A proposal


“Ni, he is right behind us, I tell you Ni, this one is serious. I mean I can really see it in his eyes.” Aditi was beaming as she and Nila strolled through the hedged garden path marked with yellow and orange marigolds and chrysanthemums leading towards the University library building.

Dressed casually in Jeans and fashionable yet fake designer jackets, the two girls of Delhi University shuddered in cold from inside but bravely faked it, throwing caution to the winds.

“Really? And when was that you two sat face to face gazing and getting lost in each other’s eyes? Tell me all about your romance Aditi!” Ni had a wicked smile that did the trick on Aditi.

“You are such a … God, sigh, only if those guys could hear you talk! I have a boyfriend Ni, unlike you, please!”

Copious amount of white smoke emanated from her mouth as she wrapped her hands and nodded her head in disbelief.

“You see Aditi, beauty is skin deep, but to truly know one’s character you probably need to go skinny dipping together! Don’t just judge people by their eyes Aditi, sometimes the truth can be way below their eyes, in fact way below their hearts. You know what I mean? I mean you know where I mean?” Ni was at her philosophical best.

“Gosh you are…”

“A foul mouth, I know, tell me something new.” They rolled their eyes and laughed just when were interrupted by the object of their ardent discussion.

“Excuse me Nila.” The guy apparently following them had caught up. Not the best of lookers but he had a certain confident air about him, his intense eyes seem to bore through.

Aditi chuckled as Ni took on him face on.

“Yes Dwivedi, what is that you want? Looks like you want something really bad?” Ni’s words as if had shot out like a hundred swords and punctured what looked like his balloon of confidence.

No, I mean, yes. I mean no, it’s not like that you see.

The worst yet most common start when a smitten guy tries to start a conversation with the girl in question, is through fumbles and more of them. Dwivedi was just as human.

So common, so ordinary. Not interested, Ni’s mind was inching towards to a plausible decision.

“Oh come on just shoot it out.” Ni blurted out as Aditi gave her a strict look, which she guessed could only mean, “give the guy some space and time, breathing space and thinking time !”

“I mean that was by far the most intellectual yet so grounded thought I have heard aloud.” Dwivedi was getting courageous.

Praise, appreciation and flattery, works with everyone at some level or other. Period.

To use it to win someone’s heart? Oft repeated practice, age old ritual in the history of wooing. So common, so ordinary, yet always novel, always endearing, who knows, the words might have come from a place of utter honesty from the person who showers them.

Well, not a bad start after all, let’s see what you have in store? Ni was interested now.

“Which one?” She asked trying hard to avoid sounding coy and curious.

“You know that thing you said about skinny dipping, and I was wondering if we could…”  There, he dropped the bomb. Would it work? Or turn out to be a damp squib?

The little cloud of mush and fluff that was rising above Ni’s glorious curls as if caught hold of a thunder and lightning. Skinny dipping? How dare he??

“Stop, right there, you perv…” Ni blurted out, but before the rains could pour, as if an invisible umbrella opened.

“No , no, please, you got me wrong there. I just wanted to ask you out for a coffee later this afternoon, nothing more, nothing less, only if you are free.” Dwivedi tried hard to smile while dreading a slap or worse, complete ignorance to his innocent proposal.

“Ah, well.”  Nila tried to sound confident hiding a strange sense of butterflies which was so alien to her, especially when it came to guys. And Dwivedi was after all a year junior to her, in the male-starved Department of English literature, where she and Aditi hailed from. From what she had heard, he was a bright student, and now she knew, he had the balls too. To ask one of the hottest and snootiest girls out, who is your senior!

Aditi’s chuckle was back and she looked at both of them in quick succession and eager anticipation, dreading, if one of them stays quite for more than a second, it could cause a catastrophe.

“I take that as a yes?”  Confident and content, Dwivedi didn’t waste a moment to jump to the obvious conclusion. He was a winner.

Nila came back from her thoughts as Dwivedi started to turn his back on them.

“Wait, you!”

“Yes ?” he turned back, an earnest smile back on his face, glowing with expectant love and hope abound.

 “Coffee is so passé, would you like to go for dinner and then a movie? Horror of course, am sure you are brave enough. I have seen a glimpse of it already!”  Of course, I need to set the expectation right, right from the start. It’s my way or your way bent, broken and changed to be what would finally be my way.

Dwivedi was dumbstruck for a moment. In the confusion of whether to extend his smile to a palpable giggle with a jiggle in his feet or to hold on to his thumping chest with out-bulged eyes at the strangest proposition he had ever expected from the girl he had been eyeing for weeks now, all that came from his mouth or rather all he did was to get both his palms to cover his mouth. A suppressed grunt of disbelief emanated yet led by the sudden realisation of the idiocy of his actions, he let go of his hands and bent down resting on his knees.

He was laughing uncontrollably and said a loud yes.

A love-struck Nila, flanked by a beaming Aditi moved away into the library, faking a strange calm as if they left the storm outside the doors.

He stood there still half bent by the floral pathway, watching them disappear into the walls. He could have followed them inside, but more importantly, he had a strange urge to shout, scream, howl and sing, all at the same time.

Love, is a strange thing.



© “And Life Unfolds” and Subhendu Mohanty, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Subhendu Mohanty and “And Life Unfolds” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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