By: Pritha Banerjee, LMB
A love story that happened on the last day of college!
My Sunday usually begins after 10 a.m. There was no difference today too. After tea and breakfast I entered into my study and unlocked my personal cupboard with a purpose of cleaning it. There, I found my college books, notebooks, Xerox, print outs, notes, letters, my diaries, photos, cards!! The sight brought a smile to my face, slowly taking me back to my college days!! I started remembering my group. ‘The Famous Five’ of our batch, Ayan, Sayon, Prajokta, Payel and me.
Sayon & I, being from the same school, we knew each other. Prajokta was the first girl I spoke to, in college. ‘A girl with a million dollar smile! A girl with big, beautiful and bold eyes! A girl with life!’ That’s the perfect description of her. Even today 5 years after of leaving college, I still remember the girl in blue salwar, long hair, matching earrings and heels, entering the classroom and asking “Is this IC 1st year class??”
Coming in, she sat in the second bench, in front of me. I was trying to ring Sayon when she turned back and said,
“HI! I am Prajokta, from GMG School”
“What about you?”
“I am Avinash, from PB High School.”
“Oh!! I know many fools from that.. (Laughing out loudly) Sorry! Don’t mind please!”
“No! I would love to ignore.” I wonder how a guy can always be so sweet when speaking to a girl. But, to be very true, in that tensed situation seeing her so cool was a bit relaxing. I found everyone silent in the class except her. After interrogating others around, she again turned back to me saying,
“Do you know anyone of our seniors? Are they going to rag us? Any idea? ”
“No! Why? Have you heard of anything like that in this college?”
“Ya! I heard it’s strictly prohibited inside campus. But Yaar, I really want to get ragged by seniors!! Let’s request them when they come!!”
“What???? You are going to ask our seniors to rag us? Doesn’t that sound odd?”
“What’s so odd about it? Ragging is fun yaar. Just imagine! Or else, what story will you tell to your children about your college life? It will be so boring without that main part…”
‘I told you that she is different!!’ That was what I thought in my mind when I first met her.
With days passing by like a superfast train, we became busy with new assignments, majors, practical classes and many more. Prajokta used to talk to both of us, Sayon and me. Very soon, she became a good friend of ours. We met her friend, Payel. She was also from the same department. We knew Ayon through Sayon. So that formed FAMOUS FIVE.
First semester exams went over in no time. In six months or so, we bonded well and know many personal things about each other! Prajokta had a boy friend outside college. She was busy breaking up and making up in that relationship. At least 3 to 4 times a month she used to change her FB relationship status from single to engaged. But one thing was constant. Her smile! She was never worried about anything! Sayon and Payel were busy liking each other and impressing each other. I and Ayon used to be busy with downloading latest games and scoring!!
Our session for second semester started. One day, Prajokta came to class very disturbed and for a change, which was making all of us uncomfortable, she was silent. Not responding to any jokes or any discussions! We realized that this time it must be something serious that had happened. What we found out was that she had slapped her boyfriend for misbehaving with her. She was upset about that as she was unable to come out of that relationship.
At the end of that day, after everyone left, I was not willing to leave her alone. I have never seen her so silent before. That million dollar smile was missing on her face. It was killing me! I asked her for a walk till her house, nearly 3 km walk from college. I bought her favorite ice cream, tried to cheer her up! Sang songs, as she likes it! But in vain!
After half the distance covered, I just stopped her and asked her to forget about it! I don’t know what happened, she hugged me and started crying aloud. I saw her crying for the first time. Her tears were hurting me. I wished I could hug her back. I wished I could love her at that time which would make her forget about her sorrow. She just said one line “ I have kissed him! How can I leave him?” and started crying again. I tried to console her, this time with a hug and I intentionally laughed at her. Finally she stopped crying to ask me “what’s so funny?”
“Nothing!!! Just thinking what would you do to me if I kiss you now?!?”
“Abhi!! I am not in a mood to joke”
“Abhi? Who’s that?”
“Oh! Thanks for the short name”
“Ya, Its sweet. It suits you!”
“You mean I am sweet? WOW Prajokta, not even a breakup, and look at you! Flirting with me?”
“AAHH!! How cheap Abhi! And How rude too! I just called you sweet and see, you are complaining!”
“Hey! When did I complain? I just asked you to check..(Laughing) Do not flirt babes!! Its risky!! Maybe, I will fall for you and kiss you or maybe misbehave? Then where will you go? Whom will you hug and cry? Who will sing for you on a walk? Who will buy you an ice cream?”
“Hmmm!!!! Good point. I need to think about it deeply mister!!” Laughing…
“You smiled sweetheart”
“Ohh!! So that was the only intention? I thought you are serious!”
“Serious? About what?”
“That you might fall for me!!!”
“You want that?”
“No! Just joking! Please let’s take an auto. I can’t walk further. ” She held my hand like a baby holding her dad for safety and care, and crossed the footpath to board into an auto.
Since I left her for her home, I couldn’t stop thinking about her and the time spent together. I love her! I am concerned about her. I want her to be mine… I want her to be happy, always. I want to hold her and save her from all sorrow, all pain. I love her!! I love her!! I love her!!!
But, I can’t express this to her. She has a boyfriend. I decided to wait till her breakup. I didn’t want to lose her. I wanted to give her enough time to love me. I was very happy to think about being in love with Prajokta.
Next day when I reached college, she was normal. Not upset anymore. I was relaxed to see her smile again.
More than a year passed away after that day. We used to go for movies, outings in group. I used to enjoy every moment when she was around. Even in group studies, I could participate more because of her presence. Her sense of humor, her new looks, styles, her scolding me, her way of holding my hand while walking, her eyes with kajal applied perfectly, her smile… she was making me fall for her everyday again and again. Sometimes, I used to feel happy thinking that she loves me too.
We finished our second year. Prajokta was my best friend. So was I to her. Throughout the day, we used to be together, either in group or only two of us. But still, I couldn’t express my feelings to her. I was afraid of losing her as a friend.
I remember the day, it was after our fifth semester results were out, and she was going for a family tour the next day. At night, I called her up, drunk, and told her those long awaited three words.
“I love you Prajokta”
“Abhi, its too late at night now!! We will talk tomorrow. Good night.”
“Hey, please hang on. I said, I love you! At least reply to that! It’s not late sweetheart. Please talk to me!!”
“Abhi, I guess you are drunk. Will definitely talk. But not now. Bye”
“No!! First say, you love me or not???”
“Good night dear. Bye!!”
I was awake till 6 o’clock in the morning. Texted her sixteen times. But no reply came.
Returning from her trip, she joined the college ten days after that night. I lost my best friend too. She was never the same as before. I never asked for any reason or clarifications.
It was tough for me to move on, especially when she was around. But I tried hard to keep myself away from her.
It was our farewell day when Prajokta spoke to me again.
“All the best Abhi, in your life! I will never forget you. You are a very good person. ”
“Thanks. Same to you. Wish you a very happy life ahead. Keep in touch if possible!”
“Can I ask you something?”
“Ya, sure! What??”
“Did you really love me?”
With a pause, I answered boldly, “yes, I still do. But don’t worry; I won’t bother you in future regarding this!”
“If I say, I love you too. Then also you won’t bother me?”
“That would have been a different case dear! But now, when I know that you don’t, why should I bother you?”
“Duffer!! I love you”
“What? Then why didn’t you tell me that before?”
“You didn’t ask me for the second time, Abhi!! I thought, you were drunk and so maybe you were not serious. I thought you will dare to tell me when I meet you. But you avoided. It confirmed that you were not serious, but drunk! So I avoided too.”
I didn’t waste any time further, hugged her tightly and said those words again.
I was so happy to hear “I love you too Abhi.”
After 5 years, today…
Coming through the door, Prajokta called “Abhi! Finish fast. Lunch is ready! Movie starts at 3. Please get ready!!”
“Yes sweetheart, Just 5 minutes more!! It’s almost done”