After a week of shameless intrusion into the married life of two of my friends (married to each other of-course) I thought I should now try finding a new accommodation. Being new in the city won’t be considered a respectable excuse for long. Especially for a guy like me who’s best friends hate to introduce him to his girlfriends. Let alone girlfriends, keeping me close to any of their female acquaintances is considered like an invitation to a dreadful calamity that will ruin their lives and careers for eternity. Maybe these particular friends of mine helped me because they kind of expected the wiser side of me (surprise! surprise! I do have a wiser side) to camouflage the weirder one, in face of such generous attitude.
Ok, forget all that, I was about to tell you a nice warm story about a nice warm (I guess I shouldn’t use this British expression in a hot and humid city) rather nice cool apartment. Luckily after finding a room-mate and shelling out 50,000 bucks for just half of my share I became the proud co-owner of a one bedroom, hall and kitchen apartment. It’s got a fridge and an AC (All my life I’ve never had an air conditioned room, because of the disrespect it causes to our middle-class family values). Although my share in the room’s rent came out to be around one third of my meagre salary, I thought this flat would be really comfortable to get a pretty Ukrainian whore home and lose my virginity after 25 years. And also I wouldn’t have to shell out any money to buy ice for the weekly parties at my flat with half-naked girlfriends of my friends spread around.
Anyways, I started staying at this new flat with this wonderful AC which always buzzzzzed me to sleep. And automatically woke me up after chilling me to the bone so that it can be switched off. Mornings seemed to be difficult at first because I had to take a detour around all the buildings of the colony and then reach the main road. One day I tried to experiment and started walking in the opposite direction and wallah! I discovered a shorter way. Later I realised that it wasn’t actually a shorter cut, In fact it was stupid of me to take a de-tour when the way to the main road was in fact the same one that I thought myself a genius to discover.
Now that I had discovered the way out it was always a confusion to find the way back in. Then I discovered this big bold ‘sorry’ banner that had been tied on a tree at the turn towards my building. For the first few days I didn’t think much about it other than the fact that it was there to help me find my way back home.
One humid evening, when my T-shirt was sticking to my back, and I had fucked up the first brief I was given in my new agency, I looked at the ‘sorry’ and felt really good. It was as if the world feeling apologetic for my all fucked up existence. The question that why I had a fucked up existence in the first place flew across my mind, but well... it flew fast and was nowhere to be seen after a few seconds.It really was a refreshing message for me.
To me it meant - Sorry, for not letting you have a phone number... Sorry, for not letting you have a bank account which can get you a phone number... Sorry, for not letting you have a billing address that can get you a bank account... Sorry for not letting you have a passport which can give you a billing address... Sorry, for not letting you have a pan-card which can get you a passport... Sorry, for not letting you have a valid license that can get you a pan-card... Sorry, for not letting you have money to go back to Delhi to get your license validated and Sorry, for not letting you have a bank account which can get you money.
That ‘sorry’ never seemed to be solving any of my problems but still it was a relief. When I managed to come out of this existential-angst cycle, I looked around and saw that the apartment windows of the opposite building were facing that ‘sorry’ banner. I figured there’s a nice pretty girl staying in one of those apartments and her boyfriend must have tied that ‘sorry’ banner right opposite so that she can forgive him for tearing her new Tommy-Hilfiger T-shirt during one of his animal urges. Although I hate love-stories, I thought this one was cute enough to warm my depressingly cynical heart.
A few days later when I had stopped looking out for the ‘sorry’ banner (although mostly it was hard to ignore) to find my way back home, I saw the reply that was etched out across the banner with a blue pen “It’s ok, Rahul” or was it “It’s ok, life.”