Best Friends are a blessing !!
I can see that Naira is more curious than I am about meeting Mahi. We stand outside the office he works in, holding his business card. We are about to know the name of the guy whose initials are etched on the diary. Needless to say, I am freaking excited.
It’s a smallish office, and I see the designation—‘Design Engineer’—on the card. I hope he isn’t busy and gives us time. After all, we have some bad news to give him. His best friend from school is dead. That’s got to mean something, right ?!!
I follow Naira into the premises. She always takes the initiative for all the things that require extreme confidence and I usually just hide behind her.
“Hi, I want to meet Mr Mahendra Singh Dhoni.” she says.
“I’ve come from his hometown. His father sent us.” She adds.
The receptionist looks up at Naira, dials Mahi’s extension number, and lets him know. She asks us to wait in the adjacent room. I wonder if Naira is thinking what I am thinking—what will we say to him ?!!
A little later, a guy dressed in a crisp, white shirt and a well-ironed pair of trousers walks into the room. He has a slight paunch, but his bright, fair face distracts me from it. He looks intelligent and hard-working in his rimless spectacles and cropped hair.
He gives us a confused look but puts his hand forward.
“Hi, I’m Naira.” she shakes his hand. “And this is Karthik.”
“Where are you from ?!!” he asks. He looks confused.
“Your dad gave us your number and address.” Naira says.
“Actually, we wanted to know something from you.” I say.
“Yes ?!!” he asks.
“We found a diary.” she says and pauses dramatically.
“It’s of a friend of yours from school. We wanted to know something about him.” I complete the sentence for her.
“Diary ?!! I don’t get it.” he says. The look on his face tells us that he thinks we’re two crazy people.
“Did you hear about the Taj blast ?!!” I ask.
“Oh yes, I did. What about it ?!!” he counter asks.
“A friend of yours died in the blast. Karthik survived and found this diary.” Naira says.
“My friend ?!! Who ?!!” he asks.
She hands over the diary to him. He looks at the diary looks at us, and then flips over to the first page. He runs his hand over the initials and doesn’t look up. He has recognized the initials and the person to whom this diary belonged. He flips through the pages and his eyes tear up.
He keeps turning the pages over without reading, and feels the burnt edges of the pages. We hear him sigh.
The death of a best friend can take some time to sink in. After quite a while, with tears in his eyes, he looks up and says, “Are you sure ?!!”
“Can you tell us his name ?!!” Naira asks.
“Virat Kohli.” he says softly.
He pauses for a little while and asks how we got to him and we tell him everything. We show him the sentence in the diary that led us to him. He hands the diary back to us. We look at him with expectant eyes, hoping he could lead us to Anushka or Alia.
“Don’t you want to read it ?!!” Naira asks.
“Had he wanted me to read it, he would’ve told me. And we didn’t end on a good note. So, I should probably not be reading this.” He answers.
“What can you tell us about him ?!!” I ask.
He starts, “We first met at the boarding school right after that incident with the guys.”
He continues and tells us that Virat was from Mumbai and that’s where he lived before coming to the boarding school. Mahi tells us that Virat was an aggressive football player and that’s why he was drawn to him. Together, they made the most lethal forward attack that Dehradun school football had ever witnessed.
“We made a great team on the football field. In the three years in which we played together, I don’t think we lost a single match. We were unbeatable. I can’t believe he’s dead.” His voice trails off.
“We are sorry.” Naira says.
“He was a nice guy.” Mahi says, more to himself than us.
He tells us more about how they first met, grew and bonded as friends. His voice trails off in the middle a few times as the news of the death of his best buddy from school sinks in slowly. He is in tears. I know how he feels.
When I first saw Mahi, I had replaced his face with mine and imagined Naksh being dead. My heart shrank to the size of a peanut and I could barely keep my tears in.
“He really missed you.” Naira says.
“It’s in the diary.” I say.
“He thought you ignored him.” I add.
“Why would I ?!!” He asks.
“You were popular, a better player, better in studies and had a pretty girlfriend. He thought you forgot him in all that.” Naira says.
He takes a deep breath and sighs. “Sakshi liked him.” he says.
There is a hint of nostalgia and a little flavor of first love, and the first heartbreak, in his tone.
“Sakshi liked him ?!! He thought she came to him because you had started ignoring her !!!” Naira says.
“No, it wasn’t that. Even when Sakshi and I were together, She liked him better. But Virat was always a bully and Sakshi was scared of him.” He said.
“So ?!! What happened ?!!” I ask.
“She said she was falling out of love with me. She wanted me to talk to Virat about her since we were the best of friends. I still loved Sakshi so I didn’t want to do that. I was too arrogant to hear that my girlfriend liked someone else. Worse still, my best fiend !! I told her that Virat and I didn’t get along well. I stopped talking to Virat to make her believe that. But she just didn’t stop talking about him. So, I started talking to other girls to make her jealous, but it didn’t work. One day, she left me and went to him.” His voice trails off again.
“And ?!!” I ask.
“She never came back and I lost both of them.” he says and looks at the diary. It looks like he wants to read it.
“He wrote in the diary that he is sorry that he envied you and stopped talking to you. He missed you.” Naira says.
“I missed him too, but more than that, I was angry at him for dating my ex-girlfriend. I know it wasn’t his fault. We were best friends and I stopped talking to him. I shouldn’t have done that.” Mahi says.
A lone tear rolls down his cheek. I like him instantly. Tears usually don’t lie. They are the most honest form of expression. He continues to tell us fondly about their football victories. Mahi talks for long and speaks very lovingly about his friend.
“It was very hard to understand Virat at times.” he says.
“Sometimes, he used to act all angry and rough. But on other occasions, he used to seem like a very docile guy. It was amusing.” He adds.
“Do you have a picture ?!!” Naira asks.
“Not right now. But I might have one at home.” He answers.
“So, you weren’t in touch with him after school at all ?!!” I ask.
“No.” he says.
“I went to Rourkela for my graduation and got busy. My mother was not keeping well, so I had to take care of that too. Everything else took a back seat. There have been times that I have looked for him on social networking sites, but have never found him.” He said.
While we are talking, the receptionist enters for the third time. The first two times she had said that there was something important from his boss. This time it looks urgent and something that can’t wait.
“I really have to go. How long are you two in Bhopal ?!!” he asks.
“We are leaving tonight.” I say.
“Oh, okay.” he says.
“We will let you know if we stay for longer. We would love to hear more about him.” I say.
“So, whom are you meeting next ?!!” he asks.
“We wanted you to tell us that.” Naira says.
“Do you know he had a sister ?!!” I ask.
“Yes, I do. I don’t remember the name … Umm … Oh wait — Alia, right ?!!” he says.
“Do you know where she is ?!!” I ask.
“I’m not sure. I’ve never met her.” he says.
“Did you know she is crippled ?!!” Naira asks.
“What ?!!” He takes a little time to comprehend what Naira had just said.
“You didn’t know ?!!” Naira asks.
“He had once asked me for money because he wanted to see her in Gandhinagar. I thought he was lying and I refused. We had a huge fight that day. I didn’t know…” He looks like he regrets it.
Until just a moment ago, he still thought that Virat had been lying about the crippled sister. He feels sorry and it shows on his face.
He looks at us and asks, “Can you make me copies of the diary ?!! Of the parts I am in ?!!”
“Sure. We will leave it at the reception.” I say.
“Thank you.” he says feebly.
Before he leaves, Naira asks him if he knows where Sakshi is or what her full name is.
“Sakshi Rawat.” he says.
“I have no idea where she is Sakshi and Virat were my only good friends in my schooldays. If you meet Sakshi, please tell her that I really cared about her.” He says softly.
Just as he is about to leave, Naira asks him — just out of curiosity — what Virat looked like. It is awkward for him to describe another guy at first, but then he tells us that Virat stood at about five ten, was strongly built — hardened from football practice, I presume — and had a sharp jaw line on which he was often complimented.
He hugs us both and leaves the room.
Naira and I look at each other, feel sorry for Mahi, and ask the receptionist to make copies of the first few pages of the diary.
Precap : The next stop on the journey. When Ranbir re-enters Anushka’s life.
Surprise !! Surprise !! So as most of you had already guessed it, VK is none other than Virat Kohli. Well I am fan girl so I just wanted to include Virat and Anushka aka Virushka in one of my works and well this FF just gave me that chance.
The next chapter would have 2 more notes from the diary and where would Kaira decide to stop over on their Road trip and whom do they meet next.
Also this is the Third update of today as there’s nothing much to do. Its weekend and well its raining continuously since the last 2 days and I am just sitting at home chilling. So if you all shower me with comments then I would shower you all with lots of updates tomorrow. Well, yeah I am very selfish.
Do comment. Keep smiling. Keep watching Yrkkh.