Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Abhay Ki Love Story (Part 2) - The Evening Walk!

If you haven't, you may read Part-1 of the Story here.
There was a knock on the door. Abhay got up and opened the door, it was the room service; the lunch they had ordered had arrived. They had the food and the coffee, which was Abhay’s favourite. He loved coffee, especially the coffee served in Bangalore’s Coffee Stalls.
He told Naina, “You know, Coffee is the 3rd best drink in the world. It’s a bit cold here, else I would have ordered the 2nd best drink – Lassi”. Abhay knowingly, used to refer Lassi as the 2nd Best, Coffee as the 3rd, Butter Milk as the 4th, Fruit Juice as the 5th and Milk as the 6th best drinks in the world. With that description, people are forced to ask about which drink he considers the best of them all. Usually, people think of Beer/Wine/Whisky/Rum. Naina fell for the same trick. She couldn’t resist and asked, “So, which is the best drink then?” Abhay replied, “It is obvious isn’t it? It’s Water! The Elixir of life on earth."
He continued, "Most people think that I would name some alcoholic beverage as the best drink, but I don’t drink that. I never have.”
Naina was a bit embarrassed because she had told him already that she drinks occasionally. She admitted the same and Abhay really did not like that. To him alcohol and cigarette are evil breeders. But, he didn’t really want to impose his will on Naina, so he did what his is best known to do. He started discussing about it logically, with facts. The following is what he explained-
“See Naina, I don’t mind if you drink, but I don’t and I would really prefer if you don’t. But I know its your personal choice. I will even go to DJs and Bars with you. I have been there with colleagues, but I won’t drink, I don't drink. I may pick up a mock-tail or two but no alcoholic beverages. It is needed in countries or regions where the climate is cold to keep the body warm. In India, we have no such need. You already know it, it has so many harmful effects. And you know what happens to people who smoke or drink? They invest a lot of money buying such stuff. Then they need more income to get more alcohol. Their lives become dependent on it. To make up for the income, they work more and get stressed more and drink more! It is a vicious cycle. Many times such people also take up unethical practices, since their normal income is not sufficient. That is why I don’t drink.”
Naina replied, “Abhay, it is not like I am addicted. I drink occasionally. Even my family knows. However, I promise you, I will not drink from now on!”
Abhay smiled, and kissed her, this time, on her sweet & soft lips. And he said the three magic words, “I love You, princess”. [Abhay had nicknamed her ‘princess’].
Naina blushed and hugged him tightly. Abhay was reminded of an image he had seen on Facebook which read - 'One day, someone is going to hug you so tight, that all of your broken pieces will stick back together.' When Naina hugged him back, he felt just like that.

They continued their conversation, and shared stories, even about their Ex-s. Naina showed him a couple of images. One of which was the pic of a beautiful Necklace which she wanted to buy, but haven't found it in any shop yet. Abhay smiled. Naina then asked Abhay to go for a walk, since it was more than a day they had spent in that room. Abhay smiled again, and started to get ready. He asked her to take a bath and also informed her the bathroom’s lock wasn’t working. Naina went inside the bathroom and came out within seconds. She had realized that the lock indeed didn’t work. She asked Abhay to fix it. Abhay expressed his inability to do so and said half-jokingly – “Don’t worry, it’s just me here. And I am not gonna peek inside. Trust me!” She went inside and came out again. Abhay could feel her hesitation and said, “Trust me, I promise, just have a bath.”
They finally got out of the hotel, hand in hand they walked together.
First they went on to have some snacks, Abhay wanted to buy some medicine, but the medical store was the other way. Naina insisted on continuing in the direction they were already walking. He logic was that there must be some medical store in this direction too.
They kept walking until they reached the MG Road. Naina told him that she had been planning to visit MG Road to do some shopping. She had heard that one can get good clothes and stuff for daily use for reasonable price. Abhay on the other hand, wanted to buy some gift for her “Bhabhi” (Ram’s bride) {Bhabhi in Hindi means sister-in-law.} They had attended the wedding, but yet had to attend the Reception, which was to take place in Goa.
Abhay wanted Naina’s help to select a gift for his Bhabhi and told her the same. Naina told him that she would be happy to help, but without knowing a girl’s background, it is not going to be easy. Abhay said, just select whatever you like, and I will gift the same. 
On the way, Abhay saw a Pan-Seller...

Abhay was fond of “Meetha-Pan”. Pan is a mouth-freshener available in different tastes and varieties in India. Meetha-Pan means Sweet-Pan which does not contain any tobacco or Supari. He stopped to have one. Abhay is very much interested in human psychology and has an aura & charm about him, which helps him make instant friends. Naina had asked Abhay to demonstrate the same, so he signaled Naina to get ready. He was going to be-friend the Pan-Seller in less than a minute.
He ate the Pan, and liked it genuinely. So he said – “Bhaiya, your pan tastes better than Banarsi Pan, I loved it.” The Pan-Seller was taken aback! He replied, “Sir this is Banarsi pan. I am from Allahabad”. Abhay replied, “Ohk! That’s how you can make such an amazing Pan. Even I am from a town called Sultanpur from UP, and she’s Naina, even she has done her engineering at Varanasi”. This was more than sufficient for the Pan-Seller to open up. He told them his whole life’s story, in short. He was a Lawyer and had worked in a private organization, where illegal practices were going on. He had raised his voice and was fired, because the top brass decided to protect their favorites and also because the top brass were themselves involved in illegal and criminal activities. The Pan-Seller sold the Pan only as his hobby!

Abhay thanked the Pan-Seller and told a bit about his own story. Then he left with Naina. Naina was amazed. She asked him – “So what’s the trick?”. Abhay smiled.
Abhay began explaining, “see Naina, most people think it’s a trick. It is not. There are two things that I did. One, I genuinely appreciate his work, his creation – the Sweet Pan. These days people criticize more and appreciate less. Those who appreciate stand out. But note that I am not talking about flattery or buttering, but genuine appreciation. Number two, I made a connection with him, by talking about his native place. For him, Bangalore is still a foreign land. Saying that I was from the same region as him, made him feel connected to me, and so he opened up. Icing on the cake was the fact that you have studied at Varanasi. You know that I have studied and lived in various parts of India, hence it is easy for me to establish a local-connection with people.”
Naina asked, “Hmm, but what if he had said that he is from Jaipur?”
Abhay replied, “See in that case, I would have told him that I have been to Jaipur and talk about places in Jaipur. If he would have named a city that I haven’t yet been to, I would have asked him about his city and mention anything I would have read or studied about it.”
He continued, “Now that you are into HR and that too into Talent Acquisition, you must learn these things too”.
“I am learning from the best, you know”, Naina grinned. Abhay laughed.
They kept crossing shops after shops and a couple of show-rooms and malls.
Finally Abhay & Naina decided to enter the Pantaloons Show-room.
[To be continued in Part 3 ]

You may read Part 3 by clicking here.

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