Hi Karthik Just saw your profile, and one of the projects under my account has a requirement that might suit youâ€™… He paused and said, â€˜Do one thing, please go and meet Venkat sitting at 2nd floor of D-I building; He has joined our unit last weekâ€™
â€˜Yes, sure, I will go and meet himâ€™
â€˜Call me once you are doneâ€™, the senior manager disconnected the call.
Though the D-I building was an alien to me, the name that the senior manager told was not. I didnâ€™t like the name â€“Venkat, right from my college days. I sincerely hoped that my future boss should not be the one whom I knew and whom I had hated the most.
I slowly moved towards the building, with anticipation and enough anxiety.
Some things would occur even if we try to prevent, though I didnâ€™t prevent anything from happening.
â€˜Hello Karthik, Welcome …â€™ Venkat greeted me and remarked, â€˜I saw your profile and had a doubt if the profile is of my old friend, and now it turns out to be trueâ€™.
â€˜Glad to see you after a long timeâ€™, I disguised my real words creeping in my heart.
Then, we started to speak on the project and on the business. To me, the project was important, as I had been expecting the promotion for year and a half. Hence the good word from the manager and the ambience was as vital as to anyone. The promotion of being a manager was important to me, as it would give me a social status and recognition among peers and friends.
â€˜Okay Karthik, Let us wind up today. We shall discuss on your roles and responsibilities tomorrowâ€™
I came back and sat in my seat and went to a complete introspection. I thought I should change the perception that I had on Venkat, though I knew it wouldnâ€™t be easy!!
â€˜Hello Venkat, we should meet the professor today to discuss about the projectâ€™
â€˜Yes sure Karthik, we will meet him in the afternoonâ€™
It was in the final year of my engineering, when most of the fun started to culminate and new brand of thoughts started to flourish. Between us, there wasnâ€™t any meaningful relationship, but I couldnâ€™t recall why I hated him.
As promised, we met the professor and discussed about the status. After having a discussion with the professor,
â€˜Karthik, you are taking all the credit for what I am doingâ€™, grumbled Venkat.
â€˜That is not my problem, Venkatâ€¦ if you need credit, you have to come forwardâ€™, I carelessly replied.
â€˜If you continued to be so obdurate, I will inform the professor and I will find a new project memberâ€™.
â€˜Do whatever you feel likeâ€¦ Venkatâ€™
That was not how I would speak to others, but with Venkat, I didnâ€™t know why I reacted that way!
The mobile phone burpedâ€¦ It was Avantika, my girlfriend; Fighting with Venkat would provide me an extra reason to meet her, and to vent out my anger and frustration about Venkat.
My relationship with Avantika was neither cinematic nor romantic, but a little poetic; we believed we formed a great pair, though we never asked anyone. Our relationship sailed smoothly with at most calmness; we never fought, though we argued many times. We both knew that the argument would eventually fall into an empty land, and we would be least bother to judge where it falls in.
And with two semesters to go, we decided to grow our relationship to the next levelâ€¦
I was sitting alone in cafeteria, thinking about the loads of work I needed to do. I was asked by Venkat to manage the project on my own; I couldnâ€™t deny it for the obvious reasons. So, apparently I was overloaded.
On the opposite table, a child was happily and nonchalantly playing with the toy. The activity of the child appealed to me and I enjoyed watching his childlike play. On watching him, I felt that the child resembled someone whom I knew.
At that contemplating moment, Venkat came and sat closer to the child.
â€˜Hi Karthik, Come on, why you are sitting aloneâ€™.
I waved my hand and went closer to his table.
â€˜Karthik, did you see his mother?â€™
â€˜Who, his mother?â€™ ensured again if the question was asked at me.
â€˜Yes, Avantika â€¦ did you see her?â€™
I knew Venkat would pull my legs but didnâ€™t understand why he was poking my nose in my affairs.
In a few minutes, the mother â€“ Avantika â€“ came in. She looked the same, but I didnâ€™t like to describe her at that moment.
The silence was written on my face, and on hers.
After a long pause, Venkat initiated, not to symbolize that he was a manager.
â€˜We loved each other when we were doing our masters. ; We both had break-ups. Our union gave us each other soothing relationship during those times. The relationship eventually became emotional and we fell in love. And, we wanted to do everything to make our relationship successful, but my family members were adamant in their beliefs. They didnâ€™t allow us to get married. By that time, we were mature and brave enough to take our own decision. With the help of a few colleagues, we both got marriedâ€™
I didnâ€™t know what I should say. I waited for the words to be spoken.
More than I, she was restless in that situation; I decided to come out of that place as I didnâ€™t want to embarrass myself and others. Before I came out, Avantika stood and moved out of the place; she walked out and called Venkat in private. As silence sailed through, the husband and the wife bade a good bye and left.
I didnâ€™t know what they spoke, and I never would!
It was in the final semester of my engineering. My relationship with Avantika was better than the usual. We decided to marry as soon as our study ends.
We both sought our parentâ€™s permission. As I expected, my parents agreed with my choice. Avantikaâ€™s parents accepted our marriage on condition. I had decided to pursue my career in film making, which their parents were not interested in. They wanted me to pursue a career that was risk-free, though I didnâ€™t know if there was any!
My passion became the road-block for my marriage. I couldnâ€™t give up any. I was not able to take a decision.
We discussed, argued and even fought â€“ we didnâ€™t want to miss each other.
After being vacillating enough, I decided to lower down my expectations from my life; I decided to give up my passion for Avantika and to join the company that I was selected on campus-placement. And, eventually their parents granted the permission.
I joined the company and marriage preparations were going in a full swing. The angst of giving up my passion was creeping in back of my mind. From then, I was not able to speak properly to Avantika. In one such conversation,
â€˜Did you buy the wedding suit, which color you buyâ€™?
â€˜Yes I bought it today, grey suitâ€™
â€˜You could have asked me, Light maroon would suit you and that would match me as wellâ€™, she was more interested in all the particulars that would embellish the marriage, but I wasnâ€™t bothered.
â€˜Do I need to ask you everything before I do, I am afraid I would lose everything that I likeâ€™.
A long silence awaited me from the other end. Unfortunately, the silence turned out to be very long and that kept us apart!
When I was shattered, it was too much to ask from myself to take up my passion. I continued my job and the memories continued to haunt and they replaced my passion!!
â€˜Karthik, what is the status, we have to deliver it next week. Hope you remember thatâ€™, Venkat enquired.
â€˜Yes, I do remember, Venkat. We are on trackâ€™.
â€˜Forget to tell you, I have recommended your name for the promotion, on considering your good workâ€™.
â€˜Oh, many thanks, Venkat. Glad to hear thatâ€™.
I had been waiting for that moment, but the nice words from Venkat did neither satisfy nor dissatisfy me, but it created a void that I started to experience from then.
I switched off my laptop; I boarded the bus and stepped in.
I closed my eyes and started to recall the past.
It was in my second year of my engineering, when I took a short film and show cased it in our cultural event. That was my first attempt, and it received mixed feedbacks. A very few liked the short film, as many said they didnâ€™t understand the film.
And, as expectedly, it didnâ€™t receive any prize, but the whole experience was refreshing even today.
One of the jury came forward and said, â€˜I liked the short film, I was able to notice your passion and interest in each frame and angle, but unfortunately many didnâ€™t like itâ€™.
â€˜Sir, your words are more valuable to me than the awardâ€™.
â€˜Continue your passion and donâ€™t give it up for anythingâ€™.
I repeated those words at my heartâ€¦and again â€¦. And again…
I opened my eyes to see if I had reached my destination..!!!