July 2nd (Early morning)
She despised crowds, she hated when strangers came in physical contact with her, but there she was standing in an unknown bus station in a new city. She was trying to pull out her cell phone from her hand bag with one hand, while holding on to as much as luggage possible with the other hand. ‘Hey where are you? I have been waiting here since forever,’ she said. She was obviously lying about the forever part. After what actually seemed to be forever, her friend had finally arrived. Shakti was her pen friend which evolved into Facebook, Twitter and Instagram friendship with technology. Kanchanamala was friends with her since school days, but this was the first time she was meeting her in person. Shakti was everything she aspired to be one day, smart, successful and fearless.
They caught sight of each other from a distance and Shakti approached Kanchanamala with open arms and gave her a tight hug. ‘Welcome to the pollution and traffic of a metropolitan city babes,’ she said. They hired an auto rickshaw after Shakti argued with the auto driver for close to 20 minutes. Kanchanamala was in awe, she was staring out of the auto rickshaw and was admiring the huge buildings and billboards with beautiful women. She finally asked Shakti, ‘Don’t you have cab services here? I mean if you weren’t happy with fare the auto driver was quoting, why didn’t you book a taxi?’ ‘Heritage baby girl, we should save our heritage. Have you ever watched Hollywood movies or for that matter any foreign language movie?’ asked Shakti. ‘Yes I did,’ answered Kanchanamala. ‘So, did you see any auto rickshaws in any of them? No right? Cabs are killing auto rickshaws and we should save them. If that means arguing for 10 extra minutes, it fucking doesn’t matter,’ explained Shakti. When Kanchanamala tried to say something in her defense, ‘But,’ Shakti interrupted, ‘Save the heritage. Dot.’
They finally reached Shakti’s apartment, unloaded all the luggage and took turns in moving the luggage up three flights of stairs. Kanchanamala was going to be Shakti’s roomie and she was super excited to live with another girl as she always missed having a sister and was looking forward to having such an ‘uber-cool’ roommate. Shakti unlocked the door, opened it and welcomed Kanchanamala, ‘Welcome to Shakti Bhavan,’ she said. Kanchanamala thought it was quite narcissistic to say that, but ignored it as she was excited to step inside her new home. She entered to find a 1BHK, or rather a 1BK which looked like it was last cleaned before Dr. Manmohan Singh introduced LPG. She stood there in utter shock and thought, ‘Time to become Konkarna Sen from Wake Up Sid!’