The First Love - Part I
The First Love - Part II
The First Love - Part III
The First Love - Part IV
When the school started off again, those were the best times of my life. The next few months just flew off. We started spending more time together. We were together in the class, during the break times & when the class was on, we would still be speaking to each other in a coded language. After class, we took a walk in the ground, before our evening tuition sessions started. Even though she had said that she preferred being friends, i could see that this was turning out to be something else. People say that things work out if one is persistent enough. And I was a personification of persistence. I would make use of every opportunity to proclaim my love for her. Whenever I used to do that, she would be indifferent most of the time. You know the kind of reaction which the deaf people give, as if they hadn’t heard anything. And sometimes she just laughed it off. The one thing unforgettable was when she got jealous of the whole thing. Well, to be honest we had a big laugh at it at a later period. It happened this way.
Once during our tri-bed conference, I was ranting off the fact that Keerthana wasn’t accepting my proposal. We have been talking but she really didn’t give any reaction as if she liked me or loved me. Gopal suggested that I should try out few flattering techniques, showcasing my love for her. Prabu pitched in saying why not write a love letter for her, this time describing her beauty and comparing her with the Nature and remarking how beautiful she was even when compared to the Sun, moon etc etc. Generally, Girls love when someone gives them a compliment, but they get floored when they are told that they are the best compared to everything that’s in the world. I guess, telling a lie to make someone happy isn’t that bad ! Prabu’s idea was a masterpiece, except for a minor mistake. Gopal too joined me in writing it. Don’t get me wrong, he wanted to write a love letter to Geetha, so in order to lessen the efforts, both of us decided to write the letter together. Actually, I protested to this idea, but Gopal quoted the physics concepts of saving energy and increasing efficiency, blah blah.
So that was it. We sat together and composed the love letter as if two master craftsmen were preparing their greatest art. In the end, we took the main draft of the letter, and prepared two more copies of it. On one copy I wrote Keerthana’s name & on the other, Gopal wrote Geetha’s name. We then put the envelopes in respective covers. The next day after the class got over, I and Keerthana were taking a walk in the ground. She had gone to drink water, when I slipped the letter into her bag. I had to meet our class teacher so I went off after telling her. I was thinking that she will get a pleasant surprise when she finds the letter. Little did I know what happened. I was much fortunate than Gopal, who had to bear Geetha’s wrath in real time!! They were in the canteen & she had went off to drink some water. Meanwhile, Gopal inserted the letter into her bag. Then he went off to the nearby shop saying he will get some chips. When he came back, Geetha exploded and gave him some tight slaps. He didn’t understand what was happening. Few minutes back they were talking sweet things, but now it was a tense situation. What had really happened was that our letters had got interchanged. The letter content went off something like: I love you more than I love anything else, You look more beautiful than your friend (yes, we should have mentioned the friend name, which we didn’t). Even if I get a chance to be with her, I will not trade places etc etc. This idea (ridiculous idea) was suggested by Gopal, saying that this will showcase how truthful we were to our lovers. The problem was, my letter to Keerthana started off like “Dear Geetha” and Gopal’s letter to Geetha started off like “Dear Keerthana”. So Geetha ended up thinking that Gopal had discreetly wanted to give the letter to Keerthana, which she had found out.
In my case, Keerthana reaction was a bit different from expected. Till now, I had only heard about the power of non-violence but hadn’t had any opportunity to experience it. Now I got to experience it in real time. Poor British people, they wouldn’t have thought of the power of non-violence before their mighty weapons. In the end, the non-violent stance of the Indians had completely disarmed them. In Keerthana’s case, it was a slight modification of non-violence concept. She had hated violence and hence, she adopted the non-violent mode: Crying. As soon as I met her during dinner, I asked her “So, how is Geetha”. I don’t know why I asked about Geetha, but it was just a casual question, considering Geetha hadnt come to have dinner along with keerthana. She broke into tears. It took some time to understand what had happened, and clear her doubts away. But one good thing had materialized. The incident went onto show how possessive she was about me and how she didn’t like the idea of me with someone else.
Our final exams were coming up in sometime. Prior to that, we had a two week vacation or study holidays, as they called it. Her parents had called her back during that time. I couldn’t imagine why her parents had called her at this period, and I missed her deeply. We had got used to be with each other that it was feeling weird to be without her. I told Gopal, Prabu that Iam going to see her again. They thought it was a crazy idea going out during the exams time. Still, I had made up mind. I left the next day and went to my friend’s place. I went and waited near the road junction. She was returning back from shopping and as soon as she saw me – she started crying. I mean, I expected her to be surprised and give a surprised look, yet wondered if crying was supposed to be the extreme reaction, when someone gets surprised. Then she told me what had happened. Her parents had called her back because they were planning to get her married once she finishes school. She had got a good proposal and her parents had wanted her back home for that reason. I couldn’t say anything. She just continued crying. I wiped off her tears and hugged her. I held her face close and said – No one can make you do anything, if u don’t want to do it. Just tell your parents that you don’t want to get married so soon and that you want to study more. They will yield to your persistence.” Our faces were so close that I could see her iris in a magnified way. And when she was crying, she looked more beautiful with the tears decorating her further. We don’t know what happened, but the next moment our lips had met and we started kissing each other. It was sometime before we realized what we were doing, and since we were standing in the road, we restrained ourselves.
The next thing we see is her mom standing few feets away from us. What we didn’t realize that while we were kissing, her mom had been nearby. She had come in search of Keerthana, and had found us doing it. Her face was a mix of evil glare & angel weeping. Believe me, you wouldn’t want to look at that kind of stare. Keerthana broke away from me and went to her mom, who dragged her back. I came for the next 2 days but couldn’t get to meet her. My friend advised me to go back to school and study for exams. She came for the exams but didn’t even speak with me. The whole week was excruciatingly slow. Because of the rigorous exams, I couldn’t even catch up with her. After t exams got over, her parents came to the school and packed her things. Gopal told me that she was leaving her room. I hurriedly ran towards the main gate. When I reached the main gate, she was sitting in the car. I cried out ‘Keerthana, I want to speak to you’. Her father, a tall man with broad shoulders, (in short, a giant) came towards me and said – Next time, I see you disturbing my daughter, you will really feel sorry for doing so. Go and mind your own business’ Then they just left off, and I could just watch as the car speeded away to distance and become a speck in the long road that lead away from the school.
Ding dong. Ding dong. The door bell rang…
‘Madhu, go and see who is at the door’, I said.
“No daddy, please tell what happened next’, murmured Sankar.
‘That’s for later, go and see who is at the door. Sankar you go and ask your mom to bring something to eat for the guest.’
I had completely forgot. We had invited Gopal’s family to come over to my place and we had planned to go out for a dinner. The time had passed away so soon that I didn’t realize that it was 6’0 clock.
Gopal and his wife came inside and sat in the sofa. ‘How is life, Vikram’,he asked. ‘Geetha aunty, Dad was telling us your school days story”, said Madhu.
“My goodness, how long many times do you tell it to your kids”, exclaimed Gopal.
“What can I do. They never seem to get bored of it.” I said
“Papa left the story in the middle, how Mom had left with her parents on the last day of the
school”, said Sankar in a sad tone.
Just then Keerthana came out of the kitchen carrying a tray. “Hi Geetha, Gopal how are you”, she asked.
Keerthana, she was just the same as the first time I saw her. Her beauty, her smile, were the same as yester years. As the saying goes, if you truly love something, you set it free; if it comes backs it's yours, if it doesn't, it never was. My love was true.
“Dad, tell na what happened then”, Sankar murmured again.
“Sankar, You have heard it many times. Now go and get ready for going outside. The story of how I met your Father again is a long story. We will hear it some other time”, saying so Keerthana came and sat beside me.
If there is one thing which a man can ask for, it is to live along with the girl of your dreams. And I was blessed indeed. As someone said “If you truly love someone with all your heart, the whole world conspires to help you achieve your dream”
***************************** THE END***********************************
P.S: I would like to extend my thanks to my friends Preeti, Madhavi & Uday sankar for their threat that if the story had a bad ending that would be my last day in earth. Hope you liked the ending. Thanks to all who liked the story and followed it up from the start and gave genuine feedback.