I sat there in my room, the clock reminding me of the time that was constantly on the move, taking me with it to uncharted territories on the space-time graph. I wondered if half past eight was a such a good time to have dinner; being used to eating around midnight in Bangalore. Small towns like mine have this strange way of dilating time so much that it appears to go slower than Einstein’s Theory of Relativity would have ever predicted. Was my town really travelling so fast through the universe that time just went lull, I wondered.
“Bhai, finish your work fast, dinner will be ready soon”, chirped my little brother.
It was then that he arrived, ever so calmly, knowing well that I always had time for him. He had been my companion, dependable and trustworthy, always there when I needed him. Yes, at times he could be such a pain, but then he was my best friend.
“What are you planning to do when you go back to Bangalore?”, he asked.
“I don’t know, I need a job but I haven’t found a company that needs me.”
“Why haven’t you applied to any till now?”
“I have applied to a couple of them, but I don’t know when the heck they are going to call me, if at all”
“Well you can’t just keep sitting here and assuming that they are going to call you, you have to apply to more companies, get in touch with the right people and give fate a chance”, advised he, “and by the way, a couple isn’t really what one calls many.”
“Yeah, I know”, I said, starting to get irritated by his increasing intrusiveness.
“What ‘yeah’! You are gonna get nowhere with this attitude. You have been living this passive life for long enough, its high time you get your lazy ass off this chair, show the world what you are capable of, and take what is rightly yours.”
“Look I know what I am capable of, and as far as ‘show the world’ is concerned, you know pretty well I can’t show off”.
“Nobody is asking you to show off, but you can at least display your talent so that it can be recognized”.
“And how do you propose I do that?”, I asked sarcastically.
“How do I know, I’m not the Buddha”, replied he, with that devilish grin on his face.
“And who the heck are you calling lazy, you are no better than me on that front; look in the mirror and all you’ll find is me.”
“Well I guess we are one, when it comes to that.” he said with a smile.
“You bet we are”, I said, getting back to my previous cooler state.
We both smiled, feeling warm being together. It was strange, how we always smiled in unison. Irrespective of the situation, we always found reasons to accept each others’ views very quickly. Well I guess we ain’t best friends for nothin.
“And what have you decided about the ring.”
“What are you talking about?”, I said, half knowing what he was getting at.
“Don’t act dumb with me buster, you know damn well what I mean”.
“Well I really don’t know what to decide”, I said downing my defences completely, “I guess the ring would just have to wait.”
“Wait, eh. Have you looked in the mirror or at the calendar? The ever widening runways on your forehead and the twenty seven candles on the cake demand that you decide fast. Otherwise, all you’ll ever get are cold fish.”
The smile suddenly turned to laughter. Of course a meter’s radius is all my laughter ever reached, even on the funniest of occasions, so I was sure no one would have actually heard me.
Except him, that is.
For he always seemed to hear all my laughter and all my cries, ready to share a smile and say words of comfort. Thank God, what would I have done without him.
“Navaid, what are you doing alone in the room”, said my mother, “come, dinner is ready”.