I used to be a boring kid, essentially a nerd till class 5. I used to get that little attention of girls though, which was by the virtue of me being a topper. However better sense prevailed soon & I started taking active interest in other things – cricket, video games & endless stupid shenanigans with my buddies . Being the topper of the class no longer was on my wish list. The irony was that I still was not the popular kid- I was identified with my earlier nerdy avtar. This strikes you the most when you hit puberty, you no longer want to be a nerd- you want to be that cool guy. How things change so dramatically is evident from the fact that earlier what used to be a punishment- making you sit amongst girls in class , becomes the privilege that every guy desires. You start learning about sex, experience changes- hormones in your body run amok like raging bulls through alleys of Madrid.
I was never good looking, my sense of humor was pathetic to say the least & add to that me piling on those kilos served no good- the perfect recipe for the ultimate disaster as a teen. Understandably , I did not have a girlfriend- however this could not stop me from falling for someone. My first major crush was , when I was in class 11. Dad had kept his promise of buying me a motorbike after class 10- a large part of the day was hence spent roaming around oggling at girls in Model Town- which was equivalent to “Times Square” in my city. Of all the girls, I developed an instant liking for her. We used to attend the physics & chemistry coaching classes together for entrance exam preparation. I however was lost in a different classroom, looking at her affectionately- getting lost in her silky tresses, those rosy cheeks , lips which seemed nothing less than rose petals & those eyes- innocence & serenity lying deep within them .Needless to say my grades were plummeting down faster than iceberg struck Titanic in the Atlantic Ocean.
However hard I must have tried ,I could never muster the courage to talk to her- that she was in a different school did not help my case either. This did not stop me from going out & buying the most expensive deo spray that I could find in the market & spraying it generously , to an extent that it lead to chapped skin – as if she would whiff the aroma , rip apart her clothes & wrap her arms around me like those models in TV commercials. I cajoled mom to buy me new trendy , fashionable clothes, every day I used to spend considerable time in front of the mirror , before going out for the tuition class. If this wasn’t enough, I used to borrow clothes from a cousin who was staying with us that time- just to catch her attention. I made sure to make the most out of the frugal amounts I had been bestowed upon in the looks department .Many weeks passed by, without me even having a conversation with her apart from the occasional “class kab shuru hogi” “ I need to get your notes photocopied” . I decided if I can’t muster the courage to talk to her face to face, I’ll call her on phone. Neither of us had a cellphone that time, so I painfully searched for her number in the telephone directory- without having any clue about her dad’s name – there were hundreds of people with the same last name as her’s in that creepy phone directory. After much exploring I finally managed to get her fixed line phone number, but each time I called her – the deep heavy baritone of her father on the other side made me instantly disconnect the call.
I soon realized that this ain’t gonna work ; I started looking for other ways –luckily one of my very close friends had changed school & now used to be her classmate. I went to him with the trademark “ Bhai setting kara de”. He assured me that he would try & workout something , with the underlying warning that she is a hot commodity & there are many other guys who are after her- many of them being the rogue elements of the school, however those are the prime years of your youth, when you don’t fear anything or anyone- I went ahead with my “dekh loonga un ko” & told him to go ahead with it .I immediately saw a new door opening up, with rays of hope ushering in as my friend assured me patting my shoulder. Each day I would meet him and get updates on the progress. As luck would have it , one sad day finally he came & told me that I didn’t stand a chance- but was reluctant to tell me exactly what had happened- this made me even more curious. I was hell bent to know the details. The words he uttered were nothing less than arrows with poisoned tips. This is an excerpt of the chat he had with her-
Friend-“ You know Amitoj”
She-“ Yeah he comes to my coaching class”
Friend-“ He is a nice guy, you should get to know him better, he is the proverbial tall, dark” . He was interrupted in between as she broke into peels of laughter
She-“ Giggling, ab handsome mat kehna”
I have a good laugh till this day, as I reminisce over this. Jokes apart, I took rejection very sportingly, unlike a lot of us who become instant “Dev Ds” & take this as an attack on their ego. The scope of any heart break was further eliminated when I saw her getting close to another guy. Some people might get hurt seeing their crush with someone, but on the contrary I did not feel bad- in fact I lost all respect for her when I saw them indulging in PDAs during the class- playing footsie, caressing each other . Soon I left the coaching class , as my academics bore a sad picture. The idea of ignoring the CBSE boards at the expense of the so called entrance exam preparation resulted in me failing in term exams- me getting lost in my own love lost paradise made matters worse. Nevertheless it was a great phase- the rush that you get on seeing your sweetheart, the way you heart races & your knees turn into jelly- there are very few other feelings that can come close to that. Those sweet feelings & moments of absolute bliss take control of you, logic & rationale take a backseat. Apart from all that, one other great thing about this crush was- it brings a smile on my face when I think of the stupid things I used to indulge into.
To be Contd….