~ Originally posted on Oct 6, 2011.
She smiled back, but that was all she did before grudging her head into the papers she was working on. For a moment, I wasn’t interested to take such insults anymore. I wanted to vacate the place at that instant. But her presence worked on me otherwise; it simply made me to rub off such acts of her as insults. For a change, I started working on some random problems that seemed to be easy for me at the first glance.
I couldn’t continue working on those anymore. It was not that I couldn’t find any easy problems, but only that I just couldn’t concentrate on those when actually I wanted to concentrate on her. It’s not going to work out, I thought. Moreover, though I was really good at Mathematics right from my lower class, I never was interested in preparing for CAT, not even once, even after my parents’ insistence. So why bother with it just for the sake of some stranger? My mind cued me.
I was about to get up when she looked at me. That was enough to rewind my thoughts. I repositioned my posture from ‘about to get up’ to ‘sit firmly’.
“Are you preparing for CAT?” she questioned.
I wanted to say yes, but my mind wanted me not to lie. “Nope,” I said.
She stared at my hand that held the CAT material. I understood her stare.
“Just a time pass,” I elucidated.
“Oh,” she nodded.
I didn’t want her to cut the conversation and get back to her business; I didn’t have any serious business, after all. So I continued, “Are you?”
“Yeah, of course,” she replied with a smile. I pictured the meaning of her smile as ‘why else am I sitting here with this stuff?’ Yeah, that’s one good point; for she, unlike me, doesn’t seem to be a lunatic to use the CAT material to impress some stranger, my mind voiced in me.
I merely nodded as I wasn’t left with any clue to continue the conversation. Dumbass, I was. I waited for her to ask something. She did.
“Could you help me with this?” she pointed to a problem with her pen.
Uh-huh, here it starts, something unexpected, my inner voice again. I looked at my mobile. I was expecting a call to save me, but my mobile laid still at peace. For the first time I wondered what were the ‘do you want to activate caller tune, sir’ people and ‘do you want any loans, sir’ people doing other than calling me.
Okay, my dignity was at stake. I took the material from her to have a look at the problem. Our hands touched – in the sense I touched her fingers (unintentionally). I looked at her face. She didn’t mind my touching, or seemed so, after all it was unintentional. It took me three or so minutes to solve the problem. I then explained it to her.
“Oh! Yeah, I made a mistake at this step,” she underlined the step before giving herself a light knock at her head. She thanked me. I thanked God for making me solve the problem.
“You are good at this, aren’t you?”
“Hmm, sometimes,” I was humble. I really was.
We continued talking until it was time to close the library. From the conversation, I found she was seriously preparing for CAT, and was determined to score big in it. Through and through, we just talked, talked, solved few problems together, and then talked. By the time the librarian came to remind us about the time, the chair I sat in sometime back was empty, the pen and papers I used were laid helpless at the table; And here I was, sitting next to her with both of us working out the same problem in the same paper (with the same pen – not at the same time though).
We came out and started walking in opposite directions. All along the way, I cursed myself for choosing the opposite direction even though that was my way to get home. I was simply smiling when I reached my home. My friends started bugging me for few minutes on seeing my unusual behavior. I brushed them off.
… to be continued (part 3)