“Come on now last set of push ups! 3….2….1…. Go!”
10…9…8…7…6 Damn it coach is extra strict these days!! …5…4…3…2…1!!
“Done! Coach I am dead now! It’s been an hour of extra class! We need rest as well!!”
“Fine… Theory class tomorrow sharp at 9. Attendance is compulsory. I will hand over assignment topics and absence will lead to deduction of marks! Specially for you!”
Coach said pointing at me… I feigned innocence!
“If I find you in gym or on court during the theory lessons, then no internal marks for you! Am I clear?”
I sat in the gallery for cooling down and eating banana! Practicing during summer is a torcher! But then the game is my passion! And my coach is a villain! He caught me along with others in the gym yesterday bunking the physiotherapy class! Result? One extra hour on field! I pulled up the pajama over my shorts and changed the Tee which was reeking of sweat! Thank Lord Mahadev for the invention of deodorants!
“Where to next?”
My best friend asked me. Abhimanyu Singh. He is my best friend and my most fierce competitor! Thankfully we play for the same team else Mahadev knows if anyone would ever win!
“Let us visit campus temple today. And then we will have the cold coffee! It’s too hot man!”
“Right! Let’s get changed first. We reek of sweat! And I need a shower!”
“Two Cold Coffee bro. Without sugar or ice- cream”
“Have mineral water instead! Dumbass! Bro add everything in mine! Let his be tasteless!”
I glared at Abhi! We have to follow our diet.
“I have preponed my cheat day!”
I chuckled. He is never gonna change! Our coffees arrived and we were sipping it happily! Campus temple had the best food stalls. They have got no proper sitting arrangements except for the raised platform around the trees which is often occupied by desperate couples! But, when the amazing taste of food touches the tongue, all discomfort is forgotten! We were sipping the cold sweet heaven when I heard a commotion. I turned around to see three guys and two girls. Must be some relationship drama! God!! These relationships! They suck!
“Hey!! Look who’s here!! Maybe she’s on a date as well! She is buying two coldrinks!”
I turned around and saw the familiar face… I was seeing her after a long time! She got two coldrinks and gave them to the two kids who sold balloons in the campus. She then turned and said something to the shopkeeper. Some scenes flashed before my eyes but then I turned around. None of my business! Campus temple was for everyone and we being here at the same time after all this time is just a co incidence!
“You have your calories coffee. Don’t eye other people’s coldrink!”
Abhi rolled his eyes at me. He is funny at times! Just then we heard glass breaking! I turned around shocked! It was the commotion spot! But even she was there now!
“Bro! Is your ‘don’t know what kind of ex’ mad?? She broke the blo*dy bottle on the guy’s leg!”
Shrinika Thakur! We dated for about two weeks! And then we stopped seeing each other abruptly! I heard her yelling!
“What did she say?? Tell me what did she say?? You guys had lots of voices a few moments back! Turned mute all of a sudden? WHAT DID SHE SAY?”
She lifted another bottle but the guys jumped back!
“No!! No!! They said no!!”
The guys stuttered. They looked around embarrassed!
“Exactly! And a no means no! Understood? Or do I have to break another bottle on that thick head of yours?”
“No no!! We are sorry! We won’t bother people unnecessary from now on!”
“You better follow your words!”
The guys relaxed but Shri broke another bottle on the second guy’s leg!
“Don’t touch anyone without their permission! The pain’s more than the bottle’s injury!”
And the guys left on their show off bikes! These rich spoiled brats! They think the world belongs to their father! I looked at her. She turned around and slapped both the girls! I was stunned! What did they do! She is such a bully!
“What I did here wasn’t my business to interfere! You both had to do it! Idiots! You people like playing victim or what? Not every time someone will come to pull you out from these situations! Learn to fight back! Or the next bottle will be on your heads!”
The girls nodded tearfully running their cheeks! Shri walked away from their but a man came to her and they were talking. I never saw an angry Shri! She was another person in anger! Fierce and scary yet strong! She looked fragile but looks can be deceiving.
“Vir!! VIR!!! In what world were you having a tour?”
I snapped out at Abhi’s call! He was as amazed as me. Obviously even he had met Shri!
“That was a show wasn’t it?? Nice way to sip coffee! Free drama!”
“Stop behaving like neighborhood aunties and let’s go back to hostel! I am too tired after today’s extra class! And I don’t want to miss theories tomorrow!”
He nodded and we left the campus. But Shri didn’t leave my mind… She is one of the two girls who ever caught my attention!
*5 years ago*
“VIRAJ!! VIRAJ!! VIRAJ!! VIRAJ!!”
I heard the crowd cheering me! My friends were the loudest! Finals of Inter-State basketball tournament. I was the only one from my school so half of my batch came to cheer for me as well as the state team. Viraj Rai, friends call me Vir. They like to shorten my already short name. Basketball champion of my school and Basketball was my passion. I want to persue it in future as well! I am glad I am popular in my school because of my capabilities and not just being the elder son of city S.P. I am proud of my father but I don’t want to live in his shadow forever. I want people to know their S.P sir as Viraj’s Father! And I will make it true one day! My parents and younger brother were also sitting in the crowd feeling happy by the cheering!
This time the nationals were being organised in my city! The over enthusiastic crowd filled me with energy! My team had to win in its home ground! It’s about our prestige now! And moreover, she was there in the audience… Biting her nails. She was nervous, that was good. Poorva Sharma. She is my childhood friend. We are neighbors. And we are in same school, in fact same class. Spending time together, I never realised when I fell for her. And I was positive that the feelings were mutual! I proposed her. Girl’s got attitude! She put the condition that she will only be my girlfriend if I win the nationals! Today was the day it would happen. I was absolutely positive!
Three points were needed to win it… There wasn’t much time. So I had to get it in one shot. The best thing was my team understood me just by my glances. They knew what was needed to be done… The striker bounced the ball and ran towards the basket, the opponents ran before him, he changed the direction and ran to the right side they followed. Suddenly he threw the ball towards another teammate on the left who ran towards the centre really fast clearing the area around the basket as the rest of them followed and passed the ball to me immediately. I was already on the right position and I focused. I threw the ball as soon as I caught it and it was a basket!
The crowd at once started roaring. I looked first at my family, pride and happiness! That was my contentment! That’s what satisfies me! And then I glanced at Poorva. She was standing there clapping and jumping happily! And then our eyes met. I winked at her and she blushed!
We reached our hostel room! There was still some time for dinner so I lied on my bed. Why do I find girls during different final matches!! I need to stop looking at the crowd while I play! But some habits are die hard! And this one is childhood habit… It’s bound to take time to get away. But there was something different about Shri today. She had a light in her eyes which was missing today. Maybe because of the anger!
A pillow hit my face!
“WHAT!!? Insane Abhi!”
“Stop thinking about the girls!”
“I am not!”
“You know you can’t lie! Why do you even try?”
“Shut up!! Idiot!”
I covered my head with his thrown pillow and turned other side to avoid his philosophical lecture! I had many things on my mind already!!
To be continued
P.S: would be glad if the readers could share the stories with their friends and they could express their views.Happy reading.