8. FALLING IN AND OUT

1186050_667516846594517_1840363258_nSometimes the heart yearns.I know he was trying to impress me, but what wrong,he is making an effort.I loved that. There we were just two of us in the train. Since it was a local train, it was not a posh crowd. A mixed one. Everyone were mocking at us especially the oldies. I was as always supposed to be nervous, pull my head down and die a little inside. But I was not.I didn’t care I was mesmerized with Guru as if he hypnotised me with some magic spell.

The engine sound,the nature types that too moving backwards, the bogies and the little boys selling stuffs. It was thrilling. We stood near the bogie end and Guru made me to have even a wider view. It was bit difficult to manage a seat. Yet we had a window seat fortunately. People squeezed us which drew us a lot more closer.He held my hands and was trying to make me feel protective and comfortable.Lot of commotions were going around. Guru asked me ‘ Are you okay’. Yeah my heart popped out to tell, I was awesome. but I just gave him a nod and a smile.We didn’t speak more than a word after that. I loved the train travel. It was new to me not only the train travel , EVERYTHING.It was happening.I rested my head on his shoulder. I didn’t dare to look at him.He never moved which made me feel secure. Some moments make you feel, this is life and you were waiting all your life anticipating for this moment. I was living it all now.

Half an hour passed by. He just brushed my hair aside. I pretended to sleep. I didn’t want to miss the coziness. But I was anxious to look ‘Was he looking in to me’?. Not able to have a balance I slightly opened my eyes. And caught Guru looking in to me. We both knew what was it, but managed to be formal and started talking. The usual stuffs: friends and people around. Mind it,we both never slipped about Ram and Laxmi. Might be intentional or not. We just didn’t want to.

Our destination was two hours. But after an hour itself, Guru told we will get down at the next station and take a bus to home so that there will be no timing issues and we will avoid the panic. We both were on the next station platform. Standing with no clue what next. I told the scene was more like the eloped lovers. He smiled and replied. ‘It could have been, but its not, it might be’. Now stop,I forgot English literally. What did he sense or was I over imagining things?. Or is it the same crazy crap we laugh at.

Before I could analyse , he found a restaurant. We had a brunch. He told the food was okay okay types. Honestly I didn’t know whether it was sweet,spicy or salty. My heads was echoing, ‘It might be’.I was deeply engrossed in it.Guru seeing me so blank asked ‘Are you worried, you will be at home within an two hours’.I was not even bothered about it. Least I could convince is by faking an ‘yes’.

We walked holding hands instead of the usual hitting each other stuff. It felt nice.Had a short walk around the town and traced the bus stop. We took a bus back to Coimby. It was with the super esteemed DVD player television. The sound was jarring. It was an old tollywood flick. We had seats at he back door. The breeze was soothing.

Guru was so much interested in the flick and was in all praises for the celebrity.Back I was so irritated.What the hell,’Is he not realising the lovely movie that is screening just before his eyes’. I would tell, guys are stupid that too on a serious mode. That’s what I felt.I was in no mood to watch it. I looked at the window and was rewinding the beautiful day we witnessed.

After few minutes, Guru gave me the water bottle and asked whether I was thirsty. He then was bit shy and gave me a offer to rest my head on his shoulder if I feel sleepy.Now I felt,okay he is not that stupid, yet still I had my vengeance.I wanted to tell ‘No’. But I was definitely in my senses. thought for a while:’ Is this the time to have this all?. And I smiled and told I will. I didn’t want to make him look ‘I was dying for it’ .After a while,I did.

Some moments are priceless. You don’t need a beautiful resort, or to stand at a world wonder,or a jaguar or a posh home to live your life. All you need is a local bus, people mocking,babies screaming,a privileged DVD player television, a window seat with the super unclean handles which you don’t even dare to touch, an average guy’s shoulder naah now he is definitely the most handsome chap with lots of love and care. Yeah,those moments define you. It makes you identify what is essential in your life.

We reached Coimbatore earlier to a hour before our classes could end. I was in no heart to leave Guru either him.He immediately told we will hit the cafe shop.We were in, ordering cappuccino’s and sandwiches.I never felt Guru observed so much.He told remember whenever you and me are happy say the bike ride and today the train too. We are in the same clothes me in blue and white checked shirt and you the purple salwar. Call it coincidence or what.He touched my palm.

I didn’t know how to respond. I of course liked it but wanted to make the situation light. So just spiced it up telling, You are such a blue fanatic and you have all your shirts in blue or at least a check or a stripes are on the same shade.Cut the coincidence crap. But he was in too much intimacy. He didn’t bother to take his hand from me and convinced me telling. Blue is fine, but why should it be the same shirt. That was it:I thought it would be better to leave and told ‘make it soon, am running late to home’.

I reached home had a small chat with mama. Finding my usual place on the balcony with coffee, the memories hit. Before I could dream about it a little longer. My cellphone rung with a romantic tone ‘Ram calling’.I wanted to cut the call but now my dreams were nowhere I was confused. ‘Was I ditching Ram’, ‘Am I loyal to him’, ‘What is happening?’, ‘Which is meant-to-be’, ‘Am I a bitch?’

A heck of questions battled with me. Finally I thought I have to take a decision right there. Called Ram.I told him regarding our train journey not the different feel I had on him, I didn’t have guts for it .I knew he is going to blast me straight away. But he was so positive. He told just because of the distance we are apart.

That made me so guilty.I was thinking whether it was distance. But I felt it was the impact which people leaves us. Did Ram leave an impact?.I don’t know.He is falling for me now I am falling out of him.I thought I should not do this, let me stop this I am betraying him. I now hated why Guru should do all this and loved Ram for his positivity. Morning it was a contrast story. I was in chaos .I wanted to cry for help. I cursed my life and was shattered.

Guru kept on ringing me. I didn’t bother to pick the call. Yeah now I should hate him and that was how I showed the results.He was calling me for the forty second time.I put my ringer to silent.I badly wanted a good sleep.

7. CONFUSED

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We both never could differentiate love, attraction and friendship. May be due to the reason that Ram and Laxmi started reciprocating their feelings slowly. They didn’t still propose but showed the beginning positive signs of a relationship. But now we didn’t feel for them the same way. The attraction was there but the effect was fading off. The highlights were things started to fall in pace for both of us at the same time eventually which was least expected. The same relationship confusion prevailed, we did not know whom to prioritise. Love or friend (a complicated one now)?

Possessiveness started to creep for Laxmi since Guru was always either around or hanging with me. She fought with him and Guru was in total mess. He was not able to either avoid me or go by her. Though I wanted him to let go for his ‘love’, my heart yearned and even his. It was mutual on either side. On the other hand Ram started calling me often, he was in town and yeah we hanged out quite a few times. He was a bit flirty this time. I was clearly able to differentiate. I was supposed to reciprocate; after all I was dying for it for two years.  I tried too but all I can do was to smile and change the topic to commonalities. He offered me even a spin and I don’t know why I even rejected the offer. Before my mind processed my lips avoided instantly.

We were supposed to be close in love, but we didn’t. We were supposed to be distant from friendship, but we didn’t. We never showed each other. We showed off each other that Ram and Laxmi both were falling for us now, but it was not from our hearts. Every relationship was demanding. Girls always have a set of rules in which the guy should follow it for them to prove that they loved them. Laxmi was the perfect girlie types and rules were fired on Guru. He was not supposed to talk to girls, nor come late to home, hang out even with his friends the boys too; he should always speak with her and the same same boring list which went on and on. Guru was helpless. It was ‘love’ and he obviously tried to satisfy her.

Ram was also upset on me. Whenever he is up in the phone, when I utter ‘Guru’s name, he deviates ‘let’s talk about us’. Obviously when he asks me ‘how was the day’? Guru is filled in it, what can I bluff? It tested my patience so much. I tried to keep me down as I was not ready to fight with him. It was not Guru to handle me or remain silent and will never let me go whatever it is. I hit my head and told ‘This is Ram’. So I was to control whatever it is. Ram added fuel to the fire ‘Do you like Guru or me’. It was getting too much. Days went harder.

We were not the happy; take it easy typo friends anymore. We were corned by our relationship problems. We started blasting between us not directly to Ram and Laxmi; we don’t have guts to leave our ‘love’ down. We were good actors in our relationship. But in friendship only we were the ‘real-us’.  We yelled ‘Ram and Laxmi: these guys never even bothered when we were heart-broke, showed their disgusting attitude, and treated us like shit’. But suddenly they enter our lives and they want us to change for them and even die at their feet’. They will ask us to ditch the ‘friendship’ and die for ‘love’. The highlight is still they both didn’t even propose us still yet they were so demanding.

When we analysed through brains we felt, Ram and Laxmi were also right according to their perspectives. We could not deny that. They are the perfects but the expectations what they wanted to meet was off high standards. They are the exact love materials. We both can’t even afford to stand near to it however we try to. We never could tell, ‘They didn’t match us ‘. Brutally it’s a sin. It will be better saying’ we didn’t match them or never could’.

We were the most insane ones. That’s why we never had a problem between us. Our relationship was entirely different. Now it was still more complicated that too after the bike ride. We were in oscillation. We liked each other but we don’t know whether its ‘friendship’. We believe it’s ‘friendship’. We don’t want to name it love and spoil the divine feeling. That too since we have named Ram and Laxmi’s relationship with us as love, we felt it was filthy. Friendship was a purer form.

Whenever a conversation strikes about them, we start comparing Ram and Laxmi to us. Guru was telling ‘How nice if Laxmi has the same characteristics like you’ and I felt the same between ‘Ram and Guru’. In a relationship once when you have started comparing with all your heart with others. It means obviously you have already fallen for them. But still we were clueless.

One thing which was soothing is that, though we were restricted from hanging out by our respective lovers. Yeah of course we were loyal to them. We did not do that. But college was the only place we were at peace. The workload squeezed us close even more. It was time for our semesters. Study holidays had already begun, model exams followed. Group studies were on. Shiv, Tanvi, Shravs and Mukunth joined. The two jelled with the other two well and we were now six. We had subjects in common. Information Technology and Computer Science have quite similar papers. So study time was fun that too minus our lovers-the added advantage. No restrictions because it was semesters. Now Guru and I even loved semesters for that. Crazy right: I will tell you, fall in love you will know the sequences. That too with the serious type nerds, you will understand the difference when you are tested every day without a break. You will start urging for independent space.

Guru started looking too manly in the recent days. I loved his shirts, his eye brows, his dusky shades, his silky hair, his smile and everything about him. This never happened in the first instant. He was a normal typo guy but now something is special. As a person I loved everything about him totally. His attitude, his decisions, and his valid arguments everything drew me closer. Sometimes whatever is loved by your heart, your eyes portrays it even more beautifully. It just happens.

Two and a half years back, I use to tell him ‘Wacky, what colour shirt man, disgusting dressing sense’. But now I felt like telling him ‘You look good’. I was not able to tell him daily though, that seemed odd. Back in the earlier days, I used to tell him, but it was very rarely that too in a sarcastic way. I felt so obsessed that Guru was good looking when compared to Ram. Argh not Ram too, even better than my favourite celebrities. I was blind folded with Guru. Addiction was beyond stages.

I don’t know whether Guru felt the same way. But sometimes the way you look in to each other is different. I observed those signs. He was looking liking me often while in a group even when I didn’t contribute to the conversation. He looked Tanvi and Shravs in a very casual way just like Shiv and Mukunth. But whenever it was me, it was bit deeper. Might be I was looking him in the same yearning way or I don’t know whether I assumed things. Oh no, now I started to fall for his eyes too. It was electrifying.  Sometimes it may be cinematic but after all real life is inspired from movies. So what!!

That was the end of models. The final one was ‘Data structures’. As a college-goer you don’t mind the model exam stuff. So it was like a time pass to fill in the paper since attendance was compulsory. After all you have the study holidays to clear the semesters. Evening we had the six of us to hit the coffee shop. To stretch out a bit and start hunting for books. All you need is a whole night, local author book and an intelligent head to explain the logics and yeah you can clear engineering. We had nerds like Tanvi and Mukunth around so exams did not bother much.

It was a busy evening in Café Day. We had a good chit-chat and managed to get a corner seat, a view from the first floor. It was raining like cats and dogs. The leaves were dripping, it frost the glasses. It made the lovers romantic who were sitting next to us. They were blushing often and were getting cosy. As we were all a gang, the only way to have fun was to look and irritate them. Finally they insulted us by not even having a turn-around. Best insult ever. They were so much endorsed in to their own worlds.  We started talking about us, same conversations: affairs, family tantrums and boozing. It was usual. The topic just flew from childhood days, schools, how we became friends and there it was ‘The little crazy undefined desires’.

Tanvi was like ‘I want a church wedding, the bridal dresses’. It alarmed Shiv, being a Hindu. But he didn’t show. Mukunth wanted to ‘kiss his tenth standard teacher’. Shravs wanted to bang her ‘maternal uncle’s son’ childhood vengeance it seems. It was Guru’s turn; he wanted to be the only guest with thousand guitarists playing only for him’. Next was mine, I immediately sprung telling ‘I want to go in train, I have never been’. All my relatives are in Coimbatore. I did not have a chance. Everyone instantly broke in to laughter.

Coimbatore is an industrial hub. It’s not a metropolitan one. So local metros never existed. It was a posh, highly civilized town. So it was not a crime that why I haven’t travelled in train? But we all had a good laugh especially mocking at my little crazy desire. It was not unattainable but I didn’t have chances. The next two weeks were study holidays.  We slept, ate everything in home, mocked at the books, talk with neighbours watched all the stupid flicks on television even the boring cooking shows and the hyper mode is cleaning your room. The least interesting ones too interest you, the power of study holidays.

Already we both were the lethargic ones, study holidays was a boost to us. Guru rang me and told the next day, we have some mechanics class. He asked me to meet before starting to college in a nearby stadium. I reached there next day; he waved hands and handed me over two train tickets which were for a nearby town. The travel was two hours. He told lets reach station immediately, and then only you can reach home by six after taking a bus from there. The best surprise ever!!!

 

 

 

 

6.GETTING CLOSER

5070499173_4a4899f828_zCollege commenced. Everything was getting in to pace. New friends, new ambience, new subjects and new bus rides to college. It was a colourful world. The much awaited one. At the initial phases it took a lot of time to settle down. Since Guru and I were already close-to, we didn’t find much hassle. We now had four people in our gang. The new entrants were Shiv and Tanvi.

We were like the best four. Within few days we had lot of attention. Not because of our academics. But for all our pranks right from the day one. We hit the canteen the very first day, for the use of cell phones in class, for not bringing books and drafters. We were the perfect fit. From seniors to fellow college mates we were clearly identifiable.

Tanvi was a pretty girl. She had a fairer complexion, deep brown eyes, thick eyebrows, medium height, had dimples whenever she smiled and lusty pale pink lips. And the hilarious one was Tanvi and me were most-wanted girls around. Tanvi, I can agree she is a damsel in beauty but what was in me. An average looker though. I thought it was due to my eyes. The one asset I love about myself and which Guru hates till now. I think by now one can clearly make out how the engineering girls will look like after all when even I had a fan-following.

Talking about Shiv, he was also dusky. A tall guy moderately built guy and he had a stunning dressing sense which made girls to go gaga on him. But I felt there was some attraction going between Tanvi and Shiv. They both didn’t reveal each other was our assumption. Knowing each other for just a month or two it’s difficult to fall for each other so soon. If Guru and I were given a chance to propose to Ram and Laxmi we would have done it the right from the day we bumped in to them. Rest others, understanding stuff would all been in the next phase. Different people have different perceptions before entering in to a relationship. But in this perspective, I and Guru were the perfect sync. Only in this relationship matters we were so damn similar. That’s why we were called love fanatics by Shiv and Tanvi.

Engineering college was not the one which was portrayed in cinemas. It was just like school with colourful dresses. I should tell colourful uniforms. You were supposed to wear salwars with dupatta. They branded it to be modest. It was very disappointing. The workload was too much. Even Saturdays we had colleges. For each class they had attendance. Even if you have banked a day, they intimate home through phone calls and letters. Altogether reality was a shit. After some days we got used to and started having a good time by knowing the loop holes. That’s the life of a student. All the complexities were nowhere now. We loved college however it was.

Assignments, Internals and semesters followed. Since it was the first academic exams we studied too much to prove ourselves. The usual brain drain session was there called ‘placements’. And your scores were directly proportional to placements. All the four of us had better scores. Life was good. Ram was now calling me like twice a week, so for me especially it was better. We had bit long conversations. Ram did not set in to the college well. He barely had friends. But that was a positive sign for me. He started becoming closer he didn’t have an option though. His school friends were all busy with their new college stuff but only I was dying to talk to him. So we talked and talked. We became good friends. Not the best like me and Guru. A decent typo one.

Guru and I were like nearly eight hours together in college then it continued for two hours for hangouts and then it was with the phone chats. Now we were all grown-ups, so we had cell phones. Texting was like breathing for both of us. My phone bills were getting too much but who cared. The conversations and the fun mattered. Guru owned TN 38 AR 5991, a black pulsar in the mid of our second semester and asked me to come over for a spin.

I was bit fussy, the usual thing. I don’t mean the girlie thing. I was like; I will go with Ram only and asked him to take Laxmi. He gave me a ‘go to hell’ look and mocked at me sarcastically. We broke in to laughter the next instant. We know, never in our life it’s going to happen. Even in our wildest dreams. I told him might be by Saturday afternoon or so. We were looking forward for that afternoon which we never expressed though.

Finally it was Saturday; we just had few sessions of engineering mechanics classes and were heading to home. I bought my bike since we had planned for the spin. Eventually we were not in the best clothes or we tried to have a make-over like a date but it was nervous. We didn’t know why. I parked my bike on the outskirts of the city and headed to Guru.

He gave me a casual look and asked me to settle. That was it!!! It was a beautiful ride to an unknown destination for lifetime. Being in a cultured city and an orthodox family gave me shivers while sitting behind a guy. Not my brother or father. An unknown guy, whom I have coined as ’friend’. It was nail-biting but over all excited. The weather was neither sunny nor rainy. It was windy. After sitting on the bike, I never shook my head. I felt bit scary whether people known to us will identify. I wanted to pretend normal and have a look on the road. For few minutes, every men and women I saw looked like either my relatives or friends .I was a bit shaky. Guru told me to relax. He pacified me telling ‘nothing will happen’ and asked me to trust him that we were too away from the city. He assured me a look of confidence.

I tried to cover my head with dupatta. He told me, ‘Don’t act cheap, if you do that people will look even sarcastic after that’. I liked his way of taking things. I sat not too close or too distant from him. Yet I was able to feel him. This was not our first touches but these touches had a lot more meaning. Now we both felt the distinction which we never felt for two years, the boy and girl one. He asked me to shrug his shoulders as I was half falling when he applied brakes not intentionally that too not in this stage. I did, it was a different intimate feel. Now I slowly started enjoying the ride forgetting the after home consequences if we get caught. Finally I felt whatever, let it happen. It’s definitely worth-while.

I should tell you now; Guru was looking the most handsome today. I never blurted it but he did, he told me, I looked ravishing. This was never the ‘usual us’. I tried to make it funny but something stopped me I loved this transformation so I didn’t ruin it. We smiled lots, gazed in to each other’s eyes never made fun of each other but were warmed by each other’s presence. The non-stop talking factor was missing. But it was complete. The road was not that crowdy and the ride was definitely a pleasant one. He drove in to the villages; we had such a lovely evening. The breeze brushed us in intervals and our unspoken glances had lot to be said. We never wanted the ride to end, but it was already late evening and I had to take my bike from the outskirts and drive to home which was more than an hour. So we wrapped up though unwillingly.

Before I reached, there was a text from Guru ‘Have you reached’. Now I just loved the care and smiled. When I entered home, I was back to the real world; I sounded to be extra normal but couldn’t be and was looking deep in my mom and dad’s eyes. Every phone ring which later followed I picked it within a ring or so because literally I was dying whether my neighbours, friends or relatives have seen us together on bike. But no mishaps happened and reminiscence of the ride was echoing in my head. We texted till night and our conversation followed. My brain tells ‘he is a friend’, my heart was battling ‘not love but still it was a much more than friendship’. Finally girls try to follow their brains not like the guys who fall for their heart. I was an exception from the normal girls stuff but some genes in you show the basic characteristics. So I called Guru, following my brain. Sounded to be normal and started to pull him, yelled that ‘he drove too bad’. Called him the ‘worst driver’, ‘Thank God I am saved’ and was torturing him as usual. But this time Guru just listened surprisingly, told he had the best ride ever thanked me and asked we should go for a spin often.

After the ride, it pulled us still more closely. Now we started discussing more about the clothes we wear. We dressed depending on each other favourites, the colours. These guys at the initial phases we find sweet when they flatter regarding our dressing sense but at the later phases they restrict you so much calling it over- protective. And that is the time when you feel like hitting them back. Now obviously we were in the initial phases and I loved the way he compliments me back. The rest is history. We yearned for each other. Now our hearts were half filled for both of us, the rest was reserved for Ram and Laxmi. At times we have the inner part striking hard and reminding us about Ram and Laxmi either through phone calls or when our friends remind them about us. We were clear yet confused.We were confused yet clear. It was a beautiful mode in our relationship.