Beep…. Beep. Her cell phone blinked. The vibration woke her up.
It read: ‘Ae... Idiot! Awake?'
It was from her friend, Sunil. She looked at the time. It was 12 AM. Not the usual time for her to sleep as it was ‘Net Surfing’ time. She rubbed her eyes and strained them on the message again. Her hand felt for my specks box and she wore it.
There was a missed call from him too. She just selected the reply option and typed, ‘Yes, just got up,’ when the phone beeped again. Thinking it must be him; she deleted the message and checked it. She was right! After 2 years of such good friendship, Archie knew when and what he would think.
(Here AN refers to Archie)
She called him.
Sunil: Madam, is this the time to sleep?
AN: Yes, for normal people. Not for nocturnal people like us.
Sunil: (With his sheepish smile). Yeah.
AN: What happened? Is there anything imp?
Sunil: Congratulations you Idiot! Are you aware of the things happening around you? Keep Sleeping.
AN: After hearing this idiot from him she got irritated. Oh! Just shut up. Congrats for what? And… it’s only today that I slept. You know this lab work gets so tiring still, you say this…..?
Sunil: Interrupting her. Will you stop with your stories now? ( pause)
Now may I continue?
AN: Yes please. I’ll be obliged.
Sunil: Listen carefully. Don’t ask, what? Okay? We have been selected for the internship by Agilent Technologies.
AN: She opened my mouth to exclaim, what? But… stopped. Okay! How many have been selected?
Sunil: All 6! Guess what? We’ll be paid 10,000 for this internship.
AN: When is it? What is it about? What’s the duration?
Archie was about to ask more when she was stopped by him.
Sunil: Hey you! Lazy girl! Open your laptop and check your mail. Don’t ask so many questions. You girls….. can’t stop asking questions.
Archie was very happy but couldn’t believe it. She followed suit while he continued talking. He was laughing at her. She was just out of her slumber so couldn’t retaliate much.
AN: Hang up now, you…. . Let me see. (She shouted).
Archie cut the call before he could say anything more. She didn’t want to listen to that ‘idiot’ again.
He called again. “Idiot!”, he said and kept the phone before she could even react to it.
“You idiot,” she muttered to herself.
She checked her mail. It read:
Dear Miss Archana N,
Congratulations! You have been selected by our company for this summer internship. You’ll be undertaking your duty from 2-5-2008 to 1-6-2008. You will be paid 10,000/- for the internship and in this course you will be a part of the NGO we have collaborated with and Sri Raghavendra Labs. We are glad to have you with us.
Central Team Head,
AN: Phew! Something interesting, this summer. She had a winning smile on her face. She wanted to share it with someone. The other 3 , Sherin, Namita and Priya were in hostel and Ashwin was the fourth one. That Ashwin would have slept and the 3 girls, chanceless to find them awake at this time. She didn’t have any other option but Sunil. He had spoilt her mood already but on the other hand she was in no mood to do anything. She turned off her system was lying on her bed looking at the ceiling. Archie’s roommate was also not there.
Huh! She picked her phone, went to the last dialed numbers and said, “Hello!”
Sunil: Yes, Miss Idiot!
Archie didn’t feel like replying. There was a pause.
Sunil: What happened sweety?
This word is quite common with girls. It meant a lot, actually.
Sunil: Oh! Come on. Sweetheart, speak na? Can’t see you quiet. How come the FM is suffering from bad signals today?
If a guy is sweet, any girl’s heart would melt when the guy is your best pal too.
AN: Dude… I am really happy that we all could make it. They told that they’ll select only 4 but we 6 are in. Lucky na?
Sunil: Yes!! Very lucky.
AN: All God’s grace.
Sunil: Ah! God’s grace!! You girls………..
AN: Why do you bring in girls every time?
Sunil: Just because you 4 are like that. What else must I think?
AN: Okay! Cut the crap. It’s a never ending topic. I don’t want to fight with you.
Sunil: Oh! Is it? (Saying this he laughed. It was kind of a taunt for her.)
AN: Stop joking you ass! Just remembered you again as there’s no one here to talk.
Sunil: What about Prerna?
AN: She’s gone home for the weekend.
Sunil: Okay. So tell me, what else? Not chatting?
AN: No. No mood.
Sunil: Not sleepy?
AN: No mood.
Sunil: Not eating?
AN: What sort of a question was that? Why are you after my eating habits?
Sunil: No, actually I thought, it’s your ‘Maggie time’ na. You won’t have dinner properly. You’ll eat Maggie and become fatter and fatter.
AN: Enough Sunil! You’ll spoil my mood.
Sunil: Okay! What else should I say? What has happened to you Archie? You say no mood, you are happy, you say that you aren’t sleepy and then you say you want to talk.
Man!!! Girls are so confusing?
AN: What? What did you say?
Sunil: Errrrr… Nothing. Nothing my dear.
(And…. A guy’s nothing always meant that he didn’t want the girl to hear what he said.)
AN: Okay... fine.
Archie went on talking for a while about her daily life and other topics. In between they had arguments; Sunil just shared some of the funny moments in his life just to keep her mood alright. He was the best person Archie could go to when she was in a bad mood. He had always been there to support her. He actually loved her. In fact, Archie also had a soft corner for him but both didn’t know that they were in love.
There were 6 in the group. Priya, Namita, Sherin, Ashwin, Sunil and Archie.
Sunil: It’s 2 AM. Buddy we must sleep. My ears have turned hot and I am sleepy. (Yawn!!) You too sleep.
AN: Ya, I will but do not sleep na. Let’s keep talking. It;s been long that we got a chance to share so much.
Sunil: Are you nuts? Just go and sleep. We’ll meet tomorrow and discuss about our plan. Message the other 3; I’ll come along with Ashwin.
AN: Okay! We’ll meet for lunch at 1 tomorrow, in dhaba.
Sunil: Yup, done. It’s been long that we all have had lunch together. Last was the Agilent interview.
AN: Yes..right! ( Yawn!!!) See yawning is contagious. It passes over the phone too.
Sunil: Yes. Good night Idiot! he…he..he…he. Sleep well.
AN:[Pause]. She didn’t speak a word.
Sunil: Hello…. Are you there?
Sunil: Oh... my baby! Love you. Sweet dreams.
AN: Now, what was that for? How can you get so sweet at times Sunil?
Hmmmm… bye now. Hang up. Love you too. (Saying this she smiled).