Unabridged Confessions – Part 1

Ramble, they said!


If you had to add a dash of emotion to a night’s solemnity, what would you do? Would you like to embrace your loved one and look through the ceiling into the bright future together? Or would you prop up on your bed, light a cigarette, and contemplate what to reply back to the client who’s been pestering you since morning?

For Rishabh, it was always the latter. He treated emotions like a mask that could be put on as easily as torn off. His act of contemplation trying to find a suitable reply to his client was in itself an emotion so profound that grew on him like a grapevine and consumed him completely.

If you were to ask him the reason for his long face on a Friday night, he would almost always reply back saying – ‘The client didn’t turn up on the call today’ or ‘The client expected some inexplicable designs’ or ‘My campaigns aren’t giving the ROI as expected’.

Few said he was fishing for sympathy. Others thought he was an oddball who liked getting worked up to avoid facing the real world. But only a handful knew that his perpetual client centric demeanor was the manifest of a decade in the service industry combined with his innate ability to empathize.

Only on the days his campaigns ran with 95% statistical significance, his call with his parents lasted longer than usual. There were less invisible perfunctory nods and even lesser words carrying more weight than his everyday calls. He told them about his successes and failures in quick succession to avoid the indefatigable tirade of marriage from his mother.

“My life is an AB Test in which the married variant is bound to fail” – his usual reply whenever his dad broached the topic of marraige.

Ah wait! I think it’s time to introduce myself. I am Latika, a colleague of Rishabh’s from the past two months.

I love him. And he is my unreciprocated love.

On the risk of sounding anti-feminist, let me tell you that I could never empathize the way he does. One day, he passed me on the stairs and greeted me with a wayward smile in the most formal way possible. You know what I did?

Nothing. I didn’t even acknowledge his greeting. Playing hard to get is harder than it seems. You mask needs to be super sticky. Even a smile might make guys think we like them.

How do I know so much about him? Well, girls never like to admit it but we gossip. Well, the part where I talk about Rishab’s conversations with his dad is my version of this story. I like to believe that it is true.

The only real conversation we had was about a campaign that was stuck in development, (just like my masked love life). While he was explaining me the specifics of the campaign, I focused more on his rough hair cropping a few white ones a bit too early on. It gave him a shaggy yet wise look. I wondered how would my fingers comb through them. Would I get them feels? I am yet to discover!

“So the developers need to clean the code a bit and make the campaign live”, he said in his usual husky voice.

“Yes, I can clean you up pretty good”, I remember murmuring in my head while keeping the game face on.

I don’t blame my emotions. I let them out pretty quick. You can see anger, envy written all over my face when need be. But feelings of attraction, infatuation or wonder often take me by surprise. And I like to keep them wrapped, tightly wound under the mask.

Another thing you should know is that I am a couple of years younger than him. Nah! Age is just a number no? That’s what I last read in the Instagram feed.

I think I should stop and talk more about him.

Oh well, I will another time!


— Latika

Kartik Dulloo

Growth Hacker | E&C Engineer | Spell-Bee Runner up | Part Grammar Nazi, Part Grammar Hippy | Failing Anglophile

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