Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Umm, Ridiculous - (5)

If you are new to the series, here you go:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

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The very familiar red car was right outside my campus. Dhruv stood out, one foot crossing over the other and arms folded. He was informally formal - his shirt's cuffs folded up to just below his elbow. Long legs in tailored pants and nice shoes, my best friend was handsome indeed. I smiled at my 20 year old self that lusted after him. Over the years, he had opted for contact lens. Though I hated missing his glasses, the new look made him all the more sophisticated and classy.

As I approached him, his face brightened up and he pulled me into the biggest hug. I couldn't have been happier either.

"Nammmm! Oh I have missed you!"

 "Dhruvvv! Its been a freakin' month and a half!"

Something about being with your favorite person in the whole wide world helps you breathe. May be the way they hold you, may be the way they breathe, the way they pat your back when they sense your rugged breathe. Or may be the way they always say the perfectly right things without uttering a word. The way their face rests on your shoulder, as if they own all the pain in the world, or the way you bury yourself in their chest. I don't know what. Something about their simple existence makes our existence simpler.

"I know right? Its been so long! I can't believe we wanted to walk out of college and stop being students. Anyway, you hungry?"

"No, I am Nam!"

"Dear god! That thing never gets old", he laughed, "Honestly, hungry? You shall not throw tantrums once we are inside the showroom"

"Me no hungry. Lets go! Let me drive, please?"

"I want to go to Goa, not drive to hell with you", he opened the other door.

I made a face and almost hopped in, but didn't. Formal skirts force clumsy girls get some balance. Elegance. Or some uncomfortable things like that.

In one swift move, I was sitting inside and adjusting the hem line.

I could hear Dhruv roar with laughter.

"What?", I yelled at him as he came around the car and brought the engine to life.

"Just remembered the day you couldn't walk down the bus without dropping everything. And here you are, being so sophisticated and grown up. My clumsy kid grew up."

"Yea, shit happens. So where are we going now?"

"Lets go to Phoenix. Shoes and clothes and everything. Plus its just a 20 minute drive, lets take the Ring Road route"

"Okay!", and I started meddling with the playlist on the stereo.

Within 20 minutes, we were there. The classy me got out of the car and the clumsy girl took over. After parking the car, we walked in. It being a weekday, the mall wasn't teeming with human beings. Annoying kids and irritated mothers, hapless fathers, sappy couples? No, thank you. As we took the third escalator to reach the third floor, hunger hit me.

"Dhruuuv! I am hungry!"

"Aahaan? But I thought you were Nam!"

I punched him in the arm and pulled my I-am-mad-at-you face.

He produced a bar of Snickers.

Nostalgia was hitting in the right places.

I couldn't help remember the first time he had offered me a damned bar of Snickers.

Chocolate calming my tummy down, we started shopping. I didn't want to buy shoes. Somehow, every pair looked ugly that day. Every pair looked like crocs. And then we went shopping for the ridiculously hot guy. He looked hot in every thing, of-course. This man could wrap a newspaper around him and still pull it off. Gorgeous damned thing.

After making him walk the ramp of the trial room with various permutation and combinations of shirts, teeshirts, pants and trousers, we finally picked everything needed.

It was 11 PM when we were back in car. I was exhausted from all the talking. He was exhausted from all the shopping and ramp walking. I got into the car and instantly fell asleep, Dhruv was a good driver.

When he shook me and I woke up, it was around 12. We were at my door step.

"Nam, wake up. We are home."

He walked out and opened the door. He walked me home and I went straight to my room. I had no patience  to wait till he walked back to car. My mom and him would have long sessions of gossip about me, anyway.

Tuesday and Wednesday ran past me.

We were to leave on Wednesday evening. The plan was to assemble at Dhruv's place that evening. One Innova, six people. God bless WhatsApp chat group. Everything was finalized.

I phoned Dhruv on Wednesday afternoon.

"Ya Nam? Sup?"

"Pick me up at 5. Stop near my place for 15 minutes. Then we will go to your place."

"I will, maam. I know you'll miss the Innova if I don't keep screaming 'Nammmmmm commmmeee', know?"

"Shut up! That was years ago, I am punctual now."

"Lets see. That's it?"

"Yea, that's a plan."

At 6, we were at my door. My packed bags waited in my room. God bless little sisters also.

"Nammmmm commmmmme!", he started his chanting at 6 30 PM. He couldn't go wrong, ever.

"Yup!", I walked down the stairs in my favorite dress - cotton, comfortable, pretty.

"You almost missed the car."

I smacked on his head and gave hugs to my clan before leaving.

By the time we reached his place, the Goli circle was there.

It was a carnival - hug fests, leg pulling fests. With every riot of laughter, I reminded myself of how much I missed all this.

By 7 30, we had hit the roads. We girls sat at the back chatting away, while the guys drove and decided on the routes. Dhruv was driving, he was the only with the patience to drive in the maddening traffic of the city.

After dinner around 11 PM, Akki took over the steering wheel. Him and Lily sat in the front seats, Shrav and Pinto were in the middle ones. Dhruv came back to sit with me. I ruffled his hair - it was the one thing that really, really annoyed him. Though for me, it was real, real fun.




"Did you call Priya? You haven't called her all evening."

"Yea, I will. She must be asleep by now."

"Oh okay. So sup? How's life?"

"Ummmmmm life's good! Work, stress, booze. Repeat", his voice waned away.

For the first time that day, I gazed into his face. He looked tired. A sense of irritation and wave of upset. Just like the first day.

"All okay, Dhruv?"

"Yea yea, all okay. I am just really tired, Nam."

I checked his temperature, it was normal.

Something was wrong. It was not normal of him to not talk. To not be enthu. He gazed outside - his eyes oblivious to the cars that zoomed by past us. Work stress was definitely getting to him, a 10 hour job with an obese package was equally demanding. As I reflected on the past few months, I couldn't recall the last time he sent me an audio clipping of him playing his guitar, or singing. It was that long ago. I didn't want to prod, I knew he would tell me eventually.

My poor best friend.

"Well you sleep now then, Akki and Pinto will drive. You can drive tomorrow."

The car zoomed past others.

"Okay, goodnight Nam. Goodnight ya'all, Dhruv signing off.", and he rested his head on my shoulder. I sank down a little to make his tall frame fit comfortable on my midget frame's shoulders, and he nuzzled in.

"Thank you Nam.", he murmured.

"That's okay. Sleep."

I couldn't help remember the extremely enthusiastic kid with the Pokemon sipper, eager to run to class and make friends. The kid had grown up and was tired, just the way the clumsy girl had.

When I finally walked out of nostalgia and checked the time, it was 12 30 AM. Smiling at all our memories, I was slipping into sleep, when Dhruv took in a deep sigh and tilted his face up to face me. Here I was pitying the best friend, wondering about the amount of stress he was possibly going through, and here he was, not yet fallen asleep in a jiffy, like I had assumed.

"Dhruv?", I whispered. I didn't want to wake up the rest of them or distract Akki. The car was in top speed.

He nodded his head side ways and and went back to resting his head against me, and this time, his fingers strummed against mine.

Umm.

To be continued.



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PS: Fiction, honestly. You guys do remember I am still in 6th semester? :P
PPS: How did you like it? Comment okay?

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10 comments:

  1. Loved it..:) Desperately waiting for the next one..
    Loved the complete blog actually.. Great work..:)

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    Replies
    1. Haha thanks a lot :) The next one will be up soon :)

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  2. fun series! :D i am following them from now onwards. Also, I was an old reader here but kind of lost track and I am back now. I know how you are one of the few people who are all up for genuine comments, so I'll honestly say that I really liked the plot in all the posts of this series but since I know how much you are into writing, I would also say that it'll be great if you work extra on the grammar part because you weave words beautifully, anyway :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, thank you so so much :D
      Haha, I tend to write a little colloquial sometimes, it adds to help the reader connect with the lines :) And that looks like lack of Grammar :D Like the way we talk, you know? *I made an error here :P*
      Thanks, anyway :)

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  3. Interesting post honey...enjoyed reading it....you have a lovely blog...will you be interested in following each other...do let me know...stay connected honey...:-)
    http://www.beautyandfashionfreaks.com/

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is torture...you know precisely to keep us on our toes!! ;) ;) cant wait for the next segment...

    ReplyDelete

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