Strangers & Professionals
She took the elevator down, and when she got off she bumped into Bally.. his jacket car keys and his laptop bag all slipping at the same time as he tried to check email
"Arey desk par jao pehle. Yahan tak to pahunch gaye" II giggled
"Arey wah, beautiful in pink. Kiddo... subah subah?" he asked
"Ya got in at 7 ish... weekend mein khaas kaam nahi hua" Ii admitted
They walked to her cube... he set his stuff down
Chal 5th Perk chalte hain lest get that morning cuppa
She grabbed her change purse and they walked back to the elevator
"So whats cooking at Iyers'" he asked still checking email and grunting or doing a "Abey yaar" "Shit man"
"aaj subah? poha khaaya, lunch mein aloo gobi aur roti"
"Niiice Iyer, kabhi mere liye idli la na?"
"Kabhi ghar aakar kha na..." and then giggling "KHAO na"
He looked up from the phone and winked at the quick correction for politeness
"Chal Ankur ka cast utar chuka hai, suman aur main tere ghar saturday and Vandita ke sunday"
He tucked the phone in his pocket...
They stepped off
Vandita.. he said... Vandita..
They almost bumped into R&B, he held a coffee and a plate of some egg sandwich of some sort
"R&B? Howz it going dude?" Bally extended a hand
R&B set his plate on top of his cup and extended his...
II checked her phone 5 feet away...
"See u in a bit?" Bally asked
They turned into the Perk R&B turned towards the elevator, the line was looong with half asleep coffee drinkers taking their brew back to their desk
He walked towards the stairway... their eyes met for a brief second... she turned back to the phone, he scratched his nose with his thumb and coffee mug...
"Whats new?" Bally asked
"the big thing is Ranjan came by on Fri night to ask my parents if I would marry R&B" Ii sounded expressionless and flat
"WHATTT? Yeh? ooparwaala?" Bally asked dumbfounded
"aap kitne Ranjan bhalla ko jaante ho? Main to sirf ek" II said
"OMG! kya hua? Kya kaha appa ne? Us se pehle... HE JUST MET U OUTSIDE"
Bally looked shocked
"shaadi ki baat chal rahi hai aur bandey ne tere ko hai bhi nahi kiya?"
"Appa I dont know what Appa said... to Ranjan ji, but to ME? I heard a weekened full of admonishments,
reprimands scoldings and advice, not mention Appa has quit talking to me"
He guided her to a corner table... and sat down.. and began talking like two spies on a mission exchanging notes, all in a whisper
. "Hmmm... haan kyon maanenge Uncle... I mean, Le Meridien mein with his pants down?"
Bally made a face
"So anyway.. mujhe laga iska koi prank hoga main subah gayi iske paas" she said softly, biting into her cookie
"To? isne kya kaha?"
"He said I havent spoken with him for 4 years, why would I send him to your house" II's voice quivered
"Oh shittt!!!" Bally said at first and then composed himself quickly and said "I mean... he didnt send him... ofcourse"
"Usko pata hai Sree ka?"
"Proposal ka pata hai rejection ka? kya pata" II shrugged
"Usne arrogantly Sree ka proposal reject kiya, I paid him back with kicking him off
the project altogether, he must be thinking thats because I love Sree?" Ii shrugged again
"Did he say anything about getting kicked out?" "Mujhse to dhang se mila bahar" Ballya sked
"I dont know he sounded OK may be he hadnt checked his email... Fri ko aaya na Paris se"
"Tujhe kaise pata, Sunday bola na uske baap ne?"
"Ummm I know" II said
Bally looked at her deeply... he realized they may have met over the weekend
"This has got to be the most troubling complicated relationship I have encountered Iyer" Bally said after taking a looong audible breath
"U know what he said when I asked him if he sent his Dad home?'
"He asked me, teri aur USKI shaadi ke liye" II said horrified
"OH TERI!! Really?" Bally hissed
II's eyes filled up... he quickly pushed the box of tissue from the side
She dabbed her eyes
"His opinion of his Dad stinks... nahi?' Bally was speechless.
"his opinion about everyone stinks" II said scathingly (HOW DARE HE THINK I WOULD MARRY HIS DAD)
"Chal, its all over now, secret affair khatam, khullam khulla proposal reject... we are back where we started with TransPro" Bally said coolly, reassuringly
"Yep.. Professionals and Strangers" II said nodding