Friday, January 24, 2014

We all have best friends, but no one can even come close to this.

My Best Friend

Nitin, you’re fine na?” a concerned voice broke my flow of thought, and I turned around to see who it was.

“Hey Akshata, yes I am. But why ask? What’s the matter?”

“I have been noticing you for the past few days. You have been blabbering something to yourself. Today you were doing it again, so I thought I better ask.” Akshata said as she took the seat next to me.

“Oh, I didn’t know I was being noticed“

“You definitely are. In fact, people also talk about you”

”After a tiring day of work people have the stamina to notice things? I thought everyone escaped into a world of their own.”

“They may be tired, but their mind is always wandering and looking for something unusual and exciting. You fit the bill perfectly.” I just smiled in reply.

Being popular was not something I craved for but to my good luck or bad something about me always caught the attention of people; making me popular without any effort.

“So what do you blabber about…the horrible work at office?” Akshata asked with a smile.

I looked at her and smiled too. ”You know, your blabbering habit is not a good thing. It makes an onlooker think you’re disturbed or probably swearing at him/her. You should see a doctor or try meditation. It would surely help.” Akshata’s concern was heart-warming.

In this maddening race of life where winning is all that matters and petty politics the order of the day, it was hard to find people who stop by and show some care.

Akshata and I were bus buddies for quite some time now. Bus buddies is how I term those people whom you only meet in the bus while travelling to and from office. You do not work with them or catch up otherwise. Yet, it’s their company and the conversations with them that makes the nearly four hour journey to and from office a pleasure. The best thing about the conversation is that it can include anything under the sun, even work details. Sure enough, some conversations with some people don’t go down the interesting line but still it’s a chance worth taking. I had noticed Akshata reading a novel by Chetan Bhagat, and that became our conversation starter. Before we knew it, we were on song. Bus buddies also come in handy when you need the current position of the bus or need to stop the bus when you’re running late. At that moment, they’re like angels in disguise.

“Hello, where did you get lost?” Akshata asked. “Something is surely the matter with you.”

Nothing baba, I just drifted away, that’s it.”

“What’s the matter Nitin? Won’t you tell me?”

“Something should be the matter to tell you about na.”

“I don’t believe you. You just go blabbering on and on and say nothing is the matter.”

“It’s not blabbering. I just speak to someone.”

“Someone? But to whom and how? You neither have your earphones connected nor have a Bluetooth earpiece clipped on.” Akshata was being herself. That meant she wasn’t going to let go off me easily. If there was something she didn’t know, she would pursue it by all means. What made matters worse was that I couldn’t even bluff with her. She would sense it and then get irritated. Tolerating an irritated Akshata was not a good proposition.

Read the complete story in State of the Heart.
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