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Thursday 13 July 2017

Cut a long story short

"You know Nik, I am in awe of people who can spend hours chatting on the telephone, mobile, Skype...whatever! It isn't that I am so incredibly busy that I don't have time for long conversations, no far from it," Nina mused aloud.
"So what's the problem? Go call up someone." Nik replied absently.
"Well to be honest, I do try to keep those vocal chords and social etiquettes functioning by occasionally calling up folk," Nina retorted.
"You see Nik, I've given up trying to keep up with the Joneses, Mehtas and Subramanians on their friendly FB capers!" Nina sighed. "Whatsapp messages felt too informal, so I dug out my phonebook and spent some time dallying over which contact to plague with my vocal deluge and this is how it went..."

Me: Ermm...Hi, hi uhmm...yes, Sulochana, hi Sulu (proud pat to self on getting that nickname)
Sulu: Hi, who's this?
Me: Nina, your college-mate from batch of '95?
Sulu: It was a class of 50 students!
Me: (getting a little worried) Remember, I sat next to you all of 2nd year?
Sulu: Oh, that Nina! I remember now! Happy times they were! Didn't you always sit in the last row? You were always late to class, ticked off by prof CLV, PRV and all other profs! Tell me, wasn't it boring to stand outside the class, that too without a mobile, those days! Hehehe! 
Me: (Testily) Not boring at all, I used to catch up on copying notes.
Sulu: You were forever scrambling to collect notes from me. But still, didn't you flunk the PC subject in the finals? Maybe you didn't study from my notes that time. 
Me: (Defensively) I was busy practising for the games marathon.
Sulu: I remember how you got thrown out of the Throwball team on the actual match day, sad that was! What really happened? Hello, hello, hello? 

"Yes, I cut the line. Amazing, how much and what people remember!" Nina huffed.

"After eons, I gathered strength to make another daring call, this time closer home, the near-dear-ones - NDO"

Me: Hello, it's me Nina. How are you all?
NDO: Aiyyo, what to say ma, not doing so well. My joint pain has become worse. Doing tests for creatinine, thyroid, dengue and chickungunya. At this age what to expect? I went to an acupuncture specialist that Ramya told me about, she is Ramya's husband's cousin's sister-in-law, so close family only. That lady assured me, she will treat me in just four sittings. What do you think?
Me: Hmm, that sounds great! (Tactfully, changing topic) How is mama?
NDO: Don't talk about your mama. He sits all day at home doing nothing and wants all varieties of food at his fingertips every 2 hours! Hmmph, you would think only babies needed feeding that often! His BP is high, sugar is high, prostrate enlarged, too much gas problem, wait let me read out his latest full-body check-up report, hold on.....Hello, hello, hello?

"Cut again. I was feeling a bit weak myself." Nina groaned.

"Another long breather later, I rallied around to fearlessly tackle yet another prospective listener, an old colleague."

Me: Hey buddy, how's it going?
Colleague: Oh, couldn't be better! You called to wish me, didn't you? How news travels! Yes, I got that promotion yaar! I knew I would get it! Did you see my update on FB? That was my new BOSS suit, got it on my last trip to Dubai. Brands cost but are classy, won't you say? 
Me: Of course. Congrats man!
Colleague: There were these three guys up for the post, but of course, no big deal in front of me. You know how clear my fundas are, don't you?
Me: (Fundas? Last I knew, this guy was googling how to use a calculator) Oh yes, that is true.
Collegue: Don't know if I should buy an Indian car or go for an international one. Wife prefers a Volkwagen but I am strong on Maruti Suzuki. Say what?
Me: Guess you need to research that. I was reading about this Tech beat....
Colleague: You read too much yaar! Anyway I was going to call you about a group holiday. You up? We are planning a road trip to...guess where?
Me: (Duh!!) Leh-Ladakh?
Colleague: No way!! How'd you guess? It is a top secret plan.
Me: Ermm, just a lucky guess?
Collegue: So you see, Rishabh, Swati, Neerav, Tejas are all gonna come.
Me: Who are they?
Colleague: Oh, you don't know them? Ahh, they are the new team now. Super team in fact. We do all trips together, with families. Like last month we went on this Vaishnodevi trip when Tejas's mom had packed us enough theplas for a month. Swati was road sick all through. Neerav's wife is a doctor so it was alright, you know....Hello, hello, hello? 

"Too much! I couldn't take it anymore!" cried Nina.

"Ages later, I weakly picked up the phone to call Sonu my childhood friend, who I believed would listen to me."

Me: Hey there! Can we talk?
Sonu: Of course, any time for you my dearest. Tell me all about it.
Me: Ah, well you know how it is.....(and I gleefully prepared to unburden my woes on this sympathetic ear)
Sonu: Wait a sec, do you know about the latest breaking news?
Me: Arnab is back? (I asked doubtfully)
Sonu: Shush! About Meena? She's planning to buy a farmhouse in Karjat! With a swimming pool. Servant's quarters. Just last month they bought an Audi A6. What do you say to that?
Me: Good for them?
Sonu: You are a total chump! Something is definitely on! And you know what Mrs Sinha's son is upto? He's going around with that Naina! Naina Joseph. Can you imagine? Them strict Brahmins and this a Christian girl! Now you tell me, what news you got ma' gal?
Me: Neel just won the elocution competition and Varun has been selected for the State level drawing competition. I am so excited!
Sonu: Oh how wonderful! I told my Rishi and Sheena to focus on academics, no wasting time with such competitions. They have enough trophies, no place in the showcase to add anymore.
Me: Get a new display unit?
Sonu: That's a great idea! Anyway I need one to display all my trophies and hubby's too! You know how good I was at school no? Best all-rounder thrice in a row. Team leader of the debate competition or was it collage making? Hello, hello, hello?

"Nobody wants to listen, you see Nik!" Nina sighed.
Nik wrapped an arm around Nina and said,"Well, that's life. People are waiting to be heard but listening to someone else....they just want to cut a long story short! Especially when the story is not about them! See I didn't cut your long story short though, did I?" 
"No, you didn't," Nina acceded, "But that's because we share the same story, isn't it?" 


Image source: Pixabay

Read other stories from Nina's World: Click on tag/label #NinasWorld 

Disclaimer: All the characters in the Nina's World series are fictional, any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental and unintentional.

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