PREFACE: This part is specifically for ones who know me personally. Please do not try to find any correlation with real life. I was curious if I could write a college based love story, so I wrote this. I selected 4 friends (not 3 or 5) because as you know 4 is my lucky number :D. All characters are fictitious and any resemblance to any person living or dead is coincidental. More over finding correlation is also doubting my ability to cook up stories :D:D
This story is to be posted in 4 parts.
PART1 - Four Years and a Degree
It was his father that I noticed first, one of those dominating father figures who imparted their worldly wisdom even to unsuspecting strangers. His father told me “college is like a super market. It has a lot of things on the sale, but it is up to you to pick up what you want” It was then that I noticed Arun almost eclipsed by his dads imposing figure. He was fair, lean and tall with straight hair falling on his forehead, almost hiding it, in a pair of jeans and half sleeves shirt un-tucked. The only time I saw him dressed otherwise in the whole five year was for Infosys campus interview. Losers have an eye for other losers and with in no time we were friends.
The vast campus had a mixture of new modern looking and old colonial looking building. Buildings painted with yellow and white, class rooms with high roof, large wooden windows with broken glass widow panes and a larger than life history of a 100 year, the engineering college was intimidating for freshers. At the entrance was a big banner, in big red letters on white cloth it announced “College of Engineering Welcomes Fresheres”. Coming from different backgrounds and different schools with different dream, all we had in common was a bit of excitement and lot of anxiety. The men’s hostel was a three story building in form of a spanner. It was located at one corner of the college campus and diagonally opposite to the women’s hostel which was in shape of hexagonal nut.
At the college hostel we got to share the room with two other roommates. Ragging by seniors that involved various physical and cultural activities at odd hours formed the perfect glue that brought us together. The life away from home, hostel food and excitement of exploring the new city too was a catalyst in forming the lifelong bond.
Mithun was the brightest of us all. The curly haired, short, chubby guy from kerala’s culture capital Thrissur had nothing cultural about him. He single handedly was the reason for our grades in all exams, our project work, assignments or anything even remotely academic. It was our combined effort that kept him away from the brilliant grades he was capable of. Jovin was tall, fair and handsome, knew Bollywood dance and could crack jokes that made girls laugh (and only girls, we cried on his jokes). And the only reason he did not have dozens of girl friends was that we kept him busy with our extra curricular activities. Arun was the nearest to what we call romantically challenged. His heart went out to all girls in college, but somehow he seemed invisible to girls.
The first year involved a lot of ragging, football, kathi (Malayalam for knife, pet name for unending discussions) on girls, football, cricket and gossips, classes, assignments and studies starting couple of weeks before exams. The second year had lot of football, late night kathi, movies, copying assignments and studies a week before exam. By third year we had our own computer and it was a year of unending computer games, movies, kathi, football and very few classes and studies a couple of days before exam. Forth year Arun and Mithun bought motorbikes and there was a lot of roaming around, no classes with projects as excuse, kathi, football, movies and studies just on the day of exams.
One of the hottest topic for late night kathi was girls and love. In the early days Arun’s interest in talkative, straight haired, lean, anemic and ever smiling Priya, our classmate also formed the highlight of the late night discussions. Here too he lacked the incentive. She was the reason for all the activities he did which were very much unlike him. She was the main motivation when he joined a social service club in college where he never did any service. She was the reason he religiously attended all technical festivals and conferences although he slept through all of it. But he was the last among us to talk to her. The fear that if he opens his mouth, he may give away his feeling for her kept the most talkative one of our gang silent in her presence. Being in hostel and given the extrovert Priya was she did become a part of our gang, rather I would say the closest any girl got to the boys gang. This was more by chance than by design.
And This story began where most campus stories ended ...