Staring at the window i couldn’t help but wonder what on earth keeps the clouds in Bangalore so busy that it keeps raining , every frikkin day !
Coming from a place as dry as Rajasthan, every day makes me miss my life back there the most but I gulp it all down for this was what I aspired ,a stable and secure corporate life. Ever since I had seen my entire family burning their midnight oil for our family business of textiles ,I had firmly decided to get as far from that side of life as possible. Business somehow appears too fragile to me, and I hate the uncertainty involved in it, so naturally I chose risk analyst as my profession and landed up a 9 to 5 job in Bangalore 5 years back.
“Alisha! Are you coming with us to the coffee house?”
“Nahi Priya carry on, I have to check Soyo firm’s investment portfolio by today and give it to Rohan for the audit”
“It’s Friday ya, all of us are going, come na”
“I can’t delay my analysis by a single day ,it could result in a loss for the company in lakhs! Time is money Priya, don’t you know?” I replied back in a mocking tone suppressing my giggle.
Priya shook her head in response “I can never get over your workaholic madness, anyways see ya”
“Bye!” I laughed as Priya waved back. To be honest I was avoiding someone in the name of work. It’s hard for me to say no to people nowadays ,which is so contrasting to my stubborn and Frank nature I had back in my school days.
Just as I switched on my laptop my phone buzzes- "i am coming in 5, we need to talk”
"What, why? Everything ok? Listen I have wor-”
And before I could finish writing my text it starts ringing
“Dipanshu what happ-”
“I am already down come fast !!”
“What? Ok calm down what is it?, i have work And I really nee-”
“Alisha yaar, this is urgent ! And it’s FRIDAY FOR GOD SAKE!! Please please come, i will explain the rest in the car pleasee!”
“Okay okay I am on my way please stop shouting”
“Yeah bye I am waiting”
“Ok hello wa-“. before i could say anything the call got disconnected.
Dipanshu my over dramatic and extremely superstitious good old friend has been working here in Bangalore for the past 2 years and I honestly couldn’t thank my starts enough for sending my best pal from school to accompany me here to deal with Bangalore traffic .
As I hurriedly pack my things in the bag I see another text from my brother flash on the home screen but before I could check it my cabin’ s door opened.
“Seriously Lissy, work over me huh?”
“Dipu yaar you send me an SOS like 5 minutes ago and expect me to go all Tony stark and fly over to you?”
“Well what I expect is for you to be packing and not checking your phone when we have to be somewhere urgently!” “But where are we going in the first place?”
But before he could answer my question he took my laptop bag and pulled me towards the elevator and I can’t help but wonder what on earth is wrong with my friend.
“Where are we heading towards?” I ask as we stop by the 3rd signal in 15 minutes
“Just wait, we will be there in another 15-20 minutes”
“Yeah right, you mean another 45 minutes”.
To my surprise we arrive at our favorite café in just half an hour. It’s been our go to spot to chill but I really can’t chill today !
“Dipu!! You kidding me?! Why are we here at Dyu art when you know I have a pile of work lying there to be completed!”
“Patience mi lady” and he pushes me by my shoulders towards the entrance
“But this is not done I thought you had some serious issue and here you are getting me to eat double peri cheese fries, I mean you cannot just trick me like th-”
“Surprise, Surprise!!” Two voices scream in my ears, I squinch my eyes in response. one is Dipu of course but who is this other lady in front of me jumping like a maniac and oh! Just pulled me into a bear hug.
“Um excuse me I think you are mistaken-”
“Alisha Friggin Dobrial HIII”
She knows my name ,what?, what am I missing. I turn around to look at an emotional Dipanshu who is busy wiping his tears, but why?
“Dipu what happened..”
“Alishaaaa dude what is this no hugging back ?! come on this is the least you can do when you your old buddy comes to meet you after 10 years !”
Whoa, buddy, 10 years? Who is this? I then closely look at the face, fair skin , brown eyes and a bob cut with that Harry potter like scar on her left eyebrow...wait can this be..
“No way...Zoe ?!!! Omg is it really you?! What??!”
“Yes way Dobrial!! How is my favorite girl doing ?!” Saying this, she gives me another bear hug
“Oh god Zoe wow this is awesome ,I can’t believe this!” I hug her back tightly. This is Zoya Khan a.k.a Zoe my bench partner from 8th to 10th. Zoe had been my only closest ever friend apart from Dipu. Three of us were the most notorious and mischievous trio our school had ever seen back then. With pranks for everyone up our sleeves everyday, three of us were inseparable. But after 10th, Zoe moved to Mumbai for her senior school and then left for the States for under graduation. We had been in touch but I am hardly the social media kind of person so staying in contact with people has been my worst forte.
But this was nothing short of a miracle, for I knew she has already settled down in Seattle and coming to India anytime soon was the last thing on her plate.
“Zoe wow I mean, how come you are in India all of a sudden?”
“All questions after double peri cheese fries, apparently that’s the best right Dipu?” and before he could answer “You guys!” And Dipu rushed in for a group hug, half hugging half crying.
The sentimental guy Dipu was, today I couldn’t help but feel the same, me, Dipu and Zoe after a decade together ! Who would have thought a normal hectic Friday would bring together 3 best friends after 10 years !
“Ok ok guys I am starving, I literally just came from the airport and i need food and what even is the traffic? I thought I will meet you guys 2 hrs back but hell it took me way longer than I thought!” “Well, welcome to Bangalore” I said laughing as we took our seats at the corner table
As we ordered our fries I tried to comprehend what just happened a few minutes back.
“ok I go first, what is this ?!! How did you suddenly plan to come here? And Dipu you knew this whole time and didn’t tell me?!”
“Dipu is all innocent as always, it was me who was missing my favorite desi pals and decided to hop on the earliest plane that would take me to them”
“And you have no idea how hard it was for me to keep this ‘out of the world’ news all to myself this entire week!” Dipu heaved a relief of sigh as he genuinely said this with a look of guilt on his face.
“No wonder you weren’t responding to my texts properly this week!” I hit him on his arm
“Ow! Alisha! I have already hurt that arm twice !”
“You deserve it!” And three of us laughed just like old times with either me or Zoe hitting Dipanshu cuz he was either a pussy or he couldn’t keep any secrets to himself and ruin our pranks.
“But on a serious note I actually came here cuz I regretted not meeting you guys 2 years back when we had that school thing”
“The reunion? Huh please, you saved your time and money, it was such a bore, I mean half the people didn’t turn up and the other half were people from the nerdy division, attending even reunions with utmost sincerity”
“Lmao really?, but it must have been fun meeting the others from our class”
“Uh-uh apart from me and LissyPissy it was just that Naina Agarwal and some other guy I couldn’t recognize ,I doubt he even studied with us”
“Wait no one from the snooty guys gang? Rishabh ,Jay, Kabir?”
“Nope I don’t even know why we bothered to go” I shook my head in despise as I cringed at the reunion our school attempted to do but failed miserably thanks to the new incompetent management who apparently had missed inviting many students due to a technical glitch. I wouldn’t have even gone there if it wasn’t for Dipu’s emotional black mail. He is so good with it!
“Well well it’s just destiny you see, I mean how can our class reunite without the crazy bad-ass trio being together right?”
“Rrrightyy and that’s why we gonna meet all of them now for real when Zoe has finally got some time off her schedule for her 2 long lost friends”
“Dipudipu why do you always get to the point so easily? like suspense and drama, forgotten everything in these 10 years?”
“Wait wait wait what point, and who are we gonna meet?” I look all bewildered at my two insane friends who have done enough to drive my sanity to its extremity for one day.
“Well I mean I thought I had say this after 2 rounds of fries and drinks with some hell lotta suspense but whatever Dipanshu Shastri wants” Zoe tells in her sarcastic tone and her eyes all narrowed at Dipu to which he just eagerly smiles.
“Me and Dipu,well mostly me-” “Excuse me don’t forget the whole goibibo drama that I handled while booking our tickets to Jaipur”
“Right sorry then me ‘and’ Dipu have...”
I eagerly wait to get pissed of at them for planning something without involving me as Zoe takes her customary dramatic pause. “oh tell already Zoe!! What is it?”
“Well we have planned a vacation with all our classmates to our school well not exactly to school but where its been for all these 60 years- Mount Abu!”
“Vacation? What, when?”
“Well see long story short when Zoe texted me on insta cuz you know you and your socially active status on Instagram, that she was planning on coming to India soon I thought its a great opportunity for the three of us to go on a short trip somewhere and that’s when-”
“And that’s when I thought why just meet you two when I coming all the way to India from Seattle. I should rather at least meet a few more noobs from our class and catchup with them as well. So me and Dipu arranged for this super awesome, very tough I swear and a legitimate reunion of 10D again on foothills of mount Abu! Cool na?” Zoe finishes saying with her two arms wide open in the air.
Both of them are looking at me with their excited puppy eyes waiting for me to react but all that comes out from me is “huh?”
“Huh? What huh?” Dipu asks
I Try to make sense of what the both of them just told , “I mean you guys are planning for another reunion?”
“Ya I mean of course the entire class won’t be able to make it but you know the fun ones are coming. You see it was one hell of a task to literally check with everyone when their dates will work out and accordingly plan for this 1 week of bad-ass fun! so you up for it as well right?”
Typical Zoe I thought ,arranging for meetups and events was totally her thing even back in school, she was the cultural club’s president and boy did the entire town come for that years annual fest our school had.
“So we leaving in 2 days so get packing alright?”
“Yes 2 days and don’t you give me your work thing again lissy, that’s just not allowed cuz you have no idea how hard it was to convince Zoe to give us another 2 days buffer because of your ‘work’ ” Dipu said emphasizing the word work.
“Guys ok hold on” I say putting my hands in the air for my defense “listen it’s not that simple-”
“No No you have gotta listen .. you have become one hell of a boring person you know that na Alisha? Dipu keeps telling me how much you prioritize work over literally everything? I mean i cant believe the girl who had literally everyone on her finger tips to get her work done now doesn’t even have a single person to get her work done even for a little while?!”
“No it’s not that, see Zoe my work is very specialized I can’t have anyone doing it for me and plus” I sigh “I have a very important client with me for the next 2 months and I can’t leave them whatsoever especially not with someone who is inexperienced and-”
“And you are gonna ditch us, for work, I mean of course who cares if a friend that traveled 8000 miles wants to spend time with you right!”
“No Zoe, see ugh...Dipu yaar tell her na you know my work and I genuinely can’t leave it to someone right?” I ask earnestly to which he just shakes his head in disappointment and looks out of the window with folded hands.
“Listen Alisha” Zoe takes my hand and tells ” I know what you do and I know it’s something only you are amazing at and that’s makes me feel like one hell of a proud mother you know that?!, Dipu tells me all of the mathematical crazy shit you do to save those bigass corporates out there but it’s been too long since we have had our share of fun. Like 1 entire decade without Dipanshu, Alisha and Zoe kicking someone’s ass! Can you imagine how much the world has been suffering from boredom?!”
I let out a small laugh staring down.
“Alisha just a week come on it will be super fun and this time there are people who we know that are coming and more importantly it’s not the school it’s Zoya Khan- the great thats arranging it all”
“Yes yes Dipu you too”
I had be lying if i said i didn’t want to go i mean maybe this is what i have been waiting for all these years, to just reunite with my old buddies and forget about every other worry i have, every other resposibilty i have.
“Alisha just one week? Can’t you make it, for me please? Its gonna be super duper memorable and like you know, Reunion two point O cuz last time was shit lol”
“Ooh I like the sound of that!” Dipu exclaimed from behind as he went to order the drinks.
“Yeap it will be much much cooler than it sounds” Zoe tells me with her reassuring smile
Meeting people from the past has never suited my liking particularly because I feel I made more enemies than friends back in my school days and now it would cause more of a discomfort and awkwardness than the usual reminiscence . In fact I was also partly thankful to the technical glitch that helped me avoid all that.
Zoe was still looking at me for an answer and i don’t know what to do. As much as i am thrilled to have her sitting beside me right now, i never considered the possibility of going back to the school again after that pathetic time me and Dipu spent 2 years back. With my careers most important new client lined up at work how do I deal with this sudden reunion 2.0? I mean what’s gonna be different the 2nd time right. Only if i knew how different it would really be i would have chosen otherwise or would i?
“So you coming right?”
Hey there! if you guys have read it till here Thanks a ton!! I honestly don’t know if the plot seems to intrigue you all or not, does it? Also do let me know what are your thoughts on the inception of the plotline and any relatable characters from Alisha, Dipanshu and Zoya? Although its too soon to ask :p There’s still a couple more to introduce. I hope you like a tiny bit of this story till now anyhoo see you in the next chapter byee!
P.S i hope the informal language didn’t bother anyone much ;)