"well,you better increase your stakes,make it 5 kgs of your flesh.Siddhi is going to be late.as always.free mein weight kam hojayega."Neil taunted her goodnaturedly.
both of them were waiting outside their normal,meet up joint,waiting for Siddhi and Sanjay.
"saale,taunt mat maar.by the way Sanju kihdar hain?"Gayathri asked.
"taunt?!! aur mein?Gayu..Siddhi is always late.schooltime se. remember waiting for her at the busstop.damn,we used to come on time,but still used to end up running down the roads just to reach school before the gates were closed, thanks to dear Siddhi."
"don't act innocent,you know that is not what i was talking about....."
as they both continued bickering,Sanjay arrived on his bike.he hugged Gayathri and shook hands with Neil.
"well,as we wait for our late kate,why dont we as well get something to eat?"asked Sanju.
"yup,i agree,for all you know,she will not reach till dinner.sheesh..." Neil quipped.
as the guys ordered their drinks,Gayathri pondered over what to have.
"i cant make up my mind.eeehh,what do i have?"she asked.
"dont have anything.imagine the calories!!!" Neil made faces.
"well,what do you feel like having?"asked Sanju patiently.
"lotsa gooey chocolate"Gayathri crooned.
"lets see which goo monster has choco here."said Sanjay poring over the menu.
as the three of them try to find their chocolate monster,Siddhi enters the hotel and walks over to them ,a litany of apologies and excuses.
"arre,sorry re,last minute kaam tha.i dont know why my parents remember my chores only when am ready to leave .sorry guys."Siddhi murmured.
"say something new.itne saal beeth chuke.kuch tho naya bol." Neil poked her mercilessly.
"oye,shut up,you people.lets forget all that.i so wanna hear all your news."Gayathri shouted.
"hmm..before anyone gets a chance,i am gonna make use of mine.am going to US in a few months.my office is sending me over for a year."Neil said.
"haan kya?US tere office ka Kaalapani hain kya?they send criminals and maybe in your case the retards over there?"Gayathri asked,batting her eyelashes innocently.
Neil reached over and pulled her hair.
"arre,you retards,act like the 23 year olds you are.and Neil,that is her hair,not a pigtail anymore.you may just get your hand stuck in it.by the way,congratulations Neil.that is great news."Siddhi said.
"yea,but be back in a year man,koi firang ko pakadkar NRI mat ban jana "Sanju added.
"yea man,we will miss you."Gayathri conceded.
"my news is that,ki i told my family about Ranjini.after the initial ruckus,they have accepted our relationship."Sanju grinned.
"thank god for that!!!"Gayathri said.
"am glad for you."Siddhi added.
"well,maybe in a few months we may get engaged.let us see.small steps at a time."Sanju said.
"yeah,true.by the way,i may just take up that post as the Assistant Professor at the National Institute of Oceanography.am assigned to the project on plate tectonics.well,i find it favourable.and the best thing is i am the incharge for physical training-swimming and scuba diving.i mean,that clinches it for me.and the fact that later i may get to pursue a doctorate at the Hawaain institute of oceanography.that is if my grades are good."Gayathri said excitedly.
after the initial "aaaw" and "oohs" Neil quipped,"see honey.you may just end up in the US.welcome to the retarded club."
"and yea,go dance with handsome hawaain hunks on the beaches on full moon nights."Siddhi added.
"yea,but the beaches of Goa call me first."Gayathri said.
"well,i sometimes wonder if the lunar phases which affect your oceans affect your mental balance too,Gayu.congratulation on landing a dream job. call of the wild," Sanju grinned.
"thank you ,guys."Gayathri smiled.
"Well,Siddhi,your turn.last here too,seems to run in your blood,"Neil said.
"hmm..nothing much,except that i got my heart broken and crushed."Siddhi said.
after a moment's silence.
"that b@##$#%#, i knew it."Gayathri muttered angrily.
"well,it is ok,actually. i mean,it wouldnot have worked out,seems i just need to let go and grow up."Siddhi said in a matured manner.
the remaining three looked at her,their childhhod friend,as she hid her confused heartbreak behind a brave facade.they decided to let her pretend as she wasnt ready to say or hear more.
"hmm.seems like a lifetime doesnt it.all of us together since childhood,schooltimes,heartbreaks,teenage,fights,first jobs,love,engagements." Gayathri sighed.
"well,,though i have a job i hate ,no love and maybe will have to leave my country,i still love my life because you guys are in it.you guys are the best thing about my life."Neil said.
"aaawww Neil,for once i love what you just said and agree with you.love you man."Gayathri said.
"yea,i mean,as Gayu said,we go a long way,dont we?way too long for pretences.that is the best thing with us,we are just 4 normal people loving each other for what we are without judgements."Sanju added.
"yea,you guys are the witnesses to my true life,to what i actually am.i think i dont mind going through whatever garbage life holds out for me if i can come back to you guys."Gayathri said,softly.
"yea,even if you guys kick my butt for whatever mistakes i do in my life.i will gladly come for the kicks."Neil said.
"yup,i dont mind breaking my heart a 1000 times if you guys will hold me out through it."Siddhi added.
"yea,somehow,scary as it sounds i echo that sentiment."Sanju said.
and their banter continued.
life is perfect with its imperfections.but once in a while,there are certain moments which reveal life's perfection.and this is how a few of those moments look.