‘Where did the milk go?’ I said, empty Amul carton in one hand and fridge door in the other.
‘Back in the cow,’ Saurabh said. He sat on the sofa, tying the laces of his new, sparkling white sports sneakers. His fiancée Prerna had given them to him four months ago. Of course, Saurabh is more likely to enter a ladies’ toilet by mistake than a gym.
‘It’s not a joke, Saurabh. It was a full carton. Now I can’t even make a cup of tea.’
‘I had biscuits in the afternoon,’ Saurabh said, attention still on his shoelaces.
‘I don’t like my biscuits dry.’
‘You dipped them in a litre of milk?’
‘I used what was there.’
I shut the fridge in disgust, threw the empty carton in the dustbin and sat on one of the dining table chairs, staring at him.
‘I’ll get another packet later. And as we discussed, let’s avoid talking. Message me if there’s something important,’ Saurabh said.
Like a twelve-year-old, Saurabh had stopped talking to me. Even though we lived together, we communicated mostly through messages.
I WhatsApped Saurabh even though he sat seven feet away from me.
‘I want milk now. To make tea.’
Saurabh looked up from his shoes to check his phone screen. He saw my message but ignored it. He pulled up his socks, stood up, picked up his wallet from the dining table and put it in his kurta pocket. The olive green Fabindia kurta made him look like a baby elephant, especially with his thick black woollen sweater over it.
I typed another message on my phone.
He typed a response.
‘In a rush. Will sort this out later.’
He opened the Uber app on the phone.
‘Damn, no cabs. Uber or Ola,’ he said out loud, after swiping away on his phone for five minutes.
‘What happened?’ I said, looking up from the dining table.
‘I didn’t speak to you,’ he said.
‘Nobody else in this room. Did you speak to the wall?’
‘Let me be,’ Saurabh said, fumbling with his phone again.
‘Do you want me to book a cab for you?’ I said.
‘No. And please don’t talk to me.’
‘Saurabh, time you stopped sulking.’
He ignored me and kept staring at the phone screen.
‘I can book—’ I said, but he interrupted me.
‘Keshav, we have two months before the lease ends here. Until then, can you please stay out of my way?’
‘I said sorry enough times.’
Saurabh shook his head, eyes still on the phone.
‘I will take an auto. Damn it, I will freeze in this cold,’ Saurabh mumbled to himself and stormed out of the house.
I continued to sit in my house, staring into space, aware of the silence left behind by Saurabh.
Hi, I am Keshav Rajpurohit and I’m not a particularly nice guy. Not emotional either. I don’t believe in love. I use Tinder to meet girls for the sole reason of having sex with them. Oh, and I am quite good at it. I slept with ten girls last year.
As you just witnessed, even my flatmate doesn’t want to talk to me. Saurabh and I used to be best friends. Now he hates my guts and is waiting for our flat’s lease to end. It is harder to break up with a best friend than with a girlfriend.