Chapter 17

Meant to be…

The real love story of the unreal 21st century!

By, Veera.

 

I felt like that I was surely, a lucky lad. But, it was intriguing. Why should we both end up like that? That was purely going to be awkward. Riya was crazy about me. Though she said that she was only ‘friends’ with me, I certainly did know how she felt.

And the truth was, I couldn’t help her agony. I couldn’t reduce nor could I avert it.

Love itself was strange and befogging just like ‘life’.

And the funny part was, some banish love for life and some tend to see both alike as if they were the bones and muscles that make the human body,  ‘one and whole.’

Life for many is to study hard and get placed in a reputed company, earn a dignified salary package. Life for some is to earn enough money to afford their children’s school fees. And Life for some is to find a piece of bread to fill the stomachs of their family.
Life and the perceptions are discrete for each and every soul. But love, it’s the same.
The young guy aiming to earn as many as he can to make a good living for his wife and children is ‘love’, the hardworking fathers’ concern about his children is ‘love’, the poor man’s lamentation to satisfy his family’s basic need is also ‘love’.

A perfectly  normal guy would say that the sun rises to commence the day. But a ‘crazy guy’ in love would say that the sun raises everyday so that he can enjoy his lady love’s eternal beauty in the glorious sunshine. Love makes one mad, unrealistic and also light-hearted.

For me, it drove me psychic. I didn’t know if I had to concentrate on studies or Shaina and I even doubted if I  could do both.
Of all the colleges in Coimbatore, her father wanted her to study in Chennai. Of all the colleges in Chennai she joined in SNN and of all the bloody departments, she enrolled
in Civil.

“I was happy that day when I saw her as I knew that she’s going to be under my roof literally, but now I’m in some sort of dilution” I had sighed to Bhuvi.

“Well, do you realise that you are also in love?” smirked Bhuvi.

“Riya is not my cup of tea nor have I ever considered her. She is a great girl I wouldn’t suit her” I disclosed to Bhuvi.

“So Shaina isn’t?” Bhuvi seemed a little annoyed for some reason that’s strange to me.

“It’s not that easy to expound Bhuvi. I love Shaina, I’ve realised it now. The moment I saw her in that signal, inside that car crying, I fell for that weirdo all over again” my voice turned dense.

It was Riya whom I was worried about. I could not afford to see that girl risk her life again and if that happened, I wouldn’t be happy with myself as a friend and as a human being. I wished to tell Shaina all that had happened and sort things out. I needed to first figure where she was staying and whom she was with.
‘Man it’s going to be fun if she’s with her parents.’ I had thought to myself.

I couldn’t wait to look into her dark dusky eyes, hold her pinkish soft glowing cheeks in my hands and tell her that I needed her back. I could imagine how she’ll be panting when I’d be holding her so close to me. She’ll probably turn red.

“Sri, enough of your day dreaming!” said my Mum.

I got up from the sofa realising that Bhuvi had left already. Appa was heading back to the camp. I was going to drop him off at the Railway station. It was always bad when it comes to ‘Goodbyes’. But I had never shown how I felt because I knew that Dad would break down if I did so. We both headed to the Railway station.

Appa had to be there at 8 PM and in spite of heavy traffic we were there by 7.36 PM, you would know that it was early if you know Chennai and it’s mad traffic.
I made sure to buy Appa a couple of Bananas in addition to Amma’s perfectly prepared Sambar idly. I also bought him REPORTER and JUNIOR VIKADAN, so that he had enough content to discuss with the other passengers on board and wouldn’t be bored and also a bottle of water. My Dad hates borrowing of any kind and so he had been conscious to pack everything that he’ll ever need where ever he goes. The train arrived sharp at 7.55 PM and I placed all the baggage right above his seat and reminded him that he has the socks in the right zip of the travel bag, because Dad hates A.C but he also hated to travel in other than 1st Class compartments.

“Sridev, boy behave good. And better concentrate on B.E. more than anything for now, okay?”

“Dad, yes I will and you take care”

“And is there any girl in your life?”

“Dad”, I was stunned.

“You seem too dreamy these days like a poor little puppy, is there any distraction?”

“Dad… no” I was rambling.

“Well that’s good then” he said in a tone that terrified me.

“Take care of your Mum and sister; I will be back in January. And this is for you, you have grown up and I’m glad to have given you the right present, right when you’ll need it”

He gave a little present wrapped in an adorable blue with ribbon. The label read, “To my son”. He wouldn’t tell me what it was and he didn’t want me to open it until I had reach home. He hugged me and tapped my shoulders twice saying,

“Take care, Son”

The had train left. Our eyes were mushy but we didn’t show. Typical Dad-son attitude isn’t it.

I was home and I had totally forgot about the present. I was a little worried about college. Mum and Arathana seemed really happy as though they were anticipating the new season of Vani Rani. I gave a “what is wrong with you people” kind of look and walked past them. I went in and locked my room. It had just been 30 seconds and I was  half way through removing my shirt and then mum and Arathana were damming at my door. I was a little well, umm a lot actually  agitated.

“Ma, what’s bothering you? ”

“Sri, didn’t Appa give you any present?”

“Present? What present”

“He didn’t give you…. well, any tiny box?”

“Oh! Yeah” I gave them the box, taking it out of my pocket.

“Well open it, will you”

I opened it, tearing the beautiful blue warping after being impatient to slowly remove it. It was a key and it was craved “Royal Enfield” on it. I was feeling way more than what the word “stunned” signified. I was a little nervous. They walked me out blindfolded and on the side yard, under a grey cover was my new, White Continental Gt. I was in tears. It was incredibly awesome. And the next moment Appa ringed.

“Hey Sridev, how do you like Appa’s gift?”

“Pa, I love it. Thank you!”

“I knew that you’ll like it and the girl
would like it too, eh?”

“Appa”, we both giggled.

I took Amma to a ride on it and of course, Arathana too. I never thought of asking Appa for a bike because Ragu has one and I was comfortable  with him, taking me to the college. It is wired to understand fathers.
They’ll react composed for the things that we fear what would turn into a wild fire and would blast us for the petty issues. I couldn’t wait to take Appa with me to a ride. Well, you wouldn’t believe me if I said so. But I really do want to take him on a ride and then Shaina. I couldn’t wait to have Shaina in the back seat and play “Thallipogathe” but I really didn’t expect to be hit by a truck though.

August 2017

The college reopened and I, like a hero, entered in Royal Enfield. Everyone’s eyes are on me well, on the bike. I couldn’t ’t wait to see Shaina, as my junior. And the real game started. The whole college, literally the freshmen, juniors, seniors everyone was staring at the bike. I felt like Tom Cruise. I walked a few steps past the bike but I intentionally came back to check and style my hair in the mirror and I certainly double checked if I had locked it perfectly. I felt proud to stand a foot aside and stare at the bike, man isn’t she a beaut! I couldn’t wait to see Shaina. Probably I should get her WhatsApp number. The hall way busy as it used to be, on the first day of the semester. Fresher’s were seen everywhere they were indeed hysterical and it was evident in their faces. Some were searching for their classes and some were wondering if they would recognize their old bees there. Some checking out each other, boys checking out girls and girls; other girl’s apparel and accessories. And I was looking for Shaina. I was literally scanning the nook and corner of the hallway and I really couldn’t find her. And out of nowhere Ragu showed up and he rushed me to some random class.

“Ragu why are we here?” I was exasperated.

“HOD wanted me to guide the students to the auditorium next hour, I suggest you to do the job but also be here this hour too. Thank me later”

he left before I could neglect his plea with a wink.

Why the hell was I going to thank him, I would be blasting him for making me mad. I had to go find Shaina. I was still looking for Shaina and Bhuvi. If he comes, I could ask him to be here while I go check for her. Man I was going to kill Ragu for that until,

“May…”

I was looking down at the entrance trough the window when I heard the voice. I wondered who it would be and it was as though the voice froze after ‘May’. Then I turned and it was Shaina, my weirdo. Right the instant I was  on cloud nine. She was in a red top and blue denim and she was carrying a blue backpack. She had grown a bit but not certainly enough to at least match my shoulders and had changed her specs frame man, it was poise and that pony tail! She had done some curly curly thing to her hair to add… well glam to that coarse plaits and I was glad that it had worked but still, that cotton candy had not left the naive.

Then I knew why Ragu told me to thank him later. That sweet bastard! Seeing her was like a dream come true, as though my desert had finally received a monsoon. I stepped forward, nearing her. I stood so close to her as I could feel her panting. I leaned down, as she was short and I asked,

“May….?”

She seemed a little annoyed and turned away and walked past me, I couldn’t be happier.


**© V.Shilpa and https://shilpasrecitals.wordpress.com/, [2019 2020]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to V.Shilpa and https:/shilpasrecitals.wordpress.com/ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.*


 

 

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