"What do you mean you are leaving for Coorg?" Manav asked worriedly as he saw his friend make some phone calls while sipping lazily on his freshly brewed coffee...he went and sat on the couch opposite him waiting till he finished his calls and looked up
"Manav, it means exactly what I said...I'm leaving for Coorg tomorrow...and I'll be back in 3 months tops!" Arnav said taking another long sip of his coffee...he looked on with an amused expression as his friend stared at him with his mouth open "You are serious aren't you?" he asked Arnav who nodded his head
"Ok..listen...let me explain why i'm going there" Arnav said calmly leaning forward with his hands resting on the coffee table in front of him, while Manav narrowed his eyes at him "Gee, thanks...I usually read your mind, but today it seems to be having a blockage!" he said as Arnav smiled
"Alright Mr Sarcasm...listen up...I'm having writers block..." he said with a straight face as Manav kept looking at him "Aaand? Please don't tell me that this is your reason!" Manav said as Arnav shook his head "No Listen, my new book...'The Twisted Pendulum' is just not moving forward...I've put too much effort into it for me to just scrap it or change the plot...plus I have deadlines!" he said as he got up and walked towards the large balcony overlooking the beautiful arabian sea
"Hold on Arnav..you've had these blocks before...its no big deal...you've come out of it...what is the meaning of this..." he started saying as Arnav looked back at him, leaning against the balcony railing "I am also wondering the same thing Manav...its never taken me this long...two months...I can't seem to move forward with my plot at all...everything seems so messed up!" he said as he closed his eyes and took a deep breath
"I think its best I leave this godforsaken city and look for some peace and quite...this house in coorg that i'm renting is really good...its secluded and has all the modern amenities...it will give me the quietude i need to finish this novel" he said as Manav watched him quietly
"I guess you've already taken care of everything huh?" he asked as arnav opened one eye and looked at him with a lazy smile "Arre...but what about your job? Your boss won't agree to this...and what reason will you give them? No one knows you are Crispin bloody pike!...not even your family" he said getting agitated again...sometimes he really did not know how to get across to his bull headed best friend.
"Its taken care of Manav; I've never taken a personal leave from the past 6 years that I have been working...so I told my boss that I wanted to take an extended vacation and travel around Europe...he was reluctant at first...but he knows that he can't lose me...plus he's very happy with my last three exclusive deals...so he agreed...his only request being that I keep up with my mails" arnav said as Manav reached inside his pocket and pulled out his cigarette box
"Boy, do I need a smoke or what!...want one?" he offered arnav who gladly took one...both of them lit their cigarettes before facing the cool breeze coming from the balcony"So...where in Coorg is this place?" Manav asked him as he drew in a deep drag
"Its just a bit away from the main city...up in the hills...my publisher recommended it...apparently some other writers have also gone there...they found it helpful" he said as he exhaled out the calming smoke
"Hmm...and what about your daily stuff? Like food and other things?" Manav asked Arnav who seemed to thinking about something "Uh...yeah, there's an old caretaker and his wife...they will be helping with the cleaning and food arrangements...I really don't need to bother with anything...its a full package!" Arnav said as he crushed his cigarette on the ashtray
He walked inside the living room as Manav finished his cigarette and followed him in "So...I don't think I can persuade you amigo...you seem to have made up your mind and your plans..." he said with a small hurt face which made arnav chuckle
"God! Why are you behaving like a typical wife!" Arnav said only to have Manav scowl at him "Arnav! I'm not behaving like a bloody wife...I'm only concerned for my so called best friend...who is suddenly taking off leaving everything behind and is informing me, Manav Bhatnagar a day before he flies off to God only knows where!" he said in a sulky tone only to have Arnav laugh loudly
"You are such a drama queen man! Manav...don't worry so much...I'm a big boy! I'll be fine...and these 3 months will be over before we know...plus i'll be back in the stands with probably the best mystery novel I have ever written!" he said as Manav gave him a sheepish smile
"Yeah...can you like give me 10% of your earnings this time round?...looking at what you made last time, I think my life will be set if you feel this will be your best novel so far!" he said as both burst out laughing.
"Oh and I know you are a big boy...a very big boy! Your'e getting old now Arnav...6 more years and you'll be hitting 40!...promise me, you you'll let me and Parul set you up with someone nice when you are back! That woman has been on my case since the time I suggested pairing you up with one of her cousins!" he said with a shudder
"Hey! Don't say anything about Parul...you are one lucky bas***d to have her in your life...and now you have to double up your'e love since she is pregnant!" arnav said bringing a fond smile on his friend's face who nodded his head.
The rest of the evening went by with Manav helping Arnav with his packing and putting the house in order...Arnav handed over the keys of his large 4 bedroom apartment to Manav who promised that he will get Arnav's maid to clean it twice a week.
The night ended on good lucks and good nights as both the friends parted to once again meet 3 months later...but little did they know that life as Mr Arnav Singh Raizada urf Crispin Pikeknew...will be changed...forever!