Categories
Fiction

Suman’s First “Date”

Today, he thought, was his life’s most precious day. He waited for this moment the whole time, and even he didn’t know why, he was also frightened about it. He was with two of his most intimate friends at Mangal Bazar, just roaming around as they did almost every evening. He was thinking about his plans for the evening when Kushal shattered his thoughts, “Aren’t you going to call her?”

He was waiting for someone to remind him to call her even though he hadn’t forgotten it. He thanked Kushal in his heart and wondered, “Shall I?”

He was still confused whether he should call her or not.

Alok then said, “C’mon Suman, we will be waiting for you behind Krishna Mandir while you meet her.”

He then queried, “Can’t you guys just be with me while we meet?”

“What are you talking about? If we stay with you, it would be a normal meeting. It wouldn’t be a date.” Alok gestured his hands to display quotation marks as he told the word date. Suman liked to call today’s meeting with Alisha, their first date.

He took out his cell phone and opened the Phonebook in his cell which displayed Alisha’s number. He then started playing with his mobile set.

“Shall I call her for you?” Kushal yelled at Suman.

“No, no. I’ll call her myself. But…,”Suman was still worried. “But where should I ask her to come?”

Alok gave him an idea, “How about you staying in the coffee shop, where you ask her to come and join you?”

Kushal rejected Alok’s idea, “Just ask her to come where we are and go for a walk to the coffee shop.”

Suman liked Kushal’s idea. He then moved slightly away from his friends and pressed the green button on his mobile. His heart was pounding with nervousness.

“Hello”, a beautiful sound came through the speaker of his mobile and reached his ears.

“Hello, where are you right now?”

“I’m walking on the road”

Surprised, where she might be going, he asked, “Where?”

“I’m on my way to Mangal Bazar.”

He was about to ask her to come to Mangal Bazar and she was already on her way to Mangal Bazar. Suman thought if his heart’s voice already reached her heart.

After a brief silence, Suman spoke, “I wondered if you wanted to take the novel you had asked for.”

“Alright, where are you right now?”

“I’m in front of Krishna Mandir”

“I’ll be there in a few minutes”

“Ok”

“See you there”

“Alright”

Then he hung up the phone.

Alok and Kushal sprung out to him immediately as he hung up the phone and asked what had happened.

Suman was explaining his conversation when Kushal spotted Alisha far away coming towards them. Kushal was always the one who spotted people before anyone else. Suman wondered how Kushal could recognize Alisha in such darkness.

Kushal and Alok then ran away of sight. Suman watched Alisha approaching him with a smile on her face. He too smiled at her and went towards her.

“So where are you going?” Suman started the conversation.

“At a friend’s place”

“College’s Friend”

“No, an old friend from school”

“Alright”

He opened his back to take out the novel and handed it to Alisha.

“Five point Someone,” Alisha read the name of the book on its cover. “Sounds nice”

“Yeah, it is nice”

“So where are you going now?”

“I think I’ll go to the Pilgrims”

“Pilgrims?” she wondered what it was.

“Don’t you know Pilgrims? The book store at Kopundole”

She nodded her head denying to recognize the book store.

She was in a hurry so she asked, “Shall I go now?”

He really wanted to say no but the word “Ok” slipped off his mouth.

She left off to her friend’s home and he started dialing Kushal’s number.

 

 

Categories
Excerpts

My Past Dates with Priyanka-V

This evening, I was wondering what shall I write next in my blog. I was searching my hard disk for articles that I had written or collected. Then, I found this article which my brother Sachin had extracted from the novel “One Night @ the Call Center” by Chetan Bhagat. I had read that book a long time ago so I re-read the article to revive my brain cells. I found it really nice again. So I thought of posting it in my blog.

She came on time that day. After all, she was coming with a purpose. This was not a date- we were meeting to formally break up. Actually, there was nothing left in our relationship to break anymore. Still, I had agreed, if only to see her face as she told me. She also wanted to discuss how we were to interact with each other and move forward. Discuss, interact, move forward- when you start using words like that, you know the relationship is dead.

We chose Pizza Hut only because it was, well, convenient. For break-ups, location takes priority over ambience. She had come to shop in Sahara Mall, where half of Delhi descends whenever there is a public holiday.

‘Hi,’ she said and looked at her watch. ‘Wow! Look, I have actually come on time today. How are you?’ She held her shirt collar and shook it for ventilation. ‘I can’t believe it is so hot in July.’

Priyanka cannot tolerate awkward silences; she will say anything to fill in the gaps. Cut the bullshit, I wanted to say, but did not.