It's Not Right...but It's Okay(4)

By: Anuj Tiwari

‘By the way, she is not coming. I just got her message.’

‘How can she ditch you at the last moment?’ his mom fumes, curious as to why Anushka can’t make it to Kolkata. ‘Anyway, you take care and sleep now. You have an early morning.’

The next day Arjun flies to the city of joy, though he knows he will miss Anushka. They had made plans to meet in the city, but her change of mind has dampened his mood.

Anushka is a friend who has always helped him in his personal and professional life since he was in college. She is from a Punjabi family and stays in Delhi. She was a year senior to him in college. After her engineering, she joined Vccenture Services in Bangalore as a Business Analyst, and a year later Arjun joined the same organization in Mumbai. She got frustrated with her nine to six job and left it to pursue an MBA from IIFT in Delhi.

When Arjun went through a tragic breakup and was in depression, Anushka helped him through the bitter six-month phase. They are like soul siblings. They know almost everything about each other, sometimes more than a friend should. She goes shopping with him whenever he is in Delhi. He shares all his problems with her. He drops her home after nights out in clubs and pubs. She wakes him up early in the morning and then they continue to talk till the evening. They have shared the same glass of drink, even the same bed, but they are just friends. The best of friends.

I love u Rachu


A Friend I Can Count On

There is an air of excitement as Arjun lands in Kolkata. The afternoon is buzzing with possibilities. He imagines the new faces he will meet, the new stories he will encounter, and the new experiences which will enrich him. Yet the crowds around make him anxious.

He feels he should listen to his mom and get into a relationship. By getting engaged at least someone will be there to pamper him or choose the colour of the shirt he is going to wear or the hairstyle he should keep. However, his mom wants him to get married without getting into an affair or a relationship. Sometimes during these moments he feels alone, but he is courageous enough to deal with it on his own. He is not scared of the future, or of the successes and failures that are headed his way. He has made peace with the possible ups and downs of life.

After a cab ride, a run through some streets and lanes and crossing the tracks of the historical trams of Kolkata, He finally reaches South City Mall at 4.45 p.m. He crosses the central area of the mall and takes the escalators. He enters a quaint bookstore— the venue for the author’s meet.

Why don’t they keep it in an open area, like at the centre of the mall? Arjun thinks while stepping inside the bookstore. I think I am not that big yet. I mean, I am not that big an author, but I will be one someday, and then I will interact with my readers in a larger space.

Everyone settles down as the host announces the commencement of their meet. He takes a sip of water, as his nervousness on meeting new people makes his throat go dry constantly.

A few girls look inside through the glass windows curiously. He remembers what his Nanu said—Bong girls are beautiful but they are modern and clever too.

Well, it’s time for me to see how clever these Bong girls are. I hope I have an interesting discussion with them.

Arjun is not tall but has broad shoulders and the blue blazer he has worn falls perfectly on his frame. His dark hair and solemn brow give him a look of being introspective, observant and analytical, while his boyish grin makes him approachable. He wears square-framed spectacles which keep sliding down his small nose. He has a light beard on his face which gives him that rugged look. His natural charm and friendly disposition make it easier for people to ask him questions and get to know him better.

I am the best. I am the best. I am the best.

He is energized and in high spirits and keeps repeating these lines to himself.

He has been using this trick since his college days when he wasn’t sure of what to say during a presentation.

Arjun talks about relationships, friendship and life. He reads a few chapters from his book too. The session becomes interactive and interesting with time. It takes forty-five minutes to end the event which is sooner than he expected. Now, it is time to answer some questions from the audience.