Friday, August 20, 2004


The lone bulb at the far end of the corridor flickered dimly..There was an eerie silence in the whole wing - save the constant humming of the washing machine.

Thank God, its finally back - my pile of dirty clothes has almost assumed Himalayan heights but all that can wait till tomorrow. There are better things lined up for the evening...

Sauntering back into the room, I checked my watch for the seventeenth time (or was it eighteenth) and could not believe it was already half past eight. What was holding her...Women were so stupid..Pranav will be back any moment now and he'll take over the computer - things have to be finalized before that.

With one eye firmly fixated on the icon at the bottom right corner of the monitor, I tried in vain to scan through the newspapers to see if any new restaurant or eatery had sprung up in the neighborhood where we could eat out tonight.

Knock Knock

“Who’s that?”
“Abbey saaley, door kholna.. kya kar raha hai ?”

The last thing I wanted now was a mad Bengali and his post-mortem on what had gone wrong a few hours ago.

“Dada, I know we should have gone all out in those last few minutes but I hope u remember that it was raining hard and I was slipping so often.”
“Open the damn door, man.”
“No way Dada.. See, I know we should have won but I did my best.”
“I wasn't gonna talk about it now - I wanted to ask when we are leaving for dinner. “
“Sorry but I have a date for the evening. ”
“You dumping me? ”
“Not the way I see it.. I made these plans much earlier.. Now goooooooooo. ”
“Who’s the bitch ? ”
“Buzz off mate. ”

Creeping stealthily towards the door and affording myself a quick peek, I checked to see if Dada had left.


The football match earlier in the evening had been a total disaster till the last few minutes - by sheer bad luck we had drawn to play without Tee shirts and within few minutes of the start, OPS had scored.. and then it started pouring. The soggy pitch and the very physical defensive tactics employed by the opposition had only added to my woes. I kept slipping at crucial moments and muffed an easy tap-in. To make matters worse, she had been watching this all along from the sidelines. Damn. Never one to break her Wednesday evening routine at the library, why was she here today. Half time had come and gone in a flash and we were soon staring at the barrel of defeat. It was Now or Never.

Minutes before the end we had earned a free kick just outside the D. As our best man Tanmay lined up to take it, I had positioned myself at the far post knowing his ability to hit the ball a long way. And just as I had expected, the ball floated long and deep towards me..Rising up in the air to deflect it towards goal, I suddenly saw the huge frame of a defender ahead of me. Left with no option, I produced the faintest of nudges at just the right moment, one that would have made Nesta or Cannavaro proud, and before anyone could say Gezhundheit, the defender came crashing down, the ball hit my forehead and landed at the back of the net. The opposition protested but the referee stayed put and the goal counted. A few minutes later the final whistle sounded a draw - while everyone trooped off dejectedly since the result meant IM winning the Cup, I was secretly thrilled that I had redeemed myself in front of her eyes.

Bang Bang Bang

”Oh gawd.. Who’s that ?”
”It’s me Pranav..Are you asleep ? I have been pounding at this door for the last two minutes. Is everything alright ? ”

Dragging myself off the computer, I ambled towards the door and opened to let my room mate in. Not so surprisingly, he had brought along a huge pile of books. Nerd.

”Hey, you not going out for dinner ? ”
”I am expecting an important message on IP - just lemme know will ya... ”
i said avoiding a direct reply.

Settling down into my bed, I pondered over the way events had shaped up the last few days. The OB project grades had come out the day before (Yet another paper where Pranav had topped -its getting so boring) and though I had just managed to scrape a B-, she had come over and discussed in detail the feedback we had all received. And then all those smiles she had been throwing at my smart observations during our field trips - surely they meant something.. Besides there was also the coffee she had treated me at Barista..Well, my entire Marketing group - Saakshi, Shrikant and Pranav - had been there but still didn't she choose to sit besides me..And she definitely seemed interested in me...After all, she had good taste..We would make a good pair, Ms. Pretty-n-Intellectual and Mr. Funny-n-Smart :-) But no way was I gonna make the first move. Let her.. and i am pretty sure its gonna be today..She was there at the game after all.


Rudely stirred from my deep thoughts, I woke up to see an excited Pranav typing away furiously at the computer

”All fine ? ”
”Yayaya..Looks like the fish has taken the bait.. ”
”I don't get it.. ”
”Check out this conversation”

PranavKhanna: What the hell makes you so smart?
Lets-talk-business: I wouldn’t go for coffee with you
PranavKhanna: Listen - I wouldn’t ask you
Lets-talk-business: That is what makes you stupid
”I still don't get it... ”
”U r pretty dumb, aren't you.. Those are exact lines from LOVE STORY.. ”
” cheesy... ”
”Dude, u r not really getting it, are u ? I think I just got myself a date with the most desirable one on campus.. Yesssssssssss.. Check this”

PranavKhanna: :-) Thanks so when and where ?? :-)
Lets-talk-business: 9:15, GH ke saamne and I prefer the Juhu wala Barista ;)
”Whatever man..I don’t like such mushy crap.. Where did u learn all this ? I thought all u ever did was read books.. ”
”What books do u think I read in the library ;-) ”
”Neway all the best for your date with whoever this Lets-talk-business is... ”
”Thanks dude...I am sure Preeti and I will have a rollicking time.. ”
”Wait...Who did you say you were going out with... ”
Preeti.. Kyuun ? ”
Preeti Mehra??”
”You know any other in campus??”
“Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo !!”

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