Friday, March 29, 2013


Again the devil has appeared on the screen. Why go scripted so many scenes with him. For some unknown reason he had garnered a resentful place in my mind; not even in heart. I couldn’t somehow even put him into the atleast-I-like-them list. Though I believe it is never going to affect him in any manner.

Preeti narrated him whole thing and yielded a good laugh from him.

“Are you finished Preeti?” I asked her unenthusiastically.

“Look! how she is going paranoid.” Preeti leaned a bit to Maddy and spoke near him.

“You have done a great job Preeti. Thumbs up.”

“Why not Coca-cola?” I poorly joked. Even my jokes did rot badly in his presence.
“Okay Rockstar, See you later.” Preeti was to bid bye but then again she paused there. “By the way which section you are in? I suppose you are into junior year. 

Isn’t it?”

“Of course. I’m into your section.”

“Our section?” Again I could feel stars popping up around Preeti like popcorns.

“Hmm.” He nodded.

“But you were not in the class.”

“Yeah. I just had some work. I’ll attend it from tomorrow.”

“That’s fantastic. See you later then.”

We walked past him. then again Maddy stopped us.

“Hey Preeti I needed some help of yours.”

“Yeah. Say it.”

“I will be in the bus. You finish your work and come.” It was going unbearable for me. I didn’t wait there any more and stomped out of there.

 Preeti rushed behind me after a minute. “Calm down dear.”

I didn’t speak to her.

“Come on. Don’t be a grump. He just wanted my notes.”

“Seriously?” I narrowed down my eyes on her.

“Of course. And I gave her the notes.”

“I don’t care. The only thing I know is that I can’t bear even the slightest glimpse of him.”

“But why? Why do you hate him so much?”

Why???? I wish I knew.

“I don’t know. It may be because he has long hair like wild animals.”

“What to do with someone’s hairstyle?”

“And he has got no care towards others emotion.”

“Now you are being unjustified. You remember how he came back stage to check our well-being and offered us a ride home too. He is a gentleman sloughed in a rough rockstar exterior.”

“Yeah. And your gentlemen do kiss you in the first meeting too.” I fumed.

“Okay. Leave it. Sometimes you are just impossible.” We resumed our marching to the bus.

The next we had practical classes in the afternoon section. I hurried with Preeti. She was in my group. I never liked Chemistry. Oh God! No matter how many times I rant about it, it can never equalize the much I loathe it.

I helplessly left the whole core of concocting blue liquids with brown and stirring with fried white crystals. I engaged myself in writing the practical notes.

Everytime teacher crossed our table; I would cunningly swift to Preeti and pretend of helping her.

Then all of sudden Preeti winced her face to a wry expression.

“Are you fine?” I asked her.

“No.” She whined.

“What happened?”

“I don’t know. I just can’t stand here anymore. We need to go out.”

 “What?” I quizzically looked at her for a sane answer. How could I leave the lab in middle?

She then crouched on her heels holding stomach tight in her hands and started to wail. The lab assistant ran towards us. I bent down holding her and started to palpate her back. I didn’t know all of sudden what entered into her stomach that’s churning out so much pain in her.

“Ahh! I can’t bear it anymore. It’s killing me.” She looked at me from behind of those droopy eyes.

“Sir! I think we need to..”

The lab assistant cut me in middle. “Yeah. You are right. Take her to the rest room. And ask Suchitra maam. She will give some medicine.”

He then helped me to bring Preeti on heels and we walked out prudently from the lab. She limped with me till the turn from where the colossal pillar obstructed the view to lab.

She then waited for a moment, grabbed my hand and scooted to the west. We pelted down the staircase that led to the backyard of college. She didn’t stop till we footed to a abandoned place. It was a deserted land since the new auditorium project has been stopped due to some scam.

Sun kindled high on the sky, more verve than usual blinding sights. There was only half an hour left for the lab to over and after that the bus would leave the college.

Preeti looked her and right to nothing and started to sprint again. She continued running with me through the unfinished building till we were at the end of it. Right then I marked something distinct. The place was tampered, quiet and dark. The subdued air blew bore an unmistakably essence that filled in our souls. Far from where we stood, a room like place was gloaming with lights.

As far as I remember from my last visit, the place was only walled from four sides with large windows, grand pillars and cracked roof. There were no rooms. Then when all these changed? And why Preeti has brought me to here?

Preeti yanked me in that direction of faint light. 

“What is this, Preeti?” I freed my wrist from her grip. “Why have you brought me here? And what was that in the lab? You seem fine now.”

“Oh! Ava. Stop questioning and come with me.”

“But why? And what is this?”

“You just come with me and answer will come to you automatically.”

She tried to get me again but I stood firm. She then fled to my back and pushed me hard from the gruff pose.

“No. Preeti. At first answer me.” She didn’t listen to me and kept pushing me towards the room.

A figure was standing before with his back to us under a orange flame that hardly laminated the statue. Then she made me stand at place and left me alone. It was darker and I could hardly see anything. The things got sensible when I heard the lines.

I’d like to be everything you want
Hey girl, let mw talk to you          
If I was your boyfriend, never let you go
Keep you on my arm girl, you’d never be alone
I can be a gentleman, anything you want
If  I was your boyfriend, I’d never let you go, I’d never let you go

I instantly recognised the voice and also the song. It was justin bieber’s new charting single that had topped billboard. And voice was the one who topped in our college last week. He sang it brilliantly as usual but what made me laugh is not the song but the new avatar of Maddy.

He had his long mane cropped mess but swanky spikes. He was wearing a deep red button down shirt, no jackets this time and a pair of plain black jeans. He looked irresistibly handsome.

With a flicker the whole place flooded with bright light. I looked around in surprise at the arrangement. The whole place was groomed with candles, flowers, balloons, ribbons, shining fringes, curtains, fluffy toys. There was big photo mine was nailed before me. It was really big, actually the biggest of which I am framed in and I was carelessly smiling in it. And I felt somehow greasy on my heels when I moved. I looked down and found I was standing over a chromatic carpet. There laid fresh petals of different flowers aligned into a big round, not the monotonous red rose petals like they show in movies.

Then the funniest thing he did was as he turned to face us, he kept circling around me singing the song wiggling with his thick eyebrows and at end he took out a red rose from nowhere and gripping it with his lips, kneeled before me. At that time the only thing that I hoped that he had cauterized the stem well or else he was gonna get sore lips for hours from the sting of the thorns.

“You knew this?” Of course Preeti knew it and she was also with him in this plan.
She gleefully nodded.

“That means you also tricked me.”

 “I know that even thousand rose will faint in the glow of your smile, magic of your eyes, purity of your heart. So I brought just this one letting others to rot in garden just maintain the formality and to profess that, I love you, Ava.” His voice cracked through the hot air reverberating in the emptiness.

“There was no need of this one too. Anyhow it’s going to die here with your fake sweet words.” I snapped at him.

“Come on Ava. Now you are being rude. He did everything for you and you are grudging at him. Not fair.” She commented.

“So what else am I supposed to do? I can’t believe Preeti. I mean how can you say that? You know everything. Everything that I went through, everything that made me stand on my toes with madness and pain.”

“Yeah Ava. I know and that’s why I am doing this. Whatever happened then, it is past now and you need to move on. There were you living in a misunderstanding and here everything is clear. He is proposing you in bold, clear words.”

“I can do this before all if don’t like it.” Maddy interfered.

“Oh you! Will you kindly shut your mouth and keep your ass off.”

“Oops. You swear too.” He said in an amused tone.

I rumbled. “You didn’t do it fair Preeti. You are my best friend. I never expected it from you. Boys, they all are same. They only care to play with girl’s emotion.”

“And how many boys are there who can change themselves so that you will accept their proposal?”

“It’s just hairstyle. Not a big deal. You change it in every six month. So what?”
“I can be as you wish, leave everything you don’t like.” Maddy seriously remarked.
“See. Now this is called..” Preeti was paused with Maddy’s interference.

“It’s fine Preeti. No force to her. It’s totally your decision. If you don’t like me, just say it once and I will leave your path forever. Yes, I will. I give my words.” He took a pause before starting again. “But I can never forbid myself from loving you. I fell in love the very moment I saw you in crowd. And believe me it’s something that I never felt. It’s so goddamn heavenly pleasant.”

His voice shivered. I hope he wasn’t going to cry. He turned back to the wall where my photo. Tiny lights atop it kept blazing my face in it.

“Listen Dear. I know what happened to you, how you were deceived. But I would have not believed him if I hadn’t talked to him. He is so into you.” Preeti stood next to me.


She put a finger on my lips averting my words.

“No more words. Stop thinking that you are cursed. Stop rendering your life into hellish pain. Stop inflicting yourself. Right now love has ushered into your life. Welcome it.”

I didn’t know a part of mine was dying to believe it but then another part kept reminding about that grief-stricken period when I left alone in middle.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I failed miserably in putting out any guy into the accused box and question his audacity. My brain was encroached by heart limiting it to Arnav as I desperately somewhere wanted him to do all these for me. But by his evasive nature and his current relationship status he was obviously not the one.

Then who?

I again went to the canteen counter. I asked them again if there is anything to eat than these samosas squirting oil. He was chewing paan and directed me to last piece of pie. The bell rang. Class was to start any minute. With all those tag line farce I didn’t know how the half an hour of recess flied away. Lastly I had no other option than dying in the hunger or taking that last piece of the pie. I forlornly chose the later one.

As he handed me the piece, at first I smelled it and checked from all the five sides. It looked manageable. It had yellowy icing that resembled to butterscotch but I could bet on that, it was nothing else than cheap fermented sugar that might travel me to emergency wing of nearby hospital. Preeti sauntered me to my side kneading her hands together. She didn’t even considered to wash those shiny blotches of oil off her fingers. I paid our bill and ambled out for the class nibbling from the spongy part of the cake leaving the icing.

In class, just when we were taking our seat, Manishaa gushed from other side of the bench blocking our further entry into it. I had crossed half of the seat while my left leg still dangled out. She sinisterly smiled at us spreading her glossy lips.
“Only one can sit here. If you want to sit, then you may but not her.”

I could hear Preeti gritting teeth loudly and snarling louder. Her next movement was definitely to lurch herself on Manishaa. And if Preeti loses control then Manishaa would lose a lot more of her irrevocable clobbers; may be couple of teeth or her perfect nose.

I turned back and yanked Preeti out of there who was cemented in anger to the earth. She was behaving like a bull in the bull fight waiting for the red flag to hoist. Or we can say cow fight. But do cows ever fight? I can’t agree with affirmation.
I hissed next Preeti’s ear. “Leave it. She is a slut and we need not to diminish our level to knock her down.” I dragged her to the next row.
Manishaa and her friends loosened out a paroxysm of laughter for their triumph and kept sniggering till teacher entered into the class.
The class returned to a sane silence.
“You are right Ava. We need not to lose out level to fight with those wiggy girls. I’ve a perfect plan for it. Enough is enough now. It’s time for sweet payback.”
I watched at her in horror sensing the doom. Preeti, revenge and plan- perfect accumulation to hang anyone upside down above ablaze coal bed.

She then got busy with her mobile. I didn’t know what she did for next ten minutes as I was flanking her from teachers view. After the ten minutes she neared her face to me. “Ready Ava. Three, Two, One and here we go.”

Just when teacher turned to blackboard, everyone started to jut down on their notebooks, she lowered down her left hand under table while pretended of writing with her right, and in the next three second what we heard was a silence shatterer, jaw dropper and head turner winding noise from Manishaa’s bench. Everyone shot glance to there. Of course, among all the primitive noise in the acoustic world, farting has always been the most directive and accusing noise.

I clamped down a laugh so big that my stomach bloated with it.

Manishaa turned to her right. “I didn’t do it. You know it. I swear of Miss Universe Crown.”

“I didn’t do too.” The girl retorted back to Manishaa.

Then the other girl on Manishaa’s left jumped in to the contest. “Don’t even think of me. I never ever do it. You know I am the most pristine girl when it comes to sanitation.”

“Oh then you think I did it.” Manishaa raised her voice ignoring the whole class watching their drama.

“Come on. I’m diet. Okay.”

The third girl again unwontedly interrupted before she was blamed. “How can I? I mean everyday I do yoga watching Shilpa Shetty.”

Then Manishaa turned back and narrowed her eyes on Preeti. “You did it. Right?”
“But the noise came from you.” Preeti made an innocent face

“Silence everybody. And you all.” All three stood at the reference by teacher.

As soon as they opened her mouth, it was muffled by teacher’s bellowing voice. “If you need to do all these embarrassing acts then you can leave the class. At least, inside here your stupid acts won’t be entertained.”

Just then Preeti picked out the paper in which I had wrapped the icing of the pie to dump after the class is over. She rolled it out, splayed it over the Manishaa’s seat.
“Sorry sir.” All of them regretted.

“Sit down now.” Teacher’s gravel voice echoed in the room.

Manishaa perched on her seat grumpily. Our smile swelled to grin with the more she moved on her seat, the more cream was spreaded on her dress. Though there was not much icing in that paper still it was sure to be a pretty eye-catcher on her dove white tunic.

The class silently ended and we started to move out along with others like as usual just to avoid any suspicion. Manishaa was left alone there with her birdy group brooding over the accident. Preeti on my side was getting paranoid and anxious over the outcome of her plan. She thought they found out about it and stayed back there to protect Manishaa and they might wash it somehow. Finally after a long ten minutes flocked out.

We crouched behind a big pillar and peeked at them. Manishaa was walking at the trail of the group. It had a greater chance of them missing the view. For a while nothing happened. But then a whisper started to stir in the air gradually puffing up into mild titter and then a boy laughed out loud unable to cough down over the humour.

And when through the indication of hundreds of eyes, finally the girls found out about Manishaa’s view, they had nothing else than scream and sprint to loo. Preeti and I rollicked over each other gloating on the successful execution of our plan.

A voice came from behind. “Did I miss anything important?” Preeti turned back and shriek more loudly than Manishaa had. It was Maddy. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013


We returned home with wagons of homework those avenging teachers pushed on us. Maths and Chemistry assignments, both were to submit in a day. Thankfully the English teacher was sweet enough to consider postpone the painstaking assignment of scrapping down another twenty pages for a day.


Later in the evening Preeti came home for combine study. In most evenings of combine study we would do more gossip than study. But today was something different. We needed our energy and brain to be put together so as to finish the work in time.

By the time she entered I was swarming in numerous books, copious pages and dozens of color pens scrambled all over. She came jumping over them on her toe.
“What’s all this, Ava?” She pointing at the intractable mess I had pulled around me.

“I don’t get a damn of chemistry. I am fed up with all the formulae and symbols and digits. My brain feels like it would detonate anytime with these never ending chemical equations.”
“Have patience, Ava.”

 “Stop giving philosophy and come here, solve all these numerical, help finish these fast or else you know what he is going to spit out...GET OUT OF MY CLASS.” We merrily sung the last phrase in unison emulating our chemistry teacher and giggled.

Just then my mobile rang and an unknown number flashed. I ignored it completely. Later a minute, again the same unknown number intermittent on the tiny screen.
This time Preeti took the call. “Who’s this?” She spoke in her way-to-handle-nuisance style.

She waited for a while listening to phone sandwiched between her shoulder and ear. Then she handed me the phone.

“Hello. Who is this?” I answered in a timid unnerving tone.

“Hey Ava. Hmm. It’s Maddy.” My jaw slacked to floor length in surprise. Where did he get my number from?

“You there?” He asked me as I didn’t speak for a long minute.

“Yeah. Tell what made you call me.”

“Nothing. Just called to tell that this is my number. Anytime you feel lonely or need any help, you can call on this at any hour.”

“I asked what your genuine purpose of calling me is.”

“That is a genuine purpose darling.”  He chuckled and I seethed over his addressing to me. Darling! My foot!

“Then I think you have expressed your great reason. Thank you for calling. Have good evening and good night. Sweet dream. Sleep tight. Good bye.”

I hung up the call pressing the end button repeatedly with double force and turned abruptly to Preeti. “Who gave him my number?”

“You should have asked him na! How can I say?” She said casually turning pages.

“Did you give that?” My tone reached peak. I had never shouted at Preeti before. A layer of terror clouded on her face. She stared at me in horror.

I didn’t say more and resumed writing the assignment. The letters started to appear wry and mere smear.

“Are you fine Ava?” Preeti held my hand.

I nodded.

“I didn’t do that. I also don’t know who did it. But I’ll surely find out who gave your number to him. I promise. You don’t be angry.” Her trepid voice shivered.
Without my knowledge the anger was now fluxed into despondence. Tear stung into eyes despite my effort to hide it. I was having a difficult time in handling emotions. I was a box of emotional wreckage.

“I am sorry, Ava.” I said to her. I need not to say anymore and she got what I meant then. I didn’t know what invoked my anger. May be I didn’t want any more infiltration into the barricade I had built up around me. I had enough in past and had my share of realization, regret, repent, penitence. I can’t go through all these again. I had hardly sorted myself from the messy crumble that incident had gnawed me into and I don’t want to again stand between mind and heart rumbling at each other.

We finished all the assignment silently. She left home in time that we didn’t expect to be possible seeing the load of work but may be our all concentration was diverted to work to evade from other sensitive matters.

The next morning we went to college as usual. Preeti looked undifferentiated. It made me glad and relief from the burden of guilt I was carrying from the last night.
 On the way from home to bus-stop, a small girl came running with bunches of flowers. She was holding lots of flower bunches. There were Daisies, Red roses, White Roses, Tulips, Chrysanthemum, Lillies and a lot. She asked us to take some. They smelt so sweet and looked so fresh, just like the spring morning, I couldn’t deny buying one. I picked up the Daisy bunch and asked how much. She smiled a toothy grin showing the small gape for two teeth in the front and ran from there quickly.

I looked at Preeti in surprise.

She loosened out a folded paper from the stems and flicked it open and read it loudly.


“Someone sent it.” I was astonished.

“Wow. Great. Flowers with a anonymous note.”

“But who sent it? I don’t feel good about it.”

“Then what to do?”

I wanted to throw the bunch but then again the yellow blossoms were so gracious I could not let them rot on roadside. I stowed them in the bag.

Upon reaching at the bus-stop Preeti drawled to me. “Who do you suspect?”
I literally had no idea. “I don’t know.”

She then shifted my attention towards Arnav. He was standing casually or bit more tensed than casual looking down at the road, lost deep in some thoughts and left behind the conversation carried by the group of boys. Something grave was bugging him. I flexed to flee to him and steal his worries. I craved to make him smile. But then again I was reminded that I don’t have that right.

“I don’t think so.” Why would he when there were no feelings from his side.
The bus arrived and we silently got into the bus. As we arrived at the college, we saw a few students slowing down at a point. When we reached there, we saw a white puppy with brown patches was sitting there scratching his ear. A square white board hanging from its bushy neck and was staggering the floor.

  There was the handwritten message that read as:

                 TO YOUR HEART?

It looked more sophisticated for roaming around street let alone a deserted place like our college. It was clear that someone had left it intentionally there. Preeti took out the pink chit from bag that was stringed to the bunch of Daisy and showed it to me. The handwriting matched perfectly.

Suddenly someone picked up the puppy and the mob trailed after him.

It was strange to see these cue all of sudden. I was darting in the pitch dark of my brain. I couldn’t see anybody having any reason to do all these.

We entered into class. My stomach was rolling with expectation and weird instinctive butterflies were fluttering inside my heart. Three classes were over without anything to notice. In the break we went to canteen.

Preeti again came with a plate of samosa. I winced seeing the oil sticking to plate.
“Didn’t you get anything else?”

“I asked but he said others items are finished. If I want anything, I have to wait another half an hour.”

I didn’t have any dieting issues but Preeti also knew it very well that I hate oiling food. They stick to your tips and leave stains everywhere. They make you drowsy. They give you heart-attack. I hate them.

I picked up at samosa precariously holding at the pine angle of its cone structure and cracked it to have a bit.

A small paper roll fell onto plate. I and Preeti stared at each other in both surprise and amusement.

“Let me see.” Preeti snitched the paper.


The YOU was written in dark red and other words were in black. Preeti gave me a sly look.

“Now stop pretending that you don’t know anything.”

“Come on, Preeti. I really don’t know. And by the way you are always there with me wherever I go. Then do you think I can have affair without your knowledge.” I looked around for someone who could do all these.

“I think someone loves you.” She retorted and stuffed her mouth with potato stuffing.

I closed my eyes and leaned above the table scanning all the options that could do this.

Monday, March 18, 2013


“What is he?” I asked with utter amazement.

“I don’t know; may be some local band guy.” She doubtfully said.

“What the heck he was doing with me?”

She remained silence. I was so fumed over him that I swigged the whole bottle at once and when I placed the empty bottle, he was moseying toward us.
“Are you fine?” His voice was unbearably deep and mellifluous. Sweat gleamed in drops on his forehead and his longs hair was sticky and dripping. His lips curved into a swift smile in exchange of my constant antagonistic staring.

“She is fine. I think...she is bit....unstable.” After a long cumbersome silence Preeti answered on my behalf. 

“Unstable.” He let out a guttural smirk with those words muttered under breath.
“By the way I’m Preeti and she is Ava, my friend.”

“Oh! Hello Preeti and Ava.” He slowed down a bit at my name. “I’m Maddy.”

“Suits him. Mad!” I grumbled. They both shot disbelieving glances at me.

Preeti’s lips gratifyingly stretched out in a smile while my expression remained unchanged. “That was nice. You play really well.”

“Thank you.”

“And you sing really well. Better than any professional singer.”

“Thank you. Hmm..can you get up now? I think you are stable now.”

I shifted myself from heels to ground and yanked myself on feet. My legs were frozen out of blood. They felt drained.

He stretched out a hand that I totally ignored.

“I’m sorry. I should not have brought you up to the stage. You seem bit nervous.”
I didn’t speak anything but my anger started to dissipate. I nodded at him and turned back holding Preeti.

“I can send you my car. Do you want to go home?”

“No it’s fine. I’ll manage.”

“Thank you once again. You were really nice on stage.” He lowered down and laid a quick kiss on my cheek. The skin burned where his lips touched. My eyes inflated round.

He left while we were still slack legged.

All of sudden Preeti started to giggle loudly. I looked at her angrily but she continued her laughing.

“Stop it, Preeti. Enough.” I said scrunching my face.

The day was over. I suppose I was the only one disappointed in the bus sitting grumpily peeping out of the window. Everyone else in the bus, specifically girls kept rambling on about him.

The following day was relaxation day. College remained closed. Everyone had worked really hard for Annual Function. They much deserved a day off. Even I was tired too. Three big mugs of coffee were boosted down to start my morning. I was like old engine kept whole night outside in the snowfall; no matter how much rev it up, it won’t go before you give up your patience and kick at the brake hard.

I staggered from bed. The day was empty and slow. By the afternoon, I had literally nothing to kill my time. I logged in to Facebook. It was a very long time that I used my account. I got kind of detested towards it. In fact I loathed everything that connected me to Arnav.  I removed him from my Facebook account. Even I deleted his each and every message along with number from my mobile. But the numbers were punched at deep core at heart that I might forget my number before his, if I ever get senile.

My page was full with updates and corners were flourished red poking cues at notification, message and friends button. But the thing that amazed me and made me to dial Preeti was, there was a person who got recently added to about everyone from college.

“Hello.” She spoke with mouth full of food probably.

“, Did you check the Facebook?”

“Hmm..No. Why? What happened? Did they deleted our account?”

“No. log in. You will know by yourself.”

“Okay. Wait a minute.”

The minute of her was too long, about five minutes in my watch.

“OMG! It’s Maddy. Isn’t it?”


There was a ping in the screen. “Pretty Preeti is now friends with Maddy.” There was an update in a semi-transparent auto disappearing box at the down left corner.
“Preeti. You also..” I had no words to speak.

“Yeah. Of course. Look at him. Damn! He is so cool.”

“Leave it. I don’t want to talk to you. Leave me alone.”

“Hey Babes! what’s wrong? What makes you so upset?”

I remained silent.

“It’s fine. Whatever he did yesterday he shouldn’t have. Still it was just a..a..a misfortunate accident.”

“Accident? He kissed me. Was that also an accident?” I hushed my voice.

“Ooops. You are still angry over that. Come on! That matter is over. And I promise he won’t ever kiss you like that. I will tell him that it’s offensive to kiss a girl like that on cheek. Whenever he feels like kissing, he can kiss our Ava on lips.” She giggled more and I hung up the call.

Then there was another update. “Maddy wants to be friend with you.”

I folded the laptop screen and plugged out it off the power. I didn't know what was triggering my anger? I was gradually and unreasonably becoming an ornery and ill-tempered.

The next day we were sitting in college cafeteria. Preeti left to order and I sat alone in a corner table. There was usual crowd, like it always had. Suddenly the noise was turned into a hushing silence. I could now hear only some gushing, gasping and snarling voices. I turned back and there was this grand entry of our star into cafeteria, dressed in a half sleeve white shirt, purple trouser and blue sneakers. Even in those peppy clothes he carried a rockstar appeal.

His looked around, his eyes fishing through each table till it stopped at ours. I flinched back and concentrated on the book I was holding. I didn’t want to do anything to invite that menace over here.

But I was definitely a fool to think that he would need an invitation. His legs stopped next to the table, that’s the only I could see without rising my gaze.
“May I have a seat?” His voice was swift and airy like a set of arrow crossing the wind.

I glanced up at him, with hooked eyebrow in clear denial. He ignored it and turned a chair next to me in half circle and leaned on it. Preeti came with a tray of food and two cokes.

“Hey..Maddy. You are here?” She was delighted with exhilaration.

“Hey...Shruti..”He trailed off.

“It’s Preeti.” She was still star stuck even when he got her name wrong.

I stared at them contemptuously, my eyes moving from Maddy to Preeti and again reverted back to Maddy; anguish- beguiled- contempt- emotion, shifting from one to other.

Maddy moved to me. “How are you doing, Ava?” He asked me.

“Fine.” I chewed the words.

“How are you Maddy?” Preeti interfered.

“I’m fine.”

“And you got admission here?”

“Yeah. I just finished the whole admission procedure.”

“Good. If you have any problem then we are always there to help you out.”

“That’s so nice of you.” He calmly obliged flashing another wide grin.

He has floury skin tone; not too fair like Arnav but it’s all warm, shiny and smooth. His face is diamond shaped with a pointed chin and a sharp nose settled down the pair of bushy trimmed eyebrows. His eyes almost cease to a line within folds of skin when he laughs too hard and the iris was jet black yet melting and fluid; not frozen unlike the pair Arnav owns. And his hair falls lose brushing over his forehead; not clean gelled like...Oh! Stop it. Stop comparing every boy with Arnav. I admonished myself.

 I flipped back to the book in hand sipping from the coke Preeti had brought and giving them space to talk. They did talk some nonsense further that I didn’t give attention to. Still I could feel his piercing gaze bouncing between me and Preeti continuously. I was sick of it. I just wanted that fake star to leave my side. I even hate the sight of him.

A phone rang. He flashed out a mammoth size tab from his bag; approximately 20 inch long and 12 inch wide.

He answered the call with some yes and silent nods. After the call was end, he faced back to us. “I need to go now. It’s nice hanging out with you guys. Hope to see you more often. Bye, Preeti. Bye, Ava.” His eyes gripped mine for a while.
I forced a bland smile and he left us to our sanity.