10 Apr 2015

The Thing Called: Fork In The Road.



Samrat was shaking! he had no control over his body. He switched off his phone and tried to relax, but amidst the stillness, he could still hear his heavy breathing. Something was happening to him, an intense warmth rushed through Samrat’s body. It was a weird feeling, but his brain was telling him that this has already happened before; it was a powerful experience of déjà vu. Then it all came back to him.
Flash Back
It was December 23, 2012, exactly one year ago. Everything has changed since then, but this feeling continues to haunt him. It was the first time he asked someone to become part of his life. He remember that day vividly. It was a college reunion night and Samrat was on a happy high, two pegs down with his friends. They all were busy pulling each other’s legs about their girlfriends. Suddenly, Samrat found himself outside. It was 11:30 at night and bitter cold, around 4 degrees Celsius – Samrat was shivering.
He dialled her number but didn’t know how to start. Initially he stumbled a lot. After a lot of gibberish, he finally gathered his scattered courage and asked her.
That magical question, the question whose answer if would have given the other way, the situation would have been different today. And the question was, “Will you be my girlfriend?”
Samrat was waiting with bated breath, he was praying to god, "Please let her say yes".
After a long pause, she asked, “What should I say?” Samrat was now bit confused as what to say, so he replied “Say yes,” Because that’s what people do.
She did exactly the same what Samrat asked her to say, “Yes.”
That was the first time Samrat had felt that same intense warmth rush through his body. He was sweating though, even in that freezing cold. When Samrat think about it now, he still wonder if he made a mistake? he was impulsive; maybe he wasn’t thinking right. But it made him very happy at that time.
That night, the boys stayed up until 4 am, drinking like fish. They all pushed their 22-year-old stomachs as far as possible without any food before deciding to eat something. They all walked approximately 2 km from their hostel to Dange Chowk to eat the famous poha.
Samrat still remember six of them made such a racket that morning, they were lucky not to have earned the ire of snoozing neighbours. The combination of alcohol and weed had turned them into cacophonous blabbermouths. The same mouths were now busy chomping down delicious poha, when five minutes later, a patrolling police van stopped  by. They put on their college-student faces, pretending to having just finished studying before venturing out to have a rejuvenating, early-morning snack.
Samrat’s friends went to sleep as soon as they came back to the hostel, but  Samrat impatiently waited for the sun to come up.
At 6 am, he left his sleeping friends to return home. he was eager to freshen up and get ready for his post graduate college. This would be his first encounter as two people in a relationship. Since they studied in different departments, the only times he could meet her were during lunch break and after college.
As they were lounging in the canteen during lunch, it was 15 of them at the table in the canteen, she came and sat with them. Samrat immediately grabbed the chair opposite hers, they were having  a normal chat within the group, and as he looked at her, she gave Samrat a smile; a smile that said she is in love with Samrat, a smile that made her more beautiful, a smile that said now I am yours and you are mine.
While Samrat was trying to decipher more about the smile, he was suddenly hit on the back. it was so intense, it shook him so strongly, that he came out of his deciphering mode. Samrat looked back to see who is it? he turned, and there he stood. Six-feet tall, rippling muscles, Mafia like slicked back hair – much like a don – and a goatee. Mourya, Samrat’s best friend and business partner. Now the group felt complete. It was a wonderful and memorable day.
That day in the night around 12:30 am, Monika, a college friend, called Samrat. Monika the Beauty, with a sweet voice – Monika was the dream girl of many in the class.
M: Hi, what are you doing? I hope I am not disturbing you, am I?
S: Nah, I was just watching a movie. What’s up?
M: Samrat, I wanted to tell you something since we joined college.
Samrat in his mind, was begging her not to tell him that she was in love with him.
M: Samrat, I love you.
Samrat in his mind why you are destroying our friendship? Please don’t do this.
S: ……
Sensing that Samrat was not going to talk any time soon, she began.
M: I know this may sound stupid to you, but I always felt something different when you were around. I have been dying to tell you my feelings, but I never got the chance to talk to you. Do you feel the same or is it just me?
S: ……
M: Please say something.
S: ……
M: Hello? Are you there? Please say something. I am feeling weird. Are you angry with me?
Samrat had been gathering his thoughts on how to deal with the situation as gently as possible. And in all this thinking he didn’t realize how time flew by. To link the conversation he has to say something now, so Samrat opened his mouth. “Are you okay? I mean, you are not high or something, are you?”
It is said that person speaks truth after three pegs, but with first timer the quantity may decrease to even 2 pegs. So Monika replied “Honestly speaking, I am a little drunk, but give me an answer.”
“No.”
“No????” she said this in bit of a depressed mode. But her tone revealed the entire emotion behind that two letter word ‘No’. This made Samrat feel awkward, so to make things better he continued, “I mean, we will talk about this when you are sober.”
Why not now? I am okay right now!
Monika stop acting like a child! it’s not the right time to talk. You won’t even remember a word tomorrow, so it’s better that we talk when you are sober.
Sammy, please say something. I am feeling that you are angry with me.
No dear, it’s just not the right time to talk about this.
You know, sometimes…,(she took a sip) you act so weird that I don’t understand you. Sometimes you…, (she again took another sip) become so comple.. complexxx, (her tongue was getting heavy, which was the indicator that she was pretty drunk)  You should always talk with your friendsss. It will lighten your burden. Love you Samrat!
It was almost 2 am when Samrat somehow managed to end the conversation, after convincing her that they would speak about it later.
Was Samrat who handled the conversation or the alcohol which was showing its effects, don’t know otherwise she would not have stopped till she got her answers.
Monika and Samrat had another conversation the very nest day, when they met in college. She came to Samrat’s table and asked to come outside class, and she asked.
“Yesterday I was sloshed and I think I did something very stupid. Did I call you last night? Because I saw your name in my call log. Please answer me honestly.”
“Yup, you did call me yesterday.”
“And what did I talk to you about?” she asked Samrat with her eyes closed forcefully. In a lower tone.
“That I am not going to tell  you or anyone for that matter.” Said Samrat, and gave a smile.
“Please Sammy, tell me na! Did I do something terrible?”
“No, I have heard worse than this.”
“That means I definitely did something terrible. Please tell me.”
“NO.”
“Ok, but whatever I said to you, please don’t take it seriously. I didn’t mean any of that.”
“It’s fine with me, I can understand, don’t worry”
                                                                                                
                                                                                                 ...to be continued