Trisha was in a terrible mood. “Bloody asshole! Just because he is a senior manager he thinks he can say whatever he wants and get away with it”, she muttered. She logged onto her blog and opened a new post. Her fingers flew across the keyboard as she began typing out a rant about morons at work, specifically sexist men who made inappropriate comments. ‘Ding!’ – her G-chat icon was blinking. She glanced at it and saw that it was Karthik. “Can’t talk now, just got home” she typed and logged off. She was just about to shut her browser window also, when she noticed that she had a comment on a blogpost she had written the previous day. “Who could be commenting on my blog?” she wondered. She opened the post, titled ‘The Walk’, about the therapeutic effects that walking had on her. And she felt like the air had been knocked out of her. The comment was a poem that replied to her poem. It spoke to her very soul, and ended with a sentiment about wanting to hug her to make her feel better. “OH MY GOD! Is this some weird stalker or what?!!!” Trisha couldn’t believe this. She used her blog almost as though it was a diary of sorts, and had worked very hard to make sure nobody knew it was hers. Other than her closest friends, nobody even knew that she wrote. And now there was this comment. It didn’t sound like any of her friends, and she didn’t know what to make of it.
Karthik was crossing his fingers hoping that Trisha wouldn’t know it was he who had posted the comment. He’d always liked her, but didn’t know how to say it, especially because he knew she was committed. But when he saw that post it almost felt like it was crying out to him and he just had to say something. So he did, but now he felt that it was an impulsive gesture and one that could ruin the budding friendship he had with her. He wondered if he should delete the comment when suddenly he heard the familiar ‘Ding!’ of someone pinging him on G-talk.
Trisha: K, guess what?
Trisha: Someone posted a comment on my blog. Can you believe that?
Karthik: You have a blog?
Trisha: Yes, I do. Long story. But someone posted a comment. And its semi-stalkerish. And now I don’t know what to think. First I thought it was sweet, but now I think whoever did it is a stalker.
Karthik: T, you know that I have no idea what you’re talking about, right?
Trisha: Bah. You’re useless. OK, here’s a link. Go read. And no matter what, do NOT read my other posts.
Karthik didn’t know what to say to her. He’d stumbled upon her blog by accident, and he knew it was her because of her thinly veiled references to people they worked with. He could almost see her eyes flashing when she ranted about the lecherous senior manager, or her loud laughter when she made sarcastic comments about the woman who wore extremely weird clothes. She had tried hard to cover up her identity, but it slipped through in her words. He went back to the post on walking – the one where she’d sounded so vulnerable, in a way he had never seen her in person. She sounded like the world was collapsing around her, and the simple act of walking was all that helped her keep it together. He knew it probably revealed a side of her that she wanted to keep hidden and just the fact that she was confiding this in him meant that they were becoming better friends. “And then when she finds out I knew about this anyway, and that I am her semi-stalkerish commenter, what will she do?” he wondered. It was a scary thought.
Karthik: T, I saw the post, it seems fine. The commenter just sounds like he wanted to cheer you up.
Trisha: Isn’t it just like you to want to believe the best about people all the time? I think he sounds like a stalker.
Karthik: No! Why would you say that?
Trisha: Well, what’s all this nonsense about wanting to wipe away my tears, and hug me and all. You know what I think? Some weirdo must be reading my blog. In fact I suspect some idiot at work has stumbled upon it, and probably realized its me. Ugh!
Karthik: Aren’t you over thinking this?
Trisha: NO! I need to know who it was. I don’t like this semi-stalkerish vibe I’m getting from it.
Karthik: OK, you continue obsessing, I am off to eat dinner!
Trisha: No, wait! I need to analyze this further!
Karthik is now offline.
Trisha fumed. As always he’d logged off, just when she needed someone to help her think through things. “Such a useless fellow he is! He doesn’t even understand how I need his help. How else do I deduce who this could be?” And just as she was thinking that, a sudden realization dawned on her. She began dialing a number on her phone.
“HELLO loser! I know who the mystery commenter is” she announced triumphantly. “I know it’s you, and don’t you dare bother denying it because I refuse to believe otherwise.”
“Umm, T what are you saying?”
“Oh, please! Don’t play dumb with me. IIM-B, and you cannot even ask a girl out to her face.”
Karthik could not control his smile – “What are you saying, T? Who am I not asking out?”
“You’re kidding me right? Listen to me Karthik. I am not going to ask you out. If you like me, man up and admit it. And while you’re at it, also admit that you wrote that comment.” “But what if I really didn’t?” “Karthik, the comment talks about walking in a garden with winding paths. The only garden with winding paths that I’ve ever been to is the one in your society”
“And how would I know that, woman?”
“OK fine. Don’t admit it. BYE!” She slammed the phone, grinning. She didn’t need him to say it, even though she would’ve liked it if he’d said it. But she knew she was right with this guess. There was no way anybody else could have written that comment. Just as she was thinking that, she saw a new email notification. It was from Karthik.
You’re right. It was me. I don’t know how to say it to you in person, so yet again I’m going to use the online medium. I do like you, and I want to be the one that calms you down. If you feel the same, meet me at the entrance to my society this evening and we can talk this over.”
“Hmpf! Such an idiot, cannot even just say he likes me!” Trisha thought. And then she flew out of her chair shouting – “Oh shit! Now I have to figure out what to wear to meet this idiot!”