In each other's company they became completely opposite of what they were!
It used to be a place of mundane nature for Varun. His colleagues, be it the men or the women were always amidst discussions, laughter and gossip. ‘What is so goddamn always interesting in other peoples’ lives?’ Varun thought but could never put a finger on anything. In the three years, he’d been in Vertigo Tech, he had been a part of discussions, laughter, gossip, parties and outings only once, that too all at once on 2 nights 3 days outing to Goa, in his first year itself. It was such a disaster, that after Goa he had never bothered to hang out with anyone nor did anyone talked to him. This made him immensely happy.
In total contrast was Yashika. A new joinee, yet everyone’s favourite. People loved to talk to her and she loved it too. A total chatterbox, Yashika was always bringing sweets, chocolates for people around her. Every colleague discussed her behind her back but always on a positive note. People loved hanging out with her. Her looks, talks, dressing, work were always in talks. Oblivious to all this, Yashika used to be in her own bubble.
Obviously, being the chatterbox she was, Yashika had always been curious about Varun. ‘How can this guy talk to nobody at all?’ she used to ponder over. She had seen Varun having only professional discussions. She thought Varun was a mystery and intended to unfold him one day. She had tried talking to him but in vain.
Over new college placements, there were discussions of either acquiring new space or shifting of the current employees. In conclusion, it was decided that a new space will be acquired along with the current office space staying intact. Amidst all this, the existing employees found themselves shifting from one corner to the other.
As fate would have it, Varun and Yashika were to be seated in the same bay. Yashika was friends with the other four people except for Varun. She knew a project in the US was coming up and was worried how bored she would be in her bay, just her and Varun. The five colleagues left soon for a ten-week project in Boston, Massachusetts. She bid them farewell with double fold. She was happy because they were getting a great opportunity but sad because she would be left all alone with the silent box, Varun. They told her ‘Don’t talk to him much as he is a snob. You wait for us; we will be back in no time. Ciao!”
The first week was dull, slow and quiet as expected. They made almost no talks. If they did, they were limited to the balance sheet as they were in the Finance Department. ‘Why would they even let him work here? He looks like a total nut case!’ Yashika thought. But then she recollected what the others had said about him, ‘He is an awful genius when it comes to the books!’
Chatting came naturally to Yashika. It wasn’t her liking, but her need. So she brought up topics that she thought would make Varun talk. But they did not seem to work. She was getting restless now. Shutting up the whole day and working was certainly not her cup of tea. She tried some more but eventually surrendered. ‘He is definitely a snob’, Yashika said to herself while leaving work Friday evening.
Monday came as swiftly as it could. It was Monday after all! Yashika and her sour mood returned and so did Varun and his silence. Catching up on the financial news, Yashika thought, ‘’Bunch of idiots. How is reducing the loan rates going to help the economy…You are just making people create more assets!’’ Little did she know she had said that out loud and that Varun was staring at her. “Umm I think you are judging this decision quickly, Yashika”, said Varun.
She knew she was wrong. But she had to act smart in front of him. She needed to defend her case strongly and hope for a win. “Oh yeah, how so?” she demanded to know. “What you are saying isn’t entirely wrong. Yes, the disposable income might decrease. But investments in housing and property also contribute to the wealth of the nation and to the aggregate demand and economic growth. It is also anyway motivating consumer spending. Due to this, imports and International relation can be better. Banks benefit as well by giving out short term loans and subsequent lower interest rates to recapitalize their net interest margin. Also, lower interest rates increase the money supply. This can lead to gradual rise in asset prices. There are two sides to a coin, Yashika. You should not forget that.”
Yashika was stunned. For the first time, it was happening that Varun was the one to speak at a stretch and Yashika was listening intently. Yashika considered what Varun had to say and partly agreed to it. In the further ten minutes, she was in complete agreement with Varun’s opinion. Then she realised, similar to lower the interest rates, she had judged Varun hastily as well, and it wasn’t right. Maybe she would give him the benefit of doubt and begin afresh tomorrow. For today, it was enough.
The next day, Yashika greeted Varun politely and offered him a sweet. Varun took one and thanked her. After an hour of completing her daily tasks, Yashika thought if she should try to gain some knowledge from Varun and she did that. She asked him doubts and queries about various financial topics. Varun finished his work for the day in a while and began addressing Yashika’s doubts. He felt great to impart his knowledge and Yashika felt good to receive it. A few things, Yashika wasn’t clear about, Varun repeated and made sure every concept and every doubt was taken care of.
Yashika went home that day and felt like she had lived in her own world for too long. As a well read, educated person and a part of a global corporation, Yashika realised she was at loss by doing so. Varun too felt exhilarated to have talked so much. He too felt he missed out on some fine experiences by not sharing and discussing his thoughts. Both of them slept peacefully and woke up fresh.
That week a lot was discussed, shared and covered between Varun and Yashika. In the following days, they had long discussions about Finance and Economics. Varun told her, ‘’Remember Yashika, Finance and Economics go hand in hand. One is always incomplete without the other’’. Yashika agreed to that and found herself immensely interested in Economics. Never before had she been so fond of Economics. The sole reason, today, was Varun. She stumbled upon the fact that this fondness was not only for Finance & Economics but also for Varun. Varun experienced a liking for Yashika as well. He liked mentoring her and discussing with her.
Soon, the discussions from Finance and Economics took a turn to interests. Both, Yashika and Varun were fond of films and acoustic guitar music. They shared mutual interests of bands and horror films too. In a week’s time, they were sharing lunch, going on breaks together, laughing at the same jokes. They had become friends in a short span of time.
Once while having lunch Yashika asked Varun, “Hey Varun, people have said this about you and I have noticed as well. You don’t take a day off. But you take leaves for fortnights at a stretch. Why is that? What do you do in these times? Are you sick or something?”
Their friendship had grown in these few weeks. They were comfortable enough to invade each other’s privacy. It did not feel awkward at all.
Varun noticed how Yashika had fired more than two questions at once. He smiled at that moment and knew it was time. “Come here, I want to show you something”, he said. Yashika felt ecstatic, she knew Varun was about to spend his secret with her. Her eyes widened and so did her grin. She pushed her chair towards his and stared at his screen in awe.
On Varun’s laptop, she saw the website of a blog with Varun’s picture on it. Varun was skiing; skydiving, bungee jumping, scuba diving, mountain biking in all those pictures. Yashika’s mouth remained open for a while. “What is this? What’s happening? Is that really you, Varun?”
“Yep, that’s me. I am a traveller. This is my secret. I take long leaves to travel. I love travelling and it gives meaning to my life. I also blog about it and I have a certain number of people following me. In fact, I am so much in love with travelling that I am leaving this job to do it full-time.” Varun said.
Yashika remained stunned. “You are leaving? Why? When? You can travel and work together, right?”
“I can, but I don’t want to. I am bugged of this corporate shit. People except you are so depressing here. That is the reason I don’t talk to anyone around here. Find solace in others’ business. They don’t do anything themselves. It bugs me a big deal and hence I prefer staying away from it. Travel takes me away from all this to a whole different place. I can’t leave that. I have to leave this!”
Yashika understood. In the time they had spent together, Yashika and Varun had really grown close. They understood each other very well. Hence, she did not ask him to stay back but instead she praised him for being so daring.
In 3 days, the colleagues in her bay returned from their project and things got back to normal.
On the day of Varun’s farewell, nobody contributed to give him a gift or even a meal. For his farewell speech, their manager spoke what a good resource he was losing and wished him luck. Yashika proactively mentioned she wished to talk. She just said, “Go Varun, fly!” and gave him a big hug.
There was not a single person in the present that was able to hide their surprise at Yashika’s and Varun’s display of affection. Yet, nobody spoke said a thing and wished Varun well for his future endeavours.
That was a year ago.
Today, Varun’s Blog is better than ever. His writings have been turned into a successful e-book and so have been his pictures. His Twitter handle has more than 20,000 followers and his Facebook Page is handled by his three assistants.
Yashika and Varun are still the best of friends and are planning to travel together soon. When these two chat, Skype or meet in person, the situation becomes totally opposite than earlier. Yashika keeps mum and Varun is the one to talk nonstop!