Silent Love3 mins 411 3 mins 411
Going past the Hindu College in the university campus the other day, I came upon her. We looked at each other, halted momentarily, and resumed our rove.
We have not known each other for very long. It was only two years back that she took admission in our school, and got enrolled in a science section, other than mine. Shaleen Khanna… initially, I got drawn to her because of her sweet name. A very simple, innocent and smiling face with scholarly spectacles on the eyes. In fact, there was nothing extraordinary about her appearance. Besides, until then, unlike with other boys in my class, the girls had never really interested me. Being the class monitor and a very well-known student at my school, I always behaved responsibly. Nevertheless, there was something very unusually charming about Shalu, as Shaleen was better known as.
Writing has been my passion since the beginning. My articles and write-ups had already started getting published by then. The other consequent distinction I enjoyed was that of scoring highest marks in the English language every year, for which they had my name on the Board of Honour. Overall, I was tagged as a brilliant and disciplined student, a consistent winner of the Best Student awards, and the strictest monitor (a label that I rather relished secretly!).
One fine day, outside the principal’s office, I was discussing my recently-published article, ‘True Friendship’ with my English teacher, Mr. Dua, when I realized that Shalu was also interested in my literary instincts. While waiting for her turn to meet the principal, she kept listening to all of our conversation with what looked like genuine interest.
Class 12 students, especially the science students, are mature enough to apprehend and appreciate this kind of a mutual attraction. Maybe, ‘love’ is what some people prefer calling it...
With the final Board exams imminent, gradually, every extracurricular activity took a backseat. Oblivious of everything else around, everyone busied themselves preparing for the same. At our examination center, apart from others, I used to meet Shalu, before the start of every exam. Our eyes would meet to wish good luck to each other. After a declared interval, the results got announced. We both had done very well. I was especially happy to know that there were two distinctions in the English language that year. The first one being mine, the other one was Shalu’s. The highest score in the subject was, however, mine, and it was my name yet again, going on the board of honour.
During the subsequent rush of university admission, I could see her only once, even then at the Hindu College. However, I had no means to know if she was able to get admission there. As far as I am concerned, I had finally secured it in the College of Arts.
What has been incredible about our total association is the fact that we never ever talked to each other! And each one of us held the field even during our recent encounter.
The chances that we shall ever meet again are remote. Or we might happen to meet each other at such a point in life that we do not recognize each other. Or even if we do, we pretend otherwise, treating this love as a teenage folly or a mere infatuation!
Had I wished, I could have thawed the ice.
But then, the point is, she could have made a start as well!