It was monday,16th july
4:00 a.m : The alarm of my mobile sang "Lakshya" title track.I tried to put it on snooze but it again awoke me 9 minutes later.Cursing i got up.This was a weekly routine for me since i had joined engineering in Mysore with my native being Bangalore.I had to get up at this time on every monday morning to catch the 5.45 or the 6.30 train to Mysore.Well getting back to where we were.Right i got up,freshened up with the customary teeth brushing and bath.Having clothed up i was about to leave my home when my mother told me to wear my sweater.I tried to argue that it would not look cool on me but,warming up to prevent the early morning cold took precedence over looks.
After a minor squabble with the bus conductor to drop me off at the stop nearer to the back gate of the railway station than the farther main bus stand i ran to the ticket counter only to find the queue like a serpentine.
Having got the ticket for the 5.45 train i jostled with the rest of the commuters to find a place to sit.I sometimes wonder as to how large our population is.As i was lost in some of my thoughts a fat(I mean very very fat),grumpy middle aged woman came and sat next to me almost squeezing me to the window side.She had brought along what looked like 7 of her children."Gosh!! how did they find the time to have so many,considering all looked the same age?"
Not able to take the rucus the children were creating,I was about to get up and go from there to find myself a more solitary place.As i was about to do so,I was blocked by a girl who was making her way to the seat opposite to mine next to the window in a tearing hurry.Having asked the aunty to look after my place just in case i dont get any other i started looking around the boggie but was met with disappointment.Dejected i came back knowing fully well that my morning sleep had gone for a toss.
As i made myself comfortable in the seat i realised that the girl sitting opposite to me was my classmate in PUC. She was one of those girls whom i felt i had a crush on in the long list of this "had been teenager's diary".But her name? i had forgotten.How could i?Then i remembered it started with 'S'.Sindhu or Spandana.The choice came down to these two names.While i was trying to remember what her name is,i realised even she had not remembered me.In the corner of my heart i felt sad for this state.She was in the same batch as mine for Biology and physics and same class in which i was one of the toppers!(Ya i am proud of that,so dont scorn).
Just then "Sindu Prasad",ya i remembered thats what the name was.I wanted to strike up a conversation with her but dint have the confidence to cause we had not had any when in college except this one time in physics lab when she had asked as to where the HCl acid was kept!!.
But to tell you the truth we used to have these repetitive glances at each other when in class.I dint know what was it then,still dont know what is it,but it felt kinda good looking at her eyes from a distance of two rows.For the one time we had talked ,my friends had teased the head out of me telling that it was love,so much so that for a moment even i had begun to think like it.I am sure it was the same with her friends cause they used to giggle and murmur whenever i passed through the corridors or other places near them.This eye watching continued for a long time.It felt as though we knew a lot about each other even though we had not spoken a word."What was that ,that drew us to look at each other and make eye contact every single time,every single class,every single day?"
Cut to last day of college,I was restless to speak to her after the last exam because i wanted to make sense out of what i was feeling.I was pretty sure it was not love but just a mere infatuation but wanted her help for clarity of thought.After i finished the exam i went and sat out near the outer wall of the college campus looking for the time when she would come out.
She did.She was wearing a beautiful pink dress that day.As i got down from the wall to go where she was standing with her friends i was tapped on my shoulder by Vikram(my best bud in college) and we started our usual boy talk.Still i was looking behind to check whether she was still there.I was not able to take my eyes off her.I decided that i would go and talk to her that very moment.
As i proceeded towards her my chemistry teacher interrupted me in my path asking as to how i had done(the negative effects of being a topper)in the exam. When i turned back to look where Sindhu was,she had already gone.I ran towards the 15th cross bus stop which both of us used to frequent.She was climbing her usual bus home.She sat down in the window seat and looked towards me.I wanted to speak but words went into deep freeze.
But i still dint get the courage to talk?what if she looked down on it,even those beautiful moments which i had with her(just eye to eye contact that is) would be soured by this.I decided to leave it there.Maybe it was just meant to a sweet breeze that blew through me.Her bus started and that was what i had thought then our last "eye contact".
And we are back to the train
She was reading some magazine zealously.I wanted her to notice me.So when the tea vendor came around i screamed out aloud for one "chaiyya"(that was how it is called out by our dear train tea vendors).She still wouldnt lift her head although the fat aunty gave me a dirty look as though she was disturbed by the yelling.I was disappointed.I soon realised that she had grown to be a more beautiful girl than what she was in college and me,well the topic is about her-so lets stick to it.
Then came the maddur vada vendor,i ordered 2 ,ate all of them.How i wish i could have shared one with her.But why did i feel so?Can it be love?Nah!!love has a time and that is after age of 26,not now,this is time for studies and friends.We were not mature to make such mature decisions.;).Are these not the things drilled into our heads by parents?
After a while she lifted her head and we made the eye contact i was missing for the past three years.She smiled and i returned it.All the things that i had planned to talk to her were not coming out of my vocal chords.She then asked me as to how i was.We soon striked up a conversation but made sure it avoided the famous eye talks of ours.
The talk was so general that after a time the enthusiasm fizzled out.The mutual admiration society continued but still the conversation was not in the zone i wanted.We went on talk about our future plans after engineering.I said that i was preparing for cat while she was interested in gate.She hated management it seems,while i loved nothing else.Quite a good way to start i thought.
We talked so much during those two hours that it seemed like a lifetime.I felt like asking as to why she used to stare at me during college and why her friends used to giggle(LORD!! i hate that quality of girls,that silly giggling)at me,so many questions but no courage to ask them.She then starting writing something in her notepad.I thought it was some college work of hers,so dint go to disturb her.
After 10 minutes of silence she broke the ice again asking as to how was vikram and my other friends whom she knew.I thought "why did she want to know about all of them when i am here?.Was i just another guy from college for her?,Then what was all that eye contact about",darn i wish i knew all the answers.
Just then the train halted at Mysore station.Time to say goodbye.I had not even asked her mobile number during the entire trip,so dint deem it fit to ask her now.She bid me goodbye and went away from there.I saw that she had left her magazine.As i took the magazine in my hand a piece of paper fell out of it.Curious to read it,i opened it(mind you i had gotten down from the train).The letter read
I know you desperately wanted to ask whether there was anything between us,why chaitra and the gang used to giggle when you were in our vicinity etc.It was because they knew how much i liked you and you not understanding it.Also i knew you felt insecure when i asked about your other friends in the same manner as yours.It was to only to keep the conversation going.I havent forgotten the small beautiful moments we had together and i know you havent too.We had a future i thought in my dreams,but....forget"
Wow!! i thought a girl mustering up so much courage to write a letter like this and me a damn fool still mulling over the possible consequences of me wooing her.As a flood of memories filled my mind,i soon realised i couldnt do anything about it,neither did i know where she stayed in mysore,the college she was doing her engineering nor her phone no.I ran towards the entrance of the railway station to check whether she was still there.I could'nt find her in all that rush.I was dejected.I thought it was the last time we had seen each other.I wanted to store these memories in a beautiful compartment in my conscious.Maybe we were just 'meant to love' not commit i thought.
Picking up my luggage,i made my way to the prepaid auto stand.As i was climbing onto the rickshaw i felt someone call my name behind.I turned back and...............................