“Are you f***ing kidding me?” Ved asked, with his eyes were popping out as if he came to know that someone got his kidney removed the previous night without his knowledge.
“Your reaction is quite natural and I am afraid what you heard is true,” Aliya said, her head down with a hint of guilt.
Breaking the heated atmosphere, the waiter jumped in. Placing the glasses on the table, he said, “Devil’s own for ma’am, and dark passion for you Sir…enjoy!” Then he left with a smile, getting busy with other customers.
Ved instantly took a sip from his drink. The wrinkles were still visible on his forehead, indicating his level of frustration.
“I never expected this from you. I mean It’s quite natural what you did. Ummm…but still, I never thought that you would ever do this.” Ved started to speak again. Then he began to concentrate on the food that was served. He cut through ice cream floating over his cold coffee and put that into his mouth. Aliya was still stirring the glass of her Devil’s own with the straw.
Ved then decided to break the silence.
“Seriously! To me, your image was somewhere like… mmmm” Ved fumbled, as he was trying to gesture the level where he held Alia at in his mind.
It was about 6:30 in the evening. Ved and Aliya were sitting at the CCD, IIT Kharagpur – the favourite place for most of the students living in Kharagpur to spend time and gossip. Same goes for Ved-Aliya and their gangs. That day, it was Aliya who asked Ved to meet her as she wanted to say something important to him.
“Shut up Ved! You are talking as if I slept with a strange man in an unknown city that my image deteriorated in your mind” Aliya reacted.
“Aliya… your choice of examples is so pathetic, even worse than the foreign policies frame by the previous political party in power.”
Hearing this, Aliya broke into laughter and Ved too smiled.
“Your action just proved that all my struggle and hard work went in vain,” Ved said in discontent.
“You know what? I sincerely wanted to follow your suggestion. But whenever there comes a time to implement it, his face comes in front of me or his phone number flashes on my cell phone and for a moment, everything seems perfect,” was Aliya’s answer.
“You know what?” Ved said, “You have just wasted about 1000 crucial and expensive minutes of mine and about 500 bucks that I spent on you on those phone calls and that very special and priceless suggestion of mine. Total wastage! Sh*t!”
“Ved, if you think that by saying all this you can make me feel bad, then you should be expecting a big ‘F*** OFF’ from me.”
Aliya and Ved were schoolmates and the best of friends since their childhood. They used to talk nonsense, abuse each other, pull each others’ legs and yet, they shared their deepest secrets with one another. Ved didn’t trust anyone more than Aliya when it came to sharing about his life, especially if they are matters related to love. Aliya used to solve all his problems, or at least, gave him some good and logical suggestions.
“Whatever!” a glow of frustration was quite evident from Ved’s face.
“Anyway Ved, leave my woes for now. Tell me what’s going on in your life. How’s Purvi?” asked Aliya asked trying to divert the topic.
“You are such an a***ole! I was expecting this... that you’d bring out the topic of Purvi. When did it ever happen that we had a conversation and you didn’t drag Purvi into it?” Ved said quite angrily.
Aliya replied, “Aww…what can I do? Your Love Story is so cute and you both are so adorable. I just can’t stop myself from asking you about your love story.”
“Get your facts straight. You know pretty well ours is not a Love story. We are not lovers. Neither is she my girlfriend, nor I am her boyfriend. It’s better you get this into your head. ”
“And by the way, how can you be so ungrateful that you forget how much I helped you when you were sort of struggling, tumbling, needed someone to be there beside you, and were confused about…you know what I am talking about.” Aliya continued.
“So did I! So calm yourselves down, girl” Ved was prompt in his reply like always.
“You better think about what to do next… I mean, 4 years is not a short span. You should seriously think about it now. How long will you be like this? Sometime or the other, you have to move on. Then why not now? The more time you will take, the harder it’s going to be...mark my words,” Ved said again, trying to convince Aliya with his facts and logic. It’s what Ved was best at.
“It’s not that easy. You know that I am trying, right? But I just can't,” said Aliya.
“This is the problem with you people. I don’t understand the intensity to which a single bad experience does to you, that you can’t notice the other good things around you and in turn, begin to lose them too. But one day you will realize what a terrible mistake you’ve made.” Ved said quite seriously.
“Why to spoil your mood by discussing these unnecessary things? Instead, tell me how is Purvi doing!”
He took the last the last sip from his Dark Passion and then continued, “Purvi is doing quite well, I am also doing well. We both are doing well, but... we are not doing well… if you know what I mean…”
“Ved… Please change your habit of playing with the words.”
“Jo change ho gaya, woh Ved Malhotra nahi,” Ved said.
“Idiotically Filmy you are! Chalo lets go, I need to go home early today.”
“Why? Ladke wale tujhe dekhne ane wale hai kya?” Ved started his age-old habit of pulling my leg, again.
“What an asshole you are!” Aliya said.
They left the place with the two empty glasses on the table and walked towards their destined places. And once again, they became busy with their own life.
To be continued...