This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan.
‘Hi Abhi. How are you?’ Abhi didnt like small talk – he often mocked people who did it; but today he realised how it can be really helpful to begin a conversation. That sentence was music to his ears! ‘I’m doing good, how did you get my number?’ he asked. ‘I called up your home and got your number.’ replied Madhu. ‘How have you been? What are you doing these days? Have you got married? How is everyone else?’, Abhi wasn’t able to mask the inquisitiveness in his voice as he asked those questions. It had been four years since he had talked to his college gang. It seemed his past had caught up with him and delivered a terrific thud on his head!
After getting over what happened on the morning of 1st January, 2011, Abhi had left the apartment and completed the remaining three months of college staying in the campus hostel. Post graduation, as he moved out of Mumbai the memories still hurt but he decided to leave them behind. Its funny, distance helped him believe what happened as very small, though it had rocked his world and those of others around him then. Determined to start fresh, he convinced himself he had left it all behind – along with his feelings and relations; or so he thought.
He got busy in Bayreuth learning a totally new subject and time kept passing. He had managed to stay without people who mattered the most to him at one point of time in life. He fell in love with what was being taught and kept working hard to be the best in it. However, he had changed – he was there for others, he was a great listener, but he had stopped being vulnerable – he never shared what did he feel or what he wanted. He seemed to have lost his identity in the whole starting up afresh thing. He just wanted to get lost in the chaos – loose his individuality. Even though he had everything he could dream of, there was an abyss of unfulfilled conversations buried deep somewhere. These conversations got voice with Madhu’s call.
After catching up briefly on each other’s lives, Madhu got to the reason why he had called up. ‘We’re planning to go on a one week trip together – to Kashmir. Its a trek. The group wont be a gang without you. I have missed the entire gang due to bad blood between you and Arpit. And I need you all back in my life – the way we were in college. Time heals everything – lets hope it helps you both get back on the same page. I want you to come along in this trip and sort things out once and forever.’
Abhinav found it difficult to breathe – Even 6.5 miles of biking couldn’t have done this. He was still afraid to confront the past. The thought of a reunion was relieving, but one question persisted as he imagined him tagging along – ‘Will Arpit agree?’
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