The year was 03. Amir was new to this bustling metropolis named Bangalore. He came here from a nondescript town in central India to realize the Indian IT dream and also to find true love. A few months later and a dozen walk-ins old he realized it was hard to get any of those. Standing in a never ending serpentine queue at a walkin interview in which nobody was actually walking, he reckoned that it was not just him but a million souls like him precisely looking for those two things in life. He lived with Ank on the fringes of the city and civilization. Ank worked in a renowned support center for a major international printer manufacturer and he had realized one of those dreams. He lived nearby his office in electronic city due to the low rentals and preferred finishing his majority of daily chores in office, even during weekends. However on the subject of love, Ank was still struggling and sometimes under the tutelage of old monk * he would pour his heart out about the horrendous experiences in his search for love. Both were unawares about the series of events that were about to unfold in the near future which would have them change their views about finding love.
Some days later, a typical lazy Sunday morning slumber was broken by the monotonic ring tone of Ank's mobile. Ank picked up the call and the person on the other side was Ragini. She was girlfriend/future wife of their common friend Luv Singh Chauhan who incidentally was an early Bangalore migrator. She sounded concerned .
Has Luv come to your room.
But wasn't he supposed to.
There was a dead air from Ank's side for a few seconds as he tried to reconstruct the events of previous night. Exposure to old monk can result in haziness in thought process but surely there are no hangovers. He looked at Amir and keeping his palm over the mic area of his mobile said in a muffled voice-
She is asking about Luv.
Before Amir could think about Luv, he was thinking that although mobile phones had a mute button, people were so much used to handling landline phones that they still used the palm gesture in order to mute the line. This brought a strange smile to his face much to the annoyance of Ank. They both had invited Luv to have lunch with them and it was possible he was on his way. He carried himself on a motorcycle which was credited by his friends and colleagues as the reason for his success with finding love so soon and so often. Ank unmuted the phone and said-
We had planned for a lunch. Maybe he is on his way to my place.
Ragini said-I knew about the lunch. We spoke about it last night
Ok. Let me call him.
I am trying since morning but it's out of coverage area.
Hmmm... Let me try from my phone. He might be travelling through such places which had no network coverage.
Although it did not make much sense to Amir as to why Luv would deliberately travel through such places which had no network coverage and moreover the technical feasibility to selectively travel through such places was next to zero, still he nodded in congruence to what Ank said out of his respect for Ank's degree in telecommunications engineering. Now Ank dialed Luv. He got the switched off message from the other side. There was definitely some issue. Why would Ragini get an out of coverage area message and Ank get a switched off one. The phones were not smart enough at that time to give messages based on whom you wanted to keep in touch. Ank called back Ragini and said-
His phone is switched off.
In a deeply concerned voice she said-Is it possible he left for your place and something unfortunate happened to him mid way.
By this time she was almost sobbing. Ank said-
I can’t calm down. Can you guys look for him? I fear something untoward has happened to him.
Untoward? OK let me think towards what can be done.
A gloom had covered their faces. In a flurry Ank and Amir dialed in all the people in Bangalore who were common friends with Luv along with them. None of them knew about his whereabouts. Out of their obligation to friendship and their empathy for a suffering woman they took a conscientious decision to find Luv no matter what it takes in terms of effort.
* Old Monk is a cheap rum.