https://anooppillaiz.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/a-perfect-song-2/ – previous part before your read this 🙂
In the 9th grade, they were together in the same class. In the shuffle, Rahul made it to her division. Rahul tried to get closer to the girl but she would keep him away. He would frequent her place and try solving his Math problems with her, but she would carefully put a barrier. 9th grade passed by with lot of drama and action. Soon in 10th grade, Rahul had an injury from a fall. He got his right arm fractured and advised medically for a bed rest for at least 3-4 weeks. Rahul’s mother by now had known from the Parents-Teachers Association that Nila was a bright student. She personally asked Nila’s mother to help Rahul deal with the absenteeism from school. Nila was forced to come and help Rahul get his school works up to date. She was happy inside, but never would forget to put on a grumpy face and be rude to Rahul.
Days passed and months passed, she got closer to Rahul and he too enjoyed her company.
In the 11th grade, she decided to continue in the same school. Rahul also choose not to leave the hills and stay there. He managed to persuade his parents that he wanted to do the discipline that Nila had opted and he followed her suit.
By the end of that year, his father had a promotion with a transfer and had to move to Dehradun. He convinced his father and mother that he cannot be moving with them as this is a very important year. They had no option but to give in considering their child’s future. They joined him in the convent hostel. Rahul’s mother met Nila and her mother and personally told them to help him out if any situation arises. She expressed her happiness that Nila could help him a bit with academics, as they all knew that football took away much of his time that should have otherwise been spent on studies.
Nila and Rahul used to be together in the school and Rahul almost confessed his feelings for her, for which she never replied though she never stopped getting together with him. By the end of 12th grade, Rahul demanded an answer as this probably could be the last year of togetherness. He convinced her that, he stayed back and took all these pains of studying some subject which he never understood only for her. She being caught between parents, customs and traditions would just keep mum and avoid his questions.
Rahul had decided that he is going wherever she goes. In spite of having a flirty relationship with some of the girls around, he was sure that Nila meant much more to him, she was special to him in many ways and he chose to be with her.
Results were out and Nila had good marks, Rahul was just average. Nila decided to move out the place for college and she chose to do her college in the plains as there were no reputed colleges in the hills. She applied for a seat in ‘Madras Christian College’ far from her place. Her parents though were against this, came to terms with her later. Meanwhile, Rahul sniffed her intentions and he got a seat in the same college in the sports category, as he had played for the national teams the previous year. He got admitted there even before Nila and was glad that he didn’t have to use his father’s Army recommendations to get in.
Again in the same ‘BSc-Chemistry’ class together. This time the only difference was that they were far away from any intrigued eyes. A proper city, where they could smell and breathe freedom. Nila could forget her customs and traditions for some time now.
By the end of 1st year people around got a clue that they were together, which was made healthy next year. By then it became difficult for Nila as her parents especially her father had started sending and receiving proposals for her marriage. As per their customs, the average age of marriage for women was 21 years and she was pretty close. Being with Rahul for 8 years, though not in a proper relationship was another factor for her to turn down all the other proposals. In these years, she had become very comfortable with him and he knew her inside out. The thought of him not being around, now made her feel vulnerable.
In the final year of their studies, she explained the scenario to Rahul for which he came up with the solution of running away. She disagreed with him on this as this would make them look weaklings. Rahul frankly pointed out to her that once they confess this to her parents, he will be beaten black and blue and she would marry someone the pretty next day as per the will of her father, a possibility she couldn’t deny. As the pressure kept mounting on her, her principle’s started giving in. Before the final exams she goes home for the study holidays and grabs whatever jewels and ornaments she could from home that she could call hers.
Just after finishing the exams, they are off. Rahul’s friends in Calcutta were the only hope. Nila calls her father from the Railway station and conveys her love for Rahul. Her father screams his throat out to which Nila hangs the phone and they both, Nila and Rahul set out to Calcutta.
(To be continued)