|Creative Writing Competition 2012 India|
|SETTING||College Canteen OR Restaurant|
|OBJECT||Any Jewellery – Necklace, Ring…|
|THEME||Dream/Fantasy of a Teenager|
It was a beautiful afternoon. Classes had got over early and they were all hanging out in the college canteen. The group sat at their favourite table with a pile of samosas and sipping tea. They had been friends since school. Inseparable. It was Arjun’s treat today, that was all he could afford. Not that anyone was complaining. His paper had just won the first prize at a prestigious university in the United States. The college was sponsoring his trip there to present it. If all went well he would win a scholarship and will be doing his masters in the US. Excitement filled the air. No one in the group had gone abroad. They were all thrilled for him.
Asha kicked him under the table and smiled a secret smile. They had a special bond. He was her friend, philosopher, guide and Chemistry teacher. He had been the school topper and had got the state rank in Chemistry. The subject was his passion. Everything to him was about chemicals. He would stand in the counter and talk chemical terms with Appu anna, the man who ran the canteen. ‘Anna, two teas. One without any lactic content’, he would call out jokingly.
As the afternoon progressed each member in the group got up to leave. ‘I’ll go home with Arjun’, said Asha ‘ I have some chemistry doubts to ask him. Need to clear all this before he goes off to the US’
‘Hey, stop it’, cried Arjun. ‘I’m going for two weeks and it is only next month. Don’t make fun of me’. But he knew why she was staying.
Arjun brought two more cups of tea and another plate of samosas. They sat in silence for sometime. The afternoon sun made her glow golden. The dust particles formed a halo around her. She was his angel.
Arjun slowly reached into his pocket and took out a ring. He placed it on the table and looked at her.
Her fingers crept towards it. He took her hand and slipped it on her finger. ‘Asha’, he whispered ‘ Be mine. Wait for me, if I ever have to go away’.
She smiled shyly and nodded. This was more romantic than a date in a pricey restaurant, she felt.
They walked out of the canteen an hour later, walking side by side till the gates. And as they walked into the setting sun, their fingers that were brushing together, intertwined.
He felt a tight slap at the back of his head. The half finished ring in his hand went flying across the room.
‘You bloody moron. I didn’t hire you to sit here and daydream. Look, look at that bottle of Hydroflouric acid lying there. You almost spilt it. Who will answer the police if some bloody accident happens’
Arjun looked up at Raja saar, wide eyed.
‘ Don’t look at me with that pathetic look. I should blame myself for hiring school toppers to work in this jewellery unit. Bloody intelligent idiot, you are. If you think you are too good for my shop, then go to some bloody college and daydream. Don’t waste my time and money by sitting here and dreaming’.
Hot tears filled Arjun’s eyes. He glanced across the rest of the floor. The rest of his friends were busy at work. Their eyes watering in the noxious fumes from the other chemicals that filled the room. Asha looked up from the necklace she was cleaning and smiled at him. ‘Don’t worry’, she mouthed. He brushed away his tears and crawled over to retrieve the ring. And went back to work.
One day, he said to himself. One day, I’ll clear my father’s debts. Then I’ll go to college. Maybe I will win a scholarship to America. And give a ring better than the one I was cleaning to Asha.