Monday. 9th November. I went to college against all my innermost desires. Because I had given word to Shauvik that I would go to listen to his story with Aadhya. And because I was supposed to get the lighter I had lost, back.
When I missed the station Girish Park, thanks to my silent monologues, I decided to walk upto college from Sovabazaar. I did. The weather was pleasant, and I didn't sweat much. When I entered the college, I saw the notice boards advertising a lot of cultural events coming up. Silent monologues again, I entered the hall. Met Sunanda from Hem Sheela. I crossed the hall, my feet asking to stop every minute. Below the staircase, I saw a few of my classmates standing, him among them. I was filled with both anger and pain at the same time. I hurried upstairs, avoiding eye-contact with anyone. Once upstairs, I looked around me, and not seeing any familiar faces, I tried to cry, and let it out. My eyes had squeezed and opened to find two of my classmates arriving. More poured in. My throat stuck, I tired making vague smiles with my facial muscles. A guy came and punched me in the stomach, and asked me "ki khobor?" (what's the news?). I replied that my tummy-line is increasing, and smiled with closed eyes.
I sat in the first bench (as usual). I remembered how I used to enjoy sitting in the last bench till 12; you could get the view of the whole class, what everyone's doing and all, from the last bench.
He came in; I saw it with the corner of my eyes. I tried to focus on the diary in front of me. The white and red design: ACC. I opened the last pages, and began reading the poems there. Three of them. After a while, he called me and asked me to go and sit on the bench before him and his gang. I had still not recovered. I asked a violent "Kyun?". He gestured something that meant "okay, be there". That started the process, I was calming down. Then Neema called me. I stared at her for one whole minute. Her eyes. Ok, I told her I have a crush on her, so I must obey her, I thought. I don't know if I have a crush on her. I like her looks, and when she talks to me in person, I feel different, because I can't help thinking that SHE knows everything. Damn, she knows everything. Anyway, I took my bag and notebook, and went to that bench. The view was awkward. The five rows in front of me were empty. As if the whole class was behind me, and even the teacher would come and stand behind us, and we would have to turn around soon. It was very, very awkward for a permanent first-bencher like me. I turned around and told Neema that the view is awkward, and she replied that, that's how the class always looks, and everyone sits at the back.
I was calming down. I opened a blank page, and tried to think of some poem. Then I turned back a few more pages, and I heard his voice behind me, reading the stuff on the page open. I turned round at him. I was calming down. I could make it. I'm not sure where I was looking, when he said that he forgot to bring my lighter. I was furious. He said sorry. That made me even more furious. Thoughts ran around like mice inside my head. I remembered that she said she'll kill me (she had said quite seriously) if I teach him to smoke. I felt like telling her that I'll kill him if I don't do well in the exam, because I was supposed to study today morning; I came to college only because of the lighter. I also imagined other implications of the "sorry". The breach of protocol that he is indulging in, by falling in love with her, and all that. Puspen came to my mind ("breach of protocol" is Puspen's remark, mind you). I tried to think like Puspen. Ok, I am strong, I am stoic, I don't have feelings. You can't kill my heart, because I don't have a heart. I am impervious to sorrow and happiness. That helped in calming me down instantly. I remembered Dada, and imagined that he would be proud of me today.
The class started. I couldn't concentrate. But, never mind, I was not feeling bad. Afterwards, I did talk to him a lot. I talked to his friends, I talked to other classmates, I talked to Shauvik (wait for the Aadhya story), I talked to her ex-classmate too, and told her about HIM & HER, and introduced them to each other, saw him blushing at the mention of her name, talked to HIM about her, and about things other than her, perfectly normally, fake-smiling all the time. By the time I was leaving college, Mission Pretension was so successful that when I told myself "Okay, the acting is over, you can be yourself now.", I found it difficult to take the fake smile off my face; so well it was pasted!
I told Disha how his being so good with me makes things worse, how his concern for my "smiling", my studies etc, make matters worse. If he would have been a bad person, things would have been better. But sadly, he's very good, or rather he's the best.
Anyway, then I was on my way to South City, to try and gift-shop. I changed my mind and took the train back. I went to New Market to buy a nose pin from Chamba Lama and a brass chain for my pet dog from Simpark Mall. Chamba Lama people told me there won't be any nose-pins till Sunday. And Simpark Mall, as I found out, remains closed on Mondays. I had a good conversation with Payal, and that helped me clear my mind about the impending gift shopping to be done. Half-prepared, I came back home. I can't write anything more, I have to talk him and her to give the final touches to my plans. And if I write it here, she might just read it and the surprise would be gone.
I didn't sleep much last night. So, I'll try and sleep now.
He told me he'll give me his notes on the Gender Issues and Development thing. (told you, he's just too good!)So, I can have that thing off my mind.
The outcome of whatever's happening has both good and bad to it.
Good ones first:
1. He's the incentive to my going to college.
2. I've got someone to talk to at college. I hope, my "go alone-sit alone-leave alone" days are over.
3. I was praying for change, because I was fed up of the stagnant state of our relationship. Here's the change I exactly wanted!
Nevertheless, bad ones:
1. I don't have a single soul on earth whom I can tell EVERYTHING, truthfully. I have to wear a mask all day, everyday, everywhere, with everyone. Even the ones who know everything (like Disha and Neema) can't influence me to be myself, and as I realised the first day this started, I am pretending to happy with them too! I just tell them the facts, but I say everything with a chuckle. Puspen and Sayak can be called exceptions. I can be myself with them, but I hardly meet them, and if I am with any of them it means I'm busy trying to keep myself busy, so no depressing talk! Puspen is different than Sayak. He's more like my strength, than a friend. God-father ho toh aisa! :)
2. Its a continuation of the first point. I don't have an inspiration anymore, no one to tell me what to do, when to do, how to do. I don't have anyone who'll get angry one me!
3. I can hardly have any solid food anymore, without excreting it out (in any form) within no time.
No more bragging about it. Whatever happens, happens for the best. And I am quite okay now. I hate to admit why I'm okay, when I'm okay, but well, it's the unbreakable faith that destiny will be in my favor. Even though, "destiny" above all things have been against me all these days, I still hope it's just a phase. Everything will be ok. So why waste time sulking?
I'll go to sleep now, and try to study when I wake up.
Tales from bygone days, part two
4 days ago