Zindagi Ek Safar
Shweta Mani, Workshop 5
He was a campus rockstar : friendly, chirpy, popular, part of the college band. A singer whose ballads made the girls swoon, and to whose beat, the whole college danced to. He made friends easily too – one drink was all it took for anybody to enter his fold.
He was one year my senior. When I joined, he was already so popular, all of us assumed he was taken. Maybe he had a girlfriend off campus? The girls all gossiped about him.
I, on the other hand, was simple, quiet, introverted. I spoke to but a few, and kept mostly to myself. So imagine my surprise, when one day, as I was walking to my hostel, he ran up from behind me, and started talking to me. That was how it all started.
Soon, it became a pattern. I would walk out of class to see him waiting. He would walk with me to my hostel and we would talk. He would ask me questions about my day, about my life, about my acads. I found him surprisingly easy to talk to. If I was struggling with something, he would find a way to help me : pass on some notes maybe, or occasionally, even tutor me.
We never declared our love for each other. There were no grand ‘I love you’ gestures. At some point, we both just assumed we were going to be together…
“Ma, do you miss daddy still?” Divya asked me, as I wiped off a tear.
We were back on campus for our 25th year reunion, and I had brought the kids along to show them where Nikhil and I had first met. It has been 10 years since he left us, but those early days together, are etched in my memory, still.
Writing is Shweta’s passion, she is also a healthcare industry veteran and entrepreneur. Read more of her writing at https://couchtales.in/