‘No Manoj. Its just a joke.’ said I , embarrassed for being caught on the very first day.
‘Fine. Why dont you join us in the meeting? ‘ asked he.
‘Ya Sure.’ said I and left with him. I felt alienated with the new atmosphere and people. The meeting room was huge and I was asked to introduce myself.
‘Hi all. Im Arti Swaminathan. I have come all along from Delhi to Mumbai to work with you people. I hope everything turns out well. Cheers ‘ said I smiling.
‘Welcome to our team Miss.’ said Manoj in his managerial alluring tone and they carried on with their usual boring weekly status reports and all. I felt quite out of place. The minute hand was not at all moving in the watch and I was proving Einstein’s Theory of damsel and stove. I spent two hours with Sid in the cafeteria which was like 2 minutes and now 20 minutes seem to a century here.
The meeting was finally over and we were set free. I was back to cubicle and again killed time going through some technical stuffs.
‘Ping’. I received an SMS. It was 4 o clock sharp. ‘Hey… Im back. Wait near the parking area which is near to the smokers’ zone. See you soon. Bye.’ It was Sid.
I did not have an idea where the hell it was. I took time to decide whether to go with him or not. I rememebered the days in college when I asked him to come with me for a walk and how he shied away. I decided to give him tit for tat and started to walk from my cubicle.
I took the elevator and reached the ground floor not knowing where to go and managed to walk where a Honda Accord was parked. The office campus was huge and it was hard to find out which parking area he was talking about.
Somebody patted my shoulder from behind. I turned with a jerk and needless to say, it was him. He burst out laughing seeing me. ‘Wat happened to you? Why do you laugh at me??’ asked I ashamed for being laughed at.
‘Sorry Arti. You look like you are lost in Kumbhmela. It was hilarious to see.’ he managed to say that amidst his fucking laughter.
I was irritated. ‘Oh shut up Sid. Screw you. It was your fault. You didn tell me where it was.’
‘Chill baby. I did that on purpose. You don know how cute you ll look when you are irritated. Do you remember when you asked me for a walk with you and I refused it when in college? The ‘Go To Hell I Am Irritated At You’ look you gave was flawlessly brilliant. I can love you for that look alone. ‘ said he quite candidly.
I was jawdropped and stared at him in awe.
‘And I know very well that you wanted to make it a tit for tat today when I asked you. Isnt it?’ smiled he.
‘Has he installed a CCTV in my brain? Reading my thoughts?’ I was dumbstruck.
‘Hey.! Arti..! ‘ He shook my shoulders.
‘Ya Sid. No I didn actually mean to give a tit for tat all.’ said I sheepishly.
‘I know everything about you baby. The all egoistic Arti Madam ji. ‘ said he smiling and looked into my eyes.
‘Hmm.. But.. Sid..’ muttered I.
‘Hmm.. But.. Wat?? Haha. Anyway. Chalo. Lets leave. The parking is like a Kilometer away. Are you fine with walking or Shall we take a shuttle?’ He held my hand and walked.
One thing I was clear about. For the first time I was comfortable in this Big City. I was happy being with him. We walked through our college days and other chit chats. We were again proving the Einstein’s theory.
‘So How was your First day?’ asked he
‘Nothing much Sid. It was Okay Okay type. You actually rescued bringing me earlier. The meeting is the worst part. Phew.’ said I pitifully.
‘Don worry. You ll get used to it. I bet you cant be more tortured like how I am tortured. Its like back to school. Except that I am not wearing my uniform and carrying a lunch bag.’ said he
‘Quite true. Haha’ laughed I
‘So where do you stay exactly in Kanjurmarg?’ asked he
‘Hmmm… I myself dont know Sid. All I know are the bus routes to take. Its near to the bus stop. Like a 5 minute walk.’said I
‘You stay alone?’ asked he
‘Nopes with my friend. She is working here for about 4 years. Its a 1BHK. But Gosh! The rent is alarming my wallet. I am thinking to move in a month or two.’ said I
‘Oh wow. Pretty cool.’and with that we reached the parking space. ‘Let me get my bike and come. Dont know which moron has parked in front of it.’
He was back with his bike and raised his eyebrows gesturing me to sit in pillion. Now there was no second thought.
‘So Arti , Now you don hesitate and you wont leave me as you did earlier right?’ asked he raising the accelerator.
‘Hmm…..It depends on your activities Sid.’ smirked I
‘Mr. Siddharth. You really deserve this. ‘ said he , I laughed for everything he did. I wanted to ask him if he was in a relationship but did not have the guts to ask. He also seemed to ask something but he did not.
We finally reached my flat after a 1 hour journey. ‘Acha. Is this where you live? Nice society. Hmm. My house is very near to you. We can meet up often. ’ grinned he
‘Ya Sure. Why not?’ Said I
‘Is this what the manners you learnt in your school out there in Chennai? ‘ asked he
‘What? Whats wrong?’ I was confused.
‘Dont you invite me to your house?’ winked he
‘Is that not too much for the first day Sid?’ smirked I
‘Yes it is. But dont worry. I will not rape you. I guarantee it. Haha’ winked he.
‘Hmmm??? ‘I gave a puzzled look at him. ‘Shut up Sid. OK then come over.’ said I knuckling him on his head.
‘Ouch. That hurts. Anyway. I was kidding. Some other day. I am really glad to meet you again.’ said he smiling. ‘ Ok. Im leaving Arti. See you tomorrow.’
‘Fine. Bye. See you too. Hmm… Shall I ask you something?’ said I and looked into his eyes.
‘Yes baby. I am single. That was what you wanted to ask right?’ He surprised me
‘Is this what actually called ‘Jawdropped’?. Haha.’ He laughed lookin at me
‘How you found out Sid.? Am I transparent or what? This has happened twice today.’ asked I with the same surprise.
‘Wait for more Surprises baby. ’He dropped a grin and ‘vroom’ed his Pulsar. I stood and saw the direction he left in awe again.
(To be continued….)