“Woh lamhein, woh raatein, woh bheegi bheegi yaadein…” As the music pleasantly drifted through the audience, Smruthi shifted uncomfortably in her chair. She was a simple, smart and beautiful girl who was working in Bluehood technologies, the most famous IT company of the Nation. Though she was an intelligent and independent team manager in her career; the one who made the right decisions in seconds, her personal life was a contradiction. She was the only daughter of an orthodox middle class Brahmin family. From her doll and dresses, to her job and Honda city car, each and everything in her life ,was her father’s decision. But no! she would not let it happen this time. Her marriage was her choice. Maybe, this was the most important choice after all! (and *first choice in her past 25 years of life, of course!) Because she wanted to make the choice of her life, her happiness and her destiny herself.
Smiling at her colleagues, she quickly walked her way through the crowd towards her car. She climbed her black Honda city and drove with full-speed to the beach. It was 8 and the beach was not so crowded. She sat on the seashore looking at the darkness ahead. “The questions of my life must be answered, there has been no time left” she said to herself. She had got a proposal and her engagement was a month away. The guy her father chose was good-looking and worked as a CEO in an IT company. He was a Brahmin too and their horoscopes matched, and according to her family he was the Mr. Perfect for her. But to her, he was just some other human of the opposite gender. No feelings, No enthusiasm to meet him, nothing!.
As she walked through the shore, she heard an angelic voice screaming “Hey Idiot, stop! Don’t throw it”… As she turned, she saw a cute little girl with her hair dripping in water and clothes spattered with mud hurling sand at a ten-year-old boy whose face was now totally mud-packed. Smiling at the kids, she stretched her legs onto the sand. A cold wave splashed her feet as she began her walk down the memory-lane 7 years ago….
It was one such boring days of the first week of the college. She had got a seat in NITK and her family was on cloud nine. But she was least interested to come to the coolest campus of NITK and the very thought of being in a hostel, all alone, made her feel horrible. After a week in class, without actually knowing anyone or being able to recall the names of her batch mates, she felt like a lost lamb in the dense forest. It was Sunday and so she walked silently towards the beach and sat on the sea-shore looking at the beauty of sun-set. A few feet away from her, she noticed a guy in jeans and a white tee-shirt playing a tune in his guitar. He seemed totally absorbed in his world of music. The tune was melodious with a rock style incorporated in it. However in a few minutes, he seemed irritated and stopped playing. As he opened his eyes, he saw Smruthi staring at him.
She saw the anger and pain in his eyes for a minute, and then instead, there was a recognition in his eyes and she heard him saying “ Heya, you are from NITK right?” .She nodded at this unexpected question. He got up and came to her, “ Hi! I am Shaan.1st year, NITK. What is your name?”. “HI, Im Smruthi, that tune you were playing is brilliant” she replied. “OH! Thanks. I’m working on it, but I always get stuck in the middle and I don’t know how to continue” replied Shaan. “Why don’t you try again, maybe I can use my brains to work on it?” said Smruthi. He smiled and played it all over again. With a lot of discussions and adjustments, finally the tune was ready. As the sun-set in the west and darkness emerged, a new friendship had also begun.
Tall and handsome, ambitious and hardworking, Shaan was the son of a rich business person. Moreover, he was a musician and because of that he had gained immediate popularity in the college. She too had heard his name being mentioned in the mess but she had never paid attention to the talk.
They walked back to their hostel campus discussing about how they missed their home and friends. They discussed their passion for music and even sang their favorite song ”woh lamhein…” while walking. Soon they had reached the deviation to their hostels. Smruthi said goodnight and turned towards left. Shaan stood there cursing in mind about why the deviation had come so quickly and realizing that she had already left . Suddenly he ran towards her and told “Bye Smruthi. Thank you very much for the tune. You have magic in you”. Totally astounded at his words, Smruthi turned to look at him. One hand in the pocket of his jeans and other one holding his guitar, he looked stunning; with a smile of pure innocence spread over his face. She smiled back at him… a smile, that carried the fragrance of flowers and beauty of a star-lit sky, the smile that made his heart skip a beat!
Smruthi knew that the evening was magical. But she had the reality to deal with. “No, this is just friendship and I won’t cross it” she said to herself. But thoughts emerged from the corner of mind again. They belonged to two different worlds, one orthodox and the other free-thinking, one Brahmin and the other Christian, the one who liked solitude and was service-minded; the other who liked parties, friends and fame.” Stop it Smruthi, don’t be a fool” she yelled at herself and slept.
Lying in the bed, Shaan was also thinking about Smruthi. He had met many girls in parties, sang with many, even danced with few, but he had never felt so alive before. No one had ever understood his passion for music so much, not even his parents. ”She is really special and I will never hurt her anytime” he thought. He thought about her family, her love for life. Her face filled his mind. Her voice echoed in his ears. All he could think now was Smruthi. “I want to know her” he decided as he drifted to his dream world.
Even if you want to go away, sometimes the destiny doesn’t let you to.They ended up being in the same team for a project work. Shaan was the team leader and Smruthi had to be with him always. She melted at his simplicity and funny nature. Soon they became best friends. They studied together, worked together, participated in fests together, composed music together and shared each other’s joys and sorrows. From the crazy senior who was stalking her, to her family problems, Smruthi confided her each and every problem with Shaan. Shaan patiently listened to all her problems and helped her in solving them. But he too needed Smruthi in every phase of his life.
Be it, studies, projects or assignments ,or the dilemma about parties he had to attend, or the tune which he was not satisfied about ,he believed Smruthi always had the magical charm to make things perfect for him.Ganesh Chaturthi or Christmas, they celebrated the festivals together.But they never dated each other or sent texts saying “Baby, I love you” or crossed their limits in any way. But they knew that they shared something special . Maybe it was a magical bond called LOVE, they didn’t know.Everytime they thought of pouring out their feelings for each other, the harsh realities of the worlds they live in hit them like a tsunami. Of course, ignorance is bliss! And Realisation, a bitch!
Thus the 4 magical years at NITK passed by and they bid each other farewell as good friends.
Smruthi took up a job at Bluehood technologies and Shaan went to US for higher studies. They talked on phone but still,they felt miserable. They eagerly waited to listen to each other’s voice .They had so much to say, but words hardly came out of the lips. They missed each other so much.Silently, they suffered everyday , remembering the golden days of their life;the time they had spent together.
“Hello Honey-bunny”….her cellphone rang. It was her father. Smruthi got up and told her father she would be back soon. Finally, she had made her decision. She didn’t need Mr. Perfect for her perfect life. She needed Shaan, her own special idiot to make her life perfect. The bond of friendship and love they shared made all their imperfections fit into place and she knew their life would be beautiful.
She sat in her car, picked her phone and dialed his number. “hello, idiot! Wake up!” she said. “Smruthi, listen, I have already got up. Actually I haven’t slept all night. I want to tell u something “ he said. She waited holding her breath.Slowly he said “I LOVE YOU Smruthi. I can’t take it anymore. From the first day I met you in the beach, till today,I have loved you.From the past 7 years I wanted to tell you this. I know your engagement is a month away and all that, but I want to marry you, my dear. I love you so much. Will you marry me?” ….Tears of happiness rolled down her cheeks as she said “yes Shaan.I love you very much. I want to marry you man..But why did u wait for 7 years to tell this?” .
“ I didn’t want to hurt you Smruthi. I didn’t want to lose you” he said.The world seemed perfect as he said those words. She knew in the bottom of heart that he was her Mr. Perfect and nothing else mattered to her anymore. Their families and their worlds would fall in place eventually because they had a magical wand called love which made things beautiful and perfect! And thus they married each other and lived happily ever-after…
About the Author: This is a guest post by Shreyas K, a 3rd MBBS Student at KMC,Mangalore. This article is an entry for the Arranged Love – ManipalBlog writing contest.