Sunday, February 26, 2012

Thrilling Thursday!

This is a tale spun around Niharika's visit to Marina beach on a random Thursday evening.

Niharika works for an IT company located in the extreme end of the city outskirts of Chennai. One fine day, she has to go to the beach because her best friend Anjali has come to town from Andhra Pradesh. Why the beach, specifically? Since Anjali will be in Chennai only for two days, meeting up before she leaves is important to Niharika. And besides Anjali loves the beach. So why not there? And that's how they fixed up on where they'd meet on the Thursday. Okay, 5:00 to 5:15 pm - Pucca, they mutually agree. Anjali decides to come along with her best friend Gautham to the venue at the above decided time. Gautham lives close by where Anjali stays.

~ Flashback ~
So how do Gautham - Anjali - Niharika know each other? It all started long ago, maybe around the middle of 2008. That's when Anjali and Niharika came to know about each others' existence through a site which is now dead and gone - called Orkut. They've met only once before now and that happened over two years back. Gautham and Anjali got acquainted with one another through the same dead site which was once known as Orkut. But then, Anjali is the common person for the other two. Niharika and Gautham don't know each other well. In fact, Niharika had noticed that Gautham's height was half of a palm tree's, only while meeting him in person on Thursday! :-D

The Three Musketeers!

~ Present ~
As planned, Niharika comes on an early shift to office, talks to her leads and obtains permission to leave office early. She's off at 3:40 pm and everyone who's been to the outskirts of the city where she works knows it takes nearly 90 mins to reach Marina from there. That's with no traffic and on a clear weather day. Niharika arrives early and she waits for nearly 50 minutes at the beach waiting for the duo to arrive. A lot of patient waiting, one angry bird SMS and one sukku kaapi later, they arrive. Nihu is irritated to the core, and she shows it in her eyes when Anjali walks up to her and says she's sorry about the delay. Gautham parks his car and arrives where they're standing and quite unexpectedly, they begin to walk towards the waves and the water. Nihu wasn't expecting this to happen. Anyway, she's the one who tells them to take off their footwear and feel the specks of sand on their feet. :-p

They touch up on a variety of topics while conversing - OI people, OI Cricket club, Facebook, Ratna Cafe Idly Sambar, Coimbatore, Calcutta, Mobile phones, Tambrahmism and non-veg eating, Owning and using a DSLR Camera, keeping the city clean, pollution levels, France, how Gautham badly needs to pick up his glasses and a lot more things. It's difficult to believe that they're all meeting for the first time. :) So that's how the meet up takes shape. They decide they want to have dinner somewhere. Pizza hut - no. Cafe Ashvita - no. HSB - no. where to get Lebanese food - We don't know. So finally they zero in on Eatalica, a small Italian/ American restaurant.

Since we don't want to focus or give priority to the details on food, we're skipping that part. When they're done with dinner and posing for lots of photos, it's already 9:15 pm. Shucks, Nihu is in deep trouble because she's a Tambrahm living in Tambaram. This is where the real story begins. Keep reading. Gautham had already assured that he'd drop Niharika at Mandaveli at 8:15 pm that evening after dinner. Great, they're more than one hour behind schedule now. Together, they start off from the bistro and Gautham drops Nihu at Mandaveli bus stand, after she refuses to go home from Adyar.

It's pretty much a deserted bus stand. Niharika feels scared within, but she boldly bids them byes and gets out from the car. She starts walking towards the bus stop, but she decides to check with a Fastrack car driver on the street before walking up to there. The car driver fellow confuses her - makes her walk into the deserted bus stand - and after hearing from someone else, she confirms that where she was headed first was the right place to go to! Silently cursing the car driver for his bad directions, she reaches the bus stop. There, she almost boards a bus to Perambur instead of Thiruvanmiyur. She doesn't get into it, thankfully. Her route bus arrives, 15 minutes later. There's so much crowd standing inside and she lets her "I will only take a bus in which I'll get a seat to sit in." policy fly in the air while boarding it. :-P There's a missed call from Anjali but she discerns it and makes a call to mom, explaining to her that she's on the way and she'll ensure she arrives home safely. Anjali and Gautham, in the meanwhile, reach their respective home by the time Niharika even boards that bus. The bus journey goes on for an hour and she reaches West Tambaram safe. Rats! No straight bus from there to home in the West bus stand at 10:40 pm. Now, Niharika needs to walk through a subway and an over-bridge - then take another bus after that.

She walks a little way towards the direction of the Subway.. Then decides she'll play brave girl by crossing the road straight and jumping over the barricade separating the two lanes. She gets ready to cross the road when the Auto wallas who have parked their vehicles on the sides of the road yell "No madam, don't cross this road directly. It's very dangerous. Please use the subway. It's just a few metres off from here". She hears their rambling despite having the ear phones plugged into the ears with music on full volume. Did they know that Niharika would gladly cross the traffic/ jump the barricade than to walk through an empty subway at 10:45 pm? Given the situation and the fact that a Traffic constable was watching the GST road silently from a little distance away, she decides to take the auto wallas' advise and starts walking towards the Subway. She calls out to the gods to protect her, makes a Cross across her chest and keeps walking with her head held high. Dhigil only, in all senses! It's a deserted Subway, except for a few people here and there. She crosses it triumphantly and begins to ascend the steps to reach the Eastern end of the railway station.

On the Eastern side now. There's no bus that's ready to depart though. She doesn't risk traveling by a share auto because who knows where they'll take her once she's boarded? After ten minutes of waiting - an MTC bus arrives and almost everyone who's been standing there at the stop rushes to get into it. The conductor takes some time to issue tickets to everyone and then signals for the driver to start off. Niharika looks into the watch, it's 11:00 PM. "Ten more minutes and you'll be home safe, Darling" she consoles herself. She gives one message to Anjali mentioning that she's still on her way. That's the only thing she tells Anjali from the moment they parted. Ten minutes later, she reaches home - as expected. She's invited back home with her mom giving her that smouldering "I could kill you for all this agony you've put me through" looks. She decides to get in without saying much. Her mom locks the doors, walks in and starts giving her a variety of advise. It essentially boils down to this much content: I trust you and that you'll do your best to reach home safely.  But the city is full of rogues. And as a mom, I was scared. Don't put me through this, okay?

Niharika silently gives consent to abide by her mom's request. She informs Gautham and Anjali that she's reached home safe, unwinds to go to bed, sees all the pictures taken that day in her camera once and goes to sleep. "And so I did meet Anjali today! And Gautham too", she tells to herself. And smiles with her eyes closed! :) It's going to be a long day at office on Friday. And hopefully, mom's sour mood would've lifted by the next morning.

P.S: All the characters portrayed in this post are for real. Any resemblance to real-life people is purely non-coincidental. If you've identified all three of them, then I'm pretty convinced that you know them in person.

5 comments:

  1. AmrithachandramouliFebruary 26, 2012 at 8:02 AM

    Anjali is also glad that she met Niharika and Gautham. In fact she is curious to know the story of Srivats and Niharika which should probably come in the next post ;)

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  2. AmrithachandramouliFebruary 26, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    btw.. you should correct it as "another city" instead of "extreme end of the city"

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  3. It's already been corrected. It's the outskirts of the city. Now don't get started with Wrap around skirts. #PJ. :-D

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  4. Srivatsan fellow doesn't exist yet. It was all spoof and my friend was inquiring on chat (on Friday) if my marriage got over! :-P For a kalyanam related post, please go here -

    http://nandhinitalks.blogspot.in/2012/02/mangalyam-tantunanena-mama-jeevana.html

    Now I hope that answers your query. Haha! :-D

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  5. No Nandhini.. it is the "gateway" to Chennai :P (sparing your from the wrap around skirt)

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