~ Originally posted on Oct 5, 2011.
Love, some say it’s magical, some say it’s divine, and some say it’s eternal. Conversely, some say it’s a mere shit. I won’t say any of those, at least about mine. I would rather say it as a simple feeling that conjured in me only to make my mind complex.
I saw her. It wasn’t a love at first sight. In fact, I hardly saw her face when I saw her for the very first time. She was showing her back to me. It was in the library located in my nearby colony. The library was small and privately managed by a resident (who would later become my good friend) of that colony. The specialty of the library, in my perspective, was that, it was the only library near my locality that had English novels and CAT study materials. Okay, now don’t get into an idea that I was preparing for CAT or something. I hardly touched that rack.
I had been a member of the library for the past 8 months, but I never saw her before. Though I wasn’t a regular visitor of the library, you could have seen me there on most of the weekends reading newspapers, and rarely, on weekdays when I was there to return or issue a new book. She must be new to the library, I thought. From the conversation between her and the librarian, I figured she was there to register her membership of the library.
All my life, I neither was a strict follower of the rules nor an ardent admirer of the rules in the first place, be it in school, or college, or anywhere for that matter. Whenever I saw a stupid rule stated in any of the rule book, I would get furious about it. But ironically on the other day, due to the reasons unknown, I was glad for the rules. The girl was told that in order to become a new member, she should be nominated by an existing member. I then heard her reply that she was new to the colony, and that she didn’t know anyone to nominate her.
Her words struck me hard, didn’t know why. I just wanted to go and help her – It wasn’t a big deal for me as I was a member already. Simple. But I held myself back in the chair pretending to read the newspaper that I was holding in my hand. I don’t even remember what paper I was holding back then. I thought she would come to me and ask for some help. But then, I looked around. There were four more people reading something. For a moment I suspected them to be as pretending to read as me. Maybe not, I thought as they were at least twice my age, meaning they should roughly be of her dad’s age. Still, that wasn’t a favor for me for she might choose someone else over me to help her.
I was wrong. Nope, don’t think she chose me. She didn’t. She didn’t choose anyone at all; rather, she turned to leave the library with disappointment sprayed all over her face (That was just my imagination. I didn’t see her face yet). As she was about to reach the main door, I called her. “Hello,’ I said. She turned to look at me still wondering if it was she who was called. I saw her, I mean, her face.
“Are you here to become a member?” I asked.
She nodded, this time her face showed she was sure of her being called [by me]. She came towards me. I gestured her to follow me to the librarian.
“Ma’am, I nominate her,” I said to the librarian. “She is a friend of mine.”
The librarian stared at me. I turned towards the girl by my side. She too was staring at me.
“Okay, not my friend, but she doesn’t look like the one who will run away with your books,” I continued, “so enroll her with my nomination.”
Ten minutes. She became a member of the library. I thanked the librarian. Neha thanked me. Neha, it was her name. I saw that in the registration form. I walked past her throwing a half-smile and ignoring her thanks. I still wonder why I acted that way. Only God knows. I left the library immediately while she still stood near the librarian. Late in the night, I cursed myself very badly for my act. “Never mind,” I consoled myself saying, “now that she is a member, I could make it up anytime sooner.”
It just took me two more days to run into her. She had already been in the library by the time I entered. She had some CAT study materials with her, and was working out some problems. I walked past her slowly so that she could get a chance to look at me. Man, I couldn’t have walked any slower than I did that day. It was of no use. She didn’t look at me. I was angry, not at her but at me.
I went in and took a CAT study material. I didn’t know what topic was that book about. Moreover, it wasn’t in my mind before I entered the library, or until I saw her. Actually, it wasn’t the purpose I went to the library for. All I wanted was to return the book I took few weeks back and get back home as soon as possible to catch the football match live on T.V.
But there I was deeply pissed off for her not looking at me, and as a result, taking some random CAT study material, and walking towards the study hall to sit opposite to her. On my way, I returned the book to the librarian and borrowed some papers to scribble (I should show her I, too, was working on some problems, right?).
Luckily, the seat opposite to her was still empty. I sat scratching the chair against the floor as hard as I could. The noise that I was sure had enough decibels to disturb even the librarian who sat in the other room. That wasn’t my intention though after all. Mine was just to disturb Neha so that she would care, at least by now, to look at me. It worked. She looked at me and smiled only to get back to her work of scribbling, okay, not scribbling, but solving some crap problems.
Until then I wasn’t aware that I didn’t have a pen. In all that tension, anger, and hurry, I wasn’t sane enough to borrow a pen along with the papers. It was only when I opened the book and saw a problem, and when I wanted to solve it, I realized I didn’t have one. It’s this human nature that even though you’re sure that you don’t have something with you, you still search for it in your pockets, or bags, or whatever you have with you as if it would be born out of something from nowhere. I was no different. I was human after all. And hence, I did the same. I groped for my pen in my pockets.
That act of mine drew her attention. Any fool would figure out my action for certain. Here, she, who was preparing for CAT, will definitely be better than a fool, right? Yes, she was. She dug into her bag, and offered me a pen. I smiled.
… to be continued (part 2)