Writer’s Cut – Neha: Yet Another Love Story

Posted: October 15, 2016 in Just Like That
Tags: , , , , ,

On account of 300 likes for the FB page and first anniversary of book. I thought I should share something to show my gratitude. So here is the Writer’s cut of my book. How it was supposed to have been started which I later omitted for good or bad, put to you without even correct grammatical errors, the first draft as such!

Neha_cover 1_rev2.indd

Once again, thank you all for the response you’ve shown for the book.

Honestly

June 2nd 2013 8.13 PM

Honestly, (I know I’m over doing but when she reads the book I want her to smile every time she reads the word honestly) I never thought I’d feel this lonely.

I had closed my cars window and was driving steadily to 10D. There is still 4 hours to my birthday. Myself, Lokesh and Arun, we just started from Havana. It wasn’t a great experience today. I was more looking forward to meeting my friends and blabbering than dancing. That didn’t mean I was putting any less effort while I was on the floor. Havana is a decent pub which has not so big dance floor but definitely girls who are worthy to dance with. The drinks are pricy and they don’t put the split up while they give the bill. I don’t know whether that’s the trend in high class pubs. I don’t really like frequenting high class pubs where the mood is always sullen and you’ve to be so cautious. The regular 200 per beer bar is best for us. Even 10D is new for us but we decided to go there because of the food which others said would be good than Bikes and Barrels which we had decided to go before.

I was feeling lonely. I couldn’t hear much sound. It occurred to me at that instant that I haven’t switched on the FM. Ilayaraja at that time would have been soothing. Even Arun and Lokesh were keeping unnaturally quiet. Quiet to me. I think they knew what was coming. Arun is fiddling with his cell phone, texting his girlfriend I guess. Idiotic fellow he had made a tattoo behind his neck with his girlfriend’s name. He had made an anagram of his name and his girlfriend’s and put it behind his neck. That two inch tattoo cost is four thousand at Iruzumi. Whichever angle I see I couldn’t read his name but Arun is not the guy who gets worried about these petty things. I was at least happy that the guy who tattooed Arun kept on telling him it’s a bad idea.

When we went to enquire about the tattoo he said, “Sir I don’t think it’s a good idea, are you sure?” Arun replied, “yes I’m sure.” “Because out of the eighty people we get to tattoo in a month sixty come for this type of tattooing and the thirty come back after one month asking us to erase”  Arun said, “It’s okay that’s not a problem.” Even I said, not advised, but said it’s a bad idea. He wasn’t deterred. He went ahead and did the tattoo.

After getting four thousand, the China man who did the tattooing said, “No swimming for a month, no gymming for a week and use only Johnson and Johnson or Dove soap.” Arun replied, “Okay.” He gave one more small lotion and asked him to apply daily after bath. Arun nodded for everything and we came back. When we were about to leave there was a fat dark guy who was waiting to get his tattoo done. Guess what? Again girlfriends name. There was another family who had come as a family to have a tattoo done for their daughter. From their accent they looked like a Brahmin family. While getting on the bike I said, “besh besh beautiful family” and we had a hearty laugh.

Now here is this guy who was so engrossed in his messaging and Lokesh is in the seat behind me already excited as a kid. He was laughing while talking to his friend. Without any surprise he has a lot of friends. That’s his nature. He’s an honest innocent individual. Everyone who talks with him would like to have him as a friend.  He once made me take one of the most important decisions in my life. It was during my 12th standard. We were very eagerly waiting for Anniyan to get released. It’s been a year since we started to talk about the film. I was a huge fan of Vikram then. Still I’m, but not as much as I was then. After weeks and weeks of postponement of the release we finally got tickets got four tickets for the film in Sangam Balcony. Lokesh, Santhanam, Anish and I were supposed to go to the movie but the very next day after I got the tickets we got an announcement that the management has planned for a field trip that Saturday. The announcement came at 8.10 in the morning. Lokesh hadn’t come by then. I always used to be one of the first few to go to school. So when the whole class was hooting and cheering I was the only one to put my face down.

Anish from two rows behind turned back towards me and gave me a sorrow smile. I was one of the most respected guys in school at that time because I don’t use filthy language. Tough to believe isnt’ it but that’s how I was then. I asked Anish, “So would come or we are to go to the movie?” Anish replied, “How da it’s the last field trip together.” Obviously I was pissed. We had 12 sections in our school. Anish, Lokesh and I were in C section. Santhanam was in K. The field trip was announced only for the first six sections so Santhanam didn’t have a problem. It was about 8.30 and Lokesh was as usual late. Everyone were busy discussing about field trip. Anish came to him and said not excitedly, “do you know field trip is planned on Saturday.” The teacher came so Anish had to turn back to his place before Lokesh could answer.

I asked Lokesh, “So what to do?” Lokesh replied, “Of course, Anniyan.” And that’s how he became my best friend. We missed our last field trip and included Jana instead of Anish for the film and went for the film. After watching the film my joy knew no bounds. It was the best film that we had watched till then. We were even discussing about the probable Oscar entry of the film. Those were great days.

That Lokesh is as usual happy indulging in some conversation with his friend. We were waiting for one more guy. More than a friend he was my hero. Pandi! He is currently doing diploma in direction in FTII. He’s one guy whom I’ve copied immensely and he’s the guy who’s solely responsible for bringing the artist in me. The only thing that I couldn’t copy from him is his confidence. I’m a confident guy now but still is not as confident as that guy.

We reached 10D and there he was standing with his back pack. “Straight to pub, great!” he said sarcastically as he threw the bag in the car and went along with us. He wasn’t wearing shoes in spite of me telling him a million times to wear one. Fortunately the bouncer didn’t look for his shoes as the rest of us were wearing it. Of the four I was the well-dressed one with a body hugging white tee and jeans. Arun was wearing his usual purple shirt with stripes and jeans, Lokesh was in his elements with a trademark multi colored horizontally striped collared t-shirt, Arun looked the most casual out of us four with a yellowish white kurtha type of Khaki shirt. He looked more like a communist but he doesn’t have any political thoughts. All our jeans were slightly off color blue ones which goes well with any dress and the less risky of the all.

We entered 10 D and settled ourselves in one nice secluded corner as if we were up to some mischief. We were given a menu card by not so warm waiter. Arun didn’t have much to look but he was the only one who read the menu card. The rest two as always were dependent on me to order. He ordered a Millers light, the costliest of the beer which was there. Nowadays I had become a fan of beer but as a birthday resolution I decided to stop having beer because I could see my tummy visibly growing. My size 30 pants are getting tight day by day but till now I have stuck on to buying size 30 pants because only then I’ll keep a check on my weight. So this time I ordered Sex on the Beach, I wanted to have it ever since I read P.S. I Love You. The only love story I had liked. Holly orders Sex on the Beach in that book.

Lokesh didn’t have much knowledge so Arun decided on Scotch this time.  A J.W. Red Label. I ordered the same for Lokesh too with Soda. Arun and Lokesh were somewhat close because they’ve met a number of times. Pandi is guy who was generally hated when he was school because of his abundant knowledge. Arun and Pandi too don’t mingle well. They all are here because of me. I wanted all my best friends to be here but as usual Jeeva was missed out citing that he couldn’t come out on a Sunday night. He is the general party spoiler but only because of him I could come out of the depression. All those conversations with him when I was on depression were a huge morale booster. It was the same with him. He looks up to me like how I look up to Pandi but I think I have a wee bit more respect for Jeeva than Pandi has for me. Pandi is irritated that I don’t do anything substantial in my life. I’m irritated that Jeeva doesn’t do anything at all in life. But he is sleeping in his home after an arduous trek in Coorg. At least that much!

We looked around the place, it wasn’t much crowded because it was a Sunday night. There were one or two chicks. When I was about to finish scanning the place the drinks came. The initial impression of my Sex in the Beach was brilliant. It was great to watch. The waiter checked for the coolness of beer with Pandi. He touched it as a matter of fact and said okay with a serious face. Arun and Lokesh too were ogling at their drinks now. As a customary mixer among my friends I mixed soda. Arun and Lokesh had similar style of drinking. They used very less soda. On the other hand I top my drink with soda. I couldn’t bear the taste of 50-50 mixing. Lokesh was the only guy laughing out of the four. Arun and Pandi had a customary smile on their face while we all raised our glass to say cheers.

The happiness while saying cheers has gone down considerably because we were getting drunk more frequently now and add to it, it was a Sunday and it was a sad day. Arun remarked, “as usual yucky,” and like every time he sips the drink first, “why can’t they make one drink that is tasty?” At least mine tasted better compared to his. I took one sip and decided that it was too heavy for me. Pandi was drinking his beer without making face. Only when the waiter came with the snacks it occurred to us we had started drinking even before the side dish came. We laughed at each other saying so. Our body slightly getting loose and our mind getting relaxed.

And I started with my lecture as usual, “Namma ellam urupudavae matom da (we will never prosper in my life)” Kindly excuse Tamil/Hindi intrusions in the story. Some sentences won’t be funny if it’s translated. Everything happened in Tamil so I’m translating to English for better understanding or for the ease of writing. None replied, only Lokesh laughed for the comment. He is the only guy who laughs for all my jokes. Arun and Pandi are more level headed guys. They could think on their own but yet go by my word because of the respect. Both being unique characters that’ why I mingled them both to make one character called Arun in my first story. Pandi’s real name is Arun. He changed his name from Arun Pandia or Pandian to Arun when he was in tenth. When I used to go to his house his mom used to call him Arun Pandiaaaaaa. Nowadays she wails just Arunnnnn. May be this guy would have threatened his not to call him Pandia. But I never asked him.

After a couple of sips when the drinks were trying to take an effect we became more relaxed and ordered a second round. This time a stronger option for us three and Pandi had his first pint of beer still in his hand. And I said in Suriys ishytle, “Neha machan….”

 My birthday, Her birthday, Her Wedding Day and her in laws Anniversary

Arun kept silent, Lokesh asked me, “who’s Neha da?” and Pandi said, “don’t spoil my mood now.” But I was undeterred. Arun had known enough about Neha. After all he’s the only guy I used to meet frequently. One more good friend who had known about Neha almost as much as Arun is Vimal. My project mate and one of my best friends in office. Rest all, even Jeeva doesn’t know about Neha. I guess I had blabbered about Neha when Arun, Pandi and I went to Pondicherry sometime last August. It was the time Neha and I were not in talking terms. But as I was high I don’t remember much of my blabbering that day.

I answered Lokesh, “Neha machan, en Anjala da” (It’s a dialogue in Varanam Ayiram, won’t have much significance upon translation it’s just like saying my beloved.) Pandi continued, “Only people from here do this stuff man. When we were drinking everyone had something to say, few people shared their happiness, few their sorrow. As soon as a Tamil guy came he started cribbing about his love failure. Exaggeration, damn it! Losers!” Those words didn’t have any effect on me. The alcohol in me were acting as a perfect anti bodies. “Let me tell this one last time, I’ve removed her from my friends list in Facebook, I’ve removed her from office communicator. I want to remove her from my heart too. There is still three hours to my birthday I want to do it within that time span.” There wasn’t a nod from anyone. Everyone was busy indulging in their drinks and here I was indulging in my dreams. What if they don’t hear the story let me share it with you guys…

Here’s the link to the Novel if you don’t know yet and want to know how it really started…
https://notionpress.com/read/neha

 

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