23 Apr 2015

The Thing Called: Balancing Act



Chapter 3
The Thing Called: Balancing Act
The second day of Sensation '13 was christened Denim Day. Everyone, including faculty members wore denim. My girlfriend, a badminton player, was busy with a match. I reached the court just as she wound up her match and entered the quarter-finals.
Her: Just made it into the quarters! Wow! That outfit looks good on you.
Me: Thank you, and congratulations. Who is your next opponent?
Her: That girl in the red t–shirt, she is a strong player.
Me: Don’t worry, you can easily defeat her, I will be right here to cheer for you.
Her: Thank you, but that’s not necessary. Enjoy the other events, besides I feel pressurized when you are around.
Me: Ok. Promise me you will text me as soon as you finish. We will have lunch.
Her: Ok, now go.
As I left the court, I called Mourya but he didn't answer. I saw Monika – she looked fabulous. I asked her “Have you seen Mourya?” She said she had seen Mourya in the tug-of-war event at the ground.
Everybody was cheering him and why not? He was tall, muscular and handsome – a hunk. I also cheered for him, and then went into the shadow where I could sit and enjoy the match. As I saw everyone was looking different. The boys were in their best outfits, but the girls looked more attractive and sexy.
Everybody was either busy with their own thing or trying to grab someone's attention. I shoved my glasses in my jacket, and put my goggles on. A quick looked around later, I was engrossed in the match.
As I turned my head towards the ground, I heard the voice of a girl.
Girl: Excuse me, Samrat. Would you take one photo of our group?.
it was Yosha, the beauty with money, lots of money as we used to call her behind her back.
Me: Sure.
Yosha gave me her camera, a Canon 550 D. I took a photograph but, she asked for one more. I clicked again.
She came towards me,
Y: Show me, hmm, not good enough. Would you click one more?
I had used a Canon in the past and I tinkered with the functions, and then tried again.
Me: Now, it’s better.
I heard her friends giggling and knew what was happening as she stood next to me.
Y: Show me. Yes, it's really cool.
She stood very close to me, I could hear little giggling sounds from Yosha’s friends. I knew what was happening, but I pretended like I could not hear them.
Y: Are you a photographer or something?
Me: Yes, in a way you can say that.
Y: Would you take some close-ups?
Me: Yes.
Y: Where should I stand?
Me: Under that tree.
I clicked away while she posed and then suggested some poses. Some of her friends had left, while others requested me to take their photographs too.
I showed her the photographs. She liked them a lot, her and of course her friends' too. It was almost 1 pm, and everyone was hungry. She asked for my phone number before leaving, I gave it to her. And we said good bye.
Now there was nothing on the ground, the tug of war had ended. So I dialled my girlfriend’s number, her friend Kumud answered and said she was playing at the moment.
Me: What’s her status?
K: I guess, she is going to win the game, and will enter the semifinal.
Me: That’s nice. Ask her to call me when she is done with the game.
K: Ok.
As I disconnected the call, another one flashed, from an unknown number.
Me: Hello.
Caller: Hi, Samrat. Yosha here.
Me: Oh, hi. What's up?
Y: Where are you?
Me: Still at the ground where you left me.
Y: Would you come to the parking lot?
Me: Yes, what happened?
Y: Just start walking, I will tell you.
Me: Ok.
The parking lot wasn’t far from the ground.
Y: You really are a good photographer.
Me: Thank you.
Y: Why didn’t you tell me earlier? I would have saved a lot of money on photo shoots. My friends also agree with me on that.  It would be very rude if I didn’t invite you for a bite to say thank you. I am sure you must be hungry.
Me: Well, that’s not necessary.
As I was saying this, she drove up and opened the passenger door. Her two friends were in the back seat, she opened the door and signalled to me to hop in, I smiled a bit and hopped in.
Y: What happened? Why you are smiling?
Me: It’s nothing. Where are we going?
Y: Café Coffee Day.
We reached CCD in 10 minutes.
So, what else do you do, that I don’t know of?
Me: Just photography, that’s it.
As we were talking, Rupa, Yosha’s friend, got a call, and she immediately asked Yosha for the keys and took off with her friend.
Me: Is everything alright?
Y: Yes, she was expecting that call, it’s from her boyfriend. Uhh leave it, it’s her personal matter. So what do you want to eat?
Me: Sorry, but my tummy is full right now.
Y: This is not fair, you are embarrassing me. At least have some coffee.
Me: Sorry Yosha.
Y: I am letting you go this time, but that doesn’t mean you're free. You are definitely going to have lunch with me sometime.
Me: Sure.
While Yosha was at the counter for the order, I asked my girlfriend about her match. She had made the final.
Y: Are you sure you don’t want anything?
Me: Just a glass of water will be fine.
On her return, silence filled the space between us before I spoke up.
Me: Nice dress. You know, it's said it's more difficult for a girl to find the right pair of jeans than to find the right kind of boyfriend. I think you have found one.
Y: What?
Me: The jeans, they suit you.
Y: Thank you.
Y: How do you happen to have this information?.
Me: Well, let’s say it’s a simple observation.
Y: Hmm, so Mr. Observer what do your observations say?
Me: Hmm, what do you want to hear?
Y: Anything …
Me: Do you see that couple over there?
She nodded.
Me: They are going to break up with each other, in a few minutes.
Y: How can you say that?
Me: Just wait and watch.
She pointed at another couple.
Y: What about them?
Me: Well, that case is a little complicated. The boy is not in love with the girl, but the girl is completely in love with him. Look at his relaxed posture and compare it with the way she is leaning towards him. There is also a hint of a smile on her face, also her pupils are dilated.
Y: Are you some kind of Sherlock Holmes or something?
Me: Oh, you watch Sherlock Holmes?
Y: Yes. I'm a big fan of the serial and the movie.
Me: Hmm, what else do you watch?
Y: The L Word, GCB and Shameless.
I instantly understood why everybody in our college considered her to be different. I decided to dig deeper.
Me: Do you watch other genres too?
Y: Don’t judge me. I do watch other stuff too.
Me: No no, I am not. In fact, I am glad that I found someone who likes what I like.
She idly sipped her coffee.
Y: What do you watch?
Me: Friends, Entourage, The Good Wife, GCB and so on.
She was amused to hear that I watch GCB. She put the straw of her cappucino in her mouth, and took a sip playfully.
Me: Are you trying to seduce me?
Y: Am I? No!! Wait, are you being seduced by this?
Me: No, I'm not. But that is what I feel is happening.
Y: Well, here is the thing with seduction. Never ask a girl if she is trying to seduce you. Just feel it.
Me: Hmm. So what is your favourite movie?
Y: The Cook the Thief His Wife and Her Lover.
As she spoke, she put her toe between my feet, and dragged it upwards.
Me: That’s a nice movie. I have seen it.
Y: Oh really? You are interesting Mr Samrat Shirke. We should catch up more often.
I received a text message from my girlfriend. She had lost the final. I congratulated her for being the runner-up, and requested her to hurry as I was very hungry.
Me: Yes, we should. But right now something important has come up.
Y: Oh alright. Let me call Rupa.
Rupa arrived in a few minutes. I realised that it had been set up. She dropped me near college. While walking to college, I sent her a text message which read, “Whatever it was, it was good”.
I ran towards my girlfriend and congratulated her first.
Me: Congratulations on making the finals. Shall we eat? I am hungry.
Her: Why didn’t you eat?
Me: I didn’t get time.
Her: Ok, let’s go. Have you called Mourya?
Me: Just a second.
I dialled Mourya's number.
M: Yup bro. What’s up?
Me: Come to the coffee shop.
M: Will be there in no time.
We ordered two subjis, vegetable dishes, and six rotis.
As we started discussing each other’s experiences of the day, I touched her foot with mine. She noticed it immediately and removed her footwear, and caressed my foot with her toe as we smiled at each other.
M: Sammy, where have you been the whole day? And what was Yosha doing with you?
Me: She asked me to take her photographs, so I gave her a few suggestions for poses.
She pinched me with her toes.
Her: Hmm, how come we never got any ideas for poses. People change in a day, don’t they Mourya?
Me: (creasing her leg with my foot, which was saying I am sorry) Well, some people never asked for a pose. Sometimes, they don’t even care to join in for photographs with their friends. Am I right Mourya?
M: You guys, eat first. The subji is getting cold.
He waved  to the waiter.
M: Bhaiyya ek roti, Do you want any rotis?
Her: I am done.
Me: I will have one more.
M: Ok, make it three.
The waiter noted the order and walked off.
Her: I am not going to eat one more roti.
M: Who said it’s for you? Just order what you want. I am here to finish it.
Mourya and I laughed, as she made a face, despite which she looked beautiful. And in between our sweet conversations my phone rang, it was on the table, so she saw the name Yosha. They hummed in comprehension.
As I ended the conversation, she stared at me.
Her: Somebody is getting busy now-a-days.
Me: Yup with badminton, I guess?
M: Hey, I forgot. How was the match? Who won?
Her: Well, not me. I finished as the runner-up.
M: Congratulations. Bhaiyya today’s lunch is on her. Sammy, order what you want and don’t worry about the bill. We got the financer for today.
Me: No, this roti is enough for me.
M: Ok. Bhaiyya one more roti for me please.
Her: You are so greedy. I feel sympathy for that poor stomach of yours, which has to accommodate all that.