It was end of yet another semester and like always, I had to catch the immediate train soon after the exams are over. I was packed and ready to roll. This time NM was travelling with me till Nagpur (Half way). It was always nice if someone you know is going with you from Bangalore to Jaipur even till half way. It was always dreadful to spend 2 entire days on your own in the train but anyways I had done it a million times. Out of those million times I was fortunate only once when I met few people who appeared of the same age as mine, 2 guys and 1 girl. The girl was from UP and she looked very extrovert the way she was interacting with us, so I started showing off. I told them that I study in Bangalore in a college called APS, “my college has this” and “my college has that”, blah blah blah, I went on and on. When I was done I was pretty certain that I have established who is the smartest and moreover the girl looked awfully impressed. I then asked each of them for their introduction, I asked the 1st guy,
“Where do you study ?”, I asked
“I am doing MBBS from Manipal”, he said
Hmmmm this guy is clearly from a better institute then I am but that's fine
“You”, I asked the 2nd guy
“I am from IIT-Kanpur”, he said
Great, what else are we missing!!!
“What about you Bharti ?”, I asked the girl
“I am from IIT-Chennai”, she said with a grin
So for next 2 days I was looking for a corner or someplace where I can bury my face. I was a like an ordinary man who was trying to be a hero in middle of a bunch of superheroes like Superman, Batman and Wonder women.
Deeps asked me many times about how a wedding takes place in north and I gave her the fresh illustration of my cousin brother whose story line was approximately similar to ours.
Nitin was an engineering student in Bangalore and Anjula was a medical student. They fell in love, got married and lived happily ever after.
Deeps was pleased that my family is not new to this business and she liked the story because she could foresee our fairy-tale also to end the same way.
It was the first time when I was going home while my love story was in top gear and both of us could not resist staying away. So we made a deal that we will talk every day. It was those days when Mobile phones still had incoming call charges and sustaining a mobile phone itself was a character of sumptuousness and hence both of us still did not have any mobile. We were dependent either on our house phones or STD booths. A girl calling up to my house also could have raised questions for me so I told her even if she wants to call to my house apart from pre-decided time then fake yourself as a Jaipur Girl with the name “Amrita”, Amrita was my school friend and used to call to my house. I gave Deeps very basic instructions and told her that her Hindi should be excellent enough to trick them. She was as usual over-confident and gave me a don’t-you-worry affirmation.
And the day arrived where she could not hang around till the determined time, she called to my house and my mom picked up,
“Hello”, said my mom
“Kya mai Ankit se baat kar sakti hu ?” (Can I talk to Ankit), she said in an excellent Hindi intonation
“Wo to abhi hai nahi, kaun bol raha hai ?” (He is not here but may I know who is on the line ?), My mom asked
The sentence she told after that created a history,
“Mai Anjula bol raha hu” (Its Anjula speaking (In Masculine grammatical gender))
My mother never stopped laughing that day, in fact she was almost rolling on the floor when she heard that. First Deeps said the wrong name, I guess she was too much overwhelmed with Nitin-Anjula love story that she chose “Anjula” over “Amrita” and next she said it in masculine Hindi grammar which made things even better. I returned home and I found my mom choking with extreme laughter and when she told me this I too laughed my lungs out. Later I clarified it to my mother that she was frightened to call and that’s why she attempted Hindi.
Well feast were over soon and I was back in college. It was a spanking new semester and a very vital one because many new and innovative topics were to be taken up this time. In which one of the subject was “Satellite communications”. “Hari - the lecturer”, who was taking this subject was once student of the APS college and soon after he joined as a lecturer in APS. I don’t know what was about him, either he was extremely attractive or every girl was sightless. According to most of the girls he was bloody handsome !!! And he was sizzling favorite among girls, maybe it was his jokes which kept all the girls amused, one of which goes like this,
Hari was addressing us on satellites,
“Satellites move with the help of Pulsars”, elucidated Hari
He then took a pause and said
“Pulsar, definitely male”, with a wide beam
Entire classroom exploded into hilarity apart from me and NM who were looking each other’s face in repugnance, I could not resist and said,
“Sir please raise your hand next time you think a joke is very funny so that we know that we have to giggle”
The subsequent lecture was by Anil (Name forgotten). He was sincere and strict. He began with his lecture and every time he turned his back to write something onto the board; patti took out a peanut; pealed it and munched it. He did that for a while until everybody observed and asked him for peanuts. He supplied peanuts to everyone in the class in next 20 minutes until Apsara also realized and asked patti for peanuts, who was sitting just in front of her. Patti passed her a peanut, she pealed it and instead of tossing the peel away she handed it back to patti. Now patti was like a small kid, wanted tit for tat, he took that same peel and stuffed it with the chewing gum he was working on, he then handed it back to Apsara. Apsara thought that this is a new lot and she opened it cheerfully until the gum inside abruptly made a cruel and indescribable contact with her hand and as a girl her immediate feedback was,
“Cheeeeee …… thuuuuuu”, with a deafening and unmannerly scream
Anil spun back in surprise and saw Patti celebrating his victory; Patti was laughing out loudly with no sound. He threw a chalk piece on Patti and left the classroom in disgust. As soon as he left NM and Patti broke into a brawl because patti made fun of his “girlfriend” which was intolerable to him. For next 12 minutes both of them made numerous relationships with each other’s families which whole class witnessed and listened, in fact few of our south Indian friends learnt some new expressions too , augmentation in their vocabulary.