"Are you coming to the college day function?" I asked him with excitement, secretly praying that he should say yes, and already planning what to wear to look my best on that day. He was taking some printouts at the one-and-only printer on which a class of 60 depended during practical exams in MCA. "Yes but only if she comes!!".His response was very casual yet firm. I could clearly feel the discomfort in my heart... but never knew the reason behind it. My friends heard him say that but none of them noticed me. For them it was just another gossip to tease him about her. They expected me to take on the teasing session... but i wasn’t prepared for it...why?? It was disgusting to tease him about her. We all (4 guys and 4 girls) met in ragging sessions and soon realized we all share the same wavelength. We were the most mischievous students of the class. We were very much attached to each other... we did everything together... everything we shared and enjoyed. Out of the 4 guys... Raj was my best pal in guys and vice versa too. We shared almost every detail about each other... our school things... our crushes... present and past... our future plans. Our dreams... Our fantasies... what not. He got my bike fuel filled and punctures fixed... I used to pay him for his cigars and beers... We did that as if it was our minimal duty towards each other. Always I was the one whom all my friends found the culprit for his increasing beers and cigars. Before we realized, we were at the end of a semester already... Exam time... we helped each other in some subjects and exchanged notes. It was the time for college annual day... there was an air of excitement around… party mood in the college. And here we are in the lab, taking print outs for the forthcoming practical exams. Somehow I had to attend the function which I badly wanted to skip. It was force from the guys, the reason being we can spend some more time together with some real beautiful girls of Degree College moving around…Everyone forgot the incident in lab… Raj too... maybe he was really casual... and he just said whatever crap that came into his mind, as he usually does... but I was not interested in the reason, I was disturbed with the question “Why am I bothered if this chap likes her?” Would the answer be… “I love him.” I started feeling awkward and the discomfort was only growing. Oh No!!!!! Now this is turning to be filmy... and I was not ready for any kind of drama in my life. I hated to watch it on TV itself... how would I allow it to be a part of my life??!! I went home had minimal meal and slept in my room with lights off…thought negatives are always developed in dark, so I can develop some negative feelings for him in dark.. I recollected the so called crush I had for a guy in graduation... I had overcome it long back… now he seems a fool to me… in fact I should seem a fool to myself for having a crush on him, but no.. I decided he was the fool.. .that was the attitude I had… How much ever hard I tried, I could not remember any person other than my dad and mom, about whom I was possessive. Then why am I being possessive about Raj now? I remembered an instance when I told a lie at home just to accompany a friend of mine to a coffee shop. My dad who was my best friend made out that I wasn’t comfortable at home, having told a lie to my parents. He then told me “Remember one thing, you have joined this college and because u go to same college you and vinu are friends, not because u and vinu are friends that u chose this college. Always remember you have a goal to achieve and anything coming between you and your goal is nothing but nonsense” It was my parent’s last wish to see me as a s/w engg. They are no more now. I realized Raj is coming between me and my goal. Now theoretically, should I consider him that so called “nonsense”??!! Fine I can’t call him a non-sense but I have to accept he is not making any sense either, So I decided to call him Mr.MakeNo Sense. I felt better after I framed the word “Mr.MakeNoSense”. It sounded better than nonsense. Having decided so, I dozed off to sleep. Next morning, we were discussing what movie to watch in the noon session and then I saw Raj coming into class room saying “haaaaaaiiiii Shalu” . I could clearly feel the spark in my face... the glitter in my eyes... the shine in my smile and on the whole I skipped a few beats of my heart…And the very next thing he said was...”where is my mickey?” that’s the name he gave to his so-called girl. I cursed myself for not naming him non-sense the night before. I realized yes he is a non-sense chap…but yes I liked this non-sense he makes. Days passed and I stopped talking as much as I did before. I skipped going to shopping for junk jewelry in koti streets with siri and anu. I skipped going to places where Raj would join us. And the worst was I stopped smiling, an art at which I was the master undoubtedly. Siri knew the reason and did her best in giving me reasons why shd I avoid the thought of falling in love with a catholic boy. She reminded me that I came from an orthodox, authentic Brahmin family. June 2<SUP>nd</SUP> 2003, 2<SUP>nd</SUP> day of our second semester. We all sat at out adda under a large tree, adjoining our director’s office room in our campus. Raj, his mickey, mahi and anu were at the college canteen . I, siri, phani and swarup were waiting for them to get our eateries. My friends were waiting for food, I was waiting for Raj... it’s been quite a long that I saw him properly..its been 5 hours by then and I wanted to see him well once and leave for the day. Phani had a direct question “what’s ur problem? Why are u not being normal these days? Pls shalu enuf of this... we need an answer” I saw raj coming.. I know how stubborn phani was.. I knew the consequences I had to face if I dint tell him the answer.. I wanted someone to whom I can speak openly. All that I could do was, point at raj and say ”He is my problem.. His mickey is my problem.. Pls don’t raise this issue again.. I can’t tell u anything more about this” I stood to leave and Raj said “hey too much I got this samosa just for u , finish this and go..” by the time I finished half samosa I saw his mickey leaving… I wanted to give her a lift.. But something stopped me.. and then when she just crossed the gate.. Raj said ”shalu u cud have offered to drop her na.. Don’t worry abt ur samosa.. Am here to share it na. Pls ra do anything but make her mine..” everytime he said pls. I cud feel my heart melting away.. and I called out to his mickey asked her to wait and was more than happy to share my samosa with him. I dropped her home.. I could sense tht I wasn’t comfortable with her.. she sensed it too.. we pretended that all was fine. I went home.. 10days later.. June 12<SUP>th</SUP> 2003, It was raining heavily,.. I wanted to have coke and asked Raj to get a pet bottle.. he never liked roaming in rain.. swarup offered to get it for me.. and when swarup came back, I asked raj to collect the bottle from swarup. “Po ve” was wht he said. Never in my lyf had someone said “vey” to me.. and here comes a man, who has already caused more than enough turbulence and made my life a complete mess …and to add to it calls me “vey”. The way he took me for granted was quite irritating.. I tried my best to hide that frustration. I went and collected coke frm swarup who was smiling at me.. probably he knew what I was going to face in a few more minutes. “pls go and call ur girl or whomsoever u marry as po vey.. not me” “You are my best friend na, u know me well, You only search a girl for me”. He came took the coke from my hands, opened that pet bottle and gave a smile...a smile for which I can die any number of times. “I am not a marriage bureau person” , how can this chap expect me to search a girl for him.. I wanted to slap him tight on his face.. but the mole on his right cheek.. that’s another disturbance for me. “That’s okay; I will marry whomsoever you choose”. He said… still smiling and sipping away my coke. “Pls stop it.. I won’t search any girl for you... “ I grabbed the coke from his hands. I never like things that easily.. If I like, they have to be with me else they should not be in front of my eyes… It hurts me a lot to see my things with someone else. Now I knew Raj can’t be mine... I was not ready to lose my coke too. “fine I will marry you” He said … trying to pull the coke from my hands. “Stop it!! I don’t like such jokes... anyways u said u will take care of the girl for only a year, so no point in marrying you !??!!” I dint want to be touched by him… I gave up my coke. “hmm yeah that was my plan before.. but because its u and u give me money for cigars and beers.. for u its 2 yrs” “oh fine then am not ready to marry u” “ok 5 yrs” “Great. Thank you so much now go get lost” … I stood, planning to go out for another coke… “Life time” “ “ “what are u thinking shalu.. that we both are from different religions, cultures..?? Whether will I send u to ur home after we get married?? Whether will I get a good job and will be able to take care of u?? Pls don’t think all unnecessary things..Sure u can go to ur home…Sure there will be problems with intr-religion marriage.. we shall face them together… With an MCA in hand I will get a job which pays atleast 5K per month. And if u work u too can earn 5K minimum per month. Can’t we live happily with that money?? We have good friends who support us all the while.. Shalu am not filmy… please don’t expect that love comes only with roses and chocolates.. Go tell your aunt and uncle that there is a guy in your class who wants to marry you, and ask them to stop looking for matches for you. If you are scared then fine, I have your aunt’s landline number , I will call her” All the while he was talking he was playing with the empty coke bottle and my key chain.. He was as casual as he was smoking away a cigar. “Stop kidding.. I know u love pranks” “fine if it seems like kidding to u just leave it.. but pls let me know when u r ready to take this on a serious note.. then I shall repeat the same..” “What about ur gal?? Its like flirting!!!” “I never claimed her to be MY gal.. u ppl teased me all the while.. and I was carried away to an extent.. Silence from u for the last few days is quiet disturbing shalu.. I thought throughout last night and understood whats actually happening.. “ It was then I realized wht happened till now.. It was then I understood that he proposed to me.. But I was’nt sure of wht was happening. How can a man who spoke of his girl all the time propose to me suddenly?? In the past 7-8 months that I have known him, he spoke of his mickey most of the times.. than what he spoke of me. Now he comes and declares that he is going to marry me. There was silence for a while.. may be for 15 minutes.. the most talkative female fell short of words for the first time ever.. I had no words.. I dint know why should I say NO. I never said Yes either…There was no need. He never proposed… He just gave a statement, he dint need my approval for it. Certain things happen so miraculously… that we never forget the way they happened or the way our life changed after such incidents. I have always read that miracles happen and I never really believed in them. But even now If I dint believe in miracles… I can’t believe in anything else. -Shalu.