The boy went inside the phone cabin and sat down on the footstool. With shaking hands, he picked the receiver up. His palms were wet with perspiration. His teeth were clenched, and he’d grabbed the receiver like it was some catch he was holding on to for his school cricket team.
After days of shaking and oohing and aahing, he was finally going to call her.
Some inner voice told him to relax. He wasn’t going to let this call go waste like all the other calls, (when he’d drop the phone down in terror as soon as it got picked up). He took a deep breathe and relaxed his hold over the phone. He knew he wasn’t completely relaxed, but he had the assurance that he’d written down his lines really well. With his heart pounding against his chest, he dialled the now-all-too-familiar number.
‘Hello’, said a soft female voice. He knew it was her. His heart told him that. His heart was now ramming against his chest. For a moment he thought his rib cage was in danger.
‘Hello.’ He replied, his voice shaking, left hand fumbling for the piece of paper. There was an awkward pause. He read from his paper, and his confidence came back. ‘Is it Vandana?’
‘Yes,’ came the unsure reply… slightly hesitant. ‘Who is this…???’
Bingo! This was exactly as he’d thought would be, and written down on the paper.
‘You down know me, but I know you very well’. Pat came his own reply, with an almost audible smirk. This was cool! Things were going exactly as he’d anticipated.
‘Oh really? How’s that?’
Now he was jumping up and down. Man! what a genius he was. Those were the exact words he’d written down on the paper. Oh, what a coup!
‘Like…you know sachin?’
‘Sachin, who Sachin?’
‘Sachin, arre don’t you know Sachin Tendulkar?’
The word was like a 1500W imersion rod to his ears. What a dumbass this chic is. His euphoria suddenly evaporated. This wasn’t supposed to be so. Everybody knows Sachin. Oh, Well. Never mind. Everybody knows Shahrukh, too.
‘Strange. You don’t know Sachin. Well, what about Shahrukh?’
‘C’mon. Shahrukh. Shahrukh Khan. Don’t tell me you don’t know Shahrukh Khan.’
‘Well, I have no idea who he is.’
He was flabbergasted. The chic was supposed to say that she knew Sharukh and then he’d ask her did Shahrukh know her, to which she was supposed to reply that he didn’t and he’d say Lo! You know Shahrukh but Sharukh doesn’t know you, in same way, you don’t know me, but I know you very well. That was what he’d written down in the paper. Everything that had started off so smoothly was in chaos now.
‘Well, Amitabh, then. Amitabh Bachchan?’
He was really desperate now. ‘Hrithik! what about Hrithik? Hrithik Roshan? Dhoom part 2’
This was turnig out to be the worst conversation he’d had all his life.
‘Well then, whon do you know?’ he cried over the mouthpiece in desperation.
What came next was something he’d remember all his life.
‘GADHE! Mein TUJHE jaanti hoon. KHABARDAR jo aaj ke baad meri BETI ko phone kerne ki koshish ki toh!!!’
In a state of shock, he slowly replaced the receiver. He wanted to die now.