It had been nearly half an hour since Nisha was observing the leaves of the Gulmohar tree, smear against each other. The leaves brushed off the dust which enveloped them over the days. The wind which was warmer and drier than most of the days swept across her moist face bringing some of her untied hair over her cheeks and eyes. She was lost in her thoughts when suddenly her alarm rang. She took her phone to switch it off. It was three twenty in the afternoon. Nisha thought of sleeping for an hour and had set this alarm for so but ended up gazing out of her small balcony of the hostel.
Nisha stayed in this hostel for almost two years now. Actually more than two. She hailed from a town in Maharashtra called Satara and came to Vijayawada just after giving her last board paper of tenth. Preparations for the engineering entrance exam were the only reason she was sent here, away from her family, her world.
It's been quite some days now she was feeling this crestfallen, but the feeling was much stronger this day. Nisha lately got her results of the first part of the entrance which she appeared for, a month ago. She secured a rank whose digits were completely dismissed from her mind. If put differently, she didn't want to recollect it. She had greased her elbow to its extreme only for a good grade. Was that too much she desired for? The procured results were nowhere parallel to what she had worked for.
All that she could see was her hard work and toil go in vain. She had never faced failure before this. She rang her mother twice this morning. Talked to her. Her mother could only buoy up her confidence over the phone which she immediately squandered as soon as the call hung up. Either of her parents did not push her for a brilliant score but it was she herself. She always dreamt of this. As these thoughts swept her mind, warm tears rolled down Nisha's chin and sank into her neck before even she lifted her hands. Last night she couldn't sleep with her teary eyes and be only able to survive the immense intolerable pain in her head.
Today in the afternoon she decided to put an end to all this nuisance. It was all going too much for this eighteen-year-old. Nisha could clearly realize that destiny was not in favor. She lost her battle. It was getting tougher day by day to live with this heavy heart and to acknowledge this sense of failure which she was carrying. "Enough" she murmured to herself and then had a sneak glimpse of the ceiling fan which hung straight. She made up her mind about what she wanted to do.
For the last time, Nisha wanted to feel the nature, the sunset from her balcony. The clock had struck four-thirty by then. She took out the packet of milk which Sushila didi brought her yesterday, from the fridge, and switched on the kettle to make a cup of coffee. She took her hot brewing coffee and slowly leaned over the railing. She was exhausted.
A group of boys aged between twelve to fifteen years was playing cricket in the ground opposite the Gulmohar tree. As she sipped her coffee she could figure out that they were playing cricket in turns, and among them was a boy, younger in age, around eight years. The other boys in the group were not really keen on giving the young boy chance and merely let him play. However, the boy seemed really eager and enthusiastic to play even if he was given less than half an over to play. He would wait with great patience until his turn would come and then he would concentrate on the ball as if it was the last ball he was playing. Each time he batted, the ball would hardly touch the bat, or even worse, the ball would hit the wicket. This continued for more than seven to eight times straight. Every time the boy would take up the bat, Nisha would secretly hope the boy hitting the ball and scoring, but things would always turn the other side. While watching all these she made herself more convinced that even if we put our best foot forward it might not work if we are unfortunate. She thought to herself that she would escape from all these burdens of feelings. She looked at her cup which was empty now with a few grains of sugar left at the bottom.
She sighed and pulled the curtains while moving inside. "Six!". She slid back the curtains slightly and peeped out to find, the group of boys cheering. To her surprise, it was the young boy who had hit the six. "Enough" whispered Nisha to herself. Again. But this time with a trace of a smile...