile and went to another room leaving my friends puzzled. I came back ten minutes later with a smile on my face and with an awkward hop skip and a jump.

Vishal: "Please tell me that you are still single!"  

Me: "Better than that! She said we can be friends again!" I said in a tune with my arms raised and my head tilted skyward. 

Kumar: "Now don't you go and do anything crazy like "professing" or anything to her again."

Me: "Hey I never profess to the same girl twice and besides, there is the chick called Niketana in my class who always checks me out, I checked her Orkut profile today and it seems she is single! Whaddaya guys say?" I said with a wink. 


"Ritika" since then on has become one of my closest friends. And true to what I have written, a smile always comes to my face when I think of what happened in the canteen that day. We both share a few laughs when we think of whatever has happened between us, especially over the filmi "What do you know about my past?" question. And no I haven't "proposed" or professed to her again, like I said I never profess to the same girl twice. Iam just glad that she is my friend, and to me that is more special than anything else she could have gifted me with.

P.S: I never "proposed" nor professed to "Niketana" or for that matter any other girl since then.





Ranjani said...

entertaining piece -- could have trimmed it a bit. But what worries me is the role your brother seems to be playing in all this...I am scared about what he will do when he is your age.

Anuraag Seshadri said...

Iam just grooming him for bigger and better things ;)so rest assured he is gonna turn up better than me.

manasa said...

Howwwwwwwwwwww nostalgic....!
How is Meera btw??????;)

And amazing character names...can't wait for another trip to college memories!
(P.S-I'm sure the idea of this post came up after our meet the other day)

Cheers mate!

Anuraag Seshadri said...

@ manz

I had penned the idea some days back, but the meet we had the other day made me do it.

manasa said...

Waiting for moreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

dalia said...

Awesome Mr.Raag...I wish i could use some big words and explain how i was dragged into being one of the characters...
Hugs!!! so proud of you :)

Sophie said...

Hey Anu, you made my day really as I said...I read this among tight schedules actually and I laughed my heart out. AMAZING PIECE...can go right up for Oscars...loved reading every bit of it...I want more :-D Truly SUPERB :-)

Charan said...

Hey Anuraag,

Loved your post... I felt the "girl" and the "friends" are coherent to those happenings in many people's life.

I hope Stray Factory has done justice to the course of adapting this post :)


Anuraag said...

Hey Charan,

Thanks for dropping by, i am glad you liked it. Owing to few constraints Stray Factory have made a few changes, but nonetheless the end result looks great. I hope to see you there at the show.