Her dad showed her a match on matrimony saying that they may receive a call, as the guy viewed their contact number. He looks familiar, she thought. She recollected that she ignored his profile on matrimony 5 months ago when her mom showed her.
అతను సేల్స్ఫోర్స్లో పనిచేస్తున్నాడా? [Does he work for Salesforce?]
she said, gaping. She was working as a Salesforce developer. She knew what it meant, to be working with that product based company.
Her dad nodded.
బానే ఉంది మరి ప్రొఫైల్ [The profile looks nice though], she said and sneaked into her room to research about this guy.
He put up the same profile picture on LinkedIn, with the same name, as in matrimony. He was so easy to catch!
She smiled at his innocence. Her name and pictures on matrimony were different. She sent him a connection request that he soon accepted and pinged him about open jobs in his company.
She wanted to see how he would talk to strangers. She wasn’t quite expecting a reply, but he replied in 8 minutes.
He was exceptionally kind and gave her all the required information. His English was average. Being judgmental, she quickly concluded that he is a naturally intelligent person with high IQ but could not get good guidance from childhood.
He also offered her a referral and she replied that she would send him her updated resume the next day.
“You are bad at recognizing faces”, she typed but didn’t send. She rechecked her profile on matrimony and found that her photos were hidden. ఇంకా నయం పంపేయలేదు [Good that I didn’t send it to him], she thought and deleted what she typed and wished him the best for his future, hoping to end the conversation, as it was her time to sleep; 11:30pm
“You are a Telugu person only na ??”
came the reply.
గుర్తు పట్టేసాడా ఏంటి? [Did he recognize me?] she thought. To find out, she had to carefully check without revealing her identity.
He was talking a lot.
Her face turned into a nauseous face emoji. NIT లో చదుకుని నాతో ఫస్ట్ టైం ఏ బాగా తెలిసినట్టు మాట్లాడ్తదేంటి? [Being an NIT graduate, he is talking to me as if he knows me very well, though I am a stranger] she thought.
He gave a lot of details about himself by now. గుర్తు పట్టే ఉంటాడు ఇంతలా చెప్పేస్తున్నాడంటే [He might have recognized me as he is letting out so many details], she thought. She had to put him to test now.
“inko question out of curiosity.. month ki 3 lakhs.. em chestaru?!! ante how do you divide it?”
[One more question, what would you do with your salary of 3 lakhs per month? How do you divide it?]
He casually explained.
He didn’t even ask me why I was asking him that question at first place, how dumb, she thought, rolling her eyes. For how intelligent she thought he was, she expected him to get the hint that she saw his salary figures on matrimony. If he asked, how she knew, she was ready to reveal, as the conversation was going into personals now.
He continued giving her a lot of details about his family, college, etc.
She did not understand why he was being so open with a stranger.
How flirty, she thought, rolling her eyes again.
She was frank in general and couldn’t help pointing out that he was being too extroverted and that he must be more careful before letting out his personal info.
****** 4 days later *********
He called her dad earlier that day, gave his profile id, and asked to come back if they liked. In the evening, she received a ping on WhatsApp from him. His DP was also one from the matrimony! She smiled again and replied before she saved his number, allowing sometime before her DP was visible to him.
His double question marks in a separate line continued.
She couldn’t stop herself from correcting him this time.
He wondered how anyone can be so frank and straight-forward.
She quickly realized that she didn’t even ask him why he pinged and asked.
He was apprehensive.
She assured it was okay.
He brought up his doubt that she looked familiar and asked if she had a profile on matrimony.
He is not as dumb as I thought, she smiled to herself. She was happy that he finally recognized her, but she still wanted to play with him for a while!
“Profile name chepthe I will confirm.. if it’s mine” [If you tell me the profile name I will confirm that if it’s mine or not]
She sent playfully.
He got the name spot on.
Time to reveal her identity. She came up with something creative, to confirm indirectly.
“5months back chusi ivala you called my dad? :D” [You saw 5 months ago and got the time to call my dad today, after so long? 😀]
He told her how he followed her profile and remembers her pic from 5months ago, though it is hidden now.
“You are good at recognizing faces” she typed. And sent. Happily.
She also revealed that she caught him on LinkedIn after she saw him on matrimony.
Before he digested the news, she questioned him about how he did not catch the hint of her knowing his salary figures and labeled him dumb.
He laughed about how dumb he actually was, at that moment! He accepted the same.
“Sare.. why did you send me interest? Divorced ani chusara?” [saw]
She came to the point.
He had a long answer and he called.
They talked for long.
He told her that he recognized her the moment she pinged her on LinkedIn and that’s why he gave her all the details. She told him how she mistook it to extra extroversion or being flirty!
He also told her how he mistook that she is money-minded when she spoke salary figures on the first day.
There was a lot of excitement in his voice.
She made it a point to warm him on the first day, not to have great hopes. She didn’t want him to be hurt as she felt he is a nice guy.
There started their endless calls through midnight. 2 hours a day was an average.
Though she scolded him every day asking him to sleep early, she used to feel oh, so early? when he said bye to cut the call. He scolded her, asking her to let him talk to her.
Attraction was working like a charm between them.
They started with discussing differences, went through making plans, and came till seeing a future together.
When she said that she has anger issues, he didn’t take a second to reply that he can absorb all of it.
She remembered how her brother raised his eyebrows at a girl who told him the same in another such arranged match-making session.
She could not figure out if she must be skeptical or be impressed with his answer.
She tried her best to convince her parents.
He was from Telangana and she was from Andhra. There was a difference of class and caste as well.
After a week-long fight, she could finally convince her parents to meet him.
The plan was that she would meet him at the office food court for an hour, which is 500 meters away from her office.
****** 2 weeks later*******
He came to pick her up in his SUV.
She was astonished seeing the bright white Creta.
As soon as she got in, she found him gaping at her.
Too much white ఉన్నావు [You have a way too white skintone], he laughed as he steered for a u-turn.
నీ car కంటే కాదులే [Not more than your car]. She giggled at her own poor joke.
He ignored and said, out of the office for 3hrs అని message చెయ్ మీ manager కి.
[Send your manager a message that you would be out of the office for 3 hours]
She looked at him in shock, widening her eyes.
ఇక్కడ తినట్లేదు మనం, బయటకి తీసుకెళ్తా. నమ్మకం ఉంది గా నా మీద?
[Let’s not eat here, I would take you out, you do trust me right?]
She nodded yes.
He took her to his house where his mom and dad were waiting for them with delicious home-cooked food.
After the introduction, they ate and sat down to talk. They were all so friendly and welcoming. Soon, they started back to the office.
In the parking lot, there was no one else. He came face to face and held her hand, intertwining his fingers with hers. He came close. She widened her eyes in shock and looked away as she could not go back.
Kiss చేస్తా అనుకున్నావా?
[You thought I would kiss you?]
he giggled as he simply tried to tease her and wanted to see how she reacts, at the same time.
నాటకాలెయ్యకు! [Don’t do Drama] she laughed with a frown and pushed him away as she got into the car.
He loved her reaction.
In the car, he told her,
ఇలాగే ఉంటుంది ఒక [This is how a] normal day at my place. [would be] చూపిద్దాం అనే తీసుకెళ్లా. Are you still apprehensive about staying in a joint family?
She smiled at him. She could feel the warmth of her own house.
They reached her office and just before she got down, he said
Lunch తిన్నాకా chocolate తినాలి కదా?
[Post lunch we got to each chocolate, right?]
And pulled out a Bar-one.
He opened the wrapper and gave her to bite while it was still in his hand.
She tried to take it from his hand but he said
తినులే పర్లేదు [It’s okay, have it.]
She took a bite and he said
మొత్తం నువ్వే తింటావా? నేను తినొద్దా? he tried to make it sound fancy.
[Are you going to eat every bit of it, shouldn’t I eat some of it?]
And was about to eat the remaining part.
She hit him hard on his hand and grabbed the chocolate before she got down, smiled and she told him firmly from the window
If he did this to see her reaction, it might have made him happy. But he did it to let her know his feelings and her reaction saddened him.
వామ్మో! గట్టి పిల్లే! [Literally, Tough girl!] He was shocked.
మంచిదేలే, [It’s good,] she’s going to be strict with all other boys, he adjusted, being an adaptable guy.
Back home, she did all she could to convince her parents, in vain.
She cried a lot and told him to move on. He understood and said ok.
************* 5 months later *************************
She called him and said
మీ office gate దెగ్గర wait చేస్తావా 4 pm కి? [Can you wait at your office gate at 4 pm ?]
నీ పెళ్ళికి invitation ఇస్తావా? [Is it for giving me an invitation to your wedding?] he asked.
See you at 4, she hung up.
As he waited there, he was shocked to see her come from inside his office wearing Salesforce id card.
ఎప్పుడు join అయ్యావ్? చెప్పలేదు? [You joined my company and didn’t tell me?] He asked in surprise.
మాట్లాడుకోలేదు కదా మధ్యలో[We didn’t talk all these days, right] she put the facts forward.
మరి gate దెగ్గర ఎందుకు cafeteria లో నే కలిసేవాళ్ళం కదా? [Why did you ask me to meet at gate then, we could have met in office cafeteria then?] He asked
She said, అపుడు ముందే తెలిసేది join అయ్యా అని, surprise పోయేది కదా. [If I asked you to meet at the cafeteria, you would have known then that I joined here and the surprise would have been ruined.]
ఎం మారలేదే నువ్వు? The same LinkedIn girl 6 months ago! [You haven’t changed a bit, The same LinkedIn girl 6 months ago!] He said.
She blushed hard as she was happy that he remembered everything and said,
నువ్వు మాత్రం better అయ్యావు dumb గా ఉండకుండ, [You got better, you aren’t dumb anymore] she rolled her eyes at him, though she had overwhelming feelings at the moment.
He understood that she referred to him being unable to catch her hints on LinkedIn and said slowly, ఒద్దు [No, don’t start over] as he laughed.
They walked to the cafeteria and got to know that each is still searching for a match.
They kept talking for hours and this was their daily routine in 4 pm break for the next month.
One day they were walking back after their break when his teammates overtook them, turned back, wolf-whistled at them and left.
ఈ ఎదవాలకి ఎం చెప్పాలో తెలీదు, ఊరికే సతాయిస్తారు. [I don’t understand what to tell these idiots.] He got irritated.
Would-be అని చెప్పండి. [Tell them that I am your Would-be] She became red, tried to grab the water bottle from him and leave.
He was shocked but wasn’t going to let her go so easily.
మళ్ళీ చెప్పు? [Say it again] He asked. He actually begged to hear it again.
She tugged the bottle in his hand.
పోనీ serious ఆ? అదైనా చెప్పు [At least tell me if it was serious] he pleaded her, with longing puppy eyes that showed both shock and excitement.
She looked into his eyes this time and said.
అవును, నేను చూస్కుంటా మిగతావి. [Yes, I will take care of everything. (Referring to her parents’ approval)]
He couldn’t believe what he heard and let the bottle go.
She entered the lift. He came running behind and caught it.
He stood beside her, panting. They were alone in the lift, both facing the door of the lift. She held his hand and intertwined her fingers with his, smiling, without looking at him.
He was sure that she was never going to leave him, ever.
Supari26 (pen name) belongs to this rare species of humans who believe in writing stories strung straight out of their heart. A well-versed story writer, and an intelligent human with uncountable achievements in Professional Life & Academics. She barely puts her stories out for people to read.
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