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The flight began its ascent, both the babes beside him were quite normal, completely contrast with Priya who was petrified. Vijay began to recollect how he had cooled down when flight first took off from Bangalore; how he had used Jai Kali Maa as an anxiety pill every time she was petrified. Priya was innocent at heart, and she appreciated his witty jokes and that had drawn him closer to her. She had responded sweetly to all his stupid and blatant jokes. He had done all the Ram Leela Nautankis and she had appreciated it like a devotee joining her hand. Sitting between the English Mam's he felt like performing drama behind the curtains. He realized that audience support is an integral part of any act. They say, 'if you are thinking about someone even after then have left, then you have a thing for that person'. Vijay had to figure out what that thing was, whether it was just an infatuation or a crush or whether he was in love with her. He had the whole 6 hrs to decipher that, provided he stayed focused and diverted his attention away from the two beauties.
"I am Claudia" the German miss introduced herself again after the flight had reached its designated height. "Vijay, I will be joining the CS dept at UIC for my Masters" he replied. "I am a Doctoral student at the dept of Psychology, UIC", she replied back as they both smiled. "Wow UIC, how long have you been in UIC", Vijay asked. "My third year now", she replied. 'Experienced psycho' he mumbled in his mind and had a sarcastic smile. "Psychologist not Psychiatrist, she asserted him, as if she had heard what he mumbled". 'Man she is a mind reader! I better be careful', 'Oh no she might have heard it as well', Vijay was very nervous.
Vijay was under the assumption that Psychologist were mind readers, initially he was in grief and was missing Priya but now he couldn't stop thinking about the German babe. Vijay had already been awed by the tall and fair GERMAN women at the Frankfurt Airport. He had seen a few tall GERMAN women volleyball players on TV, but in airport everyone seemed a national player. He was amongst the tallest in his class, but there he felt like a Lilliput amongst the Gulliver s. Germany and German women were taking his focus away from Priya. Attempting to focus on Priya and diverting away from the German babe seemed very hard. 'Focus Vijay focus, remember how Tendulkar focuses on the ball, concentrate, concentrate ', he told to himself as he fell asleep.
Up in the mid air somewhere close to Arctic Circle the air-hostess woke him up for meals. The Oberoi's meal no longer excited him; he had no one beside to listen to his stupid sarcastic jokes on food. Claudia was enjoying her cold sandwich, and that green thing called salad. “Healthy and tasty isn’t it” she asked him as she began enjoying her salad. Vijay stared at her tongue and wondered if people in this part of the world had something called taste buds. What was considered cook’s folly in INDIA, was tasty in this part of the world. ‘Strange he mumbled’ as he chewed his paneer cubes dipped in tomato sauce aka paneer butter masala. ‘Air India food gets bad to worse as we move from East to West’, this really is a smooth transition” he mumbled.
Finally flight landed at O'Hare at 4 pm, picked up his luggage and headed towards the gate. "See you later at the school he waved at Claudia". Was it the sleep or the Claudia effect, he had totally forgotten about Priya. He was greeted by a student from Indian Student Association holding a name tag VIJAY – U I C, Karan Agrawal he introduced. They reached the apartment and Karan picked up his phone and yelled “Marathe, your new roommate is here”. “No no his name is Bhimrao S M”, Vijay replied after conversation ended; “Yes Bhimrao Shivajirao Marathe” Karan asserted. “Dude, here we call people by their Surname or their state name”, he clarified. “What’s your Surname” he asked. “Arjun, but that’s my Dad’s name, please don’t call me that”, he replied in a low tone. “You don’t have a Surname, Where are you from?” he asked in a loud tone. “Karnataka”, Vijay replied. “Madrasi?”, “No no Kannadiga”, Vijay replied. “What’s the difference anyways?” Karan laughed. ‘Cauvery River’ Vijay wanted to say, by then a big dude swearing in marathi broke their conversation “KYA REY!, tumko match key beech mey aana tha, Ie Z*v*da”? “Anyways I am Marathe; he shook hands with Vijay, and picked his suitcase and then headed towards the apt”.
Keep reading … a new series coming up ... read the last paragraph carefully ...