Nymous woke up, a little early. She was surprised to see, that Anon has woken up even earlier. She removed the curtains, and saw the beauty outside the window. Snow has covered the earth, like a white blanket, while it kept snowing, even more. Trees were covered with pearly snow, while the Sun shone behind the clouds. She felt happy.
"Anon! My angry bird, where are you?", Nymous called him out loud as she moved towards the gate. A tea kettle with her favourite coconut cookies were already kept there, with a little note, saying, you look beautiful, even while sleeping! She blushed.
"Anon!", she shouted even louder, as she opened the door.
"What happened, Nymous? Why are you shouting this loud, early in the morning?", Tarun asked as he came out of his room to check what was happening. "I am so sorry, Tarun, to disturb your sleep. I hope, shreya is sleeping soundly." "That's the problem, Nymous. She's so naughty, she isn't in bed. I think she'd have accompanied Anon. Why can't he be more sincere!", Tarun said while adjusting his spectacles. "What he's upto, I've no clue. But he loves kid. And shreya is really cute." "So why don't you two have a kid? Leave my Shreya! You two have already ruined her with excessive pampering.", Tarun complained. "Oh come on, Tarun! We're still kids, and you're asking us to have one! Look at Anon, you think he's ready for a baby?", Nymous blushed.
Before Tarun could respond, Vikas came out of his room, yawning, "why can't you guys be a little less loud? Devika sent me out to see if it's all okay?" "So sad to know this, i think I've disturbed everyone. But it's Anon's fault. Where the hell is he?", Nymous clarified. "But why are you out Vikas? You should have comforted Devika bhabhi. Anyway, you can go in now, and comfort her with your charms.", Tarun teased him. "Yea, learn from your junior, Vikas. I mean, just see Tarun, he was so lost in his wife's eyes, that he didn't even know when does shreya left the bed! Learn some romance fro.." "Nothing like that, okay!" Tarun said, cutting Nymous in between, "Anon knocked the door and asked Shreya to join him for his another stupid idea, but it was a secret so i.. shit!" "Ahaan! So this is the truth! Tarun, you! Tell me what's the surprise?", Nymous asked joyously. "Better if we all wait, a little peacefully, it'd be better for everyone!", Arjun spoke, as he walked past them to the outside. "How was your night, Arjun?", Nymous teased him. "How would it be, Nymous. He slept all alone! How many times I've asked him to get a girlfriend, but he just doesn't listen to me.", Vikas said. "Oh, don't worry about me, guys. The bed was so comfy, i really didn't want to share it with anyone. And I'm fed up of you three couples already, so let me enjoy my freedom!", Arjun voice echoed.
Nymous ran outside and made a quick snowball to throw it on Arjun's face. There was a different sort of bond between the two. In the response, Arjun lifted Nymous up and threw her onto the pile of snow. Everyone laughed out loud. Amidst all this, there came a sound of Guitar. Everyone turned back to see shreya playing it, and Anon came behind her. He stepped on some height, and spread his arms in typical Shah Rukh Khan style, as the tune continued from Guitar.
"What's all this, cuties?", Nymous asked excitedly. Anon sang to the tune, "Dil hi nahi de, jaan bhi de jo tumhein... Toh mai kahunga, sarkaar Main hoon Naaaa! Kiska hai ye tumko intezaar, Main hoon Na. Dekhlo idhar bhi, ek baar, Main hoon Na..."
"Typical bollywood!" Vikas and Tarun spoke together, while Nymous joined them too, and sang with them. Arjun was filming all of this, and he said, out loud, "Come on guys, we want a kiss!" Vikas and Tarun hooted too, for the perfect moment. Nymous blushed, as Anon made a move. Nymous closed her eyes. But nothing happened. She opened her eyes in anger, and immediately Anon kissed her. Everyone clapped. "Youuu!", Nymous spoke. "Why to miss out on a love moment, you should see my love, Cupcake!", Anon said with a huge smile.
Shreya ran towards Arjun, and said, "Chachu, i need a kiss too, nobody loves me." Everyone laughed, as Arjun held her in his arms, and planted a soft kiss on her forehead. Vikas made snowballs and begin throwing on everyone, and they all started playing together. Anon held Nymous in his arms, from behind, and said, "all the happiness of my life, is you!". Nymous turned back, and hugged him tight.
Friendships save relationships. Good friends are like those spices of life, without which nothing tastes good. Have good friends, and you'll have a good life!
"Isn't it giving the feel of a movie? The typical bollywood happy ending scene?", Anon asked Tarun as they were driving their way on his bike. "Indeed! You've always been filmy, my friend! I'm glad to have you back." "So guess, where would she be heading to now?", Anon chuckled. "The railway station! Ofcourse!", they both said it together, out loud and bursted into laughter.
Anon went silent for a moment. He was worried, what if she doesn't accept him. He has been cheap, rude and arrogant to her. There were enough reasons for her to leave him, but only one to forgive. Love.
"Don't worry, Anon. It's gonna be fine. I've seen love in her eyes, that's just for you. Moreover, she's way more mature than you. I trust her more!", Tarun said to comfort his friend. "Hopefully!", Anon sighed, as he asked Tarun to drive a little fast.
They both reached to the railway station, where the guards have stopped Nymous from entering, though her whole team was allowed to. Anon was wondering how would he face Nymous, but to his surprise, she was standing calmly, playing with her hair, and talking to the guards. As they all saw Anon coming, they become alert. One of the guards ran towards him, and whispered in his ear, "We've caught her, and even checked her. But we couldn't find any inappropriate thing. Are you sure, she's the criminal? She doesn't look like one!"
Anon smiled. So does Tarun. But to everyone's amazement, Nymous was smiling too. The one, Anon witnessed the first time he saw her on stage. The smile he has lost his heart to, in the first sight. Seems like, the second sight, with the same person can make you fall all over again, even when your heart has already been captured by them!
"I had many dreams, Anon, but to be held by police in these handcuffs, were never one of them! You've always been so dramatic. There are other ways to stop a person, but ofcourse! It's you. A little out of the basic zone.", Nymous said with a tinge of happiness in her eyes.
Tarun sighed, for he knew things are fine now. His power of sensing has always been remarkable. But Anon felt weak, he ran towards Nymous, with teary eyes, and fell down in her legs, as if she were the Goddess, and he, her only devotee!
"I've been the worst, Nymous. I've been so stupid, I've hurt you so many times. I.. I don't deserve you, I don't deserve your love, your forgiveness, but I love you, my cupcake. I have always loved you. I don't know if you trust me, or not, but it's the truth. The only truth I've been trying to ignore since three years. There has never been a single day, I've not remembered you. I haven't slept a single night without your dreams, that felt more like nightmares. I know i look like the villain of the story, but trust me, i ain't the bad guy!", Anon voice broke as he wept in her lap.
"Shh.. listen, Anon..", Nymous tried to comfort him. She wanted to tell him, that she was never upset from him, instead it was her worry towards him since the day she met him. She knew, Anon was suffering.
"No, Nymous! Let me speak. I've been wanting to vent out since long. The day i received your e-mail, was the first night in these three years, I've slept in peace. And since the day we met, I've never been woken up by any nightmares. They all think, it's you who loves me. Correct, you do. I can feel it. But, what about me? You know I could have bought my Cupcake, my pet dog, on any other date, but i bring him home, on 16th February. Every year, my neighbours ask me, why do i throw such a huge party on that day, specially for a dog? And all i could say, because i love my cupcake! I've discarded all our beautiful memories, still everytime i go out for any meeting, i order only South Indian, so that i can feel you with me, and my deal gets successful. Everytime. Every single time. It's your prayers, Nymous, that have stayed by my side. People wonder, how at this young stage, I've become the CEO! They don't know it's all because of your love. It's...". Before Anon could speak further, Nymous planted a kiss on his forehead, and her finger on his lips. "It's Railway station, Anon. Let's go home. I want to meet your Cupcake too!", Nymous said very softly, as she directed her staff to leave. "Our! Our Cupcake!", Anon said with a smile on his face.
shadowofthoughts_Tarun is the best. He's so mature. Unlike our protagonist. Hehe but the way Nymous understood the dramatic way she was being stopped by. I loved it. I feel sad I'm now gonna read the last part
It took Nymous three days and four rejections to realise what was happening. She asked her colleagues to check if there are any other companies interested to work with them! She knew it wasn't working. And, it's just Anon's another stupid plan to take revenge. She planned to meet him once again, and to clear things up. But to her dismay, Anon's HR failed to give her any appointment. A week passed by, and she realised how Anon is wasting her time, once again. It was Monday morning, a little dull than usual, when Nymous broke into Anon's cabin, forcefully.
"What are you upto, Anon?", she asked angrily. "Is this how you behave?", Anon spoke while typing something on his laptop. "I'm talking to you. Are you even listening? I want to discuss.." "I don't have time for you, Nymous! Talk to my HR. And, yea, next time don't you dare to enter my cabin without permission, else I'll.." "Else what? What will you do? What else is left to be done? You've successfully wasted our one week. Isn't it your plan? Come on! Answer! You don't want to work with us. Tarun told me, how your company is making profits daily, that there's no need for.." "Oh shut up! You keep talking about Tarun, he gets possessive about you! Is there something between you two?", Anon asked mischievously. "Are you even in senses? He's married. Why would there be anything between us! Shame on you, Anon to think so lowly of me, and most importantly of your friend! Anyway, what more can be expected from you! Just tell me, if you're okay with this final design or you want us to pack up?" "Hmm, show me your final design!", Anon chuckled.
He checked the file in a go, swirling between the pages and giving sighs randomly. After flipping pages, he said, "Sorry to say, sweetheart, but this doesn't look.." "I ain't your sweetheart. Stop using such words!" "So who's sweetheart are you now? Devu's?", Anon teased her again. "You better.." "I reject this one too. Actually you know what, you guys better pack up. I will hire someone else.", Anon spoke without even looking at her. "No problem, just pay us for the previous week, since we have worked a.." "Pay? Pay for what? For these useless designs? These designs can be made by a nursery's child. We don't owe you anything, Nymous!" "What? See Anon, you..." "Oh, you want me to see you? Tell me, how badly you want me to see you? That's why you've come up so dressed up? Many girls have come in this cabin, and shown themselves up, to make money. I think, you also want money that way!", Anon spoke as he made a move from his chair to come close to Nymous. "It's so difficult to believe it's you, Anon!", Nymous spoke as she get up from her chair, and prepared to leave. "Come on, Nymous! We've been close earlier too. It isn't something new. Why to pretend anything infront of me?", Anon spoke as he tried to take a hold of Nymous' hand.
This time Nymous was prepared. Without thinking anything, she slapped Anon on his face. The sound created a silence in the cabin. The slap, that was due, was finally done. Anon went numb. May be he needed it too.
"It's enough, Anon. I don't get it why are you doing so? How do you sleep after doing all this to me? If you wanted to see me ruined, you know you could have done that even without calling me here. Even without getting involved as a company. I know, and so do you! How can your conscience allow you to hurt me?", Nymous spoke in a sentimental tone. "Nymous.." "Leave it, Anon. There's no use now. You know what,
Toote thhey tere darr pe, kabhi ishq mai.. Bikhre hain aaj wapas wahin, ussi bhool mai..", Nymous spoke hurtfully, as she left the cabin.
Anon fell down on his knees, his ego crashing on the tiled floor, and his guilt made a way from his eyes. His desperation to stop Nymous made him recall the moment, three years back, when the same event happened. He didn't want it to recur. But he didn't know what to do! He got up quickly, and made a call to Tarun, to ask him to come as soon as possible.
Tarun entered the cabin and realised what could have happened. He was sincere enough to understand things without them being said. He said, "you've to stop her, Anon." "I want to, but I don't know how. May be i ain't good enough for her." "You know what, she was right. She told us, how you lack the knack of stopping people. If you've tried to stop her three years back, may be we don't have to do it now.", Tarun taunted him. "Is that so? Okay, let me show you, how to stop her! This time I won't let her go. This time it's gonna be different, because this time I'm sure of myself. I'm sure of my love, and her too!", Anon spoke as he made a call to someone, and asked them for a favour.
She made a quick exit from his cabin, only to find herself collided with Tarun, who was excited to meet her.
"Hey, are you fine?" "Of.. ofcourse! Tarun! You here?", Nymous spoke with a voice mixed with tears. "You don't look fine, Nymous. What happened? Did Anon said something?" "Umm, nothing like that, Tarun! It was just a small meet, what could he do in few minutes!" "So how's your plan going, for the seminar? I didn't have any clue, that company is organising a seminar. Specially after the bumper profit we made last week! May be Anon plans to go international!", Tarun chuckled. "I need to be with my team, Tarun. Why don't you see me after your working hours! We're staying in the hotel Suncity.", Nymous spoke hurriedly. "Sure!", Tarun said awkwardly.
He entered Anon's cabin and found him lying in his chair, with his one hand on the forehead, and the other crumpling some paper. There was a sense of guilt dripping down his face. He was mumbling something to himself, the typical stressed out, Anon.
"Hello sir, i wanted to..." "Get out of here, Tarun! I ain't in any mood to have any discussion!" "You shouldn't have ill-treated Nymous, then!" "Oh, come on, I don't want any discussion around it. You're already in her team, even though you were my friend!" "Were? I'm not sure about you, but you're still my friend. And i care about you, that's why i am telling you to not do anything just to feed your ego, and lose the second opportunity to be with her!" "Lose any opportunity? I don't want her back! Who's she? The one who left me! Even though she has promised she'd never leave me." "Because you didn't pay her any attention! At the time she was busy with her start up plan, the time she needed you the most, you were careless..." "Careless? Me? I told her several times, that all I'm earning would be the investment for our start up! That idea of start up was ours! We thought to do it together. I'll manage the company, and she'd manage the stage. The perfect plan. But it needed investment! I earned for her..." "She never needed the money, she needed your time. To look for the locations, to deal with clients. She needed your support. You had enough money then, to begin. Come on, Anon, you knew.."
"Start ups are not done in a hurry. Even if you've a little investment, you have to look for the time when you'll go in loss and all. But all she has to do was hurrying up things. Look at my growth, I've become CEO. If I've not worked this hard, where i would be? May be we both were ruined in our start up. But she partnered with Devu, that's why she's here. If she were with me.."
"She'd be sitting idle at your place, still asking for your time. Come on, Anon! We all know how passionate she has always been, and it's perfectly obvious for her to be. She is so hardworking, why does she need to wait for anyone to help her? Still she waited for you. She gave you 6 months, good enough time. She never asked you to leave your job, though you should have done that, as per your plan. She isn't the one who would left her dreams, who'd give up on her passion, because she's in love with someone. And we all know that. That time, she left you so that her goals don't become a hindrance to your career. She never stopped loving you. And i know you love her too! So when destiny has given you another chance, when you both are doing what you're interested in, don't lose it to your ego!", Tarun spoke in one go, trying his best to take Anon out of his guilt and past.
"I don't love her now! I've Surbhi, as you all know!", Anon spoke in a mild tone. "You think you've fooled us? Arjun and Nymous knew it that day only, though i was stupid enough to fall for your trap again! But ofcourse, i realised it later. You know what, your eyes can't hide your feelings for a person. Your eyes.." "Eyes! Eyes! Eyes! I'm so done with everything. Don't forget I'm your boss, Tarun. I guess, I've entertained you enough as a friend, and your desk would be waiting for you. So let's get professional for now, and leave the cabin. We can discuss about our personal lives later on!", Anon said abruptly, putting a full stop on the topic.
Tarun left the cabin, and Anon fall back into his chair tired. Tired of running from himself.
Anon pretended to be busy with laptop work as Nymous made an entry to the cabin. With his sneaky eyes, he noticed the long kurta that was hugging her body. It was gray colored with patches of yellow flowers over it. A metallic chunk jewelry in the form of necklace was swinging from her neck, while her long hair were tied in a messy bun. Her typical casual look!
"Here's the file to give you an idea what our draft plan is about.", Nymous spoke calmly. He checked the sweat drops that were dripping down her chin line, and immediately he changed the AC temperature. Nymous pretended to overlook it. As he moved his hand forward to take the file from her hands, Nymous noticed Anon's face. The long oval face, with a broad forehead, meant to take a lot of stress. His nose was awkwardly small, but the anger it carries is huge, may be that's the reason for his red cheeks. She noticed his cuff, the brand tag it carries and then his lips, parched. There was a hollowness that was vibing through him, only Nymous could sense of!
"So is this your plan?", Anon asked rudely. "Not the actual plan, just a draft, as i said earlier too. We'll look into the data of your company, and then will mould it accordingly, Ano.. sir!", Nymous humbly mentioned.
He was busy trying to look into Nymous' eyes. But she didn't look at him. The same happened on that Mela day, when he tried his best to make an eye contact with her.
"Are you listening, sir? I've told you the entire plan!", Nymous spoke to break the silence. He remembered the days, when Nymous used to look into his eyes for long. He used to feel shy after a time, and would look away, but she'd come close to keep looking into his eyes. She used to love his eyes the most, it carries a sense of kindness, as she used to believe. *The kindness she took advantage of!* That thought made Anon furious.
He stood up from his chair, hold Nymous by her hand, and pushed her onto the wall behind. Before Nymous could respond, Anon, cupped her face with his both hands, and pushed her face to look up, up into his eyes. She tried to resist his strength, and spoke, "What are you doing, Anon? Someone would come and see..." "Nobody's gonna come in my private cabin, sweetheart!", he said in a manipulative voice and made her look into his eyes, forcefully. She closed her eyes in resistance, which made Anon even more furious. He came even closer, and rubbed his small egoistic nose onto her forehead. As he moved his nose, from forehead to her nose, and onto her lips, he felt a little water droplet onto his left hand. He looked up to realise, it were Nymous' tears. He backed off immediately.
*I made her cry, how can i do so! She used to cry on all unimportant stuffs, and for unimportant people, and i promised her, five years ago, that her eyes will never bleed for him, because of him.* And today, he broke that promise too. He hated himself for it. For breaking her trust, for breaking her promise. At that moment of time, all he wanted to tell her, that he loved her, a lot. Even after all that has happened, even after all the misunderstandings. He wanted to cry on her shoulders! But all he could utter, in that moment was, "Get out of my cabin! I reject your draft, it's not some fancy Mela where you'd plan such colorful ideas. Be in contact with my HR, i need a perfect seminar."
Nymous rubbed her eyes, took her file, and immediately left the cabin.
Anon woke up with a smile hanging onto his face. It's been three years since he has slept this peacefully, without nightmares or getting up in the middle with his face drenched in sweat. But since the day he has seen Nymous, it's been completely opposite! He opened his mail, and chuckled to see the yes to the offer.
*Now I'll show her, how to take orders from loved ones! She broke me, she left me, for i was busy with my job, because i couldn't give her time. This time I'll show her how a job is done. I'd make sure she won't get a single minute to even take her meal. May be then she'd realise that it was never my fault. She left me alone, to suffer, at the moment i was totally dependable on her. I'll do the same, I'll leave her when she's totally dependent on my deal. That way she'll understand the brokenness. She left me shattered, so she'll be left shattered as well. I'll make sure to ruin her life, to ruin her name, to ruin her start up! You just wait and watch, Nymous! The tables have turned now, you'll be made to pay for all the trauma you gave me, with interests, ofcourse!* Anon felt a rush of energy within, with these thoughts running in his head.
Next week, Nymous and her staff planned everything to work for their new project.
"Listen guys, we've done a lot of projects, and I'm super proud of you all, but here's a bit of advice for working on this project! This company is huge, we don't know much about this line, so first of all we'll make sure to get ourselves informed.", Nymous announced excitedly. "Sure ma'am!" "Devu, it's your job to make discussions with the head of department and gather all the information so that we can process it in a creative way. Make sure to have a talk with Mr. Anon, the CEO of the company. He's a little troublesome person, may be he tries to create chaos, but you've to be very vigilant with him. And, i know, only you can do it!" "Don't worry! Nymous. I won't disappoint you. I've also made a draft for everyone else on how to make progress day by day!" "That's brilliant. We'll try to give two weeks to get acknowledged with the working of company. I, myself, will visit the campus thrice, but the rest of the work depends on you guys. Remember, we rejected Amar's company offer, to work on this. So we can't make any mistake, we've to get this work done as quickly as possible." "Yes ma'am!", said all staff members coherently.
They all reached the company on Monday morning, where they were received by HR of Anon's company. He made them all sit in the discussion cabin. Later, Anon's PA appeared and asked Nymous to meet the sir in his private cabin. This made Nymous conscious. She hide her fear under her smile as she stood up to move to his cabin. *Why is he calling me separately? What does he want now? May be he want to discuss some things! Don't forgot he's the CEO. He won't meet the rest of the team. He'd guide you and that's it. Don't be scared, Nymous! It's him after all. The one you've always loved. He won't harm you. Just remember that!*
His PA left her on the door. She was about to open the door, but something clicked her mind. So, she knocked the door, and asked, "May I come in?" "Ofcourse! Come inside, Nymous!", an arrogant male voice echoed.
Sitting in her office, Nymous was drowned in the thoughts of Anon. She thought about all the changes that Anon went through, yet his anger issues weren't changed a bit. As if all through the years, he has made sure to carry a part of himself with him. Like her yellow bindi.
"Ma'am did you check our mails?", her assistant spoke in a hurry. "Yes, i checked them early in the morning only. What happened?" "No ma'am! You need to check it out again!" Nymous felt conscious, *is it something happening? A good news? No, may be a bad news?* These thoughts made her hands tremble as she opened up her laptop, to check e-mails.
It was an e-mail from Anon's company. She opened the mail cautiously, since she knew him well. The mail mentioned, how the company isn't doing well, as they should be doing, hence require to organise a business seminar round to enhance the publicity of the company. They also mentioned to provide the staff with all facilities, including stay and food, apart from the heavy payment they were ready to pay! A big deal for Nymous' start up.
"Isn't it great, Ma'am, to be sponsered by such huge company?", her assistant said excitedly.
But Nymous didn't respond, she couldn't. She was busy calculating the need for him to do so. *I don't understand what's running in his head? Why is he doing all this? Ofcourse, Nymous, he wanna help you! Else, what for? No, I don't think so. If it were help only, he'd never offer a stay and all. The fact that he's being too sweet, is making me wonder for the deal even more. But you know na? If you said yes to the deal, there might be a chance that you'd be made to suffer, but if you decline the deal, that would be a rejection to him! And you know how badly he deals with rejection! He'd do everything to shut this start up.* She felt stucked!
"Ma'am!? Are you listening?" "Oh yes, ofcourse! The deal? Yes, we'll see to it." "See to it? Ma'am we won't get this bumper offer anytime soon! Just imagine ma'am! With this deal we can even pay off our loans! I don't think we should waste our time thinking. It's a yes yes deal! And i think it happened because of all the hard-work our team did for the Mela, under your guidance, ma'am!" "You think too much for our welfare, chhoti! I'm really blessed with a good staff. Don't worry, I won't disappoint you. But there are things that need to be done, before we can say yes to them! Okay?" "Sure ma'am!"
Nymous wrote a mail to Anon, asking why he want to do the deal with their start up, specially when there are lot of better organizations out there. She wanted to know his motive behind the deal. "Seems like, your start up is scared of working for such a big company. Otherwise you won't ask such silly questions. You always asked me to keep my personal and professional life separate, and now when I'm doing so, you feel doubtful about it! Even though we've broken up, i can still think about your well-being, Nymous!"
After reading that response, Nymous thought may be Anon genuinely want to help her. *He has helped Tarun as well. May be he's still the same Anon, I've loved, and that Mela incident was just his sudden outburst. This will give my staff a chance to showcase their talent as well. I think it's all for the good.* While she was responding yes to the deal, she felt uneasy in her abdomen, as if her guts were telling her a different story!
Tarun ran towards the seat, and returned the Scarf to Surbhi, since now Nymous can finally sit with them. He noticed how that Scarf color matched with Nymous' blouse. It was indeed a play of destiny. Anon sat next to Nymous, forgetting totally about his seat with Surbhi.
"Hey baby, why are you sitting there? This is your seat, come here. Sit close!", Surbhi remarked. "I don't know you, are you his..", Nymous asked in between. "She's my girlfriend, Surbhi. She's a chartered accountant, and earns heavily. She manages my account work, too!", Anon proudly announced it as he changed his seat to sat alongside Surbhi. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Surbhi. May God bless you with even more blessings!", Nymous spoke.
The food was served, and everyone began eating. Nymous was a bit shocked to see the plate of Idli and Sambhar lying in front of Anon. Only she knew that Anon never liked the south indian dishes, specially the curries, because of their pungent odour. She recalls the time when she'd have to fight with him to order a single plate of dosa or idli, and he'd beg her to order something eatable.
"Come on, Nymous! It's your favourite South Indian meal, what are you waiting for?", Vikas asked. "I think she felt cheated..", Arjun said with a straight face. Anon looked up to him, and so does Nymous. "Arey! I meant, she felt cheated that we all have ordered separate plates for each of us, except her!", Arjun said bursting in laughter.
They all sighed heavily. Arjun always had a tact to say things that he feels wrong about. They all gossiped, and cheered each other up! It was a perfect day, and they all were really happy. Anon kept boasting about his personal and professional life, and Surbhi nodded to everything he said. Tarun, Vikas and Arjun were adding the salt of nostalgia to Anon's wounds, but before he could wince in pain, they'd bandage it too with their hostel memories. It was Nymous, who didn't speak much, she even didn't look through any of them. She ate a little, and got up from the seat, asking for permission to leave.
"What? No! You've been here for less than 10 minutes!", Arjun said. "I know, but it's a pleasure to be with you all, after so long.. these 10 minutes, would be just 10 minutes for you, but they mean another memory for a lifetime. Thank you for your time guys! I've to manage the stage, since the program isn't over yet. Please let me go. We'll meet each other some other day!", Nymous politely told them and was about to leave, only when her phone rang. Anon noticed the photo of the person, named Devu who called her. The guy had a sharp jawline, a long nose and a broad forehead. He was wearing a spectacle, and his hair were groomed well. The phone kept ringing, as she picked herself up in saree.
"Pick up the call, it's ringing so loudly!", Anon almost shouted. She didn't pay any heed to him, and took the phone in her hands, and conveyed a final good-bye to everyone. This made Anon furious. He got up from his chair too and pulled her by her arm, as she went moving away. The sudden jerk dis-balanced her, so he took her by her waist.
Before Anon could speak, she shouted, "How dare you?" "How dare i? How dare you!", Anon asked furiously. "There are loudspeakers here, Anon! What is making you so impatient? This phone ringtone? You think I'm a fool?" "I don't care, if i said that you pick up your call, you've to do so!" "I ain't your employee, sir! Neither am i your girlfriend! So you better know your position in my life, before trying to dominate me! "Indeed! Why would you take my orders, Ms. Nymous! I ain't Devu! Right guys?", Anon tried to hide his insecurity with a tease. "I'm glad you understood, that i take orders from my loved ones only! For love is the only thing that can make me do anything." "Money will make you do that as well!", Anon smirked. "What?" "Nothing, Nymous!", he said way more politely, as he finally let her go, for the time being.
The interiors of the Mela was really beautiful. Vikas felt a rush of energy witnessing so many colorful swings. Arjun sensed for calmness near the pond, encircled with lights and flowers. Tarun stayed by Anon's side, who was busy around the main stage, looking for something. Surbhi never leave his side, and Anon never looked at her.
"Hey!! There's a food court too! Come let's have something!", Vikas shouted. "That's what i thought was missing! Finally a group lunch!", Tarun cheered up.
They all got seated in a circular way, since the chairs were arranged in a group of six people around a hexagon table. One chair was empty, since they were only five people. And while Anon was busy checking out the menu, with Surbhi, they all thought how beautiful it'd be if that empty chair could be occupied by their own Nymous!
As they called the waiter to take their order, Anon's mind was distracted by the announcements that were being made on the stage, about different programs that were pending for the evening. ".. and before we can begin our next program, it's important to know the chief guests for the same! So, my dear bachha party, are you ready? More than ready, are you excited!!!..."
"Cupcake!", Anon shouted! "Sorry sir, we don't have any cupcakes. We have different desserts...", the waiter was about to tell, but Anon has already left his chair. He ran towards the stage, and so does the others.
Except Surbhi. Ofcourse. She didn't had any clue what was happening. But she was mature enough to understand that it must be something urgent and important. She placed the order for everyone, and sat alone for the time being.
"Anon, you've got fatty now. I'd see her first!", Vikas teased him. "But, You don't have my passion, Vikas!", Anon revolted back.
They all heaved heavily, while reaching near the stage, searching for Nymous! Anon knew the moment he entered the Mela, it was Nymous' decoration. His ego made him raise one of his eyebrows to Arjun, who wasn't believing him. Arjun smiled. All of their eyes were glued to stage, while someone shouted, "bhooww" from behind. While the three of them turned behind in astonishment, Anon sighed peacefully on finally finding her!
"Nymous! You! Anon was so right about that voice.", Tarun spoke hastily. "About the decorations too!", Arjun added. "Anon, look, Anon-Nymous is here! You were right!", Vikas made him turn back.
Anon turned back, and saw her again, after three years. Wearing a black saree, with a broad white border, and a multicolored blouse, she stood tall on a pencil heel. Her earrings were hiding behind her hair, which have grown long, playing with her waistline. She passed her formal smile, as Anon's eyes checked her from top to bottom. It was only a small yellow bindi that signified Nymous! Anon sighed for the loss.
daunting_phoenixHonestly, I feel bad for Surbhi. If it was obvious she had a crush on Anon, he's basically using her to prove smthng which is a total lie. Well she agreed to it so can't really complain.
daunting_phoenixWhy did nymous and anon break up when they loved it each so much...like he recognized her voice, decorations after freaking three years -
They saw many cars pass by, of vibrant shades and different sizes. Anon wasn't much into cars, he even owns only one. That too he uses infrequently. A white Scorpio crossed the road and, Anon knew this was Vikas', so he warned Surbhi to begin the role play. She wondered, how could he know it when the car was literally quite far off. He showed her the presence of 'pokemon' sticker on the corner of the windshield of the car, making it obvious for him to imagine, it's Vikas'.
They both sat into the car, after Vikas has hugged tightly to Anon for straight 3 minutes and danced onto in excitement for 2 minutes, on road, ofcourse. Later on, they picked up Arjun, and they all did their hook step gesture of everlasting friendship. Though, Arjun hugged Tarun again, as a token of thanks for making it all happen.
The Mela was located in the outskirts of the city, and it was indeed worth a tour, they all felt. Anon wondered, how come he never heard of it, even while he's been residing here since three long years, and appreciated Tarun for taking interest in visiting new places. It was all going smooth till they had parked their car, because apart from formal discussion, nothing actually happened.
As Vikas brought the tickets for everyone, and they were about to enter, Anon noticed the decoration encircling the Mela. He felt conscious. He asked Arjun, "Did you notice the pattern of decoration?" "Hmm, quite beautiful, no?" "That's not what i was talking about?" "Ofcourse." "So?" "There are plenty of organizations into decorations, may be that pattern is what has become trendy now." "Possibly!" "Even if that's her, how does it matter to any of us? You already have Surbhi, and i have her number!" Arjun said in a flaunting tone. "Umm, yea, ofcourse! It doesn't matter." Anon voice felt weak. "Are you scared?" "Sorry?" "Oh, finally you said it! It was long due, no?", Arjun chuckled.
Anon realised how he never said sorry for breaking up with his friends. He thought how casual it is to believe that friendship doesn't deserve Sorry and Thank you's. He hugged everyone separately, said Sorry, and promised them to never repeat the mistake.
They role played themselves as couple and recorded everything, so that they can listen that continuosly and there's no chance of any mistake. He knew about Tarun and Vikas, they weren't any trouble. He was little worried about Arjun, because he knew, it was difficult to pretend anything infront of him. He even warned Surbhi about Arjun.
"By the way, baby, do i need to befriend your friends too, like your ex?"
("Why do you need to befriend my friends, Nymous?" "What's the big deal?" "They're my friends, you don't have any clue how they're!" "It's okay, Anon. I'm not trying to be friends with them. They just go well with me, and i don't feel awkward in their company." "Yea, i understand. But may be they don't like you and, are talking to you just because you're my girlfriend, who knows it? Adding a new member in our group of crazy four would actually ruin the virtue of it! You getting it? "Oh. I've actually never thought like that. Thank you so much, my angry bird for making it clear. I'd distance myself from your crazy buddies!" "I'm glad you understood, nymous. You're the best!")
"Ofcourse! You can! Actually you should try your level best to befriend them. Tarun is very polite and mature. Vikas, he is a fun loving guy, a little annoying sometimes. And Arjun, he's an observer. He doesn't talk much, but when he feels comfortable enough, nobody can stop him as well!" "That's so cool. I think that's all, baby! See you on Sunday. Also, do tell me what dress should i wear? A floral kurti?" "Absolutely not, Surbhi!" He declined almost immediately. "You wear western, why to change anything for this fake relationship? Wear anything you like, may be a long dress would work!" "Okay! As you say. Bye baby!"
He shut the door, and sighed heavily. What was he lying for? What was the need to do so? Just to prove, Nymous, that he can move on too. He wonders, how easy our lives would become if we could tell ourselves what we actually want, instead of running away from our own self.
There was a spark in Anon's eyes, the one that was lost since three years. He hurriedly picked up his diary and pen, and asked Surbhi to pay attention.
"What are you doing sir?" "See, i know my friends, and their weird, but predictable queries. So it shouldn't look like we aren't dating. We'll decide onto everything, so that there aren't any loop holes. You get it na?" "I must say, you're very witty sir." "That i know, Surbhi!"
They both planned out their first meeting details, the things that attracted to each other, their birthdays, and other important details. Surbhi keep telling him what are details a boyfriend should know about his girlfriend, and he acknowledged it well onto the sheets. It took them three evenings to prepare all the plans.
"Now, Surbhi, i want you to open the voice recording app in your mobile. And we'll rehearse everything out." "Okay sir, i mean Anon." "I don't know why, but Anon from your mouth doesn't feel comfortable. Is there something else you can say that goes well with our fake relationship?" "People usually call their partners as baby or cutie pie and stuffs."
("Stop calling me baby, Anon. I ain't a kid." "But you're my baby girl!" He would say while hugging her from behind. "Do you want us to be the regular couples? We are special! Okay, let's give each other a secret nickname!" "Nickname? Indeed! You'll be my cupcake then. They are my favorite." "You're always so sweet, Anon! Okay that works for me." "So?" "What so?" She would ask teasingly. "What's my nickname?" "Oh, yours! Umm, Anon suits you i guess." "That's so unfair. I'm not gonna talk to you!" "Aww! My angry bird won't talk to me?" "Angry bird?" "I mean, Anon." "Noooo! It's angry bird!"..)
"Sir, sir!! Are you listening?" "Oh yes, yes, baby. Yes. Baby sounds good. Are you comfortable calling me baby?" "Yes, baby!" She said confirming the role.
It wasn't difficult for him to find her whereabouts, specially after owning such a position in his firm. And a single call would get all the details about her. But his ego stopped him from doing so. The pain of separation felt better than the pain of rejection. What if she doesn't want him back! "Whys", and "what ifs" ruined his sleep for the whole week.
A month later, when Tarun felt a spark with Anon, he asked him about his girlfriend, and her whereabouts. Anon's face turned pale, but he quickly made up for it. "Don't worry Tarun, I'll let you meet her soon, and then you can ask whatever you want to ask!" "Hey! That's super awesome sir! I'm wondering if you'd like to join handcraft mela with her? We all are going there too, this weekend." "We all? You mean our whole gang?" "Indeed. Actually Vikas will be picking us down the street and then we'd pick Arjun." "I can't believe we four will be meeting all again! A reunion, is it? Yes! A reunion! My group. Our group Tarun! We, us!" Anon was hugely elated, that he said yes to the deal.
Later in the evening, he pondered back on the discussion, and thought where would he arrange a girlfriend in such a short time! He was busy scratching his head, only when the bell rang. He opened the door, and saw Surbhi standing there with a huge smile on her face.
Every week Surbhi used to visit him, in the name of accounts discussion, but they both knew well how much she liked Anon. It was so obvious from her eyes. While Surbhi was speaking, he ran his mind, and asked her, "hey! Will you be my girlfriend?"
Before Surbhi could even react, he spoke, "i mean, not the real girlfriend, you just need to act like my girlfriend, in front of my friends." "Oh, i see!" "If you don't feel comfortable, you can decline the deal, but i can pay you well, if you say yes!" "Come on sir! It's not about money, but i can sense that you must be stuck in a tough situation, else you wouldn't ask a favour from me!" "So, are you in?" "Ofcourse!"
Tarun was taken aback, for he thought Anon would never date someone else. He was taken back to their hostel days, where Anon would climb the college terrace and shout how much he loved her. ("Stop being so filmy, A. You're acting drunk without alcohol." "I'm drunk on love, Tarun." Anon would say, while coming down to his knees and holding his hand, imagining Tarun to be her, and would speak his typical dialogue, Hamare ishq ko duniya samajh sake, Itna bhi aasan nahi hai. Jo ho jaye hume mohabbat kisi aur se, Utna halka hamara imaan nahi hai.")
Tarun's silence was broken by Anon's voice, "hey! I'm getting late for a meeting, send me your resume and you can join from next Monday." "It's such a good news, sir. Thank you!"
It's been a week since Tarun has joined, and apart from formal conversation about workplace, nothing happened between the two.
Scrolling through the e-mails, in his cabin, on a Thursday morning, Anon checked out her mail again. He has been trying to delete that mail, since previous week, like he deleted all other memories, but his hands didn't seem to obey his will. A little curiosity, and a lot of jealousy, made him call Tarun over a cup of tea in his cabin.
Excited about meeting his friend, in a private space, made Tarun delightful. In a while, he was sitting in front of Anon, his boss, with two tea cups, in a rather odd style. Tarun has observed how Anon drinks black coffee regularly, but here it was tea, that too in earthen pots, their special, 'tapri chai'. He was elated.
Before Tarun could take his second sip, Anon asked, "how is she doing? She'd be married till now! Did you meet his husband? What does he does?" "Oh, nothing like that sir. We're not that close." "But i thought you'd be conference calling each other, regularly, like we previously used to.." "Previously things were different. How can we stay connected to each other the same way, without you, Anon! You have been the backbone of our group. She can never replace your position. And she has no plans to do so too. Every year she texts on my birthday, and we do the same on her. It's just,.." "Oh! That's it? Connected for name sake! Got it. I thought.." "Listen sir, every year we do video conferencing, on 29th of August, for exactly 11 minutes, where she cuts a chocolate cake, and we all cheer her. That's the only part of whole year, when we got to see each other and assume whatever our eyes make us to. I've not seen any mangalsutra or sindoor, so i think she's still unmarried."
Listening to this, Anon went into shock. What's the need to do so! She doesn't even like chocolate. He recalled the day, when for the first time, she had travelled 257 kilometres, that too via Bus, with a chocolate cake in her hands. By the time she reached, half of the cake melted away, but her smile make up for it. He remembered, how awkward it was for him to cut the cake, so he asked her to do the honours. She asked joyously, if she can cut his birthday cake, every year. And he, planting a kiss on her left hand, nodded with a smile. This memory created a hole in his soul, and in anger, he asked, "what's the need to do so now? What she wanna pretend in front of you guys, that she loved.. that she loves me? You know na it was her who broke up.."
"Ohho, sir. How do i know that! She would say only this to us, every year, if cutting two cakes make her grow by one, what's the big deal to not do so!"
Tarun's phone ringed and he left for his desk, leaving Anon in the company of guilt and anger.
*I couldn't keep any promises i made to her, while she has never broken a single one! Why? Why? Why? Does she still love me?*
That 'why' haunted him for three nights straight. For, every night he'd woke up from a nightmare, where she'd be shouting, "you don't get it Anon, I can't stay with you, though my love can, and will always stay by your side. I can love you without wanting you, and remember, I don't need you to love you."
Those words echoed in his room, for that was the last thing she had told him, before leaving.
"Umm, nothing.. i mean none. Umm, yea. I'll send you my resume and two.." "Come on, Tarun. We both know how bad you're at hiding things. Tell me, who's she!" He asked almost begging him to hear only one name. "I.. i feel really bad for reminding you of her, your past lov.." "Hahaha! Don't feel bad, Tarun. That's past. And we can't change it. Why are you feeling bad? I thought she'd not be connected to you guys because.." "Indeed, she didn't talk to any of us for 7 months. I, and Vikas, tried a lot many times to contact both of you. But your number was always out of reach, and she never picked her call. On my birthday, she texted me, for you know how much ..." "How much she's excited about birthdays! She used to remain totally insane for her birthday, even a month before, and pushed each of us to celebrate ours." "Exactly, and you know what, A, i mean sir, .." "First of all, you don't call me sir, Tarun. You're making it really awkward." "I know, and to be very honest, it was never my wish to say you so, but she told me, to refer to you as sir, because,." "Yea yea, to make sure i feel disconnected to my own group, to make me feel like I ain't your friend.."
"Noo! You're hugely mistaken sir. She asked me to call you sir, because she knew, you'd never decline my resume. But you'd never want your staff to know that i got placed because of our previous connection. She knows you better, how you don't like things to happen because of some approach or jack. And i equally was awkward to ask for the favour because of this reason only. We all know you, A. We have spend 4-5 years together."
And he stood silent. A wave of reminiscence hit his soul. He recalled how his group was the backbone of his college life, the moments that have been spent bunking lectures, and how they planned for a trip in the name of seminar, where he saw her.. for the first time. Dressed in a yellow floral print A-lined kurta, with a bright red legging, she stood tall on her low heeled sandal, and aced the stage with her phenomenal voice. Her large bangle shaped earrings, chained his eyes to her face, and the curve of her smile seduced him in a way, no girl could ever have. A knock on the door took him away from past, and he saw what was presently there. His back, hunched, and his desk covered with papers. That was what his life was. He saw his name plate placed on desk, CEO, Mr. Anon. He sighed heavily and spoke loudly, "I'm busy right now, come after 5 minutes."
"I'm sorry for taking this much of your time, sir." "It's completely okay, Tarun. You've been one of my best friend, and we're talking after 3 big years!" "Yes, and i must say, you've changed a lot, sir. Did this maturity bring any girl in your life?", Tarun asked cheerfully.
"Hahaha! *I've been stuck here, for past three years, all alone. She ruined me, my whole life, snatched my friends, my own circle from me, how could i ever move on from her before i shatter her life, like she shattered mine!* Umm, nothing like that Tarun."
He thought about the mail, he received yesterday, where she claimed to be at 'his place'. *How could she move on to someone else, when I couldn't even get attracted to any girl!*
"I can understand, sir. I know how madly you were.."
*Were? Were! How dare he say were!*
"Actually, the truth is, I've been dating a girl since 1 year, and she's really the sweetest one, the way she takes care of me, DESPITE MY BUSY SCHEDULE, is fantabulous!", he interrupted Tarun by cooking a fake story.
He woke up next morning a little early. Some weight on his chest didn't let him sleep peacefully at night. So he thought it was better to do his tasks and leave for his office.
While sipping his black coffee on his desk, he was reminded of last night's mail. All these five years, the desk has been a constant company of him. Only the position of it gets changed, from the public compartment to a private cabin. That's it. He too was fluent with the scratch marks of the desk, as if it was the only thing he owned despite losing almost everything.
Before he could finish off his ego drink, a call rang. He was about to lose his temper, when he saw that the call was from unknown number, but the truecaller showed a known place. He hurriedly picked up the call, and said a quick, "Hiiii".
"Hello A.. i mean, hello sir! It's Tarun here. Do you remember me? The one from your immediate junior's batch?" His excitement sank down, just like his heart, and in his regular arrogant voice, he spoke, " oh you! Yea, ofcourse! I remember you. How are you doing now, Ta.. Tarun?" "Umm, I'm glad to know you remember me. It's been so long since we.." "Actually I'm quite busy right now, would you mind calling me some time later?" He spoke cutting his talk in between, but then asked, "anything urgent?" "No sir. Nothing like that. I just wanted to know if there's any vacancy in your office, for me to apply, but I'll call you some other day. Thank you for.." "Arey! No. Not that much busy, but .. i mean like you were among the bright students, and you got campus placed, how come you unemployed right now?" "It's not always intelligence that matters. Some circumstances take away your abilities to do anything. And it's a long story. I don't think you'd be having this much time, so I'll tell you that later."
While Tarun spoke his perspective, he was submerged in the memories of past. He recalled how Tarun helped him with assignments, when he was busy visiting that acknowledged someone. And if it wasn't Tarun, he would have never cleared his semesters.
"Hey Tarun! I understand your situation, and there's nothing about my time. I have got all the time for you. Come on, let it all flow." "So it was around last year, you know how tough times it were. The crashing economy...", Tarun was completely engrossed in his story.
While he listened everything very patiently, like the way, he used to listen, three years back. Every word penetrated his soul, before it went to the brain. And before, Tarun could end, he said, "Listen buddy, just send me your resume, with two passport size photographs, and brace yourself up for a life changing experience!"
"Damn! Are you serious, A.. i mean sir? This is enthralling! She was right. She was absolutely right, when she asked me to contact you for a job! Oh God! Thank you so m.."
"It's impossible to imagine a day bad like today, the worst in a while. I don't understand how long will i remain stuck here", he mumbled to himself as he prepared his bed to finally let his back rest.
*Twing*, a notification popped.
"Ah! Ofcourse, how can I rest, till I'm chained to my mobile. I wish i could throw it away. It's less of a boon, and,.."
*Twing*, another notification popped.
"Arghhh, let me switch it off, for once and all, enough for today..", he got up from bed in frustration, and picked the phone in agitation.
*E-mail from an acknowledged one*
A lot of things began running in his mind, as he removed the phone from the charger and walked towards his bed to lie down.
"Heyyyy!! I know it's not the right notification to be received by you, don't frown. You already would have a tough day at work. But i couldn't resist sending you this mail. You know what happened today?
A friend of mine, asked me to watch a movie at his place, and guess which one!? Yes, the one you asked me three years back! Yes!! And straight away i said no to it. Not because it was something related to you, but i really didn't like that movie. I had told you that as well, back then only. So to re-watch it was totally against my will. Come on, it's rated 1.2 on IMDb!? How can someone like that? Else, what are ratings for?
But he was stubborn, just like you, may be even a bit more, so couldn't decline him. Imagine my plight? Worse than yours right now! And so he began the movie, paused for only one moment where he went to pee. Full, 2 hours 26 minutes, in one go! You know na, how impossible it is for me to watch a movie in a single go? May be you've forgotten. Must have.
Anyway, this mail is not about me, it's about you. You, who've once told me to watch it, because it relates to you, and i want to tell you, that you were right. This time, i loved the movie. I understood it's depth, and i related to those comments which were against the ratings of movie.
You know what, "love at first sight", is rare, and may be that's why, "the second sight" is special. Thank you, for giving my mail this much of yours time. And, another thank you for begging me to watch this movie. Hope, you're doing well. Take care of yourself, because nobody does!"
*Swipes up, to re-read it again*
After reading that mail for continuously four times, he kept the phone away, and closed his eyes to sleep. "Today isn't that bad, may be the best day of the week. After all, this is what I've chosen to do, for the time being", he thought while drowsing off to sleep.