Friday, September 5, 2008

tete-a-tete

Gia stared at the number on her phone. The name Irfan made no sense either. But it was in her contacts. Obviously she had added it there. So who was this? And why couldn’t she remember? Earlier the numbers were easy to identify on the first 4 numbers basis. 9886 was Blore.9846 Kerala. 9810 Delhi. Now though it was impossible. The telecom companies have generated numbers which by no ways, you racking your brains, can find out the origin. She decided to call.

'Irfan?' she enquired hesitantly.

'Yeah that’s me. Gia? How you doing babe?' spoke the male voice from the other end.

' Uh..oh.. am fine. How are you?'

It is pretty embarrassing when someone remembers you and you don’t. You don’t know what to say, cos you are scared of people classifying you as a snob. Gia wasn’t a snob though.

' I’m doing great dear. So how’s shweta? Haven’t heard from you both a long time now.'

'Oh..shweta is good. She’s pretty busy nowadays. Even I don’t see much of her.'

So he knew shweta. Is this someone from college? Could be. Some junior maybe.

'Oh...right. That dance research should be taking the hell out of her. But well that’s what she always wanted to do, and am glad she is so involved.'

'Oh..yeah..so how have you been Irfan? And what are you doing now?'Uh..oh...mistake?

'Me...am doing the same that I have been doing for 2 years now. The reason why you got pissed off with me, remember?'

'Me..? I was pissed off with you?'

'Well...yeah.. I guess. At least that’s the idea I got when you suddenly started avoiding me. I thought you didn’t like me writing. I wasn’t able to give you much time babe. But I have missed you so much. I never thought you would call me ever.'

F*** how could she forget Irfan. This was not cool. How can you forget a boyfriend. Even though they had been together for only about three months, they had been pretty close. In the beginning, his writing a book had seemed like a novel idea, but as the days tagged along, she got frustrated with the apartment littered with papers crushed into balls, dirty coffee mugs, unwashed clothes, unpaid bills..the book always seemed to be on a higher priority level than everything else, even her, so she finally bid adieu. Well that’s what she told herself to escape the guilt of deserting him. Its strange how things that you find attractive and actually perk your interest , tend to become monotonous and irritating with time. It was the writer that wooed her and the writer she had left.

'So you finished the book?'

'Oh..yeah.. and it bombed big-time. The publishers were not ready to risk money on a book about animals. Human emotions sell. Animals don’t. Well I wasn’t to be convinced and kept trying. Anyways after a year I gave up the struggle and started writing for the newspaper. I cover page 3 events. Zero creativity but good bucks. So that’s how I’m right now.'

'Oh..that’s sad. But I’m glad you survived the battle though and finally decided to become practical.'

'Oh...was that a dig on me?'

'Hey...no..I was genuinely appreciating you yaar.'

'Oh..ok...so how have you been? Two years..long time.'

'Yea..I just switched jobs recently. I’m working with the Oberoi now. Hectic work. Decent pay. But there is lots to learn and am loving it.'

'That’s great. Oberois are one of the best in the country.'

'Yea...truly. They are one of the oldest too. I feel really lucky to be with them. I want to open my own restaurant someday. ' Cos that’s the reason why I ran away from you. Your career meant giving up mine. Irfan was not the kind of guy she ever expected to come up with a lot of capital, and with him writing books, she would forever be covering his dues.

‘Oh…that’s nice Gia. I’ll pray that your dreams come true.’

Now she had saved a lot of money. Probably three years down the line, she would be able make her dreams a reality. Choosing to become single had paid off. But today she had almost forgotten Irfan. Not that she chose to remember him.

'Ok then Irfan I have got to hang up. It was nice talking to you after so long. Try and keep in touch.'

'Sure. I will. Say hi to shweta for me will ya?'

'Sure'

There...it ended ,the conversation between two former lovers, now acquaintances. It would probably need another memory loss to get back and dial that number again. But that’s how we are, we move on. I often think about my schoolmates, neighbors, former friends, some are vague memories, some faces and others just names and wonder what they would be doing, where they would be, although if I meet any I would probably not know them at all. Sometimes I go on a dialing spree and call up all the numbers on my cell, just to find out how everyone is faring, which is like twice or thrice a year, but that’s it. There were people I remember I couldn’t bear not talking to, even for a day, but with time our dependency decreases. Today I feel I can probably live without another being. Being independent is definitely cool, like being single, but sometimes I feel a void inside me, as if there is nothing purposeful in what I do except for the materialistic goals. When you are small, you want to grow up and leave home, become independent. All your life you run away from people, not cos you don’t want to stop, but cos you don’t want to be behind. You think there will come a time when you can stop and revel in what you have achieved. But when you reach there, which is years later, the entire effort seems futile. The world is pretty small, they say. But large enough definitely, to lose your relatives, friends, even lovers in the crowd. We really have become really small.

4 comments:

sawan said...

man.. u shud seriously think of writing a book.. u already got a buyer :-)

athi said...

wow... :D

Jagadesh said...

don't know what to type.. its awesome.....

amit nambiar >> said...

thoroughly agree with sawan's comment! :)