Vani’s Love And Girlfriends
Vani’s Love And Girlfriends
It had been almost an hour, and the girls were nowhere in sight.
It was the day of the cultural fest in our college. A cheerful crowd of adults everywhere… music in the air… fun games and competitions going in every other corner… Everybody was too busy having fun.
And I was so anxiously waiting for those evil girls. Preeti and Sneha: the evil spirits in the bodies of two jaw-droppingly beautiful girls. But, then I must grudgingly admit that they were the best: My best girlfriends. But, where the hell were they?
I kept on walking from one end of the ground to the other, trying to maintain a pretentious smile, when all I felt like was to bust anyone's head who smiled at me. For the 38th time, I picked up my phone to call and shout at Preeti and stopped dead in the middle of the track as I saw something big lying in my way on the ground. It was a boy, who for some reason was on his knees, and with an outstretched arm holding a red rose towards me.
As I came out of my reverie to realize what was happening, the boy opened his mouth to say those three words- 'I Love You.'
I was lost for a moment. It felt wonderful. No one had ever said those three words to me. But soon I figured that I must get angry at the guy. So I did. And then blurted out at him- 'WHAT!!'
That's all I could say in my shock. Somehow the boy felt more confident. He put on a big smile, looked right in my eyes, and said again, 'I love you.' And then he didn't stop. 'I love you'… 'I love you'… 'I love you'… and on and on he went, chanting the magical words to impress the goddess. Only there was no goddess. He was chanting all for me.
A curious crowd of adults now encircled us. He went on and on, repeating the magical words, a big smile on his face, and a reflection of myself in his eyes. He had beautiful dark brown eyes, dark black hairs, and his smile was contagious. I couldn't help smiling. But the guy didn't stop even then. 'I love you'… 'I love you'… 'I love you'… It must have been well over 500 times when I blushed looking into those sparkling eyes. And right then and there I fell in love with him. In a whisper, I finally replied- 'I love you too' and accepted the rose.
The crowd began shouting and cheering and whistling. But I was far away from the entire cheerful crowd, lost in some dreamland, locked inside those dark brown eyes forever. It was the most wonderful feeling of my entire life. But it was only short-lived. My phone began ringing, flashing the name and face of Preeti. And before the guy could stand up on his feet, before we could say something to each other, the devil girls broke from the crowd and came rushing towards me and pushed me out in a corner.
"Jesus Christ Vani!" dramatically Sneha put her hands on her hips, while Preeti locked her arms around my waist as if I was some wild fox who, if left unchained, would tear apart anyone on her way. "We leave you for an hour," she continued blurting out, "and you fell in love with someone! Anyone…" And then making one of her weird faces, she fixed me with an accusing glance, "Honestly girl! Are you that despo for a guy?"
The poor guy who couldn't take it anymore left away. Through the corner of my eye, I saw a triumphant smile on his face. Only when I saw him reporting back to a group of his friends, who were now cheering and shouting, I figured out that guy was just being challenged to do so. And I was just a victim.
'Oh! Dear me,' I shrugged and gripped Sneha in a tight embrace. She knew that I had fallen in love with the guy.
In no time the crowd of all those curious adults vanished into oblivion. When only three of us were left, Sneha suggested, "Let's go to the canteen."
So we entered the canteen and took our patent corner table. Nobody said a word until we got our routine Chai and Samosa's on the table. While Preeti looked dejected and all sullen faced, Sneha kept on giving me her accusing glares, as if I just ate her Samosa without her consent (Although I secretly wished I could).
"WHAT??" I asked her finally. I couldn't bear her look anymore.
And the clever girl changed her expression at once to that of sympathy. "Are you all right?" She asked holding my hand (as if offering her condolences and saying- 'There, there! Poor girl…')
I gave her a piercing look with eyes partly closed, and squeezing her hand between my hands, I asked in an inquiring voice, "Tell me Sneha, you are not, by any chance, trying to… steal my Samosa. Are you?"
Her pretentious sympathetic look vanished. With a jerk, she pulled her hand away, and under her breath, she muttered, "You insufferable bitch!"
"Easy girl…" I spat out in an equally silent whisper, "You don't want to get overheard now. Do you?"
One look at each other and we burst into laughter. We were just like that always- carefree, happy-go-lucky, and never-get-serious kind. I was blessed to have Preeti and Sneha, my two best buddies, in my life.
But something was wrong with Preeti. She was all sullen and sad-faced and in a gruff mood. And she hadn't said a word ever since.
"And what's the matter with you now girl?" We both spat out at once at Preeti, who was taken aback. For some reason, she got worked up, turned red in fury, and shouted at both of us, "SHUTT UPP!"
We exchanged another look, and fully aware of the consequences decided to shut up. But even that didn't satisfy her. And she stood up, picked her bag, and strode off out of the canteen, without even saying a word. We were taken with surprise as Preeti had never acted like that before. Something must be wrong with her. Sneha had a hunch about her behavior, but she refused to tell me then.
Although I was acting quite normal after the incident of the boy, deep within me something had changed. Those dark brown eyes and the hearty smile… I couldn't help but re-living that memory again and again. And I was angry; angry that the guy was just using me. He tricked me in saying 'I love you'. And I was stupid enough to fall for him just like that. But I thought, it wasn't only me, it was also him. It was only when I saw something in his eyes for me, I fell for him. I couldn't believe that it was all just an act. And I was so full of anger that I thought, if he ever comes in front of me, I would break his nose with one punch, and kick his back, and… and… Oh, I did really miss him.
Apparently it turned out the boy too had developed feelings for me. Soon after Preeti left us in the canteen, the guy appeared in front of me. He took my hand and without bothering about the gaping Sneha, he kissed it. A big smile spread over my face as I received the confirmation of his love. His name was Rajesh, and he was a year junior to me. After a while, we excused ourselves from grudging Sneha who reluctantly permitted me to go with Rajesh.
It was our first official walk as a couple, hand in hand, on the same grounds where he chanted the miraculous prayer to impress me.
To be in love is to be in a fairy tale, where you are the princess, and the world revolves around you. Your prince charming makes the world revolve around you. The effect of being in love is so contagious that it makes everything around you look so wonderful. Everything feels like a dream. You just wish that the dream would go on forever and you never want to be woken up. But then… sometimes it's not really in your hands, is it?
It's been three months since I had been walking on cloud seven with my partner. We spent as much time as we could in each other's company. Rajesh took care of me like I was a little child. He would do anything and everything for me. And in return, he never asked anything from me, except of course occasional hugs and kisses, which I would so lovingly give him as and when we could find opportunity. But that was all… and all was so wonderful.
Sneha had accepted my mental condition as incurable. She would often quip, "What happened to that evil mischievous girl?" And I would reply, "Oh! She turned out to be the Princess." And she would just shrug and smirk at me. All was well between us.
But ever since that day in the canteen, something had changed in Preeti's behavior permanently. Although we were still together, there was a lot of pretense in her attitude towards me. She was fine with Sneha though. And as for Rajesh, only if I could describe in words how she behaved.
I was too drenched in my feelings of love that I didn't notice her little acts of seduction. She often brought delicious dishes for him, helping him with his assignments. And her flirty little acts of sometimes holding his hand, winking at him, and sometimes a kiss on his cheeks… I withdrew them as only friendly gestures.
In some time, Rajesh too started flirting with her. And oftentimes he would join Preeti in making fun of me. But, I was too cool to mind such trifling jokes. Because I knew that Rajesh loved me so much, and Preeti too was my best friend. Nevertheless, Rajesh didn't leave a chance to make me feel special every single day. It was all so lovely and so perfect for me.
One day we decided to go to a movie. It was Preeti's plan for all four of us. Sneha wasn't interested at all, but she agreed grudgingly after my insistence. Preeti quipped deliriously at me, "Don't worry Princess! You two love birds will get your corner seats," and then she winked at Rajesh. It was weird.
The four of us reached PVR, for the 9:30 PM show. As we were about to enter the Multiplex, Sneha pulled me out of the queue, and told me she was feeling a little dizzy. So Preeti gave us two tickets and asked to come in whenever she feels alright, and pulled Rajesh with him without even letting the man decide.
As the two disappeared inside the hall, Sneha pulled me to sit by her side. She looked perfectly well, but she looked sad for some reason.
"What's the matter with you?" I asked her gruffly, but a little concerned.
For some reason, her eyes were moist. In her heavy voice, she said, "I feel sorry for you dear."
I was taken aback. At first, I thought she was just putting on her usual drama. But never had I ever seen tears in her eyes before.
And right then and there I realized that I had lost Rajesh, my first love, forever.
Sneha told me all about how Preeti had been so much in love with Rajesh since her school days… how she got so jealous when Rajesh proposed me that day… and how she did whatever she did to finally make Rajesh fall in love with her.
Then just to show me a final proof, Sneha snatched my phone and typed a message: "We are going back. Sneha isn't feeling well." and sent it to both Preeti and Rajesh. Then after around 15 minutes, she took me inside the movie hall only to see Preeti and Rajesh sitting at the corner sheets, holding hands and locked around each other.
For some reason, tears began flowing down my eyes as Sneha pulled me in a tight hug. We left the place at once without saying another word to anyone and to each other. I was hurt; and so was her. Not because I was betrayed in love, but because I was betrayed in friendship; and so was her.
And that was how I lost my love and a best friend, forever.
It's been almost two years since we graduated. Sneha went to the USA to seek an MBA, while I took the job in a multinational company. We haven't met ever since, but we were in touch through the phone and the internet. She once told me that she has fallen in love with someone finally, but never cared to bother me with the details. But, I am happy for her.
I didn't think I would ever fall in love again. I know that everyone says that after a heartbreak, but the difference is that I'm not heartbroken. I'm not cynical, or pessimistic, or sad. I'm just someone who once felt something bigger than anything else I'd ever felt and when I lost it, I honestly believed I would never have that again. But… I was 22 then and life is long. And I'm feeling things right now that I haven't in a long, long time.
I, Vanya Kapoor, too, out of all the odds of an oddity, am feeling something as magical as I had felt once before, a long time ago.
About a couple of months ago I was sent to work at the client location, at their Bangalore office. It was only my first day when I met Manish, who was the head of the Bangalore office. Right from the first day he was a gentleman. He helped me find a place to stay in Bangalore; he would help me with anything I ask for.
Apart from being professional, Manish is quite funny. We have our coffees together, lunches together. And often he would invite me to dinner parties with him. Sometimes, after dinner we would go for a long drive and talk for hours. He would tell me about his personal life, and I would tell him about my life. In only a couple of weeks, we developed a close friendship. And I grew feelings for him. Manish would make me feel so special every time, and I love to be in his company forever. Perhaps he too had feelings for me, perhaps…
I don't know if it is love.
If it is, then I am ready to fall for it, once again.
But I don't want to be the first one to admit my love to him. I would wait for him to come to me and propose to me. Maybe he would… after returning from his business trip he left for, yesterday, for a week.
Two days have passed and I am already missing him so much. I wish if only I could have him here with me forever and never let him go again. "I am getting mad in love…" I keep thinking to myself.
Another day passed. Manish is still due, to come after another four days.
But fortunately, my darling friend Sneha texted me - "Come Skype! Now! Got something for you darling!" Even in the text, she sounds so excited… she has already made me so curious and excited.
As I turned on Skype and got connected, I was greeted with a smiling figure of my darling friend Sneha… and sitting by his side another happy figure of a guy.
It was Manish… The same Manish I fell in love with, here in Bangalore.
My heart skipped a couple of beats. In her cheerfulness, Sneha finally introduced me to her boyfriend about whom she never bothered to tell me ever before. She said that Manish had just proposed her for marriage and that she is so happy…
And so am I… even though I have lost my love once again. I am happy for my friend.
I am happy because this time I get to keep my best girlfriend. Yes, I am happy because I still get to keep my evil sweet best buddy forever.