BUT she was unmoved. She didn't reply but pointed at the result sheet. Her name was, as expected, in the topper's list at the position of eleven. But her face was lacking everything that had made me fall for her- no smile, no glow on her face. I could not guess what was wrong with her. Definitely, rank-11 could not be the matter of worry. Was she so much of a nerd who thinks that life has ended if their position goes into double digits? I couldn't understand what troubled her, why she was dejected and downhearted.
She just didn't say anything. Then after a long wait which seemed like eons, she said “Oh! Hi! Sorry I didn’t notice you. I have been good. Let’s go to the canteen. It has been a long time since I had ‘Ramu ki coffee’.
Finally, relief entered into my heart. She remembered me and all was normal with her. We went down to the canteen and had the famous ‘ramu ki coffee’ with namkeen and patties. As usual, i never allowed her to pay the bill. We sat chatting. I told her about my foreign trip. How i had roamed around in Rome, Paris, London, Berlin, etc. (though i deliberately did not mention all the hooker part.) She also sounded too excited to hear about all these beautiful places. I told her that i will show her the pictures that i had taken of these places. I told her that I was coming the next day to pay the fees and asked her to come the same day so that I could get one more chance to meet her and talk to her. I truly felt on top of the world. Bryan Adams had made an understatement when he had sung about cloud number 9. Right now, i was on cloud number 99! I didn't mention any of these facts to her but just asked her, and she accepted. Then she left the place. We agreed to meet up at 2pm next day.
Next day,I went to the institute to pay the fees for another year of my torturous coaching and one more year when i can adore the innocent beauty of Sanjana’s face. I reached there at 1:30 as i did not want to leave anything to chance from now on. God had already played with me twice when i had left things to chance. Though the procedure was done by 1;50, she was nowhere to be seen. But I didn't leave the place since I was waiting for her. The clock rand 2:00, then 3:00 and 4:00 too but there was no sign of her. As she didn't turn up, it made me believe that she wouldn't come. Why did i leave it for today? God had once again played trickery with me and deceived my luck. So I decided to leave.
I entered the car and was about to start. Just then, I saw her walking and approaching the institute in haste. Immediately I got down the vehicle and went towards her running. Maybe, God is not that cruel either. He examines us first and gives us the reward later. I ran towards her like a child runs towards candy. The first thing she told me was "Sorry!". I asked "For what? And whatever it is for, it’s ok. There is no need to introduce sorry between us." She replied "I am not joining here and sorry for making you wait." I couldn't understand what she just said to me. This was too much cruelty towards me from luck’s side. But i thought i had heard something wrong. "What nonsense are you saying? Are you in your senses? Had ‘ramu ki coffee’ intoxicated you or what?”, i said jokingly. “How come you are not joining here? Is something wrong?" I asked.
Her eyes became wet immediately. This was not what i had even imagined of. All my joke sense swished away and i found myself struggling to grasp the reason that had made the beautiful angel cry. Crying, she said " I am not joining here. I am joining somewhere else." "What is the reason.? When you have to some place for coaching, then why not the best one? And please stop crying, for God’s sake!" I said. Her tears were burning me like a rope on fire. My strength was giving up due to the flames of her tears. She then said something which engraved in my heart forever. "It might be the best one in city, but my parents cannot pay the enormous amount of fees, so they are joining me in a bit low grade coaching institute. That's not much a problem for me. Maybe the coaching will not be up to the mark, but I think I'll be able to do things myself. But, i don’t think i will ever be able to come here again. We’re moving to some other place."
I was in a complete shock. I couldn't take it. Then she told how hard it was to convince her parents to let her come to this place one last time to see her classmates. She had pleaded hard with her parents to convince them for her last visit here. Then, she said she has to go and lifted her hand to shake hands with me. But the sight of a bruise on her arm caught my attention. I asked her "How did this happen? I don’t think it was there yesterday." She narrated to me what were the consequences of her result and what all had happened at her home the previous day.
When she informed about her rank at home, they were at first happy. But then they immediately turned against her the moment they came to know that she missed the scholarship by just a single rank. The institute gave scholarship to only the top-10 rankers in the examination. She had to face all the music at her home and later she was also bashed by them. Then she showed me the wounds all over her body. There were scars at her other hand. Her feet were marked by the red slashes. Also her face was still red. Even the kids in Africa in the UN posters were not beaten by their parents for studying so brilliantly
My heart swelled up. A burst of tear wanted to break the dam of my eyes but i held them on. I knew that her tears would return on seeing me cry and I did not want her to cry again. I got so much irritated and angered at her parent's behaviour towards her. I felt that i should just go and bang the hell out of her parents for beating a beautiful angel like her. My insides were burning on hearing all this. I wanted to ask why God made such people? Maybe even orphans were better than her. Atleast, they did not get beaten for excelling in exams. In spite of appreciating her excellent performance that earned her a top rank, why the hell did they beat her, scold her and abuse her. Bull shit! What the F***!! Why does God create such people? Why should they be so cruel towards her? What was her mistake? I simply thought of killing them. I tried my level best to console the poor girl by talking about other good things, in order to divert her mind from the painful incident. I knew she won’t accept but i still offered her that i could even talk to my parents and convince them to pay her fee. But both of us knew that such talks were of no help. Later she left as her parents had told her to be home by 5:00. As soon as she left, tears burst out of my eyes. I stood there crying till my driver called out to me that we had to go home. I thought that maybe i will see her somehow in future. Maybe, we’ll stumble into one another somewhere. But, at that moment, i just stood there motionless. Only the salty water in my eyes was moving. My heart felt as if it had been sliced into a thousand pieces.
I never met her again. In fact, i never got to even see her again.
Even today, till this date her crying innocent face, which I last saw several years ago comes to my mind. Every feature of hers is as fresh in my mind as if it was just moments ago that i had last seen her. I could never meet her again. I tried on all the social networking sites to find her, but my efforts went in vain. I even called at the number she gave me the last time we met, but it is always the telephone operators useless messages that I find on the other side. I never got a chance to see her again. In the past five years of my life with her absence, there was no such instance that could give me some information relating to her whereabouts. I simply have no clue about her. I don't know whether she fulfilled her dream, whether she is living in the same place and whether she is happy or not. Do her tyrant parents still bash her for getting good marks? I don’t know. I don’t anything about her, not even a single bit. Sometimes I feel I shouldn't have said the words which I uttered just before she left. It was I who asked whether I could be of any help to her, in regard to money.
I have met so many girls after that. I have had so many crushes after that. I might have even liked a one or two, but I can never forget her whom I loved from the very first moment I saw her. As time passed, I also got a bit busy. Currently I'm pursuing by B.Tech degree from a reputed university. Maybe, someday she might read this and know all these feelings of mine that i never got to say to her. With so many new things and other involvements of mine, may be my search for her might have become a bit loose and non yielding, may be my memories have started to fade, but I LOVE YOU forever........my dear Sanjana..!