मेरा यार (Mera Yaar)

two school friends
“जब बारी आई अलविदा कहने की,
तो तेरा हँसता हुआ चेहरा याद आया…”

कल जब ज़िंदगी धीरे-धीरे हमसे सब छीन लेगी,
और उम्र की आँखरी सीढ़ी पर जब तुझे खड़ा देखूँगा,
ना जाने कितनी हसरतें अधूरी रह गयी होंगी,
ना जाने कितने वादे अधूरे रह गये होंगे,
हज़ार शब्दों के बीच में कुछ बातें अनकही रह जाएँगी,

चेहरा तो बहुत पहले भूल चुका होगा,
पर आँखों में बचपन की एक पुरानी याद रह जाएगी,
तुम्हे शायद याद भी ना होगी हमारी पहली मुलाकात,
की ना जाने कितनी सुबह तूने मुझे जगाया था,
ना जाने मेरे कितने खिलौने उधार लिए थे,
की प्यार भी किया उससे जिसे मुझे प्यार था,
और ना जाने कितनी शामों को हम लड़े थे,

ऐसे ही लड़ते झगड़ते ज़िंदगी के सारे मौसम आकर चले गये,
और जब बारी आई अलविदा कहने की,
तो तेरा हँसता हुआ चेहरा याद आया,
दूर कहीं मीठी से बीन की धुन बज रही होगी,
जैसे तुम्हे घर बुला रही हो,
कह रही हो जैसे शाम बहुत हो गयी है,
और घर के दरवाज़े पर खड़ी तेरी माँ तेरा इंतज़ार कर रही है,
पर मेरे यार, इस बार जो तू हसके रुख़्सत होगा,
यह कहकर की कल फिर मिलेंगे,
मैं जानता हूँ की कल तू नही आएगा,

बचपन से खेले थे जो खेल,
आज उनमें मुझसे जीतने तू नही आएगा,
जब सब लोग चले जाएँगे तुझे अलविदा कहकर,
और तेरी कब्र पर फूलों का ढेर लगा होगा,
मैं उस पत्थर पर हाथ फेर कर लिख जाउँगा,
यहाँ लेटा है मेरा यार,
जिसे मैं कल उठाने आउँगा…


Heart Break Cafe – Pilot

Episode 01 – On the House

Beautiful cafe

6 January 2015, Tuesday,
07: 30 pm.

Heart Break Cafe is a cafe recently opened in Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi. The cafe is jointly owned by four school friends Maks, Sats, Buddha, and Leo. While Leo, 27 and Maks, 27 take care of the daily business of the cafe, Sats, 29 and Buddha,28 don’t get much time due to their prior commitments. However, they always avail themselves at important or special occasions. Leo is a writer while Maks is a bank employee. Sats frequently travels abroad due to his work and is committed to a girl from Delhi. Buddha is an engineer working in a multinational company and is the only married person of the gang. The relationship status of Maks is complicated while Leo is waiting for someone special. HBC cafe has a staff of eight, which includes four waiters; Preeti, 22, Pooja, 21 and Shreya, 20 and Kamal, 18. There are two cooks, Sandy, 29 and Santosh, 26 and one caterer Bhao, 34. The café has one security personnel as Rawat ji, 45 who is an ex-serviceman. The cafe opens at 9.30 am in the morning and remains unclosed till 10:30 PM. Leo manages the cafe in the morning while Maks does the overlooking in the evening shift.

Abhishek, 25 waits for someone at the table. The cafe is moderately filled with people. Preeti, Kamal and Shreya are taking orders while Pooja has gone to Chandigarh for a wedding. Maks sits on his manager chair liking and posting comments on Facebook.

Preeti: Do you want to order something?
Abhishek: Abhi nahi, kisi ka wait kar raha hun.
Preeti: Ok.

It’s 8.00 pm now. The cafe has its share of noises and humdrum activities; the usual laughing, chit-chatting and table-chairs screeching. Abhishek looks at his watch for the hundredth time. He is restless but realizes he has to order something.

Abhishek: Excuse me!
Preeti: Yes sir?
Abhishek: Please bring a coffee for me.
Preeti: One minute sir.

One hour and three coffees later he still waits. The dialled list on his mobile shows the same number for the 15th time but there is no reply. Finally, a message arrives. Abhishek opens it. It says,” Just five minutes, I am struck in traffic.” He hits the table in frustration. Maks sees that.

Maks: Bhai table mat tod yaar, abhi furniture ke paise nahi chukaye hain.
Abhishek: Sorry.
Maks: It’s ok. Girlfriend ka issue?
Abhishek: It’s complicated.
Maks(In a sarcastic tone): Don’t say.

It’s 9.30 pm. The crowd is dissipating now. A girl enters. Aditi, 25, beautiful, nattily dressed takes a seat in front of Abhishek.

Aditi: I am really sorry. Wo office mein time lag gaya aur phir traffic mein fans gayi thi.
Abhishek: Par tumhara office toh 7 baje chhut jata hai na?
Aditi: Arey wo aaj project report submit karni thi toh time lag gaya.
Abhishek: Toh phone ka reply kyun nahi kar rahi thi.
Aditi: Wo sorry maine dekha nahi.
Abhishek (Doesn’t believe her): Yeah so convenient.
Aditi: What? Do you think I am lying?

Abhishek doesn’t reply. The anger on his face gives way to sadness.
Aditi: Bolo kya kehna tha tujhe, mere paas jyada time nahi hai. Main 9:45 ko nikal jaungi.
Abhishek: Par tum abhi abhi toh aayi ho.
Aditi: Waise pehle hi late ho gayi hun, ghar se do teen baar phone aa gaye hain. By the way, you know Delhi isn’t safe at night.
Abhishek: Main tumhe ghar chhod dunga.
Aditi: Nahi nahi main apne aap chali jaungi, tum bas batao ki tumne kisliye bulaya tha?
Abhishek looks at her with expectation, as if he wants something he thinks he deserves.
Aditi: What?
Abhishek: Aditi, we have been dating each other for around a year now.
Aditi: So?
Abhishek: So I was thinking…
Aditi: Ek minute I know that expression. Main tumhe pehle bhi keh chuki hun I can’t marry now.
Abhishek: Par kyun, don’t you love me?
Aditi: Baat wo nahi hai, you know na main soch rahi thi ki thoda career bana lun, shaadi toh kabhi bhi kar sakte hain.
Abhishek: Tum shaadi ke baad bhi toh career bana sakti ho.
Aditi: Shaadi ke baad kuch nahi ho pata.
Abhishek: Tum kisi aur ko toh pasand nahi karti?
Aditi: Nahi toh, pagal ho kya? Aur tumne aisa socha kaise?
Abhishek: Jaane do, chhodo.
Aditi: Nahi batao, tumne aisa kaha kyun, tum mujh par shak toh nahi kar rahe ho?
Abhishek: Nahi jaane do, I am sorry.
Aditi: Tu bhi na kuch bhi bolta rehta hai.

Suddenly something piqued Abhishek.
Abhishek: You know what, at least main jhutha nahi hun.
Aditi: Iska kya matlab?
Abhishek: Pichhe haftey jab tu milne aayi thi ghar pe, tab tera mobile check kiya tha maine. Tere naye aashiq ke I love you aur janu wale message padhe the maine.

Aditi is speechless as if somebody has hit her face with a steel chair.
Abhishek: Yahan mujhse shaadi bhi nahi karni aur wahan uske saath bachhon ke naam bhi rakh diye.
Aditi: Tumne mere pichhe mere message padhe, how dare you?
Abhishek: Badi besharam nikli tu, Kam se kam galti maan toh leti.
Aditi: Kaisi galti, jaise tu pichhe pada hai mere wo bhi pichhe pada hua hai.
Abhishek: Dekha maine kitni baar “mela baby” ka haal puchha tune.
Aditi: You know what, I cannot take this shit. Main ja rahi hun.
Abhishek: Yeah that’s what I was expecting.
Aditi leaves with shame redden eyes while trying to put a winning face. Abhishek watches her go; there is a pain in eyes but satisfaction of unloading his disappointment. Maks witnesses it.

It’s 10.00 pm now. The cafe is nearly empty. Preeti and Shreya have left early, as usual, Kamal is staying. He lives in an apartment of a nearby building which he shares with Sandy and Santosh. Abhishek sits quietly staring at the empty coffee cup.

Maks: Bhai sorry for interrupting, may I join you?
Abhishek: Yeah…kyun nahin.
Maks: Suni tumhari kahani maine.
Abhishek: Really, kahin jyada toh nahi ho gaya?
Maks: Nahi mujhe nahi lagta.
Abhishek does want to talk but is not sure what to say. There are too many thoughts to occupy his mind.
Maks: Ab kya karoge tum?
Abhishek: Pata nahi samajh nahi aa raha.
Maks: Samajhna kya hai, wo dhokebaaz nikli, chhod de usko.
Abhishek: I love her so much, Pata nahi usne aisa kyun kiya? It hurts bad.
Maks: I know dude, I have been there.
Abhishek: Really, tumko bhi kisi ne dhoka diya?
Maks: Not exactly meri kahani thodi alag hai.
Abhishek: Kitni alag.
Maks: Mera chhodo. You know dude, I think I have a solution for your situation.
Abhishek: Wo kya?
Maks: Ek minute.

Maks leaves for the kitchen and comes out with something wrapped in the newspaper. He places it on the table and tears the newspaper cover. It’s McDowell’s No. 1 Whisky.
Maks: On the house.
Abhishek is surprised and looks around, he is the last customer of the cafe.
Abhishek: Yahan pe allowed hai?
Maks: Not exactly, but who is complaining?
Abhishek: I am not.
Maks: Kamal! Do glass aur thoda chakna bhi le aa.
Kamal: Ok bhaiyaji.
Maks to Sandy: Oye pee raha hai kya?
Sandy: Na Daajyu (brother) aaj mangalwar hai.
Maks: Iska toh mangalwar somwaar laga rehta hai.
Kamal places three glasses, ice and chakna.
Maks: Ye teesra kiske liye?
Kamal: Bhaiyaji mera.
Maks: Tera mangalwar nahi hai?
Kamal: Mujhko sab chalta hai.
Maks: Ha ha ha sala pahadi.

Maks pours whisky in the glasses and makes three pegs.
Maks: Haan toh bhaisaab abhi shuru se sunao apni kahani, kahan mili ye mohatarama tumhe?
Kamal taking his glass up: Haan bhaiyaji shuru ho jaiye.
Abhishek nodding his head in pleasant surprise: Ajeeb jagah hai ye.
As the three drinkers raise their toasts…

Maks: Welcome to Heart Break Cafe…



A Story Of Two Best Childhood Friends

Two best friends sitting

Sawan Public School, Pathankot.

Leo Negi, 6 is a new student in the class, he is shy and sits alone on the last bench. After the school, he enters school bus but nobody gives him a seat. Finally Pujlis Kumar, 7 offers him the seat beside him.
Pujlis: What’s your name?
Leo : Leo and yours?
Pujlis : Pujlis.
Leo : What kind of name is that?
Pujlis : I like it.
Leo : But I don’t, I will call you Pulis.
Pujlis : Ok.
From that day, they become inseparable.

09 years later.
Leo, 15 and Pujlis, 16 are choosing streams after 10th class boards.
Pujlis: So what you have opted?
Leo : Same as yours, commerce.
Pujlis : But you don’t like commerce.
Leo : Yes I don’t, but you don’t like arts. Don’t worry, with you around I don’t have to study it all.
After the school, they race their cycles to the shopping center in the city.
They don’t have any money. They just roam the streets looking at the expensive things, delicious items, and beautiful girls.
Leo and Pujlis admiring the fanciest restaurant in town, The Venky’s.
Leo : Hey look at that fancy restaurant, they must have many tasty dishes.
Pujlis : Yeah definitely!
Leo : And boy! Girls in there are really cute.
Pujlis (looking at that way, nods his head): Yes they surely are.
Leo(determined): You know Pulis , one day we will own this fancy restaurant and we will marry very cute girls.
Pujlis(equally excited): And we will have two kids each, they will go to the same school. They will play together and we will just sit in this restaurant all the time.
Leo : Yes Pulis my friend, we will do all that.

Read the Heart Break Cafe series for more stories about friendship.

Two years later.
Leo and Pujlis are giving 12th class boards. It’s Economics paper.
Leo : I don’t think I am going to clear this paper.
Pujlis : At least try the two marks questions, you would pass the paper.
Leo : I don’t know any of them, I have written only seven one marks questions and five of them seems wrong.
Pujlis takes his answer sheet and gives him his.
Leo : Oye what if invigilator would come?
Pujlis : Then we both get expelled.
Leo : What if the examiner matches our handwriting?
Pujlis : I know how you write. I have been doing your homework for a long time.

They pass the boards and take admission in a college. Leo continues to be a brat and Pujlis manages to score well in all semesters.
Pujlis and Leo standing in the corridor. Some junior girls are passing by.
Leo : Nice nah? Whom do you like?
Pujlis : Naah no one.
Leo : Come on, I know when you lie just tell me, which one?
Pujlis : That girl, wearing red, walking in front.
Leo : Nice. What’s her name?
Pujlis: Nidhi.
Leo: Let’s go and meet her.
Pujlis : No no I can’t, I won’t.
But Leo drags him anyway.
Leo : Hi Nidhi.
Nidhi: Hi.
Leo : Nidhi, my friend here thinks you are an idiot.
Nidhi: Why he thinks so?
Leo : Coz he thinks you are too beautiful to date a guy like him and would choose some stud who drives fast bikes or some fancy car.
Nidhi smiles.
Leo : Is it okay for you if you would go with him for a coffee to show him that he is an idiot to think so and you are an intelligent and smart girl who appreciates good intention?
Nidhi : Okay.
Leo : Okay then, he would see you after the lecture.

Pujlis and Nidhi start dating soon. They get married after graduation. Pujlis finds a high paying job in an MNC while Leo goes for modeling.
They meet after a couple of months.
Pujlis : So how’re things going for you?
Leo : Just ok.
Pujlis: Why don’t you try in our company, I have many contacts?
Leo : Naah I hate corporates. They are mean suckers.
Pujlis: Why are you wasting your time on these things, you can do great things?
Leo : Don’t worry, I would do something soon.
Pujlis : Yes I know you surely will.
Leo : Anyways why don’t you come to our Ladakh trip, we will have great fun.
Pujlis : I don’t get much time these days. Nidhi is pregnant, so you know I have to be there for her.
Leo : Ok.

Three years later.
Pujlis have two kids now. He is in top management of his company. Leo is still struggling. He has left modeling and joined photography.
They meet at a cafe.
Leo : Dude where the fuck are you these days? No messages, no calls reply, not even picking my phone. It has been almost a year since I last saw you.
Pujlis : Sorry yaar, you know I have two kids at the house and then this high pressure at the job, I don’t get any time.
Leo : You are not even coming to trips, and this time you even forgot my birthday. You used to have fun.
Pujlis : Sorry about that.
Leo : Don’t be sorry, friends never say sorry.

Six months later.
Pujlis is very busy, he is heading a new project in his company. Leo holds a photo exhibition and calls Pujlis but he couldn’t come.
They meet after few days.
Pujlis : Hey sorry, I couldn’t come to your exhibition, I had an important meeting.
Leo (Furious): How come your project was important, mine wasn’t?
Pujlis : Come on, it was a local exhibition, I had a multi-million dollar project in hand.
Leo : So you are comparing now.
Pujlis(tired and frustrated): You are just playing around. You still live like a college graduate. You flirt around, smoke, drink and go on trips. You don’t have a stable career and you are not serious. Get a life and grow up.
Leo : So you think I am still a kid and you are a grown up just because you have this fancy job and a family?
Pujlis : Yes I think so.
Leo : If that is so, yes I am still a kid and I don’t want to grow up.
Pujlis : I don’t have to argue with you. I have to go now. I am getting late.
Leo : Where you are going, you just came?
Pujlis : I don’t know about you, but I have a family waiting at home. I have to be with them.
Leo : I thought I was a part of your family.
Pujlis : Sorry, I am really tired today, I just have to go.
Leo: Why don’t you simply say that you don’t want to be friends anymore?
Pujlis: Let’s not talk about it right now, you are mad and I am quite tired of this shit.
Pujis is about to leave.
Leo : Wait, let me make things easier for you. Since you are this big hotshot and I am just nobody, you don’t need to meet me again. I am never calling or seeing you again.
Pujlis just stands there, he hasn’t expected this.
Leo wants to shake his hand and hug him before leaving, he comes forward but stops.
Leo : Goodbye old friend.
Leo leaves without looking at his face.

Leo leaves the country next week. They stopped talking and lost touch with each other. Years passed. Pujlis becomes the owner of an MNC. His kids are in college. One day he gets ill and is told by the doctor that his days are numbered. He wants to meet Leo for the last time. He tries to contact him but couldn’t find him with all his resources. He dies a few weeks later.

Several years later.
A very successful Leo comes back to the country. He visits the city and goes to Pujlis’ house where is informed that he has passed away a long time ago. Leo feels sad and guilty for not saying a proper goodbye.
He thought to roam around the city before leaving the country again. He goes back to old school, college and streets where he and Pujlis used to roam as kids. All those wonderful old days make him nostalgic. He then crosses the fancy restaurant he and Pujlis want to own when they were young.
He reads the board it says, Leo’s Dream.
He gets curious and goes inside and asks the manager.

Leo: Excuse me, who is the owner here?
Manager: Sorry sir they are not around.
Leo: Where are they?
Manager: Sir, Mr. Pujlis died some time ago and his partner some guy called Leo Negi never visits this restaurant, I think he lives abroad.
Leo(to himself): Pulis you remembered.
Manager: Excuse me sir, who are you?
Leo: I am that Leo.
Leo signals him to the photo hanging on the wall. It’s the college time photo in which Leo and Pujlis are standing together and smiling.
Below the pic, there is a note framed in golden letters.

I know you will come here one day. I know you are mad at me and perhaps I deserve it. You are a stubborn person but would you still forgive this old friend? I am really sorry.

Leo(with tears in his eyes): Idiot, friends never say sorry. You weren’t wrong…perhaps I just didn’t want to grow up.


[Photo by Cole Hutson on Unsplash]

School Reunion 2014

School Reunion 2014 is a short video celebrating the reunion of old classmates of K.V. No. 1 Deolali-Camp. These friends meet after a period of nearly a decade and walk again in the corridors of their beloved school. They discuss how life has changed, laugh, play and argue just like old times. They are not sure if they will see each other soon or when they will plan next reunion. But whatever they will go, wherever they will go, they will also carry a part of their school life with them. Watch the video to relive a moment of your childhood innocence and friendship…revisit your school days…