~ Originally posted on Oct 22, 2011.
All along the way to the temple, I couldn’t resist dreaming about her, about me running into her in the temple, and about us doing the prayers together in the temple. Thanks to my pal for accepting my offer to ride my bike. It’s way better to dream when seated in the pillion than when riding the bike. As I was riding in my dreamland, I failed to notice my friend riding the bike in a route that I wasn’t aware of. It was at a signal, only when I came out of my dreamland, I noticed it.
“Hey, where are you going?” I questioned him, dazed.
“To the temple,” he replied.
“But, it’s on the other route, right? I mean, near the Odyssey.”
“We’re not going to that temple, buddy. We are going to…” he replied something that I failed to heed as my senses were dragged to an accident where a bike collided with a car on the other side of the road.
“Shit,” I exclaimed.
Before I realized what had happened, people who stood nearby rushed to help the guy (who was) in the bike (few seconds back). He seemed to be okay, I thought. Meanwhile, the green signal was on, and my friend continued to ride in the way unknown to me. That accident stapled my mind and my mouth. I remained silent, too silent to care where he went, and too startled to question him further.
I just thought what if I was that guy, what if I was meant not to meet Neha anymore, and so many other negative what-ifs followed. I was sick of those questions running in my mind. I didn’t want those thoughts to march on for long. I took my mobile out from my pocket and checked for any messages or calls. There were two new messages. My heart skipped a beat, and then skipped several beats.
I navigated to the inbox only to get frustrated. The messages – one was from an unknown number to advertise some courses, and the other was from 121 to let me know the unbilled amount of my mobile usage. I got furious and switched my mobile off. Twenty more minutes, we reached the temple. I tried hard to keep my mind away from Neha, and thereby, the curiosity of meeting her at the library few hours later. But I couldn’t until I saw a beautiful girl at the temple standing before us, before me in the queue. We, my friend and I, kept ourselves busy following her all around the temple. We simply strode behind her wherever she went, stood behind her in the queue again to get the prasad, and sat near her when she did. So I would say that I was partially successful in keeping my mind off Neha. Alright, now, don’t get us wrong. We didn’t do anything bad; it’s just that we followed a beautiful girl admiring her beauty, you see.
It was almost 10:30 A.M. when I reached the library after dropping my friend at our home. I tried to be as calm as possible. I went straight to the study room. Neha was not there. I then hooped to the librarian room and met her, I mean the librarian. I curbed myself not to ask her about Neha with a hope that she would herself speak out about her. I exchanged the usual morning pleasantries. I blathered for few minutes expecting her to bring ‘Neha’ in the conversation. It didn’t help. I then took a daily that was lying on her desk and walked to the study room.
After few seconds and few slow steps, I turned and asked, “Well, did you see Neha around?”
“I guess not. She hasn’t shown up yet,” She replied.
‘Never wait for the fruit to fall itself. Ask what you want, and thereby, get what you want.’ That’s the mantra to be followed in life. I learned it that day.
“Oh okay, thanks.” I said and strolled to the study room.
I sat on the chair that faced the entrance of the library. I did that purposely so that I would be the one that Neha sees first as she pulls in. The time entered its 11th hour of the day, but she didn’t enter the library. Though I took the daily for no real reason, I was left to read it through to kill time.
The voice startled me to get out my immersion into the paper. It was Neha. I saw her wearing pink t-shirt and blue jeans, looking completely different from what I had seen earlier. Yet she was the same, she was staggeringly BEAU-TI-FUL and STUN-NING. There are few dresses that would make anyone, who wears it, ravishing. There are few people who appear ravishing irrespective of what they wear. Sometimes people get confused between the two cases. I wasn’t at all. She was one of those few people who fell in the second category; there was no room for a second thought.
“Hi,” I greeted.
“When did you come?” She asked as if she was talking to her closest pal.
”Just a few minutes back.”
“Achcha, did you come by yourself?” she asked, pulling a chair next to me.
“Yeah, in my bike,” I said pointing my not-at-all-visible bike.
“No, I mean, uh, by yourself or after hearing from ma’am,” she said gesturing towards the librarian room.
“Ah,” I smiled, wondering what to say, and continued, “Heard from her.”
“Thanks. And well, sorry to bother you.”
“No… no… not at all. In fact, I would have come here anyway. You know, it’s Saturday. I would be here around this time on all Saturdays.”
“Oh! Is it? That’s great.”
“Not really, but on most Saturdays,” I tried to cover up remembering the librarian’s stare the other night.
She killed me. I mean, she smiled. I lost my life whenever she smiled.
I remained silent as she hunted something over in her bag. A typical girl, I thought. Yeah, that was me on my judging senses. What else could I think when she dug her hand inside her bag for few minutes already? I just got lost in her. After few minutes, she took out a pamphlet that announced some offers for the CAT coaching.
Oh, here it is, she is expecting some suggestions from me, I thought. Seriously, when a guy is with a girl, he simply thinks a lot, more than he ever did in his life yet, like ever.
“I came to know about this through a friend of mine. Heard it’s a good coaching center. Can we both register for the course?” she said riffling her eyelids more than once per second.
“What?” my inner voice woofer-ed in me.
… to be continued (part 6)