Guys & Gals, whoevr is reading dis story, lemme give u a backgrnd check of the writer who has written dis story.
That’s me: Prashant Kulkarni. I wish my name was a bit dramatic like Raj (from DDLJ), or Aakash (from DCH), or Aditya (from Jab We Met) or at least like Arjun (from ZNMD), but alas, it’s just simply Prashant. Anyways, the point being is, I am no writer. That’s right, you might have guessed that from the first sentence of the story itself. I used to write like that until recently. Like everybody of ‘my generation’, I am addicted (or at least I was) to using emoticons and inventing new short forms for words.
Then ‘somebody’ told me that I have a hidden writer inside me (I wonder how I never found it and ‘somebody’ else did!) and I should unleash it. I told them I don’t have time to write stories. And then they told me, “have you heard about the saying: time is money?”
I said,”yes, who hasn’t? What about it? ”.
They replied: “there is this website which encourages writers like you to write something interesting. And well, they pay you if your writing is awesome. So my dear friend, make some time for this and you might as well make some money out of it!”
So like any fool, I have fallen for this bone and I am writing this story. I will give you a short version of the story (just in case you feel like hitting me, after reading the story, for wasting your time. Because ‘time is money’!):
So the story goes like, a boy meets a girl, or is it that the girl meets the boy? Anyways they both meet each other and fall in love. Mind it, the love is not at all at first sight (it never is. Is it?). And as always they go their separate ways due to some reasons and then converge again after some time just to find that they still love each other. And then, they live happily ever after (or do they? Well that’s the story.)
This is the crudest gist I could write for you. If, and I repeat ‘if’ you are still somehow interested in reading the masala that comes in between the story, well then be my guest and like my story and make the website pay me. Thanks.
So this story is actually ‘my story’, because obviously I play the lead role in it. The story starts in Delhi, where I fortunately got into the next best college to IIT. Damn it, why didn’t I get admission in IIT? It would have been like Chetan Bhagat’s story. Anyway, So I get into this college and it changes my life forever, literally forever. Apart from the fact that I get a nice placement in a respectable MNC, I made a few friends for life. They made my life wonderful and at the same time, they ruined it, as all friends do.
They introduced me to this ‘girl’.
Let me clear it out first that, she is not at all out of my league. Because I am a pretty decent looking guy. And yes, girls would have fell for me. I admit that I was a bit rotund-ish, but people euphemistically called me healthy, so I didn’t care much about fitness. Also I was the goalkeeper of our college football team, which was pretty good. So naturally, I as a goalkeeper didn’t need to sprint or dribble the ball that much. I only had to be quick and agile. And that I was. It was a fine Sunday evening and we were celebrating our win against another team from our college football league. Our captain had brought his girl friend, Priya for the first time at our celebration. He introduced us to her. She had brought along her friend, Ms Tara. We all celebrated, chatted on various topics and had fun. I don’t ever remember that at that party, she ever looked at me lovingly and had given me a pretty smile. But my friends somehow convinced me that Tara had given me this smile and I must talk to her at the very least. See if she is interested in me or not.
Tara was a pretty girl and I had liked her the moment I saw her. She had a jolly and vivacious personality. So I didn’t mind it when my friends were trying to convince me to set a date with her. Therefore, I managed to get her phone number from our captain’s girl friend, and she gives me this merrily mischievous kind of look, as if she was also involved in the conspiracy of my friends. So Priya willingly tells me this excuse that will help me in meeting Tara. So I called Tara, and told her what Priya had told me to tell her:
“Hey hello Tara, how are you? This is Prashant here.”
Tara replied: “Prashant? Oh yes Prashant, the fancy goalkeeper!”
I don’t know whether Tara deliberately acted like remembering me or she really had to stress her tiny little brain to remember me.
Our conversation continued. I said while laughing ,”yes that’s right! I am the goalkeeper speaking.”
“how did you get my phone number, Eh Mr. Goalkeeper?”
I quickly replied,”I actually got your number from Priya.”
“oh! I see.”
“Yes, She told me that you wanted to watch this TV series called ‘friends’. And that you don’t have all the seasons that aired. Fortunately, it happens that I have all the 10 seasons that were aired. So, if you want, I can copy it on my flash drive and I will give it to you.”
She replied excitedly,” Prashant really? That is amazing. I have completed 2 seasons, and I am like greedy to have more of it. Can you really give me the remaining seasons? That would be amazing!”
To stretch our conversation a bit more long I said, “is ‘friends’ really that good a series? Or is it just a fuss? Because, I haven’t gotten time to start watching the series.”
She said energetically,” what? Are you serious? You haven’t watched it yet? Are you dumb or what? It is the most amazing show on earth. You must start watching it. I’ll tell you about it when we meet. When shall we meet?”.
So that is how we met for the first time. Cunningly, I had managed to make her ask ‘the question’ of when we shall meet. I only needed a reason to meet her. (Just so you know this- I haven’t watched a single episode of that series Yet.) We first met in our second year at college. And we almost successfully dated each other for two years. I say ‘almost’, because no relationship is perfect. I would have to live in utopia to get into a perfect relationship. We used to meet almost every day in the second year at college. We did everything that any normal couple does at the beginning. We also did some extra ordinary things (but I guess I’ll write another story about those things) which, at least Tara would never forget. She never forgets a thing. Good or bad, it doesn’t matter, every little thing is stored in her brain. On the contrary like every male, I don’t remember everything. I mean why should I? what good is it going to do to remember which coloured sari her sister wore in her engagement? Am I going to ask her sister to lend me her sari? Or, for example- what day was it when we first kissed! Seriously? Who remembers the day? I wasn’t looking at the calendar while kissing. Was I? I was simply engrossed in the moment. Anyway, I don’t get the logic behind remembering these things, but somehow she does. And I guess in a way this nature of hers was also responsible for our sweet relationship, although it lasted only for two years. I guess I also love her for this quality- i.e. brilliant memory.
Did I just say – I love her? Instead of saying, I loved her? I guess I still love her. Now, in retrospect when I think about why we broke up, the answers aren’t clear to me. They are blur and vague. Perhaps Tara should’ve tried harder to explain me those reasons (she actually did explain me many times, and I feel ashamed of expecting like this). What I think is that, in the last year of our college I was more focused on ‘my’ regular activities- studying, attending lectures and obviously football. I guess I took ‘time is money’ a bit too seriously. I thought about ‘myself’ and she thought about ‘ourselves’. And then time just flew by, and this time I did not lose money. I would’ve earned it again. But This time I lost something more precious, something more valuable, I lost Tara.
Anyway, I must skip the breakup and post-breakup part because it is too painful. I will tell you the important things that happened in those six years. They were kind of the milestones in my life till date:
- I graduated from the college with a good score and a decent job in my pocket. ( just trying to be down to earth, Okay? Truth is – The job itself was the first milestone, simply because it gave me 2 lakh rupees per month. Crazy isn’t it? Ofcourse, I did everything a person with that kind of salary does. I enjoyed a lot, but first I gave my whole salary to my mom and dad. I sponsored their one-month long vacation. )
I tried getting into another relationship, just to realize that the girl wasn’t Tara. (this Tara just makes me go crazy, even 4 years after our split-up.)
I victoriously emerged out of that ominous relationship and was lucky to have my brain intact.
I left my job after two years( who does that, right? But I guess I never was a ‘job’ guy. I started my own company and have been running it successfully for 2 years. I don’t want to sound as an egotist, but just so that you get a clear picture of me after I left my job- I must tell you that I run a million dollar company)
I worked hard (very very assiduously and painstakingly) for 2 years.
Let us now continue on my story in a bit detailed manner, because here comes the next milestone (it might sound dramatic, but that is the way everything happened.):
It was still dawn when I stepped out of the cab and walked towards the entry gate of the Delhi airport. The early morning February air was pleasantly cold.
I was travelling to Bengaluru to attend a college friend’s wedding. It had been four years since we graduated from the same college. This wedding was also going to be a reunion of our batchmates. But what I didn’t know was that the reunion would begin much ahead of time; right in the queue in front of the airline counter.
I was almost sure it was she. Same height! Same long hair! Same complexion! Curiosity had my eyes glued to her. And then about 60-odd seconds later, when she turned, she proved me right. My ex-girlfriend stood two places ahead of me in that queue. We had never met after the college farewell.
I never actually thought that Tara would come for the wedding, because she wasn’t that much close to the our host friend. So I hadn’t even rehearsed this moment in my mind. Everything that was about to happen was going to be spontaneous.
Tara and I, both stood stand still, as if everything was happening in slow motion. I actually wondered for a moment that this eye-to-eye gazing was becoming awkward, but still I let the course run. Then a few seconds later she cleared her throat and gave me her childlike smile saying,” Prashant! What a pleasant surprise. I actually thought that you would not be able to attend the wedding, given your busy schedule. I mean, I assume that you are coming to Bengaluru for the wedding and not for any meeting or something.”
I thought that: am I that busy a person? Surely not. And the friend who is getting married is more close to me than to you. But then I was also secretly happy that she knew about my company and had guessed correctly that how busy I might be. Tara can I hug you?
But instead I said,” yes indeed a pleasant surprise Tara! Ofcourse I wasn’t going to miss this wedding. It was our reunion.” I too gave her a smile while admiring how beautiful she still looked. Then quickly realizing what I had said, and what she might have interpreted, I quickly corrected my sentence: “oh sorry, I meant our batch’s reunion.” And tried to giggle.
“of course our batch reunion!” she said and forced a smile.
Did she still love me? Don’t confuse me Tara, I thought.
She continued,” let’s go! I want a window seat. And I know that you don’t, so pick up your bag and let us hurry.” She pointed at my suitcase and signaled us to get into the queue again to get our boarding passes.
Why are you doing this Tara? Can’t we be together again? You still complete me.
We got our boarding passes and we almost paced through the passage to get into the plane. She held my wrist and dragged me. I felt a jolt running through me. But this time the way she held my hand, it was different. It wasn’t the usual Tara holding my hand. Had I completely lost her? Had her flight already taken off?
I hoped for the best and freed my wrist from her grab and instead I took her wrist in my hand and went ahead of her. I dragged her behind me. She looked at me and gave ‘that’ smile which I had dreamt of. It was a nice feeling. Perhaps I had caught the flight just in time. Perhaps it wasn’t too late.
Perhaps, this one milestone was the most amazing one.