It was Friday evening…after my classes were over…I was crossing the big lawn of college, way back to home….I saw a tall shadow following me….  “ hey…how are you…” the same voice of the Senior intercepted my way…my heartbeats raced faster but my legs could not take a step forward…
“Ha…ha…ha…” he was laughing out loud and stood
beside me…. “Hi…don’t you want to know my name. I am Ashwin…Ur senior waiting for a favor from Divya darl….ing…”
“Divya, I know your eyes are searching me …accept this fact….I’m too in search of you. I like you…love you…and cannot live without you…” all said in one go by Ashwin as if he was waiting for this D day to confess…I was perplexed and could not utter a word.
He walked a few steps and asked me to accompany him but I moved forward…I was dumb but did not disapprove his way of confession…I liked
it…now I will say, I loved his way of confession!
Ashwin…Ashwin…Ashwin…the name was ringing in my ears. I could feel his close proximity….I felt everything beautiful and colorful within me, near me and around me…I found myself lost in his thoughts…if really it was “LOVE “ then nothing could be as beautiful as this, I was damn sure…This four lettered “WORD” brought wonderful changes in me…a carefree girl became conscious of her looks. Dresses…and a DESIRE to be watched by my Love “Ashwin”…I used to talk hours with my love in my thoughts.
I wasn’t aware if Ashwin felt the same for me, as I was developing the feeling for him.
My taste of colors changed drastically and started liking colorful dresses
contrary to my choice of sober and light colors…looked in the mirror often…my Mamma’s eyes sensed this change…It did not remain unnoticed from her
eyes…She read the changes easily in me and kept a silent vigil on me.
“Beta…what is it…” she smiled …a naughty smile which wanted me to share my feelings with her.
“What’s it Maa…” 
I said looking the other way it was very early to disclose….I was floating in colors of Love, but still was not sure for the other person…A…s…h…w…i……n……..
“Your tastes are on change….certainly, there is a reason for this change…it cannot go unnoticed from the eyes of a Mother, Divya darling!”

“There is nothing like that Mamma. If any day I feel so, you will be the first one to know…relax…the changes that you are finding me is the peer pressure you can say….all girls of my batch are very choosy about their dresses and looks and I find myself odd man out so trying to compete with the peer group…”
I tried to pacify her feelings. I know… I was lying but no choice was left with me rather lie though I too did not like to lie. Now I understood that we lie easily in the fervor of Love.
My whole wardrobe changed…new colorful dresses matching accessories…spent a lot at markets with my Mamma.
A Simple girl has changed into a graceful gal concerned more about her looks…attires……My step towards college gate raced my heart beats and I blushed more often. Every day our eyes met and smiles were exchanged before going to classes. I don’t know whether he was there deliberately or by chance….but every day it could not be a chance….started daydreaming in class…sometimes it was noticed easily by my batch mates or professors…
In lunch break. I went to canteen…it has become a routine affair… Ashwin was there with his friends…glances were exchanged that’s all…no greeting, though I longed to hear from him. This routine could not continue for more than a fortnight, but now I feel that a fortnight was like a year…nowadays guys don’t have the patience to hold themselves for a day or two
but in our days…People were more patient…and the reason behind this patience was that there were no computers. No mobile phones. No emails…no internet connections…the modes of communication available tested our patience…Landline phones. Trunk Calls…letter and postcards were the modes available in our time which really tested our patience.
9th day of March was the most important day of my life…As I entered the canteen, I found Ashwin sitting all alone at the last bench of canteen…one seat vacant near his side…He smiled and waved & asked me to join him …in gestures. No words exchanged…I longed for this day though I never took the initiative but never ever declined Ashwin’s approach. In few seconds I was standing near Ashwin.
“Hi…Divya…come …what you would like to have Tea or Coffee. Special tea or Espresso coffee. (Nowadays Cappuccino coffee in CCD’S) I myself didn’t know what happened to me when I was near Ashwin…all alone I used
to talk hours with him but when he was near me…I was a mute spectator….
“Come on…say something….I’m ordering espresso coffee hope you would like it”…he went to the counter to order…
I found a napkin on the table something was scribbled on it…it was my name written in different styles now I was sure that the fire of love was kindled at Ashwin’s end too…he was too under the same situation that I was in….Fallen in Love but still not much was exchanged within us… “US”…I was left
bewildered I was referring as US in lieu of I and him…Was this the effect of
love….I was getting romantic.
Ashwin was back with two Mugs of Hot Coffee …

He sat
beside me and I don’t know how and when we started but we were engrossed in
deep conversation…the boundaries between us had sublimed…and in seconds we seem
to be very much familiar with each other…it seemed that two friends have met
again after a decade or so and there were lots and lots to share
…talking…smiling and laughing at each other and I did not feel that Ashwin was a stranger to me….neither Ashwin took me as a stranger…we both were very much comfortable in each other’s company….there was so much to tell each other…list seemed endless…A canteen boy came to us and said that it was time for the canteen to be closed.

When I looked outside the window…I was surprised to see that the sun was about to set…
“Oh my god…I missed my classes…I will leave now Ashwin…I am already late…”
He nodded and asked my phone number…I wrote the number
on another paper napkin and gave it to him and the paper napkin on which my name was scribbled I kept it in my hand bag…I ahandbagt was noticed by Ashwin but he did not say anything.
I rushed out of the canteen in a hurry …I was already late for home and in campus, only few could be seen…my heart was thumping in my rib cage and the person near me could hear my heart beats thumping …I was
pondering and was busy in finding out a valid excuse to answer my mother’s
query for been late. For seconds, I forgot Ashwin or what we conversed…I felt
totally blank.
When I reached home….by god’s grace, I was spared by Mamma’s queries…She was not at home.

After getting fresh,  I sat on the rocking chair in balcony deeply engrossed in 
thoughts of my Love which was yet to bloom. 

to be continued….. 


Going down the Memory lane as I was turning the albums of my childhood, a snap stopped me from moving forward, it was a snap of mine with my first love of my life, My Kitty.She was brought into our family when I was barely two years old and at the same time, my sister was born to join me. My granny took care of all of us as we had a joint family & members were not less than fifteen in our house, so my mother was busy with household chores and granny busy managing us…me and my new-born sis…She was a young granny not more than forty-five years of age…the age when today many girls enjoy their motherhood..she was very active and on toes with us..we all know managing kids is not less than a marathon race…Once while coming back from official tour , My Father brought my First Love from Ranchi…in a small black bag…she was a small pet dog, light brown hair coat and a very small creature..not more than 25 days old and named her Kitty…she became one of integral members of our family and for me a toy to play with….I loved this small creature..soft and sweet and cuddled in my arms…I noticed my granny’s way of managing my sis and I did the same thing…being a small kid but acted as a mother to the soft life…cuddling in my small arms, caring,feeding with a bottle and oiling like mother or granny does with the kid…keeping it on my legs & oiling…I don’t remember much whether Kitty liked my care or not but I felt on top of the world…and Kitty was very docile…my utmost care must have been uncomfortable for her but never raised any alarm or showed arrogance…she was submissive in nature.Kitty memories are intact but how I behaved with the pet in my kindergarten days I don’t remember but my granny or mother told me later how I took care of her & tried to copy the actions of my grandma managing my sis…Till ten years of my age…I firmly believed that when Kitty life will come to an end at twelve years so would my sis life…maybe somebody might have said that dog’s life is for twelve years and I thought that when my sis was born same time Kitty was born to her mother and so & they both had the same life span….recalling this incident now leaves me laughing loud at my foolishness or my innocence at the tender age…we were born in an age when except for movies no visual concept existed and we grew with nature…so our thoughts were pure and innocent. Kitty was my first love…we played with ball in the fields…so we three grew together but the passion I had for Kitty was amiss in my sis…even after joining my play school, I took utmost care of her..saw that she was fended on time…I ceremoniously played in the evenings…and the bonding’s grew between us…Seeing me Kitty would wag her tail and took small jumps and coming near to me she jumped on my body…Kitty was of Dachshund breed…short height ed but the shape of body was long so on two toes it reached till my neck even I too was a child…but I regarded myself as the master of Kitty and showed authoritative behavior as well as my gestures were like a mother has for her kids…when she was left for evening walk after having food…Kitty would go alone and after completing its chores…return back straight to our home and if door was locked it would knock with its tail & members of family many times was confused whether there was some guests on the entrance but when peeped through the window…we would find Kitty waiting for her master to take her in…It’s behavior was remarkable unlike other doggies…never ate from guests plate even if it was offered neither tried to lick anything of the house or damage anything…gradually Kitty was aging….one day one street dog bit and from that day its health started deteriorating..lost its eyesight & hearing power…skin infections…very few months of life it had to live…One day my father bought a new puppy mix of Alsatian from Calcutta via aircraft…and introduced it to us…but seeing it Kitty was not at all happy…it started showing its disapproval…one time loyal friend Kitty started ignoring my orders & even did not eat properly…During May vacations…lot of our relatives had poured in and we enjoyed the group of relatives playing cards..cracking jokes, pulling legs on slightest pretext…preparing new dishes & everyone was in playful mood….In morning, I gave their breakfast to both of them…Kitty as well as newcomer…Kitty showed reluctance in having breakfast so I scolded & asked to have the breakfast…But I believe it did not like my irritant behavior…and it went out of the gate and sat there…I tried my best to take her in the precincts of our house…but Kitty ignored my requests…I joined the relatives and was enjoying the day…At 1 pm, I went Kitty…I searched all corners of the house but nowhere it was seen…I went outside of the gate and found Kitty fallen on the ground…An unknown fear gripped me and I raised an alarm..all the members came out alarmed…I was crying inconsolably though at that age I did not know what Death was…My granny came forward & declared that Kitty had breathed its last…No more it existed….I cried a lot…I had seen it’s suffering but did not know that it would be no more with us….Everyone consoled me and said that the suffering has come to an end’s a part and parcel of life…We took Kitty to the River Ganges by car and it was immersed in Holy Ganga…that time I could not bear the sight of immersion…it moved me from within…At that time..I did not know what life & death was…there was only one thought, “WHAT IS MINE IS FOREVER MINE”.The place occupied by Kitty appeared vacant & all belongings of Kitty was dumped in the garbage….I was moved from within…but did not express my emotions & the turmoil within….There was a gut feeling which was eating me from within as why I scolded Kitty though it was not by was my love for her but my stern actions hurt it the most…& it decided to leave us…I felt worse…all other family members was back to their daily chores but my face wore a sad look & did not feel like doing anything from within…The new member saw me meekly & tried to grab my attention though being dog didn’t attract me…because somewhere I felt that this new pup…who was named , “Beauty” was somewhat responsible for the demise of my First Love…In evenings many people among friend’s group,neighbors & few family members poured in receiving the news of Kitty’s death…everyone had a soft corner because of its docile behavior…anyone never saw it in fit of rage…truly a loyal friend….though was very harsh to unknown people or creatures getting inside our precincts….by the voice of its bark we could make out whether any unknown face has arrived at our gate or any creature…like at the sight of snakes…it would yell at like anything….One may find it funny but these things only one can know who has pets….their feelings & expressions….IT IS SAID,”IF YOU KEEP DOGS AND EVEN IF YOU DON’T FEED THEM THEY WILL STILL BE FAITHFUL TO HIS MASTER & EVEN IN DAYS OF HARDSHIP OR VIOLENCE,THEY WILL LAY DOWN THEIR LIFE FOR HIS MASTER UNLIKE MAN WHO LEAVES FAMILY OR FRIENDS IN THE DAYS OF HARDSHIPS”….It’s been years since Kitty left but still memories are as fresh & intact…it’s true…FIRST LOVE NEVER QUITS YOUR MEMORIES…IT RESIDES DEEP INSIDE OURSELVES….SO ARE THE MEMORIES OF KITTY.

Poem written in the memory of kitty…


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was my first day of college…I was very nervous, had heard many stories from
friends and seniors about ragging at colleges and freshers were supposed to
regard their seniors and to fully surrender to their demands…I was bit
different from others blunt…Outspoken…difficult to surrender…this thought
was completely eating me…I was ardent to join the college…everything fresh
was waiting for me to start life…new environment…freedom. (In schools we
have to maintain a lot of decorum…discipline) Whole night I was wide awake
and the thought of stepping into the college sent shivers along my spine…I
had never ever thought that I could feel bounties of pangs…I was ready before
time..Sky blue suit and matching earrings…had to look simple so that eyes of
seniors could not locate me in the crowds

Bye…I am leaving Maa,”…and I rushed out…”Divya, Divya…Wait wait…it’s
your first day, my mother too rushed behind me in the garden and said,
see…it’s your first day…don’t answer back the seniors…be calm…if anyone
passes any comments..Don’t react…blah blah blah…Maa said…always ready
with innumerable do’s and don’ts (hidayat)

baba…maa cool…I know I know…gave a peck on her cheek…it was my way of
expression which always proved to win her heart…she was golden
hearted…mild…very understanding and ever ready to help…I was her first
love, she always said.

was walking towards my college…first day…My heart beats were thumping in my
rib cage….I felt as if My cheeks were burning and this sensation reddened my
face which added more luminance to my looks…this was not my feeling…my well
wishers , friends and my sweet mom always remarked..”Divya…u look beautiful
when ur nervous…”  I was inside the
campus…huge campus sprawled over acres…hustle bustle all around…whole
campus appeared colourful…one could easily make out the fresher’s…all very
conscious…soft spoken and disciplined…rare thing found in colleges ..The seniors moving all around;boys and gals searching a
prey in the crowd…I was slowly advancing towards notice board to find out my
subject’s building …Boy of Six feet stature stood in front of me stopping my
way..cold shiver ran thru my veins and I felt my knees weak to move further…

“Why in a hurry babe…” a hoarse voice broke the silence….”introduce yourself
baby…”a crowd of about ten – fifteen seniors…boys and gals surrounded
me…It appeared as if they were waiting for this moment since long…my cheeks
and ears were burning…The tall boy told their friends, “friends..Are u all ready  …” 
“yes…”they sang in unison…”come on baby…now tell us about
yourself…what u want us to call…what u have prepared for this day…first
day at college…” I stood standstill…I felt numb
one of them said…”come on…start u won’t be spared the long u keep us
waiting more troubles Ur inviting…haha haha” others laughed too.

am divya…with subject Psychology…blah blah blah…” what I said I too did
not know just that I was in speed of 100/min.”

she is super express…someone expressed…but we could not make out what u
said…speak slowly like good’s train stressing each word “I was taken
aback…I myself did not know what I had said except for my name…I felt like
crying but held myself.

am Divya of Pune  with subject Psychology….I like this
college……”could not utter a word more…I was on the verge of
crying…tears flooded my eyes and blurred my vision & I pleaded god to
help me so that tears don’t roll over…the eyes of all of them was tearing
me…I could not stand their glance…boy who had stopped me whispered slowly
near my ears…”I can help u but you have to do a favour.”

was trembling from within and praying to god to help me out…The tall boy took
my silence as my acceptance…”friends…leave her today…she will prepare
herself and answer all your questions..”

of them were astonished at his behaviour but no one said anything. He was the
monitor of his batch or people obeyed him…Whatsoever be the reason all
drifted slowly in all directions but this boy was stood there. I was feeling
helpless and the word favour was knocking me from within. I did not know what
held in store for me…seconds were like hours…I took a step forward….”wait
baby…u have been saved by me so where’s my favour “, for the first time in
half an hour , I glanced at him…broad shoulders, tall and good
heart beat faster, I guess even he could hear my heart beats…”calm
Divya…nothing unusual is my demand , a date with you that’s all “

pierced my eardrums felt as if hot oil has been poured mercilessly…”nothing
unusual” I irked…what he thinks of himself first day he is asking to go on a date…he
does not even know me…it means this is his usual chore..Making advances to
girl for a date…not fair…I mumbled

“Good day baby…u look beautiful…stolen my heart at first glance…first day of
your college.”..I thought was it a movie first day first show what he thinks of
himself..Blah blah blah…”remember my favour…no one will touch you in this
campus…now you are mine…”, he said with utter confidence.

stood aghast, my knees going weak…felt as if I will fall down…few minutes
after…I felt silence near me…I moved my head and found myself standing
alone…I hurried towards the notice board…huge crowd all to one
destination..Notice board…if they would have queued then it would have been
easy for all…but this is our country India…who damn cares…already I was
stressed so I stood sideways waiting for my turn to come…but I did not feel
feasible. I thought better to enquire directly in office rather than falling on
one another or waiting for my turn…

was looking hither thither  to see if I
can find any acquaintance of mine…I found pair of eyes staring at me…the
same boy who had intercepted my way…I felt a bit uneasy and helpless and
tried to look the other way…it’s human instinct the more you try to ignore
but attention is naturally drawn towards even if one does not wish to,  same was
the case with me today…heavy crowd but all unknown faces…first day of
college life …eagerness had taken back seat….I saw Priyanka in the ground ,
felt bit relieved she was not very close but still we were acquainted with each
other and at a place where no one seems to be your own then even distant ones
feels to be close..Human instinct!

sighed with relief and walked to Priyanka. She too was happy to find me.

a pleasant surprise, How are you, Divya”

am fine and very relieved to find you Priyanka…I was feeling lonely and
Almighty listened to my prayers, I believe.”

anything bothering you…r u okay…” she expressed her concern.

briefed her about the confrontation with seniors…I was perplexed but she
enjoyed and laughed at me for feeling let down for such such a minor issue.

 “Divya, enjoy…these days won’t return back
in life…the college life is full of freedom n enjoy at the full. Even you are
going to do the same thing with your juniors in next sem. It’s part of college

is not allowed in colleges these days…”

this is just intro …harassing the juniors are not allowed. This way you will
develop confidence.” I didn’t mention the “favour “issue with Priyanka,
concealed it to myself…I knew Priyanka but I didn’t trust, “ his voice was
ringing in my ears.”

Let’s have tea at canteen…”

to be continued….. 

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