shrill voice echoes

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Friends Shipped



Mr. Neerav Singh Thakkar
        CEO 
   Skyline Vista

Read his visiting card. Neerav was standing against his balcony's marble balustrade sitting on his swing on that Sunday morning,glancing at his holographic visiting card. He was looking out for the Chief Secretary's card in his wallet that was handed over to him just a day back. Prompt as he had always been Neerav wanted to thank him back by writing an email. Meeting the Chief Minister was important to him . Neerav was glad he had pitched Skyline Vista's proposal to build the  biggest games village of the country. Even if he didn't bag the contract, such strategic alliances were important for the big businesses as Skyline Vista .
     Neerav tilted his visiting card,looking at it from left and right with a narcissistic pleasure. At 35, he was one of the youngest paid CEOs and he still had miles to go. After  sending the email to Chief Minister's office Neerav went onto login to the news portal. Funny that the news portal site had a pop up ad directing him to an e-comm site that had a special " Friendship's Day Sale on shoes and clothes".
   Neerav couldn't help but unleash his management thoughts.Skyline Vista hadn't roped in anything to flag  friendship's day digital marketing strategy. He understood that selling real estate to youngsters buying friendship bands wasn't the smartest thing to do. He would always analyse the customer sentiment and he did exactly that again. Would I be interested in buying property when I was 20- 25 years of age on Friendship's Day? Hell, No.
 That thought struck Neerav as a thunderbolt . What would I have done 10-15 years back on this day? A train of thoughts started running in his mind. While in college he would hang out with Adit, Smriti ,Madhav, Anushka and their gang. He remembered how they would play antakshari till late. He remembered how many times Madhav and he got drunk and Adit would be the last man standing taking them to their hostel rooms. Neerav had always been driven and there were instances when he had said no to outings as well; in order to prepare for the Business Plan competitions. Neerav and Adit shared a special camaraderie as they were both in the college swimming team. Madhav was the dude who would sing in the college rock band and had a huge fan following. Anushka always lent the group her class notes as she used to be the diligent topper. Smriti was the cynosure of everybody's eyes who was always busy texting to her long distance boyfriend. She was happy to be a part of the group as she felt comfortable being treated just like a friend with no suitors. Neerav remembered that one time in their party when Madhav was drunk to the hilt , confessing he really liked Smriti,while Smriti was equally drunk to make any sense out of it. All this leaving a smile on Neerav's face. A typical college life he had had. He was happy reminiscing those days.
   Just then Neerav's phone rang. It was still pattering on his balcony on 15th floor overlooking the Arabian Sea. Mumbai Rains, romantic as always. It was his wife. She told him that she would be spending her evening with her friends at the club. She had already asked the butler to look into Neerav's lunch requirements. Knowing fully well, that Neerav spent little time with family on Sundays and more on the golf course / gym sweatworking she didn't bother to ask Neerav about his leisure plans on Sunday. Neerav had mixed feelings. He knew he had more than 2000 contacts on his linkedin profile and thousands followers and friends on facebook. All he did day in and day out was  " networking" or euphemistically put "relationship building". He felt this void for the first time. He had his advisors,counselors , mentors, parents and family ; everyone one could call a support system but he had been missing something. The last time Adit had called Neerav,it was for some small favour which Neerav had even helped him with, but disconnected the call saying he was busy and would talk later. When Anushka got married and invited the gang to her wedding in Delhi, Neerav was on a business trip to UK. When Madhav released his first album and Neerav saw it on facebook, all he did was posted a thumbs up. When Smriti finished her PhD and sent the gang that touching email talking of her trials and tribulations in the academic research on "Condition of Indian Farmers:Ways to improve Policy in Agricultural Economy" Neerav commented saying she was on her way to becoming a leftist.
    He felt sorry today. He felt miserable for there was noone he could talk to and talk for no reason at all. There was no one who could just give him that yaaron wali gaali. Noone with whom he could just to go and have the roadside chai for kicks and share a hearty laugh. He didn't even remember the whatsapp group that was made to keep the 5 together because he hardly got time to check it. As he felt friendless he went towards the balcony's edge and drenched himself in rain.
"Yes, I am drifting apart from a lot of things",he thought .
Just then his cellphone beeped. He looked at it. The secretary said that Skyline Vista's proposal was being considered for further action. The ministry needed certain clarifications.
  Neerav went back to work thinking he would call Adit and the rest of the gang.



 

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