“who was she?” prof uttered while sipping his cold Nescafe coffee and sitting besides my driving wheel.
In the background the record played; “i just called……, to say I love you” by Steve Wonders; undoubtedly, I was lost and thinking of ONCE UPON A TIME…….
We were returning from a conference, the topic was ” Financial legitimacy of Banking -A Myth & Belief” I had taken a lot of notes and had to comprehend a lot of things which in my opinion were feasible and futuristic. I expected my friend, Prof, to discuss certain mathematical formulations which were used for the projections of banking industry in the conference. But here was this old man flooring me with a three words question,”who was she?”
“Come on, grow up old man” I replied with a smile and more blushing than smiling. I had made the mistake unknowingly; had committed myself to a conversation. A talk which was close to my heart and one of those beautiful acts of life in front of me (past) that I knew I would always cherish. At the same time I was too lost to feel like talking.
“She is beautiful. I really mean it. ”
“I know it, prof.”
“Its such a long time and it’s still alive and beautiful, the feeling is the same though I thought it was an interaction and therefore attraction; I thought its out of me. No, today I feel that it is still the same, I have not been able to get away from it.”
“Crap; you are evading my simple question and romanticizing something that is just a part of your being and a fact or more so a constant(c) in life’s equation which will no more move.”
Yes, prof, it will not move but it still moves me.
Anyways prof, you would have exchanged visiting cards with her. I mean the corporate courtesies.
Sure, I did.
To my surprise my friend pulled out a visiting card from his shirt’s pocket. He usually keeps them in a card folder and he has many card folders stacked in small rows in his office’s teak wood cabinet, to the right of his too comfortable chair.
He read it aloud;” Sofia Verghese”; “Strategy- Vice president and ……..
You know her, Prof. Why then did you ask me?
Not only this, she was my student for a semester, when I served as visiting faculty to the business school she graduated from, my son. No doubt, I know her. I asked, how did you know her?
She was my senior in the college? When I joined college she was in final year.
That is it!
No, Prof; Your “emphasis” is on target; yes there are ” silent unspeakable memories”.
It was one of the early rainy days in the month of August; And the surroundings draped greenery below and the sky above coated the grayish shade like life with patches of old (white) and youth(blue) spread intermittently. It had rained last night. The morning mist was too compelling and was enough for me to decide against attending the lecture.
Lost in the loftiness of being a part of the greenery and the change that the rains have ushered I walked toward the cafeteria to grab a cup of tea. I was splashing water like a kid on the road and was amused with frogs croaking and jumping all around me. As the classes had begun the area near the cafeteria was un-inhabited and the frogs and me could play at will with each other, as long lost pals meeting after long and jostling to catch up with one another.
With my cup of tea I walked out of Cafeteria to sit down below the Pipal tree just to the left of cafeteria some fifteen feet away. There were two benches lying face to face under the tree. The huge tree today looked soft, greener and encompassing. With my legs spread upon the bench in front I was able to view the full campus that fall behind the old Victorian main building. Oh lord, i never knew that the campus i was inhabiting from last so many days was so scenic, really it had marks of ages and the growing composure all around. The rain had turn the shades more clearer and made me think what I was missing while running between classes, labs, libraries and canteen; I was missing Myself. The green well trimmed grasses, today looked greener, the line of trees were making there presence felt and the grey walls were cleaner and reflecting the age of the institution.
I knew only myself at the moment when a voice brought me back to ourselves. “Hello..No classes…..” I smiled back. She came and sat in front of me, blocking the “myself” views. I slowly pulled down my legs from the bench as she made herself more comfortable wiping and shrugging rain drops from her face and hair.
Her looks struck me !!! It was a setting to fall for her and i did. I realised, i was skipping heart beats and my reactions were slowing down, she was captivating and a seventeen year old man was managing thousand thoughts a second before she asked,” Fresher”, I uttered,”would you like (showing the cup in my hand) coffee” (it had tea). “Sure”. I almost ran to assure a cup of coffee and more to reassure myself that “I am me”. Few second or minutes later the warmth and aroma of the cup of coffee helped me ; A BIT.
Handing the cup to her and while sitting across her i replied, “yes, first year”. Hell, I was conscious, I started thinking about my unshaven face and clothes, never ever i cared for them in my seventeen years of thinking on “EARTH”.