Its a day of small crushes. First a guy from my class, and then a tiny thing who lives in my building.
Scene I: Small Classroom. Me alone with another guy who I consider pretty intelligent. AC whirring away softly in the background. I'm immersed in my flashcards while he is clicking away on his PC.
Him: So you are a Jain right??
Me: Ummm, yeah..
Him: Are you fasting??
(Its the Jain religious festival going on, where poeple try and have fasts in which you can have nothing but boiled water.)
Him: I'v done two fasts in a row in past. But I cant do any now.
Him: How many have you done??
Me: I'v done an Athai. (Eight continuous fasts only on water all through.)
Him: Oh wow! Wow. Maybe I should touch your feet and all.
(I look horrified and turn away)
Him: So, are you shwetambari?? (That's the sect which wears white clothes only)
Him: Yeah?? wow, so are you Deravasi?? (Temple Visiting section)
Me: No, I'm Sthanakvasi. (Uhh... Non-temple visiting)
Him: Really?? Murtipoojans?? (Idol - worshippers)
Him: Wow. WOW. WOWWW. Me too(The gleam in his eyes say: my mom is gonna be soo pleased). I have never seen a girl like you in our caste yaar. You should participate in the caste functions and such. You'd stand out among all of them. M god!!
Me: Errr... No thanks. I'm sure there are a lot of city girls who are interested in such things.
Him: No way, I know all the girls who take part in these things. They wont be able to stand near you. You are sooo talented, soo intelligent, soo graceful, soo beautiful.
Me: Ummm, I'm sure there are a million girls better you know. (Get off my case!!)
Him: No there are not really. You must meet.. (before he can say my mom, I interrupt)
Me: Uhh actually, my mom dad are jains and sthanakvasi and terapanthi and everything. I dont believe in all this. I'm an atheist. I just do all this for my parent's sake and to test my will-power.
(His face has deflated like a pricked balloon's)
Scene II: The doorbell to me home rings. I open and see vacuum. I look down and see the tiny grandson of a neighbor looking up at me.
Him: Uhh.. do you have a geometry box??
Me: (Grinning) I doubt.
Him: Can we.. I mean can you check??
Me: Uh sure. One sec.
(I go inside my room, and hunt for one, but ofcourse I dont find it)
Me: No sorry, I have a Rounder but not the entire box.
Him: Uhh.. That will do.
Me: (raising one eyebrow) Ok, I'll just go get it.
(He smiles sillyly)
Me: Here you go.
Him: Thank you
(I'm waiting for him to leave so I can shut the door, and he is taking all his time to tie his shoes up while looking into my eyes all the time, which he removes for what reason I dont understand since he was standing outside the door all the time.)
Finally he turns and goes down the stairs, but he turns around just as I shut the door. He smiles yet again, a yearning sort of a smile.
After a few minutes, the doorbell rings again.
Him: (Handing me the rounder) Thank you.
Me: Its all right.
Him: Ummm.. uhh..
Him: Uhh.. Can I..
Me: (eager to shut the door again) You want the rounder keep it.
Him: Umm.. yeah. K. Umm.. Can I... haveyourcellnumberplease.. umm please??
Me: Does your mom want it??
Him: Umm.. no. I will buy a cell soon. (He is 10 years old, and I'm sure he's not getting a cell for a long long time)
Me: Why dont you get a cellphone and then I'll give you my number. Fine??
Him: I can call you from my landline till I'm living at Nani's house.
Me: Umm. Kiddo, (his face falls) why would you want to call me?? Call someone your age no??
Him: I'm not a kid.
(he shows no signs of wearing his shoes, or leaving)
Me: That's not an issue. Is ther something bothering you that you want to talk about??
Him: Umm.. yeah.. There is. (doubtful)
Me: yeah?? (Challengingly) What is it??
Him: umm.. ahhh..
Me: If you want my cell number your mother will give it to you. Is that alright??
Me: Ok bye!
(I shut the door without him wearing his shoes!! He looks into my eyes one last time, from deep inside his thick glasses. And smiles ruefully)
I chuckle behind the closed door, and my mom who was sitting too far into the hall to hear the conversation looks at me questioningly. Shrug. Chuckle.