Times Change People Change
I’m sure that must have been the reaction on most of your faces. Some might not have liked it and some might even have pressed the tiny red cross button on the top right corner of the screen (For Windows Users). But i guess i’m being too extremistic, I’m sure nobody would close their browser just because of that title. However going back to the subject of the post, i’m talking about physical changes, mind you. I’m talking about how people’s attitude changes with the changing time. I actually have three incidents from my life to share. I’ll just name them Story 1, 2, 3 and begin.
Disclaimer: The incidents mentioned below as a matter of fact are real but undoubtedly they have been very minutely spiced up to interest the readers. However the names, places and other personal information has been changed or withheld to avoid causing displeasure to the people involved, which i’m sure this post would. My name however remains same for all the three Stories. For those who don’t know, my names Archisman or Archie, in short.
I met Shruti around two years back. Just after the completion of the board Exam. I was supposedly jogging in the park when i saw a cute white Lhasa-Apso running towards me. It’s leash trailing behind in the dust. Someone was frantically telling the dog to stop running. I saw that the dog had no intention of stopping, So i scooped up the dog just as it was running past me. It kept barking but when i patted its head, it stopped. The frantic yelling was getting louder, probably because the dog’s owner had caught up. I turned towards the direction of the voice and found myself face to face with a very cute and pretty girl. I can’t help but describing her to you. She was wearing a very cute pink and blue tracksuit, her hair falling all over her face and beads of perspiration trickling down from her forehead. She had the most gorgeous pair of eyes i had ever seen. She had a roundish face, with the cutest nose and kohl beneath her eyes. It would’ve been an understatement to say that i was smitten. But whatever i felt inside, the emotion didn’t show up on my face. She was out of breath and panting much like her dog. I kept staring at her face the whole time. Finally she looked up and mouthed a ‘Thank You.’
‘How long have you had that dog?’ i asked.
‘Two days’ she replied.
‘And even then you decide to take it for a walk?’
‘Not It, Him’ she corrected me, ‘His name’s Leo.’
I shook the dog’s paW and said, ‘Nice to meet you Mr. Leo.’ She couldn’t help but smile.
I was just about to hand her dog back to her when she said, ‘Can you hold him for a wee bit longer? I don’t think i can run after him again.’
‘Yes sure’, i replied. I loved dogs and since Mom wouldn’t let me have one so i had perfectly no problem playing with him a little longer.
‘Can we sit over there?’ she said pointing to one of the park benches. I nodded and so we went and sat down.
‘Soo…?’ she said.
‘So what?’ i replied dumbly, ‘Atleast tell me your name.’
‘My name’s Shruti’, she said.
‘Archie, pleased to meet you.’
‘no, no, the pleasure’s all mine. No wonder where that dog would have run off to, if it hadn’t been for you.’
And so we sat there and talked for hours, until she realised that it was probably time for her to head back home. I walked her and her dog safely back to their house. I was already headed home when she called out, ‘Hey give me your number!’ I happily recited the ten digits off my memory. We met each and everyday for the next four months. Sometimes we even left Leo at home and went for a Cup of coffee. After those joyous four months, Brilliant Tutorial’s 2 Year Classroom Program started. I entered the dominion of competitive examinations and she entered the realm of college. (Did i mention she was was two years elder to me? Geez, i guess i missed.) However she was the cutest and nicest girl i had ever met. She was one of those girls who believed in ‘True Love’ and was surely a one man woman. You must be wondering why I’m mentioning these things. But no, i didn’t go around with her and neither was she my ‘True Love’, as much as I would have loved to believe. Another three months and we were totally out of contact but i started hearing some rumors about her, nasty rumors. Someone told me that she slept with on of her classmates and the guy dumped her the next morning. I instantly retrieved my old phone, found her number and dialed. She picked up the phone But her voice wasn’t as bubbly as before, it sounded hoarse from lots of crying.
‘Hello,’ i said into the phone. She understood that it was me and replied, ‘Hi! How have you been?’ i cut to the chase and asked her, ‘Are the rumors true?’
She kept quite for sometime and then asked, ‘Which one?’
‘That you slept with someone and he dumped you the next morning. Did you?’
My fingers were crossed, i was hoping, no praying that she’d say no.
‘Yes’, came her reply.
‘Were you protected?’
‘No’, she said and started crying.
‘Don’t Cry Girl!’ i said.
‘Why not?’ she screamed into the phone, ‘Why not! So that you can try sleeping with me next? So that you can fuck my life too? And whatevers left of my dignity!’ and she hung up. I kept trying both her mobile and landline, but no one picked up.
I went to her house the next morning. Her mom opened the door and seeing me she laid her head on my shoulder and started crying. I calmed her down and gave her a glass of water. Even Leo wasn’t his usual jumpy sElf, he must have sensed that something was amiss. I went to Shruti’s room and knocked on her door.
‘Who’s there?’ she asked.
‘Archie!’ I replied.
I waited for her reply but since none came i turned the knob. The door was bolted from inside. ‘Open the door Shruti i just want to talk to you for five minutes’, i said ‘I know you’re upset but can’t we talk for 5 minutes. Even her mother came to my aid and said, ‘Shruti beta, open the door. He’s here to talk to you.’
‘Tell him to go away,’ Shruti replied ‘I don’t want to talk to him. All guys are just the same. Even he doesn’t care about me, about our friendship. I bet he just wants to go to bed with me.’
‘SHRUTI!!!’ shouted her Mom.
‘Leave it Auntie.’ i said and walked out. And from that day I never went back to her house and neither did my fingers find their way on my phone’s keypad to dial her number. I had lost a friend but Shruti lost someone who really cared for her and selflessly loved her. Whose loss was more significant? I keep meeting Leo and Auntie in the park. Leo has learnt to behave and i learnt a valuable lesson from life. But in the end of it all i was damn confused. Who changed? Me? Shruti? Our Friendship? I still don’t have an answer to that question and it’s been two years since I’ve seen, heard or talked to Shruti. But i guess times change and people are forced to change.
How many of you kno that i was born in Kolkata and stayed there for 7 years after which i came to Delhi. Since this isn’t a story about how i grew up, i’ll just mention the parts relevant to the story, which is yet again about a girl. Don’t get me wrong, i’m not one of these desperate guys who always cling to girls. It’s just that i have like 36 Aunts who are just 7-8 years older than me, my dad’s various cousins. And then i have 5-6 sisters, cousins that is. So since i spent almost all my time with them, i found that girls were easier to understand, unlike what most other guys think. So naturally i bonded with the girls in the various school’s that i’ve been in, quite easily. However the story starts when i was in class 1. I studied in South Point at that time and wasn’t sociable at all. I used to be in a car pool but it stopped. So i had no choice but to travel in the school bus. I didn’t have any friends since i was new to that school so i sat all alone in the bus. But there was another girl who got on the bus at the same stop as me. After two or three days we started talking and then just as you would have expected, we bonded. She was barely 5 months older than me, my birthday being in September, but she was one year senior to me at school. The next year i shifted to delhi and everything was lost. I didn’t even remember her name, i was just 5 then. So 7 years passed by. I used to hang around with Anika during the puja. One day during the pujas in 2005, she called some of her school friends home. I tagged along and we spent the entire day roaming about in the pandals. We met again next year but a girl called Naina was missing. She was the nicest in the group and cute to a certain degree. I was in class 9th in 2005, when we met. So liking her was quite natural, adolescense had kicked in. I talked to her online but that was just it, one has to focus on studies in tenth, i told myself. However on new year’s eve she sent me a message, wishing me a happy new year in advance. I replied saying the same and so we started talking. It was probably end of January and we were talking something about bongs. She mentioned that she was born in Kolkata and lived there for 8 years.
‘Which school?’ i asked.
‘South Point’ she replied.
‘Hey i was in South Point too! Where did you live?’
She mentioned the place and realization dawned upon me. Very calmly i asked her ‘Did you go to school by bus?’
‘The stop was right in front of your house?’
‘How did you know?’
‘Because i used to wait for my bus at the same place, in front of your house.’
She didn’t believe me. I told her to go ask her mom if any other guy waited at her bus stop. I confirmed from my grandmother that there was surely another girl at my stop. She even remembered her name, Naina. Apparently grandma and Naina’s mom talked everyday at the bus stop. Even her mom said that she knew me. I don’t know what came over me but i asked her out the next day. It was the 4th of February i guess. Some of you must be thinking that i’m pretty lame remembering dates but i don’t care what you think. That date is really important to me as she is the only girlfriend i’ve had whom i genuinely liked and wasn’t due to infatuation. However she said yes. But within an hour she changed it to a No saying that it was just one month to the boards and this wasn’t a good time to get into a relation. She messaged me that same night with a final Yes and it was official. The boards were upon us and we didn’t get to meet. So we decided to meet after the boards, on the 29th of march the day before her birthday. (Dates changed.) One of her friends was keen to meet me and so she tagged along, i felt that probably she’d get bored and i asked Chiranjeev to join me. (Still can’t thank you enough for that bro.) So we met talked and went back home. I went to meet her the next day too but she was in a hurry and left soon. That night she messaged me, that her dad had got transferred to Iran and that she and her family would either be shifting to Iran or Kolkata. It felt like someone pierced an
Arrow right through my heart. The next evening i left for Kolkata to attend a wedding, hoping that i’d get to meet Naina one last time. She called me on the 13th of April at 8:00 P.M. and said that her dad had surprised them and they were leaving for Iran at 4:00 A.M. My heart was literally wanting to come out and to top it off she told me not to tell it to anyone as nobody except me knew that she was going away forever. I told her to call me when she got there. 6 months passed and i didn’t get any call, i waited all that time just for her call. Then one day i found her online. I didn’t say or ask her anything. She seemed excited.
‘You know what happened?’ she said.
‘Tell me’ i replied.
‘Today in school i was just sitting at my desk when a really cute guy knelt down before me and asked me out. I was so thrilled that i said yes’ she said.
I was shocked. I didn’t know what to do or say. Everything Blacked out. I turned off the computer and went to bed without even replying her. That was an year and half ago. As of today she’s back in India, to stay here ‘forever’. I tried calling her but she didn’t pick up the phone. I messaged her but she didn’t reply. Even when she’s online, she doesn’t reply to my IM’s and has made herself appear permanently offline to me in yahoo. I have a thousand questions to ask her. What changed you? Your life, Your new boyfriend or maybe you yourself wanted to change, to rid yourself of people like me? Were you embarrassed by me, by the fact tha i was your past? I guess you wanted to be committed to someone more popular or rich like that iranian. Its just something i personally feel, but don’t feel bad about it. Times change and people like you want to change.
Parizaad! Truly as exotic as the name. I met her on this really big and popular social networking site. I added her and after she accepted i checked out her pictures. Man! She was damn cute. I had decided to stay away from girls in the most recent past. But such habits die hard. I started talking to her on the site itself. When i felt that the time was ripe, i asked for her phone number. She started acting all funny and said that i should try and find out her number all by myself. But a few days later she called me herself. She had a sexy voice too. Two points scored on me. We started talking everyday or rather every night. The call durations were something like 8 hrs per day. And that was January by the way and just two months were left for my AISSCE exams. Well it didn’t stop me from talking to this girl on whom i had an insanely huge crush. After we had successfully placed our confidences in each other i finally told her how much i liked her. She wasn’t taken aback like the other girls but however she said that she would need time to think about it. I was ready to give her all the time in the world. It mostly takes around a week to understand a girl and easily guess what she would do when faced with a certain type of situation. But Parizaad was too difficult to figure out, i tried for two months straight and finally gave up. There was this thing about her attitude that made you think that she doesn’t care about anything. But she told me later, after already rejecting my proposal, that she did care about others but didn’t want to show it to them. She thought that it would show to others that she was weak. But she doesn’t believe me when i say that sharing emotions makes a person stronger and not weaker. However this chapter of my life was also over. Didn’t get a chance to do a decent enough job of it. But you must be wondering who changed, right? Well this time it was I who changed. I realized that trying to woo random girls was totally pointless. It is always the good looking bastards who get the smart and pretty girls. But i guess that’s how the theory of natural selection works. Anyways thanks to all the girls who have in any way broken my heart. Without you i wouldn’t have been able to take this steadfast resolve to quit trying to woo girls and live life. When love has to happen, it will happen. Take my words and imbibe them in your system.