aah yes! i could get into at the castle mill naka. i am comfortably installed in my seat, abaft the coachman who steers the coach swiftly towards the bottomless pit… err.. office-wards. my lifeless eyes are still fixed outside the window of the coach. the mind carrying an expectation, to view and experience something. something that is freshening nuff to get the day going. it was may be a sleepless night, that had passed away. the earbuds were still sowed deep in my ears, but couldn’t yield the fruit that i was expecting. of all the bollywood tracks that were being played but nothing helped. the first right, zen and few more colleagues get in. gaining the pace back, an leftwards turn is next on coachman’s agenda, followed by a brief pause. it is cadbury junction and a bunch of keys… err… key-employees to get into the coach.
the coach attempts to push itself after receiving the gearing instructions from the coachman, but brakes are pulled at next moment. i had to retreat my eyes from the window, to have an update – why did that extra pause happen? as i retreat, my brains corresponds the figure in next seat with anand. anand works in a different division, though we are all dorks from the jungle of information technology. anand has been in the firm since 2008 but soon this stranger transformed into a bus-buddy of mine. not sooner than 2009, probly. our chats were not limited to one patch of land yielding same peanuts and neither did we chat only when in transition to office. we had a handful of subject matter to talk bout and that may continue over firm’s messenger, but only if it left unfinished in the coach. stock markets, indices, african countries, bollywood, hollywood, bombay times, local politicians, those self-made-celebs at our workplace, books, tales of anand’s japan visit, leave calendar etc. were a matter of our discussions.
my eyes gyrated towards the coachman and found an known-by-face dignitary, who was instructing the coachman to pause for a minute or two so that his buddy can get into the coach. “hmm. so we are waiting for someone.”, said me to anand. i went on- “why is it that someone has to be late and make the coach pause for minutes?” anand had a smile as he understands the sarcasm that i copy from him, in my words at times. i still had the ear-buds planted in my ears and didn’t pull them out despite of anand’s presence next to me. my eyes rolled quickly again outside the window to find that thing, to brighten the day. it stuck on something. stuck there for a good while, since the coach was still waiting for that yet-to-come-dignitary. anand might be wondering, what is it that i am concentrating upon. he might have thought i am lost in the music playing, coz that happens recurrently. he took his eyes off me, may be, after observing me for a few seconds.
a quick tap on his right shoulder, coz that was the closest available to me. he emerges from his economic times and looks towards me. i had actually played the role of saviour for his life, before he drowns himself into the financial journal. looking at me, he nods in a question mark on his face. i have that nothing-so-important-but-still-look-at-it kinda look, and point him outside the window. he throws a quick look and smiles mild. i have sealed my lips and answer him a “no. you haven’t seen what i intended to show you” by bobbling my head left to right and right to left, in quick successions. pointing my finger outside the window and turned a slight downwards, i ask him to peep again. this time he has to slightly revoke himself form the seat to look outside or rather out-down-side. he fixes himself back into seat, smiling with twice the mildness as compared to last instance. i reckon, he had seen what i wanted to show him while i returned him a smile back.
while he was swimming back into the financial journal, i heard him say,
“haan. i always prefer EasyCabs. because they have hyundai accent in their fleet.”
“accent ka design and internal spacing bahut badhiya hai.”
“haan. aur pickup bhi achcha hai.”
i have my eyes still fixed on the easycab’s (radiotaxi service) vehicle. my mind still thinking about what i was looking at. did that engrave the thoughts running in my mind, on the thing that i was looking at? probly not, coz the thing that i was looking at, was still the same. anand cooked up in his mind, that i like hyundai accent over any other sedan. though he is aware of the reality, that i would never prefer to own a sedan or any other vehicle. we both had a similar conclusion from our previous conversations, that majority of the youth frustrate themselves by owning a car and then driving it on the crowded roads\lanes of mumbai. the only reason behind this conclusion, is their low tolerance skills. its tough to make a young bud stop honking his horn, if there is a jam on the road. the young bud himself as well as the pauper on the road is aware of the fact, that honking the horn never resolves an messed up traffic jam. they still do it, and draws to a conclusion that they have very low tolerance.
“lena hai kya?”
“nahi re baba.”
“le lo, le lo.”
anand is again insisting me to buy it. i am into a fix. “what is he thinking about?”, i mutter to myself within my mind. a quick look-back at the conversations we had in past, and i realize the sarcasm-in-abstract. we always had a enjoyable-sarcasm-in-the-abstract towards each-other. as they say in hindi, “taang-khinchai-karna” or “pulling the legs” in english. but what is to be done with it now? what makes him to pull my legs in this situation? the situation, where he has still not got what i intended him to peep at, because he didn’t speak anything bout it. the situation where i have no sarcasm-in-the-abstract. or the situation where the coach will be waiting for only 2 minutes, and would leave as soon as that yet-to-come-dignitary boards the coach. he has not got what i want to show him. but what would be on his mind?
aah yeah! maybe he is trying to play that sarcasm-in-abstract about my last week’s brag. a brag in the evening when moving homewards, of punching the trade and finally owning a stake in an edible oil company. he had asked me about the value of the stake and i reply him back, 5000 bucks. “i am not a big investor, but owning stocks of any company, is a stake. it may be as small as 0.0000000000000000000000000000000021% of their capitalisation or networth. i may invest more if this stock goes good on exchanges”. back to the moment. “does anand sarcastically think, i am thinking to buy a stake in easycabs? and that is why i am inspecting the assets of the company via that constant stare at the hyundai accent?” after all, they are the assets for that radiotaxi giant. so i have to reply anand back with an equal sarcasm-in-the-abstract.
“IPO nikalega tabhi lunga. filhaal kuch nahi kharidna hai.”
“yes. easycabs IPO nikalega tabhi usme stake lunga.”
“arreeay!! main stake ki nahi, hyundai accent ki baat kar raha hun!”
“oh okay.woh toh kabhi nahi kharidunga. parking k lafde kum hai kya?”
“kya tum bhi na.!” and a big smile on anand’s face.
“waise mujhe bhi tumhe easycabs and uska hyundai accent nahi dikhana tha.”
“uske andar waali dikhani thi.”
“kyun? kya khaas baat thi?” asks a surpised anand.
“arre! lower half hi dikha jisme uska black trouser tha, stilettos they. stilettos dekh k koi executive designation waali lagti hai.”
“but important woh bhi nahi hai ki usne kya pehna hai.”
“important yeh hai ki woh fruits leke aayi hai and cab mein khaa rahi hai.”
“toh usme kya hai?”
“fruits ko woh haathon se khaa rahi hai and news paper bhi padh rahi hai.”
and we both burst out in laughter. that yet-to-come-dignitary had boarded the coach and the journey had resumed, towards the bottomless pit… err… office-wards. while we recover back from our laughter, anand says-
“paper lena nahi bhoolte but ek fork lena bhool jaate hai.”
“sahi hai boss!”
and that quick laughter. anand has drowned himself in that financial journal, again and instantly this time. without swimming for a while. and i am back to my mobile’s playlist to find a better track. a track that suits the mood while being on a 80kmph highway journey. while playing one, i have a look on the highway, through the small dark-glassed-window between me and the coachman. i am looking at the road ahead but apparently prakash gives his appearance. no no. he didn’t jump out of his seat to be standing in front of me. he was still fixed in his seat there, but on the other side of the passage. his appearance was damn faint on the dark-colored-glass, but visible nuff to understand his sign language. maybe he was getting impatient to know the reason behind our laughter.