Thursday, 29th January, 2015
It is 7.30 PM. Arpit Maheshwari is yet again stuck in traffic on Western Express Highway. At a snail’s pace he makes his way to Borivali with the help of Google navigation. It has been two months since he shifted to Borivali, yet he is not able to figure out a way from office to home without using navigation. Driving to and fro daily from Borivali to BKC has taken a toll on his back. There is a power cut in the building and he is left with no option but to climb five floors. He starts panting on the third floor, breathing loudly trying to take in as much oxygen as possible. He is furious on himself for what he has done to his body – he needs to start exercising again, its high time.
As he barges into the one room kitchen apartment, he struggles to find a candle and light it. He brings the candle in the room and five faces on the wall shine in its light. Today, he pauses and looks at the faces smiling back at him. They are his college friends – Niket, Madhu, Swami and Abhi. It has been four years since he met them in person. He misses Niket, Madhu and Swami a lot. He misses Abhi the most, but he wont acknowledge it.
A lot of things happened after leaving his home in Jaipur in 2007. He graduated in computer engineering from VJTI in 2011, prepared for CAT examination, scored 98.87 percentile and got into IIM Kolkata to pursue MBA in Finance. After completing his MBA, he sat for campus placements and decided to join JP Morgan Chase & Co. in Mumbai as a financial analyst. He completed one and half years in the organisation last month. Rocking the chair to and fro with the photo frame in his hand, he wonders – is this where I wanted to be?
Arpit loves travelling and trekking – and does that on his weekends. The work he does on the weekdays doesn’t motivate him. He is staying in a world where he has accepted he cannot be happy on weekdays and has to make the best of weekends. He cannot conceive that one can be happy with one’s work. He has settled for this life – what more can he ask for – he has an amazing pay, he is managing all family responsibilities, is good at his work and removes time for himself on weekends. Whatever he tries to convince himself, he knows there is an abyss of loneliness. And he has accepted that as a part of his life. He is fine with being feeble and gutless.
The conversations in college plays in his mind – their coarse voices still alive in his memories – as if it is happening right now. He is enthralled as he advances into the pensieve of happiness; inundated with laughter.
After a few moments of pondering, he sends a message on the whatsapp group having Niket, Madhu and Swami as members.
This is the first post in a 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan. To view the next post, please click here.