Continued from Part 2
Friday, probably not the 13th
Friday meant I had two days of time before I came to office the next Monday. That means two non-Yukti days. It was 4 PM in the evening when I took a break and went over to bakery across the bus stand. I saw her come out of the office premises. She’s done already? I thought. I saw the glint of her watch reflected by the evening sunlight. Her friends were with her. One of them laughed loudly, and gave Yukti a high five. I loved her face, dusky, those big black eyes. I wanted her to be mine.
On Thursday, the previous day I spent my time on the computer. My boss had given me the job of preparing a training manual which I was supposed to send it in to the talent acquisition team for their approval. I had learnt from someone that Friday was Yukti’s last day in the company. I was hoping that I would catch her alone this time or gather enough courage to approach her group and ask for an alone time with her. I met Yukti that day at the food court during lunch but I could only say ‘Hi’.
I thought I could use the Friday for the confession because I had two days of time to recover if there was ever going to be a rejection. She broke the silence, told me about the course she wanted to take up, and I told her about the interview I was going to attempt. I told her that her watch was nice and it looked good on her. It was a mechanical watch which had a silver strap. She thanked me and walked away before telling me that she was waiting to hear a new piece of music from me.
That was the ego boost I needed. I thought about that conversation until I reached home. She had seen me play the flute before. As soon as I reached home I picked up my flute and went to class. I had a new sense of pride of playing music that day and I was extra careful not to make mistakes.
‘Watch and listen to my instructions. Stop smiling for few minutes’, my teacher kept telling me throughout the session.
On Wednesday, I saw her there out the interview venue. It was 5.55 PM in the evening and I saw the interviewer near the reception desk. There was one minute left for the interview when I looked behind me. I saw Yukti across the street with two of her friends negotiating with the auto rickshaw on the busy street of MG Road. I was trying to remember his name while the interviewer walked past me. The interviewer stopped, turned towards me and called out to me.
He said he recognized me from my LinkedIn profile picture. He said that he liked my article and it was reminiscent of another article in a political magazine which had won a prestigious prize. He also said that he had a meeting so had to postpone the interview to Friday. I was relieved and agreed to the rescheduling of the meeting. I thanked him and raced through the door and out to the shops to go in search of Yukti. I saw her get into an auto and leave.
Friday, and across the bus stand at the bakery, as I was watching Yukti walk to the bus stop, my cell phone beeped. That was the interview day and Yukti’s last day too. The interview was at 6 PM. I checked my cell phone message. The message was from the interviewer. He requested me to come to the meeting at 5.30 PM instead of 6. He said there was another person at the interview who wanted to be there and would not be available after 5.30. I sighed and started walking towards Yukti after paying up for my Orange juice.
At first I walked towards her slowly but when I looked to her left. I saw the bus she was going to board almost at the stop. I looked at Yukti now. The bus stopped, and some people got down. This was my last shot. I gathered pace and walked fast towards Yukti while evading traffic. She got into the bus. That was when the bus moved and slowly gathered momentum.
I saw the information panel on the bus. It said ‘Shivajinagar’. MG Road, which was the place of my interview, is on the way to Shivajinagar. If I got on that bus I could see Yukti and reach MG Road as well. There wasn’t enough time to get on my bike and follow the bus. Instead I ran after the bus, I tried to reach the door. The bus raced and left me panting. I was almost giving up when I saw the bus approach the signal. I had only one shot at both. Yes, I loved Yukti. I hoped the signal light turned red. There would be hundreds of interviews lined up for me but this job was my dream job, and so was Yukti.