Is it me you’re looking for?
I can see it in your eyes
I can see it in your smile
You’re all I’ve ever wanted
And my arms are open wide
’cause you know just what to say
And you know just what to do
And I want to tell you so much
I love you”
Lionel Richie song.
“Shyama!!” she had delightfully shouted on the phone call, and he just giggled. He loved to tease Vrinda. They had become better pals after school. When they were together in one class, they didn’t stay together and had a very different set of friends. But, when they were just about to complete their schooling, Vrinda had started to wonder how will she meet Shyam, and Shyam used to steal chances to come and see her, on the pretext of an extra class or to exchange notes. Both of them never admitted even to themselves, but lately they were becoming habitual of each other.
Shyam had cleared his entrance examination and managed to grab a seat in an Engineering College at Delhi while Vrinda had struggled to get a seat in Delhi University. Both of them kept exchanging updates regularly on the phone. After all mobile phones were a new and exciting possession. She used to text him casually and he was always there to respond to her. She was always cheerful with him and he was always thoughtful! Although he never missed a chance at pulling her leg subtly. She used to scream out his name “Shyama..” but she gleamed inside for every prank he played.
One day after her college, she asked Shyam to accompany her for shopping. She had always loved to roam around the streets of Janpath and nearby lanes, bargaining and admiring the beautiful little things the vendors had in store. At first he seemed to be awkward with the idea of walking around, he was embarrassed of his limp in the walk, little did he know that she actually found it to be cute. With the passage of time Shyam had also become comfortable in the casual banter of Vrinda, she had a hypnotic effect on him. He used to smile with Vrinda and sulk in her gloom. He was mesmerized with her! Vrinda enjoyed all the attention and totally admired him.
The next day, mustering all his energy he texted her, “I have fallen in love with you Vrinda!”. Shyam was very restless since she hadn’t responded for a long time. Vrinda was in her class when the message came and she didn’t get a chance to go through it. After a long lecture on Heat and Thermodynamics, she checked her phone to see his message. The text had taken her aback and she was just unable to recognize her reaction! Her friends around noticed a sudden change in her gestures and asked her if everything was fine with her. She nodded.
To Shyam, she replied a very naïve “What!?”
Shyam didn’t want their friendship to be affected by this sudden announcement, and in utter confusion, he replied, “Oh, I am sorry, it was a friend who messaged you something. Please ignore whatever he wrote.” Vrinda laughed reading this. “Oh my poor Shyama! What will I do of you!” she thought to herself.
She knew that Shyam was really puzzled with all that had happened. She wanted him to speak out and propose to her with assurance and more confidence. The lack of it showed how vulnerable he was. She used to be so pleased of thinking about his innocence behind it.
A week passed with a distracted Shyam. He hadn’t discussed it again. So one fine day, she playfully asked him,
“Shyama, do you like me?”
“Er.. What kind of a question is that Vrinda? Of course I like you.”
“No, I mean, do you really look forward to be with me?”
“Yeah man! I really enjoy your company, the weird observations you have about people and situations. It amuses me, but I like your take on different things!”
“Well, that was sweet!”
“Why are you asking me all this Vrinda?”
“Nothing, I was just wondering if I am as irritating as I sometimes find myself to be”
“Oh come on! You are adorable Vrinda, just the way you are!”
“So are you, my dear friend, I don’t know what will I ever do without you!”
“You won’t have to.”
She smiled. She had genuinely meant whatever she had said. And he was contended for she had encouraged him to say it out. It was very difficult for him to express himself otherwise. Both of them were lost in their own thoughts and didn’t realize the long pause because of it.
Vrinda revoked the silence and said “Alright then, hope to see you soon.”
“Hey Vrinda!” Shyam interrupted. “Love you!”
With a pulsating heart, he kept down the phone.
Both of their radio sets played that same Lionel Richie song at the wicked hour that night.