Ten years ago on an unremarkable wintry day I stood at the departure gate for a flight to JFK, NYC. Rishi saw me off. No one else. My decision to pursue greener pastures abroad with my mediocre skill-set rather than failed attempts at making headway into the den of competitive wolves that was the workplace scene in my country dint seem very appealing or doable, was unpopular with my parents, friends and relatives. But Rishi, he knew.
We were both mediocre and like how misery seeks company we sought each other out. I managed to rake up finances by selling some property and gold , bank loans and all, you know the drill. Rishi hadn’t been so lucky. So here we were at the cafeteria, one last quick drag of the gold flake king, a 1/2 chai and a samosa we hugged and said our good byes. I promised to look after him once I got my bearings.
A lot has changed in ten years. I lost a lot of hair, still rocked the six pack abs courtesy my relentless training at equinox and Begumpet made way to Shamshabad.
Was in line at immigration when I saw a family cut ahead of me I was mighty pissed and asked the usher what the fuck was going on. He non nonchalantly replied, ” Woh MLA saab ke logaan hain. Special permission.” I asked if the MLA was in the entourage. He replied ” No.”
Out of customs I scanned the reception area and there he was as jovial as ever.
Rishi hadn’t aged a bit.