It was Tech-Tatva 2012, being on organizer I was designing a poster on my laptop for publicity of our event, in the NLH. Anush, a close friend of mine was also a part of the organizing team was there too to decide the venue of the events. Shreya was a 5th semester student and our event head. I was almost done designing the poster, “have a look at this” I told Shreya. “Umm…not bad” she replied. I was happy to know that my event head liked my work. “Where are the volunteers?” shouted Shreya, “we’ll need them to get this poster printed”.
“I just spoke to the HR department and they are sending four of them, they will be here any minute. Soon four freshers walked in the room and confirmed that they were in the right room. “Get in” Shreya told them. There were two guys and one girl. I looked at the girl and the next thing I knew was Anush shaking me, “dude control, don’t stare” he said and laughed. I did not tell Anush anything but I was mesmerized. She was definitely one of the most beautiful girls I had seen in Manipal. Neatly dressed in a white Punjabi suit and a sky blue duppatta. Her eyes had a greenish shade and were incredibly deep. We asked for their introduction and I learnt that her name was Prachi. Anush went to her straightaway and told her to get the poster printed. I and Shreya looked at each other and smiled, we knew he wouldn’t miss a single chance to hit on someone as pretty as Prachi. He was always a “daredevil” kind of a guy and had a decent personality.
As the fest approached we started working for longer hours. We made a good team, me, Anush and the four volunteers led by Shreya. We often worked till late at night and then went out for dinner. Apart from the fact that we were nearing a successful event, all the members shared a bond in the event.
While working one day, we were discussing the first year academics with the juniors.” I don’t know how am I clearing BET, my first sessional score is so low and I have no clue about the subject” said Prachi. “ I got a B in the subject, maybe I could help “ I uttered. Anush looked at me as if I had just bit him. “That sounds cool” Prachi replied.
Tech-Tatva was amazing! Our event was one of the most successful and we partied to celebrate the success on its last day. Shreya, Anush, and all the four juniors, went to DeeTee and had a great time. All the first years left early because of their perm issues and Anush bailed out telling us that he had to go to a friend’s apartment. So, it was just Shreya and me in DeeTee. “One more drink?” she asked. “No” I replied, “you are already drunk enough”. “Oh, so cute. Let’s have it, one last” she smiled and ordered one more drink. And we had a couple of more after that last one. “You want to take an auto back?” I asked her. “Of course” she said “ you want to make a drunk girl walk so much?”.
We took an auto from DeeTee to KC, she leaned towards me and rested on my shoulder. And yes, we kissed. I didn’t want to, I didn’t intend to, but alcohol did its job. I backed away immediately. “What happened boy?! Did not like it?, she said with a mischievous smile. “We are drunk”, I shouted. We got down at KC, I dropped her to her hostel and I went back to mine.
I got a call from Shreya the next day, “Do you remember what happened yesterday?” she asked. “Yes, we kissed” I said. “Yeah” she said “so what do you wanna do next”. “Next??” I exclaimed. “Do you wanna just forget everything and move on?” she asked. “Shreya we were drunk!” I said. Then she said something astonishing “What if I said I like you?”. I was honestly not sure of what I heard. “You heard that right mister” she said. “Are you messing around with me or something”, I enquired. She denied it and said she had developed a crush working for the event together for the event.
I didn’t know what to do then; I hung up on Shreya asking her to give me some time to think. I was not sure I liked her. I called Anush to my room for help the same afternoon. “You kissed her? You kissed our event head? Lucky you!” he said. “Shut up Anush, the thing is I don’t know what to do now, I am not sure I like her or not” I told Anush. “ Who cares dude, roam around with her, get physical, enjoy! This is Manipal”. “You know I am not that kind of a guy Anush, I can’t be with a girl just for the physical part of it. You know me” I told him. “ You are an ass” he told me and left the room banging the door behind.
I thought for a while and landed no where. I was not a guy who just uses a girl for physical part of a relationship and I was not sure whether I liked her.
I got a text from Prachi , the mesmerizing first year girl, ‘Had a nice time with you guys’, it read.’ It was fun for me too, did you reach back safely to the hostel yesterday?” I replied. And after five seconds my phoned blinked again, “Yes, I reached safely. For how long did you stay back?. We exchanged texts for about three hours. I learned she was from Hyderabad and she had a younger brother. She also asked me to meet her in the library next week and teach her BET.
Meanwhile I met Shreya behind the library stairs at 10pm. We had an intense discussion about what was happening. I had predetermined to tell her that I don’t want to date her and lets just be friends. “Look I am not in a position to start a serious relationship” I told her. “Serious? What do you mean? Marriage? Kids?” she yelled. “No, I mean I don’t want to rush into anything” I cried. “Okay, lets not rush into anything, lets start a non-serious relationship” she offered, “How does that sound?”. She countered every argument of mine. And after two hours of discussion I was walking back the campus store road committing to a girl I did not have feelings for.
The next week, Shreya and me went out on a couple of dates, I tried to maintain as much as physical distance as it was possible in both.
It was tempting though, but I managed to control myself every time. And Anush hated me for this.
It was 6:30 pm on a Friday evening, I was sitting in the group study hall with one of the most beautiful girls in the freshers batch teaching her Basic Electrical Technology. We spent two hours trying to understand different sort of circuits and meshes. “I am hungry”, she said,” let’s stop it here for today”. “Okay” I agreed. I wouldn’t have agreed to have dinner with her if I knew what would happen next “Do you eat at FC?” she asked. “No way girl, I can’t even think of eating there, it’s inedible” I said. “I still eat there and Friday food is the worst” she said.
“Let’s go out for dinner” she suggested. “Ummm…cool” I said. “You like Chinese? How does China Valley sound?” she asked. “Great” I replied. I had an awesome time with her. We talked about Hyderabad (her home town), Mumbai (my home town), people there, food there. She kept speaking on and on about her ex-boyfriends, eve-teasing by Hyderabadis, all the fun she had in her school days. She did speak a lot. “You don’t speak much do you?’ She asked. “No, you speak a lot” I said. She had her library perm, so we hung around till about 10 pm.
I reached my hostel around 10.30 pm and started preparing for the next day’s assignment submission. “So when do we complete the remaining BET portion” I got a text from Prachi, “When do you have half days” I replied. Starting then, we exchanged texts all night.
The next few days were the most difficult days for me in the campus. I don’t know how did it happen or when did happen. I could not get Prachi out of my head. I thought about her throughout. I was dating Shreya and I had no intentions of cheating on her. But I wish I could help my situation. As days passed, and I kept meeting Prachi, the thing got deeper and deeper. I went out with Shreya many times in the meanwhile but never told her about my feelings for Prachi, I was waiting for the feelings to fade away.
“Did you start preparing for the second sessionals yourself?” asked Prachi when we were sitting in the group study hall for the final time for BET.
“Naah, not yet!” I replied. After discovering that I had a huge crush on Prachi, I was really conscious about my words in front of her, I had to make sure she doesn’t get any kind of a hint and hence I tried to make all our conversations formal. But things got really worse for me. I did not share this with Anush or Shreya, two close friends I had in Manipal, I just tried to get over Prachi. That was a huge mistake when I look back now. After a lot of effort, I was still not successful in getting her out of my head. As a result I screwed up my second sessionals.
Shreya and me were dating for about a semester now, and there were very few places in Manipal were we did not go. One of them was Teaze. Prachi took me to Teaze. “I cannot believe you are here for the first time” said Prachi while ordering. “Two ‘tropical punch’ anna”. It was getting more difficult to ignore the way I felt about her. I started cherishing every moment I spent with her. I couldn’t do anything about my feelings, I couldn’t ask her out as I was already dating Shreya. Also, I didn’t want to hurt her and even if otherwise a girl like Prachi would never go out with me. I was way out of her league. I was so sure she thought of me as a friend.
I never did anything about my feelings, but in a way I thought I was cheating on Shreya. I did not tell her because, I knew she was into me and she wouldn’t take it pleasantly. I was in a bad situation. And I couldn’t afford to screw my end semesters. So I decided to lose touch with Prachi assuming it would help me get over her. I blocked her on WhatsAPP and Facebook, I deleted her phone number. But nothing seemed going my way, I never thought a girl could make such a mess of my life. I lost control over it.
I realized there was no point in continuing the relationship with Shreya now as it wasn’t fair to her. I decided to break up with her. “Can we please meet up? Its urgent” I texted Shreya. We just had a week for the end semesters to start and I met Shreya at 7 Bees. “Look we have had a great time and you are the closest person to me in Manipal, but I am afraid this cannot be continued” I started. “What?!” she exclaimed. “What kind of a joke is this?”. “Its over Shreya” I said. It was obviously a big surprise for her because we did not have any fights or disagreement lately.
“You remember we had a volunteer in Tech-Tatva? Prachi? I like her” I confessed finally. “Please tell this is a prank” she was more serious now. “Its not” I declared. There was a sudden dip in her expression then. I could see her eyes moist by now. “When did this happen? Why are you doing this to me?” she wept. “Look I completely understand how terrifying this must be for you, but there is nothing I can do about it”. That was a difficult thing to do, I meant to hurt her in no way but it was the right thing to do. I felt awful. After a lot of weeping and lot of apologies, I broke up with her. I felt bad knowing that I was the reason for her pain. After breaking up with her I somehow managed to eliminate guilt from hundreds of things I was feeling at that time. I finally started believing that the end semester pressure can suck me in and I can start stabilizing. I didn’t know that the “bad time” this semester had something more for me.
“Hey” Anush came up to me in the library. “I have a news for you” he said. “What is it?” I enquired. “I started dating Prachi” he told me. It took me an eternity to completely take that in. “That’s amazing” I replied. I could feel a big black hole in my stomach that moment. I tried not to give it away in my expression. “When did this happen?” I asked. “Umm…about a week, I asked her out and she agreed and we have been on three dates since then” he briefed. “She is awesome” he added. “I know” I really did. I felt the rock bottom.
The entropy in my life made sure that I didn’t get normal. I had given up. I didn’t try to make the situation right anymore. I just tried to digest the fact that it’s never going to get better. I started drinking a lot. I drank almost all the nights during end semester examinations. I was too disturbed to care about my career.
On the final day of the semester, I met Anush in DeeTee. “Dude you should shave” he told me. I chose not to reply. Soon I realized that he had come with a female company. “Meet my classmate” he introduced. Before I said hello, they started making out. I pulled Anush and punched him in his face. “How could you do this to Prachi?” I roared. “Relax dude I am not serious about her you know” he answered. I probably shouldn’t have done what I did next. I punched him harder, his faced touched the ground and he started bleeding. I left the place.
I never thought being home for vacations can be so discomforting, I thought a lot about what I did in college. I messed up my relationship with two of the closest people because of one girl. Surprisingly , what I did, didn’t seem much wrong then. I could not continue dating Shreya when I had feelings for someone else and Anush had no business cheating on someone as wonderful as Prachi. I was still not completely over Prachi. I discovered how emotionally immature I was, how a girl could totally ruin my stability. I didn’t know how this works but there is nothing much you can do about it if you really start to fall for somebody. And the worst part is, you can’t even choose the person. You can do nothing even if you know the person is not right for you.
I started next semester promising myself that I would have a better control over my life, and would concentrate more on productive things. We were just in the second week of a new semester and I got a call from Shreya. “Hey, how was the vacation” she asked. “Not bad” I lied. “Its been a long time we talked last” I said. “Yeah, you started dating anyone?” she asked. “No, you?”. “Not really” she replied. Then she asked me something unexpected. “Let’s go on one last date this Valentine’s day, say what?” she asked. “Shreya look, I don’t think it’s a very good idea” I said. “Come on, just for the old time’s sake. One meal is all I am asking. “Okay’ I agreed. We decided to meet at Attill at 7.30pm on 14th February 2013.
I arrived ten minutes late and I started looking for Shreya. I saw Prachi sitting alone on the table and she waved at me. I went towards her. “How are you doing?” I asked. “Shut up you idiot, why didn’t you tell me anything?” she asked. “What?” I asked. “Shreya told me everything and she sent me here. Why didn’t you speak up? I never knew you had feelings for me” she said and hugged me. I immediately bent down to my knee and asked Prachi “Will you be my Valentine?” She smiled and said “Of course you moron, that is what I am here for”. I noticed Shreya and Anush watching us from the corner of the restaurant. I ran towards them and hugged them. “I am sorry, if I knew you had feelings for Prachi I would have never cheated on her” Anush said. “Please stop speaking” I requested trying to control the outflow from my eyes.