He smiles, seeing my eyes on him. I immediately take my eyes away from him. Gross, why he is smiling at me? Stupid, he is trying to act polite, my mind says. I turn back and give him a smile I can give. He raises his eyebrows in surprise and smiles back. Mission accomplished, so I turn again. Our first period ends giving way for another professor to bombard us with his lectures.
“Do you think he has a girlfriend?” Sahana asks me in the interval time. “How do I know??” I ask her with irritation. “He seems genius, look how he answered almost all the questions professor asked.” “Yeah I saw.” “Even Professor Prakasam showed some interest in him, did you notice??” she asks me and without waiting for my answer she continues telling about him. That’s when I start thinking the strangeness Professor Prakasam showed towards him. I start thinking the possibilities of the strangeness and decided at last that’s none of my business and get up from the place. “What?” Sahana asks me. “I am going to the rest room,” I say and move away from her.
As I am walking back to the class, I hear a foot step fast. I turn and look at the side the sound comes, and find the place empty. So I turn and walk back. “Madhu,” someone calls me. That’s odd and I turn to find, who it is. Standing there I find Viraj. “O God, not again,” I whisper to myself. He walks toward me and stands near me. “So?” he asks smiling. “So what?” I mock him. He smiles and says, “I expected this reply.” “Then why are you asking me,” I say and start walking. He follows me and replies, “That’s because I am your senior.” “Not bad sir,” I say him and increase my speed. “Sir, why are you suddenly calling me sir, after cursing me this morning.” I stop walking and look at him. If I am not going to solve this problem, I am going to face the situation every time. “I am really sorry for that. I didn’t know that you are my senior. Sorry for my act. Ok??” I say and wait for his reply. He looks at me for while and smiles his same boyish smile. I turn around and walk again. “Don’t think that I hold a grudge on you,” he says following me again. “I don’t think like that sir,” I say in the most polite manner. “Madhu,” he suddenly calls me again and holds my hand. In haste, I jerk my hands away from him and look at him questioningly. “You forgot your class?” he asks me. That’s when I realize that I have been walking past my class. “Oops, I didn’t see that,” I say and immediately run into the class. Sahana looks at me first and looks at Viraj who is standing outside the class. She gives me a ‘you have to tell me whatever it is’ look and smiles wolfishly. I avoid her smile and sit facing the blackboard revising whatever the professor has taught. “Class attention please,” Viraj says and walks inside the class casually. He walks to the podium and scan the class for a while. “Well, I am here to introduce myself and represent the rest of your seniors, who you guys will eventually meet in future.” He gives a pause and looks at our side. “Now I want everyone of you to introduce yourself, and before that I will introduce myself. I am Viraj, and I am the Students’ President of this great ASSM College.” “O MY GOD,” Sahana whispers and looks at me worried. The entire class burst into applauses and I sit there simply not able to process the things that just had happened……..