It was Aarush’s first meeting at his new office. Since past one month, he was just getting interviewed, bouncing from one company to another, finally he landed at Accenture with a job of a system-engineer. He was aiming for an on-site project from his previous company, Infosys, but was disappointed as they kept him hanging in the middle with the promises of USA and lacs of rupees in salary, but provided nothing in the end. That’s when he decided that he didn’t want to wait for an on-site job, rather switch the company and get better salary here. His father owned a business and had tried his hardest to get Aarush into it, but dealing with fruits and vegetables was not his thing! He preferred a corporate job with a status, rather than getting dusted in the local markets, arguing and abusing the vegetable vendors for cheaper rates.
‘Shit…’ Aarush was restlessly rubbing his hands as he once again went through the hard-copies of the presentation. He had memorized facts and figures but he was still nervous. It was almost four years since he left college, and he was out of practice of delivering awesome-seminars!
‘Good morning, gentlemen.’ Aarush addressed the grouchy looking old-men in a conference room around an oval mahogany table.
‘Today we have gathered here to know about the new project that our company is soon going to invest in. Here’s an overview, I would like you to pay your kind attention, please…’ Aarush played the slide-show. It boasted of the huge profits and new software designs that the company was making. The oldies watched the new bird with attention. And the new bird was flapping his wings to fly out of the building, and live a little.
After a tiring 9 to 5 job at his new office and that too on the first day, Aarush reached at his apartment, all tired and worn off. He wasn’t even in a condition to drive the Skoda his father had paid for!
‘It’s high time I should get myself a driver. The traffic of this city, and the office hours, it’s a perfect planning to kill me!’ He mumbled as he unzipped his pants to pee in the washroom with the door open. Well, that is the perk of living alone! You don’t have to worry about privacy anymore. He splashed some water on his face and walked out of the bathroom to his bedroom which had king-sized glass windows on one wall, from where the entire sky-line of the city was visible. It immediately freshened him up, seeing the sun setting between the huge buildings and people returning from work. Kids playing in his neighbourhood and old-people laughing in the parks. There was certainly more to life than the tiny cubicle he was spending his day in!
‘I need to get out and party tonight, yes! I’m calling all my friends from Infosys and arranging a get-to.’ He immediately started dialling the numbers on his phone, and a few people from his old group agreed for a get-to as well. He called in everyone to Blue Frog to celebrate his switch, and success. He was no more a software engineer after all!
‘Sure buddy, see you tonight!’ as he hung up the last call, he took a shower, came out in boxers and tossed his wet body on a sofa and switched on TV. The match was on. It was India v/s Sri Lanka, test series. He got up and increased the volume of the TV from the buttons by its side. The remote was missing since two months now, and he didn’t care at all. The TV was set at channel number 42 where the matches were telecasted, so it was cool for him.
After watching a few overs, he opened his cupboard, and it vomited on him, spewing out all the clothes and his belongings. The cupboard was cleaned maybe six months ago. He never remembered cleaning the cupboard, it was always Koel who cleaned it up. Rather Aarush bought this apartment only because of Koel, as she felt awkward coming at his place to make out because he was living with two other men from his office. He still remembered the brawl that happened at his home, when he asked his father for ninety-lac rupees to buy an apartment in Mumbai. His father finally gave in, because he knew that property was not a liability, but an investment.
Koel was his ex-girlfriend, with whom he was in a relationship for all the ‘Infosys-years’ of his life. Six months ago, she got married to a guy her parents had found out, and was settled with her investment-banker husband in Seattle in USA. Aarush cried for her. Months after months, but now, he was settled. He knew she wasn’t coming back, not for cleaning his cupboards after all!
People said Koel and Aarush made the most adorable couple together, even their Facebook pictures fetched them over hundred likes every time. But as soon as Koel went home on a vacation from office, suddenly her Facebook account was all cleaned up. There were no pictures of her with Aarush, and she had even removed him from her profile. Aarush couldn’t understand the reason for this strange behaviour, and some days later, she uploaded a picture with a tag-line – My fiancé, Luckwinder aka Lucky – getting hitched! – and that’s when Aarush understood the reason for all the coldness. This is how his serious relationship vanished into thin air. Without him getting any knowledge about anything that was happening at her place. Only one thing bothered him that – she should’ve at least talked to him!
Anyways, let the bygones be the bygones. Aarush was happily settled in his new office now. He was calling up his old friends for a party tonight, and tonight, he was in a mood to get drunk and spoiled.
Two of his guy friends came to pick him up from his apartment, a place that reminded him of Koel every day. He never invited anyone over to his apartment because it was the personal space of his little-girl. But his little-girl was gone now.
‘Wait, wait, I’m coming down!’ Aarush called his friends from 17th floor, asking them to wait for him at the ground floor. He slipped into his favourite black shirt and beige pants with black formal shoes and an expensive ‘Rolex’ watch. He climbed down and they all went to party to the Blue Frog. Aarush drank beyond his capacity that night, shots after shots. Tired from dancing, he was lying at a couch that a gorgeous looking girl sat opposite to him, wearing a short red dress. He was highly intoxicated to recognize her, but she shouted his name in the loud noises of the pub, ‘Aarush Choudhury? Seriously? Third time!’
And that’s the last thing he remembered before passing out.