Friends Never Ask Why
Friends Never Ask Why
Shravan ran to meet his friend Vijay who was in the hospital. Shravan learns later the girl's family did not like the love affair between Vijay and Sunitha, and they roughed up Shravan. They attacked him from behind when his guard was down. On reaching the hospital, Shravan ran to Vijay's room in a hurry. Vijay was hurt badly. Badges on his head, legs, and his face too had a few cuts. He, however, was up already and was getting ready to ago somewhere. On seeing Shravan, Vijay said, "Shravan, let us go now and bring Sunitha here. She was ready, to come with me. Ask Vamsi and Ramesh to join us. If they try to act smart this time, we can all fight them off. "
Shravan said, "No, we cannot go.".
"Then, you are not my friend anymore.".
More than a friend
Shravan was waiting outside the house guarding. Vijay went inside the home of Ruksana 10 minutes ago. Her parents will not be home for another 30 minutes. However, Vijay was being careful and asked Shravan to guard the house. Shravan was not worried at all. If anything, Vijay will be the one getting the punishment, was his initial thought. No one had any questions for Shravan even though he was waiting outside a girl's home. They were only 9-year-olds. Vijay had a charm that was liked by the girls. Shravan had no clue who the girl Ruksana was or who her parents were. When a green color scooter was to arrive, Shravan had to whistle and give a signal to Vijay.
Shravan saw a cart selling peanuts on the street and went to get some. When he was back to his post, he saw the scooter. The scooter almost reached the house. He had no idea what to do. Whistling now will not help Vijay. He had very little time to react, and he did the unthinkable. He ran towards the scooter. Ruksana's father almost hit Shravan before coming to a halt. Instead of shouting for help or crying pain, Shravan started whistling. Ruksana's father felt it was strange. Vijay came running out. That was when it hit Ruksana's father. He ran in pursuit of Vijay. When he realized he could not catch Vijay, he turned to see if he could find Shravan. Shravan ran the other side and no longer reachable.
After running hard and fast, they met at a corner near Vijay's house. Vijay starts kicking Shravan as soon as he saw him. "Idiot, you have one job.", said Vijay. "Sorry ra, I went to buy peanuts.", replied Shravan. Shravan took out peanuts, and they started to share the peanuts. Shravan asked, "What does Ruksana want?".
"She likes by bubble gum and wanted to taste."
"I was about to share the one I was chewing with her when her lips got closer to mine."
"Maybe next time.", said Shravan.
Post there long evening of games and gossips, Vijay and Shravan went to meet Vijay's mother, who happens to be a doctor. His mother applied tincture to clean the wounds of Shravan. She asked Shravan, "Why do you bear with him. He is always creating troubles for you. No one needs a friend like him.". Shravan acted tough even though the tincture was very painful on the wounds. He did not utter a single word and kept silent through the pain. After finishing up, Vijay's mother said, " I should not see you around him anymore." Shravan stepped out of the clinic to find Vijay waiting. They both went out of the house to find out what happened at Ruksana's home. Ruksana and the family left the town already. "There can be no next time then.", said Shravan.
Shravan was again waiting outside a girl's house. This time they are kids no more they were 18 then. He was trying to be a careful guard this time. There was a loud noise, and Shravan was looking on the road to see what was going on. Suddenly something hit him in the back. It was a chapati stick that came flying from the house. He turned around when he saw Vijay running with his shirt in hand. Before Shravan could realize what was happening, the girl's mother came with an iron ladle and started hitting him. Shravan was about to run when the father found Shravan, who was coming home just then. He joined the mother in roughing up Shravan. The father went to get a wrench from his tools. To Shravan's luck, Vijay came in a bike, Shravan jumped in, Vijay accelerated the vehicle to escape from there. The father threw the wrench at them, and it hit Vijay. Shravan started to laugh at Vijay when the flying ladle hit Shravan in the head. That evening they were back at Vijay's mother's clinic. She had the same words for Shravan, not be Vijay's friend. Shravan had the same silence.
That night Shravan and Vijay were out to Dhaba to have some dinner. Shravan asked Vijay what happened this time.
"Nothing.", replied Vijay.
"How is that possible?", asked Shravan.
"The girl told me her parents were out of the town. I went in from the secret path she told me. I was in her room it had all her dresses and books etc. I could not find her, however. That was when I heard water sound coming from the bathroom. I took out my shirt and was waiting for her to come out."
"What happened next, tell me."
"The door opened, but it was not her, but her mother. She screamed when she saw me. Stella walked in and asked me to run."
Shravan started to laugh uncontrollably. Vijay started to punch him to stop laughing.
"How is that their parents were home?. She told you they are out of town.", asked Shravan after laughing his heart out.
"She asked me to come tomorrow. I confused the dates.", replied Vijay
"Like you confused the girl's mother for her that was bathing.", commented Shravan laughing. Shravan had a good laugh that night at the expense of Vijay.
After dinner, they both headed to Vijay's home. On reaching, they saw Vijay's mother waiting outside for them. After initial pleasantries, She asked Shravan to stay the night as it was getting late. But Shravan said, "he cannot stay". He spent a little time with Vijay and was about to leave. When Vijay's mother asked him," You will not leave him, right?".
Shravan still kept silent.
"Don't leave him, he has no father or any siblings. He has only me.", said with tears in her eyes.
"I will never leave him, aunty. He is more than a friend to me.", said Shravan.
"Vijay, please listen to what I have to say. You got injured very badly. You cannot go out now. Her father was a big man in the locality, it will be risky now to go and get the girl.", said Shravan to the Vijay, who was packing to leave the hospital.
"Don't talk to me. You are not my friend anymore."
"Please Vijay, don't act stupid."
"I cannot be a coward. What if they get her married overnight? I cannot do anything.", replied Vijay.
Shravan can understand the mentality of the parents. But he was worried about Vijay's safety. He also knew Vijay very well to sense that it was tough to stop Vijay from getting the girl. He then found the best solution to the problem.
"Okay, I know Sunitha needs to be brought from her home immediately. But I cannot also let you go. I will go instead.", said Shravan.
"Do you want to show me as a coward? I cannot let you go alone. I have to go with you.", said Vijay.
"I know you can fight your fight. But I cannot let you go in this state. It is risky. Let me go first. I will find what is going on. Then we can plan."
Vijay was not going to hear. He said, "No." and took a step to feel the pain come back. He shrieked out in pain and held onto the bed for support. Shravan held Vijay and made helped him lie down on the hospital bed. Vijay understood his state. So, he picked a paper and wrote a letter. Handed the letter to Shravan and asked him to give it to Sunitha.
Shravan and Vijay had to go to different cities for graduation. Shravan had no clue who Sunitha was and how to approach her. He got the address from Shravan and started. He asked Ramesh and Vamsee to stay back. Shravan will first find what was the situation and then decide what to do. He picked his car and started to head to Sunitha's town. It was a small town, about 300 KMs from Hyderabad.
He drove at a steady pace the night and took very few breaks to get there. He reached the Sunitha's town in the morning. He started to feel very tired from all the driving. He wanted to take a nap of a few hours before jumping into action. He wanted to head to a lodge for the same. As he stopped to find a place to sleep, he got a surprise of his life. His girlfriend, Lavanya, came running to him. In the crazy evening that he had, he forgot it was her hometown too. She took him to her home with her. She told her parents that he was her friend and was here for a college project. Shravan was surprised by how fast her girlfriend was able to make up lies. He was worried about his future when she will be his wife. But that will be for a different day.
Shravan slept for a while in Lavanya's brother's room. He woke up when Lavanya came to give him some coffee. Before he could pick the cup, she started to kiss him. Shravan was trying to stop her. Not because of all the escapades Vijay and Shravan had with the girls' parents. But the reason he was here. He cannot have any other monkey business going on. Lavanya was angry with Shravan as she felt he was rejecting her. He had to explain to her why he was here and why he wants her to stop. She quickly gave him one more kiss before starting to scheme the next steps.
It was not easy to get into Sunitha's house. So Lavanya had come up with a plan. Shravan and Lavanya will go to Sunitha's home as a distressed love couple. Her father and Sunitha's father are enemies. So, she expected Sunitha's father to come to their rescue and protect them. Once inside the home, the two can find Sunitha and get her out. They went to Sunitha's house as planned. Sunitha's father heard what they had to say. He told them he was going to protect them. Shravan and Lavanya were taken to the guest house and asked to wait.
Lavanya was happy that the first step to her plan was a success. She started thinking about how she can contact Sunitha. She got an idea. She was to get her dress wet then ask if she can have another dress to wear. They will have no other option but to her to Sunitha. When she wanted to put her plan in action and try to step out, she encountered a locked door. That was when she realized all fathers are the same. Sunitha's father locked them there and called Lavanya's father.
Shravan started to panic. He was prancing all around in search of any other exits. He found one door. He opened it in a hurry, only to find the kitchen. There was no other door in the kitchen, and the windows were closed. The room, however, had a gas stove. He thought he had not many options left. That was when something hit Shravan. Monkey business, let us start that. He went to Lavanya and shouted monkey business and dragged her chunni. Lavanya turned away her eyes, not to look at Shravan. Her cheeks turned red with shyness. When she turned back to see, Shravan was not there. He was in the kitchen, tying the chunni to the cylinder. The plan was to light the chunni on flame, and it will burn the house. The people will come and open the guest house. In the panic that arises post the fire, they can escape and find Sunitha. Lavanya's face now turned red, but with anger. The man keeps disappointing her.
The guest house started to burn, and very soon, Shravan and Lavanya found Sunitha's room. Lavanya was waiting outside to keep guard. Shravan went in to speak to Sunitha and ask her to come with him.
"Vijay sent me here to bring you to him.", said Shravan.
"Why was he not here?" asked Sunitha.
"He was injured and getting treatment in the hospital."
"But he called me and said he was starting."
"Here, read this letter, he gave it to me before I came for you."
"I could call him, you know."
"We don't have time. Take this as a memory of this wonderful and adventurous day. Good memory if we are successful and last memory if we fail."
Sunitha reads the letter as they start to head out of the home. The next step was the toughest how to leave the town without being noticed. They need time to think well before starting back to Hyderabad. Till then, where to stay safe? Lavanya had the answer. She had a childhood house on the farm where no one visits. They head there and take shelter in that house. They all decided to wait a day there. Once it's dark, they can start to Hyderabad. Their phones were ringing continuously, but they ignored all the calls. They don't want to give away their location to anyone. Suddenly Sunitha picks a call, and Shravan starts to get angry.
"Why did you pick the call?"
She, without any word, hands the phone to Shravan. It was Sunitha's father. He found Vijay, who came for Sunitha.
"If you want, your friend safe, bring back my daughter."
Shravan did not think for a second. He quickly dragged Sunitha to the car and started to head to her house. Sunitha, too, did not say a word. But Lavanya asked Shravan to stop.
"Don't do this. Wait a few minutes think about it.", said Lavanya.
"No, I cannot. Vijay being at risk, I cannot".
"What about the girl?"
"What about her?"
"Do you think her father will let her out of sight ever again?"
"Your friend loves her."
"She matters as long as Vijay is fine."
"No, you cannot do this."
"He comes ahead of anyone. I need to worry about Vijay's safety, nothing else."
"You men don't understand what women go through. How did I fall for you?"
"Don't do this now. Vijay is my everything."
"What if tomorrow my father does the same, takes him and blackmails."
"I told you, don't do this now. Vijay is at risk."
"I know that. Sunitha, too, at risk. If you are not here today, she had some little hope. Now she has nothing. "
"I cannot think of any of this. My mind is filled with Vijay. They already hurt him once."
"Okay. Let me think. Give me a little time. I will think of something."
Shravan turned to look at Sunitha the first time after the call. Her eyes were red from all the crying, which he did not notice all this time.
"I am sorry, he means a lot to me.", said Shravan
"I am not worried about myself. I am worried about Vijay. I cannot see him get hurt again because of me.", replied Sunitha.
Shravan felt sorry for Sunitha. But he had very few options in hand. There was nothing Shravan can do even if Sunitha's father kills Vijay. He was capable of that, as well.
The final battle
Shravan, Lavanya, and Sunitha reached the street of Sunitha's home. They called her father for the switch.
"Before we send Sunitha, you need to send Vijay to us.", said Shravan over the phone.
"No, you bring my daughter. Then I decide if I send your friend or not"
"Then, I am not going to bring your daughter."
"I don't care. But you care for your friend. So, you cannot take any chance with me."
Shravan realized he has no option. So, he took the girl and went to him. As soon as they came in, the father's people surrounded them. Shravan started to search in the crowd for Vijay. He could not see him. He, in an angry tone, asked for Vijay. After a little wait, Vijay was brought in. He picked his friend and started to walk out. After a few steps, he whispered to Vijay to run.
Vijay said, "He will not run. What was there to run for? You gave up the one thing I came here searching. What is the use of me living."
Shravan did not listen to anything Vijay had to say. He kept dragging Vijay to walk faster. Once they stepped out of the gate, Shravan asked Vijay to hop on his back. With Vijay on his back, Shravan ran with all his might to the car. He got into the car and drove fast before anyone could catch up to them. Once in the car, Vijay got the biggest surprise of his life. Sunitha, crying and hugging on seeing Vijay.
"If Sunitha is here. Who was the girl who you left there?" asked Vijay.
"She was my girlfriend, Lavanya. They both are of the same height. We swapped their dresses, covered her face as if in shame, and sent her in."
"But how will she come back?"
"They would have noticed by now. They will try to find us and start searching. Meanwhile, Lavanya, with the help of Sunitha's brother will come to a location a few meters from here. "
A few meters and they see Lavanya waiting on the road. Shravan slowed down but did not stop the car, Lavanya jumped in, and they drove away. After driving for a few hours and confirming they are safe, they stopped the car for dinner.
"I can understand him taking risks for me. But why did you do?" asked Vijay to Lavanya.
"I am not a fool. I have planned everything before going in. We called and arranged everything with Sunitha's brother. He was ready in his bike to take me to the spot in a short cut. This route was not the usual route to go to Hyderabad. So we are all safe. "
"Still, it was a big risk. Why did you take such a big risk?"
"For Shravan. He seems to be a big devotee for you. I cannot disappoint him.", replied Lavanya.
Vijay started to think about what made him deserver such a friend.
"Why do you let Vijay do this. Don't you want to be a hero for your girl," Lavanya asked Vijay.
Before Vijay could reply, Shravan started to answer.
"Ramayana had seven different phases. Except in Sundarakanda all other has Rama as the hero. Sundarkanda has Hanuman as the hero. He crossed the ocean to meet Sita, burnt the Lanka down, and traveled back to Rama and gave the whereabouts of Sita. If he wanted to, Rama could have been a hero of that too. He could do anything. But he let Hanuman, his confidante to be a hero. ", said Shravan.
"So, what am I in this story then?" asked Lavanya.
Thataki, said Shravan laughing. She started hitting him playfully.
Once back in the car driving. "So are you going to go to war next, Mr. Rama," asked Sunitha to Vijay. "Yes, I need to go to war for Shravan. Both your father and her father will try to stop them from getting married now.", said Vijay.
P.S: Shravan driving started to recollect what he said. He comparing himself to Hanuman, his friend to Rama was entirely wrong. No one can compare themselves to what Rama went through. The only thing that he felt right about was he needed to do anything to get what his friend wanted. Why you might ask? Vijay was his friend. What more was needed.