Sunday, April 2, 2006

Chapter 1: Cupid's first arrow

That was ninth standard. And there was this girl in my class. I wouldn't say she was the most pretty or anything. She was beautiful, and she had a most congenial character. She was there in the same class as I was right from the fourth standard. But then, in the ninth standard, things started changing, the way I looked at her. Till then I never much of noticed her. But that year, I started running more and more into her, started thinking she was sweet and beautiful.

I guess it was over English. She was the best in our class when in came to English, and I guess I respected as well as envied her on that. Around that time, I had started developing an obsession for the language, and particularly for vocabulary. Those early beginnings have helped me a lot in life and arguably trying to improve upon my vocabulary ever since that age is one of the most prudent things I've done in my life, but that is another matter altogether.

Anyways, ever since I developed that crush on her, school suddenly became interesting !!! I would go to school just to spend a soupcon more time with her. That's like what? a few minutes in the entire day?? But then a few minutes was enough. A few minutes was a lifetime; or so I thought. And the ninth vacations did drag along like a never ending one !!

And then it was 10th standard. At that time, we guys were crazy about football. And football does have a propensity to get rough. And we guys used to handover our belongings, usually watches, to her before the game for safe keeping. The pretext was good, and most obviously it was another excuse to run into her. You might think, what a dork !! Hm.. And I too think so now, looking back.. But at that time, that was how we were; kids !!!

And I was getting better by the day with my English. I was good at other subjects, and now I was becoming good at my English too. I was a hit at the model papers. Life was going on beautifully and now it was study holidays before the board exams.

I remember distinctly, once I mustered up the balls to ring her up during those hols. And she asked me why my voice sounded different. I was lost for want of words !!!

At that time I used to keep a diary and I used to pen down everything about my life in that. And most naturally, those pages were rife with what transpired between me and her (Nothing much did, but of course embellishment is an art !!! ). Most unfortunately however, my mother happened to get her hands on it.. And I felt ignominiously embarrassed, flayed to the last cuticle !!!

Morale took a deep nosedive. I stopped thinking about her though we still were good friends. I really mean it when I say we were still good friends: I could ruffle her hair and she wouldn't flinch.

Anyways, then it was boards. Unfortunately, I did badly in my English paper and scored a doleful 76 % ( I did make up for that in my class 12 with whopping 96 % in English, but anyways.. )

Life moved on, and then it was 11th standard and now the classes were repartitioned and so I was in a different class from her. Around that time, I had a stint with another girl. That story is well detailed in the next chapter. But anyways, that arrow recoiled badly and me and this new girl didn't talk to each other for another year !!! Anyways, that kind of made an empty space in my heart. That's probably what people call hole-in-the-heart situation I suppose.

Somehow at that time, towards the later half of class 12, I started running into this girl again. And the smouldering embers were ignited once again. I was attracted towards her again, and this time the crush came to an unfortunate end with the consummation of school !!!

All this time, I never told her that I loved her. I guess it was that I never gathered the balls for it. But anyways, it is best the way it is. She and I are still good friends and she has given me a lot of good memories to cherish. At that time, if I ever had told her, that would probably have made her keep a distance. Not all people can understand that I could love her and we could still be friends. Maybe she could have understood, because she is very good at doing that. But then..

Some people say the first is the best. And I still do believe that she was probably the most sweetest thing I ever met. If it wasn't for her, I very likely wouldn't have become half as good as I am now. And the best part is, she doesn't even know. Or maybe she might have guessed; you know, women have the woman's intuition. Anyways, someday she might stumble across this write-up and then she too will laugh about it I suppose.

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