Friday, May 18, 2007

He ANd ShE Are CrAZy!

4 years before:
She stood with a hand on the desk towering over him who was sitting as casually as he could in the bench. She was burning with rage “what’s you botheration?” she exploded. “No concern of mine” he replied. “You are a chauvinistic creature who doesn’t want me to win you in this competition, you couldn’t stand losing to a woman” she shot back. He said “I did not do anything wrong. All I said was your model building if constructed cannot have a sound foundation due to the structure designed. It is well allowed in the competition to criticize your opponents work” and gave her a triumphant smile. She hated him, completely hated him. This was not the first time, he was doing this. All through her 4 years of college, he found ways to make her lose her cool. He loved irritating her. He had a strong dislike for her. They both could not stand each other.

That was how karthik and vaishnavi spent their college days, always at each others throat. The professors’ always had a tough time finding who excelled whom.

Karthik worked with a leading architect firm in California. It has been 4 years since he came to the U S of the A. he was moving up the ladder of being a great architect. His dreams were getting realized one by one. He was the best in his job. Now, at the airport waiting for the new employee due to join them from India, he counted the minutes being wasted by waiting for some first time Indian to the US and that too with a bouquet of flowers. He cursed himself for agreeing to pick up the person and here he was waiting for almost 20 minutes and there was no one Indian in sight!

Vaishnavi was in the airport terminal, thinking who it was who had come to pick her up. She was a bit dazzled about the new environment. They said someone would pick her up in the airport and take her straight to the apartment provided for her. And it had been a good half an hour and here she was standing stranded in a new country.
He saw the lady standing in the waiting area. She looked as if she was waiting for someone. He wondered whether this new employee was one of the female species. He wished it would be. He approached her.

She heard footsteps behind her and turned around and froze.

He froze.

He coughed “ugh…have you come to join ‘dreams Construction Company’”
“Yes” she said almost in a whisper.
He gave her the bouquet awkwardly and it was accepted awkwardly and said “welcome well I have come to escort you to your apartment.”
“I must have thought of you” she replied.
“Excuse me”
“I just thought who else will make me wait for almost an hour in this unknown country”
“Err. You are mistaken. I have been searching for you for the past 20 minutes, and if that female brain of yours can’t look around and will only stare in the front, it isn’t my fault”
“You haven’t changed a bit have you?”
“Well... There was no need to change”

It was the company meeting to discuss the new project. Everybody was asked to submit their plans. The best one would be selected. He entered the meeting room seeing her running towards the meeting room door. Their plans were shown, and he noticed that her plan was a better improvisation of the plan that she submitted in that competition 4 yrs. back. He noticed that she had accepted his advice, and made the structure strong. He chuckled to himself.

It was lunch. He confronted her and asked her “So you did pay heed to my suggestions”.
“Suggestions?” she blinked at him.
“Your plan, wasn’t it the improvisation of the one submitted 4 years back”
“Hah…that one, well don’t you put up your collar and go around saying I agreed with you. Even before your suggestion, the professor asked me to redesign it at that time itself. But it was too late; the entry had already been submitted. I hoped no one would notice. But you; always waiting for an opportunity to pick on me. And now look at what you said. I heeded your suggestions. Duh! Never!”
“Hey it was just a harmless suggestion…”
But she did not let him finish.
“I know you and you male ego karthik; you need not prove it again” and she stormed from there

He closed his mouth just in time, he was about to ask her for coffee; he stood looking at her disappearing back. He had not felt so happy in all these 4 years. She was here. She was back to biting his neck, and now he admitted how much he missed all those arguments and those sharp remarks about his chauvinist attitude and bigger than world male ego.

She was surprised to see the ‘sorry note’ in her desk. It was signed karthik. She looked around to see where he was. He was nowhere in sight. She felt a sense of satisfaction, a sense of happiness. She was bound with joy. A familiar face in an alien country, even if that familiar face hated her, she was happy.

“Congratulations” Brad her office cabin mate shouted at her as she reached office. “For what?” she inquired him
“Your plan has been approved for construction, the chief wants you to meet him immediately in his office” he said

As she entered the chief’s office, she saw Karthik sitting inside. The chief asked her to sit and said Karthik was just going to make some minor changes in her plan and they were going to work on this project together. She was taken aback, but saw the smile on karthik’s face. Was he mocking her, she wondered.

They worked days and nights, fought through the afternoons, had impossible arguments. Tried to compromise for the company, and they were finally done with the project. But instead of being relieved by the end of the project and the prospect of not working together again, they both felt disappointment that it all got over so soon.

“Shall we…” both of them said at the same time.
“Go ahead karthik”
“No, ladies first!” he said and smiled at her.
“Surprising… shall we celebrate the close of this project?”
“Bingo” he laughed at her. She blinked.
“I was about to say the same thing” he equipped in.

At the restaurant, after dinner he told her he would be working on a new project, due to which he would be going to Chicago for a few days. He saw disappointment cloud in her face. She recovered quickly and did not see his amused glance.

He dropped her in her apartment, when she was about to get down he laughed. She gave him an inquiring look. “I was just thinking of the achievement we have made”
“Oh the project…of course it was a grand success!” she remarked
“Nay, not the project. We both had not bit both our necks for the past 6 hours!” and chuckled

She murmured a yes smiling and bade him goodbye. She was about to go when he called her again.
She gave him another inquiring look. He put out his hand and asked “friends?” she laughed at it and shook his hand back “ok…friends”

When she turned to leave he coughed again getting her attention.
She turned again “Now what karthik?”
“Did I ever tell you I love you?”

She froze in her place.

He continued “I would not have told you. Because all we did was argue. I have been in love with you from the first time you stood against me. I loved the way you stood stubborn on your point. I have been nurturing my feelings for the past 8 years. I thought you will laugh at me. You always saw me as the male chauvinistic pig with a big male ego. I tried to change what you thought of me. Now I have a tinge of hope that I succeeded. I am not a person who waits till the other person also falls in love with me. When I am clear and confident about my feelings, I thought this was the best time to tell it. So here I have done my job. It is up to you to decide where we go from here”

She stood speechless. She was completely flabbergasted!

Driving people insane as always

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