That first crush at college



Alright, so for anyone who got too excited reading the title, It’s not my own story. And even if you are one my college mates reading this, you wouldn’t be getting any names or even hints so as to track down the culprits of this short but timeless saga. For all intents and purposes, we would be calling the Hero, my good friend, as Mr. Nivea (Oh Yes, it’s a tradition for me to use the Deodorant name people use as their alias in my stories. You never guessed? Strange !! ). Now what should we call our quintessential heroine, in this little story. You know, well, I don’t happen to know the deodorant used by her, but I would imagine I should call her Ms. Cherry. So, now that the nomenclature is settled, let me take you the interesting bit.

It was the very first semester at college and life was pouring in from every direction you turned your head to. Amidst all of this outrage, there was this innocent little guy, the quintessential college friend who is meant to fall in love atleast 60 times through the 4 years and get rejected by all of them. And this innocent little guy, Mr. Nivea as we would have it, dared to fell for who was considered the ho…… most popular girl at college. What can one do, fate has mysterious ways to get you in trouble.

Anyway, it all started when Mr. Nivea realized that given the start of his college life, it was high time that he should fall in love and let almost the entire class know about it.  So he befriended Ms. Cherry and to everyone’s surprise, he was quite a good talker (although in a crude way), far as good guys like him are supposed to scale with such girls. Maybe it was because Ms. Cherry herself wasn’t one of those ‘Mean Girls’, who get on the seventh cloud on starting college. Maybe she herself had perfected this social notion of boys throwing themselves at her and how she never saw it as bad in anyway. Whatever were the reasons, our Mr. Nivea was through, atleast in the zone of being able to call himself a friend to the lovely Ms. Cherry.

Time passed, seasons came and went away. And our Mr. Nivea, the scholar that he is, and the poet that he became, was filling pages and pages with poems  of interesting conversations that the two of them seemed to have had. And what’s more, he would show them and read them and recite them to everyone who visited his room. Of course, the smart ones among us were able to figure out where the decorations had been added in those tales. There was even a giant pencil drawing dedicated to Ms. Cherry on the wall right next to his bed. Oh, the age of innocence, the age of adolescence.

Mr. Nivea, however, was unlucky in one other regard, apart from having fallen for a star that would never fall on the ground for him. He had some…’friends’ who would encourage him about the rather. They would tell him how he should come out of this friend-zone and come up with his true feelings. There were such ways that were tried to get Ms. Cherry impressed by him before Mr. Nivea could blast the big bomb on her. Even I, someone who remained rather neutral witnessing this little love story was roped in. As chance would have it, Ms. Cherry was my lab partner and so hours have to be spent discussing the experiment  chatting up on the weirdest aspects of college life. The good friend that I am, I did the job I was invested with fairly well. Everytime things slightly bent towards a discussion of the students of our class, I would make sure to throw in some praises about Mr. Nivea. “Oh he would be knowing what the teacher can ask in the Viva. He’s been getting straight A’s ” and “Oh that guy is so brilliant, he has actually read about a thousand books unrelated to the normal academics”(Things that notably are all true). She would ofcourse nod, and was impressed, even though she would have wondered at some point why I keep throwing this Mr. Nivea Trivia at her. Still, she and Mr. Nivea seemed to progress in their little ship, their ‘friendship’.

And then came the valentine’s week. Oh the horror and the joy of Mr. Nivea’s friends to get him pumped for a proposal. It was a rather peculiar place Mr. Nivea found himself in. But given all the passion that had been filled him with optimism beyond the ‘glass’, he actually went ahead and did it. It is unclear what words were spoken, and if they were actually spoken, but we know there was a rose and that it was first accepted and then declined, when the gravity of the situation actually dawned on the two.

It was then that our Mr. Nivea was made acquainted to the reality that a girl like that is never…’open’ or ‘available’. There is a busy tone whenever you dial for such a girl and the dialings are a plenty. And after all of that, there is one exquisite line whose connection has been made way back and he would never ever drop the phone or let anyone else’s call slip in. The Half relationship had ended, and the dream was over for the day.

But Mr. Nivea woudn’t rest. The final bullet was yet to be fired and it was something that made him come top of this story, which as a matter of tradition, is one where the boy is always the loser. It was the time for our English Communication presentations, and the topic that Mr. Nivea was assigned was ‘How to deal with stress in College life’. It began with a sappy introduction by some other student in his group, but when his turn came, that man stood infront of the class and the second line he spoke was “There can be so many frustrations. For example, in the last year, I fell in love with a girl, and that didn’t work out. I was so stressed.” The heads were turning as the man spoke and everyone was trying and trying to suppress his/her laughter. Even the teacher appeared to be in on the joke, and we could see Ms. Cherry as mousy, hesitant, afraid and timid as one would ever see her. She must have been praying that Mr. Nivea, in his flurry, doesn’t spill out her name. But thanks to the modesty of the man, he didn’t.

He kept this half relationship a part of his dreamy days, and ofcourse moved on to the next 59 girls in the semesters to follow. But this little ‘flinge’ with Ms. Cherry would be the highlight of his life at college, both for him as well as for his friends. There are such emotions that this story still sprouts in a discussion among us friends, who really know the entire story (Guilty confession: I have kept one integral part of the story a secret here, because it’s not really meant for a blogpost. But Hey, isn’t the story fully fledged without it? :p ).

I am sharing a Half relationship story at BlogAdda in association with #HalfGirlfriend.

You can even watch the trailer here.


Mowgli and the frisbee

If I am really talking about my favourite memory from the entire wonder that Mowgli’s world brought about for me, it has to be the ‘jungle jungle pata chala hai, chaddi pehan ke phool khila hai’ song. Things and thoughts started to play upon so vividly into my head every time I heard any line of it that I sort of got transported to an alternate dimension where I would be playing Mowgli, the ‘ek parinda hai sharminda’. Only a Mowgli fan can imagine the joy that I go through as I write this post as the Mowgli memories keep flooding into my mind.

I wasn’t so lucky as to watch it the first time it aired on National Television. But few know the level of excitement the whole thing created when it aired again, on Sahara TV maybe, for the generation next as all of us kids got to witness the one defining cartoon series of the times. I distinctly remember that it was a holiday season when the very first episode of it aired and I was travelling with my family. We had to leave my uncle’s home for another as the anticipation of the thing starting grew in my head. We were a bit caught up in the traffic and I really thought I would miss the start of it. The evening was setting in as our auto-rickshaw drove through multitudes of other vehicles through the busy roads and reached my uncle’s home well within time for me to settle myself down near my cousin’s bed and wait for the show to begin. And then it started, the song ,the show and the memories.

The whole thing lasted for days and months and I don’t think I ever missed a single episode. Even though there were serious problems of power-cuts in my town, the supply being pretty erratic at times, somehow things used to work out for the best for me to watch the episode or at least the repeat telecast.

I pretty much loved the entirety of it, the way Mowgli competed with his brothers to prove himself a part of the pack, the sheer thrill that Shere Khan created, the sacrifice of Mowgli’s father, the silliness of Ballu and the friendly advice of Bagheera. But the fondest part has to be one that I tried to imitate and that would be the wooden frisbee sort of thing that Mowgli would throw to hunt and then it would come back to him. My heart used to miss a beat whenever he did that as I sat in awe of it. I myself tried to pick wooden sticks and sharpen them up to act like the frisbee but obviously it never worked. Then I made paper planes and pretended that they were Mowgli’s hunting equipment as I found that they sort of came back to me when I flew them in the air.

Just like the frisbee that flies in the air and rebounds to you, Mowgli memories have always flown in the warmest corners of my heart and as The Jungle Book approaches again, those memories have rebounded. Guess life is somewhat like a frisbee.  🙂

I’m blogging about #MyMowgliMemory at BlogAdda.

If only…

Rehan sat at the chair, looking at the two frightful gentlemen before him ready to scrape away his whole life. He handed them over a folder with his credentials and the interview began.

Only a week earlier, they had had their first exams of the semester and what a nightmare had it been. He would always have the extra pressure to first go through the entire syllabus in a day and then explain the important points to all his peers who would come to him in the evening wishing that he leaks the entire paper to them in a few hours. But Rehan didn’t mind it. In fact, being the peppy guy he was, he would always try to help them as much as he could. He was such a fantastico person in everyone’s eyes, nothing like those morons who would not tell you a single thing, probably in fear that you may end up scoring higher than them.

Somehow, they passed along and there was another challenge ahead of him. A prominent company was coming on-campus to recruit students for summer-training. There was also a navigation of the word around that out of all students that it selected for the training, it gave a Pre-placement offer to almost all of them. Rehan thus, began his preparation for the day, working hard day and night, going through all the proabables they could ask him.

Four days before the recruitment day, as he was going through his notes sitting in the canteen, Rhea came to him. She told him that she had been very weak in ‘Antenna theory’ and asked if he could help her out with it someday. Rehan instantly agreed to it but told her that he needed to brush up his basics before teaching her. It had been some time now that they had studied it and amongst exams and the recruitment drive, he had forgotten much of it. Still, he agreed to help her the next day.

As he returned from college that day, he got a call from one of his seniors whom he had been trying to contact for some days. He had been working for the same company and made his way through the same procedure. As such, Rehan wanted to know some inside secrets from him. The senior told him about a bunch of important topics, most of them he knew little to nothing about. He told him they were almost a sure shot thing and to study them by all his heart. True to his grit, he began to study those topics, forgetting everything else.

The next day, Rhea met him again in the canteen and he told her he could only help after the recruitment drive was over. She seemed to understand and as he apologized for it, she told him it was nothing and to concentrate on his work. She wished him good luck and went away.

Three days later, the process began in the morning with a group-discussion. Rehan outlasted all other candidates with his careful handling of facts and sentiments and was pretty pumped up for the PI round. As he stood outside the cabin, waiting impatiently for his turn to come, he made crude calculations in his mind- “If I perform even average in the PI then after adding the marks of the group discussion, I would surely end up in the list”, “How much weightage would they be giving to each part” and stuff like that.

After four solid and long hours, he was there. The first things they asked him were to give an introduction of himself, his fields of interest and why he thinks he would be suitable for the applied position- all basic stuff. High on confidence, Rehan gave some good answers and was even successful in defending himself when some of them tried to get back on him on a few points. Then came the technical part. And the first question the guy asked him was on ‘Antenna Theory’. He felt a wave of shock slap his face as he mumbled out some gibberish as an answer. The guy knew he had got him where he wanted and kept on coming with the same questions, even in more intricate detail. With every question he asked, Rehan would think in his head how he remembered studying the topic once but nothing else of it.

Soon the interviews were over and at night, the results were announced. Rehan didn’t make it. That night, as he tried to sleep, his mind was flooded with regret. He felt that a small neglect had had such an impact on his career. Everytime he tried to close his eyes and every time he did, the face of Rhea popped up asking “Will you teach me ‘Antenna theory’ ?”,  “Please teach me Antenna theory”.

He gave up the thought of sleeping, knowing he wouldn’t be able to and opened his book to study. He went to the index and opened the selected pages. The topic read in bold font ‘Antenna theory’ as he wondered to himself– “If only..”

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

All he wanted..

“your hand
touching mine.
this is how
― Sanober Khan

Deep read the line, throwing his fist on the table with a thud, and wished he could have written it. He had always been fascinated by poetry, so much so that it exceeded his own enthusiasm at times. Ever since boyhood, he would find a good line lying in a trash and would spend hours searching for another. He would throw in a fantastico line from Elliot in a normal discussion among his peers and they would shoo him away, calling him names, calling him a nerd. But he didn’t mind that and he knew he would always find people like him to share his world with.

And so, when he came to know that there was a fantastico budding poetess in his class, he couldn’t help getting all too excited about it. In spite of being a shy guy otherwise, he didn’t hesitate in approaching Kavyaa. He asked her about her interests in poetry and she reluctantly answered him. He then asked if they could make meet sometime. He told her he wanted to talk about  Szymborska and Tretheway, about Sherman and Ginsberg. But he didn’t know why she freaked out. Maybe she assumed that he was a weirdo trying to lurk around just so he could be with and around her. Maybe she didn’t like him in the first place. But Deep was too passionate to think about this. What he saw was someone he could tell everything he knew about poetry to and that was just too much for him. Maybe he got over the line in trying to persuade her but at least in his mind, he did not feel so.

Unfortunately, he never got his wish and every time he asked her for it, she came up with an excuse. Then, one day, as he was browsing over his facebook feed, he got a friend request from a guy he did not know. He checked out his profile and found a mutual friend in Kavyaa . Now he was a peppy guy over facebook and he accepted all his friend requests. So this time too, he did just that. The next day, as he was undergoing the navigation of his feed, he found that Kavyaa had shared an old photo with the same guy. She had tagged some of her closest friends from her school days in the pic and captioned it ‘love birds’. Deep didn’t mind it and even liked the picture.

In the following days, Kavyaa would post at least two updates every day, tagging that guy and her friends, talking about how they loved each other. Still, Deep kept on prodding her whenever they met in class and she would always deny. Then one day, Deep got a message from that guy. He told Deep about how he and Kavyaa were in love for long. He was quite friendly telling him all that and requested him not to go about troubling Kavyaa. Deep understood then, that he had crossed the line here and gave him his word. He told him he would never again trouble her and that the guy should not worry about it anymore.

A few months passed and Deep remained true to his word. But he kept on with his poetry and even participated in a contest held under a fest. He also came to know that Kavyaa and a friend of Deep would be anchoring the proceedings.

The big day was two days ahead and he was working on his poems when his anchor friend came to his room. He had a huge grin on his face and told Deep that he had to tell him something shocking. Kavyaa had told his friend that she wasn’t really in a relationship with anyone and that she had woven this scheme just to get Deep off her tail. She had also told him that she got a best friend of hers to play her boyfriend in this drama and to talk to Deep about it.

As Deep heard all this, he gave a nervous laugh to him and went about with his poem. Stuck on the very next line, he wondered what had made her take this so seriously. That his requests would have such a deep impact on her was something unthinkable for him. All he wanted was to discuss poetry with her.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Music on repeat..

As I am typing these words on the screen, the music is playing in the background. Generally it is a soft, soothing song that calms my nerves and gets me fresh from the frets of the day. But this one is a peppy number and although is a little tiny bit different from my regular songs for such times, it certainly sets the mood.


I guess it happens with everyone right? You listen to a song and you just can’t help get it out of your head for the whole day. Sometimes, it sticks to you for days and after a while you start hating it for making you this addictive. But this song, my dear readers, has stuck with me ever since I have started blogging for the #IndiMarathon (also TataZica Marathon). For those of you who may not know about it, this one started from the 20th of January!  Now would you believe it that for the past month or so, this song has been a fantastico companion to me and I have been singing it inside and outside my head at all times.

I don’t really know why I love it so much but then again, you think from your mind and feel from your heart. And when it comes to music, you can hardly care for intelligent lyrics when your heart loves the tune of it. But that is not to say that the lyrics of this particular song are crude or meaningless in any way. In fact, it is one of the most beautiful songs penned in present day Bollywood and the total credit for that goes to Amitabh Bhattacharya. He has used such soft and mellifluous words here that the poetry comes out even before you have heard the second couplet of the opening mukhda. And then again, there is that enticing music of Amit Trivedi which makes you feel like this particular tune and these lyrics were meant for each other all the time. And maybe they were. Who knows if there is a musical heaven afar the stars where they really pair them and send to different minds on earth 😛

By the way, I know you are no longer reading this post and even if you are, you have already scrolled down to see the song title. I know, it’s tough to wait for such a good number and as such, it would be needless to tell you at this point that it has been sung by Monali Thakur. If you google its title, you will find that it has won a bunch of awards for being so uber-awesome song it is. But my choice is in no way influenced by that. Also I, to my utter shame, haven’t even seen this movie, so it is also not the case of the situation in the film having an impact on me. But this song has had an impact on me, the kind where you cannot let go something once you have witnessed how glorious it is. There are few things in the world actually which are like that.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.