A world waiting to be explored

#11 Curtains!

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--At Krish's

The expectations of Arjun's arrival faded slowly, but surely, like the night. The next morning was the day before the engagement. So, as Krish naturally remained busy meeting the guests and relatives, the pandit informed Krish's mother about the auspicious time when the mangni should take place.

Krish, whatever little time got in between was generally on phone with Isha, the girl he was going to get engaged to. Rishi and Jeet were busy in catering to the arrangements. They were a part of the family since childhood.

While the world was busy lazing like a log on a Saturday morning, the scene was not so tranquil at PanchSheel, Krish's residence.

3:45pm: Jeet and Rishi smiled as they on-looked Krish talking on the phone again.
"3rd time in the day! What do you say?", chuckled Jeet.
"5!", said Rishi as both of them involved themselves in a modulated laughter .

"Bastard! Smiling and talking on the phone while we work our ass off for his engagement.", Jeet spoke as he continued to look at a relaxed and unperturbed Krish still fooling away on his phone.

"Never go to a house before the day of the engagement. Lesson learnt!", Rishi joined Jeet as someone called for them.

Some more work. Both of them looked at each other in what we could be called a mutually-annoyed-gaze lock before they bid goodbye to their 15 minute break. Kriti, who was watching them from a distance, nodded her head and smiled as she continued to speak to Krish's cousins.

5:00pm:  He shut down the lid of his laptop. His neck pained and eyes hurt. He was working hard since early hours of the morning. It'd been a stretch of 10 hours. He seemed like a man on a mission.

As he lay down on the cozy bed of the lavish gigantic suite, he could see the clock ticking past every moment. A plan was on. A plan to take a break from the imposed exile. When?

Meanwhile, Arjun was up again. Much like the silent calling of his brothers, his work too needed attention.

--At Krish's
8:00pm: At PanchSheel, the commotion had slowed down as dusk took over. Thankfully enough for Rishi and Jeet, who took their own moments of solitude to send their gratitude to the Good Gracious God. Krish's phone was discharged (Handset also had it's moments of solitude finally!).

Dinner was going to be served soon. Jeet checked his office mails while Rishi and Kriti were in a riveted conversation about spirituality and karma. Krish, high on life, just smiled at his childhood buddies as he again tuned up the volume of his I-pod's music.

11:00pm: Dining was done with and the comrades gathered at their favourite hangout spot. The terrace was surely calling them. Krish was thrilled about the engagement. There's this moment in your lives when your brother-like friend is endlessly telling you about their lover and love life and you (being still single!) have to sport a smile to all the unbearable mushy stuff.

Once in a while Rishi and Jeet would look at each other only to look at heavens and to Krish again. Arjun's arrival hopes were diminished. Rishi and Jeet mailed him a day back. There was no reply.

 11:40pm: His laptop was back in the laptop case. The day's job was over.

Arjun put on his black leather jacket, muffled himself and prepared himself for the set out. Krish's residence was 20 minutes away as Arjun decided to walk, and sprint. With that, Arjun left the suite.

The roads were narrow as compared to the huge and broad street ways Arjun had grown increasingly familiar to. There were a few people walking and a couple of drunken men fighting over some issue but Arjun in his head was leading a very hush-hush operation.

PanchSheel was now in his sight. Arjun slowed down naturally. His eyes were welling up as he moved closer, yard by yard. To bother anyone in the house at midnight was insane. He'll climb up to the terrace, he had already made up his mind.

In a matter of few minutes, Arjun was standing in front of PanchSheel.
The security guard recognized the fourth comrade and a smile from Arjun meant first of the many reunions to occur had taken place. Arjun inquired about his mates and before the guard could give a heads up, the boisterous laughter from the terrace had Arjun have his answer.

Arjun raked up quickly through the paraphernalia available for his climbing assignment.
Ladder. No. Too low an adrenaline rush. Rejected.
Rope. No. Too high an adrenaline rush. Rejected.
 Climbing the pipeline. Check. He was underway in a manner too swift for his age.

A moment of silence on the terrace meant Rishi, Krish and Jeet suspected something fishy. 
Krish rushed to the side of the terrace. And as he bent down over the side of the terrace, his head collided with a head inside a hood climbing up and he retracted.

Rishi and Jeet beamed as Krish recollected himself.
The hood was unveiled with eyes glistening underneath.
They say matches are made in heaven, well, moments too are, and it was one!

                                                                                       *  *  *  THE END  *  *  *


Note from the Author:
And concludes a chapter from the loves of Rishi, Krish, Arjun and Jeet that took me with them. Yes, I would have loved to know it more, know it after this. That story is waiting to be told too, in a more voluminous form. Well, Yes, may be.

I often wake up in between a beautiful dream and try sleeping again in the hope that the dream would continue from where it left me the last time. It never happens. Never does!

A dream with closed eyes is not a vision and as Rosabeth Moss Kanter says, "A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to becoming more."

Hope and wish to have you all again when we embark on the further journey with Krish, Arjun, Jeet and Rishi. Till then, value your dreams and don't stop dreaming if you haven't found one!

#10 Veil Unveil

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--At Krish's

Kriti could see tears welling up in their eyes as Jeet and Krish held each other in a tight embrace. Rishi joined them and it was a small happy family. No wonder, it was long due. To add to the moment, it was those times of the year when the city was breezy and nights promised to be your soul companion.

As thunder followed lightning, Kriti left them to celebrate the reunion but not before she arranged for them another crate of beer.

Three old mates from three different cities were reveling as they indulged noisily on the old familiar terrace. Comrades were together again. Maddening streaks of laughter were interspersed in between the sane few. They spoke about how lives have changed vis-à-vis stepping on to the corporate arena. Their discussions switched swiftly from work to relationships to sex to marriage et al.

Of course there were moments of silence too. They formed smoke rings as they looked down from the terrace towards the vacant never ending road. It was telling. Don't be deluded by what seems the destination. What it seems is nothing what it's like. One could sense it, an ear was being lent. They were enjoying the journey more. They had paused and were hitting that Enter key every now and then. Chapters were being scripted.

They talked about Arjun too. And followed was an air of discomfort. Rishi, who generally had the right words even for the most dire scenarios was at a loss of syllables. A tear might also have been shed, nobody knows.


It was time for him to give rest to his laptop and to himself too. He slid open the balcony door as he lit up a cigarette for the first time since he vowed to give up smoking. Working in the backyard of your best friend's engagement and not being able to meet him; the feeling was getting to him.

He wanted to go and meet Krish, Jeet and Rishi but the moment he came to answering "When?", he was forced to shut the noise inside his head and keep mum yet again.

"A day's too much to spare at the moment but", Arjun cut his thoughts amid. Time wasn't an iota of reason why he was so flummoxed.

There were speculations in the market about Arjun leading a heavy duty M&A project. Him being sighted in India was only going to boost those. As much as Arjun hoped that Krish wasn't in the company which is a stiff competitor to Arjun's, truth wasn't going to be flip of a coin.

He feared that. Being present at the engagement was out of question, thrown in the dusk air, like the cigarette shell Arjun just got over with. The night bed was calling.

Krish's engagement was to be the day after tomorrow. Arjun had only a night.


Krish, Rishi, Jeet and Arjun, all looked at the empty road. Though the angles were different. While for Krish, Rishi and Jeet, marching past were the best days of their lives; Krish hoped that the time would rush through. None of it to be.

In fact, it's these myriad of perspectives that make life and this world a big fat conundrum.

to be continued..

#9 Jeet and Arjun arrive

A dive into what has been happening..

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10:20 pm

Jeet landed in India to the warmest reception from Rishi. It's an unusual delight you can observe to see two old friends together. Rishi was an avid reader and was fiddling with the pages of the new book that he had in his hands. Jeet never forgot to do these small gestures.

"Do we take a taxi to Krish's?", asked Jeet, disturbing Rishi from the spell that the new book had cast over him.

"Oh yes, I've booked one. Let's go!"

Jeet was feeling a strange sensation as he landed in India after three years of exile, the one that he served relentlessly. The two got in the taxi as it hurried past the lavish and extravagant Delhi airport.

"So, how does it feel coming back to India after 3 years?", Rishi asked as they went past from one red light to the other.

"Somethings can't change here though", retorted Jeet as he looked towards the small kids cleaning the windscreen of the vehicles on the signal at their own will. Ladies with their kids tied around their waist as they begged for alms, and some individuals selling fancy goods like devil horns and Harvey balls.

Both of them looked on as red turned to green and their vehicle sped away. Krish's place was still an hour away as both of them engaged in catching up with each others' lives. Time flew and so did their manned vehicle before it came to a halt outside Krish's place.

"Krish would be tired after a whole day of trivia he had to participate in.", remarked Rishi as he took out Jeet's luggage.

"I'm sure he would be. Do we meet him tomorrow morning?"

"Well, I think we can bug him anytime. Moreover he'd be ecstatic having you here. He isn't really expecting you now  with the engagement only 3 days away."

"By the way do you remember Kriti?", Rishi spoke again.


 Arjun's reception in India was much colder than Jeet's. There was luxury and comfort of the best cars in the world but not the warmth and affection of a true old friend. He comforted himself in the luxurious spacious car waiting for him. The chauffeur driven car took him to the grandest of hotels.

He spoke to himself that Krish would get engaged to Isha in the next few days. Knowing this and being in India, he would have to let go of the engagement. Afterall, he had to do 50 days of work in 3 weeks.

He put himself together, shun the emotions and immersed himself in die hard work. Something that took his mind off the other things. Slowly the day gave way to the night and Arjun submitted himself to the cozy well made up bed. As he lay down, he opened his personal e-mail account after a long long time.

There were a plethora of e-mails. From Rishi, his parents, his sister, Isha and Krish. He embarked on reading them all one by one. When did sleep embrace him was a question he failed to answer every morning ever since he became a professional.

Arjun knew he was close to his comrades. If only he could break free!

--At Krish's

Jeet and Rishi climbed up the stairs leading to the terrace as Rishi reminded Jeet of Kriti. They placed Jeet's luggage in the room Rishi was staying in and decided against waking up Krish. Jeet was dying to go up there and revel in the lap of the terrace. They dashed open the door to the terrace.




The four of them were in the same city, finally.
Krish is totally unaware. A huge surprise is waiting for him, and a bigger shock may be?

Arjun is not able to find a way out. Is this going to be his realization of how a failure is going to feel like?

And has Rishi struck a chord with Kriti?
Answers are sought.

But we must not forget that rain and storm may both clear the sky, it is the windy day prior that clouds the sky!

to be continued.....
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