Near miss. That was what it was called in aviation. Just saved by whiskers. The car screeched to a halt. The auto rickshaw driver ahead was showering a volley of cuss, Palash tried to wave him off.
Palash pressed the accelerator and swerved the car around the auto lending a deaf ear to his yells. Fault was his, Palash knew that well but here in this city you are never at fault... always it has to be the other. Besides the other here is an auto driver so it doesn't count really. But why was he so lost, that he almost had rammed into the auto!! Palash bit his lips hard surely Shraddha wasn't the only girl in the world. But she just seemed the one damn it!! The anger swelled inside again as he tried hard to gain composure. Why not me!!!! He was the topper and definitely the better looking. Was he exaggerating.. .not at all.. tall and fit he definitely could give anyone a tough fight!!
Four months of training together gave him enough time to woo her which he did the best he could. He knew she was impressed or at least he thought so. Not that she was the prettiest girl around, yet being in the same profession he had a feeling she would be good for him.They did have a chemistry and when they were posted in the same city their bond only strengthened. Why... he always helped her pull through all the assignments and interviews. In fact the boys were jealous of her as she had all his attention and all his tips and she was doing almost as well. While on the job they continued dating and it was obvious very soon they would tie the knot. He knew it would be a bit tough convincing his parents and extended family but that was nothing he could not get through. He had met her family and he knew they just waited for them to get together.
So what was it... he wasn't fully unaware of the laid back shabby pseudo intellectual Neeraj getting close to Shraddha, yet no way he could take them seriously. He had expressed his displeasure to her at his advances...but seriously!! He did feel left out when they laughed their hearts out at jokes he couldn't get hang of. And finally today with his first promotion he was in the perfect mood to fix the date with her. She had rejected politely, he was stupefied to say the least. He had tried to reason, plead.... do you need more time.... she had nodded in the negative firmly. He had lost his patience finally.
' Tell me who is it' he had fumed ' How dare you'
Finally he left in fury.... ' I don't care less'
Alone in the car he felt lost, cheated, mad. Women!!! But did he lose to Neeraj.... Neeraj of all the people. Or was it Shraddha who lost him.
Anger seethed through him, self pity swayed him.
The beeping cell phone caught his eyes. Ma.
He switched on the speaker trying to park the car in sideways.
'Beta....this match is excellent! I have sent you her snap. You will love her....' Ma went on
' Are you coming down this weekend... we want to finalise'
' Yes Ma i will'
Palash had checked the pic putting his mom's call on speaker.... and a breeziness filled his heart past the gloom and despair.
' Next weekend'
Ah near miss all right. He put on the music as he started the vehicle.