The class had already begun. I was a bit late. I entered the class with my head lowered and sat in the last row.Conic section. Like half the other topics this too was going way over my head. 12th boards were just months away and so was JEE Main. I was one of ‘the mediocre guys’ of Kota. Guys like me wouldn’t get carried away with anything. Neither studies nor chilling out. I had lost all the lusture I possessed after highschool by the end of the two year journey. Life was smacking me in the face. There was no one to ask me how my day was and that killed me everyday. Monotony had set in.
But most of all I had become anti-social. I wouldn’t even look at you if you didn’t talk first. I resented this habit but that’s how circumstances made me.
During the class, I blindly copied the notes without knowing the head or tail of what was written. The class ended. I packed my books in the bag and sat waiting for the next lecture to begin. Physical Chemistry. It was break time but I found no use going out. I had no friends and some who were, were as gloomy as me. My eyes wandered around the class. I stayed with them for two entire years and couldn’t befriend them?. I looked out, boys sharing a laughter, talking to girls, while I had restricted my myself to my own boundaries. I saw through the corner of my eye a guy looking at me. I knew this guy. He borrowed my notebook once. Thats the one and only time we talked. Just once.
I looked at him and lifted my eyebrows, asking what he wanted. He called me and asked me to sit next to him in the middle row. I wondered what he wanted and went next to him with my bagpack. He began talking casually about studies and his home and stuff. Those were the only topics we could discuss. The break was over and the children rushed into the class. Behind them entered our teacher. And the class began. Just as soon as he entered. He began asking questions to each and every student. Those who could answer were made to sit down. Till my turn came, 4 out of every 5 students were standing. Now it was my turn, I stood up and shook my head, without even hearing the question. This was the low my confidence had hit. By the time this regime ended, 80% of the class was standing. Bored faces, ‘dont give a shit’ attitude. We had our dose of explanation and sat down. The class continued. After sometime, the guy next to me said ‘This is for you’ and slid his hand under the desk. I looked at what he held. It was a keychain carved of wood. It had my name on it in a beautiful font. Aakash. I was puzzled. I was like ‘Dude I barely know you. What’s this?’ He read my mind. ‘Bhai you are so silent. I wanted to talk to you but I thought you would brush me off. I wanted to initiate the conversation somehow.’ Still puzzled I glanced back at the white board. Is he for real? Who does shit like this? Is this the image I am creating in peoples’ mind? The class was over, we went to the cafeteria and I offered him tea.
‘Look I am not at all like this. It’s just that I am confused.’
‘About life, man. Shit’s become monotonous. I am in too deep to see light. The thought of future scares me.’
‘That’s the case with everyone. But look around. People still are happy.’
‘ They are happy because they don’t care’
‘Maybe sometimes that’s all that matters. Never cease to try being happy. Things would eventually fall in place. Go ahead, make friends.Have fun. Run, jump, dance. Fall down. Get up. But just don’t stop. Now I wish I knew the real you. We would have had fun.’
I sipped my tea, looking at the far end of the room. I too wish so.
‘ Anyways today is my last day in Kota. I leave tomorrow. That’s why I wanted to talk.’, he said.
‘Look I won’t say that I am sad. Infact I am happy. Now you’d some home food after a long time.’
‘Yeah buddy. But if you ever come to my city, do visit my place.’
‘Till next time’. ‘Bye’.
Later that evening, sitting in my room I looked out of the window. I wondered. Sometimes we need people’s approval to some questions. We know what we are going to hear but still we want an affirmation. We just want to hear the harsh truth. I was sad. But it required another guy to tell me that I am. Maybe only that way I can put more thought to it and work on changing my ways. Maybe a total stranger’s view affects you deeper than your own. Its all a development process and we are willingly or unwillingly a part of it.