“Have you heard about Professor Reddy’s class?” Arjun asks me while walking with me to the canteen. “I haven’t,” i answer him without much interest. “Have you heard about the freshman project?” he continues talking, even though i answer him monosyllabically every time. He tells me all about the freshman project which we will be doing in the second week of our first semester and explains me how important it is to get good scores in the first year semester exams. “Professor Reddy, will allot the pairs for the project based on a test. Do you know that?” “No,” I say again, but this time with a little interest in what he is talking about. He is not bad, i think myself looking at him without his knowledge. A person who hears my parents death story will always ask me again about that or they will say they are sorry for my situation. But he didn’t do any of that. Even more, he is the son of this college’s principal, but he is not behaving anything like that. “I am going to get Noodles, what do you want?” he asks when we reach the canteen. “Can you get me curd rice?” i say to him looking at the crowd little bit scared. “You are going to eat that for lunch and going to sit in the afternoon class.” “I dont have any problem with that,” i say to him checking the moving group. “I would never recommend that, but for you i will do that. Stay here i will be back in a minute.” He joins the boys side and starts to talk immediately with the one who is standing before him. He looks at me back and gives me a smile, which makes my heart skip a little. I turn my face away immediately from him. What is all this is? i scold myself and remind myself that this should never happen again.
“Hey Madhu,” Viraj waves his hands and comes near me. “Hi sir,” i reply irritably. “What are you doing here?” “I came to buy lunch.” “Then you must be in the queue, right?”he asks smiling.”Someone is buying for me.” “Who?, that American girl?” “Nope, its me,” Arjun says and steps between us. Viraj face hardens and he looks at me strangely. “Lets go,” Arjun says to me and walks immediately without looking back, leaving me behind. What is happening here? i ask myself confused by the sudden environmental change. “Is he your friend?” Viraj asks me growling. “No. I hardly know him. “Look sir, i dont need to explain all these to you right?” “You know who he is?” “I know who he is,” i say hardly. Viraj looks at me for a minute. “Shall i go?” i ask him. “Yes Madhu..” he says and stop saying the other words. I turn and walk away from him fully aware that he is still standing in the same place and starring at me.
“Hey over here,” Sahana waves her hand from where she was sitting. Next to her, Arjun sits and eats his noodles elegantly. “Why are you here?” i charge at him in full force for leaving me behind with that Viraj, even though he dosent know anything about our earlier clashes. “Arjun was waiting for you,” Sahana says smiling at me.”We didn’t invite you i guess,” i say to him avoiding Sahana’s words. “I have your lunch,” Arjun says and hands me a silver box. “Sit Madhu,” Sahana pulls me down to sit next to her. I grumble and sit next to her. “I am sorry,” Arjun says after a minute, realizing the situation. I look at him and he looks me with his sparkling eyes. I dont say anything to him. “I shouldn’t have left you alone with that senior.” “What senior?” Sahana interrupts. “Its a long story,” Arjun replies her and look at me for forgiveness. His sparkling eyes makes my heart skip again, and all my anger shoots down immediately leaving me in a confused state of mind. Oh God,What is happening to me???