Of late, I have been inundated with invitations for what is known as the "bachelor night party", the meaning of which differ greatly depending on the person throwing the party.
Loosely, from the various parties that I have attended so far, I gather the meaning is something like this – a night essentially with lots of booze where the party thrower pays with a sad face, while the others regale to celebrate/mourn the happy/unhappy transition of their close friend from the status "Single" to "Married". No girls are allowed.
Anyway, the story is not about the Bachelor party. This is a love story. The story goes like as follows: some personal details have been censored for obvious reasons.
At one such bachelor party at an undisclosed place in Bangalore, we were talking about the party giver, as was customary, after the initial first round of Johnny Walker, which we ordered royally without any perspiration or hesitation.
"So Jayanta, tell us about your love story", Bobby started.
"We want to know how it all started"
Jayanta took a sip. Everyone was looking at him.
"You remember the June uprising in Manipur", he started.
"Yeah! Who can forget that?" remarked Uttam.
"Well … about 3 months before that I was in Delhi. I was looking for a job. It was one of the hardest times of my life. I scouted for jobs everywhere but I could not get a single one. I lost all hope", Jayanta trailed off with a sigh.
He took another sip.
"Then I left Delhi. I came down to Bangalore hoping that I might strike something here. With my degree and about a couple of thousands in my pocket, I boarded the KK Express in the general compartment.
"I crashed in Santomba’s place. That was before that he got married to Linda. As soon as I landed, I started my search for a job. I was pretty desperate. I thought I was completely useless. I never thought my life would hit such a low.
"I tried all kinds of jobs – Call centers and software. Most call centers would reject me out right. They say my English was accented. I could not agree more. I thought maybe I should eat less ngari or buy a new set of tongue cleaners.
"I thought I would call it quits. Maybe I should go back home and retire. After all, I turned out to be good for nothing.
"At such time was when I met Sandhya. I first met her at Sanatomba’s place. She was a friend of Linda. Well, I didn’t fell in love at first sight or anything. She, I recollect, was studying in her final years.
We chatted a bit on the terrace. I found her to be nice to talk to. She enquired about me. It was embarrassing to tell her the truth. I mostly evaded the questions.
"After that I had not seen her for about a month or so. I was busy looking for jobs. Actually I got pretty pissed off with myself and with others that I had stopped looking for about a week or so.
I stopped calling home too. I dreaded when Baba or Ema would ask me about the progress in my job search. They would sometimes call in Sanatomba’s cell phone, worried.
"Anyway, so one day, even as I was walking alone in Jayanagar like a vagabond, I bumped into Sandhya again. She immediately recognized me. I thought I would duck and run away. She already spotted me. I smiled at her.
"So we started talking. I had hoped she would not enquire about my job search. She did anyway. There was a quality about her. She had that soothing effect when you talked to her.
So I started telling her about my desperation at not able to land myself a job even after 3 months. I told her I wanted to burn by B.E degree. She laughed at the thought.
"Then she told me the most amazing story that would probably be one of the most inspirational and defining moment in my life, if there ever was such a moment as defining moment.
She started telling me a story about a guy whom she addressed as ‘Da Bijoy’. She said about Da Bijoy and his struggle when he first came to Bangalore.
She said he was however determined. He struggled for 6 months doing odd jobs until he finally landed with not one but three offers from the Fortune 100’s companies. She told he was in the verge of starting his own company that time.
"So after that incident, I kept meeting her often. To see her mainly because I started liking her but also partly to hear more about Da Bijoy. She kept fuelling me with new stories about Da Bijoy.
I kept pestering her to introduce me to him. Maybe some of his determination would rub over me. I thought.
"I kept seeing her regularly for about 2 months. While not preparing or looking for jobs, I went to meet her at her hostel. On one such occasion, I asked her if she would consider a jobless and penniless guy as suitable if such a guy were to ask her out. She replied it depended on the guy.
So I asked if the guy were more like me. She smiled and said, in that case, she would definitely go out with the guy. I thought she took pity over such a poor man and accepted.
"So during the turbulent times of sadness and desperation, Sandhya came into my life like a harbinger of hope. She sold me hopes when I would have given up.
"After another 2 months, I landed with a job offer in small software company called Trisha. I rejoiced. Me and Sandhya celebrated with Samosa chat at Jayanagar 4th Block.
However, I didn’t join Trisha because after 3 days, I got another offer from Accenture. I could not believe it myself. I took the offer letter to her hostel to make sure that it was indeed an offer for me.
"So that was how Sandhya and I met and fell in love", Jayanta completed after the 5th round.
"Wow. I love your story" I remarked. "Beautiful"
"So what about Da Bijoy?" Uttam asked. "Did you get to meet him?"
"Oh! I kept trying to find out about him. I asked her persistently. I could not find anything about him. Actually I found out that Da Bijoy was a myth she had made up the day she saw me in such a sorry state.
"But to me, Da Bijoy and his story is more real and close to me"
Uttam gave a surprised look.
"So to Da Bijoy, another round", said Bobby who had been quite for sometime.
"Cheers to Da Bijoy"
After the party, I left feeling lighter and happier. Maybe merrier too. I whistled thinking about the story.
Behind every success, there is a woman. Lovely.
Hats off to Sandhya.
Lucky Bastard. Jayanta. Hic!
* De eNigma ( Blog ) contributes regularly to e-pao.net. The writer can be contacted at email@example.com . This article was webcasted on October 24th 2006.