As usual, Vijay, Rajesh, and Priya were studying together at Priya’s home. But it seemed that Priya was not paying any attention to studies at all. From the corners of her eyes she was, time and again, glancing at Vijay. At first Vijay did not realize this since he was deeply engrossed in his study but after a long time he sensed something different happening and soon he discovered Priya constantly glancing at him. Vijay tried to ignore it or at first he even pretended to have noticed it but soon he too was unable to concentrate since Priya continued to glance at him repeatedly.
Now Vijay too could not focus on his studies and once he caught Priya red-handed, as though she was stealing something, and asked, ‘Priya, what is this happening today?’.
‘What? Nothing!’, Priya shrugged her shoulders and started reading her notes as if nothing was happening.
Now even Rajesh’s attention was disturbed and he asked, ‘What happened?’.
Finding that nobody was answering his question, Rajesh continued studying again but when Vijay discovered that still Priya had continued glancing at him clandestinely he warned Priya, ‘It seems your mind has gone helter-skelter today and you are unable to control it!’.
‘Oh! That means you do sense my feelings!’, Priya passed a taunt to Vijay.
‘Why? Why can’t I sense your emotions? Am I any mechanical device like a senseless machine?’, Vijay hit back at Priya.
‘No! But I thought that you are indeed a machine, with the only difference of, a machine made of bones and flesh!’, Priya retorted.
Rajesh’s concentration was completely disturbed by this intriguing talk between Vijay and Priya. He annoyingly sought to know, ‘May I know what is this going on between both of you?’.
‘Rajesh! Do you know what happened yesterday night?’, Priya seized the opportunity to disclose.
‘How will I get to know what happened yesterday unless you tell me that?’, Rajesh made a fun of Priya.
Priya ignored his jocular remark and continued telling, ‘Yesterday night I heard the noise of our gate being opened while I was busy studying!’.
‘Some thieves must have tried to enter!’, Rajesh interrupted Priya.
‘Will you please listen to me completely!’, Priya argued.
‘Fine! Fine! You complete your story without my interruption!’, Rajesh conceded.
‘So what was I telling?, Yes, yesterday night when I was studying, I heard the sound of our gate being opened. So I saw from the window that Vijay was coming’, Priya said.
‘What?, There you are! My dear friend, Vijay! Yesterday evening when I enquired whether you are interested to join me for watching a movie, you refused under the pretext of studying and now I know why you refused!’, Rajesh pinched at Vijay.
‘Yesterday night I had come at your home! What nonsense!’, Vijay said surprisingly.
‘Will you please listen to me what happened next? Will you both please remain quiet?’, Priya pleaded before them.
‘I came out to receive Vijay since I saw him coming but after coming out I was astonished to see the gate was closed and above all there was nobody there!’, Priya explained.
‘Hey! Wait! I will tell you what is all this!’, Rajesh quickly tried to interrupt.
‘What?’, Priya replied.
‘It must the ghost of Vijay’, Rajesh taunted by laughing at both of them, ‘that you got to see from window!’.
‘Rajesh! Don’t talk foolish! I am serious about I told you now!’, Priya angrily said.
‘It happens this way sometimes’, Rajesh tried to get serious with Priya, ‘while studying you must have felt dizzy and you must have seen this dream!’.
‘No! No! It was definitely not a dream at all!. I myself feel surprised nowadays but this is what is happening with me every now and then!. Day and night Vijay keeps appearing before my eyes!’, Priya replied.
‘But does this keep happening only about Vijay?’, Rajesh mischievously asked.
‘Yes! You are right! This happens only about Vijay!’, Priya confirmed.
‘Do you know when does this happen?’, Rajesh smiled and asked.
‘When does it happen?’, Vijay joined the discussion.
‘When……Somebody falls in love!’, Rajesh smiled and concluded.
Priya felt blushed and she started looking down.
‘Nonsense! There is nothing call ‘Love’ etc!. It is, but, a one type of mental weakness!, and sickness also!’, Vijay analyzed.
Priya raised her head and looked angrily at Vijay.
‘Hey! Why are you looking at me like this? Are you going to butcher and eat me!’, Vijay taunted in a tone of mischief.
Priya once again started looking down.
Rajesh once again opened his mouth to tease Priya but seeing sorry feelings on Priya’s face he restrained himself and said to Vijay, ‘When one does not understand certain emotions, one must not at least ridicule them’.
‘Master Rajesh, bloody you keep running behind the shadow of that fatty? Now you tell me honestly whether you have a genuine love for her in your mind or it is only a physical attraction?’, Vijay angrily asked.
Priya started going from there angrily banging her steps on floor and both, Vijay and Rajesh kept looking at her in a surprised manner.
Therefore, Priya herself, turned back and said, ‘I am going to get a cup of tea!’.
‘First of all I have told you several times not to call her fatty!’, Rajesh angrily warned Vijay, ‘It hurts me severely!’.
‘It hurts me!’, Vijay sarcastically repeated Rajesh’s words and said, ‘Show me where does it exactly hurt you friend!’.
‘Vijay please! Stop it!’, Rajesh replied.
‘Ok! I’m sorry!, but at least answer my question honestly! You genuinely love her or is it only a physical attraction!’, Vijay was not going to spare Rajesh without obtaining the answer of this root question.
‘I cannot say it so clearly!. There is some love mixed with some physical attraction or even some casual feelings!. But all said and done everything sounds really nice and worth craving for!’, Rajesh replied.
‘That means you can call it an utter confusion of emotions!’, Vijay asserted.
‘You won’t understand these emotions! Perhaps, only when you too will fall in love that you will get to experience this!’, Rajesh calmly said.
‘I don’t think that this is possible in my whole life!’, Vijay said.
‘Let us see what happens in future!’, Rajesh challenged.
Then, peeping inside the house, Rajesh said in a low voice, ‘You are really a fool! How the hell you fail to understand that Priya is in love with you!’.
‘She is crazy and is also little talkative! That’s why she keeps churning out words like this!’, Vijay ridiculed Rajesh.
‘Bear one thing in mind Vijay! If you are unable to understand her emotions then you have no right to ridicule her emotions!’, Rajesh warned.
‘Then what do you think am I suppose to do?’, Vijay asked.
Rajesh kept mum over this.
‘Shall I induce her further and deviate from my goal! Is even she not going to suffer then in all this mess?’, Vijay ruthlessly asked.
‘This means you too understand her emotions to some extent!’, Rajesh smilingly asked.
‘They are not emotions but only a confusion of feelings!. And above all nobody can deviate me from my aims!’, Vijay once again confidently replied.
‘Do whatever you want man! But at least don’t hurt her!. That is all I want to say for the time being!’, Rajesh sought to finally advice Vijay.
Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode
English Version by Girish Katre (GirishKatre@gmail.com)