This is the true story of someone I know, working in Wipro Bangalore. I am purposefully not revealing the name as it is not about the name, it’s all about the story! Any resemblance of the characters below to any person you know is strictly a figment of common sense and your ability to put two and two together. Kindly do not bother me for a confirmation as I have sworn not to give away their identities. Read on.
The setting: Wipro office, Bangalore. It was getting dark and there was rain in the air. Hero and his Buddy are standing outside the ATM. They were colleagues and roommates as well. Their rent was due in a few days. Waiting for their turn in the long queue behind a succession of bumbling idiots who take way too much time to withdraw cash would drive them crazy if it weren’t for the many beautiful girls who keep appearing before their eyes. Yes, like most normal guys, they loved watching beautiful girls. Only if they weren’t terrible at romancing girls; ahh, well, but that’s a whole another story. Some other time maybe….
The duo was an awesome combo. At least that’s what they thought to themselves. Taking the bus at that time of the day was Not something either looked forward to. But then they ‘rationalized’ that a crowded bus gives them the chance, no, the opportunity to stand close to beautiful girls and hopefully engage in some ‘muttals’. “Hey that’s what happens in the movies!” Sure dude. And as usual, they got stuck in a bus full of old sweaty guys! “Dude you should have taken the Volvo, not the local bus” ”ohh Volvo buses are too expensive man!!” Yes, these two; they are not chalk and cheese; they are as similar as they come without being related by blood. They are what you will say chips off the same block. Rumour has it that many many years ago, one guy’s father had roamed in the city of the other. 🙂
They got down at their stop. Hero said, “dai, today also I paid for you!” to which Buddy replied, ”WHAT!?!! I also paid for us!” Shit. They both stood there, by the side of the road, looking at each other for what seemed like an eternity. People passing by might have got a gay vibe off the way these two were looking at each other.
It was starting to rain now. The Silk Board junction is chaotic on the best of days. With the rain, things became truly haphazard. Still they were looking at each other. Cars, bikes and people went past them at various speeds. None who saw this duo could remain nonchalant. The ‘oldies’ frowned, girls giggled and guys just went WTF!?!! Still they were looking at each other; in the rain. However there was nothing romantic about this scene. Apparently when die-hard misers find out they have lost money, they go into a state of shock! These two really were Uncle Scrooge’s children!
They were broken out of their trance by a ring (no not that ring, a phone ring!) “Hey, it’s my good friend Hari, I have to take this” Buddy told his friend. “Da howdy, I am standing in front of Your total mall” Hero heard him say “yeah, here only you came for a treat with four other girls right?!!” he added that with a laugh that had a tinge of disbelief. Buddy walked away to a relatively quiet corner to continue the call.
And like that, our Hero was alone; alone in the rain. It wasn’t heavy, but he didn’t like being alone. It made him uneasy. There was something inexplicable about him but he always wanted to be with someone, Always. The chillness in the air did nothing to ease his self.
“Excuse me, can you tell me the way to Koramangala?” he turned and saw two guys on a bike, Pulsar 180 to be exact (if there was anything he was crazier about than girls, then it has to be bikes). The urgency with which he asked indicated they were in a hurry. “Sure, go straight, turn left, then right and then straight again, u will reach” his words were accompanied by the gestures that is fairly common when anyone gives directions; except his words and hands were nowhere in sync. With one arm going this way and another going that way along with his open stance, he looked like a dancer, however with none of the grace you would normally associate with one. Dumbfounded, the bikers looked at each other. Then one guy started, “bhaai, hamara pass ek apple iPhone 4G phone hai.” Hindi wasn’t his strong point and so he said, “sorry anna, hindi theriyaadhu” the guy riding pillion then spoke, in perfect English, “see, we have an Apple iPhone that we need to sell as we need cash urgently. It’s just 1 month old and we have the bill also. I bought it for 36000 but I am willing to offer it to you for just 15000. We really, really need the money. So, you ready to buy?” he added the last part in eager anticipation.
The rain had eased up but in its place the wind picked up. It was blowing up the dust and leaves around them. This pandemonium on the street mirrored his tumultuous mind. He was in a dilemma. He always wanted to upgrade from his current Nokia 1100 mobile. Now that phone was loyal and no matter how many falls it took, it was always game for more. But somehow, it didn’t impress the girls and that bothered him. He was all about the girls, even though, unfortunately, the reverse wasn’t true. And here was a chance to get an iPhone. But Rs 15000?! As if sensing this, the guy took out the box and started talking about the features. “3.5 inch touch screen, Multi-touch, Accelerometer, 3G, GPRS, EDGE, WLAN, Bluetooth etc”
‘ayyoo, so many big words, I have heard of only blue tooth. The picture on the box looks like the iPhone only. Hmmm…I wanna buy, but I don’t have 15k!’ he thought to himself.
“bhai, I don’t have 15k with me, this is end of the month na, I have only 4000 with me right now” he said, genuinely disappointed. The biker guys were disappointed too and looked at each other. Almost instantly, one of them said, “we are in a hurry and in urgent need of cash. Our friend is in the hospital and we need to raise cash for his expenses, that is why we are doing this” there was a choke in his voice when he mentioned his friend and he continued “in times like this, if we don’t do anything to help out, then what is the point of calling ourselves friends right?”
This moved our hero and he was sold. ‘ohh what great friends. Everyone should have guys like these. My friends have time only to make fun me, Stupid guys!!’ Then the other guy spoke up “we are ready to sell it for 4000 also, what do you say?” his eyes lit up, an iPhone for just 4k; wow he thought and thanked his lucky stars that he took out the money earlier that night. “ok bhaai, deal.” He took out his purse and gave the 4000 to them. They gave him the box and said “thanks man, we will never ever forget this. See, the bill is also included” he didn’t even count the money and put in his pocket. They sped away into oblivion.
‘Yeah, now I am also a proud owner of an iPhone. Everyone takes me for a stupid fool, now I will show them!’ he said to himself and he saw Buddy coming towards him, still on the phone. He said bye just before he reached and was shaking his head in disbelief. “da, my friend was saying how he went for a treat here with four other girls and he was almost caught by some friends of his; Awesome comedy, man. Hey what’s that cover in your hand?” Hero replied, beaming “dude, I got an iPhone, that too for just 4000!!” “Wow, when? How?” Hero started explain the whole story and his friend was awestruck, then disappointed. “che, I had 7000 with me, I would have bought it if I wasn’t away on call. Stupid guy, he had to call at this time only?!! Otherwise, he won’t call when I am sitting bored. I also wanted a touch phone. I heard they are in fashion now”
They raced home without bothering for dinner as is their usual practice. They badly wanted to touch and feel the iPhone in their hands. The rain had also picked up again. Hero saw that as a sign “See, gods are crying in happiness at my unbelievable luck” he said. They reached home and saw their other roommate. Our hero didn’t even get halfway through his story when the roomie interrupted saying this could be a case of fraud. “They just sold you the phone?? They might have stolen it and were trying to get rid of it. If you put a SIM card in it, it can be traced back to you, better don’t do it. Maybe you can use it as an iPod then and listen to just music and play games” he said.
Our hero was now tensed, unclear in his thoughts. ‘They seemed genuine guys, why would they lie about their friend?! Maybe this guy is just jealous…fucking kill joy!’
They decided to open the box. All three were eagerly waiting. Stolen or not, an iPhone is an iPhone. With great trepidation, our Hero slowly opened the box. He wanted to savour the moment. The heavy rain with the accompanying thunder and lightning only added to the sense of theatre. He had butterflies in his stomach and his muscles were achingly slow. His two friends were also transfixed, their wide eyes betraying their anxiety. After what seemed like an eternity he peeled away at the last piece of covering and flipped open the flap to uncover his prize. The tension in the room was so palpable that you could cut it with a knife. And as if on cue, thunder cracked across the sky. All three pairs of eyes were fixated inside the box for several seconds.
“What the Fuck! Shit!!!” he screamed out and turned his back to the box on the table, mouthing off more obscenities. Mothers, fathers, sisters, daughters were all referenced in the most vile ways imaginable! Buddy was rendered speechless and spell bound. Open mouthed, he stood there, frozen in time. Only Kill Joy looked remotely capable of reacting to this situation with any degree of maturity, probably because only he and he alone had the slightest inkling about the situation that just unfolded before their eyes. And the situation was truly and irrevocably, unsalvageable!
All right, all right. I know what you guys are thinking, “what just happened here?” Right? Of course I am right. Let’s just back up for a couple of seconds. At the last point of clarity, our Hero and his two friends were taking out the iPhone from its box. Or so they thought. What they got in reality was not an iPhone, or even a phone. Hell, it wasn’t even a piece of electronic gadgetry. What they saw inside the box, after paying 4000, after all that trouble, was, wait for it…..a soap box. Yes, a fucking Soap Box! And to add insult to injury, it didn’t even look like a new box; it was used, a Lot!
When the realisation dawned on him that he just lost Rs 4000, Hero’s anger turned into disappointment and frustration. “Why does shit keep happening to me??!!” he sighed. “Shit doesn’t happen, You happen!” Kill Joy thundered without missing a beat. “da, when he told I could get an iPhone for just 4k, I fell for it.” Our hero said, almost trying to justify his predicament. “Are you just acting or are you really this Stupid??!!!!” Kill Joy shouted, the genuine doubt clearly visible in his voice. He really wasn’t interested in consoling his friendright now, he just couldn’t digest the fact that Hero fell for this hoodwink! Our hero didn’t reply, he just hung his head.
Watching all this was Buddy, clearly shaken by the whole debacle. He was shocked and felt pity for his friend but more than that, he was relieved that his friend called him when he did as he thought ‘Thank god it wasn’t me! I would have lost my 7k then!!’