Those were the days....

Posted by Tandarin Nike Wednesday, February 10, 2010 9:17 AM
This is something that I wanted to write about long back, but then thought of waiting for the right time to come. Well, it’s time.

It’s about an incident that happened when I was in college, way back in mid 70’s, which probably I can share with you now. I have been digging my own grave since some time through my personal blog-posts; I just hope that a few inches of digging might not make much of a difference now.

It was during one of those exam seasons in college that I first noticed this girl. I still remember that day. I was taking Xerox copies at the college library.

I used to buy all the books relevant for each semester, but it were the Xerox copies that used to come handy during the exams. Xerox copies of notes taken by, who else? Those studious and intelligent girls of our class.

Their notebooks used to be neat with proper headings and underlinings, our notebooks used to be more artistic, with paintings and scribbling, all an earnest outcome of attempts at staying awake during those boring and complex lecture sessions.

Nevertheless, the notes of our girls used to be a bible to us during the exam seasons.

Well, coming back to the incident...

While I was waiting near the Xerox machine, I somehow felt as if somebody was looking at me. I turned my head towards that ‘somebody’. It was a girl from our batch. I had seen her before, but never ‘noticed’ her in the crowd.

The moment I looked at her, she took off her eyes from me. She seemed to be waiting for one of her friends.

A few seconds later, I again felt as if ‘somebody’ was looking at me. I turned my head again in the same direction. She took off her eyes from me.

I finally laid my hands on my Xerox copies. While stacking them into my folder, I just turned towards her. She was still at the same place, waiting for her friend, looking at me. I sort of ignored it and left the library.

The very next day, as I was standing outside our examination hall, mugging up the notes, I again had this feeling that ‘somebody’ was looking at me.

I turned my head. It was her. She immediately took her eyes down to her notebook.

After the exam, I was on my way to the library to return a book. As luck would have it, I saw her again, this time talking to one of her friends. Her friend saw me and said something to her. She instantly turned back and looked at me.

Man, something was wrong with her.

Did she really have something special for me? What was it? Was it infatuation, crush or something else...?

I didn’t know.

There was one more thing that I didn’t know as yet, that was her name.

I don’t exactly remember how, but I managed to get her name, from one of my classmates who knew her.

Her name - well, I can’t reveal for obvious reasons. Let’s call her ‘Mangala’.

Mangala seemed to be a very calm and quite girl. She would hardly smile. She always used to have this serious look on her face.

I don’t know from when, but I also started ‘noticing’ her in the crowd. It was quite strange, but my eyes always used to zero-in on her, in the crowd.

Encounters with Mangala used to be quite funny. I would see her coming with her friend. She would look at me from a distance. I would look at her. We both would then sway our eyes in different directions, quite unpretentiously. Then, as both of us neared each other from opposite ends, we again would have an instant glance at each other, at the same time.

Thought it was never close to anything like love, it was just a pleasant feeling, which many of us might have experienced in our lives.

Ironically, I never tried to know more about her, forget about taking the first step towards approaching her.

Months passed by with those pleasant encounters happening on and off.

One fine day, I got to know that she belonged to a different religion. Knowing my parents, I knew that bringing a girl from a different religion would-be a problem at my home. They would never accept her whole heartedly for sure. Further, having seen many problems associated with inter religious marriages I was a little averse at the whole idea.

Thankfully, I wasn’t too serious about Mangala. Hence, it was now easier for me, if ever Mangala came to me and said ‘I have something special for you’.

I started ignoring Mangala. During our few encounters I made it a point that I would not look at her, no matter what happened. I expected her to realize over a period of time that I didn’t have anything for her.

Unfortunately, I felt she was not getting the message across. She was still ‘noticing’ me. A sort of guilty feeling started setting into me. Probably through the glances during our earlier encounters, I was making her feel that I had something for her. I shouldn’t have done that. I shouldn’t have given her any hope.

Finally, I decided to talk to her and clear off things. I didn’t have to wait for long.

I saw her near one of the staff rooms. I had gone there to collect one of my answer sheets. Not many were there. I saw her looking at me.

This was the right opportunity. I didn’t think twice and went straight to her.

Me: Hi

Mangala: Hi

Me: Do you have anything to say?

Mangala: No. Why?

The reply from her was so cold, it felt like a tight slap on my face. Now, this wasn’t expected from a girl who laid her eyes on me all the while. This was not part of the script. I mean...how could she react this way?

Me: Nothing

I looked around. No one apart from me and her had heard anything. I bade her good bye and took a hasty retreat back to my class.

I tried to get back to my senses after that jolt. It was now time for disaster recovery and brainstorming.

There was no doubt that she had been ‘noticing’ me since last several months. But why the hell did she react that way?

After lot of thinking/analysis, there were just two possibilities;

1. She indeed had some feeling for me, but was shy to admit it.

2. She didn’t have any feeling for me; instead she thought that I was the one to start the ‘noticing’ game.

The first reason seemed to be fine. But then if it was the second reason, I had made a fool of myself.

Anyways, I continued ignoring her. I had thought of finding out the real reason from her on our farewell day, a day when usually such things come out.

Months passed by. Our farewell came, but by then I had dropped the idea of talking to Mangala and finding out the real reason.

The funny part was that none of my college mates had an idea that something of this sort had happened in my life. I hadn’t shared this with anyone in my college which actually saved me from a lot of humiliation.

Coming back to my infatuation story, I have conveniently settled with the idea that she did have some feelings for me but was definitely shy to admit it.

This thought just gets me into the right mood even today. Though by now, lot of water has passed under the bridge.

I have just no idea where Mangala is today, but if she ever reads this post, please for god's sake dont get me wrong and dont spoil my mood.

2 Response to "Those were the days...."

  1. Mampi Says:

    I hope she comes to this blog and tells u that she had 'thing' for you.
    What the heck yaar, it feels good. It is nowhere close to so-called love but it is great...
    well written...

  2. Tandarin Nike Says:

    Thanks Mampi. I doubt she will ever see it, but like you say here the feeling is great.

Post a Comment