This is a continuation of the true story.
Over the past three days, I have been flooded by fan-mails, tweets, SMSes and comments telling me that they’re dying to read the rest of the story. So here goes.
Ok fine - everything beyond this point is true.
We had formulated a plan. Now we’ve always been firm believers and proponents of planning. We always plan everything right down to the most minute of details. We hate people who leave scope for last minute glitches. Rohit and Manish went to McDonald’s, while Poonam and I went to Mall 21 so that we could inspect everything from the windows up there. (For the uninitiated, Mall 21 is opposite McDonald’s in MI Road).
Poonam and I reached Mall 21 and discovered that it didn’t have a single window which overlooked McDonalds. Please ignore whatever I had said about planning. Uma called to inform she was already there. I asked her what was she wearing. “An orange top”, came the reply. We called up Manish immediately, who had spotted someone in an orange top with another girl in red top. “Was this going to end in an orgy?” was my immediate thought.
We asked the soldiers on the ground to monitor their every movement and report back anything suspicious. Rohit and Manish got down to ordering burgers. Uma called up again. I asked her if she was alone and she replied in the affirmative. I told her I didn’t see her in McDonald’s. She said she was waiting outside the joint.
Poonam and I stepped out of the mall and across the road saw a girl waiting outside McDonald’s wearing an orange top. No one seemed to be around her. We couldn’t chicken out at that moment, and crossed the road. We went to the hawker selling lemonade outside Raj Mandir (about 15 metres from where she was standing) and ordered ourselves two glasses. We had the target locked, and she had no clue about it. Jason Bourne, I hope you are taking notes.
We spotted a muscular man at the take-away counter a few meters behind her. He was wearing a sleeveless shirt which showed off his muscles and revealed a tattoo stretched across his biceps. He was eating the burger he had ordered. “Why would anyone order from a take-away if he had to eat there only”, screamed our brains (please recall that we were being coached on logical thinking in those days). He walked closer to her. I chewed on my straw. The tattoo became clearer now – it revealed a mermaid. Duh. He crossed her and went on the other side of the outlet. Our fears were baseless. She was alone.
Poonam paid for the lemonade. We approached her, and then I saw it clearly. Her eyes! Brown like the Vegan Shake of CCD. Calm, yet oozing out like the sauce in Chocolate Bomb of Little Italy. Mysterious yet comforting like the sight of mom-cooked food. After staring at her for a couple of seconds, I just had one question:
We confirmed if she was Uma and I confessed I was the one who messaged her. She asked, “Tum Mahesh ho?”. She looked disappointed.
Her entire life must have played back in front of her eyes – memories of all the times when some guy (probably named Mahesh) used to call and bother her, memories of her past troubled relationships; and she looked disappointed because it could have all been avoided if only she had met me before. As I had already mentioned, her eyes said everything.
I didn’t want to build any relationship on the foundations of falsehood so told her how I got her number. She was confused, because she had gone to the institute just once to enquire. I told her that it was all a joke and that I was sorry. She, and her eyes, simultaneously said, “Ye sab ek mazaak tha?”. Before I could get myself to say anything, she walked away from us.
When Manish and Rohit arrived at the scene, I had one arm stretched and was chanting her name loudly trying to call her. I phoned her but she wouldn’t receive my call. She never replied to my messages.
End of story, but there are some points I would like to make:
1) The lemonade sucked.
2) Uma, if you ever read this, I am still sorry. Agar jaane anjaane mein maine tumhara dil dukhaya hai, toh ho sake to mujhe maaf kar dena.
3) She probably would have never joined the coaching institute, so I am sorry to them as well.
4) Since I am in the mood: to all the people, who, for some reasons read this - hahaha.
5) Her eyes were really special. I don’t think I remember anything about her face, but I’ll definitely recognize those eyes if ever I see them again.