This is just a story that poured out of my heart a few times ago….
“Knock! knock!”, somebody knocked on Raj’s door. When Raj opened the door, he was astonished to find a beautiful girl standing in front of him.
Unsure Raj asked her with slight hesitation, “Did you knock my door”?
“Yes, Can I get some water please?”
“She’s beautiful”, Raj said to himself and “What “, to the girl”.
The girl was wearing snow white salwar suite with fur around the neck which made the dress all the more attractive. White skin tight pyjamas made her a perfect Indian beauty. She had a fair complexion with black hair which was clipped over her head.
“Must be five six”, Raj guessed of her height.
“Oooooyaya why not. I’ll just be back with it”, Raj said and moved towards his bathroom.
“Drinking water”, the lady said with some force in her voice.
“Here it is………your drinking water”, Raj appeared from his bathroom with a bottle of water in his hand.
The girl took the bottle slowly and unwillingly. She had something which she couldn’t speak out. Raj smelled unwillingness and reason for this unwillingness as well.
“Actually I don’t have a fridge or any other means of cooling the water. So, to keep the water cool, bathroom is the best place. Or else you would have hot water direct from the water tank. Just imagine. So, don’t hesitate but quest your thirst. It’s water and nothing except that”, I swear.
Now, the girl got a new confidence and she drank all one litre in a single breath.
“Thank You very much”, the girl said and turned.
“New to this place?”, curious Raj asked.
“Ya”,saying, she stepped ahead.
“But where are you from?”
“From Jharkhand”, she said and again tried to proceed to her room.
“Ok but what’s your name. Last question”, Raj understood her reluctance to go to her room.
“Anjali” , girl responded unwillingly. She was annoyed a bit but was obliged for the bathroom water.
“And I’m Raj ………..Raj from Jharkhand………….Here pursuing my B.Com honours…………..From Delhi University ………second year ,that’s all about me…………..And you?”,he started with hesitant sound and finished with an interrogative expression on his face.
“Very good but I didn’t ask anything about you”.
“Right”, Raj stated with a smile on his face.”You didn’t ask but you wanted to and you didn’t only due to somebody inside you who was pulling you back and………and you just were listening to him suppressing the other one who wanted you to ask all these. It happens with everybody on meeting strangers.”
“Nothing of this sort happened with me”, Anjali said and walked away.
Anjali walked to her room pondering over Raj’s words. She was thinking about Raj, though she didn’t want to.
“Ya, he was right! I wanted to ask all that he had said but……………. he was right “. Since her schooldays itself, Anjali was unable to do what she wanted. She had been suppressive all through and the somebody always pulled her, though she never realized about the ‘somebody’ except today.
On the other side, Raj too was thinking hard over the words he spoke.
“No, I was all ok”
Raj had done something, he was proud of. He wanted to talk to a girl, he wanted to have a girl friend, and do all that his friends had already done. And today he had given a starting touch to it. He was 21 and so was above the required age. Today, he was getting a feeling of some kind of accomplishment. He stood before the mirror and smiled with confidence. Then he remembered something and pounced upon his bed grabbing his cellphone kept there. He pressed a few keys and brought the phone close to his ears. He was walking very fast but his heartbeat was still normal. He was feeling much stronger than he earlier used to.
“Yaya…, tell me”, reply came.
“Hey I did it! I said everything.”
“To whom and what”, Manish was a bit puzzled.
“A girl has come next to my room and I told her everything about me ………and………and………..”
“And what “
“And she even said that she hadn’t asked me all that details.”
“Then I repeated the dialogue you had given.”
“Arererere…!That’s not a dialogue but a simple fact……..ok. So then”
“She went thinking and I’m sitting”.
“Stupid!! Now you go to her room demanding something a new person can have…..like a nail ….or a….. aaaaa…….. ok go for a nail and apologize for speaking too much. Then talk as sensibly as you can and don’t try to be too smart. It would prove nonsense of you. Ask for permission to sit and explain the things she could get from the shops around and which all shops gave quality with correct price exetra exetra. And hey, don’t go too far today. Remember that patience is a virtue.”
“Asking for a nail…… damn fucking idea.”, Raj thought and dropped the idea of going to her room the same day.
The next afternoon, Raj went to Anjali’s room and said,” Can I have some water today. Actually I Forgot to keep it in the bucket and now are nearly at the boiling temperature. If you don’t have it, I will manage it from the shops. It’s just a matter of a few coins you know.”
“I have it. I have a ghara that keeps the water cool. Why don’t you too get it? Please get in. It’s too hot outside.”
The statement got Raj turn into a believer as he had wanted exactly the same thing and his plan was working.
“Sorry ….I’m sorry for speaking too much yesterday.” Saying this he got in slowly. Slowly because he was afraid of the world around. He was afraid of himself, he was afraid of the people, his friends and the consequences. Raj sat on the bed there as that was the only thing he could keep his back on. No chair no mat. Just a table and a bed. The room had been kept very organized. Table and bed were very close, almost touching each other. “Must be studying on the bed”, Raj guessed. There was a space for kitchen pulled out of the room and was just enough for one person to stand.
“Then Raj suddenly realized that it was exactly same as his own room. Same length, same breadth same everything”, he thought.
“Water “, Raj’s inspection was interrupted. Along with inspection Raj was also thinking of his future, his success and his failure, all kinds of ifs and buts. And the water broke his thinking process.
“I thought over your statements and found them to be very true mmmmm…………. what name you had said bhaiya?’
That was something Raj had not thought of but now he was a lot more confident.
“Fuck I’m not your bhaiya. I’m simply Raj for you and call me that. You understand my words. Or you can also call me Raj sir for showing respect. Ya Raj Sir would be better.”
That was all spontaneous and it’s composition was his own as the relationship could shatter the possibility of any other relationship.
“Ok Raj sir”, the girl agreed,” You were right with all that you said. And I should say that you have really impressed me with your crystal clear thinking. Can we be friends? She held her hand out to shake.
Raj wanted to agree at once but wasn’t quite sure and nor was he prepared for the offer. “I’ll have to think a bit”, he said with confident style and apaced out immediately. He reached his room and thought,”Ooooo! It was stupid of me to ask for time in doing friendship. Should I go to her now? No, that’ll make a better idiot out of me. I’ll see her tomorrow”.
On the other hand Anjali too was calculating, “Did I say correct things? Was the time correct or did I hurry in saying this. One thing is for sure that he too likes me or else he wouldn’t have been angry on my use of the word.”
By this time Raj had called Manish. Actually Manish was a friend of Raj who had always helped him, whatever be the problem. He was little more extrovert than Raj though in studies, Manish existed nowhere around Raj. Raj got good marks in the board and moved to Delhi while Manish stayed in Madhopur, doing some sort of a wholesale business together with pursuing his B.Com pass course from some college where he only needed to sit for exams and that too was mostly done by others. It was also said that Manish had managed a few people who provide him with the degree at just 5000 rupees. They were the people from university who did the good job of giving degree to a lot of Manishlike students at the expense of a few bundles. And the reason for getting the forged certificate was even more surprising – the guys got it so that they could get better dowry on showing the graduation certificate But Manish needed it for his dad’s sake.
“Hey Manish dear , how’s your business ?”
“Leave it for now and tell me about you.”
“She forwarded her hands for friendship and I demanded time to think”
“Are…yaar you should have agreed to it. Anyways, now you should meet her day after tomorrow and the time gap will make your relationship much stronger. That’s all ok but you haven’t told me anything about her name or hometown and I’m one with full support for your success .”
“Anjali is her name, I told you and she’s also from Jharkhand but I don’t know her hometown till now.”
“Anjali……from Jharkhand”,Manish exclaimed .
“What’s the matter dear, why are you so surprised?”
“Go and know the city immediately “.
“But you said to meet her day after tomorrow and nowwwww………”,Raj was interrupted.
“Please go my friend and say that you’re ready for friendship only if you know her hometown
“But why Manish what’s the matter? “
“Just do what I said”.
“Yes sir”, Raj said.
But Manish had kept the phone beforehand. He was now thinking of his Anjali. Actually Manish too liked a girl living near his shop, whose name was Anjali. He wanted to tell her about his feelings but had to postpone his plans till the time his business makes a hold in the city as he didn’t have anything to boast of. In the meantime he heard that Anjali was going to Delhi for further studies. He was happy and sad simultaneously on hearing the news. Happy for he would be able to give his full effort to his business and Sad for being unable to see her for quite a long time. Anyways, Anjali went to Delhi. Then Manish worked hard and his business got to a nice status and he was now prepared to open his heart the day Anjali returned from Delhi.
Drowned in his own thoughts, he was disturbed by the ringing mobile, ”Yaaadein yaad aati hain…..”. He picked up the phone seeing Raj’s name blinking on the screen.
Hello Manish! Happy news ……I explained all my feelings to her and too has similar feelings for me. I can’t talk much as we are going to a restaurant for dinner. And yes, for your query, she’s from our town of Madhopur. Ok the….”
Raj didn’t listen more and dropped the mobile there on the table. Shining drops appeared on his cheek and Manish wept and wept. He delayed the decision and it costed him his love.