|Photo taken under CC0 licence|
It was a pretty normal morning which was why I was slightly angry. It was a special morning and this was the best that Nature could do for me - since morning, the clouds had been threatening to break out anytime. But through the entire bus journey, the sun had peaked out. Now, there was nothing but an indecisive climate as if Nature herself had not decided what she was going to do today.
Telling myself to ignore the weather, I walked out of the bus as my heart was beating real hard.
I pulled up the bag closer and looked at the huge board in front of me.
S.R.L. College of Science and Technology.
This was it. I was standing outside the college of my dreams. Two years of studying and hard work and staying awake for insane hours and this was where I wanted to do. God, I had even tolerated English and managed to scrap through in that hideous subject.
Just to get inside this college. Be accepted for what I was – a geek and a proud one at that.
I was already tweaking with the rubber band, battery and the pencil in my hand which I been fiddling in the bus to come here. And for once I had no idea what I had created.
It looked like a catapult but then it seemed slightly weird. Or probably, the damned thing was going to blow up at my face.
That is a pretty normal thing in my life, in case you did not know.
Anyway, back to the present, I stepped into the college and looked around savouring in all the sights and sounds and new things and almost immediately, I spotted the first wrong thing. Well not exactly wrong. But it was not my area of expertise – there were four to five giggling girls near to one side. There were a group of boys at the farther end – both the groups felt wrong to me.
Because neither the girls nor the boys looked like they had a clue of what they were supposed to be here. Which, for some reason just annoyed me to no end.
One of the girls there actually smiled a little hesitatingly at me as she was loosely carrying a thick Applied Chemistry book in her hand. Even that annoyed me because that book was a masterpiece not a cheap novel.
"First year?" She asked as she boldly came up to me.
I didn't know it then, but Kritika was very nervous at that point of time. And Kritika talked a lot when she was nervous. More than her normal lot, and over the years that had become endearing. But still, facts were facts.
"No, I am going to pass out." I snapped. God, the girl was dumb. I had the exact same book in my hand as I had been reading it on the way here.
That was when she saw the book and looked at me annoyed.
"Smart ass." She huffed and turned around.
I sighed as the last piece of survival instinct kicked in.
God, I was not doing the same thing again. I was through all the "being shunned" and "being the smartest guy" and the "to be avoided like a plague guy" as had always happened in school. I could not repeat all that in college. I had promised myself that this time around I was going to enjoy everything.
"Hi, I am Siddharth." I told her trying to smile as I walked towards her. She is not smart, but she is bold. That must count for something. "And I really am sorry." I said struggling to get the words out and not gag.
Seriously, apologizing was not half as cool as the people got it.
"Hi Siddharth," she said looking furiously at me as the other people were watching us with slight annoyance.
I honestly did not know what the problem of the others really was. They could talk with this girl if they wanted. I was not going to stop them.
A second later I wished they had talked to the girl and taken her away from here.
"Your catapult has the rubber band in the wrong place." She said looking at me with something close to contempt. "You pull that and the pencil is going to shoot at your face."
I blinked. I studied the thing in my hand and I blinked again.
I was mortified and pretty much traumatized for life. I got a catapult wrong. That was impossible. Just impossible. Considering I had been making the things since I was a kid.
The girl was walking towards the classroom as she looked at me with a disdainful look.
Sorry, I mouthed at her and I was sincere about it. One of the first things that someone like me knows is to apologize for mistakes and restart. Because that is the thing with science. Theories go wrong and then we rebuilt. The apologizing and the restarting was difficult. But it had to be done.
I was stumped when I saw her give a glorious smile at me.
Ten years later, I still remember Kriti's smile that day. Nothing changed it. Her marriage to me just accentuated it and brought it out more often. But that smile that she gave me that day was special.
It was such a perfect feeling as I was feeling ridiculously happy, which was when the rain started pouring.
I am very sure if I had spent some time watching some movie, I would have seen this scene more gloriously taken.
But to me this was perfect – the rains and through the rain drops I was watching my love.
And no, it was obviously not Kriti.
It was the college before me – my first love, which really made a man out of me and the reason I met the second love in my life.