Monday, January 28, 2013

TWO STARS AND A MOON-4


The next morning I got up with less worry and more energy. I was so perked that even morning-alarm woke up after me. It’s like I slept with one eye open. I was more confident and optimistic about the day laid before me.

I was enjoying my exotic scented bath when cell phone rang loudly in room. I was sighed in irritation and came out in bath-towel wrapped around me. It’s Preeti on phone.

“Hey.Ummm. Did you get ready?” Her voice sounded beaten.

“Just taking bath.”

“Oh. Actually I had to...”

“Are you fine Preeti?”

“Yeah...this sari thing is not gonna work with me. So I’m not going.” She curt up with a sad tone.

“Listen Preeti, just stop worrying. You come to my home. We will get ready together.”

“Are you sure? I mean you don’t have any problem with it.”

“I’ll have problem only if you don’t come. We have only one hour left. Now hurry up.”

“ Okay. Bye.” She cut the line.

I went over to the mirror. Through out my adult years many makeup accessories were presented to me in different occasions. But they were lying unopened in shelves. Today was the time for them to show their magic. I picked one little makeup box that was gifted to me by an aunt. She lived in United States. When she gave this to me, I secretly wished them to be some chocolates or electronic gadgets instead. But that moment holding it I realised the need and thanked her gratefully.

I checked out the expiry date and ingredients in it. I didn’t want to go to the party with red rashes all over face. There was still a year for it to expire and it said dermatological tested. It also claimed to be long lasting. Its micro particles made it unperceivable, waterproof and long-wearing.

“Great for me.” I whispered to myself. I had to stay in college for an unknown time period.

I flicked the tiny box open. It had four blushers, six lip colors, a compact, two brushes, one with very tiny head and another with a thicker head, a round sponge and a tiny mirror attached at the inside bottom of base. These all were compacted into a round plastic pink container. I was amazed to see how so many things were aligned together in such a small place and dubious of my ability to put them back together.

The door rang that time. I heard the door open and Preeti greeting my mom.
I was still in bath towel when Preeti entered into the room. Her face was clouded with trouble.

“Did you sleep last night, Preeti.”

She hung her head down in denial.

“Oh come on sweety. Don’t worry. Just remember everything will be fine. Okay.” I cupped her face. Her eyes had lost the charm and face was dimmed. She was probably had jitters hunting her sleep.

“Have you bathed? If not, then just run into bathroom. You have only ten minutes for that.”

“No. I am finished with that.”

“And breakfast?”

“ No. Just not in mood for food.”

“ But we can’t skip breakfast. It’s not good. Somewhere I read that skipping your breakfast makes you fat.”

“Really?” She looked at me in askance.

“Of course yes. Lets get our breakfast and after that mom will help us in wearing sari.”

I took her with me.

“Hey. Dumb me! I can’t walk out like this in towel. Give me a minute.”

I left Preeti in room and ran into bathroom with a pair of pyjama.

We finished our breakfast. Mom had made delicious dosas. I ate three dosas at one go. Dosas had always been my favourite food. It didn’t matter whether I get layers of flab, still I could never live without dosa. Though Preeti didn’t eat much but I forced a few bites into her.

Then the most difficult work in world was waiting to be done, Saris. Mom helped both of us. At first Preeti wore it. She had brought a lemon yellow sari with matching kundan stones sewed into a thin border. That brought a bit of  color to her pale arid face. Mine was a soft-violet one with embroideries and little round plastic shining chips sewn to floral designs. Mom had done all the needed fittings and stitching as per my measurements. It took around forty minutes and the end result was really lovely. We both looked really nice. Mom put black kajal dots on both of us to prevent evil-eye.

By then we had only fifteen minutes to get to the bus-stop. I quickly pressed a bit of compact powder under eyes and light coating of lip-color from the box and left box sprawled on the bed. Preeti had brought mascara cum eyeliner pack with her. I applied a coat of mascara over lashes and a thick line of eyeliner elongated to the corners. Preeti also did a bit of makeup trying to conceal her hazy face. She wore a bracelet and I preferred a thick bangle.

I felt pity for her. I wished I had had told her the idea Arnav gave to me and she would have been little better. But there was no benefit of rambling about what has already gone in past. 

Dad dropped us at bus-stop in our car. We were there at bus-stop before time. There were three boys except us in the bus-stop and awfully none of them was Arnav. I was waiting for Arnav anxiously to thank him for his ideas. Still I knew as soon as he will come before me, I would be left dumb bewitched with his looks only.

“Here comes your dream-man.” Preeti drawled next to me.

courtesy-Google
“ Shut up, Preeti.” Obviously Preeti was aware of everything though I was tight lipped about all the hurricane of emotions inside me. But she said it was my eyes who revealed everything inside me to her.

But he wasn’t walking to stop that day. Instead he came on his bike. He was wearing a biker’s jacket over the orange shirt. He stopped near the other boys standing at the bus stop. They talked for a while. Actually there were more laughing uncouth and patting each others back. May be there were laughing on themselves only. Arnav gave a crooked smile to them and turned back to us. His eyes rested at us for a long stance.

I could feel his eyes on me, his glance blooming a pleasant uneasiness inside me. He turned back to the boys. I bit my lip hard. Till that moment I wasn’t aware of holding my breath. I left out a puff in exhilaration.

“You are blushing dear.” Preeti remarked loudly which made me blush more.

“Stop it, Preeti.”

“Have you told him about it?”

“About what?”

“The reason of your blushing.”

“He knows it.”

“Seriously..damn... you didn’t say it.”

“What didn’t I? Everyone in the world with a brain knows the reason.”

“What?”

“Yep. The reason of blush is the rapid blood rush to your cheek because of any emotional imbalance in your body. And sometimes it also happens when one slaps or drags at your face.” I pulled her cheeks on both sides. “See. You are also blushing now.” 

Arnav started the engine. A boy climbed astride on the pillion seat and they wheeled around.

“ So let me reform my question. Does he know the reason of this particular emotional imbalance of yours?” Preeti said again.

 “ Leave it. Tell me, is my makeup at place?”

“ Answer my question, Ava.”

“ Look! Bus has arrived.”

We all took the college-bus. For the next whole hour inside bus she kept interrogating me from different angles. I told her about the rehearsal idea that Arnav had imparted to me.

“Ohohoho...now dream-man has started free advisory too. Not bad.” She declared.
“Come on, Preeti. Stop frolicking like a ten year old girl. He just wanted to help me. I was really worried at that moment.”

“You can’t hide anything from me. Got that! I’m your bestfriend. Don’t forget it.” She claimed.

I hugged her tightly. “Okay my darling friend. You are the best I have or will ever have.” We laughed over it.

We reached at college. Every junior class boy was in orange dress and most of them looked like scraped pumpkins and girls were walking precariously with fear of falling except that Manishaa. She was walking with an oomph and confidence. She looked graceful and fortified like some goddess, of course some Greek goddess. The black golden bordered sari was draped around her no-flab waist into neat aligned pleats tucked in front. Her bellybutton stone was twinkling from the translucent layers of sari. It looked so perfect as if someone had glued the sari with her body. Unmistakably she looked more gorgeous than what a teenage boy can ever manage. Every male eye present there was fixed over her and she also enjoyed every bit of cajolery given to her.

Apart from that I vaguely remember other in details. There was competition also for the title of “Mr. And Miss Fresher”; evidently for perfect students unlike me. There was a stupid check for smartness, round to calibrate intelligence and finally a reality check of courtesy. Three students from boys and three students from girl reached at the final level and at that round, they had to walk on a ramp like stage. Obviously among three girls Manishaa was on top and on boys side, it was Arnav.
The whole audience rose in whooping at them when the names were announced. Three students from Senior year were the judges and with their appraisal Arnav was awarded as Mr.Fresher whereas Manishaa as Miss.Fresher. No wonder in that.

They were requested for a dance together and they happily did it; Arnav with his hand around Manishaa and Manishaa almost lying on Arnav’s shoulder. I was happy for Arnav and at the same time it was unbearable to watch Manishaa.
It was dusk by the time the whole function finished. Seniors had organised a DJ night too. But I preferred to sit rather than jumping around in sari tangling the knees.

Everyone was sweating by then, makeup sticking to their faces, hair undone and unruly. I was thirsty and needed some water badly. I and Preeti went for water.
“Will you come to washroom? It’s feeling bit uncomfortable in sari. Hope it will stay in place till I reach home.”

We went inside the washroom. There was no one inside.

“Thank God.” Preeti heaved a sigh of relax.

 I was doing her pleats while there was loud sound of tyres screeching on gravel.
“Damn. Is it the bus?” I asked Preeti. She looked puzzled at me. Her sari was half done and we were left alone inside washroom. I left the rest to her and fished out my mobile from bag.

“Holy shit.”

“What happened now?”

“No signal inside washroom.” I tried again but failed. My leg felt wobbly on the cold floor of washroom.

We ran outside as fast as possible. The moment we reached out at gate the bus was gone. I was adamant and ran after it for a distance clutching the sari in one hand till I toppled over stones. Preeti came running behind me and steadied me on my feet.
“What will we do now?”

As lively our college was at day, that much atrociously solitary it would become in night. There would be no two legged creature expected to roam around except those college night watchers. Anything could happen in this remote area without leaving any cue to evidence.

We both were scared to each strand. I looked around but could only see darkness from void crawling to us from all direction. Some distant faint howls of wolves were the only to disturb the dreaded night.

There wasn’t any transport from there at such nightly hours too. What next? How to get over from here?  It was cold; still we were sweating in fear. Without my knowledge I was crying in silent. 

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