Monday, February 8, 2010

A proverbial love story - Part 2

As happens in so many Bollywood movies, in this story also, as the days passed, Vaishali’s apprehension about Sameer started to disappear. She realised that the first impressions are not always the right impressions. The guy was not as bad as she had thought before. In fact, he was intelligent, witty and interesting. He used to bug the teacher with all sorts of questions in the class. Like everyone else in the class, he used to get upset with the exceptions for each rule of grammar in German Language. But the only difference was that, with his expressive face, it used to be obvious for everyone to notice it. Being a student of engineering, it was hard for him to accept that the rules of a language are not as universally applicable as those of Physics and Maths. Everyday while walking to the bus stop after the class, Sameer and Vaishali used to chat. The discussions during initial days were restricted to the topics of weather, traffic, bus routes and of course the class. Later, it graduated to subjects such as food, family, hobbies, movies and friends. After a couple of months, they could talk about anything under the sun. Sameer was frank and would not hesitate from complementing or criticizing Vaishali about her looks and dresses. Yes, he was flirtatious. But he used to do it so effortlessly that it looked like his natural behaviour. He would also brag about how he could make the most sought after hot chicks of his college fall for him. He was articulate and eloquent with his language. But he was equally grotesque and at times flamboyant with his looks and dressing. He was capricious. At one moment, he would talk like an astute mature guy about a serious subject and in the very next moment, he would make a frivolous, childish remark on an equally serious subject. In spite of knowing about Vaishali’s hatred for boozing, he would at length describe her about his binge drink parties with friends. She would get angry and shout at him. He would argue with her. Sometimes the tiny squabble would turn into a brawl. Vaishali used to explain him all sorts of social, financial and health related hazards of drinking. But all her persuasions had no impact. He could not understand that why she was making so much fuss about his occasional indulgence in alcohol. It was very much common among his friends. Sameer used to pretend that he is agitated by Vaishali’s objections to his so called social drinking. But deep inside, he was pleased to see her care so much about him. Unlike his girl friends in college, he did not have to take Vaishali out to cafés and movies, he did not have to race his bike with other guys of the college to win her heart, he did not have to flatter her with complements, gifts, chocolates and flowers, he did not have to keep himself updated with latest Hollywood movies, Bollywood gossip and English pop to impress her. This was a girl whom he not only loved but also respected. He used to eagerly wait for their short meetings of 15 to 20 minutes at the bus stop every weekday. This was perhaps the first course in his life where he did not want to bunk a single class.

He decided to learn German language so that he could add some weight to his resume. He was never much active with the extracurricular stuff in his school and college days. He realised their importance by the last year of his engineering. It was easy for him to be part of the basketball and volleyball teams in his school because of his towering 6 feet tall structure. But there was nothing much to write about that either. He could not transform himself from being a participant to an ultimate winner in any of the sporting competitions. He knew that his decent academic record alone could not fetch him admission into any of the premier B schools after his Graduation. His German course was supposed to fill some glaring voids in his resume.

Vaishali was a quintessential Marathi girl from a middle class family. She had all the values of a bourgeois background imbibed in her. She would wear Punjabi suits and keep her long hair open all the time. She would not apply heavy makeup. She was a decent cook. She was a religious person and a strict vegetarian. She would keep fast on Chaturthi each month to worship the god Ganapti. She was hard working and a soft spoken person. She would concentrate in each class and would make detailed notes. She had a close group of four friends. She used to hang out with them on weekends. And yes she was a big fan of Shah Rukh khan. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge was perhaps her the most favourite movie which she had already seen at least 10 times so far and was willing to see it for more number of times. When she was in last year of her post graduation, her marriage was fixed with Vijay. He was a sophisticated tech guy working with a software company in Germany for last three years. He had plans of marrying an Indian girl and settle there forever. He was from a rich and prestigious family. His proposal was too good for her family to refuse. They met up once last year and the marriage was fixed within next 2 days. The engagement was hastily done within a week. Vijay came to India for two weeks and changed Vaishali’s life forever. Consequently, her parents did not allow her to do job hunt after her post graduation. She was being groomed at home to be the perfect house wife afterwards. She would talk to Vijay almost everyday when he would call after finishing his day’s work. Their main topic of discussion used to be ‘how was the day?’ Vijay would enquire in detail about what she did the whole day. There was not much of common interest for both of them to talk about. But there was willingness on both the sides to learn about each other and their interests in life. At times, the conversations used to be prolong and boring. But no one was complaining.

By the end of 3 months of the course, Vaishali and Sameer had become good friends. One day, while waiting at the bus stop after the class. Sameer told Vaishali “Today I will come with you in your bus. I have to meet a friend of mine who lives near your home.” Vaishali looked at him for a moment and smiled. After 5 minutes, they were sitting inside the bus adjacent to each other. Vaishali again looked at him and said, “You are not going to meet your friend. You are following me.” She started laughing then. Sameer was shocked. He could not speak for a moment. With a sheepish smile on his face, he nodded his head and asked “how do you know it?” In a cool and composed manner, she replied “It was so easy. When you told me that you were coming to meet your friend, you avoided eye contact with me. Your head was down, your shoulders were slouched and you moved both hands inside the pockets of your jeans. Your facial expressions had suddenly changed from casual to a serious one. It was clearly written on your face that you were lying. You can’t fool me.” She started giggling then. Sameer could not stop blushing and slowly his smile changed into a loud laughter. Sameer was now convinced that Vaishali’s Masters in Psychology was hard earned through honest studying. That was in complete contrast to his studies during four years of engineering. He was no more a student in its true sense, but was merely an examinee for the sake of degree. During their journey, Vaishali asked him to come to her home for a cup of coffee. Sameer was quick to say no. He was interested in having coffee with her but was not ready to meet her parents. He wanted to go out with her in a Barista Café near the bus stop. Vaishali was caught in an emotional dilemma. She was hesitant to accept this implicit date. She was already engaged to someone else. Such acts of flirting were now forbidden for her. But she also wanted to spend more time with Sameer. Her mind was not ready to accept that what she missed on weekends is not the classes but Sameer. She did not realise that she had started taking him seriously. She had stopped wearing those dresses which Sameer did not like and she was watching the movies which he had recommended. She thought for a moment and decided to say no. But she ended up saying yes. That night, her mind was occupied with thoughts of Sameer. She just could not stop thinking about him.

7 comments:

Anirudh said...

Eagerly waiting for the next part...

Sampath said...

Next????

AmitG said...

Good one..is it going to be daily digest or something..in that case I will have to subscribe to your posts...keep posting :)

mindpuzzle said...

@ Anirudh and Sampath : thanks for ur encouraging comments.

@Amit: Thank you too. No, its not going to be a daily digest. I would wrap up the story in one or max 2 posts.

Rohan Pandey said...

Ohh my!!

What a clarity in your thought. It feels to me like a masterpiece. I feeler like Chetan Bhagat novel (not exaggerating). I really appreciate you could think up to the level of "your shoulders were slouched and you moved both hands inside the pockets of your jeans". That is what we call 'depth' which makes an ordinary piece of write-up to a seemingly real life one. Good work bro.

Pradeep said...

Goosh...... u r becoming a fantastic writer. Waiting eagerly 4 the next part. Keep it up dude :)

mindpuzzle said...

@ Rohan & Pradeep : Thanks a lot