How far will you go for what matters to you?
This post is the first part of the series “How Blue is my Sapphire”, inspired by the TOI Write India prompt for the month of May 2016. Keep watching this space for more!
“All of us live with our past. All of us allow it to shape our future. But some of us know how to shrug the past. I think that is who I am….”
It was a sultry afternoon, quite uncharacteristic of the Bengaluru I got to know in past 4 years. I sat in the break-out area of the plush office campus, staring at nothing in particular. My gaze traveled as far as it could – the tall buildings, the flyover, the big banner screaming of yet another app promising to reduce our commute thereby leaving us with more time; but to do what? My eyes went to the building coming up right next to the tech park I was in, I kept staring at the height of it, wondering, if the roads can take as many people this building will hold.
“Vaani, where have you been? I have been searching for you from past half an hour! There is an all-hands in another 10 minutes.”, I turned back at the sound of the voice I had known for 6 years, Aakaash was standing right there, glaring at me. So much had changed in 6 years, and yet it seemed just like yesterday, both of us laughing in the cafeteria at Tarang and his stupid antics, clapping and whistling in the college fest, yelling at juniors to get work done – after all, we were the stars of the college , the key organizers, responsible for our college fest, Aagaaz 2010…
Tarang, he was an anti-thesis of his own musical name. He was the responsible one, the idealistic, always willing to attend that lecture after lunch, skipping movie outings because “It’s HOD’s class, bro”. And yet sometimes, when he would let go of all the imaginary boundaries in his head, he was the clown of the group – imitating one and all with no mercy, cooking up crazy stories, laughing loud enough in the canteen to let everyone else know that we were up to no good….
“Yeah dude, just got a call, no network in this dumb office so came out”, I told Aakaash, who looked at me suspiciously, but probably bought my explanation. 10 minutes later in a small conference room trying to pass itself off as a “hip place”, my mind was simply not willing to focus on the the drudged charts projecting next year’s sales and the expected downloads of our food app, the VC we were trying to attract, the new platform we were targeting. My fingers kept caressing the sapphire set in a platinum ring on my right hand’s ring finger, and my mind kept thinking about the message I received this morning…
“Vaani, can we please do something about the decorations? The college looks like there is a funeral tomorrow morning and not the first day of fest!” Aakaash asked me, standing in his khakhi 3/4ths and supposedly white-turned-brown t-shirt, with those green slippers that I hated with all my guts. “Yo, leave that to me. I got my army setting up camp in the girls’ hostel. Check it out in the morning, this is not going to look like our drab, dirty college any more. We are gonna jazz it up, and how!” I winked at him, with my characteristic infamous swag, making him laugh out loud. “Fine, do what you want, but remember, no pinks!” “Arey haan yaar, chill kar!” As expected, the,morning after, the college looked festive. And of course there was pink, but Aakaash had too much on his plate to fight with me for it….
“Hey listen, where is Tarang? He was supposed to be back from his interview, right? Who is going to call up the rock-band competition sponsors regarding the drum kit?”, Aakaash had started losing his patience. “He just came back in the morning, you relax, give me the number, I will call them up. Can’t say no to a girl, can they?”, I grinned cheekily at him, grabbing his phone. “Vaani you do realize you cover up for him all the time, don’t you?” “Aakaash he is a friend yaar, Tarang hai wo, you know he is so stressed right now, don’t bug him. Whatever there is to do, I will do it. Just don’t go around bothering him.” “Do what you want Vaani, I am out of this.” Aakaash left, and I called up the sponsors, only to know that Tarang had already spoken to them and the drum kit was on its way…
Featured Image : Google