It was 12 30 at night. It was drizzling and chilly.
Angel called me up and started screaming that she wanted to have coffee and that too at a CCD. I had to swiftly put on a pull over and hit the road in no more than 3 minutes otherwise lest spend 3 days pacifying her.
Angel, the only girl whom I knew, was special; stubborn, bubbly and more importantly childish. I knew her from school days and as her name suggests, she was an angel in both looks and demeanor.
Now let’s get on with the dream.
She lived just three miles away from my place. It took exactly 4 min for me to drive to her place. It was 12 34 already and all the CCDs would be closed at this hour except for the one at the old airport but we didn't fancy that as it’s not a cozy place to hangout. We ended up driving 50 miles, out of the city, to buy a cup of cappuccino :)
I would do anything Angel insisted me to do and listen to whatever she said.
I was in love with her. Was she also in love with me? Not sure. Angel looked real dumb at times. Needless to say I loved her for this dumbness. On the one hand she took long to make important decisions as though deciding what to wear for a party and on the other contemplated for hours on simple things such as buying a dress top :)
One day Angel rang me up to say that she is off for a movie with her new found "boy friend" and she insisted that I go along with her.
It came as a shocker to me. Finally I agreed to go a since my love for her and respect for her word won over my frustration. I would do anything she asked. What was most painful was that she was in love with a common friend 'Fatso'. Fatso was fat with fair complexion and wore a pair of spectacles. ( I don’t remember who this person was in my dream).
I mustered up all the courage I had and went along with her, sorry, with them :)
I had asked Suraj to join us for which he had agreed after a lot of reluctance. This was a desperate measure; I had to take some one along with me, ideally a girl, but for the fact that I knew no other girl I had to settle down for a guy.
It was a strange feeling sitting at the back seat while she was in the front seat. Suraj was beside me and fatso was driving the car. The time to cover 10 km to the theatre felt like 10 decades to me. The situation in itself was worse than anybody would think. Fatso had seen us being together all these years; he had seen the intimacy we both had maintained with each other. He too was a normal guy like others. Even though Angel trusted him he always had a scar of doubt in his mind starting from the first day of their 'affair'.
I think we had gone for "Jaane tu ... ya jaane na". All I could see for the entire duration of the movie was Angel and nothing/nobody else. I didn't care to check if anybody was observing me. This might have happened because I had started feeling as though I was losing her. Hundreds of thoughts like 'what next?' 'will it be possible to live without her?' 'am I going to become mad if she goes away?' etc surrounded my weak and empty mind.
After the most dreaded movie ever of my life (due to some various other obvious reasons than the movie itself) she urged us to go for dinner at a famous restaurant at Brigade road, I think it was Hyderabadi Mahal. Angel ordered something for herself, Suraj and Fatso ordered some non veg dishes of their choice and I ordered as I always do the same dish which Angel had ordered. This triggered the brimful of anger to spill over for Fatso. He stopped the dinner in the middle and started yelling at Angel which made me uncontrollable. I could not with stand any humiliation to her. I would rip apart anybody who would make her feel sad/humiliated. He was trying to link an unholy relationship between me and her. At that moment I thought that it was my duty to defend her and gave a strong punch on his face which made him fall badly on the ground. In the heat of the situation Angel tried to stop me instead of him and gave a tight slap. At that moment I failed to understand that she tried stopping me and gave a slap because she worried more about me than the fatso. She didn't want me to make any offence. Fatso got up angrily and left the place immediately. I too went off without looking at her. This was very unusual for me as I always used to take her home before I could reach mine. Eventually Suraj dropped her home.
The fact that Angel didn't love me made me feel like a loser. Angel's sadness having lost her boy friend made me feel even more painful. I felt guilt for her plight. All these factors had a combined effect on me and my work. I took leave for a week and went to my home town. That night I was under depression and had severe head ache. Mom suggested rest and I accepted her suggestion.
When I got up I could sense a lot of changes in my dressing, environment, the way people spoke to me etc. Everybody seemed over sympathetic to me. It seemed as though I was stranded in the middle of a bunch of kinder garden school children. When I observed closely I realized that it was the same school where I had done primary schooling from. All the teachers were trying to talk with me with the same passion that they used to talk 20 years ago. Mom was asking to me go to work as the bus was waiting for me. The name of the bus was "Sree Hanuman Travels" and the place where I worked was a tier-3 town and the firm where I worked was "SBI" and my designation was "Helper" with a salary of 2000 per month. I was dressed in khakhi with no money in the pocket. I saw dad giving money to the bus conductor on my behalf. I was unable to manage my money.
I felt as if I had moved behind in time over night.
I started yelling at all and started speaking in English which amused few people around me. Their reaction further angered me. Where in the world one can see someone being happy when scolded!!
I checked the date. It looked mysterious. I checked again. It read 18 months more than the night I had slept the last time! While the situation was becoming more and more mysterious mom came to my rescue. She explained the events that happened in the last 18 months since the night I slept complaining of head ache.
That night when I slept I was under a tremendous depression of losing Angel which made me lose my consciousness. I had turned “mad” in layman's language or a chemical locha in bhai's language.
Mom and dad were shocked and tried all possible treatments but to no avail; I had become mad and it seemed to be incurable from the outset. They had to raise me again from child hood. They took me back to the place where I belong to and they bought the school where I did my schooling from so that I could start learning again. I don't know why they bought the school itself :)
Few months later when they realised that this is how I will have survive the rest of my life, they used their political contacts to get a govt job in a bank. A helper’s post is all that I could get for my intellect.
When dad and mom realized that I was back to my normal best they literally danced with euphoria!
Immediate thing which came to my mind was 'How's my Angel'!!
While driving to Bangalore I caught up with old friends and got to know that they too had not seen her from the night I went home. I started to feel lonely again. After a lot of struggle got to know that she was in Germany.
Without waiting for anyone I booked a ticket in the next available flight to Frankfurt. Borrowed some money from friends and boarded the flight.
Its not strange for me to land up in a strange place. Thanks to my previous job. Took help from friends spread across Europe to locate her. She owned a boutique and was alone there as if to punish herself. Needless to say that fatso was out of her life on that eventful night. When we faced each other both of us were speechless and eyes filled with moisture. We didn't talk for about 3-4 min. She finally broke her silence and said "I thought you really loved me; how could you leave me alone that night?” I didn't know what to say as I too was about to ask the same question!