Hi guys thank u for the comments and the love. Here is the third part.
How do groups get formed in colleges? Some say that you gravitate instinctively towards people you can relate to and then gradually over the months a bond develops. It was not like that with my class. It felt as though a snooker player had hit a single hard strike and we, like the snooker balls, had scattered in all directions, random balls coming together with no pre-determined plan. But of course, in reality, each shot is planned with precision and each strike is made with a purpose, and on deeper contemplation you realize that the balls came together for a reason after all. Almost instantly we had gravitated towards a gang or a group. There were sixty of us but we had all fallen into our groups, with whom we hung out, exchanged notes and had fun with. Mine was a group of four. Apart from me, there was Aditi, Chaavi and Elina. Aditi undoubtedly had the most dynamic personality in the group. She was smart, stylish and enthusiastic with an attitude that was contagious. Most people warmed up to her. She was a bundle of energy, always ready for anything, a little impulsive and reckless too at times. Chaavi, a Tamil girl, was a personification of the generalizations that are made about them. She was studious, smart and intelligent. She even wore glasses. Her aim was to become a chartered accountant. Elina was the gentle, quiet and the sensible one. Her ambition was to become a doctor.We came together like a patchwork quilt and got along well despite our very different personalities.
My letters to Vaibhav described all this and more. Our letters to each other were getting longer and longer. We became experts in anticipating how much postage would be needed for each letter. As the weeks sped our letters to each other were our constant connection, our link and the happiness we derived from them kept both of us going. Furing the day, in the middle of some activity I was busily involved in, I caught myself thinking of something he had written and I found myself smiling. I caught myself making mental notes to tell him about little things that had just occurred. He wrote that it was the same for him. He said he never remembered being so enthusiastic about life, before this. He said I gave him an anchor, a purpose and a meaning to his existence. I told him he was a sentimental fool and he should write poetry. Secretly of course, I loved it. He knew it too. I liked being adored. I liked the feeling of being so important to someone. I liked being the center of someone’s world. A year flew by and I did not even feel it pass. Then when my 18th birthday was approaching, he decided that letters were just not enough. He said he wanted to talk to me. Getting to talk to Vaibhav on the phone involved putting together a complex combat mission much like U.S Airborne division of paratroopers in World War Two. There were no mobile phones those days. It required detailed, precise planning, a lot of forethought and co-ordination down to the last detail. He had once tried the direct approach and called up at a decent hour. My mother had answered the phone. He greeted her and she had said a curt ‘Yes?’ She did not return the greeting. She said “ Ragini cannot come to the phone right now” and had hung up abruptly. I was in my room and had heard every word. My ears burnt with indignation and tears of anger were swelling in my eyes. But I hid them well. There was no way I could argue with her. That did not stop us though. We both agreed that a phone call would be considered successful if we managed to speak to each other for at least four minutes. Vaibhav had outlined three parts for ‘Operation Mission Phone-call.’
Part one was Pre mission planning considerations which were
1. My brother had to be asleep.
2. My parents had to be out for their morning walk which they usually never missed.
Part two was Support forces which were
1. The telephone booth guy from where Vaibhav made those early morning phone calls should have woken up. (Vaibhav later told me that he had to shake him vigorously or yell real loudly into his ear. He always charged him ten rupees extra —early morning rates, he claimed)
2. I should have woken up well on time so I could grab the phone on the first ring—else there was a chance of my brother waking up.
Part three was anticipated threats which might lead to an ‘Abort Mission’ and these included
1. My parents returning earlier than usual.
2. My brother picking up the telephone extension and listening in.
My calling up Vaibhav was ruled out, as I could not possibly sneak out to a telephone booth at night. During the day I had tried twice to call his hostel phone. His batch mates would yell out for him. I’d hang up and call after five minutes. Both times I was told he was not in the room. I gave up after that, as it meant I had to sneak out of college between my breaks and hurry back in time for the next class. They marked attendance every hour, not just once in the morning like in school.
Ragini Mehra – Tejasswi Prakash
Avantika Mehra- Manasi Salvi
Abhay Mehra- Ronit Roy
Vaibhav Sharma- Shivin Narang
Aditi Parmar – Shivani Tomar
Chaavi Iyer – Niti Tylor
Elina Andrews- Kanchi Singh