“Karthik, it is ok to have a mental breakdown. It only proves to show you are a human too. Don’t worry the answers for all your questions are within you. Just look for it and you will find them” said his mother trying to console him. ‘Yeah, the answers are within me and so is she. That’s the problem. The answers will come out once she comes out of it too” murmured Karthik as he went to his room.
(Dials Vikram and requests him to come home.)
“Hi aunty, how are you? What da? just because you are jobless dosent make me also to be one. Anyways tell me, what’s up? You look all flustered. “Said Vikram entering Karthik’s room. “Priya….” said his mother as she was folding the clothes in the living room. “What?? Priya eh?? Not again… fucker, are you mad??? Im so tired with this Priya shit, even the readers will be tired by now. Will you move on already now please” said a frustrated Vikram.
“Machan, you have Gautham’s number? Im going to call him, I want to know where Priya is and meet her.” Said Karthik walking to and fro in the room… “What? Gautham number eh?? Dai, are you gone mad completely? Aunty, your son is mentally retarded; please take him to a good temple this weekend to scare away the evils. Karthik, look at her (pointing to Sujitha’s pic in his mobile) she is the one for you and you are the one for her. She loves you Machan. Don’t complicate your life by inviting unnecessary troubles, oh wait there is no plural. It’s just trouble in the name of Priya. That Bitch left you the next day after you guys made love. Maybe it was a one night stand for her. She must have used you for her pleasure da. She…”
“If you say another word about Priya, I slap you and throw you out of my house Vikram. Just give me Gautham number please. If you cannot be of help, please leave. I will ask someone else…” said Karthik with irritation. “Don’t over act da… Wait… Let me ask Siddharth, he was only close to him.” Vikram said as he dialed his number.
“Hello, hey Siddharth, how are you da?? All well Machan.. same shit.. different day… what’s up there? Saw your Facebook updates, full time partying Machan, invite me also da rascal. All nice figures coming to your party… ha ha.. ok cool.. hey listen, you have Gotham’s number with you ? yeah yeah, same guy. Ah okay… tell me.. 9..8..4..0….. 44 or 444? Ok 44. Super, thank you da! Keep in touch bugger.” And he hangs up.
“Here, Gautham’ s number. Your work with me is done right. Shall I leave?” asks Vikram as he gets up to leave… “Shut the fuck up and sit down da. I’m sorry, I was rude to you, didn’t intend to, but you know …” “Dei, otha dial the number da. Don’t kill me now.” interrupted Vikram. Karthik smiled wide and dialed the number. “Machan, its ringing da…” said Karthik. “Yeah that’s what happens when you dial someone’s number” smirked Vikram. “dei.. he is not Priya, don’t get all worked up.. Talk normally. Dei, what happened to you man…” murmured Vikram seeing how restless Karthik was over the phone.
“Hey, hi is this Gautham? Hey hi.. This is Karthik.. Karthik Balaraman, your engineering …. Hey Machan… how are you da..? oh im doing great.. I was in the US da, landed here sometime back,, thought I should catch up with you so gave a call…what are you upto? Otha, you have a kid a??? how da?? Married??..” “Epic fail…”. vikram whispered …Karthik shows his middle finger to Vikram as he talks over the phone. “Hmm.. so family man you have become da.. nice nice.. no da, im single only.. all thanks to you.. shit.. hey no da.. I meant all thanks to my youth.. youth…hey listen you want to catch up? Vikram wanted to meet you too..” “Otha dei, I don’t even know what he is upto, why are you attaching me to this disastrous plan??” asked vikram in a low tone.
“Shh… yes Machan.. tonight sounds great da.. where you want to meet? Hmm.. Moon and Six pence? Hablis? Ok perfect.. hey how is Priya? You sister? Oh nice nice… I still remember coming for her birthday party 9 years back.. ha ha.. crazy times na… hello? Hello?? Oh sorry thought I lost you.. ok Machan.. see you then. bye!” and Karthik hangs up. Vikram continues to stare at him for a minute or two. “Ok da, you can swear at me now. go on.” Said Karthik sheepishly…
“Im not saying anything Machan… your life.. You decide…Here Sujitha is calling you..” he hands over the mobile to Karthik who was busy with his laptop. “Hey sweetheart.. how are you?? Sorry baby, was busy since morning and Vikram came home unannounced.. he wanted a favor in meeting an old friend so had to make some phone calls. No baby, I didn’t ask him to come. He was jobless so he just came. Yeah, we are going to Moon and Six pence tonight, this guy wants to meet an old friend baby and he is dragging me along… I miss you so much… I know.. we will meet tomorrow.. how is your work? Busy with the ad campaigns?? Oh ok.. ok baby, bye I love you…”. Vikram and Karthik stare at each other.
“Sorry da.. you know how it works right.. drink is on me Machan…” says Karthik patting on his shoulder. “Otha dei.. drink is on you but my hands will be on your neck now.. Otha… I know love teaches many things, but it also teaches corruption. Otha…” says Vikram. “Seri Machan.. When you fall in love, you will know da. Woman are difficult to handle da. One should know how to handle. They suddenly like it below the waist and next moment like it above the neck. “ said Karthik.
“You mean one minute they like regular fuck and the next minute they like a blow job?” asked vikram, still frustrated. “Ha ha… Dei.. Otha… no da.. Forget it… What’s the time now?? 7 pm? Shit Machan.. We have to be at Hablis by 9 pm. From Mylapore to Guindy, the traffic is going to be crazy. We better leave by 8 da. You go freshen up and come, else you go home and I shall pick you up.” Karthik said as he was looking through his wardrobe finding a suitable outfit to wear.
“Do I look like a comedy piece to you? Tell me da… we will go together from here. Do you ever think of correcting one figure for me da??”…asks Vikram. “Dei, wrong English da.. I can’t correct a figure for you… I can help you correct a figure Machan…” replied Karthik to Vikram. “Yes da… right now correcting my grammar is more important than correcting your life.. Teach me da… What is vowel?? I know only towel. Teach me please da.. Please…” said Vikram. Karthik had a hearty laugh. Off they drove to Hablis.
Whilst they were waiting for Gautham to arrive, vikram was curious about one thing.
“So tell me this, the objective of this meeting is to know what Priya is upto now. I get that. What is the objective of meeting Priya?” he asked Karthik. “How many times do I tell you people, I want a closure and I want to know why she loved me and left me high and dry? I need my answers.” said Karthik in a stiff tone. “Ok… and what is your objective knowing those answers?” asked vikram instantly. “Err… hmmm… ill have a closure. Ill make peace with my past, it won’t follow me again. I can peacefully live with Priya. Shit.. I mean Sujitha.. Sujitha.. I can peacefully live with her. “Said Karthik.
“Thank god you are not a Christian.” Said vikram… “It would be like the episode in Friends where Ross utters Rachel’s name at the altar…” “Oh my god.. What if she is my rachel ?? what if we are meant to be together da? What if she is also longing for me like how im right here.. did I make a huge mistake by letting her go and not looking for her?? Maybe she looked for me too and couldn’t find me…” Karthik said restlessly.
“Dei… Shabba… I feel high listening to you da… why me god why me… there are so many people here, but why me???” Vikram said looking above. “Hey there he is..” he says pointing a finger at Gautham. “Hey buddy.. Good to see you man… long long time… around 7 years??? Fuck…!! How r things with you man?? Someone is keeping you happy?” Karthik asks looking at his tummy bulging out.
Four rounds in …
Karthik: “How is Priya da? Your sister? What is she upto?”
Gautham: She is rocking da…she is in Bangalore working with O&M. She is doing great.
Karthik: Oh. Wow… O&M eh? One of the best ad agencies… hmm… hey.. I vaguely remember this friend of your sister who was also interested in advertising… unable to recollect her name though.. hmmm.. Prathiba….Prathana…hmmm..
Gautham: You mean Priya…?
Karthik: (his heart skips a beat the minute he heard her name) Yes yes, I think it was Priya.. I remember meeting her at your sister’s birthday party Machan…
Gautham: Oh Priya is in Mumbai… she has her own ad agency…but don’t know much about her though.. Why do you ask??
Vikram: (murmurs) hmm because she forgot to return his condom…
Gautham: What?? Cotton eh? Yeah the weather is bad so I prefer cotton shirts,,.
Vikram: (looking at Karthik) Dei…. Im going to kill you da… such a mokka piece this guy is and you are treating him for a drink at Hablis…
Karthik: Sorry da… just some more time da… Please… I’m almost there….
Gautham: hey that reminds me…My sister is getting married da, you both should definitely come…
Karthik: Wow, is Priya coming?
Karthik: No I mean, wow… it is pretty amazing!! We are there Machan.. When is the wedding??
Gautham: 27th of next month da… I shall send the invite link n WhatsApp ..
Karthik: cool da, you have my number right? Invite me without fail machan…
After five rounds, Gautham decides to leave as he has an early morning webex meeting.
Karthik: OH MY GOD… this is the craziest coincidence machan… I might actually meet Priya next month… I have been longing for 8 years and now I actually have a chance to see her.. do you realize how this makes me feel?? I can even explain da.. this feeling is like rebirth….
Vikram: and what if you fall in love with Priya? What if she is in love with you too? What are you going to do…?
TO BE CONTINUED…!!