Author’s note: This story spanned out to be quite large in size, so I will be rolling it out in a trilogy, to save the few of the readers of this story, from glaring at your, reading devices screen for a long time. Any feedbacks will be appreciated.
( I )
Biju frequently traversed through such days inside the realm of his story and comic books, where a teenage boy meets a girl on a day with a perfect romantic ambiance, they drench in the feeling of love spending an awesome time together, the boy is always the prince charming. Sweeping the blushing princess’s feet right off the ground either with his good looks or courteous manners and a heart of gold, and the girl always had the reflection of Cinderella whom the prince always searched or begged for being with. But Biju never in his worst nightmare thought such a day would ever conjure straight out of the pages, Biju has never been the outdoor kind of guy, he preferred delving in the sublime imaginary world of his books, accompanying his heroic friends in their voyages and quests to save the day or even the world itself.
“Why did I ever befriended Rajeev, he is cool I am not, how hard it is to admit this simple truth.” he regretted trying to prove his mettle as a smooth talking regular teenager, who knows his way to a girl’s heart.
“Ask Sravanti out, lets see how manly have you become” Rajeev challenged him the other day when Biju and his friends were having a light hearted discussion about girls and their transition to girlfriends.
“Sravanti is not this geek’s cup of tea, only a lady-killer can impress that girl ” Soham boasted thrusting his thumb on his chest.
Somehow this mockery of his personality stung the usually happily bookish Biju, he unhesitatingly pounced on the challenge in a bid to defend is self esteem.
( II )
Biju emptied his savings box to its last penny, 2 hundred and 70 rupees all in rupee 10 denominations, he darted outside as quickly as possible from his room, knowing that he is going to face some serious interrogation from his mom, when she finds out that his little saving has disappeared all of a sudden. He did not take an autorickshaw instead he walked to prevent any wastage of the money, when he reached their rendezvous point a shabby little cafe he is all sweaty.
He pushed the wooden framed door fitted with glass, whose once reddish brown paint eroded in places to bare the wooden surface, now blemished to black showing the negligence in maintenance, the tables shaped out of wood, is covered in light brown paint, that produced a sharp contrast with the glossy plastic chairs of various vibrant colors. He carefully chose a four seated table right under a ceiling fan, but the lazily spinning fan did a little to bring him some respite from the hot and humid atmosphere of the summer day. He prayed silently to the goddess Kali, asking her to help him from becoming another soft target in the school, to be roasted for the next few weeks, if he make a fool out of him in his date and to save him from his parents wrath afterwards.
Sravanti is not the most beautiful girl in the class, neither is she the most visible, her hangout buddies are mostly girls, seldom one or two boys tried to infiltrate the little group of her friends, but they were shed off like falling leaves soon enough, making them targets to be ridiculed and gossiped about. The door creaked awfully loud as Sravanti stepped inside the cafe, in a white t-shirt and a dark blue jeans trouser, she looked no less than one of the hollywood celebrities or fashion models to Biju, along with her tightly tied hair to a ponytail at the back. He tried to wear a smile on his face, his heart raced faster, she didn’t returned a smile, instead she bluntly walked towards the table, her eyes restlessly took everything around, in them.
“Hi” she finally acknowledged him with a faint smile, taking a seat opposite to him.
“Good morning” Biju returned courteously.
“How was your morning, mine is too draggy, I thought I would get to play some football in the rain but the weather betrayed me, the weather forecasters really suck at their job you know”
“Yeah” Sravanti nodded.
Making Biju feel a bit uncomfortable for failing to start a conversation. A waiter wearing a curry stained shirt, brought a steel glass brimming with water, that spilled a bit as he placed it on the table, near Sravanti and stood still facing Biju.
“Later” Biju said in a low voice , the waiter went somewhere in the back.
“Can we go outside please, its so uncomfortably hot in here, Bijesh.”
“Yeah sure sure ” Biju shifted his chair a little in the back to get up from the table, as they walked outside through the creakily screaming door, the person sitting at the cash counter gave them a mocking look, which made Biju look away. After stepping outside Sravanti headed to a small medical shop two step away from the cafe.
“A bottled water please.” She said handing over a 12 rupee note.
“Hey stop , let me… ”
“I can pay for myself” Sravanti said with a certain stern in her voice, that made Biju retreat quickly.
The helm of the date shifted to Sravanti, with Biju simply following her lead, she choose to head towards the City Center mall, Biju nodded in agreement feeling a bit relieved, specially as he resented his selection of that rundown cafe thriving on life support, as a preferable place to converge for a date. 270 rupees is all he had and he least expected Sravanti to be so rigid about bearing her own cost. The afternoon flew past even before Biju took a notice of the the gleaming electric lamps peeping through the darkness outside, but their chit-chat showed no sign of weariness. Munching on a sandwich in the Food Court Biju felt that someone crafted this day specially for him, the author deftly brought out the amazing sides of his personality, by skillfully tuning all the key notes that lay in comatose in him, until now, in a perfect harmony. Indeed this day turned out to be tailor made, to accommodate him in the lead role with an unforeseen twist in the climax.
“See Bijesh I can’t have a serious relationship right now, its not that I am giving you just another excuse, I really don’t want to commit to any relationship now, my focus is solely on orienting my career, please don’t expect our relationship to be anything more than buddies. Don’t get me wrong its really nice to hangout with you, but I really can’t mess up my studies right now.” Sravanti said bidding him goodbye.
(to be continued)