We both were studying in the same college, though he was senior to me . His countenance and bearing , his speeches n meetings and ability to convince even his opponents , earned him great reputation among students and teachers alike. We girls simply adored him. Alas! None of us was able to come close to him. My friend Nita was extremely beautiful and had many friends among boys, but she to failed to attract him. She used to say:”This Chandran is a snob. I don’t like him”

‘Sour grapes’, I said to myself but kept mum. She is very rich and spent lavishly in restaurants and we did not like to offend her.

One day , we were going in her car . I noticed Chandran walking along the foot path ; he had only a book in his hand. “Neeta, stop the car” , I cried, and as soon as it stopped , jumped out and ran up to him. I do not know why I did so. Hearing the sound of my foot steps, he turned his face with a question mark in his eyes.

“Sorry to disturb you ; may I come with you?” “Where?” “Anywhere, I like to talk to you or rather get acquainted with you. I am studying commerce in yu college. My name is Sharmila .”

“Sharmila , I like your name. Is there anything I can do for you?” “Just your friendship, Sir,”I blurted out in my confusion. He gave his hand and I shook it warmly. We went on talking for some time . When we reached the library , he said bye. “When shall we meet?” “Next week here, at the same time”, he said. I got excited and waited impatiently till next Friday. The car came up and all got out , to know what had happened. All clamored for celebrating my success and we went to the restaurant . They asked:”Is he morose?”

“Oh! No, on the other hand , I found him jovial , even courteous. We will meet next week in the library at noon” “Then you must introduce us .”

I waited eagerly and went to the library punctually . I was reading newspapers , when he came and touched my shoulders . I jumped up and followed him . We talked for some time , sitting in the shade of a tree.

“Sir, which is your native place?”

“Do not call me ‘sir’; I am not your teacher . Call me Chandu. Some three generations back , we were in Keralam. There is an old house and compound, in a remote village there . I have not seen it.”

“What about your family?”

“My parents and a sister studying in the school. “

“My friends are waiting to see you .”

I took him to the restaurant . They all stood up and cheered us. We sat among them and Neetu asked “What would you have?”

I :“As you like “ To Chandu:”She is our leader . Neetu, he is Chadran; call him Chandu. He is a Keralite who has forgotten his hertage” She ordered soup and conversation became lively. When we rose after an hour , we had all become thick friends. We gathered around a tree in the lunch time in the college . Boys would comment ‘Chandu and his fans’ The days flew away and the elections to the Union were announced Chandu said:”Neeta will be our candidate” We all agreed

She has money which she spent lavishly, in distributing bit notices wall posters of her photos etc. She stood independently , without any political backing. Her beauty and Chandu’s lively speeches attracted the crowd.

When the results came , Neeta won by a big margin. She kissed on Chandu’s cheek, in front of the crowd.

I was a little disappointed , but I could have never hoped for his love.

On the completion of examinations, we gave a farewell party to Chandu. It was great event lasting the whole night with dances and singing . I called Chandu and told privately:”I know you love Neetu; but remember me too , when you decide your marriage. I love you.” He looked in my face and said:”I do not love her. I may not marry now . I want to study law.”


After years , I received an SMS message :”my sister’s marriage is on Christmas day. Do come . Inform all our friends” I passed it o to Neetu and others. All others came but Neetu abstained. Her friend said that her marriage was spoiled because of a CBI raid on her house; her father was arrested. We all felt sorry.

I repeated to Chandu:”You remember my request regarding your marriage ? Now, will you consider me ?”

He nodded his head:”Sharmila , from the day one , you occupied my mind. Neeta was never there “ He embraced me and kissed me


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