Sanjith's meeting with his senior manager was a disaster today. His manager got angry because he felt Sanjith was not trusting on his efforts and the discussion went really bad. Sanjith previously had a very good relation with him and he knew that last two meetings in three weeks really did some serious damage to that. He left office early just after the meeting, came home directly and switched channels for an hour before proceeding to take bath. Once cooled down, he realized his outburst was a little too much. He wanted to call Sunil, his manager and apologize. When he changed dress and took his cell phone, there was a missed call from an unknown number.
Call had come half an hour back; he did not hear the ring due to TV volume. Number did not look any familiar to Sanjith but he decided to call back and check.
"Hello" It was a female voice at the other end.
"I got a missed a call from this number about half an hour back"
"C'mon. I was studying for last 2 hours and I don't remember making any calls. And I don't know you as well"
"You first check your call history. Hold on.. let me tell you exactly...ummm.. You called 35 minutes back"
"I don't need to check my phone. I know guys do all the kind of tricks to start talking to girls. Don't try those with me" and the line was disconnected.
Sanjith was furious. His blood had enough boiling for the day even before this. He wanted to call her back and blast, but did not know what exactly to tell and he was never good at winning an argument. For once in the entire day his common sense prevailed over emotions and decided to attack the ice cream in the fridge instead of the stranger girl. He was in no mood to call Sunil now.
Just when he entered the kitchen to take the bowl, spoon and ice cream packet, his mobile started singing again. It was from the same number.
Sanjith said hello in harsh tone.
"Hello.. It's me again." she continued after a short pause. "I am sorry, actually my friend had called from my phone. I didn't know that. She just told me"
"Do I know her?"
"No..actually she was trying to call someone else and it was just one number in the middle which she , you know...typed wrong"
"I am very sorry for whatever I told you sometime back. You know I had no clue that she had called from my cell."
"Hmm..Ok, may be you should be a little more careful next time before shouting at someone"
"Yeah I would definitely be. So can I believe I am forgiven this time?"
"hmm. What else I can do. I can't take you to court for this" Sanjith's tone was still harsh.
"I guess you are still angry. I don't know what to say now. Are you in Bangalore ?"
"I am not. If I were, would you have offered me a coffee ?"
"I didn't mean that. I was just asking. Anyway, sorry again. Bye for now" and she disconnected the phone without waiting for his reply.
A few minutes after the call Sanjith started feeling that he could have handled it differently. There was no need to be that much rude. At least towards the end of conversation he could have been more pleasant. After all it was a girl at the other end and she had apologized multiple times for a mistake, which could have happened to anyone. Calling her back now would not be good without any good reason. First he thought for finding some ideas to call her but could not find any. Finally he decided to send an SMS.
"Sorry for being rude on the call. I know this mistake could have happened to anyone."
In less than 30 seconds of sending the message she called again. "Thank you very much. You know, I was feeling very bad after I disconnected last time and my ego was not allowing me to call again"
"Ha ha. Same here. I hope you will be fine now"
"Yeah, actually, I was telling my friend that I am going to kill her for spoiling my day"
"Hm..Now she is safe right? By the way not all guys do tricks to talk to girls"
"Yeah I agree. You would have heard the joke that 99% of boys give bad reputation to the rest"
Both had a good laugh and the conversation went on. They talked for about half an hour before saving each other's number in their phones. Manjusha was her name and she was doing her MBA in Bangalore. She had the same mother tongue of his though she was brought up outside of his state. She talked very nicely except for the over usage of "actually" and "you know". They started calling each other almost every day, but the duration seldom exceeded thirty minutes since she always had assignments and lot of things to study. She was always busy. Many times his call would be returned after an hour or two only.
It was a Wednesday. Some of his classmates had planned to arrange a re-union next weekend at Bangalore. It was a quick planning. Sanjith did not like quick planning, but this time he had another reason to go to Bangalore. He can sneak out for a few hours and meet Manjusha if she is ready to. Knowing that she will have classes till 5:00, he called at around 5:30, but she did not pick up. Normally she calls back when she gets free. So he waited for a few hours and finally called again at around 8:30. Still no reply. Close to ten, he called again.
Rekha and Reena looked at each other after staring at phone screen showing "M19 calling" for a couple of seconds. Rekha stretched her left hand towards the phone and declared. "I am going to tell him."
(To be continued)