“Pudhe chala, pudhe chala”, conductor shooed me even before I could enter into the bus completely.
I scanned the rows of seats, more to check out for girls than for the empty seats.
No girls, let alone the possibility of finding a beautiful one. Instead, I found a pair of empty seats behind the driver’s cabin labeled ‘Striyannsathi’. Reluctantly I sat at the window, recalling those terrifying episodes of aunties arguing over these reserved seats for ladies. Battle of sexes.
The bus was reaching to the next stop and I could see a ray of hope. A flock of birds. Four. I counted in my mind. The group reached to the seats and impulsively I came to my feet and walked ahead and stood there. From the corner of my eye I checked the girls. Did I see her smiling at me as she took my window seat?
My heart started pounding. Sine waves of ‘x’ frequency and ‘y’ amplitude ran through my spine.
Shut up Rahul. Come out of those CET preparations. You are through. It’s done.
Excitement had started building up inside me.
My first day in that disciplined engineering college is going to be eventful. Hope she is in my class.
Rahul was sitting in the same bus with his diary. He had written that incidence as a story. He hoped it was another Two States or Five Point in making. But after that first day he had not got any time to write anything further. Well, it wasn’t just about the time. Nothing had happened anyways.
He would catch the same bus everyday and look for her on the next stop. But only her friends would get into the bus. He was missing her so much. He was scared if she had fallen sick. He had even thought of asking about her to her friends but he was scared. He did not know how will she take it. She might find it embarrassing.
It’s a Saturday today. It’s been a week since I saw her first.
Rahul was sitting behind her friends in the bus, reading the diary page over and over.
I don’t even know her name.
He felt very sad. His thoughts were broken by the phone ring of one of her friends. He listened to the conversation carefully.
“Hey Neha, where have you been? Didn’t even call us. its been a week. What’s the news?”, her friend was excited and was talking very loudly.
Oh, so her name is Neha. I love it.
“You got into IIT? That too Kanpur? Thats so cool.” the friend of her was getting louder with every sentence.
“Oh, you are already there at Kanpur now? Don’t tell me. We did not even meet. What? The lectures started already?”
The other two friends were trying to snatch the phone from her to talk to Neha.
How I wish I could do that too and talk to Neha. My Neha. I wish I could tell her, I am missing her a lot.
“Hey wait, I will write it down. This mobile will be with you?”, the friend took out one of her notebook and started scribbling. She was repeating each digit to confirm.
Bus reached to the college and Rahul literally ran towards the PCO booth near the bus stop. He took out 6-7 coins from his pockets. He recalled the number and dialed.
“Hello!”, a sweet voice answered at the other end.
This has to be her. Yes, it is her.
Rahul slammed the receiver back and cut the call. His heart was pounding loudly. He did not know what to say.
Calm down. You can do it, Rahul. You have to do it. Just speak up dude. You know she likes you.
After a minute he found the courage to dial her number again. Slowly he dialed it. He was deciding how to talk to her and what to say.
After a ring the call was answered. Rahul’s heartbeat stopped. The words froze in his mouth again.
The sweet voice at the other end spoke, “Hello?
“Rahul, I know its you. Please don’t hang up”.