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Episode 10: Project Avoid Priya

Episode 9 Click here

It was 7 pm on a warm Saturday evening and the 3 idiots landed in front of the Indian grocery store. Vijay twisted his eyebrows and casually read the store name “Your brother’s”, looking at Dharmraj.
“Right every Patel is my bro, right from Sardar Vallabh bhai to Praful Patel to that idiotic cricketer Parthiv Patel”, Dharmraj Patel got furious at Vijay’s comments and it was evident from his tone and the way he pronounced the word Right. Actually the way “RIGHT” is pronounced speaks volumes about the mood of a person. Vijay had no clue what was happening and was wondering why someone would get furious about their last name.
“It’s like Khan among Muslims; common surname, do you think Imran Khan and Moin Khan were brothers“? Dharmraj added.

“Hero, get whatever South Indian Items you like” Marathe showed Vijay the section which had lot of packets which read MTR.
Vijay’s eyes lit up like a batsman’s eye when he sees a flighted ball from a spinner. He danced down the track towards the aisle. MTR was a famous brand in Karnataka, initially a famous hotel now a household name when it comes to spices and packed food items. And the sight of Kannada font which he even struggled to read on the packets made his eyes moist. Back in INDIA he hated that language, hated reading and writing it, because he was bad at written Kannada and his parents even till date doubt how he achieved 94 in that subject in his 10th grade. He began to read every printed word as if he had found a clue to the Treasure Island.

“Dude, grab the stuffs quickly you will have lot of time for reading while watching cricket”, Marathe tried to speed up the shopping but Vijay seemed confused and lost. Karnataka and its obsession with rice was a breakfast is worth a mention, VIBGYOR rice; i.e. a rice based breakfast with a color literally for each day. Vijay aimed at creating a few of them and ended up with a Puliogrey mix a Bisi Bele Bath mix and a couple of other rice mix.
Vijay got goose bumps when he sighted the green bottle of BRU instant coffee. There is nothing more to a South Indian than a cup of steaming strong filter coffee; they can literally survive on that for a day or two.
“Kem Cho”, the lady at the billing counter had a brief conversation with Dharmraj. Vijay felt jealous that he didn’t have a single person from his state to speak in his own language.

Vijay grabbed the grocery bag from the counter and suddenly his ears over heard a sweet conversation in Kannada language. He dropped the grocery bag in the cart and ran towards the voice like a batsman scampering a quick single. He was dying to listen to a Kannada voice, let alone talking to someone. Sooner he approached the voice it sounded familiar and his doubt led to clarification when he caught a glimpse of lady in red, yes it was his Priya. He awkwardly ducked below aisle to evade her like a batsman ducking to evade a bouncer from Bret Lee. His heart began to beat at the pace at which bouncer was delivered. The moment he caught a glimpse her `Project Avoid Priya` seemed to go down the drain, rather Project Seek Priya began developing. He was caught in two minds like a batsman neither playing forward nor backward.

Suddenly he felt like a batsman’s failing to differentiate between conventional and reverse swing based on the shine of the ball. Heart would say one, mind the other. Logically he had to Avoid Priya as per the Project, but her shear presence, her sweet voice eroded any ounce of logic. This was when he learned that there was a big difference between proposing a theory and implementing it. To catch a second glimpse he peeped through aisle and coincidentally she turned and got a glimpse of him. He had only .46 of a second to react to the situation, the same time a slip fielder gets to catch the ball. His heart began to beat like never before, so hard that he could hear the vibrations. He did that best he could do at that moment i.e. run away from her towards the exit following Marathe and Patel.

Priya blinked her eyes in disbelief; she was still wondering whether it was Vijay or someone else. Even though she wanted to teach Vijay a lesson, but from inside she wanted to see him. She walked past the aisle and towards exit and through the transparent door, she saw Vijay getting into the rear seat of a black Honda Accord. Vijay saw Priya staring at the Accord to catch a second glimpse; he felt bad for her, seeing her confused face searching for something made his eyes moist.

But the devilish mind had other thoughts; Project Avoid Priya is ON, like a spinner he had tossed up the ball to entice the batsman, it was upto the batsman to either scoop it in the air and perish or blast it away for a sixer. He has induced some interest in her now, either she could fall in the trap or completely go off track.

Priya stood staring at the transparent door as she saw the Accord exit out of the parking lot and enter the street. She was going through mixed emotions, she definitely wanted to teach Vijay a lesson, but she had no plan as to how to go about it. Her acts were all out of true instincts and emotions, no logic attached to it.
“Let’s get some more pickle, Priya”, her roommate broke the silence.
She picked up her stuffs and headed back towards the billing counter.

“Woh Aap Key Dost They?” the billing lady asked Priya as soon as she placed her items on the counter. “Who?” Priya had a question mark on her face and pretended as of nothing had happened. The billing lady had seen enough of these and didn’t need any explanations. I guess this is what experience is all about.

On the way back Priya began to think about Vijay, she began to recollect the conversations that she had with him right from the flight take off to the Mumbai airport. She also remembered how possessive he was, when he did his best to kick Ravi out of the scene, it was a childish act but she liked. She liked his sarcastic chirpy jokes rather poor jokes as he self proclaimed it. Even though she hated cricket she liked his passion for that sport. He had to be an Idiot to focus and talk about cricket when he was with a gorgeous young lady. She kind of liked that Idiot, and now she was missing him, missing him badly and realized it when she accidentally bumped into him twice in a day. May be it was destiny or in fact it might just be coincidence, but she felt something good about it and decided to pursue her interest.

After she went home, began jotting `Project Seek Vijay` and began working towards it in her own way.

At the same time `Project Avoid Priya` had entered phase 2 in Vijay’s notebook.

To know more about which Project would succeed and which would fail
Keep reading ….

Suggestions, Comments and Abuses are welcome as always.

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