Ryan was sitting alone in the room where the sun light was entering through the window and kissing his forehead. An old man, not very affluent and without family was in contemplation of the harsh reality that he came across when he was young.
Ryan was 25 years old smart and handsome man who came to Mumbai at the age of 18 for his studies. After completing his studies he started a job in a company at a good salary. His parents lived in Rajasthan. Because no relative lived in Mumbai thus Ryan decided to stay in a PG. He lived in a single room with 1 kitchen and 1 small bathroom.
Ryan was very affable. He had many friends. His friends’ circle was large and it was a mélange of both boys and girls. Ryan used to flirt with girls. He used to do blarney talks in order to impress girls. He had no girlfriend, perhaps his flirting nature.
One day he fell in love with a girl, Riya, on a first sight who was his colleague. Ryan was expert in impressing girls. It was impossible for any guy to comprehend his way of talking with girls. Ryan took no long time to impress Riya and both of them became good friends. With the passage of time both of them came closer to each other. Not a day passed by when both of them didn’t spend time together. They both used to spend whole day together and night in their own homes.
They often used to go to coffee shops, restaurants for lunch and sometimes park for hanging around. Sometimes Ryan used to avoid his office just to spend time with Riya. Ryan never tried to know about Riya much. He just knew about her age, favourite food and favourite places. The attitude of Ryan bewildered his landlords but they couldn’t make up their mind how to talk to Ryan about his unusual behaviour. Soon Ryan realized that he was head over heels in love of Riya and thus decided to propose her next day.
Next day Ryan reached to her house. He rang her door bell but who knew that this proposal was the invitation of his ruinness. He rang the bell with a hope of Riya being at the door but his expectations smashed like a broken mirror when the door opened. He saw a man at the door.
“Yes, who are you?”
“Hi! I am Ryan, I have come here to meet Riya” – said Ryan.
“Could you tell me the purpose of your visit?”
“Actually I have an official discussion with her, that’s why …..” (controlling his fear and concealing the fact).
“Oh God, I don’t know why your office doesn’t let free even on Sundays, this is really ridiculous. Ok, just come and have a seat, I call Riya.” – said the man.
Riya enters – “Hey Ryan, what bring you here?” Ryan tentatively tried to put his thoughts and feelings in his own words. He picked up the bouquet of flowers and knelt down on his right knee keeping the left leg half folded and said “will you marry me, Riya?”
Riya astonished when she heard these words. She felt like the earth had been snatched under her feet. Riya was extremely shocked. She took one minute to react to the situation.
“How dare you? Who the hell are you to propose me? How could you affront me like this bloody morone?
“I am married and Pulkit is my husband (pointing finger towards the man). I just work in the company where you work. I never talked to you informally. Whenever I had an official work with you only then I came to you. I know nothing about you apart from your name, neither your home nor about your family”.
These spurious statements baffled Ryan. He couldn’t stop him to ask Riya – “why are you lying?, you know me. In fact you know everything about me. You have seen my PG. you know, my parents live in Rajasthan and I came at the age of 18 for my studies and after completion of studies I started doing job.”
“You remember when we used to go to ‘Barista’ and ‘Tour of Taste’ restaurant to have coffee and lunch. We were regulars over there. In fact both of us spent time together at my home. How could you forget it? How could you forget me?”
“Stop nonsense! What the stupid imaginary stories you are narrating to defend yourself. When did I go with you Barista and restaurant and when did I stay with you at your home? Pulkit just throw him out of here, I don’t know why he is behaving quirky, I can’t put up with him any more”.
Pulkit yelled at Ryan and asked him to leave the premises at once. Ryan couldn’t understand the unusual behaviour of Riya and left her home in despair. Riya wept a lot. Pulkit solaced her.
Ryan was very wrathful. He took pledge to prove him right and genuine. The next day Ryan didn’t go to the office instead he appeared in front of Pulkit who was taking care of Riya because she fell ill due to the constant stress caused by last incident.
“You, how dare you call on again to my house?, didn’t you get relief by making such bulls##t drama?” – said Pulkit
“Believe me Pulkit, today I have come here not to harm you, but to reveal the truth with the solid proofs. I want to take you the restaurant and coffee shop where we used to go”.
This time Pulkit stuck in the turmoil, he was not getting who was right or who was wrong. Ultimately he decided to accompany Ryan. Pulkit asked Riya that he had to leave for urgent work in the office, so take rest.
“Urgent work, what work? I know you are accompanying Ryan.” – said Riya
Pulkit astounded and stood stunned.
“How could you do this Pulkit, it means you don’t believe me. Though I am going with Ryan to the places but that doesn’t mean I don’t trust you darling. I am doing this to shut his mouth.”
“If you really trust me then why didn’t you tell me that you are accompanying him? Sorry Riya, indeed I don’t know how to handle this situation. To know the truth ultimately I have to go with him.” – said Pulkit
“I want to go with you there, after all this all commotion is due to me. I want to remove the opaque layer of misconception” – said Riya
Riya and Pulkit became ready to go with Ryan so that they can prove Ryan wrong. First of all Riya, Pulkit and Ryan went to the Barista. They entered the shop, occupied a table for three and called the waiter who always took their order. But again this time as well an unexpected event occurred there that made their hair stand on end. The situations became more chaotic rather than being sorted out.
Ryan called waiter. Waiter came and asked for the order.
“Well we don’t need anything right now. We have come here for the specific purpose” – said Pulkit.
Pukit asked the waiter whether he knew Ryan while pointing out his finger at him.
The waiter said, “yes, sir.”
Pulkit and Riya looked at each other. Pulkit asked again, “Do you know his name?”
“Yes sir, his name is Ryan. He is our regular customer”.
This small interrogation put Ryan into the pool of confidence. He asked the waiter to tell the whole story about Riya and his visit to the shop. The waiter baffled and instantly blurted out “who Riya you are talking about sir”.
“This Riya, sitting next to me”, directing his finger to Riya” – said Ryan.
“What are you saying?, are you mad or lost your mind?” – said Ryan
“I am afraid sir, I am not mad but perhaps you are mad. You have been visiting to this place for last more than 5 months. You sit here alone and pretend that someone is sitting with you. Moreover you ordered for 2 coffees. Maximum time you have been seen talking to yourself only. This attitude of yours perplexed us but we never offended you because we believe in treating our customer with complete care”.
Situation was getting out of control. Pulkit intensely got upset and bang on the table in anger. He immediately stood up and grabbed the caller of Ryan and thrashed him. Somehow the cafe staff and Riya stopped him.
“I was mad who believed in such naive man, let’s go”. Riya wanted to use rest room and thus asked both of them to leave first. Riya left the spot.
“Pulkit, why don’t you trust me, I am neither mad nor lying, I don’t know seriously why this, so called waiter is concealing the truth. Last time I want you to go with me to the restaurant”.
“Do you really expect me to accompany you; the entire drama is enough to prove that my wife is innocent.”
Suddenly the attention of Pulkit and Ryan was drawn to the noise of a broken glass. Pulkit got shocked when he saw Riya giving money to the manager of the shop. Pulkit started thinking why Riya was giving money to him. She told that she was going to the loo.
“Is she trying to hide something but why? Why she is giving money to the manager, is this a bribe or what?”
Pulkit was extremely upset. He felt like his brain was dead. As he was going into the depth of this mystery, he was getting new shock every time. After seeing this, Pulkit made up his mind to go to the restaurant and left the shop forthwith.
All of them sat in the car and went to the restaurant. Due to the change in the way home, Riya asked where they were going. “Restaurant” – said Pulkit.
“What but why, still you need some more stuff to know about he is lying. I don’t know what’s wrong with you. This bloody moron has hypnotized you.” – said Riya
Pulkit didn’t react anything and kept driving silently. Ryan asked Pulkit to park the car in the parking lot. Ryan, Pulkit and Riya got down the car and surprised to see there was no restaurant. In fact there was a demolished building.
“what would you like to say about this, Ryan” – Riya asked.
“Oh, this time also I am proving the fake true.”
Ryan was standing silently and embarrassed.
“Mr. Ryan, you need a help of a psychiatrist”. After this Pulkit and Riya left for their home and Ryan stood up there for few minutes.
Since that day, Ryan immediately consulted a psychiatrist and knew about the fact that he had been suffering from hallucination. He went through the treatment but it was futile. The problem became more serious by the day.
He had to leave the job. He had only a handful of money, with that he took a single room on rent and opened a small provisional store. He could keep only necessary items but not all commodities. His hand was to the mouth. He always had been trying to find the reason why Riya gave money to the manager of Barista Cafe but never succeed.