The SMS


“Long time no C. Kithe ho?” – the message beeped on my Blackberry. I squinted as I read it, daylight not having broken yet. I wondered who the sender was. “Who’s this?” I replied groggily! No answer. The message had failed. There wasn’t a number to reply to! I peered at the phone through my glasses, as if it would reveal a secret number. It was pointless. I shook the sheets off and went into the bathroom. Here’s to the start of another tiring day! “Beep..beep”. I rushed to pick up the blackberry. Another message. “Free today? Coffee @ 5?”. I screamed back “Who d hell r u?”. Again, ‘message failed’.

The clocks on the wall ticked away, showing the time in various countries (as if anyone cared!). I was in the thick of a bad-hair-day and a near-migraine, when the boss rounded us up for a “productivity improvement meeting”. A “hmmmph” here, and a “grunt” there, but we entered the long conference room with a resigned air, and cups of thin, bitter coffee in hand. Well, anything to stall the brain-death during the brain-storming!

“So, what do you think, Ms.Shikha?” Silence. “Ms.Shikha, we would like to know your ideas”. The Miss Shikha suddenly jolted out of her reverie. “Um…er…I…I fully agree, Sir. We should produce…I mean…do productivity…er…increase prod….”. “That’s enough”, the old boss snapped. He glared around the room, hunting the next victim. I bent down to adjust something…shoes, perhaps. “You…Ms….what’s your name?”. I continued looking down. Then someone nudged me. “Me, Sir?” I asked innocently. “Yes, you…what do you think of this initiative?” I tried hard to come up with some intelligent monosyllable…but my throat ran dry. My fingers gripped a pen, and my knees trembled.

Suddenly, “Beep…beep” went the blackberry. Several heads turned in my direction. “Hey sexy, coffee @ 5?” the message read. I was paralysed. After what seemed ages, I quite involuntarily muttered, “Bloody bast***”. And suddenly, I was the star! Eyes rolled. Someone stifled a laugh. Someone coughed. Someone else giggled out loud.

“Whaaat??? What…did..you…just…say?” a voice thundered above my head. The old gentleman was fuming. So much for a productive meeting! I suddenly realised what I’d done. “No Sir, I mean…sorry Sir…I didn’t mean you…it was just…this…”. I was just short of falling at his wrinkled old feet. “That’s enough”, the old badger screamed, and, with no marks for guessing, ordered me out of the room.

I left the room, my head throbbing, and eyes red. I cursed my job (I hated it anyway) and my phone (I was getting to like that!). As I entered the pantry, someone rushed towards me. “Hey Shiks!” he yelled excitedly. Before I could fathom what was happening, I was suddenly squeezed in a bear hug. When I finally came around, “Hey Prithvi…when did you arrive?”, I asked him (my first crush at work). “Just this morning, but am flying back tomorrow. Lots of work at the Gurgaon office. How about dinner and a movie today?”. ‘That was quick’, I thought, but smiled at the prospect of a pleasant ending to a horrid day. “Okay”, I nodded. “Fantastic!! See you then!” he replied, and rushed towards the crowded elevator. I waved, tiredly. It had been quite a day!

“Beep…beep”. I picked up my phone. No number. I trembled and started cursing, as I read the message: “Thanks swt-hrt. Pick u up @ 9”.

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