….But making friends…, that’s the most difficult part for a person like me, dear diary. Hope it all turns out well tomorrow…quite nervous about it.
It was the night before the first day of my college and ‘nervous’ wasn’t just the word to describe my feeling s. All I did was to predict the next day’s fate through my own imagination and substance being put into it. That I did by writing or rather sharing my thoughts with my dear diary.
“Its time to go to bed Harsh, you need to go to college tomorrow…remember?” yelled mom from the living room and that was all it took to stop my flow of thoughts as I reached the switches beside my bed to put off the lights.
As I looked into the mirror to comb my hair, I noticed my eyes being not so enthusiastic of what it had to see in less than an hour. I was rather afraid than being excited about my first day in college. I was resentful that I had to face it all over again. The giggles in those hidden faces, the same old taunting questions and of course after all that…a doze of that dramatic sympathy. Life wasn’t that easy for a polio victim at a new place. Is it? But yes, there was one thing on my side; a good looking face. If not for those 2 clutches in my hands, I always considered myself to be a prince charming…or at least I had to do that just to keep my spirits high.
Food refused to go down my throat probably because there were more butterflies than rats in my stomach, and it was only after a warm hug from my mom did a few of them flew away. Dad helped me to get into the car, drove me off to the college and repeated the same exercise in the reverse order.
In the first look, the college seemed to have a huge building with an equally large playground (which was totally out of my concern); but most importantly it had maintained a good academic reputation and that was all enough for me to get an admission into this college.
My dad insisted on escorting me to my allotted classroom, which I didn’t dare to deny. As I neared the entrance of the building, I noticed a notice board with the name list of first years and the classes allotted to them. I asked my dad to do the search job for me and I was half relieved when he informed me that I was allotted a classroom in the ground floor. It meant ‘no struggling on the stairs’ for me.
There was already a buzz in the air as it was about time for the bell to ring. Boys and girls clustered in small groups at the corridor in front of the classrooms. Most of them were filled with excitement on their faces and a few of them were showing it off with loud cheers and hugs as they seemed to reunite with their school friends. I felt a little disappointed, thinking about my old buddies at that moment.
As I made my way through, a few boys noticed me and eventually I came to know that the whole crowd did. The whole mob suddenly turned silent with a puzzled, astonishing look on each and every face that I gave a look at. It seemed as though a hungry tiger had plunged into a flock of clueless sheep, or so did I view the situation to avoid feeling embarrassed.
I was the first one to enter my classroom. It was a spacious room, furnished with comfortable, well supportive benches. It had a dais near the long green board, pretty much like a stage for the teacher or rather a lecturer to give a lecture on and I bet they were in advantage because of that as they could keep an eye on all the lazy, mischievous backbenchers from the place they stood.
Dad suggested me a good corner seat in the first row as it would be easy for me to handle my clutches from there. After all, making a place for your legs (though artificial) is as important as you make a comfortable place for yourself too. He left, giving a pat on my back after he completely ensured that I was comfortable with my seat; a responsible father of a handicap, you see…
My comfort brought some time for my mind to relax and hence I started observing things around. The bell rang and so did all the students rush into their respective classrooms. There was bliss in the environment. The classroom was happy, noisy and excited as everybody occupied the seats they liked…and of course there were girls. Colorful girls; most of them were good enough to be given a ‘pretty’ tag. I suddenly realized that my mind was wandering into the area where people like me aren’t allowed socially. Cursing myself, I turned towards the door awaiting the first lecturer to arrive.
Nobody expected the classes to commence on the very first day and so was the case. It was supposed to be a half day for the whole of week one which meant hardly 4 classes per day. Those 4 classes on day 1; two language classes, a math and a physics…all were spent in the same boring cause of any first day; Introduction. By the end of the day’s college hours, my neurons in brain had caught the names of almost half of the class as that was the only thing we did the whole day. As for a word about lecturers, they seemed to be polite…may be not for all but at least to me; which was mostly expected.
Making friends wasn’t as much a difficult and nervous task as I thought it was. Fortunately, mentioning my academic performance in my school boards made it a lot easier for me. Who in the heavens would dare to mess with a guy who holds a 95% in his boards even if it is a fact that he is crippled? Or even if some shameless guy tried to wag his tongue, he wouldn’t surely be one of these front bench nerds whom I introduced my self to. It was then did I understand that studying well, helped in more than one way. No matter how weird, that way was.
As the long bell rang, I sat there waving to my new ‘nerd’ friends as they made their exit. I was strictly ordered not to move an inch from where I was by my mom on the phone, until she came and escorted me back to the car since me dad had gone to his office. I was following her instructions without an argument; an obedient son… that I was.
The class was almost empty with just a few ‘pretty’ girls who stood giggling at me in the other corner of the class. I ignored it since it had become quite a common act for me after all these years. When suddenly I witnessed a soft hand pointing a chit towards me with a cheeky voice saying…
“Hi Harsh, here is something for you”.
My mind concentrated too much on this surprise ‘chit’, to inspect from where that soft voice came from.
I took it and was literally blown out of my mind as I read it. It said “I love you <3”.
I still couldn’t believe my eyes as I lifted them to look at the face that had gone nuts. To add on to the shock, I saw an angel there. In simple terms, words like ‘pretty’ or ‘beautiful’ were an understatement to describe this girl, or it so seemed to me as I saw a girl from this close for the first time.
“Hi, this is Mridula…” her voice as soft as her name…”Sorry for that shocker Harsh, it was just a dare given by my friends to me. Please don’t mind it “she said giggling all the way. I was still gazing at her with an open mouth reluctant to listen to its brain’s command.
“A what?”…I came back to my senses suddenly.
“It was just a part of truth/ dare game” she repeated. It was only then I realized that my fate hadn’t taken off as such. I was just a victim chosen for a cheap prank and I had stupidly started thinking that a girl had proposed me falling for my ‘prince charming’ look. Though just for a moment…how could I even detach myself from my dark reality?
“Oh! That’s ok…has happened to me before” I said quite dejected.
“They wanted me to do this to a cute boy in the class and I couldn’t find any apart from you after searching for the whole day.” She said…apology in her tone.
Some shine returned to my face now. It meant she considered me ‘cute’. I was delighted.
“Thanks for the compliment” I said with a bright smile on my face. “And you are beautiful too “…I added on.
“Thank you” she said with a blushing smile.
As I was thinking of extending this considerable first ‘romantic’ conversation of my life, a voice came from the door side…
“Did I interrupt a conversation?” my mom asked with a hint of mischief in her tune. Ah! There comes the full stop for my conversation. Great timing!!
“Nothing like that mom…meet Mridula, a new friend of mine”…I introduced her to my mom to suppress her curiosity lest she scares my ‘truth/dare’ love with possible stupid phrases of hers like “girlfriend on day1??…great going son” and stuffs like that. It was an immensely rare bad thought for me to think about my mom like this. But I really did think it. I guess I already had a mother-wife issue running in my head and I felt guilty for it.
Mom just smiled at her as she helped me up and gave those ‘enemy in the scene’ clutches to my hand. I thought Mridula never noticed it during our talk. But she had to know it one or the other day. So with a firm grip on one of my clutches, I turned around as I walked away slowly from my classroom, to wave at her with a smile on my face. To my surprising fortune, I received the same response back instead of a common weird look on her face.
Back home, life wasn’t normal to me anymore. How will it be? A girl had proposed me! Though in a fake cause, she still did. And yes, most importantly she had a positive attitude towards me in our very first meet. That was rare. I still couldn’t snap out of that scene. I didn’t want to…
That night, after a long excited reporting of the first day of my college during the dinner, to my parents (of course, minus that truth/dare incident) I was pampered and sent to bed. My mom knew there was something new in me. She probably read my eyes and I don’t know how she does it every time when I’m excited. Probably every mother’s secret power, I guess. But fortunately, she didn’t try to dig into the information.
As I went to bed, I wrote in my dear diary…
“My first day at college…It was ‘CUTE’. Hope to see more of such days in the future too.”