Love Love Love ! Love is in the air , one says . The other exclaims it more importantly has to be in the hearts. Being the valentines month every one is in a mushy mood but does love really need uttering the three words , “I love you” and does I love you always come with T &C of “You love me too!” Our parents teach us the word love and show what love is. We step outside our homes in to the big world and see love in different sizes , shapes and types.
In the below experience am going to narrate I did not tell ” I love you” to any because I really don’t remember having told that actually to any! In this snippet taken out from the dusted pages of my school diaries a guy proposed to me and it was quite a unique experience :D. Hope you all will enjoy this. Names are changed for convenience in the blog post.
I , Rocky , Meena , Manisha and Suraj were a hit group. Every one wanted to be a part of that group. Suraj was a charmer. Meena like her name suggests had big eyes and Manisha was pretty too. Rocky was the stand up comedian of the group. What ever he says or does used to make all of us roll on the floor laughing. We used to play in the ground together , have lunch together , board the school bus together. Practically we were a family outside the family !
Our group was not immune to jealousies. Jealousies did make the group fall apart . We just entered high school and it was the first day of the 6th standard. We all were in a jubilant mood. Sister Rosy came for the attendance and shouted in her squeaky voice to mute all of us who were sounding like the vendors in fish market. This was her favorite line . “You guys should sell fish in the market. Oh my god ! Such a noisssy class yours is”! She always used to press the “S” when she spoke !
Sister Rosy: “Today, we are going to change all of your places. We will make you sit with a new person so that you interact and make new friends too.”
Our hearts were broken . Specially Meena’s who had a serious crush on Suraj. She dimmed like that zero watt bulb. Suraj passed a chit to Rocky and Rocky passed it to me. I opened it to read.
“Make sure that you sit beside me in the rotation , or at least in the front or the back bench to mine. I will be deadly bored in the English and Hindi classes . Please , please , please.”
Meena was curious to know what was in the chit.
I told , its just a casual one asking me to pass the Hindi note book . Saying so I wrote in capital letters ,”IT IS TOUGH. Sister knows we all know each other.” and passed the chit putting it inside the hindi note book so as to justify what I just told to Meena
It was evident to every one that Suraj favourited me. I always felt his fondness is to just copy my notes and home work or to request me to do the records for him. Meena always offered a helping hand but Suraj was reluctant. May be he liked only my notes. I was a bright student and was studious too. I learnt things fast and to date I am a fast learner 😉 .English was my favorite of all languages. Suraj blindly was dependent on me when it comes to languages. Sister sorted each of us in a particular column and row like the sorting hat of the harry potter. Rocky sat in the first bench of the A column to his dismay and Manisha was behind him. Meena sat in the second column or column B and Suraj in the third column. When my turn came sister gave a thoughtful look and told, “Hmm. Afshan! You help Suraj a lot with his academics and he is totally dependent on you when he has to study for exams. I cant make you sit in some other place. O. K. You sit with Suraj”.
Suraj almost jumped in joy. I was happy too.
Sister Rosy: “Aaha! Bless the girl. Thank the girl my boy.” Suraj almost embraced me and said , “Thanks a lot”. I was smiling broad but the smile faded as and when I met the burning gaze of Meena
Days passed and months. We were like before and there was no much change. Suraj being the son of district collector used to come in a special government jeep and in neatly pressed expensive clothes. He used to give small gifts to me, like the scented eraser from London or the 3d sharpener from U.S.A. on which the image changes if you shuffle. He used to get chocolates or eatables for all but some goodie was always preserved only for me. Meena stopped talking to me. I tried and failed.
One day , we were playing in the ground .It was a game called “mad ball” where one has to throw a ball randomly or chose the target and the targeted person should run and escape the hit. If it hits you, you should throw next. Am not sure if this game would be recognized by many but this was the famous post lunch game in our school.
After the half yearly exams we were leisurely playing the game when the ball thrown by Rocky hit me so hard that my knee reddened. Suraj stormed on him asking him to get a balm or ointment. We got some first aid done near the staff room where Sister Florence shouted at us requesting us to not play such dangerous games. I thought I unnecessarily got attention.
Suraj and me had to stay back as we had to practise for the annual day skit. After the practice we went to a near by bakery which was famous for its veg and chicken puffs. We sat at the round table and started munching immediately as we were hungry. Then Suraj suddenly blurted, “I really like you.”
Mark the words it was “I like you.”
With a mouth stuffed with the puff I asked, “Wooot?”
Suraj: ” I like you. You are special to me.”
Me : ” Did you watch any romantic movie yesterday ; ) ?”
Suraj :” No. I mean it.”
I actually got tensed and looked around. I mean, how could I even understand what he was saying.
Me : ” Ok. We will talk tomorrow. Lets leave.”
Suraj held my hand and stopped me. “If I leave the school, will you stay in touch with me?”
Me: ” What happened to you? Of course I will stay in touch . Now lets go.” Saying so I hurriedly left while Suraj was taking long and steady steps. I boarded the bus but could not forget his intense gaze.
After the annual day function we were appreciated a lot for our skit in the class. Suraj got a trophy and I got a certificate. Due to rotation implemented by a new class teacher , I was in second column and Suraj was sitting along with Rocky in a bench adjacent to mine in the third column. Rocky signaled me and passed a book to me. Inside there was a huge parchment on which ” I Love you” was written in big bold letters with name Suraj inscribed below. My head spun. I could not decide if I was happy or sad. I kept it intact and did not reply anything. I felt I was scanned by a good 10 pairs of giggling and sparkling eyes.
Suraj met me at the “Drinking water” area and asked me what my reply was. I just looked foolishly at him saying , ” I will complain to Sister Rosy. Stop this non sense Suraj. You are just trying to cut a bad joke. “
Suraj : “Arey no! I really mean it. I want to be always in touch with you. I like you.”
I left the place.
Some how Sister Rosy learnt what happened and warned Suraj harshly saying that she did not mind about his VIP status. Punishment would be same to all. I felt little bad. Suraj was silent after that. I felt guilty as he was thinking I requested Sister Rosy to warn him!
The last day of the year came and we came to take our report cards. I could not spot Suraj. After lot of searching I asked Rocky why he was not around.
Rocky : ” Didn’t he tell you. They are shifting to Bombay. He came early, took his report and did all formalities and left.”
It was not earth shattering but definitely I felt vacant in my head and stomach. I was stark silent. Those were the summer holidays which I could not enjoy. Even my first rank didn’t make me happy. I went to places with cousins, attended weddings but nothing changed my mood.
After that Suraj once wrote a letter to the group. It was a casual one which described his new school and how exciting it was to be in Mumbai. He gave his address and phone number in it but as it was not a bollywood story I never felt like calling. Was tempted to write a letter, once or twice. I still think what would have happened if I wrote a letter? I never really had feelings for him but I did like him. He was sweet and a very good friend. His loss could be felt in the following years of the school. Even after the orkut and facebook evolution I didn’t feel like searching him. Many things happened in my life after that and Suraj became just a forgotten episode. Thanks to Blogadda for giving a chance through WOW . This memory is so fresh now !
Happy Valentines day to one and all.
Recently I saw Suraj’s wedding photo in the page 3 of a local news paper. He did not match at all to his childhood appearance and his wedding seemed like a costly affair!
This is really a “WOW” opportunity where I could recollect the hazy memories :). I always remember the below lovely song when I remember this episode ! Few bits are detto to what happened though the story is not the same one!
Note: All images are googled. I don’t own them.