“Here, have your coffee..”said mom.
Her face has glittered up a little more today. Mothers are the one to be most proud of their son’s achievements. I don’t know whether it’s because their son’s achieve so big or people see their son’s achieve so big. I am graduated from IIT Delhi and is placed in an MNC recently. And today it’s our high school get-together and people are going to see how much her son has grown up.What more for a mother to be proud of?
I drink the coffee, every drop of it with not even a drop stuck spread on my lips. The coffee tastes good with the daily newspaper. This is one of the habit i am addicted to. It’s eight now. I got to be at the school by 9:30.
I am looking forward to see all my friends.I had contact with most of them.Some of them accompanied me in my higher secondary studies too.But there’s always one special person whom you are waiting to see in a get-together. One whom with you didn’t have any direct meetings after farewell, one whose facebook status was always been checked by you,whose whatsapp ‘last seen’ was always noticed by you.One who got apart after those days, but never from your heart.Yeah!for me, she is that special person.
“Oh!it’s nine.I am late.Mom, iron my blue shirt.The one with white stripes.Fast…”,I uttered.
“It’s a special day for all of us.I am happy to see all of you to have grown so big.I couldn’t even some of you with beards and thick moustaches. And…..”,Hari sir continued.
I regret to have shaven my beard and moustache. Even he has changed a lot.His hair is now balded and fully white.His skin has wrinkles everywhere.Actually everyone is different now.Some of the girls are even married.That add to my worries.Everyone is facing the stage.I am also facing Hari sir.But my eyes were searching for Divya-my special person.She is nowhere.The optimist in me says,’She is coming soon, relax…’ and the pessimist says,’yeah, coming with a baby in her hands and a body-builder husband”.
Nothing happened for a while, for a long while.Anything must have changed.But something never changes. Hari sir is still making his lectures with assumptions,contradictions and proof.And the students are sleeping with their eyes closed.After sometime a person with a camera tied to his neck said something in his ears. Hari sir made his same old grin which says, ‘i am just getting warmed up’ when there exists a mob who believes there’s a dawn after every dark night.But fortunately he conclude his small lecture(which costs us an hour of our ‘special day’) and instruct us to get line up for a photoshoot. Shall i ask someone what happened to Divya.I don’t know.She probably must be pregnant and dreaming of a happy family with a cute baby.Come on, don’t say that.I don’t want that to happen.
We are arranged the same way we were arranged in the farewell photo shoot. No one noticed a lean girl’s vacancy.But it was wide enough for me.All of a sudden a car appear coming towards us.Everyone’s glares shift to the car.The swift car parked in the centre of the playground.It resembles the hero of a film making his entry.The door is push open.And there comes the hero, with a thick moustache,white beard,fit body probably in his 50-s.And film or not, there come’s my heroine-Divya. Sometimes the hero i mentioned before gonna end up to be the villain of my story-Divya’s father.
“Divya,yeah!that’s Divya”, all those girls shriek and usher her to her place in the arrangement.And all those boys start talking about her beauty,her walking and what not.But for me in her presence, even the breeze feel special.I glared at her throughout the section until i was disrupted by the camera’s flashlight.Everyone check out the photo.My eyes were pointed to Divya. No one must have noticed.However in a photo of 40 people confined in a 15*40 border,who’s going to notice my tiny eyes.Everyone show a thumps-up to the photographer.
My heart started beating faster.I proposed her numerous times in my dreams.Can i do it at least once in real.Who knows?…..
“Hai”, i said counting the number of holes in the microphone.One of the most interesting(boredom) section of a get-together – student’s get a chance to speak about themselves.I open my adventurous biography.It is a good one with entrance exams, IIT, medal, ranks, placement and a whole lot more stuff.And you know what i lead first in the list of perfect grooms in my batch.The girls are like,”wow,some more….” and the boys are like,”What’s the deal man, cut it off”.Everyone had their chance but no one had taken this time to introduce the ‘new’ them.After each speech a challenge is given to them.some got to say never to make a lecture again to Hari sir, some were made to imitate dogs,cats…As for me, for Mr Perfect, it is to say ‘I LOVE YOU’ to some girl in the class.
I am still there.I am not taking time to select someone.It is either Divya or no one.But i don’t want to say that like this, not now.I have to come up with something.
“Nope, i can’t”, i said.
“Come on, choose anyone randomly.”, said Radhika.
“sorry…”, i said.
“why?”, Shahina asked.
“I don’t want to disappoint the rest of the girls.”, i replied.
Everyone laugh.I am not very humorous but i was then. Divya laugh the most.I am looking at her like we are the only people in that room.
“No more jokes.come on, do it siddharth…”, Divya said.
“Then show me how to….” ,i said.
“I LOVE YOU”, she said in a second.
She said she love you, come on siddhu don’t just stand there.My mind started dancing and running all around the room.After half a minute of silence i replied,”Same to you”.
And then everyone burst into laughter.
The cake was delicious.But it won’t look delicious if pasted in your face.I am in the wash room.I wash my face.Maybe i have to reconsider, the cake looks yummy and tastes yummy, i said to myself licking the essence flowing down my face..I comb my hair and disguise again into Mr Perfect.I walk aiming our classroom.I can see Divya coming, coming to me.Oh!no, her eyes were powerful enough to make me slumber which is filled with beautiful dreams.She gave me a cover.I was still checking out her eyes.
“Open it”, She said.
I obeyed her just like a son responds to his stick carrying father.It was a card.Is it a love letter or something?There was a picture of god Ganapathi. Underneath in bold letters ‘Mr Balakrishnan and Vasantha Balakrishnan invites you’.That was an invitation card.
“Next week”, she said.
It was all over,all those dreams, all those days, everything.I tried my best not to show my emotions in my face.But i am not strong enough to make a fake ‘congrats’ or ‘all the best’.
“Do you love me?”, she asked.
I was startled.My heart stopped working then, so as my vocal chords.No one spoke.
“I do all these years.But never said.I thought you too…sorry, leave it.After each year you have grown high, out of my reach.And you cared no one.You just run behind your dreams, your weird dreams of IIT’s, IIM’s and MNC’s…………….sorry”,She said breaking the silence.
After a minute of just heartbeats, a drop of tear fell from her right eye.I never thought she had feelings for me.She slowly walked away from me.
“I am sorry, i am going home.And should come for my sister’s marriage.”, she said.
Sister.Sister’s marriage.I never thought art students can come up with such suspense thriller.You can analyse this later,siddhu. Boys should have taken initiative which is ‘you’ here.But she did it.Now at least co-operate with her.I ran to her with every feet wide as i can.She looked back.I am breathing heavy.
“What?”, she asked.
I said,”Yes!i have weird dreams.But in all my dreams you were with me, always.”
Then i recited those magical words, “I LOVE YOU Divya, more than anyone….”
And now she was amazed.Now she looks more beautiful.
She came closer.I too made a step forth.Her lips looks like a fresh slice of mango, smells like sandal and it may taste like honey too.We closed our eyes.The heart that was stopped 2 minutes before was now running fast as it could.Our heads collide.She tilt her head a bit.And i could feel that was going to happen….
“Divya, your father is here”, Hari sir shouted from the other side.
I can still feel her breath.And it repeats’I love you’.
“Will you come to ‘coffebean’ at eleven tomorrow morning.”, she asked.
I would like to say ‘anything, everything.But instead i said an O.K.
She left the scene, but not me.I replayed the scene again and again.But there’s a little change. Hari sir has never been born to earth.
“Will you be my girl”, i said for the sixth time in front of the mirror improvising each time.I wore a black t-shirt and a jeans.I bought a ring just for her which cost half my pocket money.My grooming programme gone up to 2 hours.I went downstairs.My father was reading the newspaper.
“People these days are so careless.It will cost them their life itself.It happened in the next junction.A father and his daughter was dead.Look at the trashed car.It’s a new swift car. Siddhu,take care.You should be very careful while driving.”, he said.
My father seems to be more sad for the car than the persons who were dead in the accident.Actually i was always the first one to read the daily news.But not today..
I went to my father’s room.They had a bigger mirror.I never noticed it until now.I t was so unfair.I made the finishing touch.I said to myself,’Come on siddhu, this is no America and this is not your first date.’
“Where are you going?”, mom stopped in the middle of nowhere and added,”You looks good today”.
I don’t know why but i kissed her and said,”I am going to my friend’s home.Will be back in an hour”.
I waved her bye.
I took my father’s Activa,which i would never prescribe to use for one’s first date.’Didn’t you leave it.It’s not your first date,siddhu.’
I was there by 10:30 but entered the coffee shop by 11:10 only.I don’t want to be the one waiting,i wanted to be the one being waited.But she wasn’t there.I ordered two coffees.
It’s about 12 and is not here yet.Has she gone from my life foreever? or whatever happened yesterday was just a dream?I don’t know.There’s a newspaper on the next table.I took it in the intention to kill the time till my queen comes.
My phone is vibrating…”Unknown number”.
“Hello, Is this Siddharth?”,it was Divya.
“Yes, it is Siddharth speaking and sitting in ‘coffeebean’ as ordered by his lover Miss Divya.”, i replied.
She giggled and said,”You should change your whatsapp DP.”
So that’s how she got my number.
“So, that’s why you called me.”, i asked.
“I am sorry.I can’t reach there now.All my cousin’s are here.Can’t escape now”,she said.
I was mad at her but i said,”That’s all right, see you in the wedding” because i know then that the two of us have a whole life time before us to quarrel, resolve, love and to quarrel again……….