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Archive for July 5th, 2008

So, I met a friend for coffee yesterday. AK had been calling me for quite some time and I had been guilty of not answering. It’s not that I was avoiding him. It’s just that, of late, I have had no time at all for social conversations. Still, AK persisted. Finally when AK called me for the fifth time, I had to answer.

“Hey, ‘sup?” I said breezily, hoping he would overlook the missed calls business. Alas! It wasn’t to be.

“You haven’t answered any of my calls,” he said accusingly.

 “I know,” I said contritely. “It’s just that I’ve been so busy.” And then I launched into an apologetic and somewhat fabricated spiel about juggling interviews, screenplays and music recordings. “Anyway, what’s up?”

AK said, “It was nothing. It’s just that I was feeling very depressed and needed a friend to talk to.”

You know what’s wonderful about old friends? You can always count on them to induce guilt. Well, I succumbed to the guilt pangs and agreed to meet him over coffee. I mean I do so hate it when friends kill themselves just because I couldn’t share a cuppa with them.

But when I landed at the appointed venue at the appointed time, I found him as cheerful as a pancake with a smiley on it. I must admit I was a little miffed at finding him so sanguine. When I take time out from my busy schedule to meet depressed friends, I expect them to at least look the part.

“So why are you depressed?” I asked matter-of-factly.

That’s another thing that has happened of late. Of necessity I have had to be businesslike with friends while soft-soaping business contacts.

“I was depressed last week. But I’m feeling better now,” he said cheerfully.

I resisted the urge to snarl in frustration. One, flaring nostrils always remind me of Dharmendra and two, they don’t exactly make for a picture perfect frontal.

I did a bit of pranayam and controlled my breathing and said, “So what’s with the urgency?”

“Oh that, I just wanted a copy of your book.”

I counted till ten. “So? Landmark is next door. They’ve got lots of copies.”

“I’m not going to buy it! What’s the use of having an author for a friend?”

Indeed. I gave him an autographed copy. I made him pay for the coffee. I chalked up the savings to royalties earned.

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