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….. 
 

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