After breakfast we were split into teams to be sent to various places to clean up the mess in those public spots of the village. Working in the hot sun like daily laborers, I got even my outer garments wet. I felt like I was just out of the shower completely dressed, except that I was as tired as I had an acid shower.
Guys were staring at me. I was not sure whether they felt pity or physical attraction, but their looks made it worse for me. It was fun in a way, working with guys and gals, with the village people looking at us like ETs, guys’ chivalry and showing offs were all enjoyable except for the cremating sun.
After lunch we had a 3 hr break, I was dozing off seated in a chair, that was the only other time other than my college classrooms I was dozing off being seated. The food was horrible but not too bad than the hostel food.
Anu came to me, “Hey you look like hell.”
“Hmm.. too hard a service, you look too cool!”
“Yup, I am in the teaching team, Kiran put me there”, with a sense of pride.
‘Fuck him’ I heard myself say.
“Shall I ask him to see whether you can also be shifted to our team.”
I wanted to say ‘No thanks’ but something stopped me, must be the dampness at my back that created sticky sense with the chair. I didn’t think I could do that anymore. I gave up, “Yes please..”
In the evening another couple of hours field work but it was much better than the morning work. Then we got ready for the night culturals. At dinner Kiran and Anu were seated together, and I sat next to Anu, they continued mashing in a whisper, I regretted for sitting next to her.
After dinner kiran told me that I can be in the teaching team, and me having my laptop with me was an advantage that they are planning for a computer awareness part in the teaching program. I really was not interested in using my laptop for such purposes, in fact I hate others touching my laptop, but then I was left with no options.
Sensing my waver, Anu assured me that my laptop will be safe, and I will always be with my laptop. I asked Kiran whether they could get me an external keyboard the next time they go for grocery shopping to the town.
“That’s not a problem”, with his usual boasting smile.
I offered a 500rupee note he refused, and said that he will get it through the NSS fund.
The next day, I was in the classroom with the rest of the teaching team in a corner. Initially, I felt irritated about the idea and the village students pestering me. Later, I felt pity for them, I don't remember when was the first time I used a PC, but these students there had rarely heard of it. I tried my best to be as patient as possible, and thought them the basics.
Kiran hung over the place and was bossing around, showing off to Anu and at times even to me, every sight of him irritated me. I tried myself to control my temper, but he flirting with Anu right before my eyes, I started feeling helpless.
When I first heard that Anu was coming with us to camp, I felt very happy about it. Kiran used his clout, spoke to his friends in Anu’s unit and changed her to our unit. But then, I started regretting it. More than that, I regretted much for being in the teaching team, I thought I would have rather preferred to be in the hot sun.
But then, things were out of my hands. I didn’t want to let down those enthusiastic brats hanging around me all the time, calling me ‘computer akka’ (Computer sister). I didn’t want to leave my laptop in someone else’s responsibility, so I tolerated everything and tried my best to avoid them both.
On the last day of the camp we were chatting enthusiastically about the camp in our hall with other girls. I tried my best to avoid Anu. Every sight of her set me on fire. In course of the talks, Anu wanting to talk to me, tried to tease me, it was not so mocking but my accumulated annoyance burst out, “I am better off than flirting around with such a cheap guy”.
Right the moment I finished the line I regretted it, Anu silently sobbed and left the discussion. I was now on fire out of embarrassment. Anu was very sensitive, and I believe, I know more about her than any other soul on earth but then, I felt like killing myself.
The next morning on the way back to college I apologized to Anu. Anu, “If you don’t like Kiran I will stop speaking to him, you are more important to me than him”
“No, no problem, I am sorry I was just out of my mind last night.”
“So shall I speak to Kiran”
“Yes” I said with a smile, but I didn't know then, how big a mistake it was.
How many types of friends are there?
5 days ago