A New Beginning by Arpita

August 1, 2012 Off By Fried Guest

It was a beautiful day. The weather was perfect. It was finally raining, and just enough to allow us to enjoy ourselves without having to worry about getting soaked. The campus looked beautiful, and so GREEN.  I could see people rushing out of the cave- like canteen to take a walk in the rain and enjoy the cool breeze. People I hardly talked to smiled at me as I walked by with two of my friends.

Of course, because of the rain, not many people had managed (or bothered) to come to college. But the few students who were stuck in class attending lectures, some of our friends among them, smiled and sighed as they saw us walk past, obviously dying to step out. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood.

Ragini and I followed Sanjana to her car, which was parked close to the college gate. Most of our group of friends and some of our teachers were absent, so the three of us decided to skip the few lectures we had and to get some coffee and cake. We were sitting in the car (Ragini at the back, and Sanjana and I up front) when Ragini’s phone rang. It was her school friend, so she chattered into the phone and completely forgot about our existence.

We leaned back in our seats, listening to the soft music on the radio. I’d left the window open halfway so that a few raindrops trickled down and fell on the top of my head. I closed my eyes and sighed. It was very soothing.

“Hey, look. It’s Dhruv.” Said Sanjana, in a whisper.

I sat us straight and squinted at the gate. A tall, lean guy came strolling our way, a rucksack slung over his shoulder. He grinned when he saw us looking.

“Hey, girls.” He said as he slid into the backseat.

“Hi.” We chorused.

“Ok, listen up people. I really need to get these notes photocopied before we head anywhere,” said Ragini, dangling the History notes right in front of my nose as soon as she hung up.

“Alright, already!” I glared at her. I turned to Sanjana and gave her a dark look. “Let’s get this done before she takes someone’s eye out.”

A laugh escaped Dhruv, which he managed to fake as a violent cough. We drove to the market near our college. Ragini jumped out of the car as soon as we’d parked.

“I need to recharge my phone’s credit,” said Sanjana, “I’ll be right back.”

“Okay,” I said, feeling awkward about being left alone in the car with Dhruv.

I needn’t have worried. As soon as Sanjana left, he got out of the car and walked away. My heart sank. I didn’t turn to see where he went. Of course, he’d noticed that I have a huge crush on him. Of course, he didn’t want to be left alone with me. I looked away so that no one would notice how miserable I felt- at least, not immediately.

After what felt like forever, I heard a tap on the window of the driver’s seat. I saw Dhruv standing in the rain, holding two paper cups in his hands. Relief and joy exploded through me as a big smile broke across my face. I quickly opened the door. He got into the seat next to me, and handed me a cup of tea.

“Thanks,” I said. “This is really sweet of you.”

“It’s my pleasure,” he smiled down at me. “What good is a rainy day if you can’t get yourself a cup of tea?”

“Exactly.” I grinned back.

We sat back and sipped our tea as we watched the pouring rain lash against the window. I could have sat there with him for hours. We were quiet, but in a peaceful kind of way. That was until our all time favorite song played on the radio. As the lyrics of “Pyar Hua, Ikrar Hua Hai…” filled the car, both of us jumped up in excitement and made to turn up the volume. Typically, we banged our heads together.

“Ouch! I’m so sorry!” I said, rubbing the side of my head.

He laughed. “That’s okay.” He paused before continuing, “But they say people end up having a fight if they bang their heads together just once, so…” He cupped the side of my neck with his hand and pulled my head close. He gently nudged his forehead against mine. I closed my eyes, as we sat frozen in the moment.

All too soon, a loud thud against my window made us jump. I turned, my heart pounding, and saw a bulky guy, dressed all in black, making vigorous hand gestures at us. I blinked in surprise. It took me several moments to realize that it was just Mehul and he was asking me to let him into the car. I opened the back door, internally cursing him for having ruined the moment. He swiftly got in (drenching everything around him) and started yelling at us for leaving him behind. Dhruv and I looked straight ahead, trying hard not to laugh. Sanjana and Ragini joined us moments later. Ragini insisted that she wanted to sit up front, so Dhruv and I joined Mehul at the back.

“So where do you guys want to go?” Asked Sanjana.

“Café Coffee Day,” said Ragini and Mehul at the same time, just as Dhruv and I said, “Anywhere.”

“Then CCD it is.” Said Sanjana.

I gazed up at the rearview mirror, wondering why Sanjana had such an obvious smile in her voice. She was looking at Dhruv…who was looking at me. I blushed, and quickly looked away. As we drove away in the pouring rain, the next song began playing on the radio-

“Do dil mil rahe hain, magar chup ke chup ke…”

Like I said, it was a beautiful day.

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