Hey! Where are you? The 4:30 pm show is sold out. The next one’s at 6:30. Is that too late for you guys?
Oh cool! 6:30 works just fine. We got stuck in a jam, so won’t be able to make 4:30 anyway.
It’s 4:15, and she didn’t bother to tell you she won’t be able to reach in time. You’re upset, but your call-center training enables you to flash a fake smile that “reflects in the voice”. Theek hai. This also gives us some time to catch up before the movie starts.
Coolio. See ya!
What the fuck does coolio even mean? You hate it when people are late. It’s worse when they’re lying. It’s a Saturday, and there’s no traffic on the roads. Must be at home stuffing make up inside the craters on her face. Bitch.
So you decide to pass the time walking around the mall looking busy. So basically, you pull out the phone, scroll up. Scroll down. Then lock the screen. Look up for a few seconds. Repeat.
Before you know it, a grizzly bear impersonating a human being comes running and gives you a(n unwelcome and painfully tight) hug.
You lose your balance and have to grab the railing just to make sure you don’t go free-falling all the way to the basement.
Sorry! I saw you from over there and… How long has it been? I haven’t seen you in ten years, he says, making fart noises from his mouth. Surely you’d remember someone like this!
But unfortunately, you don’t. You have no idea where you know this guy from.
All you can come up with is: You’ve changed a lot! Imagine meeting you here! Small world!
He drags you to a coffee shop, talking about college and how popular you were and how he was always strung out on you but never had the courage to speak to you. Then when you finally talked, you were so nice to him and changed his life so much. Ummm, okay, that’s a possibility. You were pretty popular in college and loads of people had crushes on you.
Remember Neha? I ran into her last weekend. Now you’re bluffing. Seeing as ten women in India out of eleven are called Neha, he must know at least one.
Neha? Which one? Your batch or mine?
Oh. So he’s a junior. Could this be Arvind? He was the only one with fat fingers and a grizzly-bear shape.
The one in my batch.
Oh yeah. Nice girl. Remember how well she sang Sweet Child of Mine at your farewell? Did she finally get married to that Muslim guy she was seeing?
Oh-kay! That’s not how you remember college.
You take a huge gulp from your frappe while you think of what to say next.
So what are you doing these days? Ha! That’s a safe question!
Oh, I opened my own clinic in Rajouri Garden. What about you? Still working at Apollo or have started your own practice like you wanted to?
Wait a minute. Clinic? Now you’re really suspicious because you are pretty sure you didn’t go to med school.
Uhh.. I don’t know how to say this politely, but where do I know you from, again? I think you may have mistaken me for somebody else.
You’re Puja, right?
Excellent. You’re having coffee with a stranger.
Oh, and Aussa says it reminds her of this:
8 thoughts on “of the perceived smallness of the world”
hahahaha….Loved this piece. You truly are a wonderful writer 🙂
Naah. I’m just a weirdo magnet and you’re too kind!
True story? It doesn’t matter. It has the ring of truth to it and it is well told. Thank you!
Thanks Emilio. True story 🙂
I have an old one, talking with a stranger over a wrong number.
Yeah, that’s happened to some people I know. One of them eventually married the guy!
you said no names !!! but you did mention some names :even if they are strangers 😛