Ch3- Cold Coffee at Lotus-Hut

As I spent more and more time with Mitali and my books, I thought lesser about Varshaan. But it wasn’t all over. One corner of my mind still contained her, hated her…Just hated her. Somehow my mind was still not able to get over the shit that had happened. “Will ever such a gleeful day come in my life when I’ll even forget there was someday named Varshaan? Will ever such a peaceful night come in my life when her nightmares won’t haunt me?” Hating her had become an obstinate habit, a part of life, a pang in my heart which I knew I should better learn to live with. I might be in a crowd, still all alone. I might be all alone yet in a crowd of past memories.
I had those strange dreams quite frequently where the ambience would change everytime (sometimes we Varshaan and me..were in a bus, at other times in a train or fatafat sir’s class) but each time, one thing was common in the dreams. We sat somewhere nearby each other and yet didn’t utter a single word. Complete silence……that’s it-an illogical nightmare , to have in it the detestable girl.

MAY 19, 2010 7am.
wal_hawah..wasamah. ..Mar jawaan mar jawaan, tere ishq pe mar jawaan, Bheegi bheegi sapno ka jaise khat hai haaaaay ”(my the then ringtone from Fashion)-“hullo Mitali!”
“Niket, you nerd, you haven’t risen from bed yet!”-screeched she. And by the way, you can guess from the conversation that by now we had become quite good friends. No- Very good friends infact. We literally enjoyed each other’s company.
“So what Mitsu ! It’s a Sunday morning. Lemme sleep for few more hours. Good Night!”
“Wait! Don’t hang up! Karan Mahajan sir is taking an extra class today. I just saw the notice-board. Still 45 mins left. You can still get ready for the FM class – he’ll be starting with a new chapter .Don’t miss it Niks (cute name she gave me, isn’t it!) else you’ll lag behind in studies.”
“ Nope. Am NOT coming. I’ll study that from you later.”
“Niket , nahi aaya na toh teri atmahatya kar dungi !”, she said with such hypnotism, I felt like an Aladdin’s genie and dutifully obeyed my master’s order. You can murder someone but can suicideyou suicide someone? My Mitali can. And she repeats this favourite

phrase of hers at least 99 times a day. Every girl has her own patent phrase. Look at Bimla : whenever she gets irritated, she says : khopdi phod dungi ! Kajal says- KAY YOU (now how do I explain this? Let’s try: Take the Hindi translation of dog i.e. Ku…I hope you’ve understood. Now take the 1st two letters of this Hindi translation. That’s it. Kay you! She says this when she wants to call you a dog but the sophisticated girl won’t say the full word.) When somebody is extremely happy, Kriti says-“ Iske mann mein laddu ke DABBE phoot rahe hai!”

While getting ready, I just thought about one person. Nah, not Varshaan this time, neither Mitali. But the dude Karan Mahajan, who taught us Financial Management. He surely taught well. But his speed was rather too fast. I found it hard to catch up and depended solely upon Mitali’s notes. The girl is a genious : CPT AIR(ALL INDIA RANK) 20, PCC rank 14. I’d not expected this on our first meet. I mean she didn’t look sincere at all! The way she talks incessantly!
Coming back to Karan Sir, he was famous amongst girls for his chocolaty looks. While they would bunk hundreds of classes, no girl could afford missing his single class. Else they would miss him naa.The guys hated him coz the girls loved him. Though not as much as I hated Varshaan.
Not to mention the copious amounts of homework that he gave and his fuss over the formula copy, he had once extracted a100-rupees-note big 100 Rs note from me on his surprise Homework Check Regimen. He had these so-called special Doughts sessions (that’s the way they were spelt in CPA brochures- Doughts & not Doubts) everyday half an hour before the class. No doubt, most of the doubts were raised by girls as he sat surrounded by girls at Audichya Bhawan. (A building that CPA had taken on rent as the main premises failed to accommodate 150 boys and surrounded-by-girls
250 girls of his batch!) While solving Doughts, he looked like an island surrounded by water…oops girls!!
This intelligent Santro icon had even cleared the prestigious exam CFA. And that too in one shot. Often, Audichya Bhawan was flooded with brochures in his praise somewhat like this:
A rank holder CA teaching FM….OR
A CFA cleared CA……….
How can I forget? – the FM quiz, dnapublicized heavily in DNA. I personally have no problem with publicity. I didn’t like it much as I badly wanted to participate but no team took me.
I reached CPA building at 8 am and sighed that I would just be 15 mins late. That was normal and that’s fashion.Yup, in India it’s in fashion to be late unless you are a girl and have to face the CPA mob. But to my utter surprise, there wasn’t any class at all. There stood Mitsu, beaming grimly at me as she made an April fool of me in the month of May. She was looking coy as I glanced at her from a distance amidst a huge mob. She was nearing me and what the hell! She was wearing a Pink Suit!!! That irritated me infinite times more than the prank.
“Sorry, sorry, really sorry”, she bursted out before I could scold her. How tactful these cute girls are. First they commit a mistake. No, they commit a blunder and then say sorry so innocently and cutely that the victim of the blunder soon becomes the victim of their smile and surrenders his fighting weapons. “What’s this mitsy? Why this prank on an early Sunday morning? And what the hell are you wearing today!”
“Shhhh…not a word. I just wanted to spend some quality time with Niks. And I’d thought you’d complement me on this!”, said she as she dragged me to the nearby coffee-shop Lotus. “Hey, I would prefer Buddy’s. They serve….”, I suggested.
“They don’t serve cold coffee early morning. So Lotus!”, bossed she.
And there I followed her tame doglike a tame dog. Even the alphabet ‘N’ is supposed to follow ‘M’, isn’t it? I could sense the hints but I pretended to be as innocent as a nursery kid. That’s the typical style of a girl: she knows all that’s going inside your mind but fakes ignorance. How-so-ever hard you may try to hide your feelings, I guess it shows in the eyes. I remained calm on the surface but my heart was panting heavily. “Has this girl gone nuts? She, MITALI MITTAL, the only daughter of a rich jeweler at Hyderabad had fallen in love with me, niket mukherjee (written in small to symbolize how small I was feeling), the son of a single parent , residing in a two-bedroomed flat at Nasia Road with no farmhouses or real estate properties or big bungalows or long cars in my name left even by any distant grand-father’s brother’s son’s uncle’s legacy.(as it often happens in movies)
We finally reached Lotus-hut,lotus-hut a small café-cum-restaurant near the petrol-pump and Kitchen-World at Tukoganj. To our horror, we found the entire AM. Mehta & Co. Girls’ League breakfasting there- Juhi, Divya , Avanti, Silky, Palak, Shruti, Prakshi etc..“Hey, what are you two doing here?” , asked Divya ( urf kebab-mein-haddi : kebab! Aw..Varshaan! ) as she gave us an OOOOH-AN-AFFAIR-IS-GOING-ON-BETWEEN-YOU-TWO look!!
“Nothing. We just decided to complete the formula copy here in serenity. Why are you gals here, on such a b’ful Sunday morning?”, Mitali enquired.
“ Have a stock audit at Wanburry. Waiting for Jatin Dandi Sir”, replied Divya as she struggled with a baked Samosa in one hand and Prakshi’s cell-phone in the other. Cell-audit : her favourite pastime! Juhi complained of dark-circles as they had to wake up so early even on a Sunday morning. Luckily, their Jatin Sir came soon and emancipated us of the 7 kebab-mein-haddis.
“My hate-list has a new addition- the interns/articles of the waddi-waddi companies. Just look at their attitudes; their vanity! Will anybody please tell ‘em they are just articles there with skimpy stipends?” , I groaned to Mitsu .
“ Chill. They are all very down-to-earth…”
I interrupted Mitali in between.. “They aren’t! Be it these so-called Beauties from AM. Mehta & Co. or Prateek, Aditi, etc from AM. Munshi & Co. or Pranav, Purva, etc From Fadnis and Gupte or Ankit, Rohit, Nidhi , Aashi etc from Padh-liya: they all are suffering from a serious ailment- Superiority Complex!”
“The problem is not with them. It’s with you, stupid. You are suffering from Inferiority Complex!” , said Mitali. I guess she was right. I’d left no stone unturned to get into AM. Mehta and Company. Some Mr. Pitewara there had asked me to write an application and I wasn’t even carrying a pen. Owing to my inadequate references, Mr. Dandi showed me the exit door. Since then, I hated these big firms and big names.

Mitali niks-mitsu-at-lotus-hut
ordered 2 cold coffees as we sat facing each other. And she drew a beautifully wrapped gift giftfrom her purse.
“My b’day is still 4.5 months away”, I reminded her.
“Open the gift Niks!”
“You mean right now?” I remembered how badly maa had scolded me when on my 5th b’day I had opened the gifts in front of the invitees. “ Bad Manners Niket!” Maa’s words echoed in my ears.
‘ These are bad manners Mitali. I’ll open it at…”
“Oh..will you please shut up and do as I say..DAMN your bad manners.”
I tore upon the gift-paper. A beautiful

The golden-plated Archies diary

The golden-plated Archies diary

golden plated diary from ARCHIES.
It had a lock too which asked for a password. “Secret diary, huh? Temme the password fast.”
“I LOVE YOU”- said Mitali.
“ What! I …passwor…what…mit…you…lo….”-I stammered and words would just not come out of my mouth; my heart still panting heavily.
“That’s the password Niket!”, she was looking into my eyes.Her eyes said it all. The eyes seem to speak more than the words. Her long eyelashes transport me to another world. I can keep on admiring them forever and ever..till eternity. And the kajal in her eyes had
eyes that kill

eyes that kill

already killed many at CPA.
I faked innocence though in vain-“Why such a different password mitsu?”

“Dial the password, open the diary and know for yourself.”-she said impatiently. Damn, what are her nerves made of? Iron? Gypsum?
She was proposing a boy-a kind of gallantry feat not every girl attempts. They always want the boy to take the initiative. And she managed to be so calm, composed and nonchalant. I’d told you before:this girl is different.
So there I opened the diary. Inside the golden plates secret diarywas a pink diary titled ‘fairy princess secret diary’. In addition, Mitsu was wearing pink watcha pink watch. Why are girls so crazy for pink colour? I tried to control my fury.
500 pages in her own handwriting: words looked like beads – proper spacing between the words, perfect cursive flow, neat , clean & candid. “I’ll soon buy a four-line copy and work upon my handwriting.”, I thought to myself.
“Wake up NIKET !”, a voice echoed!
I guess you readers now feel like banging your head on the computer screen. That this entire proposal thing was a dream. Hey wait a sec, am not Ekta Kapoor, neither is this Balaji Telefilms!!
It wasn’t a dream. She had actually proposed me!
“Wake up Niket” – my conscience called me up. “This isn’t the right time to appreciate handwriting or plan Handwriting Improvement Campaigns. The girl is eagerly awaiting your response!’’
“ These are my feelings for you, Niket.”
“ Mit…500 pages.. you troubled your delicate fingers for me!”
“I don’t believe in presenting bouquets or ready-made gifts. Gift should come straight from the heart.”
I scanned through the diary. From the day we had met JULY 20,2007 till today: she had mentioned everything -our every meet, every talk , every glance and smile that we’d exchanged, just everything, taking care of the slightest details possible. This girl is craaaazy…does crazy stuffs.And look at her guts! She proposes you on a Sunday morning, 8 am. I’d always liked her, admired her. But had never taken her that way. And after that Varshaan episode, it was impossible for me to take anybody that way.
“But she really loves you, Niket. Nobody on earth can love you as much as this silly crazy girl. She’s a complete gone case. Agreed . But this gone case makes you forget the world in her company. And life is all about loving back the person who loves you.”- My heart and mind were in conflict with each other.
“Tell me straight-away Niket if I am not the one”, said Mitali… “I can’t force someone to love me. It’s a feeling that can’t be imposed. It has to come from within.”, Mitsu chokedher voice choked as she said this. Her serenity finally broke. How-so-ever strong, she was a girl after all. And this was bound to happen.
I tried to console her.
“Mitali, see, to be in love is a great feeling. But the world has its materialistic needs. A girl travelling in a chauffeured Octavia will simply be a misfit in a second-hand Maruti 800” “ that too non-AC ”, I added.
“Your bathroom is bigger than my room, Mitali. Understand the things!”
“So I leave the person I love for a damn shitty smelly bathroom!”
“You won’t be able to adjust”
“I will. Love can create miracles. It teaches a person to sacrifice, without sacrificing the smile on face. I’ll reside in your heart, which I am sure is very-very big.”
“ Your parents will never accept me!”
“ That you leave to me. Am their only daughter. And a darling. They can’t see a tear in my eyes. And once you get a job, they can’t say no !”
“You are over-confident.”
“No, I am rightfully confident. I know my parents better. I hail from a very broad-minded family : caste, status-we don’t mind that much.”
There this obstinate girl won. I finally had to tell her.. tell her about her….
“What if I say I loved somebody else?”
She suddenly shook as if unable to bear the shock. Tears rolled down her chubby cheeks. Her hypnotic eyelashes looked even cuter.
“Ohhh…ehhhh…so you have somebody else…euhh ..fine, I won’t bother you ever.” I could have told her the reality then and there but wanted to know her reaction.
I asked her-“You’ll kind of hate me now naa?”
“Hate you! For what ? For not loving me back! Love isn’t a trade Niket. We don’t love for being loved. We love because …b’coz we JUST love the person.”
She said it in a very familiar tone-my own tone when I say “I JUST hate her”. I respected this reaction of hers. But not everyone can be a Mitali. At least I cannot.
“ Of course I’ll cry for sometime, brood over the past and curse my fate. But I will move on and respect your decision.”, she added.
And then she began to leave…my Mitali…she was going.
“ Wait.. I said I loved someone. She is the past!”
I continued as she listened to me with great attention.
“ Varshaan- Varshaan Qazi was her name….”

Published in: on December 11, 2008 at 4:31 pm  Comments (3)