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 my ever bulging waistline 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 secretly admiring & falling heads over heels for her. My first major crush as it happened was in midst of class 11. Dad had kept his promise of buying me a motorcycle 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 gleaming eyes- innocence & serenity lying deep within them .Needless to say my grades were plummeting down faster than iceberg struck Titanic.
However hard I tried ,I could never muster the courage to talk to her- that she was in a different school did not help my case either. Still, this was not going to stop me from 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 much sought after & many of her fans included burly rogue elements of the school. 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. My hopes were shattered to smithereens when one sad day he finally told me that I didn’t stand a chance- but was reluctant to tell me exactly what had happened- making me even more curious. I was hell bent to know the details. The words he uttered were nothing less than arrows with poisoned tips :P. 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, often labeling the poor girl a slut & much worse. 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 flunking the term exams. My one sided love sojourn , the hours of fantasizing & 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 crush, the way you heart pumps against your chest as it would explode & your knees turning into jelly, Sigh!! ; There are very few other feelings that can come close to that. Those sweet feelings & moments of absolute bliss take control of you with logic & rationale taking 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….