At the outset I would like to introduce myself as a normal guy whom u see in Chennai…Simple, rusty, with a happy-go-lucky guy attitude and one with a heart which cares and loves a lot for people, but don’t know how to express it. A pass out during the worst financial year 2008, having no other option, I was left to join a call center and it was such a beautiful, short span I spend there. I found it would be really nice if I could share some beautiful moments of my experience over there with you!
After the fun-filled soft skill training in the morning shift, it was time I moved to the night shift for the first time. I was really thrilled the whole day thinking how working at night would be .I must say that the day moved very slowly for me, increasing my anxiety about the graveyard shift. Somehow, by 10 P.M I reached my call center. The shift would start anytime from now. Also, it was the first time I gave my attendance using my fingerprint. Somehow, with the help of my colleague I gave the attendance. Then I moved to my call center training floor.
I must say everyone in the batch were excited like me as they too were working in this shift for the first time except for a few. This made the place very lively. Also my friends have told me before, that all the beauty queens on earth would come to work only during night shifts and so we were exited in the anticipation of seeing them. But no so-called-beauty queens turned up, though many girls came! Anyways the thrill about attending the training class during the wee hours, the time when I even didn’t study for my semester exams, kept me excited.
Since the trainer had not come until that time, I went to the cafeteria where we get hot coffee, which was so nice and it was free of cost too! And yes, it was one of the two reasons I continued with this call center. U must be wondering what the other reason is. Come on…No prizes for guessing and yes u guessed it right too..If it was not for Neha-a traditional Chennai girl with an impeccable dressing sense and one with gorgeous looks, I would not have continued with that call center, I swear! She was really charismatic and likeable. But you would not trust me , I have not spoken to her yet. It was already 10 days of ogling! But I don’t think it was lust.
By the time I finished the last sip in my cup, I realized it is high time the trainers must have come. I rushed in to the room to see them, having started with the session. As always u see in a call center, the trainers don’t waste a chance to make fun of you when they find u have done something worth teasing. They justify it by saying they want to keep the training session alive. Whatever it may be, today I was the scapegoat. And I don’t want to damage myself here by writing what he asked me when I entered! Come on It’s all in the game ;-) His words were so hilarious, fitting that moment, he made everyone laugh for a while. But what I could see was a graceful face of Neha with her hairs spread, twinkling eyes, pink cheeks and clad with a black top … smiling too.
It seems the trainer was trying to bring life to the session by asking some interesting questions and the question for the night was “Tell about the happiest thing that happened to u in this week”…Everyone was telling something or the other. I was just wondering what really made me happy this week .Nothing else struck me than the day I saw Neha first. I was thinking about the pink tops she wore and the really killing looks of her, before which one of the trainees disturbed my thoughts with his funny reply to that question. He said his happiest moment was when he proposed to a girl and she said a straight “No” to that. Everyone was puzzled with his reply. Before the trainer could ask “Waaa…”..He said “Escaaapppu”, which literally imitated Vadivelu’s tone .Laughing for that, I just forgot the next person to answer was me. Before I could recollect what I could say I just started “Well….” I felt it would be very embarrassing for me and for her to tell what I actually felt…So I continued saying…”Well..It would be very unfair to pick one happy moment from a week, in which I was really happy all time. Everyday is a blessing…very special to me”.. Other trainees who commented “Enough licking our hearts” sarcastically relished my diplomatic reply! But I was not finished...I continued saying “Everyday I came to the call center, I got new friends to acquaint with, who were really nice, who shared their experience with me. I still relish all those moments I spend with my batch mates. Thank you guys”. I clearly intended Neha but the trainer didn’t know that and acknowledged me saying “We too are happy having met you”. I felt good.
Soon the training session began. It was about the process we are getting into. It was interesting in the beginning as the trainer was lively with his presentation. My watched showed 12’o clock midnight. I don’t think I have seen the beauty of Chennai at this hour. I just peeped out of the window to see and felt I m living in a beautiful city. Atleast at night ;-) Silent beauty u can term. But before I can admire that beauty I was struck by another...Hmm..She was killing me with her looks. I understood that she didn’t like that session or she was feeling sleepy. She was trying to control herself from falling asleep. Even I started to feel that the presentation was getting bored. I turned back to look at my colleagues. They too were trying hard to stay awake keeping their eyes wide open. It was getting tough for all of us as the clock stuck 1 A.M.
Looking back, I have this to regret, that too often when I loved, I did not say so. But I didn’t want to let Neha go in the same way I let other girls go in my life. But the harsh reality is that I haven’t spoken to her yet. Whenever I went near her with the intention of speaking, I failed very badly falling a poor victim to her gorgeous looks. Honestly I haven’t felt so nervous for speaking first time to a girl, but to Neha…Oh Yeah...I’m..! Just thinking about this I missed the lecture. I cared zilch about it! All my thoughts were about how to take the first move! By now, the trainer almost took us to the verge of sleeping. We needed a break badly! Very badly!
Yippee! We got one! Everyone rushed out of the room, the next moment our trainer left us for the break. I would say I was the last to come out of the room, though I wasted no time in coming out, after the permission was given. All my colleagues went straight to the cafeteria, except for Neha. I envisaged she was waiting for someone else to come. But I saw no one in the training room. I could see only Neha and me in the floor. I felt this was the right time for me to take the first move. I went near her, and to my surprise she said “Hi” to me .I just acknowledged by nodding my head. I know it is the worst thing I could have done, but given the excitement at that moment I felt that was ok! She asked me “coffee?”... I said sure and I don’t even remember what happened in between, as I sat in front of her for a coffee in our cafeteria.
I felt some cool breeze blowing, I can feel my body freezing in the winter snow, and I felt excited sitting opposite to the girl to whom I have lost my heart. I looked up to the Heavens thankfully and I felt the moon accepted my thanks gleefully and the other stars laughing at me sarcastically. I convinced myself thinking those stars were envying me and I got back to my business without wasting much time. I actually did not know how to begin the conversation. It was almost 30 seconds after we sat in the table. But not a single word yet.
I thought of breaking the ice now. I started asking, “So…what is your name?”After seeing her reaction to this question, I felt I would have better kept my mouth shut! She replied “I m Neha” with a very sarcastic, strange look which I feel these modern age girls have mastered! I reciprocated it with a genuine smile saying, “I’m Benny...Nice meeting you!”Having no idea what to ask next, I felt it was better I could get coffee for both of us. And I went to get it, after asking her to wait for a few minutes.
As we were the last to come to the cafeteria, there was no big queue to get the coffee as all have already having it. So it was easy for me to have a couple of cups soon. I just had the feeling that I should not waste any moment with her but I really felt dumb sitting opposite to her. Oh My God!!! Just thinking how to start a conversation, again, I sat opposite to her in the chair, which I felt was tailor made for the situation! And before I could taste the coffee, I asked Neha “How is the training going on?”, as if I m from another planet. Her raised eyebrows and her dull looks implied she was not interested with my question again. I felt really bad as I suddenly felt “Oh! Is she such a dull creature all the time...My life may be ruined”. At that moment little did I realize how boring I was!
My feelings about her as a dull woman was growing thick and fast as we hardly spoke for the next few minutes before which she erased that feeling in a matter of seconds. She started saying “Well Benny… I have seen you before we actually became colleagues here”. At that moment of involuntary reflex, my brows raised and mouth opened with an expression “How.. what??” She continued saying, “I was there with my friend at Satyam the last week to watch a movie when I saw you first. You were there with a girl, who I guess must be your girl friend rite?” Her tone finally sounded girlish and likeable when she uttered those words. I quickly clarified her saying “No..She is not. She is one of my cousins”. Anticipating what the next question would be I said “I m still single” with my voice clearly trembling and sending vibes that I liked her! To my surprise, I saw her eyes were wide open, a small smile and the expression of the face completely changed and it was painted pink. She was at her best and it made me confirm that God must have been in his best mood when He created Neha.
Really that expression on her face made me doubt if she too had a liking for me. It was quite strange for me as I have never felt all these feelings before with a girl. I did not want to spoil the situation by asking something, as I was quite sure I would be asking something idiotic again! But u see, I was not able to resist asking that idiotic question of mine and asked Neha “But how do u still remember me, having seen me only once in the theatre?” She did shy for a while, before revealing that I was very impressive that day. She said that her friend noted me first as my dark blue shirt was striking enough to make heads turn! She also said the way I carried myself with a girl around made her friend fall for me! I seriously didn’t know how to react, as I was bemused thinking if only that act of mine made her fall for me?? I was not convinced with the reply but I did not want to make her feel uncomfortable asking more about that day. Anyways I felt good, though that was not what I expected. I mean not her friend fall for me. Nevertheless, in that next moment of honest confession she said, “Yeah true …Even I felt you were really good that day”. Hmmm.. Now I realized that she was really interested in me and from somewhere I got some confidence to move further. It seemed everything was happening so fast.
She was not done yet. Her confession continued. She said that she expected that I would speak to her on the very first day. But as I accepted before I was really afraid to speak to such a beautiful girl, that day, though I intended to.Neha, in her words of praise appreciated me for keeping my dignity intact and having being manly. Oh My God..I never knew if girls would think like this toooo!!Anyways I did not want to spoil my image now, by saying the truth. I just said “I wished to…But…” truncating my statement by taking the coffee in my hand. I have had coffee with many girls before, but honestly that night I felt I was really dumb-struck just because I was not emotionally attached to any girl before or because no one ever accepted how impressive I was..Ha-ha!!
By now, all my colleagues have started leaving the cafeteria, as it was time, our break ended. I did not want her to leave now. I felt bad asking her to stay also. So I just kept looking my other colleagues who were leaving the cafeteria for a while. She too saw them, but showed no signs of returning to the training room. I felt convinced that she wanted to stay with me for some more time in the cafeteria. The feeling was immense, my heartbeats started to pound fast, in that snowy night, I felt I was sweating, my eyes seeing everything else on earth except her eyes. I exactly don’t know how to describe that once-in-a –lifetime moment!!To add to the thrill of the night, there was not a single person left in the cafeteria except for we two and the cafeteria owner, who was half-asleep!
Everything fell in place for us. The night would not have been so romantic except for this beautiful girl sitting next just opposite to me, just few minutes from becoming my own…my very own. But that needed a moment of bravery from me. I needed to tell her how much I love her. I was pretty assured that she would not reject my proposal now, because our eyes have already done most of the talking! We both finished our cup of coffee and we were left with no other option than to speak…speak honestly! I regrouped myself for the brave act I needed to do tonight. I started “Neha..The night is so beautiful rite” in my trademark idiotic way! She smiled to herself and nodded her head. Then I continued adding some sense to what I said “ Yeah. I mean it .Without you sitting opposite to me, my night would not have been so beautiful. Thank you!” She said in a girlish way “Come on Benny”! and stretched her hands, relaxing. I did not know what I was doing, but I clung her right hand… so tightly with my both hands and in the next second, trying to be romantic I opined, “Do u love me and can we marry each other”?
I did not feel I did a mistake, after seeing her expression not so harsh. She was bewildered though! May be she did not expect my proposal so soon. I can feel she was not comfortable! But I was wrong! She thought for a while and she placed her left hand upon mine and said “I feel I m lucky”! Now this confirmed that she has accepted my proposal. I was on cloud nine! We were speechless for a while and I saw her shying at me for the first time. Just an hour ago, I was sitting in the training room and wondering if I could ever speak to Neha. But now!! I was feeling what real love is! She was looking damn beautiful for me in that snowy backdrop with her black clad tops, and pink cheeks. I felt she expected something now, atleast her sore lips ;-) Though I was not sure, watching these romantic Hollywood movies made me think that I needed to kiss her right now! The place was serene, picturesque, and empty and the stage can’t be set so romantic than this to kiss your lady love for the first time. Now, we were standing really close and facing each other, almost ready to get back to our training room. I really didn’t know if she expected me to kiss or not. I used my psychology knowledge here to some extent. I was reading some psychology books after my college got over and it said “When u want to know if a girl needs a kiss from you, you place your right hand on her cheek(close to the ear) and if she doesn’t push your hands off, she needs it”. And I tried to do the same. It clicked. U know what a moment it is in a guy’s life, for that matter, even girl’s to have a first kiss! I was thrilled and I did not waste a moment!
At the moment of agony, I heard a sound from a distance saying, “Your session for today is over. You can get back home and come tonight again” and my friend nearby woke me up saying “Machi come fast. We are already late. We may miss the cab”. I woke up to realize what was actually going on! And to my diagonal seat was sitting Neha, giggling for some sick joke of her friends, without knowing she was mine…very much mine in my sweet dreams!!
I came out of the training room, to a foggy Wednesday morning inviting me and I looked up to the skies and I could see a cloud passing…Yeah…a passing cloud again which failed to shower on me!