Initially we felt very embarrassed to share the same apartment.It was new to both of us though in some way she was more accepting of it than me.Since the mansion was spacious with 2 bedrooms and bathrooms we dint get in the way of each other.Our mutual hatred had not lessened as we dint have to interact much.
On the night of 16th March she received a Skype call from her home in Bangalore.She had gone out to buy some groceries(yes we used to cook only for ourselves).As i could not bear to hear the repeated ping sounds from her laptop i decided to mute the volume.On the screen was a message from her father that her grandmother had died.I dint know how to react.I just went back to my room.
Just then the door unlocked and she went straight to her laptop.I was thinking in my mind that she would breakdown and i would have to step in to console her and all,which i did not want to get into.As i was seeing her from the corner of my room,she calmly took her just bought groceries,kept some vegetables in the fridge and went about her cooking after having read the message in her computer.(There was a contrast in our cooking timings as well.She was the more organized as she used to cook the dishes for night in the morning before leaving to office but i used to come back and cook.)I thought to myself "how heartless this girl is?,her grandmother has died and she doesnt even shed a tear!!".
That night as i lay on my bed i heard some noises from the drawing room.As i switched on the lamp i saw her weeping copiously with her legs crouched on the floor.I could not help but console her as i had a weakness for tears specially if it was girls.I realised that day she was like coconut,tough exterior with soft inside.I was happy that i had acted magnanimous and made her realise that i was a good guy.But the next day was the same like any other.Limited talk.
One day it was tough going for me in office.I had to give a demo of the code i had written but i was not getting it right.I requested the firangis and some other Indians there as well,but all were either busy or appearing so.I dint ask Priya although she was just in the next cubicle as I thought it would hurt my ego.By evening i had alleviated the big problem to a small one but without it,the whole program was not running.
Just then our associate head came for our demos.Out of the blue Priya came to my help.I dint know when she had cracked what the problem was,but she had been watching me.I did the necessary corrections and by the time Alec came the demo was up and running.I thanked her that night in the apartment.Atleast i wanted to be different than her when someone helps.
On another day i had work till late night.As the thought of having to go to the apartment,cook and then eat,i knew that i had to go hungry to bed as all the hotels nearby were non-vegetarian food and no Indian hotels were in the vicinity.I dint want to eat some place else and spoil my stomach for the rest of the week as it had happened in the first week of our joining.As i reached my apartment late night i went through the fridge to see if there was some leftovers.I suddenly noticed some plates with food kept on the table with a note.
"Learn to wake up more early and cook food in the morning itself,this is only for
Although it was caustically written,i felt good that she atleast cared.
July 4th 2010:
It was American Independence day and a holiday.As it was followed up by the weekend it was like an extended holiday.Some Indians whom we had befriended in the company offered us to come along with them to New York to spend the weekend.We happily agreed.Priya had seen New York before when she had come along with her parents for one of her relatives wedding.We lodged ourselves in a hotel,one room for each.
In the evening Priya asked whether i would come along with her to see the nightlife of New York.I agreed and we both first went to Madison Square Garden.The place left me stunned.There were many competitions going on near the nearby Planet Hollywood mall.There was a competition where if we won we could select from any one of Louis Bagge T-shirt,Lee jeans,Sketches Brown shoes or a Verlitto heels.Priya tried first but failed at it.I saw that she badly wanted the heels.I decided to try my hand and by pure piece of luck i was able to win it.The host asked as to what i wanted?
I dint know what i was thinking when i blurted out Verlitto ...heel...heels."Oh the nice man wants the heels for his girlfriend!" announced the host in such an emphatic tone as though he had won it and called us both to the stage and made me give the heels to her taking a snap meanwhile.After we came out i was still in contemplative mind as to what i had just done.I dint want to even come close to fall in love again as i had failed when i tried.
She just asked me for a minute and went inside a store.Half an hour later(I was livid at her timings -one minute is not half an hour,even in India!!,but women;) cant help) she came out with a Shirt and handed it to me and said.
"Wear this,atleast you will not look boring!".As we walked back to the hotel i was mulling over the various reasons for which she bought a Shirt for me as soon as i had won her the heels.
1)She did not want to keep any 'ehsaan'.
2)As we had become friends she might have thought it has a return gesture for my benevolence.
3)She seriously thought i looked crappy which made me more worried.
4)She liked me? now that option was a doubt.
In the night i checked into one of the internet cafes to see my emails.A new mail had arrived and it also said that (one male;)) Varun would be joining us San Jose to work in our vertical.
JULY 23rd 2015
I turned back and it was Varun!.Floods of memories of our friendship flashed through my mind and we tightly embraced each other(like in Dil Chahta Hai) and kiddishly wept as well.I had missed my friend all these 4 years and did not want to further.We talked a lot.He was married also but he told that he dint have the heart to call me as he thought i would spurn him away.His wife had gone out.As he was making tea in his kitchen for us i saw that his marriage album was lying about on the side table.As i opened it.....