Snehali and Neerav Part 4 – Invite in a message

Snehali was sitting in her room gazing through the open window. There was a cup full of tea that was sitting on the table beside her since 20 minutes and was cold now. There was a lot of stuff lying on the bed which made it clear that she was in the process  of cleaning up her room. There was Music playing in the background but she was not paying attention to it. It had been about a couple of months since the meeting with the Director and Snehali had to deal with a lot of changes. She had kept busy and it was this weekend that she finally had the time to reflect upon what all had happened.

 

The higher management of the company where Snehali and Neerav worked  had decided that the product they were working on was not meeting the needed goals financially and more investment would not be done in it. The product would run in maintenance mode for 3 months after which the sales would be concluded and the product would be withdrawn from the market. This meant that the team would be disbanded. They were supposed to decide what they wanted to do going forward within a month. They could decide to change the team in the same company or they could resign and change the company. 

 

Snehali had looked for opportunities in other teams in the same company but Neerav had decided to move to another company. It was 15 days after the meeting that he made his decision public and had served a notice of another 15 days. Snehali had wished that Neerav would stay in the same company but she knew she was no one to give anyone advice about their career decisions and hence had not let her disappointment be known.

 

After Neerav left, few times she had vague thoughts about what could have happened between them. It was not like Snehali was hoping for a relationship with Neerav, but sometimes her brain ran of its own accord before she could restrain it. She reminded herself that she was not even sure if they would be meeting each other ever again. She knew taxing jobs could easily take a toll over one’s personal life and only the truest of friends could survive it. She was not sure if Neerav considered her a true friend or just an office friend.

 

The new team she had joined was great and she enjoyed working with the people there but she had not been able to make a great bond with anyone yet.

 

She used to miss Neerav during coffee breaks. She would get the coffee back to her seat usually or sometimes take a detour to another teammate’s seat to ask for some help for understanding the details of a task she was assigned. To be honest, she was busy too otherwise she would have contacted Neerav asking for his whereabouts.

 

It was now when she was reorganizing her stuff that she saw a butterfly wind chime that Neerav had gifted her on her last birthday and she started thinking about him. She remembered bidding him goodbye when he had left the company. They had promised to stay in touch but Neerav had said the same thing to the whole team.

 

Snehali came back to the present when her brother came to the room asking her if she would go to a movie with him. Snehali had agreed and then she got back to finishing the reorganization of her room. Snehali had unpacked the butterfly wind-chime and had installed it on the window. 

 

Soon after Snehali had finished cleaning up her room, finally stashing everything away. She got a message from Neerav on her phone.

 

“Hi Snehali, how are you? It has been a month and no message, no call, looks like someone has been very busy.”

 

Snehali was elated and she sent a reply soon:

 

“Hello, how have you been? Coffee is not interesting anymore :(. I have been meaning to message you for a long time but could not. I know you must have been busy. But yeah I was busy too. Did not get much time in the last Month. The new project is a big one and there is too much to understand and learn. But how is the new job treating you? I want to know everything about it. “

 

Soon after she sent the message, Neerav had replied – it was not a long one as Snehali had expected but it was definitely better.

 

“Let’s meet for a coffee then? I will tell you everything you want to know.”

 

They agreed for meeting the next day at noon. 


To be continued…

 

Snehali and Neerav Part 3: Friendly acknowledgement

Next day Neerav reached office a bit late than usual. He crossed Snehali’s seat to verify if she was there. Not finding her, he felt disappointed and went to his own seat.

On his seat, he took out his phone and started typing a message for Snehali. He was about to send it when he decided against it and kept the phone back.

 

Neerav opened his computer and started going through the pending emails. He was thinking of a way to contact Snehali and started looking at the pending tasks where he might need help from her. Just about then, Snehali’s email notification appeared on his computer screen.

“Not well, Taking a sick leave today too”

 

Seeing the email, Neerav again resumed his search for a pending task to use as an excuse to contact Snehali. He found the task and sent an email to her requesting for some information.

 

He went to have a cup of coffee in the pantry area before starting his work on the tasks for the day. He met Karan there, Karan was his friend from MBA who was working in another team. He and Karan chatted for about 20 minutes and then came back to their respective seats. Neerav unlocked his computer screen and saw a new email from Snehali and opened it.
“Hi Neerav, For sure, I will gather up the information for you and will send that to you in about an hour.

P.S. I got your message yesterday, I am so sorry I did not reply. I just got a viral fever and should be alright in a couple of days. Will see you soon.”


Neerav was relieved after seeing her message. Snehali was alright and had replied like her typical self. He could now concentrate on his work again.

Snehali finally came to office after a couple of days, she had become a bit pale. She sat on her seat and started catching up with the pending work. When she was finished reading all the unread emails, she got up from her seat to get coffee and saw Neerav approaching her with a smile. She waved to him and asked him for coffee and they went for the morning coffee together.


Neerav wanted to make sure she knew he considered her a friend and said “Office was quite boring without you. You should think twice before taking a leave.”

Snehali was looking at him with surprise “Oh, of course, Thank you for letting me know that. Had I known you were getting bored in office without me I would not have taken a leave for sure.”

Neerav laughed a bit and replied “Ok then I will grant you leaves only when you are sick, not on any other occasion”

Snehali gave him an accusing look and said “Right, I would take a leave only when I am sick but you are free to take a leave whenever you desire. Also, you are not needed to let me know about those leaves.”

Neerav realized she was talking about the leaves he had taken earlier for his sister’s marriage “Oh yeah, talking about that – why you did not message me asking me why I was on leave? Now you won’t even ask a friend where he was for a week!”

Snehali appreciated the fact that Neerav acknowledged their friendship and said: “I would have messaged a friend had he told me about his planned leave instead of another team member.”

“Ok, I accept my mistake. I will try not to repeat it, Ma’am.”

Snehali had laughed heartily at Neerav’s reply and they had started walking back to their seats together.

Soon after Snehali reached her seat, she was called in the Director’s office along with other team members. It was the first time since she joined this company that the Director had called all of them together and it was not without reason that they were worried.

To Be Continued ….

Snehali and Neerav, Part 2: A hint of care

Snehali was resting and had just kept her phone aside after sending the email for sick leave. She was feeling a bit down yesterday and today she had woken up with a headache and a high fever. She was complaining of headache when her mom had casually touched her forehead to check and had found it burning hot.

Snehali had taken the medicine for fever and now her temperature was getting back to normal. She could finally muster the strength to send an email to inform people at work. She had plans to go to the doctor with her Dad soon.

Snehali was her Dad’s darling daughter and he got very stressed whenever anything happened to her. She and her Dad were having tea and her Dad was as usual worrying for her “I always ask you to not eat anything from outside during the rainy season but you don’t listen to me”.

Snehali had replied “Yes Dad, but what to do. Golgappas are my favourite. I can’t imagine not having them atleast once a week.”

That is when they were joined by her Mom “Yes Dear, having golgappas is fine but if you were craving for them so badly, you could have told me. I would have prepared them for you.”

Snehali was having fun being pampered, she specially loved it when she fell ill and everyone became extra caring.

Her Dad soon said with a tense look “Ok, Make sure to get ready in time for Doctor’s appointment.” And then he had left the room to get ready.

Then her Mom had started “Let me know what you will be wearing I will get that out for you, and take bath with a bit warm water only . Do let me know if you feel your temperature rising.”

Mom added before leaving “Let me know what you feel like eating today.”.

Snehali was alone now and she started to get ready. She felt bad that she fell ill today. She had been looking forward to meet Neerav.

——–

Neerav, at his office, kept staring at his screen for about 5 minutes. He kept re-reading the email Snehali had sent to the office group.

“Down with Fever. On Sick Leave today.”

He was trying to decipher the email, “Could it be that she was just angry with me that I did not contact her. And she just took a leave because she knew I was going to be back today. Is she avoiding me?”

Then Neerav got a grip on himself and thought “I should not be so negative, why would she avoid me. We are just -“. And then Neerav was thinking did he ever had a conversation with her where they talked about being friends?

He managed to tell himself “Snehali did not contact me during my leave, might be she does not think that we are friends. I should make sure to get that across whenever she is back.”

Neerav got up from his seat to get a coffee and soon enough did a face palm, “I am a jerk, I did not even ask what happened to her.”

He got the coffee, had no distraction at the pantry and came back with the coffee to his seat, took a sip of coffee and thought “I should send her a message.”

Neerav was in a dilemma for the entire day. He thought of replying to Snehali on the email, then he thought of sending her a message. He could not decide and then he got absorbed in his work. It was in the evening that he decided to text her asking about her health. He composed the message:

“What happened to you? You had to get sick the day I was supposed to come back?” then he thought for a few seconds and deleted the last line and changed the message to

“What happened to you? All well?”

Neerav still was thinking and again changed the message to

“Saw your email. What happened to you?” and then finally sent.

——-

Snehali’s phone was lying in her room, she had been expecting some messages from her office friends to ask about her health and any work related queries so she had the phone with her the whole day. Now, this was evening time and she was tired, she was just sitting on the sofa in the drawing room with her Mom.

It was when she was about to retire for the day and was checking for any new notifications in her phone that she saw Neerav’s message. Snehali’s heart did skip a beat. After all he messaged. She felt like rejoicing and soon started to type. Just then her brother entered her room asking about her health. He had come back from a match he was playing locally. Snehali kept the phone on the side of the bed, chatted with her brother, decided it was too late to reply to Neerav’s message. Switched off the lights in her room and went to sleep.

——–

To Be Continued …..

Snehali & Neerav Part 1: An invisible connection

Neerav was a self-made man with lots of responsibilities. These responsibilities had made him mature beyond his age. The struggles of his childhood had made him strong. He had learnt to hide his true self so much so that he even felt embarrassed whenever he fell ill. Neerav’s hard work and dedication had helped him secure a well earning job in a prestigious company.

Snehali was from a middle class family. She had a loving family and a very different view of the world – a world where people were at peace with themselves. She had been a sincere student throughout and now was hired in the same company as Neerav.

They worked in the same company and in the same team. Being the kind of people they were, Neerav and Snehali did not give much thought to each other. But now, they were assigned to work on a project together and it was inevitable that they would get to know each other.

They both did not know much about the differences in their personalities but they felt intrigued whenever they met each other. Snehali and Neerav did not think much about the curiosity that was building in them and just ignored it to get going with their individual tasks.

After working together for a couple of months, they both knew about each other’s working style very well. Neerav worked silently and to perfection but it was Snehali who bridged the gap between their tasks. He now knew that she was different from him as far as work was concerned but he liked her style. Snehali also appreciated the way Neerav worked his way towards perfection and how he paid attention to details. He made every task seem easy.

They had now developed a friendship where they shared coffee multiple times in the day in the office corridor. There were times when their coffee sessions got extended because there was no way they could cut short an interesting discussion. Many times it was a ping from a colleague that made them to get back to work.

Neerav had always maintained good terms with people but there were only a coulple of friends around whom he was himself. In spite of all his inhibitions, he now had made space for a friend in his life, for Snehali.

Snehali had friends, very good friends but they had always been limited in number. For her friends, she was a talkative person and liked to share minute details from her day to day life. Work made her happy and now that happiness was also being associated with Neerav.

Snehali and Neerav were working on the same project for 6 months now, their professional camaraderie had given way to a mutual understanding and care. So whenever the need came up, he did not hesitate to offer help to her. Once he dropped her home because her car had broken down. One other time, he had got Samosas for the team just because Snehali had mentioned the day before that Samosas were her favourite snack. Neerav had also started planning his leaving time in co-ordination with Snehali’s so that they could spend sometime together after office too. She never minded any of this, in fact, she appreciated what he did and had started considering him a good friend.

It was not only Neerav who helped Snehali. He lived in a flat alone away from home and was heavily dependent on office/ready made food for his survival. One day, he was complaining about the office food. Snehali was thoughtful enough to bring a tiffin filled with home-made food just for him the next day. He ate the food with leisure that day and his happiness knew no bounds.

They were smoothly sailing on their boat of friendship. Though they did share most of the office time together but still they never called each other during off hours. This was going to be a problem for both of them as Neerav had to go on a personal leave for 1 long week and Snehali did not know the reason.

After a lot of deliberation, Snehali could not bring herself to call Neerav. She could have easily texted Neerav on WhatsApp and asked about him but she did not know if he would consider this normal. So she did not send him any text. She was not sure if calling him would be considered invading his personal space.

Neerav too had left without saying anything to her. The fact was he usually forgot about all other stuff when he was with Snehali so he even forgot to tell her about his leave. At his home he was busy in the preparations for his sister’s marriage. He did not have the time to think about anything else during the day but at night when he was alone he would check his phone – no message from Snehali would make him feel dejected and again he would put the phone away and go to sleep. All this continued for the week.

After the week, Neerav came back from his home.While entering the office, he only had Snehali in mind. While walking towards his seat, he knowingly took the longer route so that he would have to cross Snehali’s cubicle, but his smiling face turned to a sad one when he could not see her there. Even the place where Snehali kept her Bag was empty. Neerav consoled himself thinking that she might be late today and went to his seat to catch up on the pending work from last week.

Neerav was going through his emails from the last week, when, after a few minutes he got the notification of a new email which turned out to be from Snehali. The email was sent to the office group.

To be Continued …..