This time I froze. She was looking into my eyes; staring as if it were my waist lines. But they weren’t. I was too busy in thought to answer her query, for she had asked me what had happened. I knew the answer, but I couldn’t tell her. My language suddenly got a limited tag, my vocabulary shunted out like those cheap resistor boxes did in my school labs. But that’s that.
It was on a perfectly bright morning, some day at school, it was 1996 perhaps, that I first saw him.
He was a perfect straight haired fair kid. But then little did I know then that we would grow up to be like this one day. He used to solve funny math problems when he was mad at someone else, unlike me. I used to beat the hell out of someone then. He was good at sports, it was like everything he played, he excelled in it, when I barely went on to average in it. Nothing was impossible for him. He screwed up the entrances to get into the very Government Engineering College I landed myself into, but managed to master some History to land himself in IIT Madras. Humanities.
“There’s nothing to worry, we’ve induced him into a temporary comatose, he’ll be back in eight hours or so. Please calm down.”, smiled the doc. Yeah Right, I thought. Apollo Hospital, Bangalore. One of the best in the country. I hoped only for one thing, his eyes to open wide like it always used to when he used to direct that football to the far post.
Fourteen years we found ourselves in the same class, staring at girls, listening to the same lectures, writing the same papers. But at one point of time, he went eons ahead, skyrocketed himself to stardom. And I looked up to see my best friend in the spotlight. So proud I was.
He made a lot of friends in his golden days. Friends who stayed, and friends who played. And that’s when it all began. One fine day, I found myself in a debate with one of his newly acquired friends. It was a fight to be exact. It was just beginning to heat up when something hit me hard. And so I fell… Dusting myself, pulling myself up from the ground, I saw him. He was there, laughing at me. But then I smiled. He didn’t like that one bit. The friend was sensing her victory, wanting it so much, and then, at that moment he said it. “I’m fed up. You are a disgrace. How dare you address me as your friend? Do you have any Idea who I am?” Yes. Frag grenade, right in the block hole. All those soccer matches, fourteen years of it all, everything, turned to dust in 5 seconds. That night I didn’t sleep.
“Why are you so worried?”, my wife asked me, “It was his fault, how could he miss your Maybach in the middle of a highway?” Oh yeah, she didn’t even have the slightest idea to who he is or was. I was easy to find. He didn’t deliberately, no, he would do that.
Eight hours passed. He opened his eyes. Hospital ceiling. Somewhere, in a hotel room, I smiled.
PS: This post was deliberately meant at someone when I started writing it, but soon disappeared as a few more words added up. At that point of desperation which existed on 15th feb, which has totally disappeared now, things came to me in the form of these words. You may take it as a way I consoled myself. But now that I wrote a piece then, I entered it in a contest with very kickass writers, and got nothing out of it. I never expected anything to happen though. So here it is. What I wrote on 15th Feb.