Friday, February 29, 2008

Private Number...Calling...

After a strenuous day of work, I crashed at 1am. Within moments, I heard my mobile phone rocking the whole room. Cursing my mobile as it made Susmita Sen disappear immediately in the fog, I slowly opened my eyes. I looked at my mobile and it said "Private Number...calling..." I saw my watch, it showed 3am. I thought it was only minutes since I had slept. With a completely sleepy tone even a baby could understand, I said "Hello-o-o-..." And the voice on the other end enthusiastically said "Hey Ramesh, it’s me Pujitha. I know you'd have reached by now. So, how was the journey?? How is US?!" I was totally perplexed and I slowly said "Excuse me?!" And the voice immediately said "Oops...I'm sorry, I must have got the wrong number!" and she hung up immediately.

I sighed heavily and went back to sleep, hoping I'll meet Susmita at the same place again. I didn't even tell her 'bye' before I left her last time. All because of this wrong number. Damn! I almost slept and the mobile rang again. I opened my eyes. I looked at my phone and it read a number from Chennai, India. Brushing away the thoughts it might be the same darn Pujitha, I picked the call and said "Hello". The voice said "Hi, it's me…the same person who called a couple of minutes ago. Listen…my brother has travelled to US for the first time. I got a little over-enthusiastic wanting to be the first person to call him after he lands there. Once I found it wasn't his voice, I hung up immediately. Then I realized I did not even say a 'sorry' to you. I'm really very sorry". I blinked twice. Susmita had gone beyond my reach now. I then said "Oh…k. I understand. And it's alright. If you may excuse me, I'll go sleep". And she said "Oh yeah sure. Sorry again” I said “I already said it’s alright” And she smiled and continued “My brother has gone to New York. Is that where you live too?" I had completely lost my sleep by now. I replied "Yup. I do. And if you don't know, it is 3.15am now and this is the time people normally sleep". I sounded a little harsh there. Maybe it triggered her. She said "Alright Mr.whatever. I just called to say a 'Sorry'. I'm aware it's time people sleep. And for all you know, it is sort of fun to wake somebody in the middle of the night. It indeed made me happy to have spoilt your sleep!" She hung up with a thud.

For a second, I wondered how crazy people can be. Then I went to bed. The next day, I was thinking about the call and Pujitha. It all appeared like a dream to me. I looked at my mobile and there the number was in the 'received calls' list. It wasn't a dream after all. Mid-day at work, an idea struck and I took my mobile to call Pujitha. I knew it would be 3am in Chennai. I went to the call history and called her. Somebody picked up and the voice was very much like what I thought I heard last night. I hurriedly said "Hola dear, where did you go? I have been trying to reach you all day. I miss you here so badly. Why don’t you come here? Trust me Sweta I really love you so much!" The voice in the other end slowly and sleep fully said "Sweta? Who do you think you are talking to? You must have got the wrong number". I viciously smiled at my own triumph. I then said "Oh yeah? Now I understand it is in fact fun to wake somebody in the middle of the night!" She understood. She said "Oh, it is you. I just can't believe somebody would do such a thing. You are insane!" She hung up immediately. Maybe she has the habit of not developing conversations with strangers. I walked towards my desk and continued my work. I somehow felt completely satisfied that day.

That night as I hit the bed, it occurred to me that she might call me in the middle of the night. She appeared to me like she belonged to the 'return-the-insult-promptly' cult. I set my alarm at 3am and I promptly woke up. I looked at my mobile. No missed calls. I waited for a min. Then two. Then five. No calls from her. I looked a little stupid to myself. Maybe I'm over-acting I thought. I should better sleep now I decided. I switched off my lights. And Alas! The phone rang. It read "private number...calling..." That brought a big smile on my face. 'Here we go' I said to myself. After making sure that my voice is not even close to sleepy, I picked up the call and said "Hello..." She sensed that I aint asleep. She said "Halo, you are not asleep?" The unexpectedness in her voice made me feel greatly victorious. I replied "No. Somehow I felt you'd call me back. I had set an alarm at 3am!" She did not show her reaction. I waited. She then she said "Ohhhh..ok. It actually irritates me a lot right now. But at the same time, I'm amazed people would be this crazy to even set an alarm and wake up in the night, just to prove a damn point!". She felt irritated. That made me all the more victorious and the whole situation sort of funny. I replied with a smile "Yup. And I'm equally amazed how women behave exactly as men expect them to!" She replied "You are absolutely stupid. Aren't you?" I said "Oh yeah, I become stupid in the middle of the nights here. What about you? You are crazy even in the day!" I heard her smile. We spoke for around 10 minutes. The conversation ended with "Take care, bye".

The next day, I called her at 3am Chennai time. And no prize for guessing - she was up. And we spoke for 20 minutes. And this continued for a week. Then we slowly changed our timing to something comfortable to both of us. And that continued for months. By then, we had liked each other. Then I travelled back to India for good. I met her. We both liked each other's by looks too. I asked her with a diamond ring in "Rang de Basanti" style and she nodded with smile. We got married the same month. Days after our wedding, one night I received a call in my mobile at 2am. We both were already tired because you-all-know-why. We were fast asleep. The mobile jerked me up. I got up and looked around. She wasn’t there next to me. The room looked a lot more familiar than I saw it before. I looked at my mobile.

The mobile read "Private number...calling..."

29 comments:

ThanaMoi said...

ada paavi.. ithu ellam imagintionaaa.. haha.. but u know.. i really liked it... very very sweet... haha.. i dunno how to say.. but.. its just too cute... next time i see a private number calling.. i'll get reminded of this story..

Vidhya said...

Namaku oru kannu pona, innortharuku rendu kannum poganumnu nenaikaravana nee ! Alarm vechu ezhunthu bulba :-) Very funny..

Guru said...

Wokay .. Nalla story ..


Actually you are very good at this da, narrative writing .. You had me hooked to your story till the last line ..

Cheers..

Jayaprakash said...

The story was a nice read Arun.....it can be interpreted in many ways , as you told me....the reader can assume the whole thing to be his imagination or a part of it or consider everything to be real....
Good job !!

vidhya said...

unngaa imagination super :)

Vinoth Jayachandran said...

By the way, pujitha sounds kinda Punjabi to me... You know that I loathe people monkeying around with Punjabis… Anyway I saw your comment on my blog… watch out for my latest by tomorrow.

Sahefa said...

Hey
great article...thnx 4 stoppin by!:)

Sahefa said...

Hey
wrote a new post. Do check it out

Anonymous said...

hey, visited ur blog for the first time. as far as i know u,i never expected this and ur blog was a very pleasant surprise....nice....continue....

Gayatri said...

Thalaiva! Idhu enna true story-a? :-)

Prash said...

What a story ba!! But when you said you came back from work at 1 am in NY... I cudn't help but salute your sincerity!

Arun Sundar said...

Thanamoi,
Thanks.

Vidhya,
Adhu dhaaney 'desi policy'?

Guru,
Thanks.

JP,
Thanks and super da - I think only u understood the way I expected it to!

Vidhya,
Thanks and it's not a complete imagination though ;)

Vinoth,
Monkeying around Punjabi girls?? You are saying that? Are u on drugs?!

Sahefa,
Thanks.

Anon,
Sure, thanks.

Gayatri,
True story dhaan. Indha "Elakaaram"..err.."Yegathaalam" dhaaney venaangrathu?!

Prash,
Thanksu baa...and when I said I crashed at 1am, it doesn't mean that I came back only then. And even if it so, its all in the game!! ;)

Arun B said...

I have a question here .. in which language was Pujitha speaking to the hero of the story ??

Arun Sundar said...

Arunb,

Does that really matter to u? Lets say she was speaking in english/tamil.

Narayanan said...

there is a old practice is deep south - u keep a pair of slippers and a broom near your bed .... that might ensure that u get good sleep :)

Sabarivasen K said...

karpani kudamey.......un alumbukku ellaiye kidayatha?????ethukku than naraya Hindi padam pakkathey-nu sonna kekuriya???????eppo ellam US vazhum desi-ya pathi eppadi than Hindi padam ellam depict panuranga........

Hey b/w i saw ur reply comments as "Thanks and it's not a complete imagination though ;)".....enna matter??????


@Arun B

Machi athu ellam understood da......namma hero.....heroine kuda nite 3 AM pesarthukku-nu Punjabi ellam kathikitu irupparu ;)

Anyways it was really nice going thru' this blog....apadiye oru padam partha feeling.....[;)]....keep rocking

Arun Sundar said...

Narayanan,

U calling that a "bad dream"?

:(

Sab,
This is a pure tamizh story. And I said its not pure imagination coz I got a call from offshore at 3am one day and the number displayed "Private number" and hence the idea of the story. And thanks!

Sab said...

oh boy..... u have taken a 1 liner outline of " offshore call @ 3AM" to a sensational Love Story.....gr8imagination......i guess someone has deeply impressed u during this INDIA trip...bcos i could c lot of LOVE Based story come up after ur return......enna matter...some thing is really fishy ;-) ;-)

Arun Sundar said...

Hey Sab,

I have grown much beyond getting impressed by 'someone'. Oru fishy'um illa.

maxdavinci said...

You had me till the lashtu line pa...

well written!

Shiv said...

wow..wat an imagination..till the last para i thot this was true

Ok said...

Nejameva va? Wow! Thats the sweetest story I know. Maybe you should see it to KS Ravikumar.

-Ok

Ok said...

I meant sell it to...

Arun Sundar said...

Maxdavinci,

Thanksu baa.

Shiv,

It was true only. Till the last para.

Ok,

You know KS Ravikumar's phone number? I was thinking about Night Shyamalan though ;)

♥bμşγ-ŵŗϊŧēŕ♥ said...

Wow. Had me gripped! Awesome..but, come one, give it a definite ending..sigh, this whole left-to-the-readers-to-interpret is so unfair. sigh.

Arun Sundar said...

Busy writer,

I kind of hate this left-to-the-readers-to-interpret types of stories. But this wasn't one of them. This whole story is a dream. Nothing except the last line of the story is real. Or that was my perspective. Thanks anyways.

*Sajith* said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
*Sajith* said...

wow.. awesome.. wat you would've done if the person calling at 3 was a male.??

InWantOfBeingMe said...

Fantastic !

I totally stayed till the end, really wondering what next, what next ? Though, I kinda sensed that you guys'd have been married by now.

Sweet story, whether real or not :)