Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Trial run.

Blog post #50! Woo hoo!

"Do you think those two'll last?"

Vivek studied the aforementioned couple over his bottle of 7Up, hoping he was sufficiently subtle and sounded sufficiently disinterested. Sreesha whirled around to stare at them, causing Vivek to groan and wonder at the sudden loss of the powerful peripheral vision Sreesha claimed to have. The couple, however, was oblivious. Vivek and Sreesha stood outside the 'potti kadai', the one so strategically located outside the girls' hostel.

"Why do you ask, da? They fit. Not half as bad as the rest in campus", said Sreesha. "No, look at them, they've been having that serious discussion ever since we came here. Could it be trouble?", Vivek said as he averted his eyes from the guy and his stupid new haircut. Sreesha gave the two another glance and said, "No, they're smiling. That means the conversation isn't serious, it's earnest. Anyway you kind of know Kanya, don't you? Ask her yourself, how things are with Naveen." Vivek finished his bottle of 7Up and stood up. "Not like I care, I just asked." He noticed how Naveen was standing right next to the 'No males allowed after this point' signboard, where the lane that led to the girls' hostel diverged from the main path everyone took. He considered pushing Naveen well past the signboard just to see if he'd get into trouble.

Sreesha stood up too, and dusted her salwar. "Kanya!", she called out without warning, to general surprise, "We're going to watch Endhiran man! I have an extra ticket, coming?" Kanya half-smiled and mouthed 'no'. Sreesha shrugged and waved Naveen goodbye, following Vivek as he made his way to the parking lot, staring at naught but his phone.

"Aren't you PSYCHED, Vivek?! Let's throw confetti all over the place, okay?!", Sreesha said as she got into Vivek's car.
Vivek, still looking at his phone, said "Yeah totally. By the way, you might want to give me prior warning before inviting Kanya along next time." Especially to a movie. In the dark. Where she might fully be sitting next to him. Not for the first time, he cursed cruel chance, and wondered why a girl like Kanya was saddled with a total, unadulterated ass like Naveen.

Despite the untimely brooding, Vivek found himself having the time of his life. Ultimate Thalaivar padam experience, he updated his Facebook status from his phone. They walked out of the movie theater, giddy, just like everyone else who'd been part of the yelling, whistling and yes, confetti-throwing crowd. "That was brilliant. Wasn't it brilliant?", asked Sreesha, still carrying her popcorn container. "Yeah. Yeah! When you think about it, all of us in that theater were bound by a single gossamer thread. A gossamer thread named Rajinikanth." Sreesha stared at him, and said, "Or a gossamer thread named Aishwarya Rai. Or a gossamer thread named ARR." Vivek ignored her, staring into the distance. "Man, my body thrills at the thought." Sreesha stared at him again. "Your 'body thrills'? Reading Letters to the Penthouse again, are we?"

Vivek walked Sreesha down to the signboard outside the girls' hostel. "I don't wanna goooo", she whined, "I wanna watch Endhiran again!"
"Yes you might have mentioned that in the car. And before you got in. And right after you got out.", said Vivek, stifling a yawn, "Now go sleep, Sreesh. You have classes starting at 8 in the morning."
"Take me up to the guys' hostel at least, I'll sit and play rummy with Farookh and gang. I've never seen your room alsooo!"
Vivek sighed. She generally got like this, post 9 PM. "There's nothing in my room. Just our dirty clothes, my Hendrix poster and the guys."
Sreesha giggled, ostensibly at some private joke, and then quieted down. "Hey", she said.
"We need to talk."
"Tell me."
"Listen. I'm going to say this before I lose the courage to. I really like you. You're such an awesome guy, and there are so many things about you I've grown to adore. Its adorable, how you call making out necking or, at most, smooching. And how you think Susheela Raman's version of Nagumomu is sacrilege. And how you swear at lousy drivers, and how you're so meticulous when it comes to your writing. You know you've always been special to me, right? You've been my friend for the last 3 years, and my best friend for more than 2 of those years. Let's give us a shot, no? I'm sure we can handleit . How ever it goes."
She paused. He said nothing.
"Okay, I know I'm no Kanya Padmanabhan.." Vivek gave a start. "Oh please da, I know how you look at her. Yeah, so I know I'm no Kanya Padmanabhan, but I'm no dog either."
She let out a small giggle. He said nothing.
"And we've seen each other at our best and worst, so no surprises there, right? I don't know why I'm saying this now. Hell, I don't even know if this came out the way I wanted it to, but there you go. I like you, maybe even more than like you. What do you think?" She looked up at him apprehensively. "I pause for a reply." She grinned, tentatively. He did like it when she quoted Shakespeare.

Vivek cleared his throat. Scratched the side of his nose.

Vivek's childhood bud Mohit always told his friends the story of his cat, who accidentally fell into the washing machine once, tumbled around in it with the clothes, but miraculously survived. Survived to father 9 kittens. Vivek had always wondered how out of sorts the poor thing must have felt inside the washer, with no control, with clothes of all those colours swirling around him. With him. Going where the water took him. Banging into uncomfortable corners.

Now he knew.

He left Sreesha at the signboard. His memory told him he responded to her with something like, "Well. I don't know. Its so.. you know?" and left with a hurried good night. The solid stupidity of his reply made him want to bang his head against the wall.

She was special, there was no doubt about it. At the same time, she wasn't Kanya. No one could even come close. He remembered how Kanya had once told him that they would be each others' back-ups. The person the other would turn to, in case s/he was lonely and sad at age 28. He didn't know why he kept thinking about that, seeing how she A) definitely wasn't lonely and sad now and B) she had said the same on Google Talk.
His phone beeped. He unlocked his keypad, momentarily forgetting the security code, and opened a message from Lolcat. Sreesha's contact name. "Hey... I know I was abrupt, sorry for throwing it at you like that.. Take your time.. But I don't take back what I said...".
He threw his phone on his bed, only to hear it beep again. A message from Kanya. Unreal man, he thought. He assumed she had sent him her customary 'Gud nyt. From kanya & naveen.' mass message, and clicked 'Read'. 'Hey every1. Naveen & me r over as of 2day. Its been a long tym comin, but its stil hard. I'm thankful 2 yu al for yur help & counsel. Thnx 4 bein there 4 me."
He stared at the white lights of his phone. They were pretty lights. Kanya and Naveen were over. Pretty lights, still.

His roommate walked into their room. "Dei, tomorrow lab exam da. Finished record eh?"

Vivek groaned and kicked off his shoes. Threw his phone onto his bed. Swore and dropped into his chair.

He looked up at his sympathetic roommate. "Dai. Oru quarter sollu da."

Tomorrow was another day.