The almost unnerving silence of the serene bar of the Officers' Mess, Air Force Station Yelahanka, Bangalore was broken by a shrill tring tring of his mobile. Befittingly quirky a ringtone to have, the sound of the ancient instrument on his brand new mobile phone. Keeping his drink on the table, he reached down into the depths of his pocket and fished out his phone.
A frown crossed his forehead. Unknown number. A credit card promotion, or worse, some stupid wrong number. But somehow he forced himself to pick the phone.
"Abhi!! How are you?? And where in hell are you? This is not your number I had..."
"Will you let me speak, or would you stop only after you have given me a questionnaire of 1077 questions..."
Abhi. His best friend. Correction. His mostest bestest friend, as they used to call each other in school. Last known, he had been doing his BA in Allahabad. And after all these days, to get a call from him was surprising, to say the least.
His thoughts went back to the days when they just used to sit back and enjoy the chai and pakodas served by his mom while they sat in the lukewarm winter sun of the foothills, ostensibly studying English. Reminded him of the song Dil Dhoondta Hai. That had been a different age altogether.
Snapping back to the present by the sound of the bar waiter asking him if he wanted a refill, he wondered how Abhi had managed to get his number. One more change. In those good old days of yore, he had been the more resourceful of the two. Anyways what mattered was that they were meeting the coming weekend. At Hard Rock Cafe. Some things never change, but most things do. So a devout Brahmin who used to think of talking of liqour as sinful was meeting him at the best pub in town.
Hard Rock Cafe, 2012 hrs Saturday evening.
"Abhi, you punk, you will never change. You are late today too."
"I know you would have come 5 min ago, too. No way you could have come at 8 pm sharp."
"Hmm... So what's the big news?"
"Just that there are two newses. Yours truly has cleared the IAS exam."
"Don't you f*** around with me.. You.. IAS... Too good man!!!"
"That's the lesser thing. I came out here and fished you out of the dregs of Bangalore to invite you to my wedding."
"Who's the girl? Neha??"
"You have to be kidding!! In the name of all that is holy, how did you persuade her?"
"She persuaded me."
"Then it is okay."
Hard Rock Cafe, 2329 hrs. 4 drinks down each.
"Hey Rish, they've gotta shut shop. Let's go."
"Abhi, you know something? We have not spoken a sentence each for the past two odd hours to each other."
"Yes man, that's the way good conversations are had. Just like good ol' days."
"Just like good ol' day...."
PS: Part fact part fiction story, posted for no other reason but for the satisfaction of Marvin. Apologies to Beauty.