The Day The State Split Asunder-12
The Day The State Split Asunder-12
Karthik and Adarsh reached the Wingster restaurant. They sat at the corner of the table exactly below the air conditioner vent.
'Sir, your order please…' The waiter approached their table to take the order.
'I am ordering an onion paratha. Tell me what you would like to have?' Adarsh asked Karthik while scrolling through the menu.
'I will also go with it. Let's begin with soup and starters. What about curry?' Karthik asked.
'Seven parathas with Malai Kofta and tomato soup,' Adarsh said to the waiter. 'And also one plate of Veg Manchuria.'
The waiter left. Karthik was looking around the Ravi Varma paintings portraits on the walls. Above Adarsh's head on the wall behind, there was one of the paintings which depicted a woman holding a fruit in her hand.
'Did you like any girl in your office?' Adarsh smiled looking straight into him.
'Ours is a very small office of only fifty employees. There are around ten women. Six got married,' Karthik said.
'So you already verified their background?'Adarsh continued with a mocking smile. 'Don't feel shy.'
'Arnold please do stop. I don't want to get into any kind of relationship until I earn a six-figure salary per month.'
'Why like that?'
'I don't know. Have you ever fallen in love with anyone?'
The smile on Adarsh's face drained in an instant.
'What happened? Did I say anything wrong?'
Adarsh drank a glass of water. 'No... No… Not like that. Memories flashed all of a sudden. To tell you the truth, I had fallen in love.'
'What! Do you have a love story? Why didn't you tell me?'
'I didn't because you never asked about it,' There was a moment of silence on the part of Adarsh. 'I have been through it. What hurts the most is when you trust someone blindly and that person proves to you that you are blind.'
'Who betrayed you?'
'If I start narrating now, I will lose interest in the food. I will tell you once we are back in the room.'
The waiter brought the soups and starters and placed the bowls on the table and left. Adarsh and Karthik started savouring the soup.
They started discussing each other's office politics and slowly completed their dinner. Karthik signalled the waiter for the bill. The waiter arrived with the bill and he settled it with his brand new platinum debit card.
'Adarsh, I will come in a minute. Need to go to the washroom,' Karthik said.
Two minutes later while Karthik was returning to his table he accidentally bumped into a plump girl.
'You stupid! Have you gone blind?' the girl shouted.
'Sorry… Sorry… mam,' Karthik said, apologising for his mistake, 'I am extremely sorry!'
'I know about you guys. You intentionally dashed into me so that you could touch me.'
As Karthik was apologising to her, a lean man with a shadow taller than Karthik came out of the washroom.
'What happened sweety?' the lean man asked the girl. He turned out to be her boyfriend.
'This idiot dashed into me intentionally.'
'You bloody idiot! How dare you dash my girl?' The girl's boyfriend caught Karthik by his collar and began abusing him at the top of his voice. Within seconds a crowd of ten gathered around them.
'Sir… Sir… It happened by accident. I didn't do it intentionally,' Karthik made every attempt to convince him.
Listening to the voice of Karthik, Adarsh scrambled to the spot and happened to see Karthik being handled roughly by Rohan.
'Leave him…' Adarsh barked at Rohan in a loud and boisterous tone that more or less resembled a lion's roar. 'I don't know what my friend has done, but I am sure there's no mistake on his part. Leave him. If you don't, then I am going to crush your bones.'
Petrified by Adarsh's thunderous warning Rohan immediately released his hands from Karthik. His girlfriend was equally terrified and in a stammering tone, she said - 'Rohan this person looks like a WWE wrestler. It might have happened accidentally. He already said sorry. Leave him.'
In a quick time, the girl and her boyfriend peeled out of the restaurant.
Adarsh adjusted Karthik's collar trying to smooth out a few wrinkles. 'Karthik are you okay? Did he hit you? That idiot spoiled your new T-shirt.'
'I am good, he didn't hit me,' Karthik said, panting.
They walked out of the restaurant, tracking their steps back to the room.
'Had you not been present, I don't know what would have happened to me?' Karthik said, his voice still frigid.
Sensing the coldness in his tone, Adarsh placed his arm on his shoulder while cutting into the street. 'True friendship isn't about only being there when it's convenient. It's about being there when it's not. I can go to any extent for my friend.'
'Thank you so much.'
Adarsh twisted Karthik's hand. 'How dare you say that?'
'Arnold… please… It is not meant for you,' Karthik struggled to release his hand from him.
'Then for whom?'
'It is to God for sending a friend like you. Can't I thank god?'
'Then it's okay.'
They reached the hostel and after wearing the night trousers, Karthik walked back into Adarsh's room. Adarsh too changed his dress, by the time he stepped in.
'Arnold, I want to know about your love story. Tell me how did it start? How did it go? And How did you feel about being in love? And-'
'Hold your horses. If you keep asking me when can I tell you,' Adarsh said.
'I am sorry. I am unable to control my excitement.'
'Karthik, love itself is like that. It is regarded as one of the most powerful forces on this planet. The magic of first love creates an indelible impression, which cannot be erased from our mind ever. No matter how many people come into your life after that, the thrill is never quite the same again. It cannot be recreated.'
'Love at first sight! Why do men experience this more than women?'
'Love at first sight is hard to explain. This so-called love is under the control of divine forces of fate and destiny. We are simply puppets of it.'
'Wait for a second! Many lovers in movies use the words fate and destiny. What is fate and what is destiny?'
'Fate is that which you cannot change. Destiny is what you're meant to do. While fate is what happens when you don't take responsibility for your life, destiny is what happens when you commit to growing, learning, and taking chances. Being destined for greatness only comes through active and conscious decisions. But fate is what happens when you let other people and external circumstances dictate your life.'
'Destiny? Does it really exist? Even before coming to Bengaluru, my father told me that sometimes a change in place brings a change in destiny.'
'That's perfect. My destiny has changed after I came to Bengaluru and learning about Destiny is like learning quantum mechanics. Being in the right or wrong place at the right time or wrong time may change the course of your life. If a man is destined to drown, he will drown even in a spoonful of water.'
'So according to you whatever happens in our life is already predetermined? If there is anything to blame for whatever happens in our life it is going to be destiny.'
'When did I tell you that destiny is to be blamed? We are the masters of our own lives and when we fail to acknowledge it we are bound to pay a heavy penalty, and destiny has got nothing to do with it. You may fall in love with someone without fully understanding why it is that you love him or her. You may spend hours, months, years together without fully appreciating what it is that this person means to you.'
'From the things you have spoken so far, I can clearly understand that you have endured significant travails to be in a position where you are standing today. Can you tell me your full love story?'