I thankfully dedicate this post to the blog's recent followers Ravinder, Roshan, Janani and Titu.
Reviewed by Ridhi.
After that incident, after the election results, I distanced myself from Shantanu. I believed Shantanu’s chapter was over, once and for all. This made me get closer to Gokul. I almost said ‘yes’ to him.
I showed all signs of ‘yes’, though I didn’t say it. I started talking to him over phone, and the call times exceeded an hour. I listened to all the crap he spoke. I turned my face away from his eyes, whenever he gave a compliment and all such non sense for which I forever feel so embarrassed.
That weekend he flew from Bangalore to meet me. We spent some time out and he bought me gifts saying that they are from a ‘friend’ after which I couldn’t say ‘no’. He dropped me back at college. At college he tried to hold my hand, but I withdrew sharply.
Shantanu proved me wrong. He not only avenged Kiran, but it was more than just hurting back. He made Kiran apologize to Anu. I appreciated his patience and planning. We became friends again. It’s a universal truth that, after a duel out of misunderstanding the bond gets stronger.
Classes that were long forgotten due to internship and elections had to be taken care of. I learned 2 important subjects of that semester namely Distributed Systems and Computer Networks from Shantanu. After a little apology to Padma ma’am, she didn’t mind, and she taught me the 1st unit all over again.
College life was back to normal. The first assessment test was bad. Never mind, I had two more assessments, where I could prove ‘I am ELVIA’, as the mark consideration was best 2 out of 3.
Most of my classmates had become had made strong friends, who were said to last till the life’s end. Most of them hung around as gangs. A few gangs did name themselves like Pepsi gang, Five Star gang and lot other creepy names. They managed to abbreviate their names into some of these popular brands or products.
The gangs consisting of both boys and girls together were mostly from day scholars. There was always some sort of cold war between the bisexual and monosexual gangs. The chitchat of both these gangs was mainly constituted by gossips about love pairs in the class and college; thankfully they didn’t speak much about GPA or grades, with geeks like Ragu being exceptions.
“Hey heard that, Sivaranjani got a proposal lately”
“Oh from whom?”
“Hey guys”, Ragu enters the conversation.
“Hi Ragu, we are speaking about something interesting.”
“Oh well. Ya I do have something interesting.” Certainly after 3 semesters of being his classmate none expected him to speak of proposals or love, “Advanced Networking by Ferozoun was exemplary. I spent the whole night with that book”
However they had expected this kind of a statement, people still couldn’t control their annoyance. They hit their heads with a stressed, “Shiiiit”.
Coming back to the cold war, though the 2 types, may be 3 types, gangs with girls only, boys only and both, all gossiped, but the bisexual gang always accused the monosexual gang of defaming their friendship between guys and girls as love affairs.
At times, a few day scholar girls did say that, they hate most hostellers as they speak ill of their friendship with guys. Walking hand in hand and spending hours together in some corner of college did look oddly friendly for most hostel girls and of course for hostel guys, who were not born and brought up in a modernized city environment.
Certainly hostel girls had friends in the opposite sex at school in their home towns, but the relationship was restrained. They never walked hand in hand. They never hid themselves in a corner. They were good friends, who shared things right from their tiffin boxes to family problems and academics, but never hung around the campus outside their classrooms and definitely not for hours.
I did roam around with Shantanu, and people considered it love and I never protested against it. I never disguised it in the name of friendship. I acquiesced how I felt for him to my friends, though I couldn’t do the same to him.
I had to convince myself, that Shantanu and I were destined to be just friends, like the other city girls and guys, we were only friends. With such solacing explanations to our relationship, I tried to forget all the romantic feelings for Shantanu in my mind.
It was Thursday night. I was spending time with my laptop, partly studying, texting smses and chatting with my roommates. I got a message from Shantanu asking me to come to the Ganesh temple the next morning.
I asked him why? He called my phone and said, “Just come”
“But.. why in the morning? Why not we go in the evening as usual?”
“Tomorrow is special; I want you to come in the morning.”
“Ok”, I just agreed. Not again, I wondered what was so special about that Friday. Full moon day, no moon day or what else? Whatever be it why can’t it wait till evening?
Looking at my confusion, Divya who spent most of her time with us in our room asked me, “Hey what did he say?”
“Who!! Wasn’t that Shantanu to whom you just spoke?”
“Oh Ya, he called me to the temple tomorrow morning.”
“Morning? But why?”
“That’s what is bugging me”
“Whatever! you will find out tomorrow morning. Why do you bother yourselves for this?”
“No but, isn’t it strange?”
With a sarcastic smile, “My bro Shantanu does everything with a reason.” Anu retorted.
I decided to wait, but I couldn’t. Somewhere in a corner of my mind thoughts raced about his love for me. ‘May be he wants to propose me’. Certainly temple is not a romantic place, yet what else a spiritual person like himself would go for. He might even had requested the examination authorities to change his exam hall to the nearby temple.
My rational mind kept pushing these thoughts down. It kept saying, “Don’t bother yourselves with such thoughts, or you might have to face another big disappointment that will lower your spirits for the whole day.”
Finally my intuitions about his proposal gave up, and I stopped having hopes that he will ever propose me, and tried to sleep, but you know I couldn’t.
Friday morning, Shantanu was waiting at his usual waiting spot a few paces away from our hostel gate, to avoid the eyes of our warden. He was dressed in perfect formals like he was about to be interviewed for admissions into a B-School.
We spent sometime in the temple. Shantanu felt very uneasy, I could see it from his stressed face and his perspiration. I wanted to ask him, but I waited for him to say what’s wrong.
After all the rituals, we finally sat in the temple premise, which again is a sacred custom to sit for sometime before you leave the temple. Shantanu handed over a small piece of paper to me.
Eternal English Ever fails
To express her exquisite eyes.
Benzaiten’s human embodiment
Beaut of knowledgable teaching
Legendary Kings kill themselves
Losing to her love for her people.
Angels of heaven bow before this
Arch angel for her heavenly helm.
Broken hearts of humans fill the earth
Because of her, my lovely elegant Elvia.
I thought may be Anu will wake me up from my dream the next minute. Everything around came crashing towards me. I badly needed a CPR. I looked up from the paper.
He looked straight into my eyes and said, “Elvi; I love you”
How many types of friends are there?
5 days ago