The Girl I Loved
The Girl I Loved9 mins 269 9 mins 269
This story starts and ends with the girl I loved.
As a child of 11, I was not aware that it was love that I felt for her. Her name was Anjali Mehta. Since our childhood, we studied in the same class- from KG to class 6. Through all these years we developed a bond stronger than friendship- a bond we couldn’t and didn’t care to name. I used to play the violin and she used to sit all the time by side- listening silently. She always used to say, “You are a magician Subham. With your violin, you do magic. I am sure, you are gonna make it big someday”. I rarely had friends- I was very shy as a child- but with her standing by me, I needed no one.
But everything changed when I moved to seven- and she left the school because her parents shifted to some other city. Lighting struck me when I heard this- I was in a trauma. I didn’t talk to anyone, didn’t study, did nothing- just cried and cried- mom said I even caught a cold. I knew- I would never be able to see her.
But, with time, I moved on. And after 12 years, at the age of 23- I stood at a very different place. I had made friends (though I was still shy) and was altogether a different person. After completing my graduations- I had decided to pursue my career in Violin- at which I had reached the highest level possible with me. I had become the best and most renowned violinist in the district, six times the winner at the state level and twice at the national level in all categories. I do shows at different functions and occasions to earn some extras and had come in the media as well. The only thing I yearned for was the International Violin Contest.
But she still remained in a corner of my heart, as an unforgettable memory.
I knew that everything I had learned through the years in the local violin class was enough time national level, not more. I decide to take a training of few months and enhance my ability more in the most prestigious violin class in India- which was in Delhi. So, for my temporary stay there, I took the second floor of a two stored building. When I asked the agent who lived on the first floor, he said there lived a girl of nearly my age- and she had assured me she will not be disturbed by my violin practice. “She rather appeared very happy, in fact insane,” he said, “especially when I said your name. When we asked her the reason, she said she had seen you perform and was a fan of you”.
I was not so popular yet to have fans. “What’s her name?” I asked.
“Jasmine Sharma,” he said.
Till the end of August, I was on my way to Delhi along with all my necessary items. I reached at the doorstep of the house- which was very beautiful and welcoming- till evening. But the items along with the people to work had already arrived since afternoon, and half of the settling was already done.
I really wanted to meet the girl- my first fan after all! But her door was locked from out, so I directly went upstairs. But I wasn’t made to wait for long- because up in the room, I found a girl- a very beautiful one- helping the workers. “It must be her,” I thought. I went to her and said, “You don’t have to do this madam”
She turned and looked at me, and her eyes widened. She was stupefied, looking dumbly at me- scanning me from top to bottom. I couldn’t study her expression.
“Hello?” I waved in front of her face, her dream snapped.
She realized she just embarrassed herself, passed a nervous smile, and ran off past me. At the door, she stopped, turned to pass a smile with tearful eyes- and bolted away.
“Did I say something wrong?” I thought, “But all I said was ‘hello’! Maybe she did this because she was the fan and I was the celebrity”- but I was startled by my own thought, “I am a celebrity! When did that happen?”
Anyway, the luggage was less. So with my hands with the workers, the work was easily completed till 10 in the night. The payment was already done, so they went on their way, and I, after having my dinner, tired of the day- fell asleep on the bed.
The next day I was woken up by the knockings at my door. I got off the bed, went to the door and opened it- it was her. “Good Morning!” she wished me with a warm smile- and I swear I had never seen a more beautiful smile than this.
“Well, same to you,” I said, “You are... Jasmine, aren’t you?”
“Good that you know my name”
“Of course, how can I not know the name of my first fan!” I exclaimed.
“So I am your first one?”
“Of course! I am yet not at the level of having fans”
“You are, you just don’t realize it. I have heard you play; you are a magician. With your violin, you do magic.”
I thought came to me that I have heard this before. “Thank you, that’s just nothing,” I said, still trying to remember where I heard it.
There was silence for some time, and then she said, “Wanna have some tea, mister celebrity?”
I realized she was holding a tray with a kettle and cups. “Sure thing!” I said and let her in.
We chatted for quite a while; she explained to me why she behaved so yesterday- that she was not prepared and when the person she wanted to meet appeared right before her, she was left outwitted. We talked of all sorts of things, and I just could help blushing when she went on appreciating me. At last, when the tea was over, she said, “It was a great time with you, Subham”
“I feel the same, Jasmine”
“Well, would you like to do a little more favour?”
“Will you play a piece on your violin? I want you to hear you live”
I really wanted to do this. “Sure!” I said, pulled out the violin and bow from the case, and was ready to play.
I played, and she just sat there with her eyes closed, completely silent, and moved with the waves of the music. She appeared to be floating- both of us had drifted to the other world.
When I finished, it took her time to come back- and then she jumped to her feet clapping and cheering. ‘Awesome!” she cried, “I wasn’t wrong, you are a magician!”- And after bestowing some more applause and appreciations, she went out. What a start to the day!
This went on every day- every morning she would come with the tea, we would chat and then I will play for her. Through these days I came to know her parents died the last year- due to which she rented her own house and lived there- and that she worked in a cafe for income. The violin classes- for which I was there- were from 8 in the morning to 8 in the evening- lunch break in between. They were really productive- even after so many years of violin playing, there were many new things that I came to know.
She was just too nice- she cooked all the meals of the day for me- breakfast, lunch, supper, and dinner- even if insisted her not to take the pain. I even tried to pay her, but she said, rather crossly, that she will not take a single penny. Day by day, our friendship grew stronger, and I started to like her more and more.
And then came the day- 20th September. I always took my umbrella when I went to the classes- because, of course, it was the rainy season. But that day, for some reason, I forgot to take the umbrella. Everything happened as usual- after eating the breakfast and taking the lunchbox- and insisting her again not to take so much pain- I went off. Everything was ok till the classes were to end and watching the dark clouds in the sky- I realize it was going to rain- and I didn’t have my umbrella.
I cursed myself, and as soon as the classes ended at 8, I bolted up the road. The classes were at walking distance from the house, so I generally walked- but that day i wanted a taxi, and found none.
I was halfway to the house when happened what I feared- the clouds blasted into thousand drops- it was raining terribly. I was soaked from top to toe, and my violin case was dripping- but I still continued to run. When I reached the door of the house, I found Jasmine standing there- looking anxious.
I when I got in, she gasped at first and then- wrapping me with a towel or two- led me to her room. She settled me down one of her sofas- me begging her not to do so as it was messing her room and wetting her sofa as well- but she didn’t seem to mind. “Stay here and dry up I will make you some coffee,” she said and went off.
And as I settled down, and my mind stabilized, I considered the situation. I was in her house- I had filled her floor with mud and completely wetter her sofa, but she didn’t mind. She fed me all through the days of my stay there- she was waiting for me at the door, worried that if I was wet. Why was she doing all these?
It’s unnatural to be so nice to a stranger- she just cared too much, and I was not ready to believe that she did all this because she likes one of my performances or because we were tenants in the same building. There must be something more than this...
And then- a thought struck my mind- and I gasped. I felt shaky as if I was going to collapse. A mixed feeling of happiness, disbelieve, everything filled my mind- and i felt dizzy. Maybe I was crazy, but this was the only reason I could give to all that was happening.
“You should be careful...” I heard her say as she came with the tray of kettle and cups.
But she was left silent when she looked at me- I had the same expression on my face that she had when we first met.
And finally, with a trembling voice, I asked, “A... a...are you A... Anjali?”
The tray could have fallen off her hand- so startled she looked. “H... how...?” she couldn’t speak. Tears rolled down her shocked eyes. And then she broke out crying, and throwing the tray, she dashed out of the room”
“Anjali!” I shouted and with all the strength, I ran behind her into the rain.
Both of us were soaked, but we didn’t care.
“Anjali stop!” I screamed, and she stopped running.
I went to her. I held her shoulders and turned her to face me. She was crying.
“Why did you fake your name? Why did you lie to me?” I shouted.
“What else should have I done?” she cried, “You were a star. You have already reached great heights and will still reach more! And me? I am just a commoner with no certain future. I stand no match with you. I...”
“Shut up” I snapped in with a cry, “How could you think such stupid things when you know very well how much I love you? 12 years, and still your thoughts remain in me!”
“I am sorry” she sobbed, “I love you!”
“I love you always!”
And then, she pulled me- and we kissed.
I had found back the girl I loved.