The Unforgettable College Days

“May I come in, ma’am?” Sameer asked a fat, short and dark woman. She looked at him, she was in a brown sari, holding a test tube in the left hand, and the test tube had grey powder. She had high hill sandal, seems it does not suit her. Sameer was in the same cloth he had worn yesterday, old school uniform.

“Guys take half test tube, water and add con. H2So4,” she nodded at him,

“Come in, why you are late? Her eyes narrowed. The teacher sat back in her chair,

“Tell me your name,”

“Sameer Kedari,” he said and blinked.

She wrote his name and stood up,

“Guys anybody there who is single and want a partner?” she said loud and glanced over the entire practical room of 34 students.

“Nobody is single ma’am.” A girl said aloud.

“We just finished pairing and started doing the practical. You can start alone or take help of somebody.” She sat back.

Sameer nodded, picked up one test tube from her desk and turned toward the class.

Sameer heard,

“May I come in?” a soft, lovely voice on his left. The girl was in green Anarkali, 5’5. Broad forehead, cupid bow lips, with hooked nostril and heart-shaped face. The long was the hair loose to her waist. Two white hair clips had nicely tied her hair on left. The light fragrance of the rose lighted up the entire class. She was standing at the door.

“Yes, please.” The teacher smiled at her.

“Sameer you got a partner, wait.”

He was being shy and did not look up at her, two seconds passed, but he couldn’t resist, he turned left.

“What is your name miss?” the teacher continued.

She looked at Sameer and both exchanged the glances and smiled,

“My name is Savali Nilesh Patil.”

The teacher got up,

“Take this test tube and come both of you,” the teacher went in the middle of the class and both followed her. Savali kept smiling at whoever she looks. The wall of the class was made by a rectangular dark rock. The room was cold and humid air of chemicals from the wet basins. One black granite table had three standing wooden racks and one common basin in the middle. The class had ten granite tables on the left and small aisle on the right.

“Guys we got two more to join us.” All put the hands together and gave both a warm welcome.

Both got the fifth row, the extreme last desk. Sameer took a long breath and got relaxed.

After all, I am settled now, the teacher is good, now study hard these three years, get a degree and find a good job in a company, Sameer thought.

It was obvious; a beautiful perfume of Savali made Sameer more comfortable and killed all his stress. He scanned her from toe to hair. She was wearing all branded and imported. A high hill sandal, grey eyes, fair skin and pink lips, she suddenly caught him eyeing her.

“Hi, nice to meet you,” She offered her hand to him. He hesitated at first but then grabbed her hand and felt the warmth of her palm and shook.

“Thank you,” He blinked the eyes and said.

His all the day went awesome...

A few days later...

“You didn’t bring lunch, don’t worry, you can share with me,” Savali said.

He was wearing sky blue shirt and black pant. Savali was so neat; she had braided her hair nicely and was wearing a purple dress, matching lipstick and shoes.

Savali opened her lunch box, it smelled coriander leaves of was Okra and Chapattis. They were sitting in the crowded college canteen. Sameer breathes in the moist waft of Dosa, Puri-bhaji, Samosa, and Vada-pav.

Sameer licked his lips and Savali saw it.

“Uncle, could you please bring a Masala-Dosa” Savali ordered food.

They were sitting near the counter. In five minutes, the old man brought the Dosa. Sameer was so shy since he was from poor and innocent family, he used to go home in the afternoon and eat his lunch, but today he really surprised by the day, it was second time taking the break with Savali.

She has been spending a lot of money on food, even though she carries home food, Sameer thought.

“Hey Mr. Where are you lost?” he looked up,

“Nothing, what your father does?” Savali burst into laughing,

“You must be thinking, I have so much money and I waste it for no reason?” she drank a glass of cold water, half of the Dhosa was still there and out of three Chapattis, two ate by Sameer and one by her.

“It is so spicy,” she pushed the ordered food as well as her home food at Sameer. He was continuously busy eating food.

Maybe it was his first time eating outside’s food.

“Would you like to have cake,” he nodded no as he had stuffed food into his mouth already.

“I don’t know, I am getting to you also.” Savali went near the counter and bought two plum cakes and put one in front of him. The waiter cleaned the plates, Sameer looked at her,

“Why do you spend so much money on food, your father caught or asked you where money is then what?” she again smiled,

“My father gives me 100 rupees per month and they don’t ask me ever and both are a government servant, the mother is a teacher in high school and father is a professor in Modern college as well as he was MLA” Sameer poured water in the glass,

“If my father got to know that I am roaming in the college with you then my parents will give me big lectures at home,” He drank the water.

“You said you are the elder boy in the entire village… so no boy will come from your village here I guess?” Savali asked. Sameer nodded.

“Here this practical book, all the practicals has been written to date,” Savali said and looked at her wristwatch, Sameer opened her journal, it had brown cover and her name was written in black pen, her handwriting seemed so impressive.

“Please close it now, I think we should leave, my mom will be coming home early today,” Savali said.

“Oh yeah, it’s Shravan Monday – Indian college starts in the morning for the every first Monday. Both left the college at 1:05 pm.

Next Day...

“Dear Sameer, I don’t know what it is but I really fall in love with you. I wanted to spend my entire life with you as my soul mate. I don’t know I think about you every night and day. Please return me this journal tomorrow with your answer on below… I love you.”

“Hey, what you are looking at the roof,” Sameer’s mother asked. She was sleeping hugging her two daughters. She had covered a blanket – made from a used sari. He was with lay with his father on his left. His father was snoring. The roof had many wooden poles which were supporting the base of the roof. The nooks had spider nets and the poles were completely dark due to cooking smoke. The mice were making disturbing noise and playing on the bamboo of the tiles.

“You have to again wake you up early in the morning for your college.” She whispered again.

He simply looked at his mother and again lost in the thought.

I am poor and she is rich, will that be okay? What if her father got to know about us? He looked at her mother and sisters. They fell asleep. She looked up again,

If his father did not like it and he killed me then, what would happen to my family? He scratched the head. He shut his eyes, took a long breath.

But I also started liking her, now I feel she is the most important person in my life.

He took a long breath, let’s dare it and sees what is next.

His heart was breathing slowly, throat was dry, and had a light dinner than usual. After two hours of thinking, he got up, went near his college bag, removed the journal and wrote in the same letter.

“Sameer gets up, it’s 5:30 am.” Sameer’s mother shook him. Sameer was snoring. She took an iron bucket from one of the nooks and went in the wintry yard. She added some cow waste which she had collected yesterday from the road, and water into the bucket and made a fine liquid to twenty liters of water. She sprinkled in the yard, she was naked feet. She returned to the hall, holding the empty bucket in her left hand. Her hand and fingers were frozen. She saw her husband and daughter was in sleep and Sameer had changed his position.

“Hey, wake up or else you will miss your first local train.” Her mother whispered.

It was the end of October. She took a used newspaper piece and matchbox and passed Sameer, her sari and legs were making the sound.

“What, what is the time?” Sameer said.

He was still under his blanket completely covered.

“Now 5:45.” Her mother whispered and went into the yard and gave a fire to wooden sticks. He quickly threw the blanket on her sister,

“Give me a cup of tea, and hot water to bath.” Outside his house on right, there were three big stones, each was one a foot in height, were placed in a triangle. Those were black and ash lay beneath. His mother had already made the fire. Sameer placed the huge pot of brass over those stones and added the water into the pot till its throat. Both, son and mother were heating the body up in the cold there.

Savali had woken up at 5:03 am, but still, her eyes were closed.

Will he accept my proposal or not? Savali thought.

I am damn sure he will.

She took off the blanket, switched on the light, picked up the box which she had slept with all the night. It was a small box and had written Titan Watch in the golden font on the white background. She opened it, looked at its golden-white dial and brown leather belt. She closed the box. She did it maybe twenty times since last evening she had purchased. She kept it on the bed and went into the bathroom. Her room was warmed enough. The house was 3BHK in the heart of the city.

“Ram, where is Sameer, he did not come?” Savali asked one of his friends. He looked slaved, had worn spectacles. He was holding a textbook and reading, leaning his back on the desk. They were seating in the class and all were waiting for the lecturer.

“How I would know? You should know it,” Ram said. He was just a friend sometimes he used to have a conversation with him. It was 7:35 am, everyone in the class was waiting for the teacher to come. Suddenly everyone heard the footsteps and the entire class went silent. Got ready, with open their textbook of zoology on the table. The teacher walked in, was head of the department, only he uses to take the class on this subject. There had three rows in the class, each row had two seats. Savali used to sit in the middle row extreme last so that she could get more time to talk with Sameer. Ram was seated front of her seat.

“Sir, may I come in?” Sameer stood near the door, he looked scared. Savali saw Sameer. The teacher was cleaning the blackboard. The teacher saw him, he was in his 50s wearing thick black spectacles. He had worn brown trouser and grey shirt. He rose up his eyebrows and looked awkwardly at Sameer.

“I expected you were late.

“No sir, He had gone to the washroom,” Savali said loud.

“Please…” he gestured his hand to the class.

The entire student laughed, Sameer too. Savali and Sameer exchanged the glance, she saw him biting his lips and smiling at her.

Its positive signal, she thought.

He sat on Savali’s desk, on left and she too pushed herself toward him. She was well groomed and had red lipstick and had new perfume. Her nose was running lightly.

“Hey, where is my journal?” she whispered and shook her hand and felt the coldness of his body.

Sameer nodded. He took out the journal from the bag and handed over to her. She quickly turned the pages, but the letter was not there, she closed the journal and put it in her bag without looking at him. Sameer was watching her.

“What?” he whispered.

“Where?” She whispered back.

The lecturer began.

He smiled and winked at her. She smiled back too.

“Sir, I am not feeling well…” Savali leaned on the desk and she acted vomiting, she grabbed the hand of Sameer.

“Please take me out...” She said in pain keeping one hand on the stomach and one on his shoulder.

Ram giggled. The lecturer looked up at the fan, it was switched off, and he felt the room warm.

“Sir…” Savali said.

She again acted like vomiting.

“Don’t worry, Sameer, take her to a doctor or home.” Sameer held her shoulder and got her out of the class. Both went in the parking where Savali’s scooter was parked. She had a gearless bike of pink color and light weighted. She laughed loud, Sameer laughed too.

“How was my trick?” She whispered in his ear. Savali removed the key from her skirt pocket,

“We are going Sarasbag.”

“What, how far it is?”

“Don’t worry, I will take you there, it is just the ten minutes of the drive,” Savali said.

They were standing opposite each taking the support of the bike. The birds were singing on the nearest tree. Outside of the college seems no crowd. All the lectures were going on. Nobody found in the parking except Savali and Sameer.

You wait outside the college I’ll take the scooter out there. Go... Go fast.” She continued.

Savali removed her scarf and tied over her face and pulled the scooter out from the parking area.

“Wow, nice garden,” Sameer said. Both stepped into the garden. His eyes glanced over a long, fine tree and its shadow.

“I think we should sit there?” He gestured at the tree of middle and had a big shadow. He looked at her. They had parked the vehicle outside the garden. Savali saw the happiness on Sameer’s face – a bird out in the unseen world. He even hadn’t seen Pune completely yet. Both went near the tree and sat facing their back to the trunk of the tree, gripping palm into palm, touching lap to lap, shoulder to shoulder. Savali rested her head on his left shoulder. She was addicted to his odor, touch, and presence. The sun had started heating up. The birds were roaming in the garden in the search for food. A gardener was digging far in the corner. There was nobody except these two.

“First show me the letter?” Savali said in almost peaceful and beautiful place.

“Oops,” he placed his right hand on his head.

“I forgot, it’s in my bag at home.”

She got up and banged her legs on the grass with anger and got sad.

“No, I want that letter first, go and get it from the house.”

Sameer laughed out loudly,

“But I don’t know how to ride your scooter?”

She banged her legs again and slapped him on his lap, he was still sitting on the grass.

“Ok, fine… I have brought… please sit down.”

He stopped laughing and made her sleep and rested her head on his lap,

“Now listen carefully what I wrote,”

“Hmm…” Savali uttered.

“Dear Savali, I fell in love when I saw you the first time, but I have never thought that you will love the way I do. You are so rich, but I rose from poverty if you really love me and there is no time pass then I will be yours forever and ever. I love you so much Savali, more than anyone in this world.”

Savali quickly got up, he too and hugged each other. The Savali’s eyes filled with tears, happiness and lost in love for a few minutes. Savali took the letter from him and placed it inside the bra of her right breast.

“I will keep this letter with me.” Both wiped the eyes.

"Here this watch I had bought for you." she went on,

“I think we should leave.” Both left the garden at 1:30 pm. and went home.


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