"No... and I don't think I will, so please go ahead and tell me your name ASAP."
"Hey chill A, it's me...V!"
"Hey man! How u doin'? And how did you even think that I will recognise you...you never called after you left the Uni...that makes it 2-3 years! Huh?"
(Vam - my senior).
"Yeah, was busy...in B'bay right now...working on..."
"Drop it man, I know everything about you. So leave the perfunctories and tell me ke aaj kaise kya yaad kiya?"
"Nothing much...in B'lore right now. Thought of calling you up. Did I disturb you? G keeps telling about you...Howz work?"
"Yeah goes on...preparing for the pre-vivas...DC are quite strict these days. I wanna clear in 1 shot".
"So how come in B'lore?"
"Going to Kerala."
"How come? On work?"
"Got married last week...going to Kerala for honeymoon...I suppose you knew about that?"
(About your whereabouts during honeymoon? Am I supposed to know that?)
"Yeah, you sent a mail on the group about your marriage, right? Gotta know."
"So, howz your work-"
"I already told you, working hard for it. Howz your brother doing?"
"Yeah. Talked with R. WII seems to be a good place, isn't it?"
"Yeah. IISc and WII are the only 2 places to pursue it."
"A, will you do me a favour?"
(You sucker, is that why you called? A favour?)
"Would you be able to do it?"
"A railway reservation?"
(I thought I heard it all wrong! A call after 3 years to talk about a railway reservation? Wow! This takes the cake...So thats what all this friendliness was about? What a loser!!!)
"A railway reservation. 17th May. 6525Guwahati Exp. 2 passengers. M-26, F-25."
(Aha...today isn't wasted after all...Sucker, I love this game, too!)
"Sure bro. But I think it will be waiting list, no?" Is it okay with you even if it's waiting list?"
"Yeah. It's alright. Even now it's waiting list."
(You're making it harder for yourself. I cannot hold my sarcasm any longer.)
"If you checked already, and if waiting list is okay with you, why didn't you book it yourself?"
"Yeah....No (Fumble Fumble), actually, we decided now only that it's okay. And now all reservation windows will be closed."
"Alright, I'll do that for you. How do I give you your tickets?"
"I'm coming to B'lore on 17th, A. Will be here for 2 days."
(I don't belive this ATALL...you want it hand-delivered too?)
"Great, come over to IISc then. I will show you around the campus. You can collect your tickets too."
"Hmmm...I'll call you up."
"Call up for what?"
"About coming to IISc."
"But if you dont come , how will you get the tickets?"
"Yeah...thats also true. Anyway, I will call you up."
"Do you have enough money A?"
(I still get 1000 bucks less than you, you damn SRF's).
"I gotta know that you can also book tickets online."
"Yeah. Give me your credit card #. I'll book it for you immediately."
"I don't have one."
"Join the club man."
"Alright then, A. That's it."
(I bet that was all, you bloody fucker)
(I'm thinking hard. Why was it so hard to say no? Was he a great colleague? Actually yes. But even if he wouldn't have been, I couldn't have said no. I do all kind of funny things for people. The list is long. And most of the time, I don't mind it atall coz they are worth it any day. Including V. I was okay with the whole thing till I got a hint that he actually expects me to come to station to hand-deliver the tickets. I do it coz I want to, but if the next person starts expecting way too much and starts using me, he's to be brought down to earth. No messing around.
Anyway, how to get out of this situation? The first, most obvious thing that comes to mind is to tell him that it's waiting list # 678 and 679. But lying? Never. At least not for this scheming swine. Should I give the excuse of work? It won't be lying...but not good enough. It was there even before I agreed to his request.
And then it strikes me!!! Yipppeeee Yo! Don't have to lie atall!!!)
(I dial 98*** *****)
(You're scared! Why did I call up again, isn't it V?)
"What happened? Are you okay V? You sound bothered..."
"Nothing...just too hot."
"Are you kidding? It's raining...how can you possibly be hot?"
"I meant humid...I get wheezing if it's too humid. What happened?"
"This travel agency is closed for the weekends man! It will open only on Monday at 1000 hrs. What do I do?"
(That's really really true. Swear :) )
"Oho, that's bad. Ok no sweat A. I'll book it after going to Kerala myself. Thanks anyway"
"Sorry for you bro. You've to do all this during your honeymoon. But one has to take responsibilities, doesn't one? Especially coz now you're married"
(I'm grinning from ear to ear :) )
"Yaeh, right. Anyway, catchya later, A"
(I think V, if he can help it, will never like to see my face again. But it's okay. This one had to go down the drain.)