Me: "Machi, surely you owe me this one favor da...Just tell me nuh... I promise I won't tell neone else"
Shanky: "Don't know whether I should be doing this..."
Me: "A treat at JuiC"
Shanky: "Please.. This is not about treats"
Me: "A treat at JuiC and dinner at Sam Fox today"
Me: "You damn bugger.. Okie, tomorrow 10:15 break la snacky also"
Shanky:(a wicked smile) "We are delivering it at around 11:30 today so that when people go for lunch they will find it in front of their room."
Me: "Damn.. I have VVRs lecture at that time"
Shanky: "I guess you should know your priorities"
Me: "Why don't you make it easier by jes telling me if I've got anything ?"
Shanky: "You know I can't do that. As Gen Sec, I have my club's honor and reputation to consider."
Me: "Cheeee.. seriyaana MAMA club, MAMA pasanga"
Shanky: "Chalo am leaving for class now...Bye and Best of Luck :-)"
It was almost half past 8 and from the window in my room I could see a huge crowd in the mess. I had woken up late again simply because yesterday night had been exciting. We had all stayed up till midnight anxiously awaiting the delivery even though we knew it was highly unlikely that it would happen then. When nothing had materialised till 2:15 we had all given up and retired to bed. And now the repercussions.
Deciding to skip breakfast again, I ambled casually towards the Department. Prabhu was a cool Prof who seldom minded even if people entered class just minutes before his lecture ended. And judging by the lofty standards set by my illustrious peers like Aggu and Iyer, I was way too early. When I finally reached class it was 8:50 and I knew there was half an hour more of Biochemistry to endure. I walked to the last seat, noiselessly sank into the cold steel chair and surveyed the classroom. The usual suspects were all there. Rangesh had already made 3 fullscap sheets of notes, Navneet who seldom needed them thanks to a phenomenal memory was frowning deeply at the greenboard and Jamie was as usual playing cow bull with Nattu in the last desk. I opened the Newspaper and turned to the Crossword page. I must have made quite a bit of noise in the process for I suddenly saw that Menon and Paro had seated themselves on either side and wanted to help me with it. Time flew and in 30 mts the bell rang to signal the end of class. The next lecture by Prof VVR was due to start at 9:30 and it was a double header which would stretch upto lunch. I knew I could ill afford to sit through both sessions and racked my brain to hatch a plan to escape mid-way. Classes started and VVR droned on for the first hour and a half. There were now almost 30 people in the room and just as luck would have it, VVR was summoned by the our HOD at ten past 11. Taking this as a god-send opportunity, borrowing cycle keys from Diwanshu, I slipped out and almost made the perfect getaway till I ran into VVR just as I was leaving the department.
He had this devilish smile that seemed to suggest he knew exactly why I was escaping but thankfully had the grace to not stop and ask for explanations. I cycled fast towards the hostel only to accidentally chance upon my own club's faculty advisor ST near the Octagon. I had long been evading a meeting with this surly man but today he was in no mood to let me go. For the next ten minutes he asked me a lot of uncomfortable questions to which I gave distracted answers. Sensing my urgency, he finally let go but by then it was already 11:30. As I parked my cycle in Diamond, I could see that there were atleast a couple of envelopes at our door. D-57 had almost 7 inmates but something told me that this particular package was for me. My heart was thumping and my mind was racing with possibilities. Would it be red (damnnnn), pink (not bad but still....) or black (wowww) ? Manouevring the latch of our door and sliding the envelopes out, I could see that there were 2 black and 1 Red. The tension was palpable and my forehead was glistening with sweat. And then it happened.....
Before I could realise what hit me, I was jostled and shoved and with a sudden roar, hordes of students descended on the hostel. I was at my wits end incapable of even hiding the envelopes that had come for me. Production, Mechanical and Electrical classes had just ended and the poor desperates had all rushed back to catch a piece of the action. By now having recovered a little bit of my poise, I tried to escape into the privacy of my room but suddenly found the envelopes snatched away from my hand by Chandru.
"Bond has got 3 ...Bond has got 3...Guys, come here"
It had all the makings of a disaster. Of course, instinct told me that the two black ones meant that I would rise in the eyes of my makkal but it was the red one that scared me. I ran away in shame. I knew I was doomed. I would be the laughing stock in the TT room. For weeks people would sneer whenever I set foot to play. There was no way I could go to the TV room too. For an odd moment, my existence itself seemed meaningless. I wandered aimlessly for an hour and skipped lunch too. I came back to the hostel at around 3 hoping that everyone would have gone for lab sessions. Curiously Chandru's room was open. After an initial moment of hesitation, I poked my head in and in my most casual tone
Me: "Neway since I am scandalised, can you please tell me who sent me the red one ?"
Chandru: "Dunno.. It had no name and seemed to the handiwork of some crazy. The odd thing about it was that it was smelling of some sexy perfume"
Chandru: "Is there something you are hiding from us ?"
Me: "Bulllshit man.. It must have been some guy in Diamond only. Neway do u still have it ?"
Chandru: "Of course, here it is..Btw, did you know Atreya got the maximum roses this year too.. 26 of them.. and amongst the gals it seems DCR won - 24 roses though Kausalya tells me quite a few were black. And man, STEP-TREC made a huge profit.. It seems there were totally 300 odd roses that got exchanged this year... VAL DAY rocks."
And then he went on to give some more statistics but by now I had switched off. Wandering back into my room, I smelled the perfume and was instantly aware that it reminded me of someone. But for the life of me, I didn't know who. I reasoned - For all my antics in Section-D, I was reasonably confident no gal from my first year acquaintances, especially those with a teeny weeny bit of self respect would dare do this to me. That left the 'two babes' in the Department as another option but I quickly banished those thoughts since the only time I had talked to them during the whole of this year was during Class Rep elections :-) That left just the Club women but then most of these were the naach-gaana kinda outgoing chicks and I knew I had absolutely nothing in common with them. As I struggled to find an answer to this baffling riddle, my roommate Ganesh breezed in with a huge pile of books. Looking at the rose and envelope in my hand, he smiled and asked
Ganesh: "Did you like our surprise ?"
Me: "What ?"
Ganesh: "Our gift"
Me: "What do you mean ?"
Ganesh: "Of course we sent it - Satish and I"
Me: "What the f*&@"
Ganesh: "C'mon dumbo... Don't tell me you didn't recognise my perfume's smell :-p"
ps: Dedicated to St. Valentine and all RECTians :-)