‘Teja..’ came my mother’s voice from the kitchen. She asked me to bring two milk packets from the nearby grocery store. ‘Milk packets? Now?’ I thought. This was because, one, my mom was preparing dal makhani and roti, whose aroma had filled the house, and I couldn’t afford to miss even the tiniest pints of it; and two, I was on Facebook searching for a girl whom I had once seen in IIT classes two years ago. Overcoming my unending affection for makhani, and more importantly, restraining myself from the quest for Ms. IIT, I set out on the pursuit of milk packets. I took out my bicycle from the garage, which was under the shroud of dust for many days.
The sky seemed to roar as I stepped out with my engine-less two wheeler. I felt nature too supported me in my internal anti-milk packet protests. The grocery shop was a 5 minute walk from my home; but I could cut short the travel time by 2 minutes with my bicycle. As I rode, cool wind began to blow over my face, and I felt cold drops of water on my skin. I looked up; nature was at its most peaceful and serene behaviours.
‘Two milk packets’, I announced to the shopkeeper and dipped my hand into my pocket to pull out the money. Just then, I saw something, or rather, someone, whose charm dipped me into a river of ecstasy. She looked intelligent in her glasses, pleasing in her attire, confident in her behaviour and lovely with her smile. ‘One kilo tomatoes,’ she said. How much ever a good guy you are, if you end up looking at a pretty girl for too long, you will get caught, I thought. I took the milk packets, paid the shop guy, took my bicycle and moved to a place where Ms. Pretty was clearly visible to me, and I was invisible to everyone else. The way she pushed her hair to the back of her ears created ripples within me, and I could sense the after-bath smell of her even from a distance. As she walked out of the shop, I immediately took my mobile and began to meddle with it, and at the same time had a constant glance at her from the corner of my eyes. I looked up after a few seconds, only to see her disappear in the drizzle.
‘Here..’ Amma placed a plate of rotis and makhani on my table, which was beside the window in my room. I logged onto Facebook on my mobile to continue my quest, as makhani is not the priority when you are searching for a girl. Minutes later, I figured out her profile from her name and school, and an instant friend request went through my fingers. The sky began to roar again, this time in support for my quest. My sight shifted to the outside of the window, and my anxious face received a few drops of rain. And right then my mobile buzzed; one notification. She had accepted. I hurriedly went though her profile to check her pictures (her display picture didn’t consist of her, and my mind only had a faint memory of how she looked). My heart slipped right down to my knees, as I discovered that Ms. IIT was none other than Ms. Pretty. The rain outside grew more intense now. I kept aside my mobile and plunged into my plate. Dal Makhani couldn’t have been better.