Chapter 18

Meant to be…

The real love story of the unreal 21st century!

– Veera

“Time heals everything”, so does words and the hope that it gives. But as the time heals a phase of life, soon the next peril arrives and that is life at its best actually. Life is, to be honest a testimony; just like Job’s. (From the Bible) When we all feel relived after 10th grade; a bumpy long road that kills our spine comes ahead in the name of 12th grade. And along with it, the pressure to join a reputed college elevates BP. And when we think we can sit back and rest for a while, the reality strikes at you in the hardest way possible. That happy, care-free life is long gone and buried deep down in the earth’s crust with the end of high school. And to top all this, many of us fall in love. How stupid of us? Though we have our parents who love us and take care of us and pay our entire bloody fee; we still tend to look for something more, someone special to literally add the spice. and that is quite… ridiculous.

I was not sure if the time has ‘healed’ but it definitely had past rather too swift like the hot potato Bonda on a Monday morning. I was in the mid-third year and was in fact making up my mind to let go the past for good, to look for a; say ‘productive’ college years. (Well I meant two) But to the contrary, everything was different to what I had actually thought of. Shaina was with me… well, in the same college as mine and in the department as mine and right next to my class but still, we are apart like a million miles away. Man the girl had so much grudge, she had not even given a peek at my innocent face, even not at my handsome side profile. It was not like that I’ve hurt her with words, I’ve actually disrespected her emotions, I should have valued them; instead I ignored them. And like an old saying, I was facing the tantrums of my weirdo as the consequence of my action, of my misconduct. Almost everyone in the civil department knew about us and on a surprising note, I was friends with Kanishk as we had sorted things out.

“Dev, be prepared to stand in the student body election coming year da,” said Ragu when I was almost crashed in Chennai traffic.

“Ragu, my brain hurts to understand your interest to wander in such high spirits” I said while signalling the uncle who was literally abusing me in Chennai slang. Lucky he, “RE baby” didn’t get hurt.

“Don’t you really get agitated with the traffic?” I had the need to spit it out because of his incessant wail like a four year old to go out and hit the streets all the time.

“Dude I love to have it all while it lasts” I really couldn’t crack his words.

“Man, what do you mean?”

He giggled a little. And soon realising that I really didn’t get it, he flushed out his thoughts.

“Soon after Shaina forgives you, the only person that’s always ‘on’ this baby, will obviously be her. So until the bhabi arrives forgiving all your sins, let me bless your baby”

He said ‘baby’ referring to RE. Well we had named her Papa. His words were indeed soothing but, I hoped that she will someday change her mind as to accept me. I had become her Lochinvar. she had become my Ellen. I had misunderstood her brother for the coward suitor. Her father, the king doesn’t even recognize me. I had wooed her already for sure. I certainly don’t have many young women waiting in France and England who I’ve mesmerised with my striking abs nor do I have them. I palpably didn’t have a steed, instead I had my papa. Before I could ask her hand in, well for the dance; she refuses me sighting my misinterpretation that I had done earlier. I was uncertain if she would come with me, listening to my whispers lending her ear only to perceive good deeds. She would let me down and the guards and kinsmen would caught me, they will probably have me as their captive. The coward suitor would arrive at me with his shining and pointed sword, then I’d be certain that the Suitor is not Harsh it’ll be someone else. But who the hell must it be? Before I can figure it out, the alarm strikes, I meant Arathana by alarm, my customised alarm.

“Don’t you have a life?”

“Well if ‘you’ had one, I wouldn’t have to wake you up every morning like a baby and certainly wouldn’t be having this conversation at all”

“How about… you quit being my alarm and carry on with your majesty’s schedule?”

“How about… you get up at least by 8 AM and Mum wouldn’t pester me to be your nanny”

“Nanny?”

“Yes, now get up, make your bed and go get a shower, you stink!”

“Bloody get lost before I smash your head”

“Maa, Sridev is hitting me for waking him up,” she said and did not forget to mock me as always saying “Die brother”

“Huh???” I bashed a look at Arathana.

“Ma, she is a liar”

“Enough of you both” Ma was then screaming in utter disappointment and terrible anger.

“Get ready before I literally send you both off for an adoption”

“Ma I’ll adopt Arathana, let her be my baby sister, I don’t see hope for this hulk” grins Ragu making his way in.

“Probably an aristocratic Coimbatore family will come up for the adopting this hunk”

I could not hold back my laughter. We both marched into my room while Amma and Arathana stood there, puzzled.

I told Ragu about the dream and all that he could do was, just listen. After all, he was not the Joseph, the dream reader.

I was curious to work out who that suitor would be though. I had put on my favourite red shirt. I had a fancy diet of two egg whites, a tall glass of orange juice. As soon as I had reached the college, I’d have all the bondas, vadas and more.

I had never asked for a guy in my life, nor did I need anybody. He was a gift that I didn’t ask for and so he left before I could ask him to stay. My life had changed in the past couple of years. I was certainly glad that it all happened. I would not wish to change anything from the past. I never wished to pursue engineering. I, to be honest did not know what I wanted or in what I was good at. But, I had made up my mind to relish and decide. “I have got a lot of time to think”, I had told myself that, though I knew that I certainly didn’t. I had secured good grades and got placed in a reputed college and I was almost all set. All that I needed to do was to figure my destination, to commence my journey. I knew that I was late but it was better late than never. “What could be my special talent? Will it be art, or song or dance, which Appa totally hates? Or could it be oratory? Or could it be engineering itself? Will I be able to find life in the bricks and sand and cement? Will I be able to find pleasure in stacking them? Will I find peace in building people’s safe place?” Well, I had to wait and figure. And another significant peril to figure, was “him”.

‘How can I ignore him while he was right in front of me? How can I not fall all over again when my first heart break is trying so hard to match the strings? To make the ends meet?’ Phew! I had a lot of questions in me and that was evident. Where do I seek for the answers? Where shall I go, get back my inner peace? Who the hell invented love? Or how on earth I became too stupid to fall for its lullaby?

Appa had his mushy eyes when he left me in the hostel. Amma and Kanishk stayed home because Appa was sure Amma would become too emotional. I was in fact so strong. Why? I don’t know. I had a sense of ‘safe haven’ feeling inside me. I didn’t know why. I still felt so strong and safe being here, in a strange place and the change was good, unless it was because of his presence.

“So, it’s not because your best friend is with you?” rages Sara after listening to my thought process. As I do not have anyone to share this complication with, it is either Sona or Sara who’s babbling with me.

“Baby, it’s not like that and you know it”

“I hate this committed people. You guys just forget friends in a fraction of a second.”

“I’m not” I said, almost in tears.

She has been so vulnerable these days, as delicate as a butterfly’s wings. But when will she realise that her wings are not to be kept shut and protected; instead it’s given to her to tear the clouds and fly and explore. Yes, she may fall down, break a wing, but she will learn to mend and fly again. She is delicate but if she realise that her strength is that delicacy, she’ll rule her world like Lara Cameron. One can wish for Noah, Ollie and even Jack. But be sure that you are their Allie, Madline and Rose who stood by them through all the odds, through conjecture, through mistakes, through doubts.

As we were rushing to the class, many were hushing about a new student who was about to join us, after two months since the commencement of the academic year. I wondered why he/she was joining us now; I mean who would be this late?

“Before all that I’m glad that we made our entry before the bell went off” I sighed at Sara.

“Shaina, lets ditch dinner today and go out, okay?”

“Okay” we squealed as we both love food and we definitely missed Sona.

As soon as the Python class commenced, the new guy joined in, yes, it is a guy. He is short well, not 180 cm, he’s got abs, not family pack. He’s slim and chick. And that side profile! These were all Sara’s thoughts not mine. She pestered me to invite him for the night’s dinner. I hesitated but could not stand her pestering.

“Hey, listen. Welcome to SSN (I said as though my grandpa owned the bloody institution) and I’m Shaina and this is Sara”

“Why don’t you join us for tonight’s dinner?” I had asked with a warm smile.

“Hi, I’m Akshay. Nice to meet you all, I would love to join you” he said smiling. That jaw line could kill people.

We both smiled, shaking hands. Sara was burning, inside.


**© V.Shilpa and https://shilpasrecitals.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.com/ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.**


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