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© Rima Parkar


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Venkatesh Iyer enrolled for a six-month private banking course after completing his graduation. The course offered fixed placement among the top reputed banks. Venkatesh, a quiet and shy young boy, mostly kept to himself. Among the boys in his classes, he only had two friends, who were actually his college friends. He never had a girlfriend nor did he have any female friends. He spoke to girls only if it was required. Tall, dark and handsome, he was admired by many girls in college not only for his looks, but also for his intellect. For reasons best known to him, he chose to stay away from the limelight. He mostly sat in a corner of the classroom with his limited group of friends.

His friends mostly called him Venky. He was a completely different person when he was with his close friends compared to what he was in front of the outside world. He spent around two months sitting in a corner, concentrating only on the knowledge the course had to offer. Until he heard a girl named Ayat Qureshi speak with confidence and charm. All the students had to submit a group project in which each student had to speak for around 3 minutes. It was not her face which attracted him. It was the way she presented the topic which was given to her. She was the best in her group of five. In fact, most of the work presented by them was her brainchild.

After listening to her speech, Venky observed her face, her eyes and her radiant smile. No other girl had ever fascinated him before. Around 5.5 inches tall, Ayat was beautiful and had tied her light brown hair neatly in a ponytail. Dressed in a red kurta and white leggings, he felt that she looked like a cute little porcelain doll. He kept on wondering for a few minutes why he had never noticed her before. Inspite of being right in front of him since the past 60 days.

He started observing her from the next day onwards. She was friendly and easy to talk to. The best part about her was that her behavior was the same with everyone. All the boys admired her and all the girls wanted to be like her. She seemed to be a beautiful person inside out. One day, Venky changed his usual corner place and sat right behind her, in the hope that he might get a chance to talk to her. And fortunately, he did. Ayat was polite and courteous whenever she interacted with him. From then onwards, he made several efforts to get to know her. And she never disappointed him. Ayat was a girl who spoke her mind and that made him like her even more.

To his surprise, Ayat also took the bus from the same bus stop as his, which was actually an opportunity in disguise for Venky. He got to spend more time with her. He would always wait until she took her bus. At times, he even missed his frequent bus for her and travelled from the later bus. When asked by her, he would make up some random excuse. She would make up a funny face and ignore his actions, not paying much heed. As time passed, Venky found himself falling head over heels in love with her. He couldn’t get her off his mind. Whenever she was with him, time seemed to stand still. Back at home, he missed her desperately. He would wait eagerly to meet her the next day.

His close friends Dinesh and Raj were astonished on realizing that he had feelings for Ayat. Never before had they seen their dear friend go so crazy over a girl. While they were happy for him, they also took the opportunity to pull his legs on various occasions. Venky’s face would light up on seeing Ayat coming from a distance and he would blush like a tomato even at the mention of her name. He never really bothered to know how she felt about him. He was literally in dreamland, thinking about having a future with her.

Around two weeks prior to their course completion, Ayat was in a grumpy mood unlike her usual chilled-out attitude while returning home. She kept on talking and talking while Venky kept staring at her like a fool, smiling to himself. He wasn’t even listening to what she was saying. He was too busy seeing her eyes, her cute little nose and then his eyes rested on her beautiful pink lips. He was imagining himself kissing her, not realizing that Ayat had caught him red-handed. Her face turned red with fury on discovering his intentions and she yelled at him.

“ What are you looking at?” Her loud voice alarmed him and he immediately lowered his gaze, feeling like a criminal and ashamed of himself. Neither of them spoke a word after that. When Ayat’s bus arrived, all she said was, “ Here’s my bus. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

The next day onwards, Ayat started ignoring him. She spoke to him only if required, that too, when he approached her. She avoided facing him and joking around with him. Her beautiful face turned pale whenever their eyes crossed paths. Venky realized that he had to learn to control his emotions around her. Maybe she just wasn’t interested in him. Maybe she was. He didn’t know right now and he didn’t want to scare her away. She didn’t have to love him just because he was madly in love with her. He continued approaching her just to win her friendship, if not love. She became her usual self with him in a few days’ time. He didn’t want a beautiful friendship to die just because of his silly emotions. He just wanted to create beautiful memories with her. Memories of his first love.

Towards the end of their course, Ayat realized that Venkatesh liked her more than a friend while Venky realized that Ayat only wanted friendship and nothing else. Both of them chose not to speak about it. Venky made sure he clicked a picture of himself with her before their course was over. Afterall, it was the end of a beautiful beginning. A love, not meant to stay together, but to be remembered for a lifetime. Two years down the line, they continue to remain Facebook friends and like each other’s pictures and posts from time to time. Venkatesh still loves Ayat the way he did before. He never really forgot her. And he might never try to forget her as well. For him, she shall always be the beautiful, carefree, selfless Ayat who taught him that love is not just give. It’s also take. 

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