Ansh couldn’t properly rest his legs. There was so much to carry over a single seat he booked. “Four hours more“, the conductor announced and Ansh threw himself over the back of the seat like a cadaver. It had been raining hard and the cool aura of wet fields silenced him into meditation. One… Two… Three… he could count, losing it, and starting over again as the green bright trees flashed by. Every tree he lost sight of reminded him of things he left behind that day. When the drops could not be held back, the window panes of the bus and Ansh together shed tears.
“Everyone, off the bus“, the conductor instructed. There stood a monumental concrete giant and it read ‘Institute Of Scholars‘. Ansh had taken admission in a boarding junior college. An entirely new theatre, to perform a part of play we call life, for one purpose – to excel in an entrance test. Had he grown older, he was aware that his dream called upon hard work, priorities changed and past didn’t seem to matter. Poor boy cheered up, and now looked up to life, without a second thought. A smart worker, dedicating even his playtime in revising daily lessons, and ever-ready to attend any help seeker in the best of his capacity, people around him could easily see it in him. “Never let your dream fade away son, I can see determination in your eyes“, commented his new teacher once.
Despite such an intense approach to academics, Ansh couldn’t resist his nature of connecting with people around him. Away from home, these connections weren’t mere friends circle, he considered them family. Be it his roomies to whom he spoke his heart out, sang songs in bed with until warden set up hostel-ravage, dressed up a new pair of linen for Sunday lunch, or be it his classmates who brought him home-cooked food, shared music players with, spared their talktime so that Ansh could phone call his parents without time limit. One day, when a chapter in the conversations among his family of friends was his ex and Preet, Ansh could attract a plenty of ears. Following the session those plentiful of ears generated a flood of opinions. “Ansh, go back to your ex and talk things out“, “Ansh, the one gone is gone forever… Dude start over with Preet“, “I don’t think you must fall into that stuff again“, “So sad Ansh, you eventually hurted two girls“, and many that Ansh couldn’t even hear in the machine-gun fire.
Some helped, some cautioned, some made him regret, and some took him to nowhere, nonetheless Ansh considered them all. Exposed were the old sores then, but this time, the young man was healthy, and hoped to make something out of it. The other day, Ansh reported early to the college as usual. No one else except a girl named Diya had come. “Good Morning Miss Silent“, Ansh greeted. Diya acknowledged with a grace. Just about to have his seat, Ansh realised that his desk was clean wiped unlike others’. It was unlikely for the maintenance dept. to work that early in the morning. Later, when he pushed his bagpack in a compartment under his desk, he found a book. Taking a closer look, he realised it was a graph book and soon striked him a thunder bolt, his teacher had strictly warned students to come with a graph book that day but Ansh had forgotten to remind a localite friend to buy him one. “What’s happening !”, baffled up he took a moment, but let go; a much awaited activity for the day was scheduled in the recess.
Ansh was going to phone call his ex. Soon, it was time and all his friends crowded around him. With a shivering thumb, Ansh managed to hit call. Crowd became so silent that breaths could be heard, everyone stared at Ansh. Entire ring had gone in one length, but no one picked up the call. Ansh dropped his shoulders, seemed to have given up. Suddenly the very silent scene turned into a fish market, difficult to figure out who spoke in which language. To try again, Ansh felt his friends must be suggesting, and he hit call again. The way entire fish market instantly got mute changing over from barbaric cartoon faces to mute stretched eyes like owls, Ansh could hardly resist laughing even in that serious mood. This time the girl picked up.
Ex : “Hello“.
Ansh : “H… Huh… Hi” !
Ex : “Ansh, right ?”
Ansh : his eyes got wet “Yes“, after a pause, “How are you” ?
Ex : in a jolly confidence “Fine, isn’t that great ! I am good“.
Ansh : recovering his voice, “Great” and a priceless smile everyone around could see on his face.
Ex : “It took too long Ansh“, sobbing.
Ansh : couldn’t resist and bursted down in tears “I…. am…. soooooo sorry. I should have not stopped talking to you” and cried even more. “I swear I didn’t mean to hurt you“.
Ex : “Ansh please stop crying… Sshh… Ansh please” but Ansh wasn’t ready to hold back anything then, and continued.
Ansh : “I didn’t leave you for Preet dear. So sorry that I couldn’t manage keeping up with you. I intended to prevent hurting you, I failed. I am sorry“.
Ex : “Dare you cry more. I questioned you a lot that night, yelled so much to unload my disgust, not really to hear from you, so I must be sorry. Was a fool to doubt you, I thought over it Ansh, if you were to leave me for Preet, you might had left talking to me after her admission, while we were separated much before she showed up. See, I feel for you. Please don’t feel low, try to let go. You must be bothering about me, see here I am, happy, moved on“.
Ansh : cheering up and in a gentle voice, “Thank You“.
Ex : “Congratulations on admission in IOS, you have a great friends there, I heard. Don’t worry hero, I am fine now, you be the same, Listen I gotta go for now, would love to hear from you again“.
Ansh : “Err… Hey” and she cut the call.
“Don’t worry Ansh, give her some time. She is happy now.“, his friends explained. Ansh inhaled softly, relaxed like never before, and others bounced, juggled and clapped loud in joy. For the first time in IOS, Ansh joined his friends in a football match, cherry on the cake being 1 out of 3 goals of his team in his name.
To such a huge emotion called love, grown was the boy, and enough was his education.
to be continued…