Diary entry by Rony Dasgupta. It is chosen as the best entry submitted for the competition “Diary Entry”, organized by The Enigmatic Creation.
July 4th, 2009
It’s been about a year, I last saw Smita. Last time I saw her was at her apartment, at a party which she threw on her successful placement in a company. I barged in uninvited. Actually, I went in for an interview where I met one of our classmate Ani. And when we were leaving, Ani almost forced me to Smita’s house. She never invited me. I had no idea that it was a party. I felt embarrassed, reaching there. She and her mother offered me lunch. I refused at first, but still, I took a plate with a couple of pieces of fish. Smita put on her glasses and helped me with getting rid of the fish bones. I liked that. But may be her parents didn’t. It is one of the happiest memories of my life. Particularly now, when each moment brings in a new struggle in my life.
After that, she left for Chennai. I got rejected by many more companies. Finally, I am working somewhere. Waking up every morning, I feel like shit. The salary is awful. No one respects me. I have to work really hard. Every night, I feel like quitting, but I still drag myself to the office the next day. I generally don’t stay in touch with many people these days. Because I feel inferior to most of my class mates, but this is the time when I need friends the most, to share things.
I finally convinced myself to email Smita. But I don’t want her to get a feeling that I missed her. After thinking for some time, I composed an email. I wrote:
“Hi, how are you? Sudipta misses you”
Actually, I was missing her, not Sudipta. But in college, I have always projected Sudipta to her. I always felt she and Sudipta, would have been perfect for each other. And as for me, I don’t have much of future at this moment. Things were not better for me in college either. I never wanted to ruin someone’s life and at the same time, I lacked the courage to express my emotions. I used to take my chances and would grab her, hug her or would hold her hand and would make sure that it appears like I was flirting. But maybe, I meant a little bit more. But she would never know. I actually convinced Sudipta to propose her, to which she turned down.
I got a prompt reply from her.
“OH! How are you? It has been a long time. I think and speak of you guys every day to my friends. I have tried to call Sudipta several times but he won’t pick up or return my calls. I am not really nice in here. I don’t have any friends. The job is also taking a lot of toll on me. Maybe I will leave the job soon. Please do keep emailing me. I feel quite lonely.”
I replied the email with Sudipta’s number in it. I replied “I will keep emailing you. Sudipta is working somewhere. His job is painful. He is frustrated. Even I don’t like my job as well, I will be resigning soon.”
Smita replied back,
“What are your plans after leaving your job? Anything decided yet? I have nothing in mind.”
Me – “I am not sure about anything.”
Smita – “I just called Sudipta. He has changed a lot. He doesn’t sound like himself anymore.”
Me – “Everyone changes. So is Sudipta. Good for him. Are you seeing anybody in Chennai?”
Smita – “Yes, I have been with someone, off late. What about you?”
Me – “I don’t work in an MNC. With my salary, I cannot have girls within half a mile around me.”
Smita – “Don’t worry I will go out with you when I get back.”
Me – “Will be waiting then. Just come sooner.”
My mind started going through a lot of things. It was like a flashback of our college life. The first time I talked to Smita was on the bus. We were both going to college. She was wearing a white salwar with blue polka dots. She always looks nice in white.
Then there was a time, she was posing a dance posture before one of her friends. She saw me watching her. She felt embarrassed and stopped. I asked her to continue. She smiled and denied.
I said to her, “Carry on, I will pay.”
She started chasing me with her sandal in hand.
Another time, it was our final semester examination. The subject of the examination was a tough one. Everyone was scared. Someone had a chance to glance at the papers before we entered the examination hall and he shouted, “The paper is easy”. I had no idea whether it was really easy or not. I was not even interested in it. I just went in and hugged Smita, with everyone including the teachers watching us. Trust me my actions with Smita doesn’t exactly put a light on my character and behavior. I was quite shy, but when it is about Smita, I preferred being a bit shameless.