THE FRIENDSHIP BARRIER ( Part 1)

Rinku was a pest ! But an adorable and charming one. She was his neighbour and probably the first person that he could call as “friend”. She had been living next door to them ever since he could remember..

They used to go to the same school –both of them on a rickshaw when they were young and then Pradeep by virtue of being two years older, on a cycle! She used to keep begging him to carry her “doubles”. But his father would not allow that given his own ability to manage himself safely on a cycle was a challenge! So he used to do the next best thing -cycle parallel to the rickshaw.. !

The fellows at school used to tease him about her. They could not understand what made him so protective about her- why he would not join them in pulling her plaits or why he used to punch the boys who troubled her!

Rinku had a free run of their house. She would be constantly in and out of his room – disarranging his books. Being very bad at maths her mother wanted Pradeep to help her with it – but teaching Rinku maths was more difficult that trying to stuff a cloud into a bag-she was  a dreamer and it was impossible to get her to focus on numbers…!

As the days went by Pradeep gave up trying to teach her maths .. because he found that he  could not focus when she was around .  Her presence made his pulse race and he was afraid he was staring at her more than required. It was quite awkward dealing with all this.

She on her part seemed blissfully unaware of the effect she was having on him. She continued her visits to their house, treating his room and  bed as hers lying down there  and reading her  romance novels. She told him about all her dreams- about wanting to be a painter, travelling the world and the seven seas. It often felt that she was talking to herself. He on his part listened indulgently because he knew that she did not really expect any response from him. His only wish was that one day these dreams may include him..

So, it came as a complete shock to him when she told him about Sudhir. It was a hot summer afternoon. He was packing his things to leave for Delhi where he had joined an engineering college. She seemed very quiet and moody, sitting around in his room watching him pack.

“You know Pradeep.. there is something I want to ask you” she suddenly said.

His heart was beating expectantly wondering if she was going to mouth the words that he had been unable to express  all these years.

“ Have you ever been in love” she asked. He almost said “Yes” but she interrupted his thoughts by continuing to talk ‘you know I have met someone.. he is awesome. I think I am in love with him”

“ I  know I can share my inner most thoughts with you. You are  my best friend. That is why I told you. Please don’t tell mummy or papa!  They will not like it ” she said.

Pradeep stared at her as his world came crashing down…!  He nodded slowly. He wanted to know more about this Sudhir. But a part of him told him that he would not be able to bear it –hearing about this fellow.  Another part of him wanted to seek out the guy and beat him up till he screamed for mercy..

He collected his feelings and slowly nodded before saying “Yeah sure. I will not tell them. But be careful. You are hardly seventeen”

“Ah! And you are grandfather- just about nineteen years old” she laughed making a face at him!

He pulled her cheeks gently as she ran out of his room screaming for his mother “Auntie look at Pradeep he is pulling my cheeks!”  He could hear his mother and her talking in the garden outside discussing him.

He shut his suitcase down with a thud! As he did that he  felt as though he was shutting away a part of his life and his dreams. Tears pricked his eyes as he fought to hold them back.

He refused to cry! It was not the end of the world..! He still had life ahead of  him. But he wondered if  he wanted that life- a life without Rinku, his first love!

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anilkumar Kurup
    Jun 19, 2012 @ 12:59:41

    Infatuation, may be a mad one,that however has this uncanny stinging power when it overwhelms in the adolescence and teens.

    Reply

  2. KP
    Jun 19, 2012 @ 14:06:15

    I was fondly hoping she would be telling Pradheep’s mom that she would like to call him as Sudhir henceforth .but you killed the first love.You write romantic stories too with equal ease and felicity

    Reply

  3. Jack
    Jun 19, 2012 @ 21:07:47

    Meera,

    I am sure many of us have gone through this. But life moves on.

    Take care

    Reply

  4. renu
    Jun 20, 2012 @ 09:37:10

    It keeps happening all the time, specially in today’s free world..

    Reply

  5. Gayu
    Jun 20, 2012 @ 18:34:43

    “he was shutting away a part of his life and his dreams” beautiful lines…and Yes even i was bad at Maths. Part of teenage life…huh heartbreaks.

    This story reminded me of a dialogue in Dil Toh Pagal Hain
    “Galti uparwale ki hai, woh ek ko dusre se, dusre ko tesre se aur tesre ko kisi aur se pyar karvata hai” I guess its somewhat like this, i don’t remember the perfect words.

    Reply

  6. Bikramjit Singh Mann
    Jun 20, 2012 @ 20:48:11

    I remmeber I was told once that THIS IS LIFE .. and life goes on

    Reply

  7. Sharmila
    Jun 20, 2012 @ 21:50:44

    God !! how much i hate these parts …. why can’t u write in continuation – please write soon and yes make it a happy ending – i know u always do but still 🙂

    Reply

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