November 1998 through March 1999
I wasn’t really aware of the fact that I traveled to South Delhi- Malviya Nagar to work everyday. My boss Roopak had been pressing me that I shift to that part of the city soon. I had shifted only in August that year to Vijay Nagar. Shifting again in November, was the last thing I had wanted. Even shifting to Vijay Nagar was not a simple transition..
Roopak wasn’t a very communicative guy. Although he was a young guy, he seemed to be very distant. Something wasn’t right. I could never be comfortable working with him. He would fret about things that had happened to him a year back and keep occupied. I wasn’t expecting any great friendship in him; but wasn’t comfortable listening to his “I should get married soon” either. I had labelled him double standards soon enough- of course- he had not known of that.
He was ignorant of pretty many other things. Something seemed very restrained in him. He wasn’t very cordial with his youngest brother. They had lost their mother in some accident whereby she was drowned and Roopak didn’t know swimming. Rajat was hit and was floated away. He had remained absconding- he had lost his memory for couple of years..!! Both of them held each other responsible for their losses.
Who knows they still maybe.. But my “double standards” slogan was proven right after 12 years; i.e., just a couple of days back from today (read: another post)
I had worked with that Company for 4 months altogether; maybe 5! So much so for my having gotten involved in that affair with Rajat!! To “utilize” my creativity, Mr. Saxena of PortaCabin Engineers had piled me up with heaps of wooden boards. I was to construct a Doll House that they had failed to!! Like a fool, I had slogged to make that Doll- House while working in a office. It was no less than the job of a carpenter..!! As Roopak claimed a few days back; it was his idea to use the picture of that Doll- House at the back of the Company brochure to reflect upon future possibilities with pre- fabricated structures.. Like- whatever!!
Hemant used to report to the Chanakya Puri office. He had seen me once when I had gone for my round of Interview with Saxena. I had no remembrance of having seen him. Virmani had started coming to MN office to teach me Accounts. That is when I had started talking to Hemant over the telephone.
Not knowing of anything better; I had called up at Himanshu’s place- one day. He had answered the phone himself. He was pursuing some course from NIIT then. He had promised to meet me the next day. A promise that was brutally broken.. I had worn a lemon yellow flowing suit with white lacy stole and gone to CP NIIT center. Well, not even his ghost was around- much less him!
The next day, he had asked me not to call him up anymore. I had obeyed. Till 2005. Only to be blatant reminded of him failing me time and again..
Aunindyo had decided to marry the dame his parents wanted him to. I had ignored his being fond of me. To me, settling down was more like getting stuck. I had barely stepped out of a deadly relationship only a couple of months back! He didn’t seem very happy with his wife. She was a village- woman- not to his liking. He had shamelessly declared that “a woman ought to be like Olivia alone..” I hadn’t call him up thereafter.
I do miss him. He had been a nice one to me. Knowing him was like living in a teenage fairy-tale mushy romance. Purely platonic.
R had agreed to get a place for me in South Delhi. He had sent me to his friend’s place in Pushp Vihar. A nice young couple, the lady had made me speak with another lady who was supposedly the link to my “would be landlord”. Wearing my front slit long skirt and a net green and black top, I had gone to meet them directly over to Madangir!!
The “token money” was over and above the rent and security!! Couple of hundreds meant the whole month’s grocery.. I had decided to shift sometime in January. My Land lady at Vijay Nagar was heartbroken. One, she knew no one would have accepted that place so readily.. Two, she was amazed at how no guys ever came to my place or even around!!
I met Hemant on 31st December, 1998. I had traveled to Dilli Haat and met that fair complexioned, 5’8″ tall, good looking guy. He seemed to be a decent one. We had moved around inside the fair Ground, till it was pretty late. I had worn my long- skirt. You see, I wore them since ages. It really isn’t an edition.
Ranu and Anjum’s landlady had hosted a party on New Year eve. It wasn’t really bad. I had danced till early morning after cake and food. Actually, all of us had freaked out!! I had become so involved with the two sweet young girls, I had started spending my evenings with them.
A couple of meeting over with Kamal, I had stopped going out with him. A pizza I had carried home one day. How I had not shared that with anyone. I couldn’t share such a gift with my friends. They had not known how I had earned it. I could have camouflaged it by calling it an affair.. I haven’t; I won’t. It wasn’t that. It really was only a deal to me. I had kept it at that..!!
The cycle, people and the events have knocked at my Destiny over the period of next few years to come. One of those had hit me a week back!! Only, I am too analytical now. I don’t let the situation happen to me unless I want those to; much less getting affected or even hurt.
Divali and Durga Puja were spent like any other day. None of my friends had come to my place to meet me. I was becoming aware of my lone existence fast. I was coming to terms with my own identity of an orphan and also as an illegal child. I wasn’t a child anymore. At 20, I had become a woman. A bitter, sore and a very critical one at that.
I was becoming more detached. Not wanting to mingle with anyone. What for anyways? People or Friends only sympathized and walked away- leaving a more tormented me!! Visiting the memories seemed a bitter task!! Not anymore. Perhaps, this is one of the many reasons why I write. Let me face as many cruelties as I have suffered- one more time. Let me live those atrocities as many times My Writes are read. Let me test, if I have succeeded in becoming Indifferent.
My stay in that Madangir house was no exception to my “happening” life. The 70 year man would keep barging into my room every night and talk crap. Since I was a “young” girl; I had needed some “security” and hence; that hag had posted her redundant husband upstairs at my floor. This was exactly the opposite of what was agreed upon.
I could not forgive Roopak for making me step into that mess. R was also crossed out. If I had no troubles traveling from MN to Vijay Nagar in winters, what was anybody else’e problem? Why didn’t Roopak offer me to stay with him instead? He had nice place to himself- was looking for a match too. Oh, and he was damn interested in getting me married as well..!!
Men and the whole community of those – suck.. It was Roopak who had made me leave that job. Why the hell had he made me shift from Vijay Nagar at all? Maybe I wasn’t that good in my work- shouldn’t he have assessed that before making me land into a messier pothole? I hold no hatred towards him anymore. I say this after my 2nd encounter with him after 12 years!!
The man has not changed a bit- not that that’s any of my business. Perhaps he excels in creating turbulence in others’ lives. Not really maybe his fault; but then, whose fault that may be then? At times, if you let go off your inhibitions; Life treats you dearly showering surprises that you may have never expected!!
A short stint at a MN office, my shifting over and Hemant. Right, him too- a lot of things had started happening to me. The instances had hit me as if I was stuck into a bewildering jungle; where it rained all time.
Maybe, that’s why the last 2 years have been deadly silent- wanting to balance..!!
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