Riya walked across the cafeteria, and sat down on the table at the back. It had become their usual table. Yes! Their! She was not alone, she was having lunch with a friend, for which she had the party to thank for.
After making her grand entrance, Riya was feeling pretty out of place. Never a person who was socially comfortable, being at a party was the craziest thing she had done lately, or maybe in her entire life. So while she was feeling as uncomfortable as a fish out of water, she heard some guys chanting “Conan, Conan”. The center of all the attention was a stocky, nerdy guy, who seemed to be Indian, who was cowering away from all the people around him.
The nerdy guy got Riya’s attention and she kept looking at the events unfolding. After harassing him for a while, the guys left him alone and started looking for other targets. The Nerdy guy slipped into the shadows, becoming more invisible, if that were possible. Riya finally saw someone she could talk to and walked up to “Conan”.
“Hi I am Riya? And you surely don’t look like a Conan.”
She was greeted by intense staring and silence.
“Let Me guess, Karthikeyan?No…Okay!Then must be…ummm…”
“Kanan, Kanan Iyer,” he said slowly.
Riya smiled, “Hey Kanan, love your name.”
“Is that a new way to taunt people, by saying you love their name.”
“Who says I am taunting? Can’t I just love your name.”
“Why are you being nice to me? You look like one of them…”
“I am not one of them,” She laughed, “I assure you that. As far as being nice to you is concerned, that is how I am, I suppose.” She paused before asking, “So which department do you work for, that you couldn’t ditch this party.”
He smiled slowly, “Accounts, and you look like you fit right in here, but not enjoying the party.”
“Media Buying, and my boss threatened to sack me if I did not attend, and even sponsored the makeover.”
And then as time flew by, before she realized,, it Riya had made a new friend, which is why she would not be eating lunch alone in this place again.
Riya walked up to the table sat down and said “So how has the day been so far?”
And their conversation just took off from there and lunch hour had passed.
Words: Jaibala Rao