Namita’s mom was furious with a stockpile of questions waiting to be triggered just like a fully loaded Automatic Kalashnikov-1947. It was almost 36 hours since Namita had last communicated with her. To add to the miss-fortune, it was that time of the year when most people forget about the wrong doings and the missed opportunities with resolutions for the new beginning. It is the New Year eve and Namita’s family and friends are frantically trying to reach her. The only response everyone is left to scratch their head is ‘tumhi sampark kelela vyakti vyapti pradesha baher aahe; krupaya punaha thodya velya nantar prayatna kara’. {The person you are trying to call is currently not reachable; please try again after some time}

I (Samuel) and Namita are seated in a 15 lakh vehicle; don’t know how anyone can call it a semi luxury bus(?), waiting to be departed from the KG bus terminus in Bangalore. On a day when most people are hooked up to their television sets, watching some entertainment crap; we were on our way to find true love. Probably I happened to day dream, true love? I couldn’t stop imagining how pathetic my life had become. It was preposterous to board a bus which delivered to our destination only half way through. The other half had to be either discovered or painstakingly searched as that of the items to be gathered in a treasure hunt event. It was the search for the Treasure Island where true love beckoned with emphatic reunion of two bodies with a single soul! God, am I some kinda poet?

I met Namita at the parking lot of our college last monsoon. It has been almost a year and half since we met and we share quite a relationship. A relationship glued together by the non-existence of fear for each other. Namita intends to become a self proclaimed fashion designer who is renowned but at the same time very reserved. I, on the other hand would probably like to understand the basics and fundamentals of the fashion and apparels industry. Having to study in the most prestigious college for fashion designing i.e. NIFT; we the aspirants needed to have an eye for creativity wit ideas which were both vague and in vogue. Most of the who’s who of the Indian fashion industry are a product of our institute.

Speaking of creative ideas, I and Nami were no short of such ideas be it creative or wacky. During one of our casual talks after college, I was describing about my stincts as a college freshman during my pre-university studies.

Sam: how far do you think a person can foray into unexplored territories in order to recognize love?

Nami: as far as the person has money to bear for the travel expenses! (Smiling)

Sam: true! But don’t you think this world of ours is too small to accommodate all of the 3.29 million of Indian soil! (Candid)

Nami: what are you speaking of finding, true love? Or is it Hermit in the Himalaya?

Sam: (serious) hmmm the Gods must be crazy, so it has to be the Hermit!

Nami: why? (emphasizing)  Is it because the monk sold his Ferrari?

Sam: no actually because Alice is in wonderland! (giggling)

Nami: (determined stare) ohh is that the case.  Then why is God laughing?

Sam: (giggling).. Because the soup intended for the soul was consumed by the chicken!

Nami: (irritated).. Who cares for the soup, the soul or the chicken when the 5 people you meet in heaven are actually your friends!

Sam: ahh c’mmon now; it’s Tuesday and I don’t know about Morrie.

Nami: (furious).. Alright, alright I bow. Now will you describe about your search for soul mate during college days?

Sam: great; that is what I expected of you! Finally if tomorrow comes then hopefully I might find my soul mate.

Nami: you crazy bugger, are you interested to speak any sense or have I to bid adieu; for I got other better things to accomplish on my to do list before I die.

Sam: it goes like this; her name is Shruti. She is a pretty girl admired by every other girl during our college days. Her eyes were green as green peas and on the day we met she was wearing a yellow salwar as that of the sunflower.

Nami: Ahh, I guessed! (with one eyebrow dwindling down) the next lines should go like this I reckon. I (Samuel) was wearing denims as that of the blue sky and my hair colored as that of the chocolate chips over the cornetto. Ain’t it what you were gonna say Sam?

Sam: my god (astonished), you should have been a mind reader like one of those people sitting in the corner of a street; parrots guiding the fate of the fortunate!! You such a dumb ass.

Nami: (whining) what else should I imagine? least you don’t have the potential to proclaim as a filmmaker nor a story teller.

Sam: I never proclaimed to be none of what you said. You are the one jumping or may be the right word would be catapulting to conclusion.

Nami: (angry) bottom-line? You interested to unfold the boredom mystery?

Sam: (joyous) absolutely dear. It is you who abruptly interrupted for otherwise I would have taken you to a world where SRK (me) is tantalizing to the tune of ‘tujhe dekha toh yeh jaana sanam, pyaar hota hai dewana sanam’ in the midst of the lush green fields; scarecrow in the centre of it; potentially depicting you!

Nami: shh, don’t you brag me into this conversation of yours. I am no less a shooter for I have the privilege to occupy the vantage point with a sniper at my behest.

Sam: fine. (Exhaling) frantically out of luck I was rather looking for a good crush which transformed into a better chemistry and there in the best love story to be told to my grand children. Hopeless crushes had filled up my closet of life. All that was remaining was another crush to be duped by my irrelevant concern of rejection.

Nami: Oh I see, so you are a pervert!

Sam: shut up you pesky dwarf, this is a phenomena encountered by almost 70% of the human race and it is proven scientifically.

Nami: whatever … do carry on with your anecdote; pervert! (Giggling)

Sam: for things to change, radical measures need to be adopted. Hence on the pretext of change I finally approached Shru after a long 8 months of following her.

Nami: (confused) are you a extremist to speak about radical measures?  And what the fuck! You stalked her for 8 months! Ridiculous Sam. I didn’t expect this from you. I am in pandemonium as to whether you really are a pervert.

Sam: hey listen now, you are really taking on my nerve. Let me finish what I gotta say. You knucklehead.

Nami: stalker Sam … stalker Sam…(Sniggering)

Sam: (restless) it was the culminating day of our class Xl exams and all the students were in joyful mood. The tension of having to approach her had made me a sensible maniac. I didn’t attend the final examination as the  11th hour  thought of being rejected slowly ran through my veins from head to toe.

Nami: Shit! Man. You such a big looser. Risking it all just for a girl you hardly knew… Damn I hate loosers.

Sam: (feeling proud) Ya Ya looser I agree. But I call myself a sensible maniac for this purpose. Just before the exams were to begin, I had utilized my contacts in college to get the answer script out of the examination hall and had also appointed one of the top ranked senior students from my college to fill it up neatly just sufficient enough  to clear the paper.

Nami: Freak Oh! Who am I associated with. A criminal? What are you? You making me feel that you some kinda con artist. You sure what you are speaking? Because whatever it is, I feel…

I feel its interesting! (Amused)

Sam: HAh HAh! Oh! Ya thanks for the compliment in disguise (shy). I feel as if a hawk flying high in the sky.

Nami: It ain’t no compliment in disguise (convincingly). Don’t miss represent yourself Sam. I just said that it was interesting to listen to your story. It is much of a thought provocation than revocation.

Sam: During the time of examination, I felt a bit awkward for all the professors were staring at me in and out of the college canteen. How deeply I wondered then, was I wearing some kind of bikini may be one piece (dirty smile..)  making the professor stare at me in such exuberant excitement.

Nami: You can be bit more disciplined Sam. Remember to whom you are speaking. Don’t let a women’s imagination go wild!!

Sam: Ok Ok (clearing the throat) you creep head! The exam got over with most of my mates leaving the examination hall secluded well an hour before the final bell could have rung. No objections, who can help the sympathizers and empathizers. I needed them more than I needed Shru in my life at that moment (sentimental).

Nami: Hey! (Fuming) Don’t you think you are stretching bit more than what is necessary. Come to the point don’t beat around the bush.

Sam: (You start speaking about your friends in front of a girl and be assured to be either silenced for good or get jacked for no reason) (Sad).  So she comes out of the examination hall happily flaunting her hair. Probably she and her weird friends were discussing about making out to a movie. My lips were trembling and my words were no longer making any sense. Seemingly my accent was becoming as that heard in the classic comedy flick- ‘Gods must be crazy’. Some how my mates kicked my butt and forced me to speak to her. There I was in front of her. All the wait in this world would not have changed my feeling for her. I thought at that moment I would lead a life much like that of Tom Hanks played in the movie ‘Cast Away’ had I to be rejected. I even had reached to the heights of imagining who would cast the role of Wilson in this original, real life cast away from the rest of the world.

Nami: what happened afterwards? What did you say to her? What was her reply? (Anxious)

Sam: oh hoo…nami will you please stop impounding me with so many questions. Be slow, can’t you understand, I am letting my feelings to you.. (Attitude)

Nami: you such a moron. Man, you guys can never have true feelings towards girls. Cheap males…

Sam: don’t you insult me or the male gender. It is because of us that you are here!

Nami: what do you mean…you, you cheap bugger..?

Sam: nothing, nothing; just a thought which happened to be of conflict of opinion. Don’t bother. Huh, coming back to where I was; will you let me complete the proceedings dear (pesky girls).

Nami: haan, haan go ahead. But don’t say the same to any other girl idiot. You might just loose upon your chances to father your kids..

Sam: that wasrude dear. Chuck it. Anyway there I was in front of her (pictorial imagination) for the first time. Waiting to say something, she was silently raising the accelerator of her new TVS scooty. At that juncture; I remembered the song by Ferrari dedicated to Michael Schumacher where the sheer sound of the F1 engine roaring to the tunes of Schumacher made me go mad. A couple of minutes passed by, with me silently admiring the profound curves of Shru. All this while Shru was losing her persistence but was determined that I would puke out a few words. In the mockery of unfolded event, I gathered my thought process and finally blurted a few words.

(Mumbling) how was your exam?

Nami: jeezyou should be kidding!?

Sam: phew neah, her response was even more kiddish. She whispered something which will be remembered in any circumstance of my life. She replied rather disgusted.

(Bizarre face) who are you? Asked Shru.

Nami: (cackling) it must be a real heart breaker?

Sam: heart breaker? I could have felt every part of my soul crumbling to ground. I was melting like mercury (recuperative).

Nami: then, then what happened? What did our reprehensible baby do after that? (Curious)

Sam: with one last hit, I rather compassionately said to her. You are the most beautiful woman in this world to me..!!

Nami: sheesh. Each  girl listens to such crap every  alternate day,  upon reaching puberty.

Sam: rightly said. But that was the first time I had ever told it to someone and believe me or not it is true from the core of my soul (exhaling slowly).

Nami: hey don’t worry, if its true and if the girl is lucky enough she will definitely become your life partner (convincingly). C’mmon now I am famished. Let us go out somewhere.

Finding it hard to recover from the unbearable pain, we made our way to the nearby Cuppa outlet.

Nami: so Mr. who are you! What was her response?

Sam: quite interesting…it had me in a soup.

Nami: can you be specific Mr. who are you?

Sam: I was advised to meet a psychiatric doctor! (smiles)

Nami: that is how even I would have reacted …(phew).

Sam: unable to still digest the fact that she didn’t know who I was even after me putting in 8 months of my precious time behind her. I was in agony and so am I now too. Somehow instantaneously I mumbled.

You are the doctor I am looking forward to make an appointment with!

Nami: ayyo, so chweet, had I to be in her position; I would have been flattered by now.

Sam: yupy, only if had you to be her. I was left to consume the carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons coming from the exhaust of her new vehicle.

Nami: hey sam! Don’t be upset; life is a process. I hope you learnt from your own deceit. Should we move now? Have to visit aunt’s place.

Sam: hmm (contended), thanks for the motivational talk. Hey but do listen to the other side of the story. It’s a complete flip to the previous hitch.

Nami: sure dear, take care for now. Meet ya at class chomorrow. Goodie nite.

Namita has had her life spread across four different states with the latest state being Tamil Nadu. Neha is her little sissy. Her father whose name I don’t remember is into the banking sector and keeps juggling from one place to other every 3 years. Her mother Niharika is a dedicated home-maker with interests in philosophy. I love the food prepared by her, it is just mouth watering.

Previously before joining NIFT, Nami was located in Mumbai in an upbeat locality in Kanjur Marg very near to Powai. During her school days she had come to be known as an above average student with interests in extra-curricular activities like athletics and dance. She had even got laurels to the school in various  competitions. During her class Xl inter school dance competition, she had met the man of her life or maybe a dreamboy or prince charming.

The boy’s name is Amogh and he lived in a nearby society to that of Namita. Amogh and Namita had become very close and it was Amogh who had early indications of attraction. Although it was mutual, Nami was a typical orthodox Indian girl when it came to romance. It was during her 17 th birthday that Amogh proposed. It was a indicative yes from Nami without any hesitation. Both shared a prolific relationship and did contemplate each other very well. Quarrels were few and both gave inputs over each other’s weakness and strengths.

Having survived the relation for almost two years, it was time for them to depart in order to establish themselves vigorously in their respective fields of interest. Nami got selected in NIFT and was given the opportunity to pursue FD in Bangalore campus. Amogh on the other hand being a native of Ratnagiri; planned and succeeded to pursue Engineering in Computer Science from one of the reputed colleges nearby. Amogh had promised to visit Nami whenever the occasion demanded for. Both were earnest in their pursuit to achieve career goals.

With coming of years Amogh had become busy with different gang of friends and very less often did he communicate to Nami. Nami however didn’t find the fact disturbing and hence on this pretext she never challenged him. Now it is almost a year and half since they last met. Nami is faintly frustrated and is getting desperate each day. Someone has said quite right,’ love increases proportionately with distance’ but has repercussions of its own. Too much of distance is also not fair.

It is the 31 st December 2007 when suddenly Nami turns up at college with a backpack. Shocked, I enquired about her intentions.

Sam: going out trekking or some kinda campfire dear?

Nami: (introspective for some time with a feeble subtle voice) will you be my accomplice?

Sam: you are incoherent; you can be far more audible dear! Don’t you know? Accomplice in what? (Yelling)

Nami : I am going to meet Amogh.

Sam: you outta yo mind?

Silence followed with every query of mine.

Nami: I don’t know anything. I need to meet him, I need your help.

The professor yelling his balls out, the noise of vehicles honking outside, fellow mates discussing about the latest lakme fashion week and thought of having to accompany Nami to a place never heard. All of them swirling in my mind made me sick. Total pandemonium as that after, a debate between the ruling party and the opposition party in a democracy leading to no definite conclusive decision. I had to leave the classroom. I caught Nami by her hand and forced her to the canteen. Are you nuts? Said Nami. Nami: What should the professor imagine?

Sam: Don’t worry dumbo, I’ll explain it to him later.

Nami: (frowning) explain? Explain what?

Sam: have I to tell you that? What is the first thought you get; had you to be the professor?

Nami: hmm, let me think. Ahh! Yeah.

That we are lovers and need to do something very urgent. Right?

Sam: Exactllyy!

Nami: but we ain’t what the professor thinks; right Sam? (Rather biting her nails).

Sam: absolutely waste!  but that is what the explanation is; you insane maniac!

Nami: alright, alright; no need to be so harsh. I am already pissed off by the thought of having to meet Amogh with only a few details at my disposal.

Sam:  what? (Jaw dropping) what do u intend to communicate?

Nami: this will be the best road trip you would ever have Sammy!

Sam: gosh Namita! You are just pathetic. You don’t have his address?

Nami: actually Sam, what happened is….Stop Nami….stop; yelled Sam.

Sam: that ain’t any good for me…lord o Jesus, the saviour, please shower your mercy upon thee.