29 Apr 2015

The Thing Called: Love, Lust and Faith



Chapter 4
The Thing Called: Love, Lust and Faith
My summer internship project meant I had to meet doctors, specifically surgeons, and ask them whether they knew of the company's medical instruments, and if they did not, I would note that hospital's name to inform the person in charge of sales.
While waiting for the doctor outside his chamber, I used to text her and we used to chat like hell. It was 3 pm when I received a call from Richa, our teacher.
R: Hello. is it Samrat?
Me: Hello Ma'am.
R: Kahaan pe ho beta? (Where are you, son?)
Me: Ma'am, waiting outside a doctor’s chamber.
R: Ok, listen. Would you compere for the Juniors' induction program?
Me: Ok Ma'am.
R: I am not asking you, I am telling you to do this. It will be a good platform for you. I remember your compering from Sensation 2013 and I need something similar. We only have two days left. Can you meet me today? I will be in college till 5 pm.
Me: Ok, Ma'am, I will reach around 5 pm.
R: You better do so.
I was anxious, as compering meant that I would have to set my internship aside for three days. I had targets to complete. How would I manage?
An idea saved my skin. I went to the grocery shop, bought 10 chocolate bars, and came to the hospital. Being my fourth visit to this hospital, the receptionist knew me well by now, I  gave her and her colleagues the chocolates after telling her it was my birthday. I asked her the doctors' timings for the rest of the day, and requested her if she could get the forms filled by then. She said she would try. So I gave her the forms and told her I will come to collect them after four days.
By the time I completed this juggling it was 4:30, I entered the doctor’s chamber, did my call, and came out. When I checked my watch it was 4:45 pm. I hurried and reached college, just as she was about to leave her desk.
Me: Hello. Ma'am, sorry for being late.
R: It's ok.
Me: What time is the induction? Will I be handling it on my own?.
R: I am not sure about the timing. Be that as it may, I want both of you to reach college at 8 am sharp. And you will only report to me.
Me: You both? I don’t understand, who else is there with me?
R: She will be there with you.
Richa ma'am pointed to someone behind me. As I turned, I saw Sakshi standing near the door.
Me: Sakshi?
R: Why? Is there any problem?
Sakshi … She had been my first crush in college. By the time I decided to ask her out though, she was already in a relationship with someone. Sakshi was insanely fair, black shiny eyes, perfect figure. She was gorgeous and many had their hearts set on her.
Me: No, not at all.
I extended my hand.
Me: How are you? Sorry about that, I didn't see you.
S: Hey, it’s ok.
R: Samrat, you know how to compere. Please prepare the script. We will meet at 1 pm tomorrow.
Me: Shall do that.
R: All right. Call me if you want, but not after 10 pm. Bye!
Me & S: Bye Ma'am.
Me: Hmm, so what’s up? How is your internship progressing?
S: It is quite relaxed. Actually, it’s not the internship that I am worried about. I have a deadline looming at another part-time job and that is what worries me.
Me: Another job? That’s nice. Are you hungry? Let’s grab a bite!
S: Ok.
She received a text message as we walked to the tea stall. A natural smile spread across her face as she read it. Must have been her boyfriend. I wish this smile could have been for me, if I would have asked her out before this boyfriend of hers, but what the heck, I am happy with my girlfriend, she is more beautiful to me than Sakshi. Besides, she knows me better and understands me better than anyone else. She then texted him back and put her mobile in her pocket. We ordered two cuttings (half a cup of tea), and a cream roll.
Me: Have you ever tasted a cream roll with tea? It tastes so  delicious.
S: Not yet, but I will. So you seem busy these days. How’s your internship progressing?
Me: Yes, I have been busy lately. These doctors you know, they just can’t seem to get enough of me. They make me sit outside their chamber and once I get in, they won’t leave me easily. 
Sakshi was the only other person, besides my girlfriend, whom I could talk with like this. We shared a similar background. Likes and dislikes.
Me: So anything new happening in Castle?
S: No, haven’t seen that for a while. Only Californication and How I met your mother.
Me: Hmm.
As we were talking she gave me the smile which was there on her face a while back. Just as I was beginning to smile back in response, I heard a male voice behind me. A man, chatting loudly over his phone, walked up to Sakshi and hugged her. That was Vikram, her boyfriend.
V: What are you having?
S: Tea and cream rolls. Do you want some?
She turned to the stall owner.
S: Make that three cuttings.
Me: Hey, how are you?
V: I am good. How are you?
Me: I am doing great!
V: Why are you with her?
My friends had told me about Vikram, and his attitude, he had become the arrogant son of bitch ever since Sakshi had proposed to him.
Me: We are compering for the induction program.
Vikram got busy talking with Sakshi, and I got a call from my girlfriend as I dug into the cream roll.
Me: Hey, guess what? I will be doing the compering for the induction program.
Her: That’s nice.
Me: And guess who will be there with me?
Her: Pyaari?
Me: Oh, come on! You know, I don’t like that name, or is it just that you like teasing me every now and then?
Her: All right, all right. Who will be there with you?
Me: It is Sakshi.
Her: Hmm.
Me: Are you feeling jealous? And the cherry on top is that we may need to put in long hours for this because we don’t have a lot of time. We will complete the script tonight.
Her: Do whatever you want.
Me: Hey dear, don’t get angry, I was just teasing you. You can come here if you want to. I think Sakshi’s boyfriend will also be there.
Her: I am not angry, neither am I jealous. Compering for an important function was your dream, so I hope you do it well, and all the best to you.
Me: Thank you. But I am still sensing something is wrong. Are you ok with this?
Her: Absolutely. it’s just that I have a headache that’s all.
Me: Have some medicines or something. Shall I come over and apply balm on your forehead? I am sure that will do the trick.
Her: Ok sweetheart, no need to come here. I will take the medicines. When will you ever stop flirting with me?
Me: My delicious apple pie, I wasn’t flirting, just concerned about you.  
Her: Ok, my sweet angel, now go and concentrate on the script. All the best.
Me: Thank you. Bye.
Her: Bye.
They had finished their tea and snacks by this time. So the tea I had ordered had gone cold. I hurriedly gulped down my cream roll and signalled we should get going.
S: Finish your tea first.
Me: No, I will drink it while walking. We need to start working on the script. Its 6:30 now. It will take at least three hours.
S: As you say.
We had just started discussing how to begin, when Vikram sat down beside Sakshi. He fiddled with his mobile and pretended to be totally lost in it.
Me: Well I think that this script should have an element of naughtiness. What do you think?
S: Naughty, huh? How naughty are we talking here?
Me: Naughty enough to make them feel comfortable and decent enough to make them realise that they are beginning their post-graduation.
Vikram got a call and he reacted to it like he was getting irritated with the call, or was it the word 'naughty' which made him more irritated and the poor caller was suffering because of it? While he barked into the phone, I suddenly noticed how close we were sitting to each other.
S: Sammy, why don’t you flirt with me?
Me: Excuse me?
S: I mean on the stage. It will serve the purpose of being naughty and you will get a chance to flirt with a girl in front of an audience.
Before I could react, she put her hand inside my shirt and pinched me.
S: You better say yes.
We heard Vikram's voice getting louder as he approached and she removed her hand from my shirt, while simultaneously making space between us.
S: So Sammy, will you do what we decided and shall we call it a day?
Me: But Sakshi, the script is only half done …
S: Don’t worry. I will write the naughty part and you write the rest. Mail it to me once you are done, I will be up late. Call me any time if you have any doubts.
By the time she finished speaking with me, Vikram was already inside the room.
S: Babu, shall we?
V: You've finished your script?
S: I am done for now, Sammy will take care of the rest. Am I right, Sammy?
Me: Yes. That’s what I am famous for, being a good finisher. I will make it a smooth one, so that it will be easy for you to get used to, in no time. 
I packed the bag and dialled my girlfriend's number.
Me: Hey, how is my apple pie?
Her: Your apple pie is feeling lonely.
Me: Why so?
Her: Because her boyfriend is busy with work and he has no time for her.
Me: Hmm. Something must be done. Why is he so busy? Can’t he understand that a lovely girl is waiting for him?
Her: He should know that. Even so, he’s the most caring and lovely boyfriend when he's around.
Me: But then why is he not the same all the time? Is he mad?
Her: Don’t you dare call him mad.
Me: Then why is he not giving attention to his girlfriend?
Her: He is busy with his work.
Me: Leaving a girl like you alone when she is suffering from a headache is not fair. Give me his name and address. I will go personally and give him some advice and a few punches if needed.
Her: Don’t you dare go near him, else I will punch your lights out.
Me: Great! See how times change? You try to do something right for somebody and that somebody bites you in return.
Her: Sammy, enough! Get back to normal. 
Me: Ok. How are you feeling?
Her: The same as before.
Me: Did you take the medicines?
Her: Yes, I did.
Me: Let me come over.
Her: No. You concentrate on your compering. I will be fine. How’s the script coming along?
Me: It is half done. I will write the rest at home and forward it to Sakshi.
Her: Ok. All the best! Now go home. It’s late already.
Me: As you say, my lady.
Her: Ride safe, my sweet angel.
Me: Bye, my apple pie!
I was very happy. It was a dream come true for me. I went home and began writing the script, finished it just after midnight. I wrote the full script as I was sure that Sakshi was not going to write a word.
The next day, I got an expected response.
S: Thank you Sammy, you have saved me today, otherwise Richa Ma'am would have been mad at us.
Me: I know that dear. Don’t worry, you just follow Ma'am’s lead.
S: Thank you Sammy.
We practised extensively for over four hours. She made us realise the importance of each word, its pronunciation and intonation.
I learned a lot that day, and we performed brilliantly the next day. Praise flowed in from all quarters, but I was a bit upset as my girlfriend had not been there.