Monday, 10 March 2014

For You - II

PS: This is an episodic romantic story. Every week, a new episode will be published. To read the first part, click here.

As days passed, Simmi started settling in the college life. She found an unlikely friendship with Kajal. Kajal, being an extrovert, got an avid audience, while Simmi got a peek into a different kind of lifestyle. Every facet of Kajal was fascinating for Simmi: her flamboyant style of dressing, laid-back style of talking, swinging-like walking. Simmi never thought Kajal would be so friendly with her but she really was. Even though Kajal had started making loads of friends – being active in sports and on party scene – she never ignored Simmi. In fact, she always made sure to include her. Sometimes Simmi even suspected that Kajal was treating her like her personal project but as she wasn’t sure, she never raised the issue. She didn’t want to end up with her foot in her mouth. A pattern was formed between Kajal and Simmi. They used to sit together and eat together. If Kajal wanted to bunk the lecture, she would bunk the lecture with her other friends. Simmi would stay back and attend the lecture, and Kajal would take the notes from her.

Every now and then Simmi would think about Arpit. After that day in the canteen, Simmi hadn’t seen Arpit and it had been 2 weeks now. She didn’t know what to make of that. Either he was not required to attend the lectures, given that he has already done so for a year, or he didn’t give a damn about the lectures. Of what she knew about Arpit from Kajal, Simmi suspected latter was the case. Still, she wanted to catch a glimpse of him.

And her wish was granted; albeit cruelly.

Simmi was walking down the lobby after her last class with an ear-splitting headache. As usual, she was looking down on the floor while walking. Suddenly a pair of shoes entered her vision but before she could stop herself, she collided with a wall of solid muscle. With a gasp, she started falling and as was the case before, a pair of arms caught her and steadied her.

“Why don’t you ever look where you are going? You are always falling,” said a voice gruffly.

When Simmi craned her neck to look at her savior, her heart missed a beat. Arpit was looking down at her with a ferocious glare. “I…I a-am sorry. I…”

“You don’t need to give me excuses for your inane behavior. Just stay out of my way. I hate trampling on dorks.” And with that, Arpit crossed the corridor in few long strides.

Simmi, red with humiliation, stood there like a statue with tears rolling down her cheeks. The only saving grace was there was nobody in the lobby to witness her degradation. She didn’t know how long she stood there but the sudden ring of her mobile revived her from her trance. Brushing away her tears with her hands, she picked up the call. “Hello?”

“Where are you? The classes have been over since last half an hour. I am waiting for you in the canteen.”

“Yeah, I am coming over. I am on my way.”

Valiantly resolving to forget about that jerk, Simmi made her way to the canteen.

“Hey, what happened? Why are you looking so sad?” asked Kajal concernedly.

“Nothing happened. I just have a headache.”

“No. You are hiding something. Your eyes are all red. Either you have already cried or you are on the verge of crying. Spill it, girl. What’s the problem?”

Just when Simmi opened her mouth to deny any kind of problem, a pair of glasses was smashed down on the table in the front of her.

“This pair of glasses is for you. Wear it. Maybe then you will stop walking into me.”

Simmi raised her eyes to meet an irritating pair of hazel brown eyes that were currently the bane of her life. “I..I…I s-said,” stammered Simmi but before she could complete her sentence, Arpit snapped.

“There you go again stammering. Now what I am supposed to do to get a simple full sentence from you? Either you are falling all over me or you are stammering like I have a full day to listen to you. Just say what you have to say and be done with it.” Arpit again started scowling at Simmi.

Simmi, who has never confronted anyone in life, started shrinking. When her eyes darted around the canteen, she noticed that everybody had started looking at her table. She started turning red from humiliation. Suddenly Kajal had had enough of Arpit’s bullying tactics. As she couldn’t see her sweet friend getting distressed by this ruffian, she snapped back at Arpit. “What’s your problem? Why are you harassing her?”

On hearing Kajal, Arpit’s eyes went ice cold. Without raising his voice, he directed his next question to Kajal. “Me? Am I harassing her? I don’t even know her name and I am not even interested in knowing it. What interests me is stopping her from walking into me every time I try to pass the corridor she is in. Every time I try to do that, she keeps on falling over me, and to be honest, it’s getting boring and tedious. Either she needs a good pair of glasses or she needs to find another guy to fall all over. I. Am. Not. Interested. Got it?”

Kajal, who didn’t know about the either of the incidents between Simmi and Arpit, didn’t know what to say. So she turned toward her friend and asker her, “What is he talking about? What’s happening? Is he saying the truth?” But before Simmi could say anything, Arpit jumped in. “Of course, I am telling the truth. Why would I lie? Do you think I am that desperate for a girl that I would lie like this to get her attention? Man, you both are out of your sweet minds. See, I don’t have time for this drama. This pair of glasses is for your little friend. Tell her to wear it. If it doesn’t fit, take her to the ophthalmologist and save the world from getting trampled under her feet.” With this verdict, Arpit strode out of the canteen with a fury that would do any hurricane proud.

Simmi had never felt so ashamed in her life. Keeping her head and eyes down, she tried to control her tears but as soon as Kajal laid her hand on her shoulder, she couldn’t help herself but burst into tears. She knew she was making a cake of herself and she also heard few snickers to confirm her worst fears, but she couldn’t stop herself. She just got up and blindly ran away from the canteen. Kajal, seeing her dear friend’s acute state of embarrassment, followed after Simmi faithfully. She wasn’t going to let Simmi drive back to her home in that state. “Simmi! Simmi, wait for me. I am coming,” yelled Kajal. But Simmi was in no state to hear anything. She blindly ran to the parking lot to get her Scooty. She just wanted to get away from all these people who knew her ultimate humiliation. She wanted to be alone with her misery. She didn’t want Kajal’s pity because that would be the last straw for her self esteem. If she saw one iota of pity on Kajal’s face, she feared that she would never believe in herself again, and so she just started her Scooty and sped out of the college. She knew that she was in no state to go home because her family will ask too many questions after seeing her face; so she went to her favorite spot – an isolated patch of land few kilometers away from her home. That land was unfenced with lots of trees and weeds.

She parked her Scooty under one huge Neem tree and sat there stone faced. She was baffled as well as ashamed of what happened in the canteen. She never thought that anybody could be so mean so as to blatantly insult another human being for such trivial issues. She just had walked into Arpit couple of times. So what? Did she maim him anyway? Then what right did he have to debase her in such a way in front of the whole canteen? Suddenly she felt angry at herself. Why the hell did she took that nonsense lying down? Why couldn’t she fight her own battles? Why did Kajal have to intervene? Was she that spineless that she couldn’t even speak for herself? And oh God, why did she have to stammer in front of Arpit? It wasn’t that she had a stammering problem. In fact, she had never stammered anytime before meeting Arpit. If she couldn’t stand up for herself before Arpit, how was she going to fulfill her dream of being an independent woman with a good career. She knew that if she continued to behave like a wimp, she was never going to amount to anything, and she was not ever going to be nothing.

With a new sense of purpose, she called up Kajal. “Hey, where are you? Are you alright?”

On hearing Kajal’s worried tone, Simmi felt ashamed of herself all over again. “No worries. I am fine. I am near my home. I just called you up to let you know that I am fine. I don’t want you to worry about me.”

“Of course, I am going to worry about you. You are my very good friend and I will be always there for you. Whatever happened was my fault too. I didn’t put a stop to it before it went out of hand.”

“Hey, you don’t have to feel guilty. This is my mess and I have to handle it, which I didn’t do. Anyway, I am going home right now and I will speak to you tomorrow.”

“Okay. Take care and call me up if you need anything. And I do mean anything.”

“Sure. And thanks for supporting me.”

“That’s what friends are for. Now go home and rest. Everything will be fine tomorrow. Bye”

When her call with Kajal was over, Simmi went home with a new determination to be stronger and competent.

She had just got another goal in her life: never to be a doormat.

16 comments:

  1. It's fantastic. I wasn't going to read it at first because I've had too much of this chick-lit thing but I thought let's see what Pankti has written this time, and I loved it. Why do you need tips from anyone? This is great stuff. Just keep on writing the same way.

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    1. Awww Neelesh..your words mean a lot to me. I anyway need tips because I still have a long way to go to become a good story teller. And don't you think a lifetime is too much of a short period to learn that art?

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  2. I just got to this post of yours now. Read the first and got back to this. Interesting premise, let's see how it goes. I'm optimistically waiting :)

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    1. Thanks Sid! And welcome to my blog :)

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  3. Tell you what I share this goal with Simi 'never be a doormat'... Very nice write up Pankti, bookmarking this !

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  4. Its going on a great flow Pankti! Can you make this everyday instead of every week? Please?? :D

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    1. Awww Seeta! Thanks for liking it! Unfortunately due to regular job and other commitments, I can't update this daily. :( But i do think at the end, I might have a full-length novel on my hands :D

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  5. nice Pankti!! I liked both parts!
    now waiting eagerly for Part 3 to see if Simmi works on her self-confidence!

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  6. eagerly waiting for the next part pls post it asap..

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    1. Yes...It will be posted either today late evening or tomorrow morning around 10 am. Sorry for the wait! I really appreciate your readership! <3

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  7. Started liking this Arpit... offcourse leaving aside the cliche :-P
    This reminded me of a tv-serial that used to come in sony/star-plus few years back- "ye meri life hai"...........
    Dekhte hai aage kya hota hai :-)

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  8. A little different attitude of Arpit but, let's see. Plot is being carried along well.

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