I ACTUALLY DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE IS, but whenever I hear these words, though unintentionally it reminds me a girl. Today it was my introvert husband sharing his own teenage love story.
“Teenage is a balmy age, and no doubt everyone has fallen into love which for time being seems next to Romeo Juliet but when you mature, it’s nothing more than an lunatic act and discarded as infatuation” he guffawed
Aah… well, I was in 7th standard back then. My dad passed away when I was five & my mother was sole earning member of family of three.
It was Mr Mittal’s class our maths teacher & I swear on god our equations were always terrible. Suing me cursing me, humiliating me canning was his routine. He was a grumpy man with huge face & pot belly. A typical old fashioned government teacher you expect to be. Bald on top yet remaining hair sullenly smeared with dozen of oil. He was impious large man & carried a stick with him. He was torment for entire school. If my equation with Mr Mittal was bad then with maths it was terrible. I loathed maths & equally it did me. Every year I would flunk in maths but my mother’s moron drama with hours of begging & pleading did wonders & rescued me. She was extremely talented actress I must say & would bring pathos of tormenters like Mr Mittal. Respite of all this I could never make it up to her expectations. Every year I would resolve to score better & it turned miserable, such a born loser I was.
I still remember it was class after break. He was on his monosyllabic lecture. As usual among urchins of my class I dozed off at reserved my back seat. That day I was caught red-handed. I woke up bewildered from a nightmare but I knew the nightmare just began.
“Class, our great mathematician sawayam will enlighten us today with few concepts of maths. If he actually knows which chapter we are going through?” it was one of his favourite pass times. To crack a joke on me & entire class would bustle with laughter.
“Yy….ee……ss…..sss” I pleaded. I was petrified & stood frozen
“Yes sir! Speak up! Entire class is waiting for your golden lessons “he rebuked. I felt pissed off
“Ssii….I am sorry” this was all I could manage to blurt
“C’mon you bu**ard get out of my class. Let this time you mother come & beg before me. I’ll see which son of devil can let you reach next class” tears gusted out from my eyes. Like a two year kid I was wining before my class not because I was scared but because the humiliation my mother will have to go through. Reluctantly, I got up but aghast his torment didn’t ended.
“I’ll allow you to enter class after you are ready with lecture on V.O.A otherwise…” he raised up his cane.
I stood outside near the class horrified. It was embarrassing but more than that I was terrifying. I meticulously scribbled entire book but I couldn’t find anything close to it. Disappointed, I threw my book.
“Does this book belongs to you?” a mellowing soothing voice enquired. I ignored her.
“Excuse me, I am talking to you?” I threw a cursory glance at her. She was cutest girl I ever encountered in my life. With two plated pig tails, chubby overweight & puffed pink cheeks.
“Yeah! Could you please leave me alone? “I pleaded
“I can help you out. I study in class opposite to yours. Class 6th”
“I am here in punishment & all I demand is peace “I grunted
“I know what V.O.A is” I was dumbstruck
“How do you know?”
“NO, I mean I was supposed to prepare V.O.A?
“Girls you know. I am returning from girl’s washroom & today’s hot gossip is you”
Crap! I was embarrassed my being tagged as ‘loser’ in front of entire school (credit goes to girls obviously & for their deep rooted fast network with unbeatable gossiping speed) but also because junior girl I was trying to impress just now, knew what a duffer I was.
Before I could handle situation my ways she started teaching me vertically opposite angles. Maths was never so interesting, if I had such an impelling maths tutor like her, I would defiantly top this subject.
With confidence soaring up I went inside class & threw entire concept on board. Whole class stood in amazement as if they encountered a ghost but Mr Mittal’s face was worth mentioning. As if he was recovering from heart attack. Aah…I could never forget that day. He mutely chuckled. I don’t know exactly when but the arrow of cupid struck me
Next day I went to her straight forward went to her class. She was a first bencher & god sake topper in her class. I leaned over her desk
“Hey!” She got up held my hand and headed with me out of class
“Hey” she sounded insecure
“Why you dragged me out of class? I was bewildered
“What do you want?” she asked straight forward.
“Okay! So what’s your name? I just wanted to convey my thanks”
“Oh! That’s absolutely fine. Myself nishta gupta.”
The moment I saw you I fell for you. I love you. I anyhow controlled my extolling emotions.
“Friends “I held a friendly hand before her
“Yeah! Why not”
From that day we were friends. Entire school was envious of us. Nothing could part us apart. No gossips no rumours. Nothing. She shared her confidences with me, in fact her periods dates as well! We would chat for hours, talk for days. I was so insane, that I was aware of every recharge schemes .we would spend entire free periods in school together. Share our lunch; I would drop her to her home. Everything in my life began from her & ended in her. I was in my dream world. Respite of everything dissimilar in us, I loved her. She was exactly opposite of mine. Our thinking, ideologies, everything stood par apart like two poles of magnet. Sometimes I wondered this was the only reason I loved her but I could never gather guts to express for I feared rejection. How could she select a nerd like me? Just for example she topped mathematics every year & I manage to clear with grace in it every year. Friends of her were my foes Differences were so arduous to be merged. Our friendship flourished immensely in 4 years. From chubby cute girl she evolved into mature, sexy, contagious & most desirable girl of school but prior to everything she belonged to me.
I still remember that day, a week before her 10th boards. We were hanging out at our top secret hang out place.it was an abandoned cubicle in school’s bus stand in a secluded spot.
“Whacko! Full on full in maths English & science. What say? “She winced
“You’ll top district!”
“Yeah! You know what I want to top not only district but in nation for my parents” she held her head high brimming with confidence. I was simply proud of her but never gave her compliment.
“Parents s*ck. C’mon. You never know all mothers borrow same dictionary & code language to be used with children.”
Its series, nishtoo, it begins from schooling, graduation, post-graduation, marriage, children and so on.
Thing is everyone mother preaches same dialogues and worst part is the trend continues as ever.…the same daily sops inspired melodrama continues in every house hold”
“Hahhahaha! She busted into laugher. Her plumy cheeks depressed with dimples lured me. For a moment the provoked I & I began craving for her. I leaned forward held her tightly within my arms, embraced her & planted a kiss on her lips. Instinctively, she drew herself baffled then giggled but to my amusement she kissed me back & we kissed all over again. Before I could satiate myself from the splendour moment, school bell rang. She withdrew herself, stood abashed & flees with daze.
He guffawed still living those precious memories
The feeling of being in love is ephemeral in itself. It was the same shown in sensual way in television, movies. Making small notes in mind to discuss when you’ll talk to our love on phone but while conversing you seldom seem to recall any of them. When you constantly smile envisaging those moments with your love ones in your own imaginary world until people sitting next to you, declares you insane. Then all you manage is more, embarrassed by own insanity & vicious spell of love engulf you again.
I knew she loved me. All I needed to was to propose her & make it ‘official relation’.
“So you did that? Where is she now?”
“Relax! That Love was ephemeral” he smirked
Next day, I diligently dressed myself in best uniform I had. I stole 50 rupees from my mother’s wallet in days of our financial disharmony. That money meant a lot to us. Yet I did it. I brought a rose, & her favourite chocolate.
Aghast she was absent that day. I was disappointed but didn’t give up. I didn’t call her, because I was angry. I needed a genuine explanation for her remaining absent without informing me. She was absent next day as well. I felt miserable and helplessy, I called her, her phone was switched off. Then her landline, an elderly lady picked up, probably her granny & told me they left town.
I was broken. How could she be so mean? Without prior information she just left. At least she could have once told me she loved me. I cursed myself for falling in love with that bi**h that broke my heart mercilessly. But I had premonition that there must be something inconspicuous beneath her family’s mysterious disappearance. I needed to know it. I rode on my bicycle & set for her house. It seemed abandoned but rooms still lit up. There was definitely someone there. I banged the door. An elderly lady in her mid-60’s appeared.
“Yes! “She enquired
“I was wondering. If I could meet nishtoo, I am her classmate, she’s absent from school since days & I wanted to update her with the syllabus before boards”
“She’s not here anymore. You go away “she frowned in disgust. I could sense something terrible
“Look aunty I am swayam. I desperately want to meet her “I pleaded.
“Beta. I’ve to tell you something. I am her grandma & she never hides her secrets from me. She discussed a lot about you. I’ve to tell you something.
“Her cousin, the moron raped her, when she returned from school. That heartless wimp tormented her & left her. When we returned from market she was wining with pain & terror & narrated incident to us. Her father cringed with horror hastily decided to switch to new place to save family from social stigma & most importantly protect her little daughter from further humiliation.”
Her tears turned into wracking sobs neither I could believe my ears. How god could be so merciless. From that day I resigned from faith.
I was numb. Dumbstruck, I spine chilling shiver ran across my body. My body refused to move. I moaned every night and for myriads of night I cried. I remained secluded in my room.
Gloomy Nights are difficult to pass
Cause of the memories they haunt
To accept the truth,
We were always meant to say goodbye
I know this is hard to believe
But this is not a nightmare which will end
We need to move on, keep moving on
“So you met her again?”
“Yeah! My mother was extremely worried. She consulted me to a psychologist. Finally, I moved on. Five years after that incident. I was surfing through my fb account, when I got an unknown friend request ‘shilpy ahuja’. I ran though he profile. She was married to a sardaar amarjeet Ahuja. Living in Canada & has two children, a 4 year old pugged sardaar & 2 year old daughter. I flicked through her albums. One contained pictures of both the siblings, and then I came across ‘marriage’ album. For a moment I was dumbstruck. She was my nishtoo.