Episode 18


This episode continues in third perspective. I’ll revert back to Arav’s perspective soon enough….I guess.
It’s still in progress, so you never know what to expect¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Start from where you are. Start with what you have. But only work towards what you need. And no matter what it takes, do not settle for anything lesser.

That’s what Manvith used to tell her. He was her shield against the world, that helped her move forward, conquering adversities as they came by. His presence made her resilient, capable of laughing at obstacles and making any rough situation look as simple as it could be.
So when she voiced her dream of being a chef, while her parents had been apprehensive of the said career option, Manvith had made sure she cleared the cut off to get into IICA, Delhi.
After that everything had been a cakewalk; her passion driving her to work harder and relentlessly towards being the best, learning all kinds of Indian and Global cuisines and applying for internships for better credits.
The three year diploma course came packed with new opportunities and exposure that was better than any she’d imagined.

After her industrial training at Junoon, she and her friends had decided to go on a small trip to Manali before their placements were finalized.
And that’s when she’d realized that she’d found something more than just a career at IICA. Ved had been with her throughout the course and it had only taken her a three day trip at the end of her diploma to realize she’d liked her goofy friend, all along.
She remembered the non stop chattering with him in the bus ride, the cup of coffee they shared at the Mall Street, where he bought her a pair of traditional earrings.
The bike ride across the scenic, snow capped mountains and eating Maggi outside their inn in the cold weather, everything confirmed her confused emotions, but as outright she was in other aspects, this wasn’t something she’d thought she had to deal with.
So she buried it, hoping he’d say something instead. If not, it was best to move on anyway.

After the placements were finalized, and he’d texted her, excited about his new job in Radisson, she’d asked him if they could meet again, at their regular seat on the college building’s terrace.
While she had had plans of just blurting out what she’d felt, irrespective of the outcomes, he’d gone on to obliviously describe his future plans on taking up further programs in IMA, Switzerland, once he had a few years of work exposure in Delhi.
She’d thanked her stars when her other friends Riya and Prithwi had joined them, before she had said anything that she might regret.
On their way back to their hostels, Ved had stopped her mid- path, held her hand and said “You know I’m going to be just one call away, right?”
She’d shifted back to Bangalore a few months later, having got a job at Jade 735, never having called him once after that.
That experience with Ved had taught her that she wasn’t good with handling her feelings and the only reaction that gets activated when her emotions go astray is her “flight” response.

But that had been years ago.
A chapter closed shut, that she refused to look back.
Now that Nathan had directly questioned her motives, how could she tell him that she was exposed to the same thing all over again, just a million times worse. She couldn’t get herself to tell him that this whole trip was an escape from reality, from all the overwhelming emotions raging inside her that she’d kept buried beneath her annoying yet constantly cheerful trait.

So she did what she did best.
She hit Nathan on the head and made a joke on not acting drunk before even drinking.
Nathan shaked his head and they soon headed back home.
On entering, Nathan walked past her, into his room, holding his precious belongings close to himself, lest they fall and break.
She decided to check on the furniture that Arav said had arrived and while walking by, heard voices from the kitchen.

“But Engineering might cost you more, isn’t it?” Arav asked.
“I know. But Baba’s brother is ready to pay some of my fees, and once I get a job, I should be good. Being a chef requires much more investments after completing my course. And in case I don’t get a good job, it will be a waste of three more years, which I really cannot afford right now.” Millie replied, placing all the cutlery in one of the kitchen cabinet.
Vinnie heard Arav let out a deep sigh as a response to that statement.
She turned around, and walked outside the house.
For a few minutes, she just stood facing the gate, lost deep in her thoughts.
The afternoon sun was hitting brightly on her face, which was glistening with tiny beads of perspiration.
Then she removed her phone from her pockets and dialled a number.
“Hey Prithwi! I know, it’s been a long time. Do you still work in IICA? Oh that’s great! I sort of needed a favour from you, if it’s alright.”

To be continued->


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