Tuesday, October 6, 2009

26 mails

It had been exactly a year since my internship in Singapore. And exactly a year since she and I had spoken to each other. I had met her at a common friend’s house who was studying at the National University. She too was studying Economics, a year junior to my childhood friend. She was not beautiful, but was charming and a fantastic conversationalist. We had struck an instant rapport. She took two days off to show me the city. I gathered she had a boyfriend in Mumbai, who was training to be a marine engineer.

‘How important is physicality to you in a relationship,’ she asked me over a beer in a crowded Clarke Quay bar on a Friday night. It was well past midnight and I was more than my fair share of drinks down.

‘Very,’ I replied.

Even though we chatted on the phone and exchanged mails, we met just once after that night. It was my last Sunday in Singapore and it was time for another question.

‘Do you think platonic relationships exist?’

‘I hope so,’ I said.

I was to take the flight back to Delhi after three days. In the evening, I went back to the guest house and googled ‘platonic relationships’. The results left me confused. I picked, what I think in hindsight was the worst of the search results – a most convoluted piece of writing, and mailed it to her along with my observations.

She didn’t respond. I tried her mobile; she didn’t take my calls. I was desperate. I had to speak to her. I was leaving by the evening flight. Finally, someone answered. A male voice abused me, admonished me for writing her ‘such’ mails, accused me of trying to sleep with this girl and threatened me of dire consequences if I continued to ‘trouble her’.

I wasn’t able to get even a word in. I felt miserable.

The flight was a long one. I tried listening to music, watching a film. But ended up doing nothing else but thinking about her and why she did what she did. By the time I landed in Delhi, I had decided to move on. But I knew I couldn’t forget her and so I decided not to forgive as well.

A year later, it was time to sign on the dotted line. My Singapore stint had paid off. They hired me for their India operations. I sat at the HR table filling in the joining forms when my mobile rang.

She apologised and congratulated me for the job in almost the same breath. I managed a thank you.

I didn’t call back, but decided to write instead.
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Mail One

Hi,
It was nice to get a call from you yesterday. I must admit though that I was taken aback by it after all these months. But it's probably best not to go over it again. Best to forget and carry on.

A lot of water has flown since I came back from Singapore and recounting it would take a good part of the day. Maybe, sometime if we do get a chance to sit and chat after one of those walks, which I cherish even now, we could talk about them.

How've you been doing and what are you up to apart from college?

More later.

Ciao
Me
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Response to Mail One

Hi,
It was nice to get a call from you yesterday. I must admit though that I was taken aback by it after all these months. But it's probably best not to go over it again. Best to forget and carry on. (WISH I WAS SO OPTIMISTIC AND UPBEAT)

A lot of water has flown since I came back from Singapore and recounting it would take a good part of the day (I AGREE WITH YOU). Maybe, sometime if we do get a chance to sit and chat after one of those walks, which I cherish even now, we could talk about them. (LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT CHAT)

EVEN I GOT A LOT TO SAY

How've you been doing and what are you up to apart from college?

More later.

Ciao
Me

THNX
BUT THNX TO THE BITCH I WAS IN SUMMER I WASN’T EXPECTING SUCH A QUICK RESPONSE FROM YOU
IT FEELS REALLY GOOD

BUT I DO WANT TO KNOW WHAT EXACTLY U FELT WITH THAT TEL CONV
IM REALLY SORRY

ILL RITE MORE ONCE IM DONE WITH MY PRELIMS IN TWO DAYS
ONCE AGAIN FEELS REALLY NICE TO HEAR FROM YOU

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Over the next couple of days we exchanged 26 mails with the subject line Hi!