But just say I love you-9
by Jaysree Vijay
(Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India)
Back to Chapter 8
Vijay usually played cricket in a club organized by his area residents. Due to insufficient funds, it was shifted to the nearby park. It was the first day on the park. Vijay enthusiastically picked up his kit and started his car. Being a son of an entrepreneur, he was allowed to handle cars once he entered his college.
Vijay reached the park and saw his friends waiting there. He waved them a ‘hi’ and the match began. As he was playing, his eyes shifted to the pavement of the park in which people were walking. He saw someone in ponytails, frequently adjusting the hair that fell on her face , walking swiftly. That gesture was registered strongly in him, he thought hard. “Yes, it is Arvind’s sister, Harini”, he said to himself. As he was excited about seeing her now, he hit the ball with full force, his hands lost the grip due to the force and his bat flew and hit Harini at her Ankles hard. She fell down, wriggling in pain. Vijay ran to her. People surrounded her. She kept telling them that she was ok. As Vijay reached there, he saw her Ankles slightly swelled up. He panicked.
“Harini, come come”, he pushed away few people who were standing there.
“I know her, she is my friend. I will take care”, he assured to disperse the crowd.
“Hey, Vijay. Good morning”, she greeted him even in pain. ”Someone did not like me. See what they have done”, she showed her aching ankles. Vijay helped her to get up. She was not able to walk. He held her hand across his shoulders and gave her grip to hop.
“Not really. I know. They did not hate you”. Vijay assured.
“How come so sure”, Harini winked. “Because it was me, I am so sorry for hurting you”, Vijay replied in a sad tone.
“That’s ok. It happens”, Harini smiled. By the time they spoke, they had reached Vijay ‘s car. He made her sit comfortably and drove the car to nearby hospital.
They waited for few minutes. Doctor diagnosed her ankles and confirmed that it was just sprain. The doctor rolled up her tracks up to her knees and wrapped her ankles with a cloth. Through her corner of her eyes, Harini noticed Vijay who was worriedly watching the doctor treating her. Harini felt a sudden sense of the blood rushing to her face. The rush of blood- only because of that do they call it blush? Harini thought. She carefully tried to pull her tracks down. Vijay sensed Harini’s thoughts and turned his head towards the hospital window, suppressing a smile.
Vijay dropped Harini at her home. Her parents panicked to see her ankles. Vijay explained them in detail and made sure Harini took a day’s off at school that day. He left for his home, to leave for the college.
Vijay made sure he constantly checked on Harini. He texted during the lunch break. He called her once from college.
It was in the night, when Arvind was about to come to Harini’s room, he saw Harini smiling at her mobile. It was a text from Vijay. He had been sending all kinds of feel good and comical texts that day, to keep her mind light and distracted from the pain.
“Hey, I thought you were hurt in ankles. Are you hurt in your temple and gone nuts?”, Arvind pulled her legs.
“What?”, Harini asked in irritated tone.
“What are you smiling at?”, he asked.
“Nothing. My friend, he.. err.. she sent me a joke”, as she spoke, she deleted Vijay’s thread completely, in fear of being scrutinized by her brother.
Harini lied to Arvind about it. If she had treated Vijay just like any other friend of hers she would have opened up. His comforting behavior when she was hurt, his caring attitudes to check on her health throughout the day, made her feel special. She thought Vijay was treating her special.
Harini and Vijay started sharing many special moments together. They spoke to each other at least once a day. They both could sense that they were in verge of building a strong relationship.
It was one cold evening, Arvind was busy watching television. His father, who was working with a client from home, was annoyed by the television sound. He came out from his room just to see his son lazily lying on the sofa and switching channels.
“Can you please take life a bit more serious?”, he shouted at his son.
“What dad?”, Arvind gave a wry smile.
“Enough . You don’t have to mock at me. Your sister would be joining college the coming year. Being two years senior, please try to complete engineering at least before her. Try to study and clear your arrears.”
Arvind broke into laughter.
“Your daughter? Is she going to pursue engineering?”, he continued to laugh.
“Stop it. I know she has some other dream.
Those are practically impossible. Harini will obey me. She will do engineering”, his father spoke in haste and left the living room.
Arvind looked at Harini who was standing near her room entrance, stuck to door in grief. She wanted to become an interior designer. She did not expect her father to stop her dream. She was worried. Suddenly her mobile rang. It was a call from Vijay.
“Hello”, she answered in a sad tone.
“What happened, Harini? You sound dull”, Vijay’s tone saddened too.
Harini narrated her dream to become an interior designer and how her father was against it.
“Hey Harini. How serious are you with this? I mean have you decided where to join for the course. Are you aware of their admission procedures?”
“Of course. I am aiming in joining at IIAD, Indian institute of Arts and Design, where I would study interior decoration for two years.
The Admission procedures are pretty simple. But once I complete the course, I have to do a certification only after which I will be recognized better”, she spoke in single breathe.
“Don’t worry. We will convince your dad.”
“Wait and watch”, Vijay ended the call.
It was after a couple of weeks, upon constant reminder and insists, Arvind invited Vijay’s family home for a dinner. Vijay, Vidyuth, their mom and dad had come. Arvind’s parents liked Vidyuth very much, right in the first meet. Harini and Vijay did not miss to exchange glances every now and then. While they were casually talking post dinner, Vijay’s father got a call.
“Oh, really”, he was all smiles.
“Convey my best wishes and regards to him. It feels great that you had shared this news.”
“Sure, Sure will convey to my family”, he cut the call.
“It was a call from my brother. Her daughter has become a recognized Interior designer. He wanted to share the good news with me”, he spoke as he placed his mobile on the table.
“An interior designer?”, Arvind’s mom asked in excitement.
“Yes, Madam. It is a highly growing profession now. “, added Vijay’s dad.
“I remember she did her college in II …. “, Vijay’s mom spoke as she fumbled for words. She had forgotten the college name.
“IIT?”, asked Arvind’s dad.
“No. IIAD”, Vijay’s dad completed.
“Oh my god. I cannot believe this. Is that a good college? My daughter wants to study there. I really do not see big scope in that field. Hence was asking her to pursue engineering.”, Arvind’s dad exclaimed.
“Sir, please do not think I am poking my nose into your daughter’s career. Interior designing is the fast growing field. Basically being an owner of a company, I can really see how people want their dream houses and offices. Right from hospitals to hotels, interior design has become a must, to attract customers”, Vijay’s dad spoke in true emotion.
Arvind’s dad thought for a while.
As Vijay’s parents boarded their car, Vijay Thanked his dad.
“Thank you Dad. Thank you for cooking up stories about the non-existing brother and his daughter. We had to cook up stories, so that Harini is allowed to pursue her dream.”
“Son, listen. If it had been anything else, I would not have co-operated. But I strongly believe children must be allowed to choose what they excel in, rather than forcing them into what we like. Being a Master degree holder in Mechanical engineering from IIT and a Management degree holder from IIM, I did not force you to take Mechanical. When I asked you, you told ECE was your choice. I thought you would at least aim for joining IIT. But you did not choose it. Now your brother, he is also following your footsteps. But I am not at all disappointed with this. I am happy I Gave my children their freedom.” Vijay’s dad spoke in true emotion.
Later that night, Vijay received a call from Harini.
“Gee… Vijay…. Thank you”, he could sense the excitement in her voice.
“Why thanking me?”, Vijay suppressed a smile.
“Come on. Don’t be modest. It was just because of you my Dad is re-considering his decision. Also convey my special wishes to your cousin.”
Vijay laughed. ”Such a cousin does not exist. That was a story to make your dad re-consider his decision.”
“You did so much for me? To make my dream come true? “, Harini was emotional.
“Anything for you, Harini. I would love to carry your dreams on my shoulders and brighten your future. I wish I could walk in the direction where your eyesight points to.”
There was a long pause. Harini was not sure how to react. She was overwhelmed by how Vijay had been trying to make her successful. Vijay broke the silence.
“Good night, Harini. Sleep well.”
“Good night Vijay, Bye.”
As they ended the call, Harini edited Vijay’s name in her mobile. She renamed it as ‘MyLife’. Vijay had already renamed her contact as ‘MyLove’. ***
To be continued....