"Congrats dude, I am very happy for you.. Really man, you turned out to be a chupa rustam, hiding things from your close friends !! Didn't expect this from you man.." I interrupted. Rohit started laughing listening to me. "Lets grab a cup of ThumsUp" he said.
The party hall had all of 5 people by then. The birthday boy was animatedly speaking to two girls apparently trying to impress them. Though I was pretty bad at that myself, I could say for sure that he was doing a terrible job at whatever he was doing (the girls were busy smsing someone and he was going on and on). Rohit and I grabbed a cup of ThumsUp, bade farewell to the host and started walking towards the bus stand.
It was a silent walk, quite uncommon for a person like Rohit. More than just curious to know about his story, I broke the silence and asked him, "Bro, aren't you gonna tell me more about my Bhabhi?". He smiled and said, "Buddy, its the same old love story da, like you see in a movie. Why do you want me to narrate Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge" ? Wow, look at that car.. Don't tell me its a BMW Z4 !! Wow". "Same old trick" I thought. "Dude, you don't change the topic, please carry on with the story"
"Ok man, take it from me, this story might stay on for quite some time in your mind. Are you ready for it?" he said. I went "Of course buddy, I love "Love Stories".
It was mid semester and the basketball training became a bit more rigorous for all of us. We visited other colleges, playing friendly matches, practising for the University Tournament. My friend was considerate enough to keep Sanchitha in the team, atleast as a substitute. She had hinted me a couple of times that she was finding it tough to convince the college coach that Sanchitha had the potential to perform. I had convinced her that her game would come out, just that she had lost touch of it completely for 4 years.
In one of our friendly match with the neighbouring college, (our competitor both in terms of basketball as well as college ranking), an acquaintance of mine, found Sanchitha very pretty and was finding opportunities to speak to her. As expected, I got a call from him that evening, asking her contact number. As we spoke, he told me that He had lost his mind over Sanchitha !! I had to work hard to convince him that she might not have been single, tat this is not worth the headache and finally, "She is not worth you". I believe I did a decent job at nipping his interests at the bud.
Our confidence level was quite high when the tournament started as we had awesome players. As expected, the boys' team thrashed teams over teams and eventually reached the finals. Unfortunately, the girls' team had lost quite early in the tournament but they stayed back at venue to cheer for us. It was quite a satisfactory feeling that Sanchitha was cheering for us, for ME.
It was indeed a nail-biting finals, both the teams were equally strong and we knew it was just the confidence that mattered. We were a bit strong morally as we had defeated them convincingly in one of our friendly matches. Though their team had completely transformed, getting in some awesome players, we had a psychological advantage.
WE WON the championship !! After 9 years, our college had won this prestigious tournament. We were the HEROES !!! The only thing that mattered to me was, "I am a hero in her eyes, I think this is the time to tell her how much I like her". "Yes Buddy, this is the time" I heard a voice. It was my alter-ego suggesting me to go ahead.. I was super excited. But I didn't know how to tell her!! I wanted to pour out my heart at the right moment, at the place she loved. The only name I could remember then was Parinita, her close friend from childhood.
When I told Parinita about this, she was super excited as well. "Wow Rohit, this is too good! I always thought you guys made a good pair, I swear I did.. Now that you've realized this, do not delay it, just tell her today itself". I said, "Thanks a lot Pari, these words mean a lot, thanks yar.. Before I tell you anything, I need a favour from you yar.. I want you to know what she thinks of me. I want you to confirm if she indeed likes me". I was oozing with confidence and the thought of rejection sounded absurd. "Come on, I am doing so much for her. She obviously likes me"
We had the prize distribution ceremony the next day and the team had gone out partying. Sanchitha had stayed back. I tried to meet her but she was nowhere to be seen near Girls' dormitory. "She must have gone out to meet her friends, some girl for sure" I thought.
I sent a sms to her, "Hey Sanchi, wassup yar? Nowhere to be seen.. I want to tell you something important yar. Lets meet up before the prize distribution near the Botanical Garden, Take care". I was surprised to see an instantaneous reply (it had become quite rare these days!). It was from an unknown number though. It said "Hey Ro, Pari here.. Sincerely requesting you to postpone your plans. I shall speak to you tomorrow about this, take care". "I don't have Parinita's number saved" I realized.. The partying folks returned at 11 30 PM but the reply to my sms didn't. I was wondering all this while why Pari had texted me that.. I had tried calling her up quite a lot of times only to curse the Amazing service of Idea.
I was pretty tired and I decided not to wait longer for her reply. I hit the bed with an amazing thought, "Today is perhaps my last night as Single, I am going to be committed for rest of my life, starting from tomorrow". Seamlessly, I slipped into dreams and I can say for sure that I had Sanchitha in all my dreams.
I woke up with a smiling face, "Today is the day" I told. Sanchi had sent me a sms previous night, reading which my smile broadened. "Hey Rohit, Sorry for a late reply. We shall meet there, I too wanna tell you something, Gnit". Primping myself up, I went to the Botanical Garden. She was wearing a light blue t-shirt with Jeans and looked like a fairy. I ran to where she was waiting "Hey Sanchi, Thanks for coming yar, I really wanted to...". It was then that I realized that she was not alone. I was both annoyed and surprised to see Sriram. I knew him pretty well as he was from our a neighbouring college and a basketball player. We had, infact, knocked his team out in the initial stages of the match.
"Hey Rohit, guess what, I am going out with Sriram" Sanchitha told me in a single breath. It was quite an instantaneous reply (now I know how dumb the reply was), "Sure yar, you can, but after the prize distribution, I want you to cheer for me, I mean, our team". Sriram gave a (wicked) smile and explained, "Dude, as she said, you've got a good sense of humour.. We are seeing each other, you see, going out, dating and stuff". Rejecting his words outright mentally, I looked into her eyes, expecting an angry outburst on him, but the look I got back made me very uncomfortable. She said, "Yes Rohit, we're committed".
A mixture of feelings burst within me. I wanted to just walk away from that place. I felt like kicking Sriram very hard. I felt like shouting out, "How can you do this to me Sanchitha?". But I chose to act in the worst possible way, "Heyy, super news.. Congrats Sanchi, congrats dude, I never, its like, I can't believe, I mean, you people are a real super pair ya, I mean it". I was blank at that moment so I went on with my stupidity. "Where did you guys meet up (I already knew the answer) and how did you guys started liking each other? (I didn't want to know the answer).
Sanchitha said, "You must be thanked for this Rohit, you introduced him to me in one of the friendly match 3 weeks back. My life has changed after that you know.. Sriram is like the silver lining in my cloudy, dark life. I am thankful to all the favours he did for me and my family". I didn't want to hear any of that shit but she went on. "His dad owns a super speciality hospital in Delhi and he had agreed to take complete care of my dad from now on". This last statement of hers bought me back to my senses. "Complete care of your dad? What has happened to your dad? You didn't tell me anything"
"Have you ever asked me anything about my family Rohit? My dad is almost completely immobile from past 3 years due to an unfortunate accident which damaged his Spinal column beyond repair. My mom, a braveheart, had taken complete care of him since then until about six months back when she had a mental breakdown owing to immense pressure of our inability to pay the medical bills which is a bomb by itself". She took a long break, making me feel still more miserable.. "What the hell !! How did I not know about it?". She continued, "It was decision time and I decided to quit my education, being the elder kid. But my sister convinced me to complete my graduation from the best college in Bangalore and secure a high paying job to ease the burden. She decided to complete her 12th in correspondence and drop her plans to study medicine"
"Sriram's entry into my life has changed my perspective completely and though things are not turning back to normal, I am seeing that our days of sufferings are ending. Guess what, my sister's gonna write her entrance exam this year and Sriram's family has agreed to take complete responsibility of her education fees"
"But he is a jackass, you won't be happy with him" I thought. Coincidentally she said "I am sure I will be happy with him. What do you say Rohit?" she said.. I thought I did not have any choice but to say, "Bro, you've done an amazing job, hats off to you" to which he did not reciprocate properly. Sanchitha continued, "Rohit, you had something important to tell me right??".
I was so blanked out at that moment that I could not think of a reason. My castle of dreams was shattered well under 3 minutes which I couln't completely register yet. Coming out with a fake reason in less than 3 seconds was impossible.. "Heyy, its nothing yar.. My Blog on Android OS just got its 10000th visitor yesterday" I told the 1st thing that came to my mind.. "Oooo, what a Geek man. Can't believe you asked me to come here just to say this.. I am surrounded by Geeks and Nerds. See you at the presentation Rohit" she said walking away. I was completely not ready to see what happened next. They were holding hands. Though I realized then where she had been the last night and why Parinita had asked me to postpone my plans, I could not digest this fact.
==End of story==
Dude, that incident taught me a couple of lessons for life.
- Never decide to take responsibility when you're not matured enough to handle it.. Bloody, I didn't even know what Sanchitha wanted and all I wanted from her was to like me. I didn't even know about her family and that made me a total loser.
- Never recall this story and remind myself how I missed "The One".
- Never create opportunities for a hot girl without confirming if she's interested in me or not"
Rohit laughed out very loud at his 3rd point. I didn't find it funny, his narration of the story made me feel miserable. I didn't want to ask him anything more but I asked, "Do you still like her?" He said, "Dude, relax.. I am over it now, I don't feel bad about it nowadays". His words echoed in my ears "this story might stay on for quite some time in your mind." I couldn't see his face clearly in the darkness but it sure said, "I know I shouldn't but I still like her"