The LOVE CATALYST 

The CONFESSION 

It was this superb weather after the mid terms that seemed to make college all the more interesting for me. The sweetly shining sun showering its mild heat added with that cool breeze in the air, “Winter was here”. Besides doing the usual notoriety with Darshan added to the fun. Although Darshan seemed like some lad who had lost his way into a big fair. He was weird but this was something different.

“Bhai, all okay?” I asked him that day amidst the chemistry class. “Nothing!”, he said. Never had he so blatantly replied to me.

“Haa ab seth ho gye aap log. Garibo ko kyu bataoge?” 

“Bhai, plzz you pay attention there. Shruti might need your notes later.” 

This reply was enough for me to understand why this lad had lost his way in this fair. Shruti hadn’t yet arrived even though the mid term breaks were over. 

“Darshu, scene kya hai ye Shruti wala?” I asked him this time wanting to know everything. 

“Yaar nilya kyaa batau abb? I think I’m in love. It’s like it was nothing before but now she has became the one who reigns my thoughts most of the time. This hasn’t happened with me before and I tried to get her out but she has become like an ant that sticks to jaggery. She has become like my epitome of happiness right now. All the things that I love, I end up having her in them.”
” Like how?” i asked. 

” Arey its like, if I love forts, I see myself clicking her  pics as she stands by the walls with her arms spread out. If I love food, I see myself feeding her. If I love rain, I see myself draping a coat over her as she feels the chills. If I love sleeping, I see myself cuddling with her. I don’t know why this is happening bhai? ” he said. Every comparison of his made him blush and that’s when I , too, was sure about this lost lad searching for love. Before I  could suggest anything to him came those golden words, 

” BHAI SETTING LAGA NA.”
To be continued….. 

The LOVE CATALYST 

The STIMULUS 

Being in a junior college without the burden of studying had been the best feeling after those mindsquashing board exams. Attending lectures hadn’t been so interesting. We had also learned this bunking phenomenon whilst sneaking out before the next teacher entered. Everything around us gave the feeling of ‘MAA TERA BETA BADA HO GAYA HAI MAA’. 

The bond between Darshan and me, too was blossoming into something stronger than just friends. From birdwatching to brunching, from dozing off mid lectures to standing up for each other, there was everything that a BHAI does between us. Yet, when Shruti was around, things started to twist and turn and roll and jump. Shruti was that occasional bird who would join us during our mischiefs. The girl who used to have no one in this class apart from me had turned to everyone’s, even though mild, but secret crush. She used to hangout with her girl gang which used to flock together everywhere as if they hunted in a group. 

“Nilay, can you give me your chemistry notes? ” she asked me once. I was busy with some stuff so I’d ignored her. “Nilay?” she called again. Before I could look up, came a thud on my head from our very own Darshan ji, “Are Nilya, bichari kabse puuch rhi hai wo, dhyaan kidhr hai tera? .. Deena usko book.” Hitting me on the head usually enraged me but brocodes cooled this rage at that time. I handed over the book to her and turned my attention to this Hulk besides me whose gaze was locked on her departure. 

“Bhaiiii, gayi wo!!” I exclaimed standing in front of his face. What followed was funny weird and shocking as he replied, “Hamesha ke liye toh nahi naa??” with an expression of shyness clearly visible

To be continued…. 

The LOVE CATALYST

THE PRELUDE

It was one fine rainy day when our colleges had started. The air was filled with the feeling of being a grown up as we walked the pavement to our new college that we were enrolled to. Add to it the blooming essence of the soil in the rains. We here referred to my friend Darshan. Till 10th he was just like any other acquaintance that I had but as soon as the admission process for the junior college got over I was glad that there was atleast someone with me. 

As we entered the class, I was actually thrilled seeing so many new faces and that too without the usual uniform… Everyone had their own styles and attitudes. From a hipster to a nerd, from a heroine to a geek, they were everywhere as if the jungle had organised a huge meeting of the animals living in there. We sneaked through these animals to the third last bench as sitting in the first rows was not our cup of tea and doing the nautankiness was in my blood veins. And then started the bird watching game, Darshan was kind of similar to me so he too joined in the natural process. We looked for every bird on every branch in the class. Some of the faces were familiar and some of them were totally alien to me. This thing went on for three lectures and the bell rang. As soon as the professor stepped out the whole place turned out into some sort of market with different pitches of voices being heard. 

“Chal bahar jaake aate hai! ” said Darshan rhetorically. We walked through our small marketplace looking at faces who looked back at us as if we were people with long noses and big ears. As we moved out through the door, I heard a voice call me,”Hey, Nilay!”. 

Startled with this girly voice we looked back, it was Shruti. She was one of the cutest girl in the class. I knew her as we were in the same classes for 9th but never have had the guts to talk to her. Even here I had watched her but there’s always that thing called “AUKAD KE BAHAR” waali feeling which put barriers in my mind. And here she was, calling me. 

I went upto her and said,”Hey, Shruti right? So you too in this college? “, those were the stupidest words that I could manage at that time, yet she replied smiling,” Yeah! So nice to see you here. Idhr koi bhi pehchan ka ny hai yaar.” My internal demons replied with,”Are hum janme hi kaahe hai?” but I gulped them and said,”I know it sucks. I’m glad I have at least one friend. Actually two now.” 

I know I sucked at building rapports with girls but this was it. 
To be continued… 

HER 21ST BIRTHDAY

The happiest face there was of her father’s. 

He whispered to his first love, “How fast has she grown,  I still remember those times when her tiny little fingers used to wrap around mine.” He reminisced the day when his second love had set foot in this world. From that day to this celebration now, he had  been witness to everything that she had been through these 21 years. 

She said, “My love, I know what surge of emotions you are going through. I remember each moment that you both have had and the number of times I’ve lost to both of you.” Both giggled at this, as it had been the story always, when both the father and daughter won over every argument over their mother. “Baba, Aai”, as she fondly called them, “Come here, It’s time for the cake cutting.” 

A three-tier cake awaited them as they all gathered near the table. “How could she always go like Baba Aai and not Aai Baba”, she said. Her baba had the winners smile, as he said those two words again, “I WIN”. Everytime Baba quietly won over Aai as he was her superhero, her knight in shining armour, her saviour, her universe. 

“Ready?” the 21 year old asked as she cut through the first tier of the cake slicing of a piece from it amidst loud voices singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU. She turned towards her superhero and fed him the first bite. “I WIN” he said to her mother again. 

The cake cutting was done with as the Father’s daughter had turned 21 today. 21 years of growing up that her father had seen. 21 years that her father had grew with her. 21 years of memories that her father carried with him. 

“Honey, do u remember her first bday?” he asked his wife. She kept silent as she knew it was a rhetorical question and her love would b going on with the story. 

“How tiny she was dressed in that white tshirt. I clearly remember. Even though people were gathered and hoarded around her, our little princess stood there giving the sweetest smile to everyone. And and you remember the way she used to wink. The way she held the knife that day as if she had conquered some big thing. My daughter has grown up”

“Indeed she has. And she has been your daughter only” she said with a made-up smile. “Why do u fell so love?” he said with a wide mischievous grin. 

“Ohh! As if u don’t know. Remember those tyms when she used to take my odhani and wrap around her and then wud take her elder sister’s purse. And she wud make u hole her hand and take rounds of our house saying we r going to d-mart. All that was fine but my heart shattered when she used to say, “Only mi and baba will go. Aai tu nko yeu.” How rude of her? “she said making faces. 

” How could i forget that? Carrying her fake bags. Stopping in the middle as she checked out a fake product. That and the game where i had to taste the tea made by her. Ohh! I so clearly remember the way she used to wave hands as if she made the world’s best tea” he said continuing,”Also the blindfolds game of hers where if i found her she would say,”Baba tula distay na sagla!Cheating krtoy tu” and wud make me again go blindfolded.”

“YES”, she said but some sort of gates of baba’s mind had opened and he didn’t listen to that yes. He continued,”The way her big cute cheeks bounced when I lifted her and ran everywhere in the house. And and do you remember that time when she looked at me with her tiny eyes wide open, the time I clean shaved. I bet that was the only time u might have won.”

“Also remember, when she was some six years old, she used to  forcefully put ur odhani in the back of her top making it look like a queens cape and she used to sit on her chair like a queen.”he asked her. 

“Oh!  Yeah and the queen then let out orders to her mother as she made her father sit beside her as her advisor. You would have had a blast that time making me do things right? ” she said as both of them chuckled. 

“Everything feels as if it happened yesterday. The time she used to wait for me at the door and seeing a glimpse of me would rush down and cling onto me. The time when she made that first greeting card. I still can’t forget those cute little strokes on her face as she made it.”he said. 

“Baba Aai where are my gifts?” came asking a 21 year old girl as she searched for her parent’s gifts all over the place. 

He slid his hand in the pocket and took out some keys which had a ribbon attached to it and a greeting which read, “HAPPIES BDAY SHARA! WE LOVE YOU!” 

Sharvari understood that it was the thing that she had asked him some time ago. He had never let her down. She hugged him tightly as she clinched those keys saying, “I LOVE U SOOO MUCH BABA!!” and she ran downstairs. 

He looked at his wife and said, “I WIN”  again