It was 2.30 am. Even the couple had gone to sleep. The adjacent compartment was probably full of youngsters celebrating their friend’s birthday
in the train itself. This reminded me of Mitsu’s birthday celebration 2 years ago.
Dec 25, 2010 12 am
“ Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy birthday dear Mitsu. Happy birthday to you!”
“ Thanks a lot, Niket. I’ll better hang up now. Kajal, Teena, Monica- the entire hostel gang is banging the door of my bathroom. Had I not locked myself inside, you couldn’t have wished me first. And it’s smelling too bad here…yuck!”
“ But…I wanted to talk to you.. These girls in your hostel! Ask them to go and sleep. It’s the day when the most gorgeous girl on earth was born. It’s my day….”
“ Mitali, are you coming out by yourself or shall we break open the door?”- shrieked the entire gang.
“ Niket, we’ll talk tomorrow. Ok?”, Mitsu prompted.
“ No.. I don’t know anything. I’ll wait for your call.”
“ But it would be too late by then Niket..”
“ Mitali, your b’day falls just once in a year. We never talk late nights because you do not like it. But just tonight….once….your birthday afterall!”
“ Okay..I won’t promise but I’ll try. I myself don’t know when these people would leave me.”
“ Call me up even if it’s 6 in the morning. I’ll wait.”
“I’ll give you a missed from my BSNL sim. Will you then call from your landline? It’s free naa! Only if it’s not a problem..”
“ Ok..madam Kanjoos. I will. No problem at all.”
“ Oye don’t call me Kanjoos. I am a prudent investor.”
“ Yaa..yaaa.. kanjoos in technical terms- Prudent Investor..”
“ You cannot call me a miser. I do spend generously…but only when it’s actually required. I want value for money. Being CA students, we are taught to do the cost-benefit analysis.”
Can anybody believe she’s the only daughter of a wealthy father? Would–be Mitali Mukherjee resembles the thrifty Rani Mukherjee of Tara-rum-pum. But I like this habit of hers. She is just the same with everyone: be it the maid-servant Basanti Bai or her moneyed friend Jharna. She never lets anybody feel uncomfortable or inferior.
“ Kanjoos…kanjoos….kanjoos”, I teased her.
“ Niket…teri atmahatya kar dungi!”
“ Hum toh pehle hi mar mite hai..”
“ Haaay..haay…romantic stuffs! That won’t impress me.”
“ So what will impress you madam?”
“ More than words”, Mitsu replied.
“ More than words! What’s that? I didn’t get you..”
“ Leave it..You’ll never get me!”
“ Shall I bring Mars or Jupiter for you?”
“ No need. I am happy on earth. If you can do something, then please bring my Shin Chan back
on Hungama. They have stopped telecasting the show.”
“ Craaazy? He’s just a cartoon.”
“ For heaven’s sake…Don’t call him a cartoon. He’s my invisible mentor.”
Mentor? Shin Chan?
“ Mitsu…tu talli ho gayi!”
“ I’m not kidding.I owe my rank in PCC to him. Whenever I didn’t feel like studying, Shin Chan used to rejuvenate me with his pranks and mischiefs. He used to freshen up my mood. And he reminds me of my cute cousins at Hyderabad.”
I was right. Mitali is a complete gone case. But a cute gone case with a golden heart.
Thak..thak..thak.. “ High time now Mitali…It’s 12.25 now.. You don’t come out within 2 minutes and we’ll cut the pineapple cake ourselves…And finish it too.. You won’t even get a morsel.”- the gang sounded frustrated.
“ Niket, I have to hang up now. Can’t afford missing that cake..my favourite flavour. Take medicines.”
“ Take medicines too. Remember I’ll wait for your missed call.”
Mitali finally opened the door. The entire gang of gundis
swinged her in air 21 times.
“ Many boyfriends to you! Happy birthday to you….”- that was their reformed birthday chant.
“ What were you doing inside for so long, Mitali? And what were you talking about when you stepped outside? I overheard you saying something about medicines.”
“ Oh yaa…Actually…how do I say? …actually…loose motions…my friend on phone was advising me to take proper medicines.”
“Poor girl! Loose motions on the birthday. That’s why we always advise you to eat sensibly. Anyways, you take Roko. These Roko tablets are very effective.”
“It’s time to cut the cake now.”- Mitali exclaimed.
“But Mitali, this pineapple cake will aggravate your loose motions.”
“ No…no…Pineapple suits my immune-system. Let’s not waste anymore time. I am damn hungry.”-Mitsu.
“ Hungry! After 8
gulab-jamuns, 3 laddus, 4 chapatis, 2 pakodas, two plates of rice and 1 cup
fruit-custard, you are still hungry Mitsu!”
“ Nazar mat laga…” Another patent phrase of Mitsu.
Mitsu’s cell beeped.
Message from: Him
Time: 12.45 am
Tune in to Radio Mirchi within 5 mins.A surprise for you.
Before Mitsu could even read the full sms, Monica snatched the cell from her and read the message aloud. Everybody started teasing her.. “ …HIM! Who’s this HIM Mitali? Secret affair, haa?”
Mitsu sighed in relief that she hadn’t saved my name.
“ Ehh…nobody. Just a stalker troubling
me since the past few days.”
Tina turned the radio on
and tuned in to Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM.
Dr. Love welcomes you back on Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM. We have a caller here who wants to convey a message.
So Mr. Caller. Whom do you want to convey this message to?
– To the most special girl in my life.
– My life
Your name?– Her world.
Ok..dude. Let’s hope your life is listening to Mirchi right now.
– Just wanted you to know…
you make me smile,
make me laugh…
Just wanted you to know
I love being near you…
I love looking into your eyes,
hearing you laugh…
Just wanted you to know
I am so glad you came into my life…
so glad we met…
I just wanted to tell you…
just in case you did not know.
Many many happy returns of the day!
That’s great, Mr. HER WORLD.
– I would like to dedicate Bryan Adam’s “ When you love someone” to her.
Okay..here we play the song. Mirchi sunne wale always khush, always khush babe…Kahin mat jayega..Dr Love will be right back after this song. Keep falling in love….
“ I think this stalker is crossing his limits. Let’s teach him a lesson. Just one punch and he’ll be in coma for next 5 years.”, muttered Vishaka, a naari-mukti Kendra activist.
“ Chill Vishaka, the guy seems to be really serious. Moreover he loves our Mitali…”, said Tina.
” Bolte toh sabhi yahi hai…kaun kitna serious hai woh toh waqt hi batata hai..”- Vishaka
“ Girls…will you please leave this topic. I’ll handle the situation myself. Don’t worry. Cake time
The girls eat less and waste more. They decorated each other’s faces with the delicious cake.. Pineapple make-up you
may call it!
“ So where’s the treat tomorrow?”
“ Yaa…anywhere you say!”
“ Oye kanjoos.. Uru-kripa dhaba won’t do this year. We want the treat at TI’s food-court.”
“ …..ok…ay…”, Mitsu said with a heavy heart.
After much leg-pulling, chatting and gossiping, the girls finally left Mitsu by 3 am. Her roommate Kajal was fast asleep.
I had been waiting for the missed call since long. Meanwhile I had planned on paper how
we would be spending the entire day- just the two of us..no kebab-mein-haddis this time.
“ Meri duniya hai tujh mein kahin..tere bin main kya…kuch bhi nahin…”- my cell rang.
You might be wondering why I keep on mentioning the ringtones all the time. Well, I have this habit of judging the attitudes, moods and tastes of people via their ringtones. The ringtones say a lot about a person’s personality and state of mind.
“ So those devils
finally abandoned you.”
“ Niks, thanks for the Mirchi message. But the girls have grown suspicious now. We ought to be careful.”
“ Accha tell me, what are your plans for tomorrow?”
“ Nothing special. Not yet decided.”
“ I want you to spend the entire day with me, I mean just both of us…”
“ Niket, you know it’s not possible. I have to give a treat to all the hostel friends, plus Gopu, Bimla…all the CPA friends… But the real reason is that I don’t want to do anything that would make me feel guilty.”
“ Guilty? You love me, don’t you? And you know I am not that kind of guy…”
“ No.. I didn’t mean that. See, love is a very sacred feeling. And I don’t want to malign its purity with a guilty conscience. I don’t have to sit behind you on your bike
or spend some lonely time with you or do anything unreasonable to prove that I love you. My love for you is not so feeble, nik.”
“ Just asking you to spend some time with me is an unreasonable demand! Is that what you mean to say?”
“ Offoh..Niket. You are taking it otherwise. And sanu ki fark penda si! In your company, the entire world becomes invisible to me. I might hangout in a group, but I’ll be just in your company .”
“ Haay…haay…romantic stuffs. But I am definitely impressed. Baatein-shaatein banana toh koi aap se seekhein!”
“Chalo…good-night hai ji.. It’s 3.45 am.”
“Wish we could talk and talk and go on talking… Don’t feel like hanging up. But will have to. Otherwise my princess will get dark-circles…lol.Good-night Mitsu. Happy birthday once again. And merry Christmas!”
25 Dec 7.30 am
The class had already started. And Mitsu madam had not yet arrived.
She’s an all-time late-latif. But when you like someone, you like even their bad habits. And when you dislike someone, even their good habits will irritate you. Not just the good habits, we actually detest all the habits of the one we despise. Even the way that person shakes hands, how he/she walks, talks or eats becomes intolerable.
Varshaan was known in the entire school for her punctuality.
I find this habit of Mitsu very cute. But I didn’t want all the loafers of CPA to notice her when she came late.
At last she came with an elusive intensity that glorified the surrounding. It seemed as if the sun had emanated to announce the dawn showering the weeny rays
and enlightening our hearts. She was dressed in a denim Capri teamed with a sleeveless pastel white top and flat white sandals. She looked no lesser than a Westside model.
Her glittery hair were all cuddled into a white band matching her dress. Some of the left loose hair strands were kissing her face. So blessed were those strands to feel the captivating touch of her face..
She was looking as fresh as early morning dew…as soothing as a silky touch on a small baby’s skin… as lovely as the blues of the sky…as sweet as a jelly mounting over a pudding..
Though the outfit was western, the dress wasn’t revealing or provoking but extremely graceful which added more delight to her charismatic personality.
Her entry into the class was a perfect bliss to watch. But not a single boy dared to comment or hoot. It’s all about the way you carry yourself. A girl covered in a full-sleeved high-neck salwar kameez and a 3.5 metre dupatta
may look indecent if she carries herself in an improper manner……eyes inviting attention, trotting with latkas-jhatkas and thumkas… Whereas a girl in western outfits can look graceful if her eyes carry a modesty. The attitude matters more than the apparel.
Her cell chimed “Hosh walon Ko Khabar Kya
Bekhudi Kya Cheez Hai
Ishq Ki Jiye Phir Samajhiye
Zindagi Kya Cheez Hai”
Another cute habit of Mitsu. She always forgets to put her cell on silent mode whilst in class. And we both love Jagjit Singh’s songs and Ghazals. Mitsu’s favourite is ‘Hosh walon..’ while mine is ‘Jab saamne tum aa jate ho….’
Now the loud ringtone had given the CPA chaps a valid reason to hoot. For next 10 mins, the ‘Ho’ sounds echoed in the entire classroom. Mitsu felt embarrassed.
Next was Gopu’s turn. Waseem Sir spotted him reading an sms in class. “ Seems the sms is more important than my lecture! Kis dost ka hai?”, he asked angrily.
Instead of Gopu, the mob replied-“ Sir dost nahi, dostni ka hai!”
Even Sir couldn’t control his laughter.
The class finished by 10.30 am. We reached the parking slot. Mitsu used to come to CPA with Bimla. Bimla had a
yellow Yo-bike. On the Yo-bike today was lying a bouquet and a teddy
with a note. The note said:
Dear Mitali Ji
You do not know me. But I am your batch-mate at CPA. I might be a part of the world for you. But you are the world for me. Many many happy returns of the day! Keep smiling! Your smile kills many and hence will solve the problem of over-population of India.
-Your Secret Admirer
“ Damn, I’ll kill this rascal!” I grew
“ We can’t do anything Niket. We don’t even know who this secret admirer is!”-Bimla
“ It may be somebody’s prank. And even if it isn’t, who is bothered? Niket, all the girls at CPA are pretty used to such things. It’s an everyday affair.” Mitsu tried to calm me down.
“ But I don’t like this. If ever I catch hold of him, I’ll beat him
so mercilessly that he’ll start addressing all the girls at CPA as Behenjis!
” My anger knew no bounds.
Mitsu gave the bouquet & the teddy to the watchman. “ Give this to your wife when you go home. She’ll be very happy.”, said she to Raju kaka. She tore up the note and asked me to forget the episode.
Mitsu was on leave. Jignesh bhai had a half-day while Gopu, Bimla and I decided to bunk the office. The four of us rushed to PVR
and luckily, a friend of ours had 4 extra tickets for the movie Ghajini, 11 am show. Jignesh promised to join us after 1.30 and left for his office.
The movie was fantastic. None of us could hold our tears in the last scene when Aamir opens Jiya’s gift…the best moment of the movie.
Mr.Perfectionist Aamir Khan
is Mitsu’s idol.
“ Aamir was looking so cute in the movie. And the action scenes…….”
“ Control yourself Mitsu…he’s already married!”, exclaimed Bimla,
“ Arre, I just admire him. I don’t have any intentions to marry him. One should never marry a filmstar or a cricketer. I pity their wives!”
“ Why? It’s an honour to be the wife of someone so celebrated,”- Gopu
“ That’s your misconception. How can a woman see her own husband running around trees holding the hands of another woman? What impact would it have on the minds of their
children? Disgusting!”- Mitsu
“ Yup.. I think you’re right Mitsu. And in the film-industry, the stars hug
practically everybody they meet in launch parties, award functions, meetings, etc”- Bimla
“ Yaa…There’s no difference between a special-one & an anyone in their lives.”-Mitsu
“ Girls, I am damn hungry. Let’s have
something at Pizza-hut.”- Gopu.
Jignesh too joined us at Pizza-hut. Who says young people in love are very seldom hungry? Both mitsu & I are very serious for each other yet we are the most gluttonous people ever born on earth!
After having fed
our stomachs heavily, we all marched towards Scary House.
I had a surprise for Mitsu- a diamond studded
golden ring. And I had planned to slide the ring secretly onto her finger in the darkness of Scary House.
We bought five 40 rupee tickets and stood in a long queue
that led to the
house. It being Christmas, the rush was more and mostly consisted of
school-going kids and teenagers. “Mera number kab
aayega?”, a kid asked his mom. “ Aayega beta, aayega..bahut jaldi aayega..”, replied his diplomatic mom.
Our turn came after waiting for 20 mins. We all entered in pairs- Bimla and Jignesh; Mitsu and I while Gopu left unpaired was trailing behind us. The care-taker asked us to climb a flight of stairs & then vanished. It was then that weird and strange things started happening. Suddenly, a ghost pounced
on me…then a dead body fell off a bed. The turns were scary and we never knew what would be round the corner. I almost had a heart-attack when a
woman’s scary voice whispered into my ear.
We came across a closed door. Bimla tried to open it with all her might…it didn’t even budge…and then all of a sudden a window opened and a skull popped out…….
Bimla shouted at the top of her voice. Mitsu, as you may rightly guess, remained undaunted. In fact, she scared the ghosts and one of them cried in pain when Mitsu digged her nails
hard into his skin.
“Idhar aa bachchu, batati hoon tujhe….”, she said while the ghost fled.
Though I could hear my heartbeat in my ears, I pretended to be a brave macho man to impress Mitsu.
I took her hands in mine and slid the ring
onto her delicate finger. I kept holding her hands and contrary to my expectations, she didn’t protest. The magic of darkness I guess!
We all were running nestled against each other and there lying down on a bed was an eerie man
who leapt at us and almost killed us……as we huddled against the wall.
Then lots of people cornered us and finally we were pushed out. We emerged out short of breath, panting
heavily, red faced……looking quite ghastly and pallid. Everyone outside was sniggering at
us as we came out.
“ Why were you guys so scared? Didn’t you know that the creatures inside weren’t real ghosts?”, Mitsu mocked at us. I noticed her bare fingers. Where’s the ring? Oh no! The ring must have fallen in the hustle and bustle inside. Just then Mitsu encountered an old friend and got busy talking to her.
My eyes fell on Gopu’s hand. What! He was the one wearing the ring! So the one I’d been clinging to throughout the Scary House was not Mitsu but Gopu! Thanks to his sleek, non-hairy, girlish hands. I didn’t even realize my folly.
“ Thank God, nobody saw us holding hands inside Scary House. Otherwise, they would have drawn a dirty meaning…And after that Dostana, people’s mentality has sunk down further.”, Gopu said to me.
I was speechless. “ I knew you were damn scared and hence when you caught hold of my hands, I didn’t disapprove.”, added he.
I felt as if someone had punched me hard in the stomach. Mitsu was standing behind us. Apparently, she had overheard our conversation. She can read my face, I tell you. When the strings of the heart get attached, you don’t have to speak and the other person understands the unspoken words. Silence has its own language. And the fact that we had been good friends before we became sweethearts added to the chemistry between us. In life, you may not end up falling in love with a friend. But make sure whomsoever you fall in love with first becomes a friend. Love is blind but
friendship is clairvoyant. If the one you love cannot become your true friend, chances are more he/she will never become your true soulmate. Every relationship faces ups and downs. There are hard times when the love seems to have ebbed. It’s then that the friend inside the beloved awakens and saves the relationship from disintegrating. This leads to an unbreakable bond that will endure all trials.
“ Gopu, what are you doing with my ring? It was loose so I had given it to Niket before entering the Scary House. And Niket, you were supposed to take proper care of it……..”- said Mitsu. Before Gopu could even open his mouth, she quickly changed the topic. Gopu slid the ring off his finger and handed it over to Mitsu. She wore the ring herself as she gave me a mischievous smile. The innocent smile enlightened her chubby cheeks
and I felt like doing ‘Googly Woogly Woosh’ with her cheeks.(as in Ponds’
ad)I looked into her twinkling eyes…
peeping in was a mesmerizing experience. I could see a glorious sea in her eyes…full of charm..asking me to forget the rest of the world.
At the same time,I pitied my luck. I couldn’t rehearse our engagement ceremony as I had planned to. I had dreamt
about it the entire night.
It was 4 pm. Mitsu’s hostel-friends were to arrive at 5 at the food-court. So we still had one spare hour with us. We decided to rove
from one store to another to pass the time.
It’s an eye-candy to watch
the gift-items at Archies & Dollar Store. Though the prices are exorbitant, the items are splendid with no match elsewhere.
My cell beeped.
Message from: Her Highness
Time: 4.10 pm
Nik, thanks for the ring. But why did you have to buy such a costly gift? And I am jealous of Gopu.
I replied her:
Not really costly…just imitation jewellery. And anything for you ma’am! Waise, you should try for Bollywood. I mean you act so well.
She instantly replied:
Anything for you Sir!
Now we were strolling through the exuberant corridors of T.I. There was a Sony Erricson
singing competition going on. The participant on the
dais was singing Lucky Ali’s ‘O Sanam’ song..
“ Mitali, let’s just get away from here. I can’t tolerate this song. It reminds me of her…”, I said to Mitali while others were completely imbibed into the song.
I was with Varshaan when I had first heard this song. Another song ‘Ek din teri raahon mein (From Naqaab)’ also brings her picture to my mind. There are certain songs which remind us of some specific occasions or people. Like the famous ‘Kaanta laga’ song
reminds me of my mama’s procession/baraat.
The bandmaster had played this song 7 times throughout the procession.
“ Niket, how long will you keep on running away from her memories? Take a deep breath, just try to think about something else….something funny….And you’ll eventually feel better.”-Mitsu
“ No…I can’t stand this
anymore. I am going….This song has spoilt my mood.. You’ll not realize what I am saying because you have never gone through such a phase in your life. You don’t know what it feels like when the one you love doesn’t even notice your love….”
I was about to leave …..till I saw tears in Mitsu’s eyes.
“ And you don’t know what it feels like when the one you love is 24*7 obsessed with somebody else..…”- Mitsu
I had again hurt Mitsu. And that too on her birthday. It wasn’t intentional or deliberate. But a mistake is a mistake. Don’t know what happens to me whenever Varshaan’s thought strikes my mind. I feel I am not myself when Varshaan fills my mind.
A bright idea hit me. What is the use of going to singing classes for months if you can’t even win a mall competition? I borrowed a
guitar from one of the participants.
And now Niket Mukherjee was ready to rock the entire Treasure Island..
To the most special girl in my life. This one is for you!
(From Rock On)
“ Tum ho toh gaata hai dil
Tum nahi toh geet kahan….”
The entire audience was swinging with the song. But my entire attention was on Mitsu’s expression. There were hundreds of people. Yet I felt as if there was nobody except her and me….
She smiled. And her smile made my day. I sang with more passion and vigour.
There was a huge round of applause when I finished singing.
“ Once more. Once more….”, came voices from the audience.
I looked at Mitali. Our eyes locked. Her eyes asked me to sing one more song. And I couldn’t deny Her Highness’ orders.
This time, I sang the song ‘ Kaise mujhe tum mil gayi; kismat pe aaye na yakin..’ from the movie Ghajini. All the boys in Ghajini cut hopped as if I were singing the song in their praise. The glow on Mitsu’s face tripled. She was indeed looking like a queen.
I stood first in the competition and received two free passes for a 15-day Salsa workshop at Abhivyakti. Meanwhile, the gang of gundis had arrived. Mitsu’s eyes thanked me while my eyes apologized for having misbehaved. We all took the escalator and headed to food-court.
“ 15 cheese burgers, 6 Idli-sambhar, 8 Paav-bhaji, 7 buttered garlic noodles, 9 mixed vegetable Manchurian, 4 stuffed sandwiches , 3 chhole-tikiya , 6 cold coffees and 9 chikoo shakes”. Mitsu noted the order. Had those lavish gundis ordered a single dish more, Mitsu would have definitely got a heart-attack. She’s not like girls who squander money on shopping,
eating, parlours or other silly stuffs. “Good for me! She will manage our home accounts excellently in future.”, I thought to myself. Meanwhile, I quietly opened her purse and dropped a
Shin Chan key-chain inside.
Mitsu and Bimla had gone to receive the order. Meanwhile, Jignesh bhai and I swiftly brought cake from Mathurawala. I had already ordered it a day before.
“ Eggless naa?”, Mitsu confirmed.
“ 100 %”, I replied.
“ No..no…contains chicken’s leg…mutton…ostrich’s egg
…pig’s nose…..”, said one of the gundis to tease Mitsu.
“ Stop it Naina. We are in a restaurant!” The others scolded her.
Mitsu cut the cake
and ate the cherry topping herself. The girls again started wasting the cake. They had applied the cake-icing all over Mitsu’s face. She was looking stunning…..yellow icing spread over her rosy cheeks… She looked like a red butterfly
hovering over a glistening yellow rose…..
Rightly said! Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. For every boy, the girl whom he loves
is more beautiful than Aishwarya Rai. It’s love that makes a person beautiful. It’s love that had placed an average-looking guy like me above any handsome hunk for Mitsu.
We left the Treasure Island by 7 pm. Mitsu had to reach her hostel by eight.
Gopu used to live in a rented flat nearby at Kanchan Bagh. The other boys residing with him had gone to their hometowns to spend the winter vacations. So we all decided to spend the one hour there.
Gopu opened the lock. We all dashed into his room. A completely messed up room!
Dirty clothes and smelling socks lying hither and tither…..CDs, cans, bottles scattered everywhere.The wall was covered with posters of Britney, Bipasha, Urmila, Kareena and Mallika…..I rubbed my eyes….the bikini-girl Mallika
in a saree!
We played Dumb Charade for some time. I had to enact the movie- Mujhe meri biwi se bachao. A tough job indeed!
“ Yaar, the game is getting too boring….”-Jignesh bhai
“ Even I feel the same.”, said Mitsu.
“ Hey Niket, will you join the salsa workshop at Abhivyakti?”, asked Bimla.
“ Yup. Why don’t you guys come along? We already have 2 free passes. We’ll buy 3 more.”, I suggested.
“ Haan yaar. Good idea. It will burn the excessive fat as well.”, Gopu said pointing towards his protruding tummy.
Everyone was unanimously ready to join the workshop. Just then my eyes fell on a guitar lying in a corner.
“ Guys, No Dumb Charade anymore.”, I said.
“ What else will we do then? Play hide-and-seek ?”, asked Mitsu.
“ More than words..”, I replied.
“ More than words? I didn’t get you…”- Mitsu.
“ You’ll never get me…”
Mitsu smiled cutely as I had repeated her dialogue from the previous night.
I positioned the guitar and sang Extreme’s ‘ More than words..’ Lovely song and lovelier lyrics.
and Gopu drummed
with utensils. We had a great time together. True friends are priceless.
Naaket called up. Meet Naaket, my younger brother. Jaisa naam, waise kaam. His index finger was always inside the nose.
“ Nikku Bhayya, when are you coming home? I am feeling scared.” Maa had gone out of town to attend a distant cousin’s wedding.
“ Don’t worry…. I am coming in a few minutes. And the dinner is ready on the table. I have had my dinner.”
I had to wake up at 5.45 today to prepare food
for Naaket. I had prepared the entire day’s meal altogether. I had taken just 2 hrs sleep yet the fact that it was Mitsu’s b’day had driven away my tiredness and drowsiness.
“ Jaldi aana!”- Naaket.
“ Guys…have to leave now. Naaket is all alone at home.”
“ It’s late now. Even we must leave for the hostel.” – Bimla
“ Thanks a lot everyone for making the day so wonderful!” – Mitsu
“ Don’t forget. Tomorrow Abhivyakti at 7 p.m. sharp.”, I reminded them.
I reached home. Naaket was watching ‘ Dexter’s laboratory’ on cartoon network. He had had his dinner. “ Bhayya, brought Goro-plus?”
“ Shho shorry cute brother…it completely slipped off my mind..Kal la dunga”. Naaket feels Boro-plus is a fairness cream & calls it Goro-plus.
My cell beeped. It was Mitsu’s sms:
Gr8 job, Mr. Indian Idol! N thanx a ton 4 d cute Shin Chan key-chain. C u 2mrw in class. gnsdtc
I hope u’ve 4given me Deviji. We often fail 2 understand the feelings of the one who is very close to our heart. Bcoz the book when held very close to our eyes is very difficult to read.
She instantly replied:
Jaa bacche, maaf kiya! Lol. Sleep well
26 Dec 7pm
We all gathered at the Bal Vinay Mandir ground. We were introduced to Mr. Bhist, our salsa tutor. He was wearing a loose red T-shirt on which was written- ‘ Pappu can’t dance saala- Mere paas bhej do, main seekha dunga!’
We were asked to choose our pairs. I knew Mitsu wouldn’t choose me so there was no point in asking her. She doesn’t feel comfortable in dancing so intimately with a boy. I dreamt of the day when Mitsu would proudly dance with me after our marriage.
A coquette in micro-mini
approached me and asked if I could become her partner. Mitsu’s face looked like a burnt toast
when she spotted us. I declined the girl’s offer saying I already had a partner. She gave me a nasty look and walked away. Mitsu was smiling now.
Mitsu partnered with Bimla whereas I got paired with Jignesh Bhai. While dancing, I used to imagine Mitsu at Jignesh bhai’s place. Gopu found a pretty partner: a school-going girl
with blunt cut bangs. Her name was Koel. The first day was a warm-up session. We were taught the basic Salsa
steps. We met a variety of people there-a plump professor
named Mr.Potty ;fashion designer Miss. Zubie
(a lady with an impeccable style…She always looked as if she had stepped out of a magazine even in her jeans and driving loafers. Every girl envied her fantastic wardrobe); Mr. and Mrs. Dholakia; a modern pair of lovers- Rajnikaant and Kaanta; Mr. and Mrs. Bhatia (the liveliest and the most cheerful couple); few affluent school-kids; Mr. and Mrs. Popli (Mr. Popli was
more interested in others’ wives than his own..). There was a politician too
who was always busy attending phone-calls. His ringtone was ‘ Aye Ganpat, chal daru laa…’ One could fry rice in Champu Chinmay’s excessively-oiled hair.
We often come across people who take very long to grasp things. They are colloquially called ‘Tubelights’. But we call such people ‘Ghatiya Company ki tubelight!’. Amongst our colleagues at Abhivyakti were twin brothers Ghonchu & Bhondu. These doodles seemed to be mentally retarded. You crack a joke and they’ll laugh after 10 long minutes! A flirt named Jackie eyed every girl there. But I personally feel nobody is a flirt by birth. He’s a flirt because nobody ever taught him the meaning of love…..nobody ever loved him compassionately to make him realize that true love with one person can make his life more beautiful than dating many. Loving too much is far better an option than loving too many. But looking back at my past, I feel flirts are happier. At least they don’t cry for any Varshaan.
And not to forget Karan,
the handsome hunk- 6’ 2’’, 8 pack abs, strong built, spiky hair, completely branded wardrobe , hazel eyes, hypnotic smile…….a perfect personality. He was a software engineer at Infosys. Some of the girls almost fainted when he announced that he was already engaged. Are all Karans blessed with impressive looks?
The Salsa class finished by 8.15. We all decided to chill-out at Barista.
“ Yaar Niket, Koel is very well-versed in English. What can I do to improve my English language skills? I want to impress her.”- Gopu
“ Read good books, novels, English newspapers ;watch news channels, English movies….”
“ English movies! Mamma says they aren’t good for us……..”, he replied. Even though Gopu is one of the dumbest guys I’ve ever met, I still like him for his innocence. He may run after every pretty face but his intentions are never bad.
He had schooled from a boys’ school and hence had never had any sort of interaction with girls. So now even if a girl just smiles at him, he starts envisaging her as his soulmate. Co-ed schools are undoubtedly better. The boys and girls grow up freely interacting with each other. Thus both of them get a wider spectrum of things around. They learn to look at each other in the same light- as classmates and friends and nothing beyond that.
“ Start with some good novel. I would suggest that you start with Paulo Coelho’s Alchemist.”, I advised him.
“ Wait….lemme write its name else I’ll forget it. I’ll buy it tomorrow itself from Readers’ Paradise.”- Gopu.
I saw the paper on which he had penned down the book’s name:
‘ L.K. Mist ’
“ Gopu, the shopkeeper will never be able to find your book if you show him this piece of paper.”
“ Why? What’s wrong?”
“ Dumbo, it’s Alchemist A-L-C-H-E-M-I-S-T , NOT L.K. Mist..”. I spelt the word correctly for him. Gopu shook his head in embarrassment.
It was a cold winter evening. Mitsu was looking beauteous in her red cardigan. Girls look prettier in winters….red nose, pink cheeks…
We sipped the delicious hot espresso coffee.
“ Niket, there’s an elocution contest next week at chapter office. Why don’t you participate?- Jignesh
“ I’ve already submitted my name. I would be speaking on ‘Bharat ki arthavyavastha’’.” I replied.
“ What? Don’t tell me you have opted to deliver your speech in Hindi! Niket, hindi has no market-value these days..”, Gopu grumbled.
“ Prostitutes have market-value, not a mother…And hindi is our mother-tongue.”, I said proudly. All the people around clapped
for the patriotic statement.
It’s absolutely perfect to boast of something you know. But it’s cynical to boast of something you do not know. People very proudly say-“ We do not comprehend Hindi at all.” And it’s not that as though these people are ANGREZI KE BADSHAHS. They are equally pathetic in English as well.
Bimla tried to change the heated topic. “ Why did Mr.Popli marry Mrs.Popli if he doesn’t love her at all? He ignores her completely.”
Mitsu replied-“ I’ve heard they were high-school
sweethearts. Theirs was a love-marriage. And see, today there’s nothing called love between them.”
“ Mitali, tell me, can you listen to the same song everyday? Can you eat a particular dish daily for years? Chalo let’s not talk of the extremes.. Can you even wear the same red cardigan daily for a week? I bet the answer is no. We, humans, have a tendency to get bored of monotonous things. Mr.Popli too seems to be bored of their relationship.” Jignesh bhai spoke passionately. He’s reserved by nature but when the topic is of his interest, he can go on……..and on……and on.
“ Mr.Jignesh Patel, you are comparing a woman with non-living things! As far as listening to the same song is concerned, let me tell you that I’ve been listening to the song ‘Aate jaate…yahi sach hai…(From Maine Pyar Kiya)’ daily since last 6-7 years. Yet I never get bored. The more I listen to it, the more I love it. Everytime I find a new dimension in it.”, said Mitsu .
“ The man who marries you will be lucky then. You’ll never get bored of him.”, Bimla said teasing her. Mitsu looked at me with a suppressed smile.
“ That he will be. The better you know a person, the more you’ll get emotionally attached to him. And I wonder why people say they feel bored or suffocated in a relationship after having spent several decades together. With every passing year, the love should augment and not diminish.” Mitsu rationalized.
“ I think the people who get bored are the ones who confused infatuation with love in their youth. It might be possible that Mr. and Mrs.Popli were never in love at all. They mistakenly took infatuation as love and got married. And now they are paying for their fallacy. ” I added. “ Do not marry a person you know you can live with; only marry someone whom you cannot love without.”, Mitsu concluded.
Each-one of us is better than the other when it comes to arguing on a topic.
It was late. We finally left Barista by 9.10 p.m. On my way back home, I met with a
small accident. It didn’t hurt much….just a bruised knee. What hurt me more was that not a single guy came to help me position my bike. They didn’t even look at me. If I were a girl, all of them would have run a Marathon
race to help.
The Salsa classes occupied our evenings for the entire fortnight. Certains blunders too happened there. Rajnikaant started dating another girl so he broke up with Kaanta. Kaanta stopped coming to the class but only after giving the other girl a nice thrashing.
Gopu gave Koel a love-letter:
First, Belated MARRY X-mas. I have falling in love with you. Pleaze….inter my life and makes it butiful. I waits for you. Don’t says no othervice I dies.
She slapped him
as hard as she could. Her finger-prints got inscribed on his cheeks. “ If I am a deer, you are a mule. And how can a girl marry Christmas? The spelling of my name is K-O-E-L…ohhh….You empty-brain! How could you even think about me that way? I cannot think about you even in a comedy dream, got it?” Gopu is habitual to such insults so he listened to her rebukes from one one ear and instantly ejected them out from the other.
Some good things happened too. Jackie, the flirt, fell in true love with Parvati.
The pompous Grand Finale
of the workshop was held on 10 Jan,2011. Jignesh bhai and I danced on ‘Sholo si (From Shabd)’ ; Mitsu and Bimla chose ‘ Kahin toh hogi woh dunia ( From Jaane tu ya jaane na) while Mr.and Mrs.Popli performed on ‘Ek din teri raahon mein..’ The song agitated me. But I did not want to hurt Mitsu hence remained calm superficially. The winners were Taani ji and
The Salsa classes had completely rejuvenated us and we could concentrate more on our studies. Who says love is a distraction? When you are in true love, you perform even better because you know your success matters a lot to someone else too. You know you have to excel not just for yourself but for the special-one as well. Love can be the best motivator.
The most comedy movie I’ve ever seen is Spiderman in
Bhojpuri. It’s really funny to watch Spiderman saying-“ Tum logan ke beech mein ee ka maamla hai? Tohar se badla toh hum le ke rahu…!” After the success of his mission, Spiderman would shout “ Hui gawa…hui gawa..!”
Mitsu really loved the movie. She’s a modern Indian girl still rooted to Indian culture and traditions. She prefers daal-baati to a Chinese
meal. She dances better on the Rajasthani Ghoomar song ‘Mhari ghoomar’ than on Shakira’s ‘ Hips don’t lie.’
She respects her parents and has never done anything that would smear their name.
“ Niket, will you be my parents’ son after marriage? Will you treat my parents as your own? They won’t need us financially but morally they definitely will. I don’t have any brother. You know mamma cries whenever she watches a Vidaai sequence in any soap. ” Mitsu had once said.
“ Yeh bhi koi kehne ki baat hai. If a girl can care for her husband’s parents, why can’t a boy?” A son is a son until he gets a wife. But a daughter is a daughter all her life.
Once Mitsu’s cell was out of order. So she took Kajal’s cell to message me. Kajal had a touch screen cellphone. Mitsu wasn’t able to operate it properly. An sms arrived and before Mitsu could understand anything, the sms got opened. She didn’t read it fully but whatever she read was horrible. The sms was from Kajal’s so-called boyfriend.
“ Niks, I wonder they call it love.. The message was filthy beyond bounds…cheap…loathsome.. I don’t have words to express how dirty it was! These people are just amusing each-other..” Mitsu told me after the class next day.
The very same Kajal eloped with her boyfriend next month. Such people are a smudge on the name of love. If love is genuine, one should strive to make himself deserving enough to proudly ask the girl’s parents for her hand. And if a girl can break a relationship of 23 years with her parents in a few minutes, what is the guarantee that she won’t break her relationship of few months or years with you? The moment she finds someone better than you, she’ll elope with him. An advice to all the boys: ask your love if she’s ready to elope with you. She says yes and it’s time for you to run away
from her. If she flatly refuses then strengthen her place in your heart. She deserves it.
Jignesh bhai got serious for a girl. The girl(Kohina)loved him too. But due to caste differences, her parents forcibly got her married to somebody else. But he took the incident very positively. Kohina wanted to see him graduating from one of the IIMs. And now he’s preparing laboriously for CAT to realize her dream. So what if she couldn’t be his! In life, some defeats are more triumphant than victories.
Mitsu wants to get married on 14 February so that the entire world would celebrate our anniversary every year. Let’s see what her parents, my mom and Panditji decide.