Last December when I went home for vacation I found a bunch of papers inside a file which was going to the raddiwallah. I rescued it & knew immediately that I was going to put it up in my blog.
In school and College a few of my articles found place between the pages of the Annual Books. I briefly toyed with the idea of writing short stories, etc. There was no dearth of ideas but I never followed it up……it was too much of an effort.
Being a person who loved happy endings it was but natural to lean towards love stories. Now while posting it I smile as I type out what I wrote 14 years back. Some parts of it are so juvenile but I curb my fidgety fingers from meddling with the text. I wrote this short story when I was studying in college, February 1994 to be precise.
Now don’t think “Oh she fancies herself as some big writer”. I just want to say “No I don’t, I know very well that I don’t have the patience or the inclination to be a writer. All I just did was to post a story which I made up more than a decade back, fully aware that I may not write another one for the rest of my life. I guess I don’t want the effort I made to go to waste and just want it recorded somewhere. What place better than my blog where it will prized always:-P.
Reading back the last para I’m aware that I’m sort of defensive about my short story. Well I am…so there….
A Simple Love Story
[I know, I know it is a cliched Title. But I just wasted 20 minutes & still couldn't come up with an appropriate title. Anyways it IS a simple love story. Actually i wanted to call it A Short Love Story but its not short:-P, so......here goes]
Divya was up to something. Her best friend Neetu was sure of it or why else would she have this air of preoccupation about her. Both of them were making their way back home after classes when Neetu realized that while Divya was making appropriate noises to all her questions, she really wasn’t listening.
“Snap out of it Divya” said Neetu almost worriedly “and tell me what is it that you are cooking up this time?”
Divya reddened a bit and Neetu gaped in surprise. Divya a final year MA Sociology student, a brazen hussy, a champion for lost causes, a person whose sharp tongue everyone respected and feared, actually blushed.
“Don’t look at me like that” snapped Divya half irritated
“Okay Divya, spit it out” said Neetu determinedly.
“Well nothing really, just that I met this g-guy………….” said Divya trailing off.
Curious, Neetu asked “Which guy?......ok so u met this guy. But why are you stuttering? And we are always meeting guys; in fact most of our friends are guys……?”
“Just shaddup Neetu and let me finish” yelled Divya.
“Okayy” said Neetu obediently.
“Well ok, I met this guy andilikehim” mumbled Divya.
Light dawned in Neetu’s eyes. “You mean you’ve fallen for a guy. Aha!!!! But where was I…. …” she abandoned the question half-way & asked excitedly “Tell me everything & don’t miss out even a single dialogue of this drama”
“But that’s just the problem. There’s nothing much to tell” said Divya mournfully. “I went to the Library this morning to borrow some books to do our essay on sociological changes in Rural India in the 19th century. On my way in I banged into this guy…Rahul Varma. Both of us dropped our books on each others toes. I was just about to give him a piece of my mind when I looked into his eyes. Gosh Neetu, they were the most beautiful pair of eyes I have seen in my entire life” said Divya fervently. “Everything flew out of my mind & I just wanted 2 keep looking. But he cut the eye contact & bent to pick his books. I too bent to pick my books and apologized for banging into him hoping he would graciously say that it was his fault & ask me out for coffee or something. But he just picked up his books, growled ‘watch your step’ and went his way. By the time I broke out of the trance I was in and looked around he was nowhere to be seen”
Neetu was quite surprised. People did not ignore Divya. Infact they gave her an appreciative second glance. Guys normally fought for her attention and it was she who kept her distance.
Divya, not unnaturally, was piqued. She knew that she was quite pretty and outgoing. She finally felt the attraction that she read about it books and simply couldn’t understand why he didn’t feel it. Recalling his reactions now, he looked as if he wouldn’t give her the time of the day.
“Is this guy from our college”? asked Neetu “or anyone we know”?
“No, he’s not from our college, nor have we seen him before” replied Divya absently.
“Then how do you know his name is Rahul Varma” asked Neetu genuinely puzzled.
It was written on one of the books which fell on my toes, stupid” snapped Divya impatiently. Seriously, sometimes Neetu can be so dense. Here she was trying to plan important stuff like how to ‘accidentally’ meet him again and there Neetu was asking silly questions like how she knew his name.
Neetu digested the information in silence. She could have easily pointed out that a name on a book didn’t necessarily have to be that person’s name. She decided to be prudent and keep her mouth shut; Divya, in tension was to be treated very carefully. “So what are you going to do it?” asked Neetu gingerly, after a few minutes of respectful silence, for she was sure that Divya had something in mind. If Divya wanted something badly she usually went after it single mindedly. The only problem was that Neetu was always included in these mad escapades.
“For the time being we’ll just go back to the library and hang around till we find him again” said Divya decisively.
“Do we have to go now” asked Neetu resigned to her fate. Divya was more than capable of handling the situation by herself but she still insisted on dragging her along.
“Not now dumbo, not even today since he just borrowed books from the library 2 hrs back. He may not even come back tomorrow but we can’t take the chance. For now we’ll just go home. I’ve got a lot of thinking to do” said Divya thoughtfully.
Both of them walked home in silence, each lost in her own thoughts. Neetu didn’t even want to know what Divya’s brain was cooking up. Neetu reached her house first, after waving her off Divya walked further down the lane to reach her residence.
The next morning Neetu followed Divya reluctantly to the library and proceeded to wait for Rahul to turn up. And they waited……and waited. It took 3 whole, long and boring days and then a quarter for Rahul to turn up. But turn up, he did.
"Does he have to look so good” grumbled Divya who was wearing a crumpled look and a grumpy face. Three whole days of being cooped up in the library made her tetchy. Rahul Verma on the other hand was looking cool and collected in a faded blue jeans with a dark blue half-sleeved shirt tucked in, a fine specimen of manhood who wouldn’t look out of place in a girlie magazine except for the fact that he had an intelligent look about him.
Divya and Neetu were sitting at the farthest corner of the reading room and could observe him without any fear of being noticed immediately.
Rahul gave back the books he borrowed, walked over to the science fiction section and proceeded to browse through the books.
“Ok, now you walk up to where he is standing, bang into him and apologize or flutter your eyelashes or whatever, I’ll then stroll up casually and take it from there” whispered Divya urgently.
Neetu looked at Divya disbelievingly. “You are crazy; there is no way I’m going to do something like that. It will look like a setup. So this is why you kept me in the dark about your plans, you knew I would never agree to come if I had known.” whispered Neetu in terror.
Divya looked faintly guilty, then adopted a very pleading expression” Do this for me please Neetu, I’ll be grateful to you till the last breath of my life”.
Neetu didn’t look very affected by this dramatic dialogue. They had been friends for more than a decade & this very dialogue put Neetu in many tight spots before.
“I apologize profusely, but I’m not going to do it. You are in this alone. I’m just here to give u moral support, maybe even to lend you my shoulder to weep if it doesn’t work.”
Divya’s face took on a “how can you ditch your friend in this crucial moment of her life” expression. Neetu feeling vaguely guilty said placatingly. ”Don’t you see Div, he’ll see through the act in a minute and we’ll be making fools of ourselves”.
Divya stalked off in a huff. She hardly walked 10 paces when she tripped and went sprawling on the floor. Neetu sprang up to go to her friend’s aid when she saw Rahul striding upto where Divya was slowly sitting up.
“Trust Divya to get what she wants without even trying” thought Neetu amusedly.
to be continued.......
I've divided the story into 2 parts......well I have been furiously typing the whole thing out, u know. I'm going out of town for 2 days. So the 2nd part should hopefully be up in 4 days time. Let me know what u think..........I can handle the brickbats but bring it on gently.