Both our teams overcame the initial hassles. Well that did not come in easy, there was lot of melodrama, catfights, name-calling, and finally after our Principal intervened we started working for our ‘college’. Though both the team members despised each other initially, I guess we somehow mellowed down along the way. Love blossomed as well, and no it wasn’t me. It was Serah and Hridant.
Serah and I were assigned to work on the story board together, after the initial awkwardness,and her faint memory of having thrown soda on my face etc, we somehow managed to work together. Yes we did have very different opinions and views, but somehow we used to find a third way out. Yes, it was neither my way nor her way; it was always a third opinion or idea, which we would mutually agree on.
So eventually the three months of preparations gave way to our competition. Though we did not land the first position, and were ‘content ’of being placed 3rd, I found a Friend in Serah. I envied her, not because she was always ahead of me, but she had a beautiful gift, of masking her sorrows over her ‘Happy-go’ lucky face, and trust me she was too good at it, rather, good is an understatement.
Our friendship grew, and from Rajan, I was christened Rajaaaa. That’s what she used to call me. Serah and Hridant were also going on, as everyone else said ‘Strong’. They were the ‘Perfect Couple’. So if they were so Perfect’ why wasn’t Serah’s smile reaching her eyes? Why did her laughter loose itself somewhere between her upper lips and the bridge of her nose? No no I wasn’t jealous here, I just happened to notice her a lot better than the others did.
Three years just passed away in the blink of an eye. We were awaiting our final year results, and well ‘planning ahead’. I had already decided on pursing writing, and luckily my Parents backed me up as well. Serah was to an extent clueless. She was what they called”Jack of all trades, master of none”. But that was again because she never really placed much importance on a career as such. Although I must add, that in the 3 years, she was a known person. It was not every time that you came across a person, who was fab at music, dance, poetry, art – you name it, Serah was it. So now you know why she wasn’t fascinated with a particular thing. She used to tell me that she would easily get bored, if she realized that she could do certain things without putting in much effort.
However Serah started off as an Intern with an advertising firm, and found her work interesting. Hridant and Serah parted ways in between all this. When, how, why was never known, and I never asked. She used to like that about me. That’s how we grew close.
Three years with Hridant did leave a scar, and that was slowly beginning to heal. A year later, she informed me about Tony. She met Tony through one the projects she was working on, and well they bonded really quick. Well I felt 2 days was really quick . Now Tony was a model from
, and was here just for the week.
However, I’m sure the Serah charm rubbed on him too. He stayed back. UK
As far as I was concerned, I did have my occasional share of relations, break-ups etc. I could never understand as to why I never felt any strong emotion or rather connection towards any of my Girlfriends. I realized why, 6 years later.
I still remember that night, feels like yesterday. I opened the door to see Serah completely drenched, and shivering away. She walked inside leaving wet footprints in her wake. I hate the monsoons, and cannot fathom the pleasure people derive in getting drenched in the rain.
So here she was sitting on the floor with her knees drawn to her chest. Her wet hair clung tightly to her frame as though afraid of being taken away. Her eyes were tightly shut as though warding off invisible demons. Her broad forehead was burrowed in creases that couldn’t be ironed out. A drop of water made its way from the end of her pixie nose to her lips. Her lower lips trembled with the cold, pulling me back into realization that she was shivering. I rushed to get her a towel and something dry to change into.
She was still sitting as I had left her. Two fat tears rolled out of her eyes. She bit her lower lip and looked up at me. She shook her head sideways, and looked down. I bent down and started drying out her hair and handed her the towel and the clothes I got her. She silently got up, and tiptoed towards the bathroom.
As she came back I handed her a steaming cup of hot chocolate.
‘How is Tony’? Our conversations used to usually begin with ignorance of the others situations. We felt it would give us the time to decide if we wanted to talk or not. I know it sounds foolish, but this was how it was, this was how it was always going to be.
I knew they were having a rough time. The last conversation I remember was of her wanting to settle down with Tony, however he was hesitant. She was done with their on and off relation status, done with him cheating on her, and then begging for forgiveness. She wanted Tony to take them seriously.
‘Tony and I are not together anymore’, she paused, I knew there was something more to the breakup, and I knew she was coming to it. She looked helplessly at me. Her big round black eyes, screamed for help, and yet they were hollow. I looked away and puffed away on my cigarette.
‘I’m pregnant’, she sighed ’he doesn’t want the baby, but I want the baby, I’m keeping my child.’ She finished in one breath.
To those of you who are wondering about her parents in this equation. Well Serah never spoke about them, and I never asked. I threw the cigarette away and saw it holding onto its last breath before fading away.
‘How old is the Baby’
‘3 weeks’, her eyes twinkled.
‘I’m not sure about this pregnancy thing Serah, but I guess you should not be getting drenched in the rain again, the baby may catch a cold or something’
She looked at me and stared for a millisecond before bursting out into a thunderous laughter. For the first time in 10 years I saw her happy.
to be continued