Sunday, September 29, 2013

S8 39 Circar Express - part 9

We started out of the class, back to our homes.
On our way, I felt like I heard something. I turned sideways, “I'm sorry, did you say something?”

She said ever so softly, “Can you show me that Casper painting you mentioned?”

Her voice was still raw with holding in the tears. Sensitive yet strong. I'm getting inclined to her more and more.

I dashed to one of the exhibit boards of school, where my Casper painting has been lying around for a few years.

To make the moment light, I added, gesturing melodramatically, “Casper, meet Sonia; Sonia, meet Casper.”

This time she gave a real laugh, slowly leaving her inhibitions.

“It’s so nice & lifelike”

Technically, it should be after-lifelike, I mean, theory suggests Casper is a cute little ghost.”

*A bigger laugh this time*

We walked out, and when we were just outside I looked at her with a contorted look in my face, and said, “Can you wait here for a few minutes?”

“Where are you going?”

“I need to pee really bad”

She nodded her head, giving a soft chuckle and left my hand free.



We were slowly walking towards our homes. There wasn't any sense of hurry, sun was setting & the air around was coming in a light breeze as if it’s trying to blow a soft melody into a flute. Quiet, cool, and low whistle hum kind of breeze.

Trees turned to silhouette, as the reddish-indigo sun bid farewell for the day. 

The only sounds were occasional vehicle horns, flocks of birds flowing back to their sweet homes, with food & fun facts for their young ones, & that of our breath with the soft music of the night breeze in the background. Her dupatta was just following the wind & fluttering slightly, in cute ripples, rhythmically blocking the distant street lamp light that fell on us, making a mosaic of orange black shadows behind us.

My hands were grazing the surface of the back of her hand. Then suddenly I felt my palm was touching her palm. I wanted to grab it, then & there, but I'm not sure if that's accidental or accidentally-on-purpose.

Of course she had taken my hand once, but that was when I was comforting her.

After a small debate between emotion and logic, my heart won the race. I gently laced my fingers through hers.  Neither of us spoke a word, and it felt the natural thing, nothing out of place.

Sometimes silence conveys more than what an intricate vocabulary can. A silence which was so satiating.

Her grip tightened. We were just walking, and then we crossed my home, but I didn't tell her out of fear of leaving her hand.

Holding her hand gave me a sense of contentment & fulfillment and a whole new reason for my life.


We were almost at her home, she asked “Coffee?”

“I'd love to, but let's have some other day, it's too much for one day, I’m not sure whether all this really happened”

She acquiesced with a small nod.

And just when we were about to part, “Hey, I thought you might like it”, I handed her the painting.

Her eyes turned to saucers, clearly puzzled, “You stole back your own painting?”

“I've a feeling Casper likes it near you than in that exhibit board”

Without warning, suddenly she threw her arms over me & hugged.


I can feel her heart beat, while I found my own missing.

I'm breathing contentedly, with the sweet smell of Jasmine, her soft hair all over my face giving the tickling sensation.

I don't how much time we were like that, before she relinquished her hold on me, suddenly aware of the surroundings.



“Meet you tomorrow, Sonia”

Mahi”. “My close niche calls me Mahi”

“I thought you said I was stupid & mean”

“That you definitely are, but I think I can deal with that”, she winked & left.

I kept looking until her moonlit profile faded into the distance and the door of her house was shut behind her.

And I was walking on the road lost in thoughts when suddenly a car's hooting & screeching sound made by its tires, as it suddenly came to halt inches behind me, brought me back to reality.

“Hey, did you tell in your house before you came?” Yelled the driver.

Oh, sorry! My bad!”

Now, where am I?

The realization hit me like a truck.

I should go back to my school. My cycle was back at school, along with my friend Rakesh who would be waiting for me there.

click here for part 10

Thursday, September 19, 2013

S8 39 Circar Express - part 8

continued from part 7

 A sudden fear gripped me. I might have created an impression that bordered on hate to solid dislike. I’m not sure which it was exactly.

I just hoped the clichéd quote ‘first impression is the best impression’ is not always true, at least for today, please!

For the rest of the class I stole some glances towards her, but she completely ignored me.

While two sets of eyes were boring me, Siri, flashing anger, Rakesh, inquiring with his looks.


One last class & it'll be over; the day felt very long & distant. I was sitting alone, it was not new to me, but it definitely felt vacant. And I was feeling something very strange, is that what people called that, broken?

I messed it real bad.



“Ravi!!!”, my instructor's shout jarred me back from thoughts.

“Yes, madam”

“Where were you?”

Ummm! Sorry I was a little lost in thought”

“Can you come to my room; I need you to distribute your class’s answer scripts”

These were one of those times I despised being the class representative. I followed her to her room & stacked up the exam answer scripts, & returned only to find out most people had already gone. 

Great! Now I'll have to take care of these goddamn things.

After giving way in the corridor to the streams of continuous packets of students I finally went to my class, & was surprised to hear many high pitched giggles in unison.

I waited at the door. Then someone said condescendingly, “Did you reach your puberty yet? I don't think so.”

More giggles.

Someone added, “You still have a babysitter at home I guess, and do you still get your milk from your mom?”

More giggles, but this time there was also a quiet sob.  There were a group of girls, maybe 5 of them, some perched on top of the benches, sat around someone. One girl's hand had a Casper backpack, which gave me the telltale fact of what was happening.

Sonia was being teased, in a very mean way, spearheaded by Siri.I thought I knew Siri fairly well, we have been benchmates ever since, but I never knew she could be so mean. 

I dashed across the room, and the girls started dispersing.

I declared at the height of my voice, “I like Casper, you got a problem with me too?”
“It was my fault, I accidentally (really?), told her the place was vacant.”

I turned to Siri, “Of all you can't make comments about Casper, you made me watch that movie, and you loved the painting I made”

So this is her girls’ gang, huh! Ok, time for me to become mean

There were some hushed voice,s but all quietened out the minute I brought out the answer scripts.
It’s a fact that no one wants to showcase their marks before confirming they are flash-worthy, while I’m having the advantage of knowing all of their marks if I wanted to (Though I’m too lazy to peek through them).

“Anyway,” I handed over the evaluated exam scripts to whoever was there.

It was like icing on the cake. Particularly girls, who are always very cautious about the grades & marks, couldn't simply let me wave the scripts before they're sure their marks were wave-worthy.
They silently took their scripts and made way to exit.


The room was very silent punctuated only by hardly audible and already dying sobs of Sonia.

I sat close to her and whispered, “You know what? No one should look this good while crying”
Her lips curved ever so slightly, a very small smile, but that lessened the ton of tension I was feeling till then.

I offered my hand, “Can we go back home?”

The thin tear tracks that etched on her lovely face caught the glint of the setting sun as she nodded and reached for my hand.

That moment when she locked her hands, lacing her fingers through mine, all weariness of the day was gone, giving rise to a tingling sensation. I don't know how she felt, but I would love to in the snapshot of that moment, forever.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

S8 39 Circar Express - part 7

continued from part 6

Just as the madam left & before the next instructor came, trouble came running towards me, my actual benchmate.

She was visibly angry & had a flushed face, but she said with apparent fake cordiality, "Hi, can you please move before the next instructor comes?"

"I'm sorry,” said a befuddled Sonia.

That's it Sireesha lost her patience & in a louder tone, “Get the hell out of this place"

"Is... Is this your place?"

"Of course it's mine, I & Ravi have been benchmates since I was a little girl," she glanced at me to corroborate her statement.

I remained silent.

I seriously didn't get why Siri is being so mean to Sonia. Sure, we were benchmates forever, but most of the times, that means 7 in 10 times she goes back & sits with a girl, a friend from her girl gang.

Sonia gave me stern looks of incomprehension which quickly turned to a murderous look, just like my angry drill master. Guilt was shining in her eyes for reasons I couldn't fathom.

"You said it's vacant," her voice became high pitched.

"No, I didn't," I joked.

She punched me in my gut.

What is she eating, for a girl that's a heavy punch.

"I actually said it's all yours."

Turning to Siri I said, “Why are making a fuss about it, everyone knows you sit at back most the times."

This time Siri gave me the expression, which Sonia was having till now.

Great, two angry girls.

"Hey Ravi, If you want to flirt with the new girl, the Casper toddler, that's fine; you could have said directly, no need to lie. I usually sit here & occasionally go back. Anyway, I hope I've not disturbed the romance of the star crossed lovers."

Definitely her definitions of usually & occasionally are pretty screwed up.

"You're so stupid, mean & pathetic," saying this Sonia turned back & headed to only other vacant place across the room.

Too many comments for one day.

We created quite a scene.

Rakesh, my best friend who just woke up tried to understand the situation.

I mouthed, 'I'll tell you later.'

I definitely didn’t make a good first impression.

S8 39 Circar Express - part 6

continued from part 5

"Oh! It's you the idiot," she glared.

I was seeing her...., no staring at her.  If there was ever a competition for stalkers, maybe I would top the list.

Her face had this cute & curious expression the kid has the first time he's allowed to use a pen after years of using pencil in primary school.

Being close to her with shoulders almost touching while being doused with the Jasmine smell from her hair and feeling the warmth of her body, all these made me forget to respond, it took effort to remind myself to breath, which I was holding till then.

There was an infusion of scents, the pleasant scent of new books with that of sweet jasmine, it was driving me nuts.

I was in a situation, where, if it were movie by this time a soft melody would be played in the background.

When I tried to react my throat felt dry & all I could manage was a small frog like croak, which wasn't audible to her (Thankfully).

"What are you starting at, you clumsy idiot"

Clumsy, is like antithesis of me, that comment should infuriate me, but no it didn't.

Then I heard a sound, which I swear, felt like a soft titter.

Coming back to senses my first thought was to check if my mouth was open, that would make it classic gawking scene. Fortunately I was not gaping at her.

It's not like I've never sat beside a girl, in fact my bench mate had been a girl ever since I was a little guy. But this felt different, this was different, with her one loose strand of hair grazing edge of my shoulder & giving me goosebumps, I felt as if for the first time I'm sitting beside a girl.

It's about the time someone would label me dumb if I didn't give a reply.

I cleared my throat so I didn't sound like frog again, "Well, I'm Ravi, & regarding idiot, yes, you can find many here, but I’m not."

"Lemme give you a tip, next time you want to stare at someone either use shades or try to be subtle."

There was no longer any anger in her voice, just few soft giggles, which might just be my imagination.

"I'm not staring, you kinda remind me of someone."

"Cliché pick-up line, too bad it's been banal & won't win you any favors."

Beauty & brains, a dangerous combo.

"No, you really remind me of someone."

"Oh, you remember that girl you bumped into this morning, or is that you are so clumsy & collide with so many people that you can't actually remember anything?"

Suddenly I felt a knot in my throat not knowing how to respond, I like witty quips, but not when I'm at the receiving end, that too not when the person at the other end is a gorgeous girl, whom I started liking the second I saw her.

Before I replied she started again like, with a triumph in face as if she just won the debate over me, & said, “But thanks, I was a little nervous about the new place, but I think I can deal gracefully if everyone around here is as stupid as you are."

Whoa, this girl is not giving me time to recover, being the class topper, idiot & stupid, are the words that were never used on me, but she was using them as if I've name tags which read 'annoying idiot', 'super stupid'.

Even that was not the problem, I'm not usually saint like, quite contrarily I get piqued with a moderate effort, but suddenly I felt like anger is something very alien to me, I should be mad at her by now, but all I want to do is smile while being close to her.

What are you doing to me, girl?

I'm not making a very good first impression here.

I tried & sported calm face & replied with composure, "Welcome aboard, hope you like it here, it's a great place, but tomorrow when you come please don't get dunked in body spray, it's making my mind go blank just like yours."

I've no frigging idea why I said that. My mind is trying to mess up my relationship even before it started.

She gave one final fierce gaze, & sat upright as our maths madam was leaving.

She put the books back in backpack; A unique backpack, a bright shade of pink with a big picture of Casper on it. Pink I can understand, but Casper, Seriously?

I wanted to ask 'What are you a kindergarten kid?' but thought better of it; I might tarnish her impression of me which is already hanging way below the ground level.

Just as the madam left & before the next instructor came, trouble came running towards me.

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