It was evening when I reached
Benares. I took the
auto-rickshaw to ‘Lanka’ where my friend was living. It took approximately one
hour to reach at ‘Lanka’ from the Bus stand because the narrow roads were
overcrowded and traffic was jammed.
I was greeted by him with a beautiful smile on his face, which I was seeing after a year. Together we enjoyed the tea at a stall beside the road then we moved towards his room. He was looking rather weak and underweight in comparison to me. Our faces and figures match with each other to such extent that most of the persons got confused when they met either of us on the way. Sometimes they recognized me as Rakesh and Rakesh as me. And there was a Professor Gupta, at our college in
who made a record in this confusing situation. For over 2-3 months, when we
were attending his classes, he gave my attendance to Rakesh and his attendance
to me. Meanwhile I was absent due to my illness for a month but in his register
I was attending his classes and Rakesh was going to be absent. Finally when our
examination dates were declared, and our percentage of attendance was made
publicly available, I got 80% attendance in his classes while Rakesh got only
When we reached at his room, he asked me, “So how is Varuna? Have you talked her or not?” It was the same question asked in every encounter whenever we met each other.
“No!” I said, “I didn’t feel like talking to her although I have mailed her some times.”
“What do you write to her?” he was grinning.
“Oh; not any love letter, but I have mailed her some of my poems. Then after reading and feeling the warmness of my poems, she called me back.” I said.
“And what did she said when she called you?” he asked me eagerly.
“She was expecting the same warmness in our relationship when I was talking to her, but I didn’t show any interest in her. I liked her as she is in my memories only. ” I told him, “Sometimes peoples are seemed much more lucrative and attractive in our memories than they are in reality. Past is lucrative, you know!”
Varuna was our classmate, the only estrogen in testosterone filled classroom. Everybody made fun of her, and she enjoyed their companionship. Then one day, things have been changed forever, I proposed her.
His room was something different from ours in
and the difference
was clearly visible in his standard of living. In our college days we used to
live a lower class life at a room in village area, but now he was living a
middle class life at a better room in a posh colony area. Meerut
The phone of Rakesh was ringing. “I hope Prakash was calling!” he said.
Prakash was the friend of Rakesh since his graduation days. They have completed their graduation from the same college in same year. After this Rakesh had taken admission at a college in
for his Post graduation while Prakash was succeeded in taking admission in BHU,
much better than us. Meerut
“Where are you, now?” asked Rakesh on phone. After knowing his exact location, he left his room for receiving Prakash. I preferred to stay in the room, lying on his bed. I was rather lost in our old days. After a long time, when you meet such a person with whom you have spend a number days, some of its sweet and some sour, you automatically lost in those days. The whole memories turned back in your eyes in the form of a film.
I remembered the night when he and I were sitting in our room in
, along with Tomar, one of our
colleagues, and there was a bottle of whisky, ‘A full Royal Stag’. It was a
cold evening of December, and we were enjoying our drink. We mocked each and
everyone in our college and Tomar was an expert in doing mimicry. Meanwhile he started talking about Varuna. Meerut
“Why don’t you propose her?” he asked Rakesh.
“I tried many times, but she didn’t fall in my trap. Otherwise I have hammered her long before.” He said. Rakesh was an expert in hammering anything.
“And what did she told you when you attempted her?” he asked again.
“She told me that my eyes are full of wickedness and I look like a criminal.” Rakesh answered. And all of us laughed together.
“Well! In that case, you should propose her, Eishwer, You have innocent eyes and you don’t looks like criminal.” Tomar said to me.
“Well, I don’t have the courage for this.” I said smilingly.
To be continued...