I was hurrying to office and thats when my mobile phone started ringing. I looked at the display of the phone to know who was calling but only the numbers were displayed on the phone. So it is someone new, I thought. Or perhaps a old pal. I picked up the phone and said, "hello..!"
"Is this Paul..?", a male voice on the other side inquired.
"Yes.. It is..", I was quickly searching my memory cells to see whether I am finding a match for the voice I'm hearing.
"Do you know someone named Ashok..?", he asked.
"I know lots of Ashok..? Which Ashok are you talking about?", I said. I really know lots of Ashok. I was really puzzled of the voice I was hearing. I couldn't make out who it was.
"Ashok.. A friend of your friend Karthick.. Karthick from Trichy", he started giving me clues.
Well.. Honestly I knew lots of Karthick's too.. That too lots of Karthick from Trichy. I said, "well.. I know lots of Karthicks from Trichy too. I am really sorry for not able to recognize you.. Could you give me little more details..?', I asked. At the same time, I was thinking very fast to see whether the Karthicks I know in Trichy has any link with anyone named Ashok. But I couldn't think of anyone.
"Ada paavi.. avlo periya aalaayitiyaa..? Karthick-a kooda maranthitiya..?", he immediately switched to Tamil. [ "oh.. You have become that big guy ah.. you even forgot Karthick.." ]
Now I got a match in my memory cells for the voice that has similar flow of Tamil.. I immediately asked, "Is it Ashraf..?"
"Then who else am I talking about.. I have been telling that it is Ashraf. Honestly tell me, how many Ashraf's do you know.. you bugger!!", he got into local Tamil slag.
"Sorry buddy, there had been a confusion. Whenever you were pronouncing Ashraf, I was hearing it as Ashok. Thats why.. I know only one Ashraf dude.. you knew it..", I said. I was happy to hear his voice. We talked for a while then.
It had been more than three and half years since we talked over phone. I knew him through one of my close friends at school, named Karthick. He is Karthick's college mate. But when Karthick introduced him to me, we became good friends.. I even go to their house when I stayed in Chennai. It was more than 3 years back. Then I came to Bangalore and he went to Singapore. After that there were not much contact.
I felt happy about talking to him after a long time. I like that guy since he have been one of my good friends around. He said, "I'm in Bangalore now for some transition phase of my project and will be here for another week time, can we meet sometime tomorrow..?". I said, "yeah.. why not.. I will meet you at your hotel tomorrow evening.."
There are still lots of my good friends with whom I'm not in contact with. It is not that I don't take effort to contact them. I try to contact them sometime, but somehow I lost their phone numbers. They also didn't bother to get in touch with me, it seems. I am still in search of few of my friends in Orkut and Facebook.. It makes to feel good inside when you talk to your old pal after several years..
More than all of these, I sometime scared when some of my old pals call me after several years. They will expect me to remember their voice and will puzzle me to identify who they are. If I say, "no.. I couldn't..", they will take it personally. I don't know why they do that. They will start complaining that I forgot them and I didn't even took any effort to contact them. They would think that I intentionally forgot them or intentionally telling that I don't know them. They don't realize the fact that they also didn't contact me for several years.. Then the situation will become little uncomfortable.. But Ashraf is not one such guy. He understands. I know him and thats why I felt happy talking to him after several years.