Posts Tagged ‘High school’


Tree of love

Image by Mozzer502 via Flickr

 

 

She was six, when she first came to a sleepy neighborhood in a small town in Mysore. And it didn’t take her much time to liven up the town. It wasn’t particularly her wish to change anything- but it was due to the playfulness she seemed to awaken in the people around her. Nobody had taken more than five seconds to say, “So Cute!” to her and pinch her large white cheeks.

Though she had to perennially endure burning red cheeks throughout her childhood, the cuteness had its perks. People would bring her chocolates, cookies, cakes, pastries and all the exotic sweets- as if she was their own daughter. She always seemed to bring out the “Let’s Party!” emotion in the adults around her and almost always parties ensued. She would sing, she would dance, and she would clap, and jump, and fall- all, as requested by the many laughing care-free adults around her. She seemed to absorb this carefree attitude- or was it her own, to begin with? Whatever the case was, it didn’t really matter- at least not when she was six. Soon she’d do more than just sing and dance and laugh and clap and jump and fall- she’d start delivering love letters.

Her name was Sharmila and she was the town’s love messenger. A kid of the conservative 90s, she was part of a town where most boys found it tough to talk with the girls they liked. Asking out for a date was a concept straight out of a sci-fi movie for them.

But boys will be boys. They prayed, requested for knowledge transfer from their helpless seniors and tried imaginary love-potions; they did many brain-storming meetings in the last benches during the class- and found the answer to their prayers- Sharmila. After all, isn’t there a saying- Use poison to break poison? Only a girl could break a girl! Sharmila was cute- and if she ever delivered a love letter to you, even if you were a girl, the least you were supposed to do was to read the letter and give a reply, preferably in another letter. Of course, writing your reply using the scented pen and the pink paper was optional- naturally, both the scented pen and blank Pink paper come with the love letter being delivered to you. And giving a blank pink paper with a scented pen to a girl in those days can be compared to giving a mobile phone with unlimited talk-time to any such girl today. And thus, the combination of love letter, plus a blank pink paper, plus a scented pen, plus the charm of Sharmila always ensured a reply.

Sharmila enjoyed all the attention she got from the boys wanting her to deliver their love-letters. Her services were the best in town- and she guaranteed a reply from the girl. And she did all this, for free. Though the boys did give her sweets and ice creams and all other sorts of bribes they could afford, it was also true, that people gave her far better sweets just for clapping and singing. In that sense she was the richest kid in town- she could play with any toy and get any sweet- and she didn’t have to cry for them like most other kids. She was the darling of the town and she was never, what some boys notoriously call, high-maintenance.

By the time she retired from her first job of delivering love letters at the age of 11, she had delivered 399 love letters- and got 399 replies and started a new field in Modern fortune-telling called Papistry. In that town in Mysore, she’s called the Prophet of Papistry who brought 230 positive replies from the Almighty Girls. Her success was probably better than the town’s marriage bureau.

Though Sharmila cannot be credited with the opening up of this new stream in Fortune-telling- she was no doubt, the cause of this Papistry. The term Papistry was coined by her first customer- Sriram. He said, “Just like the random lines on your palm, written by Destiny, can tell your future- in the same way, the pink paper brought by Sharmila, is written by your Destiny. And this pink letter contains glimpses from your future- and I call the Science of reading such Pink Papers as Papistry!”

When Sharmila first heard this from Sriram she said, “It makes sense. But why does it sound so tasty?”

“Ah, it rhymes with Pastry!” said Sriram.

“I see…”

And thus began the legend of Papistry in a sleepy town in Mysore.

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I could clearly see the spark I was so familiar with, in her eyes. She was not the real girl I once knew- but even God couldn’t have done a better job at recreating her, the way these scientists had done. She was the first human clone of the world- the clone of the most famous Indian Actress, Aabha- the same Aabha I knew from my childhood days. The same Aabha who is to marry some businessman in a few days…

“You’re very funny and romantic” she said between her guffaws.

“Seems like you liked that story…” I said with a smile.

“They told me you were funny, but they didn’t tell me that you were this cute! I was underprepared- I’m totally bowled over by you…”

“Stop hitting on me, Aabha_639!”  said I winking at her.

“Aabha_639? Call me something else!” she said, “Even if I’m her clone, I certainly don’t have her personality or her memories and I certainly do not want to have her name! Give me a new name, I say! I don’t like the name Aabha!”

“My name is also Aabha!” I said. The famous actress-my childhood huh, friend and me shared the same name- Aabha. Fate plays dirty tricks- the one name you want to forget, is splashed all over the world- even in your birth certificate & driving License! Frankly, I too started to hate the name of Aabha…

“Aah Aabha! Yes! Aabha & Aabha- Classmates for 5 years. The school legends… I forgot to ask you all about it… Tell me the whole story! I want to hear the untold story…”

“I am supposed be analyzing you and not vice versa” I smiled.

“What’s your analysis so far?”

“Hmmm, you look exactly like her, you have copied her body language well… but you don’t talk like her at all…”

“Then tell me all about her! And if I knew more about her, then maybe I can talk like her, act like her… Please tell me…”

I looked in her eyes. The spark that always drew me near Aabha, that made me do anything for her, was there, in her clone as well.  Was this just coincidence? That the scientists had made her clone days before her marriage? Was there a big picture I was not aware of? If there was one thing that I was never sure of, it was Aabha. How did I feel about her? What should I have done? And what not? What should I say to her? If I should speak to her at all? Did I still love her? I was confused. These were not logical questions for the brain, but these were emotional questions of a hurt heart…

I looked at her again. Her eyes induced me to talk. I wanted to get it off my chest at least once in my life… Would I feel miserable that I let out the secret details of a friend, that might hurt her image, if leaked to the media, or would I feel relieved, that I got everything about my crush, out in the open with another human, well, in this case, a clone?

I wanted to feel relieved. I needed closure.

“You promise you’ll keep the details of our talks a secret?” I asked her.

She nodded excitedly.

“Once upon a time…” I began dramatically.

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