## The start
’57 runs and all out!’ screeched Raajan
‘Huh, told you the hard mode’s gonna kill your arrogance!’ i said
‘yeah I get it now but this is ridiculous!’
We were in the Kolkata, Raajan and I. Raajan Hor is my cousin, my father’s sister’s son. He was a year older than me. We were playing EA Cricket on the computer. He was playing a match while i went through his mobile phone. He had gained quite a lot of contacts after he shifted to Orissa due to his father’s transfer. He was here for the weekend. It’s mobile data was on. A message came. It came from a girl named Priya Yamini. Who was this? Why was she messaging him? Because the Raajan i knew never even had the courage to ask a girl her name.
‘What was that sound?’ Raajan asked
‘Nothing nothing’ I said
‘come on don’t try fooling me, my phone received a message right?’
‘no no it’s mine. Look out the bowler’s about to bowl!’
‘oh shit! Damn it’s a hit wicket!’
I was successful in fooling him. I read the whole conversation with detail. Analysing each and every text with sheer diplomacy, figuring out the relationship between them. And my deduction was that Raajan had a crush on her!
‘so this us our brotherhood?’ I said
‘huh? What are you talking about?’ Raajan said, still busy playing.
‘what’s this?’ i said showing him the message.
‘you! How dare you?’
‘How dare i? How dare you? You hid this from me? Me? Your brother?’
We were now running around the house tossing object aside recklessly. Raajan reached out for the phone but he never got it. Over the couch and table i went to keep the phone with me.
‘give it back her!’ said Raajan breathing heavily
‘no i won’t’ i said
‘i’ve got to reply to her! Or else she’ll think i am ignoring her’
‘on one condition!’
‘yeah whatever i know the drill! Tell you everything and all. I was going to tell you today anyway!’
‘go ahead and message her then’
I tossed the phone to him. He caught it in a flash and he then he typed like a maniac as if every second mattered. i waited eagerly for their texting to end and finally after about half an hour they bid each other farewell. Now Raajan jee finally had the time to explain all the fuss.
‘So tell me the story’ i said
‘Sure. Well i really like her’ Raajan said
‘does she know?’
‘Maybe she does’
‘do you look at her and smile like an idiot and wave?’
‘Idiot! Those are the tell-tale signs that you like her! By this time even her friends must have known that you like her’ i said scolding him.
There was silence now. Raajan looked like he had been slapped right across the face with snd iron saucepan. I had to calm him down by saying something. Even if it would be a lie.
‘chill bro. In most cases the girl’s whole gang knows that the boy likes her except the girl herself. So there is still chance.’ i said in a calming tone.
‘Really?’ Raajan said
‘yes of course. Jusy don’t act any more foolish’
It was almost evening now and the sun had almost set. The sky was red and i sat on the window pane, thinking about being single my whole life. I had been sent to a boarding school in Guwahati. I was just in the third standard. Staring at girls was illegal there but we didn’t have enough time and bravery for that while Raajan knew the taste of female company from the beginning. While the one and only female friend i had was Rashmi, with whom i used to play when i was very young. Now there’s no contact between us. I never liked a girl before and i had no idea what being in a relationship was like. But surprisingly i gave excellent relationship advice. Witnessing the beautiful sight i had almost forgotten about the huge maths homework i had to do. I pulled back my legs which where hanging from the grille. I sat on the desk and tried to concentrate.
I had spent 2 hours doing my homework and a little bit of extra study for the next day. It was time for some fun now it was only 8 o’clock in the evening. I joined Raajan in the living room. He was watching a television show.
‘Come on let’s go outside’ i said
‘it’s my favorite show!’ Raajan said
‘you don’t come her often, but the shows gonna be telecasted again’
‘True. Alright let’s go’
We took permission from my mother, put on slippers and set off for an evening troll. The campus was huge and lots of people would some out at this time. We would find some friends too. We encountered our old friends Faizal, Meghna and Manish. We chatted a bit and they asked about the sudden disappearance of Raajan. After a few minutes we were walking again.
‘Do you remember Ashima?’ I asked
‘Yeah how can i forget her’ Raajan said
‘Well she has come back’
‘what are you saying, really?’
‘yeah. Wanna meet her?’
‘Sure definitely. But what would I say to her. It has been 2 years right?’
‘quite a sharp memory regarding first love huh?’ i said sarcastically, chuckling a bit.
‘shut up for God’s sake!’
‘just kidding. You can casually meet her she’ll be happy seeing you.’
‘yeah maybe I should’
We now rerouted our way towards the 3rd division colony. Which was quite far from where we were standing. We were heading towards Ashima Bed’s house, Raajan’s first crush, love or whatever you can think of. It was 8:30 pm now and we were standing at the start of the flight of stairs. Ashima’s house was on the 3rd floor. We were deciding whether or not we should go.
‘You are scared to talk to her? But what about that 15 minute walk we had to do to come all the way here!?’ i said, begin to get a little bit angry.
‘drop the plan we should head back!’ Raajan said, his voice shaking.
‘are you even a man!’
‘don’t even try because it won’t work!’
‘It’s nothing! Why are you so scared?’
‘i have no idea!’
‘Hey Raajan!’ said a feminine voice from the floor above us.
We tried looking at her face, i knew who it was but Raajan had some difficulties recognizing her voice since he had heard after 2 years. It was Ashima.
‘Hey Ashima. Is that you? You have changed!’ exclaimed Raajan
‘Sure i have. 2 years it had been after all’ said Ashima.
‘Yeah 2 years’
I kinda felt the significance of ‘2 years’ here. Ashima had to go to Madhya Pradesh due to her father’s transfer. But to my surprise she came back. Ridiculously bogus in my opinion. 2 minutes of silence engulfed the two of them. They stared into each other’s eyes with such sternness. I felt like a ‘kabab me haddi’. I broke the silence.
‘So Raajan, you talk to Ashima, i’ll be just outside sitting on the bench.’ i said
‘huh? Oh yes sure. If it gets too late you go home i’ll come later.’ Raajan said
I escaped the increasingly awkward situation with ease. I sat on the bench just outside. During those days I had started to feel good when i was alone. I looked up in search of stars but the pollution didn’t allow me to see many except a few. I had just closed my eyes when something rang and vibrated in my pocket. It was Raajan’s phone, he had given it to me on the way as he had no pockets in his pants. It was a call. It was the girl again. Priya Yamini was calling. I was really baffled, i was hesitant to receive the call but not picking up would probably be rude. I picked up after the phone had cried for several long seconds.
‘hello?’ i said
‘umm hello? Raajan?’ she said
I decided to play a bit. I tried making my voice like Raajan’s, and tried talking like he did, the usual fast pace, spitting words swiftly.
‘Yes Priya.’ i said hoping she wouldn’t notice the strange voice.
‘what’s wrong with your voice?’ she asked
‘umm….ice-cream. So voice is messed up a bit’
‘Oh…you sound really strange though. Well anyway how was your day?’
‘Well my day was fantastic’
‘oh really? That’s good. What did Abhishek tell you about the phone raid case?’
Phone raid case? What the heck? I pretended like i knew.
‘yeah well he told me some phones were taken at school’ i said hoping i had said it right
’15’ i was literally praying like a priest now.
‘who are you?’ she said, her voice louder and firmer than before.
I thought i’d better spit the truth out.
‘I am Kartik, Raajan’s brother. He left his phone with me. So I thought i’d have some fun’ i said guiltily
‘I knew from the beginning, Raajan doesn’t have any friends with the name Abhishek. And’
‘there was no phone raid and all. I know’
‘Well then is he coming any sooner?’
‘I don’t think you’ll get to talk to him today.’
‘oh okay then. Just tell him i called’
‘you aren’t angry on me right?’
‘no, just a bit frustrated’
‘Honestly i think you are an idiot’
‘that’s quite common everyone does’
‘well anyways don’t forget to tell him. And don’t ever do this prank on again. Bye’
‘Yes madam. Bye’
She hung up. And i sat there alone smiling. Her voice still echoing in my ears. I didn’t see her, but i could tell she was very beautiful, just from her voice. I had no idea why i was thinking of her in such detail all of a sudden. But her voice, it truly was intoxicating. It was probably the start of something unknown, something big, something Unsaid.