Rewind : Corner house two years ago
Nikhilesh reaches Corner House at 10:15 PM sharp. (He’s giving competition to the atomic clock). And the moment he parks his bike, they’re all given a call, “Corner house! Now!” And one by one, they all come over. Some just waking up, some just ready to go to sleep. Some don’t want to, but they just can’t resist Nikhilesh’s natural wit and charm. ( No one says ’Ahem’ or starts coughing after reading this.)
KG,NP,MS,MP,AD and DM (initials used to protect their secret superhero identities). We take our ice creams. NP suggests the weird flavour, Nikhilesh just doesn’t think it’s right and settles for some of the old faithful’s;
“I hate the work I do!”,” I hate shifts”,” My boss is a pain”,” I don’t get paid enough.”,” Life sucks yaar….and we’re the worst!”. Ok, sometimes the topics changed, but that would be predominantly to pull someone’s leg. This was perhaps the most fun they all had all day. And it’s perhaps the most simplest of happy-ness (yes...the spelling mistake was intentional) they knew. Ice cream and good company!
Fast forward: Present Day
It has all changed. Nikhilesh goes to Corner House after many many months. It just doesn’t feel the same. MS and DM are just too busy with their lives to come down and say hello anymore. KG and MP are stuck at the office. AD isn’t in the same town and NP isn’t even in the same country. ( I am sure she’s having better ice cream than what I had).
Yet Nikhilesh goes there, hoping, at least one familiar face might be there. But I guess today isn’t the day for good things to happen out of the blue. Nikhilesh still buys his all time favourite, Hot Chocolate Fudge and finds a nice comfy spot on the same footpath we all used to sit on many months ago. There felt a certain connection with that footpath. (I distinctly heard it whisper, “Hello there, long time - no see!”) He plugged in his Ipod ( His new found ‘4 AM’ friend these days). Switches the tune to listen to Chad Kroeger’s ‘Photograph’. He knew what the writer was thinking when he penned down that song.
But he accepts the fact, that this is the way life is. It has the nasty habit of changing the good things too quickly and changing the painful things slower than you’d like. Nikhilesh smiles to himself thinking of all the jokes they cracked, all the serious discussions they all had, all the nonsense they spoke after having one too many. “Good times they were!“ he thought. He gets up, shakes his head to get rid of all the nostalgia, for it was time to get back home. “Nostalgia isn’t going to help me now!” he thinks to himself. Gets on his noble steed (The ego-crushing,non-cool,non-fast Honda Activa) and rides back home, the tune of ‘photograph’ still running through his head.