Satish now in his thirties was introspecting his life.

He was in college when he was a teenager. His confidence was overflowing. He developed a 'could not care less ' attitude. He did not bother about his friends' feelings. Where other people approached him with an open heart, for a clean, neat friendship, Satish responded with such a hard attitude that their hearts cracked. They chose to take a different path.

Nitin, a bright young boy from his class, found Satish as a good person to become a close friend. But Satish was involved in himself. He did not care what Nitin thought of him.

"Satish, let us go hiking this Saturday. A monsoon hike is a wonderful experience. Why don't we go to Matheran this Friday night and we can start hiking in the night? My other friends can also join us."

“Hiking? Are you mad or what? I have so many better things to do. I don’t want to do such a nonsensical thing. Wandering in forests. Absolutely foolish.”

"It is not foolish as you think. It is great fun and one can enjoy nature to the fullest."

“No. I don’t have time for such idiotic things.” Satish brushed aside Nitin’s idea. Not only that but he enjoyed ridiculing Nitin’s interests too. Nitin was disappointed and was hurt over Satish’s comments on monsoon hikes.

Repeated dispiriting reaction from Satish, pushed Nitin away. Satish lost a possible good friend.

Prakash, a disciplinarian boy got away from Satish due to discouraging responses from Satish.

One day, Prakash came up with an idea of a musical session of listening to old film songs. “ This is an idiotic proposal. I don’t understand what pleasure people find in listening to boring old film songs. This concept itself is idiotic and I pity those idiots who find it interesting.” Prakash felt insulted. And henceforth, he never came to Satish for any entertaining activity.

Satish’s conscience warned him against this type of behavior, but his indifferent attitude did not bother about the consequences.

Ragini, a good, ambitious girl from his class, came closer to Satish. But Satish's dispassionate behavior separated her from him.

Ragini once approached him and opened up on the topic of quantum physics and string theory. She wanted to discuss this wonderful, path-breaking concept. She suggested, "Satish, why don't we watch Prof, Brian Greene's videos discussing string theory? That is an interesting new idea about the multi-dimensional world."

“Oh, Are you talking about the concept of quantum mechanics based on probability?

Quantum entanglement and all that? Even Einstein did not accept this hypothesis. He called the concept spooky. And you want to follow that idea? I consider this perception foolish. And those who consider that as a great point of view are stupid. I don’t want to fall in that category.” Ragini felt insulted. She decided to keep herself away from this self-righteous man.      

Satish’s inner voice alerted him. It showed a dangerous signal of losing a good friend in Ragini. But Satish’s conscious mind was unconcerned.

Vikas his classmate, once suggested Satish, a game of cricket.

“Cricket? That silly game? When one person is playing, others are just watching.

The slowest game ever invented next to golf. I don’t understand why it is called a game. Absolutely stupid. And those who play cricket are brainless.”

Vikas left disgruntled.   

 Father’s affection went unnoticed and Satish was deprived of a source of fatherly love. Once he called Satish.

“Satish, how are the studies going? But what is happening? I don’t see any friend continuing their friendship with you. Why? What is wrong?”

“Don’t bother Dad. You don’t understand the mindset of the youngsters. They want to get involved in brainless activities. I don’t like their mindless behavior. And Dad, please don't waste your energy on their silly behavior. It is beyond your capacity."

Father was surprised by Satish's attitude and was irritated over Satish's teaching him about young minds. He was rather enraged over Satish’s ideas about the friend circle.

Mother showered her unlimited love on Satish. But Satish with his dispassionate responses shattered her heart. She was also hurt by him.

“Satish, how come I don’t see you talking about your friends, girls or even boys? Why are you cross with them?”

"Mother, do you think you know the behavior of my friends? They all are stupid and idiots. I don't want to associate with them. "

“And do you think, you are the most brainy chap in the group?” Mother was worried.

“You don’t know anything happening in this world. Don’t consider mean of your extra-ordinary son. Don't think I am a wooden-headed boy. At least, keep away from my friends.”

Mother was badly hurt.  

Satish’s self-analysis now, made him realize that such behavior since his teenage, had stripped him of true love. There wasn't even a single person showering pure love on him. He noticed that he did not have anyone to open out his heart. He recognized that there was not a single soul in this world whom he can consider his close friend.

His conscious mind was recounting how his conscience was alerting him whenever he behaved wrong. Satish was then repenting that he did not pay attention to the warnings by his inner mind. There were innumerable occasions when he behaved arrogantly without having any consideration for the feelings of the other person. In fact, Satish used to enjoy hurting other person’s sentiments. 

Satish’s conscience was smiling over his conscious behavior.

Now he was searching for a soul in this world who would be empathetic.

And then Vidya an Engineer joined the company as a colleague to Satish. They were given the responsibility of developing a package in Python to help decision-making for the management for the opening of new colleges in undeveloped areas of the country. The management aspect of the requirement was to be handled by Satish whereas the coding and presentation aspect would be taken care of by Vidya.

The prestigious project got into full swing. As it was taking a concrete shape, Satish was getting attracted to Vidya.  But this time it was Satish’s conscience that was taking a lead role and controlling the conscious behavior. The inner mind was ensuring that the earlier wrong actions by him were avoided.   

As the days were passing, Satish was getting involved more and more with Vidya.

He started hating Vidya for talking to any other colleague. He wanted that Vidya would be with him every moment that he was in the office. Slowly, he wished Vidya to spend even holidays with him.  

Once he spoke to Vidya. “What are you doing on coming Sunday? Can we watch the videos of Prof. Andrei Linde on multiverse?”

"Are you mad or what? The hypothesis of the multiverse is an all foolish idea. And to tell you, those who find this concept as something novel, I consider them stupid." Vidya responded dispassionately. Satish felt insulted. He was disappointed to hear such harsh words. He switched over to some office topic and avoided further confrontation.

But Satish was keen to have Vidya with him even on weekends.

After considering many plans, he decided to suggest dinner on Saturday night at a resort.

"What about having dinner at the Kinara resort coming Saturday? Do you know, the Kojagiri Pournima falls on that day? The full moon would be very bright that night. And having dinner in the open under the shadows of big trees with the moon making the entire atmosphere silver bright, would be exhilarating.  Shall we go to Kinara?” Satish proposed Vidya.

“A dinner in the moonlight? What a rubbish idea! No Satish. I have better things to do.”

Vidya brushed off his idea. Satish was disheartened.  He concluded that Vidya is not interested in him and he should keep away from her.

But that was not easy. He was desperately missing her on weekends.

In the evening he switched on the radio. A program on old Hindi film songs was on. And a song from the film Pattaraani started playing. Music director Shankar-Jaikishan had tuned the lyric in Raag Shivranjani and presented it by Lata Mangeshkar in a heart-wrenching, heavenly voice.   Satish's love-soaked heart deeply remembered Vidya. He missed her very much. The bright moon-shining rays were piercing his heart.

A few days passed when Satish did not interact with Vidya.

After a week, during an evening coffee break, Vidya approached Satish.

“Going for coffee?” she said.

"Yes," Satish answered.

“Can I join you?”

“Yes. If you please.”

Both of them took a table in the corner. The inclined sunrays entering through the glass walls made the atmosphere adorable.

“Very busy these days? You did not speak to me the entire week.” Vidya.

"Hmm. " Satish responded with reluctance.

"Satish, if I am not mistaken, did you study at Sathye College?"

“Hmmm” Satish.

“Was that during the years 2005-07?”

“Hmmm” Satish.

"Were you in division A in First-year science?"

“Hmmm” Satish.

“Aren’t you surprised that I know so much about you?”

Broken-hearted Satish forced a smile.

“Do you remember classmates Nitin, Prakash, Ragini, Vikas?”

Satish showed a surprise on his face.

"You must not have taken note of some more of the group members. I was one of them. We were in the group, but you were so reserved and self-centered. I can even put it straight, you were arrogant. Did not care for anyone else. Many times, in your absence, you were the topic of our discussions. Despite you considering yourself a brilliant boy, you could not score enough to get admission to Engineering college. You had to continue in B.Sc. whereas many of us joined Engineering college. We were wondering how an arrogant boy in you could not secure admission for Engineering. You continued to post-graduation getting M.Sc. When we came out with our degrees in the Engineering discipline, you too were looking for a job with your Master's.

When I joined our company, I saw you already on the company roll. Working together, I slowly confirmed, that you were the same arrogant boy from the Sathye college. I remembered how you hurt our group members with your harsh comments.

All the members of the group were upset with you. But you were unconcerned.”

"Are you coming home or have your plans to continue in the office?" One of the colleagues asked Vidya.

“No. No. I will start in just a while. “ saying this Vidya turned to Satish, “We will continue tomorrow. Bye.”

Vidya got up and went away with her friends.

Satish, confused, started for home without any friends.

In the night at home, despondent Satish was relaxing after dinner.

All of a sudden, his mobile rang. Satish picked it up. It was Vidya.

Satish, though wanting to communicate with her, was not in a mood to talk to her.

Very reluctantly he said, “Hello”.

“Satish, Vidya here.”

“I know. “

“Are you angry with me?”

“What for?”

"You know why I am apologizing to you. Satish, That behavior of mine, was just a put-on act. I did not mean to hurt you. Honestly, I just wanted you to realize how your arrogant behavior had broken so many hearts during your college days. Even in our group, no one considered you as their friend. When I confirmed that you were the same Satish who had an arrogant attitude in college days, my irritation over you then, sprang up and was waiting for giving you back.

And when I got an opportunity to snub you off or to put you down, my conscious mind took over my conscience, I behaved with you on the same lines as in our university days.

But last week, when you kept away from me, I realized that I missed you very much. I also noticed that you were not the same as those days. You had turned empathetic. In fact, I recognized that you were in deep love with me.

My behavior of 'tit for tat' was misconceived. So, I want to apologize to you for that. I want to know whether you still love me? I want to express my feelings to you.  I am also in love with you, the transformed you.

When I realized you have thrown off the arrogance from your behavior, I started liking you. And last week, I recognized that I long for being with you.”

Vidya had no more words to express herself. Satish was so much elated that he could not utter a single word. There was a long pause.

"So when are we having dinner at Kinara in the open, under big trees?" Vidya said.

“But is not the idea of dinner in the open, go with you?" Satish said hesitantly.

“Oh, that was just a reaction from my conscious mind to the arrogant Satish. But now I know different Satish. A lovable Satish. My inner voice is longing for a dinner with you in open under the bright moonlight. Shall we plan for tomorrow?" Vidya was excited about this idea.

"Of course, I am all for it. If you wish we can meet even tonight. " Satish was exhilarated.

“Okay then, we are having dinner tomorrow at Kinara.” Vidya took the decision.

“Good night. See you tomorrow in the office.”

“I wonder, how the night will pass. Good night.” Satish uttered a few words

Thus ended the exchange of happiness.

Satish noticed the altered environment when his conscious mind reconciled with his conscience.

August 08, 2022 18:02

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