Abhinav was on his weekly visit to the local library along with his daughter, Navya. Abhinav was browsing through some latest and old movies collection at the library. “Daddy, did you get any books for yourself?” enquired Navya after getting her books and putting them into her tote bag.
“No, Navi. I keep getting books but I never get the time to read. I hardly read a chapter every night and then I doze off. So what’s the point, hmm.” shrugged Abhinav.
“Anyway, what did you get this time?” continued Abhinav.
“Mary Anne saves the day by Raina Telgemeier, you know what I normally get…” said Navya.
“Oh, I know, I know. Baby Sitters Club series again. Why don’t you get something new and adventurous…like Percy Jackson.” saying so, Abhinav took Navya to that section of book shelves.
“See here they have these books…Excuse me, can I take that book?” Abhinav excused himself of another person standing near the Percy Jackson books shelf to get hold of one of those.
As the person turned and moved out towards the next row of books, Abhinav caught a glimpse of the person and suddenly sensed an itch of familiarity.
Abhinav was lost in thought trying to line-up that face amongst the landscape of his past. And then it strikes, is this not Venky Sir? Oh yes, seems like him.
“Navi, keep looking, I will be back. I think I know that person.” said Abhinav and took leave of Navya. He rushed over to the next shelf and looked once again in the path that his curiosity dragged him. After a careful scan again, he reaffirmed to himself, that this is indeed his Venky Sir. He trusted his memory and moved ahead with confidence.
“Hi Venky sir “said Abhinav in an animated tone and waited for a response.
Venky sir stared at Abhinav, surprised and smiled back in acknowledgement as if clearing any doubts that might have still lingered in Abhinav’s mind.
“Hi, I think I know you… Trying to…hmm..where was it again..” clarified Venky sir with eyes dissecting the stranger, standing in front of him.
“Just to make it easier for you, I am Abhinav. We were working at Half Full Solutions in Stamford…” continued Abhinav.
“Yes, now I get it.” said Venky sir as if registering the name with the face.
“It’s been so many years…”
“Yes, Sir. But you still look the same, and that helped me recognize you.”
“Oh, that’s nice to know. So, how come you are here?”
“I moved to Maryland for a while now, it’s been more than 8 years ….” said Abhinav.
“I moved here immediately after that stint with Half Full Solutions…and I have been working at Concur Systems since then. It’s been 10 years I think. “, added Venky Sir.
“Oh, that’s a pretty long time to work with a company and that too in software industry. You are very loyal, sir.”
“No, it’s not about loyalty. I just like the company and most importantly, the team I am with. My team is very good and I realized, never rock a boat that is working so well for you. Where are you at, Abhinav?”
“I am working for an investing firm, here in Bethesda as a solution architect. And talking of loyalty, the maximum number of years I worked for a company is maybe 3 years. I somehow move on either for better opportunities or to reduce my commute, you know how bad rush hour traffic is here…” clarified Abhinav.
“I totally get it. One of the reasons I stayed on at Concur is due to the shorter commute. So how about the other guys at Half Full? There was Sudhir, and Vamshi, I think…”
“Yes, you got them, right. But unfortunately, Venky sir, even I lost touch with them. It has been so many years and we have all moved on…”
“Oh, I agree. Almost 12 years, right.”
There was a small pause on both sides, trying to recycle and re-arrange the sudden flow of forgotten faces and shared moments.
After a while, most of your past relationships end up as just contacts in your phone. Many of whom you do not ever call again. Those that still matter, you tend to keep in touch just as friends do.
“Forgot to ask, how is your wife, Dharani? I still remember the bisi bele bath dish that she made when I was at your place. It was the best and the most authentic bisi bele I ever had…” asked Abhinav digging into their shared past.
“Oh, oh yeah, you have a great memory… She’s doing good.” answered Venky sir.
Just then, Navya came looking for her father and Abhinav introduced her to Venkatesh Krishnamurthy.
They both smiled and after a few enquiries about Navya’s school and activities, she stepped on to a nearby sit and read place and was lost in her latest borrowed book.
“How many kids, Venky sir”
“I have a daughter. She’s in her English class in one of the study rooms. She will be done in another 30 mins. She’s in 4th grade. I will introduce her after she completes her class.”
“It’s OK. I have to leave now. I will take your number and will invite your family for lunch or dinner. I will meet your daughter then at my home.”
“Hey, don’t take those pains. It’s fine. Actually, we come here every week same time, as her class is scheduled here. We can meet here.”
“We can meet here and also at my home. They are not mutually exclusive.” teased Abhinav.
They both exchanged their contact numbers. They realized Venky Sir’s phone number has changed but Venky Sir still has Abhinav’s number, which has not changed.
“So I have been on your phone all these years then…” joked Abhinav as he took leave of Venky.
“And, in my heart too…” responded Venky sir as they departed. Abhinav promised to call him soon to setup something for the families to meet.
As Abhinav started to get back to his home, his mind started to veer to those memories that Venky Sir had brought back that day. Abhinav recollected those struggling days when he was staying at the company’s guesthouse. He was sharing the guesthouse with other guys, all looking for a job, having completed their master’s degree in computer science. Venkatesh Krishnamurthy was one of the instructors at the company and was assigned to train and fine tune these twenty something guys in programming related concepts, so these guys can be ready to face interviews and get placed somewhere. Being in a remote suburb of Stamford, without any car and all the guys meeting for the first time, it was a strange and not-knowing-whats-in-store phase. These guesthouses were similar to railway station waiting rooms, including the ambience and the scramble for personal space. They were temporary boarding rooms where employees of the company used it to recharge their resumes and skills to hop onto the next job. The head honchos at Half Full Solutions will then try to place these guys for whatever time period the consulting gigs may offer, which varied anywhere between a month to an year. So there was always a steady stream of consultants hopping in and hopping out.
Guys like Abhinav were getting to know the real job market and the insecurities associated with it on a first hand basis. As he got to talk to these traveling consultants, he found some of them strange, some darn good, some too lost in an alien land, ready to be back in India at any moment. Amidst this uncertainty, Abhinav found his fresh batch of consultants from different universities of USA, with varying appetites for learning, a very welcoming place to be in. They all shared similar anxieties and hopes. Abhinav found resonance with Sudhir and Vamshi, from among the batch mates. But Venkatesh became a friend-philosopher-guide-roommate-confidant-driver kind of a mate. Venkatesh or Venky Sir, as they started to address him owing to the teacher-student classroom setting. Being in a suburban town, Venky Sir’s car became their only getaway to grocery shopping, a quick snack outside or a drop off at the Stamford metro station.
Luckily, Sudhir was the first one to get an interview scheduled after a month of training and polishing. Venky Sir was married and every weekend he used to drive back to New Jersey to visit his wife. No kids yet. Since the interview was scheduled at a place closer to his home on the following Monday, Venky sir offered Sudhir to stay at his home for the weekend, get thoroughly prepared and then head-out for the interview, all fresh. That definitely seemed to have worked for Sudhir as he got selected and the confirmation came immediately the day after interview. Sudhir complemented Venky sir and his wife, Dharani for providing him a home away from home. With home-made south-Indian food and cooked with love, he felt renewed and rejuvenated. He took his friends out for a treat to celebrate the job offer. So when the news came about Abhinav’s interview also getting scheduled for the same team and client that Sudhir got selected, it was but a known fact that Abhinav will also get a taste of the sweet homely food and hospitality of Venky Sir’s home. Not to forget the all-important lucky charm that this drill seemed to be getting into.
Abhinav and Venky sir reached home on late Friday night and were greeted by smell of sweet aroma of south-Indian food. Abhinav immediately started engaging Venky Sir’s wife, Dharani into conversation. He tried to get details about her job, and also complementing her for her taste in keeping the home beautiful with simple artistic touches that resonated in every nook of the home. A royal elephant adorned like a Queen trumpeting her majestic presence in one corner, a madhubani painting with Radha-Krishna playing Holi, cheerfully cheering each other adorning the living room wall, and a glass case full of miniature animals of different types, peasants ploughing in a paddy field, musicians at a marriage party and some souvenirs from different places of India, with Taj Mahal dominating the scene.
“I just adore your taste with so many artifacts from India, wow…they just look so fabulous…of all sizes and covering different corners of India”, said Abhinav.
Dharani responded with a smile of acknowledgement.
“Hey Abhinav, it’s my taste too. Why do you compliment only Dharani.” quipped Venkatesh.
“Because it’s a women’s territory and the home also reflects a feminine decor and grace.”, added Abhhinav.
“That’s discrimination…” commented Venkatesh again.
“Also, I see a lot of elephants and tortoises dominating many of your artifacts, are they your favorite animals…” continued Abhinav ignoring Venkatesh’s protest.
“Hmm, You are right…but not by choice…” clarified Dharani in a slow measured voice.
“Also, they are both, two of the slowest moving animals in the animal world…” added Abhinav sounding as though he made a rare and intelligent observation.
“Yes, I never realized that. You think deep…” said Dharani in a soft applauding tone.
It was time for dinner and Abhinav got to savor bisi bele bath, the most defining dish of Bangalore. He commended the taste of bisi bele bath by saying it tasted like home. He recollected as to how his mother learnt this dish from their Kannada speaking neighbor in Hyderabad, who stayed just across their home. Their neighbor was from Bangalore and they got to taste many dishes of their place. He just regretted he could not learn the Kannada language in spite of being in close proximity to their neighbor.
After the sumptuous dinner, they decided to retire to the bed.
It was Saturday, the first day of the weekend. Abhinav got up early morning and continued to prepare for his interview. The Krishnamurthy couple got up late and then after the perfunctory morning talk decided to go out for their weekly grocery shopping, with Abhinav also deciding to join them. The drive was nice but very quiet, with just the Bollywood radio playing on the car audio. Abhinav waited for some time hoping Venky sir to break the ice. But there were no signs.
After waiting for what seemed like eons, Abhinav blurted, “Am I the cause of the silence?”.
“No, Abhinav. Nothing like that.” corrected Venky, startled by the sudden revelation of Abhinav. Dharani did not add anything.
Abhinav observed that Dharani was much quieter than yesterday. And Venky sir looked oddly different from the person that he knew from his guest house experiences.
Abhinav wondered why the couple did not talk anything, is it a privacy thing with him being around or just their weekly quiet ride that they preferred.
After all the grocery shopping in New Jersey’s busy Oak Tree town, they drove back home. The calm cold stillness, devoid of explicit human vocal interaction, still accompanying them.
Late afternoon, as Abhinav got back to his preparation mode, he heard a strange bumpy noise from the kitchen. He heard small voices talking in whispering tones interspersed with what sounded like a cry. The guest bedroom he was staying at was diagonally opposite to the kitchen. Abhinav was all ears and stayed still trying to decipher the sounds. There was one more thump against the wall and then a crying sound that increased in decibels. Abhinav knew it was Dharani crying, and then a loud voice talking back. It was all in kannada language which Abhinav was not familiar with and hence was not sure what it was about. He was also not sure if he should step out of his room and try to …hmm, do what exactly, even he was not sure. It looked like an argument between the Krishnamurthy couple but how should he intervene. Faking ignorance seemed to be a wiser option. Abhinav remembered that he saw some strange sized holes in the kitchen wall when making his breakfast in the morning and was bewildered as to what it could be. He was now second guessing, maybe it was caused by the thumping of the wall by Venky sir in a similar state of mind as now? The arguments continued in hushed tones and wailing sounds. And then suddenly, Dharani left the kitchen and ran into the bedroom. Abhinav could hear the rhythmic sound generated by Dharani’s footsteps. And then the bedroom door closed with a disquieting and abrupt thud.
Abhinav was waiting patiently all evening absorbed in his thoughts and was hoping the storm has subsided. He knew Dharani is still in her bedroom behind the closed door and Venky sir was somewhere outside and might be back sometime. His interview preparation took a backseat. He was locked in his room too and felt suffocated. He was expecting Venky Sir to come home and call him out for dinner and break the ice, at least with him. Abhinav’s thoughts were all over the place now. Was the fight because of him, meaning Venky sir brought him home and maybe Dharani did not like it. As Venky sir did bring Sudhir too earlier and is this too much of a disturbance for a married couple’s freedom and solitude. But Dharani looked like a sweet woman and did not seem to treat him as an unwanted and unexpected guest. He wanted to tell Venky sir that he would like to be dropped at the train station and he would be happy to go back to the guesthouse, however late it might be. He wanted to get out of the home but did not want to complicate the situation further. His mind was whirring with thoughts and more thoughts, mostly blaming himself. Act or stay silently in his room, was his dilemma. This was a subject he knew from his parents’ arguments but still an unknown terrain.
Venky sir returned and went straight to the kitchen. He called Abhinav out for dinner. Abhinav and Venky sir were getting the food on to the dining table and heating some of the food in the microwave. Abhinav did not know if he should bring up Dharani’s name to join them for dinner. As they started to get ready to eat, Venky sir stepped out and then knocked the bedroom door and called out for Dharani, in a soft tone. Dharani did not respond. After much pleading and cajoling, she finally opened the bedroom door and let Venkatesh in. There was some conversation again but did not seem like a heated one. He also heard Dharani talking in somewhat longer sentences than before. Again, since it was in Kannada, he could not make sense of it. For Abhinav this was all ‘Indistinct Rambling’ but he could feel the underlying re-conciliatory pulse and tone. Abhinav was hungry but he was waiting for them to join. He took out another plate and put it onto the dining table and adjusted the food and chairs around. Then slowly, he heard the voices drift and then he heard Venkatesh repeating something multiple times and Dharani repeating “NO” in English as a firm rebuttal to Venkatesh. Abhinav felt the storm coming back that seemed to have subsided. And then all of a sudden, there was a crackling sound of glass like material hitting the floor. There seemed to be a physical tussle and in a flash, Venkatesh dashed out of the room banging the door as hard as he can. The door facing the wrath again, this time from Venkatesh.
One of the apt metaphors for a relationship going through extreme strife or tussle of any kind, is the door of the bed room. Every fight that takes the form of violent expression of anger, the primary and immediate receiver of this uncontrolled rage within, is the door that adjoins that space. Oh, if that door ever had a voice, it can speak of utter damage that it has to go through even though it works as a slave without any rewards in anticipation. It has safeguarded the couple’s privacy, those intimate moments which only it has been privy to in addition to the two emboldened souls, and been a silent witness to the naked surcharged bodies and their oneness, keeping all the eavesdroppers and trespassers of the world miles away, all with the silent strength and warmth akin to the mother earth. The abrupt despair that the door is subjected to, the sound of fury that it echoes long after it has been shut, the tumultuous vibrations the hinges, and the walls have to bear, and the air squeezed out of the room with every one of those closures, they all in some way define the life-story of the door and the couple in transit. The eerie silence that descends after each one of those stormy departures is a testament to the misery, that time and stress wreak havoc on a relationship in distress.
As before, Abhinav did not know what to do. The cold stifling calm that follows the storm, returned. He was all by himself.
After some time, Venkatesh returned and called out Abhinav.
“Abhinav, I am extremely sorry for this drama today. “, said Venkatesh avoiding direct eye contact with Abhinav.
“It’s OK, Sir. I can understand. Don’t feel sorry. “, said Abhinav.
There was a brief pause.
“Pack your things, I will drop you at the guest house now…” Venkatesh said.
“Oh, but. Sir. It’s OK. I am fine. I…” Abhinav tried to stop Venky sir from this sudden trip back to guest house.
But Venkatesh was adamant and said he was waiting outside and stepped out.
Abhinav did not have a choice, he heard the car engine start and hurriedly stepped out with his luggage.
And they started back to the guest house. They were both quiet and kept to themselves.
“Oh, I forgot we did not have dinner. Let’s stop somewhere.” said Venkatesh suddenly.
Abhinav nodded in agreement.
They stopped at a fast food place in one of the Rest Areas.
They both ordered their food and were waiting for their plates. Venky sir looked at Abhinav and smiled.
“I am really sorry again with all this …” started off Venky Sir.
“You don’t have to. Please.” pleaded Abhinav.
The food arrived.
“It was not like this before. We had a great relationship. Ours is not exactly love marriage but not an arranged marriage either. Our fathers are friends and colleagues. They are both teachers. So I knew Dharani from childhood. Did not talk to her but used to see her, now and then, when our fathers met at our home. ”
Abhinav was listening.
“So when my father broached about marrying Dharani, I had no qualms and in fact, loved it. She completed her Masters in electronics and started to work at a local company. After I returned from America, the very first time, we met at a common place and really hit it off. And before I left for America again, we were already engaged.”
They both started to make eye contact now as Venkatesh continued.
“I came back in 3 months and we got married and brought her to America. She started to work immediately as she had applied for an H1B. Life was good. And then this dot com burst happened and being in Telecom Industry I was laid off from AT&T, where I had been working for some years now. I was the topper in my college and to be laid off, I did not understand how to take it. I have been a diligent performer all my life. And this was something I never thought I would face it. I still remember that afternoon when I was called in by my manager and was told that I was being laid off as the company was not doing well. I was the main developer in my team having received numerous accolades all through my tenure. I kept asking my manager, how you guys can lay me off…after all the work I delivered… ”
Abhinav was all ears with all earnestness.
“I struggled with this failure and I have still not accepted it. I could not share with my wife for almost a week this news. I went to work as I normally do. I just went to a coffee shop every day and then returned home as I normally do. I could not take it anymore and then suddenly one evening, I told Dharani the news and I started to cry like a baby…”
Abhinav could see Venky Sir’s eyes get wet as he started to pour out this lowest point in his life.
“Dharani gave me a lot of support. I tried different interviews but could not get any job as telecom industry was going from bad to worse. I had to move onto another industry but there were no opportunities. And Dharani was the sole bread earner now. Her job has been good and her company had layoffs but she survived all of them and she’s a manager now. And see what’s going on with my career. Our job trajectories have suddenly traversed in opposite directions.”
Abhinav kept staring and listening intently.
“And slowly before I realized my marriage started to suffer. I know my lay off is just a temporary setback and not a reflection of my skill. But it’s not as easy as it seems. Being unable to accept this reality and failure. I have been without a job for many months and hence I took up this job just to maintain my H1B status. Now, look at the job, I am doing now. A programming instructor of all, not by choice but by compulsion. This is not my destiny. Taking directions from a company director who cannot talk a simple English sentence without making mistakes. And his emails are pathetic, with so many grammatical errors…even you know that…”
Abhinav nodded. He sympathized with Venky sir’s sorrow and acknowledged his observations.
“OK, I have anger management issues now. But I do not know where to exactly pin point this anger to. Is it just my job loss, not having a job for many months, my ego unable to accept living purely on my wife’s job, working for morons like our director…I do not know.”
There was a pause. Venky Sir recollecting his thoughts.
“See, I am reading some self-help books to learn to move on and to look ahead, but it’s not happening. Some minor argument ensues and then it comes back again, the anger, frustration, and the feeling of I do not know what to call it, a loser…Staying with you guys in guesthouse was not easy at all. The first day when I came in, I packed my bags and went back to drive back to home. But could not go back and live on my wife’s job again. I hated that feeling. ”
“But it’s not your doing, Venky Sir. There are lot of people around the world facing this situation now, it’s just bad economy…good times will be back, just wait. It is not a reflection of your potential or ability.” clarified Abhinav.
“I know this, Abhinav. But some of my classmates and friends have survived this and have kept their jobs, even though they are no match to my skill set or pedigree. How can I convince myself to accept that…?”
Abhinav did not know how to counter this further.
There was abject silence, with only the restaurant chatter to keep them company.
“Anyway, let us finish our food and get going”, said Venky sir to himself and Abhinav.
They finished their pizza and burger.
“Let’s start now. It’s a long drive. “, said Venky sir.
“No sir, please. I want to stay at your home. Don’t make it any more complicated. Even Dharani is alone at home. Let’s go back. I understand your situation. Treat me as your friend or a brother. I am fine.”
“But I don’t want to cause any more trouble for you. I am disturbing your interview preparation. I feel guilty about that…”
“I said, I am fine. I will feel bad if I leave in the middle of the night like this. Please Sir, let’s go home. I am fine. I am good with my preparation.”
After some pause again Venky Sir agreed, “OK, if you insist. Again, sorry for all this. Let’s go back and I promise I will be quiet.”
On the way back, they were back to normal talk that they used to have in guesthouse and they both tried to avoid talking about the turmoil at home. Venky sir was back to his jovial mood sharing his college days and Abhinav, sharing his. Abhinav felt Venky sir’s offer to both Sudhir and him to stay at his home to aid in interview preparation had served dual purposes. It would help guys like Abhinav to prepare and also help the Krishnamurthy couple to keep their squabbles at arm’s length under the eyes of a watchful stranger. In some instances, two seem an uneasy crowd and three a welcome company. At least, it seemed to have worked the first time but not with Abhinav around. They returned home with both retiring back to their respective rooms.
Next day, it was Sunday. A new day with a new promise. Abhinav stayed back in his room. And Venky Sir suggested he will drop Abhinav at the nearby library so he can prepare for his interview without any hindrance. Abhinav accepted the proposal. Abhinav said his morning hellos to Dharani. They both avoided direct eye contact. Dharani packed the lunch and Abhinav set off. Abhinav was at the library still surrounded by a calm, but of a different kind and tempo. He hoped and prayed, the Krishnamurthy couple will be able to resolve their differences of yesterday in the lap of privacy and Sunday. Abhinav was picked up by Venky sir late evening and was back home. Abhinav looked into getting his suit and driving directions ready for next day’s interview.
Monday came and Venky dropped Abhinav at the rental car place early that morning, so he could get to his interview on time. Interview went fine and Abhinav went back to his guest house after the interview. Abhinav was back to the guesthouse groove. Early morning hustle for the bathroom, quick cereal for breakfast, rush to the company office for taking interview calls on the phone, talking to the head hunters at the office for latest job offers, grab a quick lunch, hear about someone else getting selected for job and at the same time not to get disheartened about their respective prospects, go back to guesthouse in the evening, do some grocery shopping on the way back, make some quick calls to friends, continue brushing up on their technical skills, retire to bed with the hope that tomorrow will be your day with a job offer or two in hand and finally, you can bid good bye to the guest house and its circus.
After a couple of days, the confirmation came back that Abhinav was selected. The good luck charm of Venky Sir’s home for interview preparation worked again. But Abhinav was sure Venky Sir would not entertain any more offers to help guys from the guest house to use his home for interview preparation. His recent stay had closed that option. Abhinav wanted Venky sir to be the first guy to know of his job confirmation news. Venky sir was delighted to hear this. Abhinav thanked Venky sir’s hospitality and guidance for assisting him in cracking his interview. Abhinav called his friend, Sudhir to share the news. Sudhir congratulated Abhinav and asked about his stay at Venky Sir’s abode. They shared about the wonderful couple, their generosity and the food. Abhinav made sure he would not talk about the incident at Venky Sir’s home. That was the least he could do.
Abhinav started looking around for accommodation and a car to drive to his new job. Since Sudhir was also in the same boat having gotten selected for the same team as him, they both combined their efforts and became roommates and pooled in money to buy a used car for their daily commute. They got busy with the new job and its challenges. Abhinav briefly kept in touch with Venky Sir and slowly before he realized, he lost touch. The loss of contact was in a way attributed to the awkward disturbances at Venky Sir’s home that Abhinav somehow became entwined with.
When Abhinav met Venky Sir again in the local library, he was eager to restart and reestablish the sweet memories they shared at the company guesthouse and also as a gratitude for the extra pains that Venky sir took to get Abhinav his first job. It has been years since that miserable weekend at Venky Sir’s home but time should take care of making that a distant forgotten memory. So after that chance meeting at the library, Abhinav started texting Venky sir to meet that coming weekend. But Venky Sir said he was out of town with family and he would suggest a better time. Abhinav waited but could not get a confirmation for any meeting from Venky Sir. The wait kept getting longer but still nothing happened to get the families to meet and greet. Venky Sir kept giving some excuses and kept delaying. Abhinav had a feeling that October weekend years ago, might still be fresh in Venky Sir’s household and hence they might be reluctant to invite those echoes back.
Abhinav was onto his weekend tennis match with his friend Vikas. As they took a break in between the games, Abhinav and Vikas were talking about the daily grind and as they were chit-chatting, Abhinav realized that Vikas also works for Concur Systems. Abhinav enquired if Vikas knew about Venkatesh Krishnamurthy also working at the same company. And it turned out, Vikas and Venkatesh were in the same team but Venkatesh moved onto another DevOps team. Vikas said Venkatesh had been through divorce last year and has not taken it well. They used to play cricket for their company and Venkatesh was close then but has not been on same frequency since his divorce. Abhinav was startled to hear this news about Venkatesh. He was slowly getting around to understand as to why Venky Sir was avoiding to meet him. He was wondering if the seeds of this divorce were laid during those difficult times that Venky sir was going through and during which, Abhinav was also a witness to a rather unfortunate time and place.
Abhinav and his daughter were back to their weekend visit to the library. Abhinav was onto the DVD/Blue-ray section browsing for latest movies and Navya was onto her book shelves looking for more Percy Jackson books. Navya suddenly came looking for her father.
“Daddy, I just saw your friend, Venkatesh uncle that we met some days back, at the Teenage Fiction books section. I guess you were looking to talk to him.” said Navya in an excited tone. Abhinav was surprised to hear but did not move. He looked to be in a contemplative mood. “Daddy, what are you thinking about? Why don’t you go and meet him.” continued Navya unable to understand her father’s predicament. It is fine, Navi. I need to go out somewhere. Finish your selection of books. I will meet him sometime later.” replied Abhinav in a cool, collected tone.