The morning is insanely busy. Murphy’s law comes true in almost every possible situation. My alarm fails and I oversleep. I wake up at 8.30 to realise the geyser has malfunctioned and I have no hot water. The milk boils over, forcing me to clean the entire gas stove, thereby wasting even more time. By the time I leave home, I’m already exhausted. I’m just getting to the car as I see his incoming message. “Hey. What’s up?”

Running late. Will ping once I reach office, I tell him. I reach office at a very late 10.30 AM. Almost an hour after my usual time. I’m still catching up on emails and pending work when the phone buzzes. It’s an unknown number. “Sir, we are calling from HDFC bank.” First of all, I’m not sir, I tell the poor guy and hang up. Barely tens minutes later, it buzzes again. This time I’m really irritated. I pick it up with the intention of giving the stupid marketing callers a piece of my mind.

“Good morning! How’s office?” His voice startles me, and then jolts me out of my reverie as I ask. What the fuck are you doing calling from an Indian number? “Uhm…let’s see. I’m standing opposite a building that says, Ganesh Apartments. And the building I’m standing in says, some tech park.”

It dawns on me as he’s talking that he’s standing at the entrance of my office. When the hell did you get here, I ask. “Come down first and meet me. Then you can start the interrogation.” I can hardly believe my ears. He’s actually here. And he didn’t even know where exactly my office was. How? How did he find out? My company has three buildings in the city. How did he know which one I work in?

I literally fly down the stairs to meet him. I haven’t seen him in years and I still struggle to believe that he’s actually here. I get to the main lobby and see him in a white shirt, blue jeans and sunglasses, looking good enough to eat. He sees me and breaks into a breathtaking smile. I slow down as I approach him and hold out a hand, unsure of how to greet him. “Oh come on!! Give me a hug now.” I melt into a big bear hug, reveling in the joy of seeing him again.

Fiction: Pleasant surprises

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