Saturday, September 08, 2018

The Hola Girl

22nd March 2010

My weak soul refrained from entering the cabin of my project manager that was filled with the acrid smell of tobacco.  

"Aao beta," he said after he spewed the tobacco spittings in his dustbin. It was inappropriate of him to exhibit such a behavior despite enjoying a managerial position in a top IT company. 

"Sir, you had called me," I riposted, my face displaying shades of disgust after what I had just seen. 
"Beta, I want you to work on the automation of the core components of our application," he said and continued, "I have already spoken to Rajan from the Apex Automation team."

"So, start researching on this, okay!" he said, pinching a small lump of tobacco out of his tobacco box. He yanked his lower lip and placed this lump between his gum and simpered displaying his tobacco stained teeth.

Clueless, what to say, I acquiesced to his demands and left his cabin. I had made several attempts to and fro from my cubicle and the Human Resources cabin for a project change.  People had warned me 2 years back that this Sigma Project only had an entrance and no exit. I gave a deaf ear to all their advises because of the young IT Engineer in me who was supercharged, pumped up and hungry for working in the corporate world. I had yielded to all his pressure because of the fucking 10% increment that he had promised me.  My work life was like a newly wedded bride who arrange-marriaged an unknown stranger and still displayed an animated smile to the world presenting her fake happiness.  That day I cursed myself for not being able to raise my concerns or voices to my boss. Indirectly, working on the automation project implied working late hours after completing regular office works. It was an additional responsibility.  

'FUCK,' I screamed at the top of my voice as I inserted the bike key into the ignition. 
"Why did I commit to his demands?" I screeched and cursed myself as I rode the bike on the sodden deserted roads. It was 11 PM. I had consumed the leftovers from the other day and that was the major disadvantage of staying away from the family and I was used to this life!

"Sample automation framework," I typed into the Google Search bar of the chrome browser.  At the same time, I heard a  chat notification on the Facebook chat.  "Heard, he nominated you for the automation initiative," Anamika, my best buddy from work had pinged me. 
"How do you know?" I replied.
"Rajan from Apex. Don't you know he is a radio," she said and I decided not to entertain her in the chat. I politely refused to acknowledge her. 
I surfed my facebook feed. 
"Abhishek Tyagi is with Garima Jain at Phuket," read one of the statuses and "Enjoying honeymoon'  was written under it. 
"FUCK," I said. People these days are so obsessed with social media these days, I thought and scrolled down. As I quickly scrolled down, my eyes chance upon the first profile listed on the Facebook Suggestions section.


Young, enigmatic, big eyes, arched eyebrows, cute nose, full lips, and an oval face refined her looks. She is such a delight to the eyes, I thought to myself. Her arched eyebrows had already wounded me and I stood there watching her photo like a defeated warrior even before knowing her properly.  I was astonished to see that we had 147 mutual friends. And then I confirmed that she must have been a blogger.  The crazy fact about blogging was that any random blogger would send you a Facebook friend request even if you liked their blog post just once. Adding and Accepting friend requests from unknown bloggers was becoming an integral part of my life. Without any ado, I clicked on her profile picture and glanced through her photo albums. NO, I was not being a stalker but my eyes never missed beautiful lasses like her.  I clicked on the 'Add as a Friend' button and continued admiring her beauty. A loud beep on my phone woke me up at 8 AM. 'Divyashree Sharma has accepted your friend request'  I read as she just stepped into my virtual world along with the others!
I wrote her a 'hi' to which she never replied. On further research, I realized that she was a published writer and had lots of anthologies and books listed under her Goodreads. A Plethora of talent she was! 
I tried connecting with her again but she never replied. To gain her attention, I even liked her recent posts and even commented on a few of those but she never replied.  My mind decided  to distract myself but somewhere my heart was still confident that she would talk to me soon. But how soon, even my heart wasn't aware of this! 

23rd November 2010.
'Divyashree Sharma has her birthday today. Wish her on her Facebook profile.' beeped my then-famous-expensive Samsung Galaxy S2 phone. 
That was Facebook's way of reminding people about their friends birthday. 
Though I had added her long back, we had not even interacted even once.  This was a perfect opportunity for me to gain her attention. I decided to write something unique that would instantly impress her. 
"Happy Birthday to you Divyashree, from your FAVOURITE Facebook friend :) " I typed on her Facebook wall. 
And I quickly typed 'Happy Birthday :)' on her chat and as usually she never saw it. 
Hours later I received another notification from Facebook that Divyashree had replied to my post. I was craving to see that but that was going to be a special moment in my life, I thought! 
"Thank you!!!"  read the reply.
"WHAT THE FUCK!" was my instant reaction. "Just a thank you?!" 
I decided to focus on other things. By then I had also completed the automation project and got promoted as a Senior Software Engineer. 

23rd November 2011
Me - Happy Birthday Divya <3 :)
She - Thanks!!!

23rd November 2012
Me - Happy Birthday Divyashree!  :-)
She - Thanks!!

23rd November 2013
Me - Happy Birthday Divyashree Sharma 
She - Thank you!

23rd November 2014 
Me - Happy Birthday!
She - Thanks a lot!!!

23rd November 2015 
Me - Happy Birthday to you
She - Thanks!

23rd November 2016
Me - Wishing you a very happy bday
She - Thank you!!

23rd November 2017
Me - HBD
She  - Thanks a lot!

During this period of time, I had seen several projects, many managers and many promotions. I got promoted from Associate Software Engineer to Software Engineer to Senior Software Engineer to Associate Lead to Technical Lead to Team Lead to Project Manager. ALL in these 8 years but one thing never changed and it was her trademark reply to my birthday posts on her wall - Thanks!!, Thank you!! and Thanks a lot!  She seemed different from the other Delhi girls. 
The funny part about this was that I even shifted my base from India to London.

One of those days, I was casually surfing through  Instagram. I was checking the Instagram stories. I saw Divyashree's story."HOLA" to which I replied 'Hola!"

Anyways, I never thought of getting any reply from her.
"Como estas," she replied. I was surprised initially and couldn't believe my eyes.
Me - Muito bem. Mucho tiempo Divyashree.
She - si. Muy Bien
Me - Todavia escribes?
She - Translate, please
Me - Do you really think I know this much? Lol
She - You were Googling it? Lol 
She - I was wondering.
Me - I have an inbuilt Google translator in my keyboard.
She - What's your name?
Me - Georgy
She - You are Indian?
Me - Yes, I'm! Mumbai Indian but living in London
She - I am from Shimla but studied in Delhi. Have you ever been to Shimla?
Me - No, but I've heard that its good.
Me - A land that shelters beautiful girls like you ought to be beautiful no ;) 
She - hahaha 
Me - Why does your face look shrunken from the last time I saw you?
She  - last time you saw me?
Me -  I mean in the photo. 
She -  I was just wondering what if you know me somehow and I am not able to recognize you.
Me - We are friends on Facebook 
She - Seriously? 
Me - Yeah and we have spoken before.
She - Really?
Me - I used to write happy birthday on your wall and you used to reply 'thanks' without a smiley. 
She - What's your Facebook name? and how do we know each other?
Me - We both had 147 mutual friends when I added you.  That must have got inflated to 500 today. 
She - Georgy what? 
Me - Bush! :P :P
She - Not funny
Me - Georgy PK
She - Oh yes, I know you!
Thank God! she recognized me! I jumped in joy. 

Me - What do you do for a living?
She - I am a journalist with the Times of India.
She - I moved to the mountains for peace. I love Shimla and I live with my family. 
Me - I bet you must not be more than 23
She - I will be 26 in a few months. 
Me - And when is that? 
She - You must be knowing that... birthday wishes :P :D
Me - Yeah, that's how I talked to you all these years through these birthday wishes.
She - Hahahaa ... I don't usually talk to people... I must be high on something that I did today. 
Me - Today miracle happened yar
She - but its good. We got to know each other.
That day we spoke a lot. I compensated for all the 8 years that I didn't talk to her. This talk was supposed to happen in 2010 but got delayed by several years. I was turning young once again. For some weird reasons, it never felt the same. I never garnered any feelings for her but I wanted to befriend her and that was what something I desired the most.

Me - Do you know Sagittarians like you and me are the flirtiest of all signs
She - I don't even know to flirt. Teach me
Me - Shame on you, Sagi!
She - Teach me
Me - Are you Google?
She  - No, why?
Me-Because you  got everything that I'm looking for
She - Your mum must have eaten a lot of spicy food when she was pregnant because you are sizzling hot
She - Hahaha, actually she did and I love spicy food.
Me - That's why you are hot :P
Me - I canceled my shadi dot com account the moment I saw you
She - I canceled my shadi the moment I saw you. Hahaha
Me -  There you go! Were you born on Diwali?
She - No. Is it because I lighten your world
Me - No, because you are a patakha (Bomb)
She -  Hahaha  you are as cool as a cucumber
Me - And you are as hot as my Coffee
Me - Where were you all these days? I wish you replied to me on 23rd March 2010
She - Damn, you even remember the day when you pinged me. Were you stalking me all these years?
Me - I have no time to log into Facebook and you talk about stalking.
Me - Can I tie your shoe?
She  - Why
Me - Cause, I don't want  you to fall for anyone else
Me - Do you sit on a pile of sugar or what?
She - What? Why?
Me - Cause you got a sweet ass
She - Oh God! that was a good one.
Me - Do you think we should know each other?
Me - I am blinded by your beauty and I'm going to need your name and phone number for insurance purposes.
She -  Divyashree is my name and know each other as in?
Me  - As friends!
She - Shit. I told my parents that we are getting married and you just broke my heart calling me a friend!
Me - Haha and who will give me your number? 
She - Mr. Pick up lines king, the number for what?
Me - For insurance purpose ;)
She - here it is  98###76##4
Me-Wow, Can I follow you home because my mother always told me to follow my dreams.
She - Hahaha, I am super drunk right now. Do you want to talk for a while?
Me - Now? It is 2 AM
She - I am gonna call you now.

She called me on my phone and we spoke for another hour. She had a typical Delhi girl accent and she sounded familiar to me. Our discussions ranged from how I added her, politics, work, blogs and whatnot. We were slowly transforming into good friends from birthday-wishes friends.
Me - Hey thanks for calling and chatting with me 
She - :) 
Me - don't you think I should get a Padmashree for teaching you so many things today.
She - dude, why do you need a Padmashree when you have a Divyashree hahaha 

Since then we used to talk to each other every day.  Just that she wasn't the same 17 year old anymore and I wasn't the  22 yr old anymore. Life had taken an unexpected turn. The then rude Divyashree had turned out to be my best friend. We liked each others company.
Somedays she used to ping me - "Why am I so attracted to you?"
"Attracted?" I replied.
"I mean why do I like to talk to you so much?" she questioned.
"That's because we attract the same energy ;)" I replied.
"Hahaha, I love you :*"  used to be her instant reply.
"I love you to moon and back :*" I used to reply.

We loved each other as friends.  This Hola girl remained my greatest friend ever. I adore her company and I will always be there if she needs anything from me. I also serve as her advisemaven whenever she wanted to talk about her relationships.  She had a stunning personality though she got angry like anything. 

During one of those days, to soothe her, I would write - "Forgiveness is a trait that only great people possess and I always saw you as a great woman." 

"Wow, I am angry on you but everything aside I love this line!" 

Late but never that late, I never realized that this hola girl would turn out to be my best buddy until I replied to her Hola.  Not to forget those birthday wishes and plain replies for 7 long years.  This girl had something in her! Such was my Hola girl, my greatest friend! 

In this life, we often come across many people and some of them play a cameo in our life while some stay. Some advise us, some love us and some help us in our growth. But there has to be someone with whom we gel well! Life is short and keep meeting amazing people. By this, I don't mean that you keep adding random people without knowing them or stalking beautiful girls or guys in social networking sites. Just Kidding!

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  1. Some things are destined to happen.We create strong bonds with some people imstantly. Loved the post. The best part was the conversation between the two budding flirts 😁

  2. And this is something more than typical love stories .. I liked the part that it’s on today’s generation where people want friends over lovers.. way to go man!!! Your story I can relate well !!👍🏻

  3. You don't know how much I loved it, I hope this statement was not explicit. The entire post brought plethora of emotions. I loved how we are closed to people from a far distance land yet not closed to people beside us. You are a wonderful writer. They say you do only two things with a woman either love her or turn her into literature. It is beautiful how you manage to do both the things simultaneously with such ease.

  4. totally loved your post....way to go for more write ups like these

  5. Haha! Good number of micro-influencers can relate to this story!