Monday, June 20, 2005

Efforts and Results

Efforts and Results-part I

Should I ask him today ??, Is it really my business?? What if he gets offended?? What if she gets offended? More importantly what if our friendship gets affected ?? Is it worth taking the risk??
Suddenly a Yamaha bike swerved in from the left in the already confusing traffic. I forgot which gear I was in!!! I quickly pressed my right foot hard and after I was in the highest of gears, struck back the lever to settle in second gear!!!!!
As I finished performing this high adrenaline action under great stress in record time,I lifted my head, remembering whatever little swear words I know. The Yamaha guy was nowhere to be seen!!!
How did he disappear so fast? Is it some professional biker hired to kill me!!! ????
Before my imagination can play any more tricks on me, I noticed a fellow bike rider ,riding a few metres ahead of me,being given a lesson in “emergency preparedness” by our beloved Yamaha guy!!!!!
“These guys will learn only after collecting some coins*”

I swore not to think of anything while driving. I sincerely followed it for the next 71 seconds.

Oh!!!, I completely forgot to introduce myself. My name is Gautham . I go to office everyday day and provide solutions using computer. People say Iam a software professional and think iam being modest when I deny that!!

Anyway forget about me. This story is about my thickest of friends Dinesh and Sonia.
Ours is the luckiest of all friendships, which faced very little challenges,until I the day everything changed because of me.

Myself and Dinesh had been friends from time immemorial!!! We first met Sonia during our Eleventh standard.
Sonia’s dad had been transferred to Chennai and she was new to our class/school. We initially used to tease her a lot like all the other guys in our class, succumbing to peer pressure but very soon we found Sonia to be real friendly and intelligent. It was a just a matter of time before we became strong friends.
But the interesting part is that our twelfth marks were in the same range , so we got into the same college and in the same group and after 4 years ,got placed in the same company through campus recruitment!!!!!

We never miss a chance to get together . I cant remember how many thousands of hours we have spent together roaming around chennai. Even now I am going to Dinesh’s home, from where we have planned to go to a movie.

Ok, let me get to the point. I have a very strong suspiscion that these guys are in Love!!
How do I know that ?? well , its kinda hard to explain.I can just see it but I can never pin point one single instance when they behaved like anything other than friends.
Still it was very hard to miss as I was their closest friend. I could feel that there was definitely something. Her smiles towards him always had that element of “extra kindness”. An involuntary addition to a voluntary gesture which can only come from a heart struck with love. Like that extra ice in the cool drink served to a lonely desert traveler on hot summer day.
And his words to her had that “extra care”. Its as if they were packaged with soft wool so that it does not hurt her in any way.
But what do I do about it??? I cant just go ahead and ask “So when are you guys gonna marry???”
What if they deny ?? Will our friendship be the same again????
But being a impatient idiot as Iam I couldn’t stand this. I decided to find an end to this today. They always knew I was crazy so there wasn’t too much of damage done I thought!!! J

I reached his home and was sipping orange squash given by aunty when Dinesh entered the hall!!!
“So Gautam, are you ready to experience the ultimate movie experience of your LIFE??”
“Oh Yes , but are you ready to get splatted if this one turns out be a flop??”

Dinesh has the worst expertise in the selection of movies. Once he was nowhere to be seen when one of the movies he had chosen got over,as myself and Sonia turned towards his seat resolving to push him off the Gemini flyover on the way home!!! My God ,that evening was fun!!! J

We went to Sonia’s home in his car. I wanted to use this chance to ask him!!!
Hmmm ,no this is not the time. Above all I would ruin his evening and mine too!!!
We picked her from her home and went to the movie hall.

As we were coming back Sonia was full of her appreciation for the Hero’s acting. That’s her favourite Hero. I just realized that’s why dinesh had chosen the movie in the first place!!!
I wanted to tell them that I myself looked a bit like the Hero in that movie!! ,but I decided against saying it.

“Ok Bye guys!!! See you tomm at office “
Sonia got down in her place!!
“Bye”,we chorused back.

“whats the problem Gautham ?? you look a little subdued??”,dinesh was the one to start.
“hmm,actually I wanted to ask you something!”

He looked at me a little quizzically but I got the feeling he was guessing
“Just tell me da! What is it”

“Are you loving Sonia”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????

I practiced these words in my mind!!!! Can I ask him . should I ask him!!!!!????

“When are you gonna take the tickets for the cricket match???”,I finally managed to say something!!!!!!!!

I could see my astral body coming out of me and kicking me real hard!!!
“Yeah we shall get it da,no probs,there is still time-na?”,Dinesh was his usual cool self.

By the time we had arrived at his home.

As I got into my bike dinesh said.”Hey I thought the Hero in the movie looks a little like you from a distance !! Ha ha ,See you tomorrow,Good night”

I let out a smile which he could notice,waved my hand and kicked started my bike.
“I will definitely ask him tomorrow”,I resolved

To be continued…………

*collecting coins – literal translation of a tamil slang. You collect coins after falling down and the when the coins roll off from your pockets.
*Gemini flyover – a flyover in chennai.


Efforts and Results part II

Dinesh’s eyes were so red . I was not sure whether it was because of him not able to sleep or because of him crying so much or because he has been drinking so much. My heart pained so much to see him killing himself and the fact that I couldn’t do anything about it.
“Know something??? I personally think vodka is better than beer”,I remarked.
The beer bottle turned into a vodka bottle.
“You fool,If only I had known You loved Sonia, I would have…”,I couldn’t face Dinesh as I was saying this.
Sonia had committed suicide after her marriage was fixed with someone else as she had loved Dinesh. Both never confessed their love to each other.
There was a wry smile from Dinesh.
“Its better if I die than having to live this.”,he said
The vodka bottle morphed into a poison bottle as he gobbled it into his throat.
“Dinesh, Noooooooooooooooooo”

I woke up with a jerk.
What kind of ridiculous dream is that!!!!!!!!
Real stupid and real scary!!!!
People with high creativity and imagination are said to have high activity in the right side of their brain. I sometimes got the feeling that whole of my brain was right brain. I smiled as I tried to imagine such a brain.

I told Dinesh to come to our “spot” in the evening. It’s a bridge under construction for a looooooooooooong time.It looked as if it would be entangled in red tape for the rest of my life before it could get completed. Myself and Dinesh usually go there and talk for a while when we don’t have any planned outing.
He was surprised when I asked him not to tell about this “meeting in the spot” to Sonia.
“hey man , are you alright?? Is something wrong”, he enquired.
“will tell you in the evening”,I replied without much of an expression.
“Hmmm Ok”, he wasn’t fully satisfied with my answer.

Twice he contacted me through MSN and asked me to tell him what it is. The second time he was just asking for a hint or clue. I told him to wait till the evening.

In the evening , he walked towards me as I was leaning on the parapet wall of the half completed bridge. He silently leaned with his back towards the wall without saying anything.
I seriously didn’t know how to ask him.
After a while he couldn’t take the suspense.

“hey gautham,what is wrong with you??”,he asked.
“Not exactly with me”,I replied.

“Are you in love or something??? I am your best friend and I would have known if there is something ,but I know there isn’t anything.”
“This is not about me da,Its about you”

He looked at me with an expectant look.
“Its about you and Sonia”

“You mean….”,he enquired.
“Don’t you think yourself and sonia would be a perfect match?? Why don’t you guys marry”,I finished with a single breath.

He turned his face away.
“For god’s sake , how long are you gonna hide it?? I am not blind . You guys are in love aren’t you??? Whom are you cheating by not telling anyone?? Come on Gautham,you can tell atleast me.”

He didn’t reply.
He was looking at a sodium vapour lamp which was a few hundred feet away.
He didn’t talk for a long time.

“Actually I myself wanted to tell you about this
I really don’t how it all started but I like her so much da,I know she would make a perfect wife for me. But I don’t how to approach this . Iam not entirely sure whether she is in love in with me! How can I ask her?? Do you know the pain I go through even for any slightest indication that she might not be in love me??? I cant imagine whether I can survive if she doesn’t share my feeling.I really love so much man!!!!Also I know the friendship between the three of us wont be the same after my proposal.I don’t have the heart to ruin our friendship.
And you know fully well that our parents will never agree even if she loves me”

Dear ladies and gentleman, I think I forgot to tell you about one small complication in this whole scenario. Sonia and Dinesh belong to two different religions. Dinesh is a Hindu while Sonia is a Christian. I could see that Dinesh is in a fairly decent mess and is going through a fairly helpless situation.
I noticed there were tears in his eyes. I realized that Love can make even the strongest man to break down.
There is a widespread notion that women are the weaker sex.
I don’t know about that ,but I am absolutely sure that ,when it comes to Love ,
Men are the weaker sex.

Just then I got an idea.
“Hey Dinesh , lets take one module(?!) at a time!!,Lets deal with Sonia first and then we can worry about the parents.what say??”
He nodded slowly in approval. His eyes were back on that sodium vapour lamp again.

“If you don’t mind , can I suggest an idea?? I shall talk to Sonia. I shall tell her that I have a doubt in my mind and want to clarify from her. I will ask her whether she is in love with you. I wont tell her that you love her.
No matter what the answer is she would never be informed of our meeting now.
If she says she loves you. I leave you to find the right time to propose to her.
If she says No then I shall apologize for my imagination and shall pass it off somehow , there wont be any damage done to our friendship!!!
What do you think??? “

He was into thought.
“Think this is not such a bad idea after all!!”,was all he had to say.
We talked for a long time that day after this conversation.

Thus , the most unforgettable and fateful meeting with Sonia was decided.

To be continued…

Efforts and Results part III

I knew the meeting with Sonia would be tricky and I didn’t know what to expect.
I called her the next day in the office.
“Hi Sonia,got any work??”
“Some documentation stuff, bit free today, tell me , whats the matter??”
“I want to talk to you, Can you come over to our building terrace??”

There was bit of a pause from her side.
“Will meet at 4 . what say???”
“Ok no problems”.

I replaced the receiver in its place
At four I went to the terrace and was waiting for her near the steps.

She was exactly 3 minutes and 18 seconds late.
“So whats the matter??? Got rejected by someone??”, the playfulness was so obvious.
“Nothing Sonia , I wanted to know something!! Please don’t tell about this meeting to Dinesh”

She raised her eyebrows.
“Hey don’t give too much of a buildup!! Whats the problem???”
“Sonia, you shouldn’t take me wrongly, Iam just asking you this because this is what I felt”
Her face turned serious.
“ya tell me.”
I took a deep breath.
“Are in Love with Dinesh”
I could see her losing her temper!!!!

“Are you crazy???what has gotten into you??
“No Sonia , I just felt…..”
“What nonsense??? I cant believe you of all guys can be sick enough not to understand friendship”. Cant a boy and girl just stay as close friends????”

“No,Iam sorry I mean………….”
I was very very embarrassed.
I knew the damage had been done.
I was so sure but the belief had started to vanish. I could only curse my stupidity and wonder whether I had done the right thing.
I couldn’t stop feeling sorry for Dinesh . Poor Guy.
Its a good thing that he is gonna get the message indirectly from me instead of him having to propose her and “face the music”.

“Don’t you know Iam a christian and he is a Hindu???? It will never work out. Also what will our parents say?? Don’t you know how much we love and respect our parents??
Even if they agree for the marriage there will problems life long. They have to face wrath and humiliation from their relatives.. Is this what we will repay them with for all the effort they had put in to raise us into this level.And…..”

She was emotionally charged up and sounded like she was gonna cry.
I was really sorry for having to put her through this.

“Iam really sorry Sonia. I just felt and…….”
Just then it hit me. She never actually said she didn’t love Dinesh.
“Hey!! Can you look into my eyes and say you don’t love him???”,I asked her.

She looked into my eyes. Her eyes were misted with tears.
She turned away from me.
“I…….I....,I mean I like dinesh ….. but…” , she was struggling to complete the line.
“Yeah but….how can I …I mean ….I don’t know what to do”,she couldn’t continue.

Soon She started crying silently.
I dialed dinesh.
“Tell me da,coffee??”,he enquired unsuspectedly.
“Dinesh come to my building terrace right now”
“Right now???”
“Sonia is here,come soon”

“why??? Oh!!! What!!….. Ok I will come now”

After a while he arrived. I still cant explain the expression on his face as he saw Sonia crying. For a minute I sensed he wanted to hug her and comfort her , but decided against it as his senses alerted him of my presence.
“Sonia,why are you crying??? Gautham!! What happened da????”
“Dinesh, I think you and Sonia need to have a chat”

I left without waiting for his reply.
I knew our lives will never be the same right that instant.

To be continued…

Efforts and Results - Epilogue

Life is not perfect.
It was never meant to be.

There was a strong opposition on both sides for Dinesh/Sonia ‘s affair. I was instantly banished from both the homes and there was an incident when Dinesh and Sonia’s brother almost came to blows. But after 1.5 years of persuasion both sides relented. Meanwhile Dinesh got a better job in Bangalore and soon Sonia followed suit. Now both are happily settled there. Its not perfectly smooth though. Sonia’s acceptance into Dinesh’s family is only half hearted.
Dinesh often asks me whenever I go to Bangalore as to why did I take the effort to unite them. I simply smile off the question.
Because I myself don’t know the answer .It was simply an instinctive reaction I felt like doing on seeing what I thought was upsetting my friends. Many a times I wonder what would have happened if their love was not strong enough to resist the challenges they faced.
That would have caused lot of unwanted confusion in their lives and brought in a lot of avoidable problems in our lives.
Alls well that ends well.

Guess many a times the value of your efforts is decided solely based on results. Which I think is fairly unfair. Guess we aren’t blessed with the ability to accurately predict the results and put our effort accordingly , and so we just got to put our effort based on whatever our mind tells and hope we get the right results.
Sure , you will make mistakes. But that’s the only way to life your life fully.

The End


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siva said...

nice one bro!!
liked t!!