She will be mine?

Graphic by Himanshu Vaidya

coconut chutney and soft, light, fluffy idlis served

“It looks delicious.”

“Navin, can you stop screaming the idli recipe. I’m trying to sleep here!”

“Okay viewers, it’s a wrap for today stay tuned for my insta live daily at 7 a.m.”

I glanced at the clock, doing the math in my head. I stumbled out of bed right away. I’m again late for the macroeconomics lecture since I spent the whole night talking to Shruti and not sleeping.

“Navin, using my toothbrush doesn’t bring friends close!” I screamed. Navin is my roommate and a part-time food blogger. To start from the beginning I came to Pune last year for my bachelors and my family didn’t notice my presence until a month after my departure. My mother said that out of all four of her children I was the easiest kid. I think what she meant was that I hardly cried, Rarely fussed and was generally asleep. In my high school, someone tried to break into our house. I pretended I didn’t see it happen.

Navin and I drove down the empty road, his black Benz. On the way to university, I rested my head against the car window, eyes glued to the Ironman car hanging surrounding zooming past. Her hair swayed in the breeze, tickling the back of her neck. She was lounging in the bookstore, I could only see her back from where I was standing, but by the curvature of her neck, I guessed she was reading a Marvel comic. I stood rooted to the spot, staring at her, later did I know she was my classmate.

“Her eyes, oh her eyes. They got me every time.” 

“you see that she is looking at me.”

“She is looking at everyone as she the professor, Navin” I replied

“come on man”

With his gaze still on her, he crouched down, fumbling for his phone. But after hitting his head, he risks a glance down, picks it up. His father wanted him to join the family business but as his , he wanted to build something on his own.

“Finally, the boring saga of population census ends. I’m not sure if I will ever be able to gift a genius copy of me to this country”

“trust me nation is already blessed” I laughed

After rebelling against his father’s will he came here to live with his elder sister, half of the time chasing our hot professors or making people fall in love with his cooking skill and sometimes with him.

“Whom are you coming with this weekend?” Navin was dubious.

“Where?” I said, again focused on the phone.

“To the Event organized by entrepreneurial club next week”

“with you off course” I wasn’t paying much attention to him since I was texting shruti. Shruti is the girl I like and a weird fact is she likes me back.  She is doing her semester abroad as a result, we haven’t got the chance to meet each other. So it’s been six months since we started talking virtually. We got to know a lot of things about her likes, dislikes, secrets, even the brand of her lotion. 

“How can you watch a movie on repeat, Bollywood romantics are boring and with the same plot,” message beeped on my screen. 

“It’s all a matter of good company, I’m the best company which you are missing shruti.” I sent

“ You cracked it! Sam, I’m missing you “

“ btw, when are you coming back shruti.” I asked 

“Um..I am done with my thesis, so will be back in India after 2-3 weeks.” 

“Can you get off the phone,” Navin said, striving to hide his irritation. He takes my phone and puts it aside.

“you can’t take a guy to a masquerade ball, It is supposed to be romantic” navin begged

“Well then, I’m gonna ask Shruti, she will be back in the city by then.” 

I can’t wait to see her, I might throw my arms around her, bury my face in her neck And start to sob with relief. I have literally imagined myself as a part of her life in canada.  

“We are gonna totally hit it off” I blushed 

“you wanna rephrase that sentence to we might, dude! you have never even facetimed her.” Navin with a frowning face. 

“It is not like I was nervous to call. I have tried that but she always got away with an excuse. For a time I thought she is doing it intentionally, is she even wanna talk to me. As time passed we both have witnessed our love attraction is mutual, It feels unique and honest not seeing each other and still liking.” I said

“Finally your six months of devotion will pay off. I’m happy for you” 

I suppose it starts back in autumn 2017. When I agreed to offer her help with math lessons, her father was pretty strict with her grades and that’s how I started talking to her more. I thought I liked the others, I did. I’d blush when they were nearby, Sit up straighter, Get nervous, But a warm embracing of a dimple she bared, Smeared with butter in beauty, and color of joy took butterflies to a whole new level. Long story short I started liking her. 

that kind of liking when music has a romantic rhythm and everything around you is in slow motion. It’s been the same since then. But this time she feels it too.

“Cappuccino?” Navin asked with the biggest grin.

Well, I won’t blame him because he knew I don’t like coffee. I never did, shruti did. hence I did. It was a glorious day. We’d just left the coffee shop finishing the lessons. When we walked through the streets, she giggled and pulled me, saying, “I need to tell you something!” 

My hand still tingled where she grabbed it. 

she handed me her coffee and looked into my eyes while I tried it, it was the best thing I’d ever tasted. As we walked through the street I pulled her down to sit on a bench. She beamed up at me, and I could only gaze back adoringly.

“This is it” I said

“So shru…” I began. I even hid the Lilies for her the whole time in my backpack because white was her favorite color, waiting for this moment. I wanted to say, ‘you, you, I like you a thousand times you. You’re the only one I can ever think about. You’re gorgeous and sweet and funny and…’

“Are you listening to me?” She whispered, I knew this tone of voice, it’s dangerous. 

She looked at me with a cautious smile, looked away and down at her cup. Her smile was infectious.

“I’m seeing someone, sam” 

“Okay,” I said.

“take your cup, you hopeless lover” Navin screams

“You are back early,” I said

“Ya! Tia was at the canteen too. And she said yes to be my partner at the ball” 

Tia is the hottest girl on our campus. Navin has been waiting for this day when she takes him seriously or as an option.

“Visiting hours will be over soon we should hurry to meet your your sister” I said 

Navin’s elder sister recently met with a minor accident while saving a cat. We used to crash at her apartment whenever was out of town. 

“I can’t be nervous now”

“you said something?” Navin asked 


As we drove to the hospital, I played Shruti’s 90s bollywood playlist on track and Navin still won’t stop talking, I cared less and was zoned out picturing the events in my mind of finally meeting shruti. I had only seen her in school, nothing more than that.

“Chalo, come out lover we have reached”

One stare from his akka and his blabaring finally stopped.

I exchanged greetings with his sister and went out to the cafeteria to grab us some coffee as I passed by the cardiac care. I saw

Glowing pale white skin in blue scrub embracing the bandages on the chest. Cannula was like a snowflake landed on her hand, almost immediately melting against her warm palm. The hues in the ward rebelled like an active war zone to beat her pale radiance till the night was over. The voices and footsteps from the hallway echoed back, and Every second. Every moment. sparkled with an emotion I could never place. It zapped my heart. The slight dimple in her cheek revealed her defenseless smile. Inspired by her fire, she set her agony ablaze and burned it with desire. I was drawn to her flame. I was frozen, unable to move. She looked peaceful, distinctly beautiful as an oasis. 

“Who is she” I asked a nurse, Judging her talking accent she seemed from south of India 

“She is shruti, she is been with us for a month, a very sweet kanna

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