If you love me you will regret,
If you can't be a crow, be an egret.
Never take counsel from a person in matters of heart whose journal's introductory page starts with the aforementioned couplet. I made that mistake once and paid a heavy price. Ank and Amir had called me for lunch in the December of 03. And where there is lunch in a bachelor accommodation, booze is sure to be accompanied. Imagining the prospects of surrendering my sanity to the wisdom of an old monk made me delightful. But on the other side of this arc there was a girl-my girlfriend. The rules of love made it mandatory to keep your partner updated about your coordinates. In this state of dilemma i decided to call up Ank and discuss the matter. Although he had no prior experience in matters of heart except that he was proposed by the most gorgeous girl in his college days, he was one of the wise guys. In a discrete manner i asked him about his opinion on sharing-it-all with girl friend topic. He said we should be open in sharing information with girl friend. But he also said he will take a second opinion from Amir. Ank had opted for the conference call facility from his service provider and this would be a good time to test it. He brought Amir in conference. Amir's view was that all information to a girl friend should be provided on a need to know basis. I decided to go with Ank's opinion considering Amir had no prior experience with girl friends. The closest he came to be friends with a girl was when he returned a lost basic language program sheet to a girl during the first year in college.
I called up Ragini and told her i would be busy the coming weekend due to a lunch at Ank's place. She said she had planned for a movie date this weekend-a movie in her vernacular language. Although i had no bias against her vernacular language but watching a movie in her language was altogether a different ballgame. The reason was the vernacular movie industry was going through a lean patch at that time-particularly in terms of content and production value. All you got to see was mindless violence, gravity defying action sequences and song and dance sequences involving pelvic gyrations. In no time we started to snipe each other with arguments and counter arguments about the greatness of our language, culture and cinema. Seeing that love was loosing to regionalism i decided to back off and told her i would talk to her later. Due to increased work pressure i was not able to call her back through out the week. Instead i was busy talking to unknown people in the US using a fake New York accent and referring myself as Patrick. So were Amir and Ank. They were busy fixing some ones printer or fax machine in US by being Jim or Harry. Maybe we all had become different people who were indifferent to people around us.
On that Sunday morning when i woke up, i was still undecided. However sitting in the toilet for an hour not only cleared my bowels but head too. I made up my mind to give a surprise visit to Ragini and have our differences sorted out over a cup of coffee and a bowl of upma. I was sure if i had breakfast with her she would allow me to have lunch with my buddies. As soon as i fired up my bike's engine i heard someone calling my name from the first floor. It was my landlord reminding me of missed rent payment. If anything i hated more than my landlord's face was my landlord calling me from behind while embarking on my journey. Bad omen i thought. I dissembled not hearing anything and drove on. Hardly i had reached the next signal, my cell phone started buzzing. I picked up the call. It was from a colleague of mine who said he had got new kinda weed and wanted me to try some. Although one part of me wanted to say him no and proceed to meet my love but another part of me wanted to puff the magic dragon. I thought a slight detour to reinvigorate myself would cause no harm. Instead it could make me more accommodating of Ragini's whims.In the end, before the traffic cop could give me ticket for talking on cell phone while driving, the mysticism of dragons reigned over yearning of love and as if a magical force turned my bike towards the home of my colleague and in no time i was seeing people walking over buildings and hear distant birds singing Bollywood tunes.
I don't know how much time passed, but when i came to my senses i saw my cell phone had no network coverage and the clock on the cell phone showed 1:57 PM. I removed the battery and put it back again on the cell phone. Still no network I went out and looked for the nearest one rupee coin payphone box. I wanted to dial Ragini's number but i feared a heavy backlash. So i put the coin in the slot and punched Amir's number. Each ring made me anxious and my ears just wanted to hear the beautiful sound of the coin being released.