The campus was brimming with the college crowd swarming to the main circle with books in hands. Hardik held stack of Xerox copies in hand, walking restlessly and trying to remember concepts and equations. He straddled aimlessly unaware of the crowd watching him learning by rote and tension wearing thin on his face.
Boys and girls, squatted on the stairs and cement slab discussing the paper, some were chilled about the exams with the rest running amok checking roll numbers on their hall tickets. Geet was non-plussed and walked at leisure. She slapped him gently and yelped with excitement, “Hey! All ready. A-7.” She casually said.
He felt jittery and almost shrieked. “Chill dude,” she winked. “It’s just the semester exams. Have a chill pill,” she snatched his Xerox. “Wow, padhaku (book worm) you prepared so many notes for the Psychology exams. Freud Mama would be so proud of you.”
He let off, “You are back so soon,” she completed, “And in time for the exams. I reached by train this morning and gulped three cups of strong coffee. Hardly had time to sleep ya and this stupid exam had to happen today.” Talking to her and seeing her super chilled soothed him. He found himself saying, “Ya forget the notes and let’s see how much I remember the concepts. “That’s my boy,” she quipped. “You like me na and will do whatever I say.”
He stammered, “I mean no, yes, no kinda,” unsure what to tell. One thing he hates admitting of being in love for she never declared her flame, wondering how an average guy like him can get a hot chick like Geet. The guys drooled over her. She was unfazed about the eyes bobbing and heads turning at her sight.
The clock struck thrice and students hopped on their feet, clambering on the wooden stairs and making a beeline to enter the hall. Geet hugged him and stole a peck on his cheek. He hugged her tight. “Now, move. All the best dude,” she shouted. He walked towards the bench. She smiled watching him inching towards the desk. It was a miracle, scribbling on the answer sheets, filling the margins and asking for extra papers.
Geet’s effect has been playing like musical notes and the forgotten concepts waltzed in his brain. Looking around, he couldn’t find her at the desk. Where the fuck she disappeared, he wondered. Is she done writing? There were 30 minutes left and he gave back the answer sheet, running for his life, past the canteen, library and the Kimaya ground to find her.
She disappeared from the campus. He sensed frantic heartbeats. Why is he longing for her and getting restless? Nah, he brushed it aside. It cannot be love. This cannot be happening to me. How much I am pushing away my feeling for her and her face haunts me like crazy. I am going mad. He is shaking, walking past the gate at Fergusson College and crossed the crazy traffic and horns, to walk inside CCD.
The English song blared through the ears and laughs of the crowd, couple cuddling and stealing kisses. He felt odd sitting alone in the smoking bar, ordered a cappuccino with black forest cake. Lit a cigarette, he took a sip of coffee, meandered in thoughts and didn’t realize that the English song was shifted to the Hindi chartbuster, Dil Chori Chori Ho Gaye from Sonu Ki Titu Ki Sweety. He swayed to the tune and forgot Geet and his pursuit, drowned in the music when a chirpy voice crooned, “Radio Mirchi pe mein aap ke host, dost aur hamsafar. I have a question for you: What is love? What is lust? Can love and lust be the sides of the same coin? Love can be lust buried in relics and lust is love hidden. Listen to the heartbeats and drum beating. Are you? This is love. Trust your heart. Whatsapp me your favorite song and connect with me on Facebook and Instagram. Listen to this beautiful romantic song for love is and can never be incomplete without me. Aha! Guess my name for my work is to love you. I shall take my first caller of the day.”
I have my first caller of the day. “Hello,” RJ G greeted in a seductive voice and tongue curled on top of her palette and stroking. “Heylo…”
“Hi RJ,” a shy, male voice hesitated and cracked.
“Hey! Loverboy! Don’t be shy. Take a deep breath and say I love you to me.”
“Heylo sexy baby, there,” the RJ was flirting with him. I love you. What’s your name?”
“Well, RJ G it’s me. We know each other and pretend to be far away from each other. You may pretend that I am invisible and a stranger but your heart knows deep inside”, he regained his confidence and encouraged by G. “Yes, You love me, I know that. You are Geet. Why did you run away from exams? I searched for you on the entire campus. Are you pranking me?”
She fell silent for an instant. “Hello, Are you a stalker? I am no Geet. Yes, I play Geet (song) on radio,” the usual seductiveness was missing on faces in the studio. “I know it’s you, babe,” he persisted. He didn’t what went into his head. “I love you my G. You love me too.”
RJ G didn’t have any choice, “I love you, too sexy boy.” She plays another song, “Mein hoon aapke dost aur humdard aap ke favourite RJ. All you singletons listen to this cool Hook Up song. The music blazed loud on radio.
They looked at each other inside the recording studio. “Do you know him,” RJ G asked? “He actually declared his love for you. Geet’s face became red and didn’t know what fell on her head. “Yes! And you had to play this fucking Hook Up song. Screwed!”
“As in babe,” G was puzzled.
“We screwed each other not once but several things. He’s in my class. Didn’t know it will lead to so much intensity,” Geet.
RJ G burst out laughing at Geet. Somebody stared at both the girls from the glass panel, watching one girl laughing madly and the other looking shell shocked in the colorful decked studio with mic, monitor and equipment. He was fascinated.
“Aha,” G made a mocking smile, “Your man. Go invite him,” moving her eyebrow to nudge at Geet’s direction. The latter didn’t know what to do and was planning to murder him.