Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Mucked up - in love, by love.

Who says studious people are always nerds?
Kabir Ahuja, a badminton player, was a cool dude and studious as well. He was a perfect combination of waste and responsible. He could make any girl go weak in her knees by his looks alone. Despite of all the flings he used to have, never did the scoreboard miss his name on the top. He was a smart-looking, wheatish complexioned, 6’2” height, muscular guy who never missed his gym and practice. He’d once fallen for Rochelle, his classmate. And ever since then, he couldn’t take his eyes of her when she was around. All his flings seemed meaningless and it was like she was the one he’d been looking for, after all this time. The only time Rochelle talked to Kabir was on the day of results. She always stood second, the first one, always being Kabir.
Rochelle Leo, was as well a smart girl. A moderate 5’5” height, fair complexion and her hairs always left open, she could easily make a guy skip a beat. Secretly, she had a thing for the not-so-nerdy Kabir, but him being so cool, she never gathered the guts to talk to him. The only chance she got to converse with her crush was results. He always stood first and she was happier for him. Never did she think, Kabir might like her, too.
They studied BBA. Their SY mid-terms results were out and Rochelle stood first this time. She went to Kabir, to find out he stood third, not even second. When she asked him the reason, she came to terms with his inter-college badminton matches. That was the first time they talked about something other than studies. He asked her out for a coffee and she readily agreed. And they talked for hours since then, about everything, except their feelings about each other.
They soon became the best of friends. Both of them were targeted towards one single goal, to get a chance to win the scholarship with the highest marks, for MBA. They’d found within each other, a buddy, a family, a home. They could confess everything to each other. Yet, neither of them ever talked a word about how they felt.
Once, when they were sitting in the college canteen, Rochelle asked Kabir if he loved anyone and when he said he did, her face dropped. Kabir knew her a bit too well now, and seeing the drastic change in her, he decided to confide her with his feelings. So he just held her hand and kissed it, saying a mild and yet intoxicating, “I love you, Rochelle.”
And she couldn’t believe her ears, what she’d just heard. She asked him again and again, millions of time. And each time he said those words, she couldn’t help her smile. She was so ecstatic, she barely mumbled, “I love you, too Kabir.” When Kabir pretended that he didn’t hear, she screamed aloud, “Kabir! I love you!”
And that’s how the news of their relationship spread like fire in the college. The girls who were dying to get Kabir’s attention were heartbroken, and the boys swooning around Rochelle now knew, if Kabir ever gets to know about them, they would have to disappear into thin air.
So that’s how it had begun. The college toppers had fallen in love with each other and were inseparable. Kabir didn’t even look at anyone other than Rochelle, or even if he did, they used to rate other girls’ butts together. They were best friends, more than a couple. She could tell him if she found anyone hot. Of course, Kabir used to get jealous, but they trusted each other much more than they themselves could ever interpret. Their families knew that they were best friends, but they thought it was way too early to tell their families about their relationship. It would’ve been a scene then, a Hindu boy, college topper, badminton champion, in love with a Christian girl, who was a second ranker!
The last year of BBA went pretty well and during their annual examination, both of them studied hard for the scholarship. If Rochelle got it, Kabir would’ve been equally happy and vice versa. There was no competition between them and they used to be happy for each others’ success. The exam went well, too. Now it was the time for the results of the scholarship. The college management was going to take the average of three years’ of BBA’s marks, and the person scoring the highest would be granted the scholarship. Even all the students and professors were curious to find out who it was, amongst Kabir and Rochelle.
And the biggest coincidence of their life happened. Kabir and Rochelle, both scored dot 87.64% and the management had to grant the scholarship to both of them. They’d never been so happy before. Rochelle was dancing and singing and expressing her joy, but Kabir stood in a corner. He was, no doubt, very happy, but he wasn’t expressing it as hard as Rochelle.
Rochelle knew something was wrong, so she went straightaway to Kabir and asked him about what had happened. He knew he couldn’t hide anything from her. She could read his eyes.
“Rochelle, you know I love you true, right?” He asked. She nodded affirmatively, visibly worried.
“Love, the thing is,” he held her hand and said, “My Dad’s elder cousin, my Uncle, Mr. Bhupen Ahuja, is the Dean of the college we’re supposed to go in, now. You know, right? Roch, if he finds out about us, he’ll tell my Dad, and then my Dad wouldn’t let us live at peace, we belong to different religions. We have different Gods.”
Rochelle was about to cry. She was trying to speak but words couldn’t pop out.
“Hey, Roch! Don’t cry, love. Ssh. I’m not leaving you. I’m just saying we need to keep our relationship a secret. At the right time, I’ll tell my Dad and I know he’ll agree. Don’t feel so bad. Roch, I love you! Don’t cry, please? He cupped her face in his hands and said.
“I know you won’t leave me, Kabir. I love you, too. I’m okay with this keeping a secret thing. If my parents find out, even they won’t agree right now. So for the time being, let’s love each other secretly.” She giggled and Kabir sighed.
Her smile was the thing Kabir could move mountains for. When she cried, everything seemed unpleasant to him. She was his world. Her happiness was his life. She was his drug.
Rochelle understood Kabir too well, and she knew whatever he did was for their benefit. She knew he won’t let their relationship just fade away like that. She could comprehend all the little efforts taken by Kabir. She felt too lucky to have him in her life.
So they enjoyed the last few days of their roaming together in their hometown. They went shopping together and packed bags for each other. Life had speeded up and they were in the process of coping up with the pace. They watched movies together, cried, laughed and fought. They were meant to be.
When it was time, they bid a happy and smiling farewell to their families, and went to their new college, a new city, in a group of new faces.

The new college was perfect. The management introduced Kabir and Rochelle to the entire college as scholarship holders, and people soon titled them as studiously cool. Their relationship was kept a secret and they used to steal glances of each other, during the classes. They lived in the hostel and most of the times, met under the name of assignments and studies. They had made a group of friends, but they were always so engrossed in each other, talking by eye movements, sighs and stolen kisses. To a third person, they’d appear just topper friends, who talked about nothing but studies. They had concealed it so well.
In their new group of friends, were Amisha, the nerd, who never even thought about anything except studies (that’s how her image was, but deep inside, she was a diehard romantic), Shashank, the dude, but still inferior to Kabir (or that’s what girls used to think), Amar, the macho man, whose gym was his second home, and Mukti, who was sober, innocent.
It was visibly clear that Amisha had a thing for Kabir, and Rochelle used to get immensely jealous when she was around Kabir. Kabir used to avoid Amisha, because his girl wasn’t comfortable with him talking to her. And Rochelle’s happiness was his topmost priority, so for Rochelle, he didn’t give a damn to Amisha’s constant clingy behaviour.
Mukti secretly liked Amar, but she never dared to speak it up in front of him. While Amar was unaware of Mukti’s feelings, he’d developed a soft corner for Rochelle, which Rochelle or Kabir of course didn’t know. Shashank had a girlfriend already, so he was never into impressing any of these girls.
Life was moving with a rapid pace. Their MBA first semester exams had just begun. Everyone was concentrated at only studies. They used to hang out on usual days, had fun, went to movies and partied. But during exam days, they would forget all luxuries and study. It was a good thing, actually.
When the results were out, Kabir as usual, had stood first and Rochelle, second again. Amisha was third and Shashank was eighth, and Amar and Mukti were nowhere in the rank list. They’d just passed.
These results gave Kabir and Rochelle another opportunity to meet and talk and hang out together, but Amisha was always there with them, for she always wanted to stay close to Kabir and frankly, even Kabir used to get irritated at her adhering behaviour, but in no way he could be rude to a girl to ask him to stay away from him. Yet, indirectly he’d asked Amisha a couple of times to maintain some distance from him, but she had never really understood. Dumb!
Once, they were having dinner together, when Amar passed a note to Rochelle, and Kabir saw that. He asked her to read that alone, so she excused herself from the group.
The note read,
“Dear Rochelle,
There’s something I need to tell you. Do you mind coming to the basketball court at 1 am, when everyone’s fast asleep? What I want to say is really important and I cannot wait anymore. Just be there, please.
Rochelle read it and got genuinely confused. She crumbled it and threw it in the nearby dustbin. Then she came back and had dinner with everyone.
Kabir wasn’t at peace since he saw Amar giving that piece of paper to Rochelle. He’d seen Rochelle throwing it in the dustbin, so after the dinner, he picked that note from the dustbin and read it. He couldn’t comprehend what Amar wanted to tell Rochelle, but at the back of his mind, he knew something bad was going to happen.
At 1 am, when everyone had slept, Rochelle slipped out of her room and went to the basketball court, as Amar had said. She found Amar waiting there already. So she went to him and said, “Hey Amar, what happened? Why did you call me here at this time? What do you want to say?”
Amar turned back, “Rochelle” he whispered.
“Yes, say.” Rochelle said.
Then, Amar suddenly began touching and caressing her neck and cheeks and begun saying, “I love you so much, Rochelle!”
Rochelle tried to move away, but Amar held her waist and said, “I just wanted to say, just look at you, I mean, you’re hot. You’re appealing. We’d make a hot couple. Just think about us.”
Amar began to pull Rochelle closer and all her attempts of moving away from him were futile.
“What are you saying, Amar? Please leave me. Let me go. I.. I don’t want this.. Pleasee..” She was saying, but Amar didn’t release her.
Suddenly someone pulled Amar away from Rochelle and punched him in his face. It was Kabir. He had been there because he wanted to know what Amar wanted to say to Rochelle. He’d been worried for Rochelle, but owing to what Amar had done, Kabir had lost his mind and had hit him hard.
“What’s your problem, dude? Why are you hitting me?” Amar asked Kabir. But Kabir was damn furious and in no mood to even talk to him, so he hit Amar once again, in his belly.
“Kabir, what’s the matter?” Amar was asking, but Kabir didn’t heed his questions and looked angrily at him. Rochelle tried to stop Kabir, but Kabir pushed her aside and yelled at Amar, “STAY AWAY FROM HER YOU ASSHOLE.”
 “Who are YOU to tell this to me? It’s my life and hers. Who are YOU to speak in between? Fuck off from here. Don’t you dare to interfere,” Amar shouted back and waived a middle finger to Kabir.
Rochelle stopped them, and asked Amar to go back. Amar was angry, too. So he went. Rochelle and Kabir stood there, facing each other. Rochelle asked him to calm down, but he shouted back at her, saying that it was all her fault, to have come there at this time, and that too alone. Then, he pointed out at the shorts she’d worn, and said that her clothes would’ve been making boys desperate to get her in bed. Rochelle was hurt.
Yet, she tried telling him that she didn’t know about Amar’s intentions but Kabir pushed her aside and walked away. She screamed but Kabir didn’t stop. So she went running behind him and stopped him.
She said, “Kabir, don’t get so angry. If the Dean comes to know about your fight with Amar, he’d for sure want to know the reason. What would you tell him? What would you tell Amar, why you have hit him? What would you answer everybody, Kabir? Listen to me, calm down. We don’t want this issue to come up right now. That is why we’ve kept our relationship a secret, right? Please understand. This would destroy everything. Your anger, it would overpower our love, Kabir. Please, calm down.”
But Kabir had lost his senses, the very thought of Amar touching his Rochelle had gotten on his nerves and so he wasn’t able to calm down. He pushed Rochelle again, and went back to his room.
Rochelle got her right arm fractured, because Kabir had pushed her and she had fallen down. When asked about what she was doing at the badminton court at night, she faked a story that she wasn’t sleepy so she was just roaming, and her leg fell inappropriately and she was imbalanced and she fell down on her right arm.
But deep inside, she was angry at Kabir, for not understanding her. When Kabir got to know about Rochelle’s broken hand, he knew it was because of him. He felt guilty, so he went to Rochelle for apologizing. But Rochelle was angry at him, so she just said, “Go away, Kabir. It’s over. You could have listened to me, you could have understood me. But NO! You and your anger. You blamed it all on me, knowing I haven’t done anything on purpose. What I was saying was for your benefit. And you pushed me and didn’t even look back once. Why are you coming back now? It’s over!”
Kabir was hurt. He tried convincing her for a few days, but she didn’t budge even an inch. Kabir knew that Rochelle was just angry. She didn’t mean what she had said. He knew she loved him. So he made up his mind to win her back. He knew she didn’t like Amisha hovering around Kabir and that she would definitely get jealous if he hung out with her. So that’s what he did.
Whenever Rochelle was around, Kabir stayed close to Amisha constantly. Amisha was on cloud nine, for the boy she liked was giving her the attention she wanted. It used to get on Rochelle’s nerves, but Kabir wasn’t hers now. She had let him go, but she could understand that Kabir was doing this just to make her jealous. She decided to hurt him back. She said yes to Amar, for that night’s proposal and would be with him in front of Kabir.
Kabir used to get jealous too. So, he started having his useless flings once again. But he never thought of any girl other than Rochelle. She used to dominate his thoughts. The same was with Rochelle too. Though she was with Amar, she used to think about only and only Kabir.
She used to remember all the times they had spent together at their old college, their confession of their love, the way Rochelle had screamed in the canteen and how there was no competition amongst them. She thought about all their love and how both of them had won the scholarship. Then she used to get sad, remembering that night when Kabir had gotten angry and said hurtful things for her and had pushed her. Her hand was healed now, but her heart still ached of that wound Kabir had given that night, by showing his anger at her, when she was not the one at fault. She used to feel bad, when she remembered how she had broken up with Kabir. She felt like she could have let go, like she could’ve understood. But now, it was too late. Kabir had become his old self again and Rochelle was left far behind by him. That’s what she thought.
Kabir felt like Rochelle had forgotten him, and that she was happy with Amar now. (Though there was no Amar in the picture from Rochelle’s side) He used to feel bad that he had gotten mad that night, and his anger took away all that he had. He used to cry at times, when he saw Rochelle all laughing and blushing with Amar. (Little did he know, Rochelle too did all this just to make Kabir jealous) Their first year of MBA, in the annual examination, neither Kabir nor Rochelle had topped, it was some unknown name.
Rochelle was worried that her absence was affecting Kabir’s academic performance, but that’s what was happening with her, too. She could do nothing except sob a little and feel sorry.
Kabir and Rochelle had stopped talking now. Long gone were those days when they used to talk by signalling in their code language. Deep inside, they knew they both still loved each other, but words had ceased to have meaning and memories seemed ashes of the past. Their second year had begun, with sadness filled in the air and longing for each other on its peak.

They were in their lecture, when Kabir entered late. The professor asked him why he was late, to which Kabir gave a nonsensical reply. But him being a bright student, he was allowed to attend the lecture. His presence was bothering Rochelle, she couldn’t concentrate on what the professor was teaching. She glanced at Kabir, and saw that he was sitting with Mukti, and was utterly engrossed in understanding what the professor had to say.
As soon as the lecture got over, Rochelle rushed to her hostel room, not wanting to confront Kabir at all.
At night, Rochelle was thinking about how she couldn’t concentrate in the class today. She realized that Kabir still had an impact on her, no matter what he did. She thought of reading by herself, what she couldn’t understand in the class. So, she opened her bag to find out that her book wasn’t in there. She asked her roommate, but she didn’t have it, too. Rochelle thought she might’ve forgotten it in the class. So, she dressed up a bit, and told the warden that she’d forgotten her book in the class and she needed to get it back. The warden asked her to come back soon.
When Rochelle reached near their class, she heard some sniffing noises and two people talking, but she ignored those, she just wanted her book back. As soon as she opened the door of the class, she broke down. What she saw was something she had never imagined. Kabir and Mukti were hugging each other, were too close, and talking in whispers. The noise of the door made them part away a little, and seeing Rochelle with a tear rolling down her cheeks, Kabir tried to say something but Rochelle interrupted him and said, “Oh! I’m sorry to disturb you both. Actually, I’d forgotten my book and I just wanted to get it back. I’m sorry.” She wiped away her tear and went back to her room. Kabir followed her up to the corridor but soon, he rushed back to Mukti, and that hurt Rochelle even more.
After coming to her room, Rochelle sobbed a bit; then, she took out a paper and pen and began writing a note.
The note read,
Dearest Kabir,
I don’t know what made me write this. I know you don’t belong to me anymore. It’s your life and I’m nobody to speak in what you do. I don’t have a say, I know. But what I saw tonight in the class has made me feel so hollow, like nothing else had, ever.
Kabir, the day when you had gotten angry and pushed me, I was angry, too. The day when I broke up with you was the worst day of my life. I’d said, anger would overpower our love and that’s what happened with me, too. My anger overpowered my love for you. Ever since that day, so many times, I felt like I should’ve understood your stand. I wish I’d not gotten back angry. I wish you had tried convincing me a bit more. I wish things could work out. But I know, it’s beyond my control now.
Whatever I did was to hurt you. I thought it was the same from your side. I thought you wanted to make me jealous. But tonight when I saw you with Mukti, I’m abashed to know that you’ve really moved on and I’m still stuck here, trying to cut chords with you. I haven’t been able to concentrate on my studies either. I wish you were with me. I wish all this had not happened.
I love you Kabir. I love you so very much. I love you more than you could ever imagine, more than words could ever speak. All the love in this world compiled together cannot match the level of my love for you. And it’s good that you’ve moved on. At least, you aren’t suffering like me. I hope this suffering would end. I wish I heal.
And yes, there’s nothing between me and Amar. It was just to show off to you. I thought you knew that I did everything to make you jealous. But you took it seriously; you thought Amar could replace you? Such a dumb creature you are!
I need a break from this chaos. I need a vacation. I cannot bear this environment, these faces, and these hardships anymore. All day long I have to pretend like nothing’s wrong. But I’m tired now. Seeing you with other girls, seeing you moved on. It makes me feel like a fool, thinking you’ve forgotten me and I’m still at that same badminton court, where you’d walked away from me. So I’m going back. I’ll come soon. I hope I get healed there. I hope time cures my grief.
I love you a lot, Kabir. And I will love you, forever. I cannot imagine anyone else at your place. Believe me, you’re the best. Best luck with your life. Stay happy.
I love you. I miss you.
With all my love,

Then, she woke her roommate up and handed the note to her and said, “Give this to Kabir Ahuja, the ranker, tomorrow.”
Then she packed her bags and moved out, informing the management that there was some emergency at her home and she couldn’t stay. She went back.
The next morning, as soon as Rochelle’s roommate handed over the note to Kabir, he couldn’t understand what to do. He was dumbstruck and his entire strong attitude came crashing down on him. That’s exactly what he’d been thinking all this while. He had thought that Rochelle had moved on with Amar and that’s why he hung out with random girls. He hadn’t seen this coming, he was broken. The only thing he could do right now was to go to Rochelle and clear things between them, for he too loved her true.
Kabir too faked a story and he was permitted to go back. On reaching his hometown, he directly went to Rochelle’s home. Her mom welcomed him warmly. He asked about Rochelle and her mom said that she was at Hambant Dam, one of her favourite places. Kabir went there, to find out Rochelle was sitting beneath a tree, lost in her own thoughts. He dropped his bag and ran towards her, and when she saw him, she couldn’t believe he was there. She never thought he’d come there. Kabir went to her and hugged her tightly.
After they broke their embrace, Rochelle asked him what he was doing there.
Kabir- “You stupid, why didn’t you wait there? We could’ve talked and sorted things out.”
Rochelle- “What do we talk now, Kabir?” I know you’ve moved on.”
Kabir- “Oh GOD! I haven’t moved on. I love you, my idiot. I still love you.”
Rochelle (yelling)- “What were you doing with Mukti that night, then?”
Kabir- “She was crying.”
Rochelle- “Don’t make stories now.”
Kabir- “Listen to me. I’m not making stories. Trust me, Mukti told Amar about her feelings for him, and he refused because he loves you. She was broken that night. I was just consoling her. I don’t move on by getting into relationships with random people, Roch.”
Rochelle- “What do you mean? I told you there was nothing between me and Amar. At least I don’t roam with other boys like you do. C’mon now. Don’t deviate the topic.”
Kabir- “I’m deviating the topic? Listen Roch, it was you who broke up with me. I didn’t leave you.”
Rochelle- “I wish I hadn’t. We’re so fucked up.”
Kabir- “That’s why we’re meant to be.”
And they hugged again. They’d gotten each other back, and said millions of I-love-you’s to each other. Then they went back to their college and accepted their relationship in front of everyone. Everyone raised their eyebrows, but soon the topic calmed down and no one raised a word after that.
After their MBA, they told their families, and they didn’t agree. After much of convincing session, they finally said a yes.
Kabir and Rochelle got married by both, Hindu and a Christian marriage ways. They were meant to be.
No matter what life does to us, we have that someone who knows us more than we ourselves know us. They’re our soul-mates. Kabir and Rochelle found their soul-mates within each other and lived happily ever after.

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