Saturday, November 26, 2011


Eventually as the days went by, the angry young man in Varun Bhai disappeared and in came the lover boy Chintu Kapoor i.e. Rishi Kapoor. The romantic ‘‘Mansoon’’ season was full on. Love was in the air everywhere and this time Varun Bhai was in love, yes could you believe it? Varun Bhai had a crush on one of our classmates who sat in the adjacent row, two benches in front of Varun Bhai. Her name was Neha; she was exactly opposite to Varun, not only in terms of sex, but also in terms of studies and beauty. We were not concerned as to how and when did Varun Bhai fall in love with Neha. However, for us the fact was that Varun Bhai was in love and being more of his followers than friends, we had to blindly support him. Although we were quite clear that someday the sky may come down, bulls may give milk, Monday might come before Sunday, but one thing could never happen is, Neha accepting the proposal of Varun Bhai.

The steady drops of rain produced a melodious music as it dropped down on the window roof, trees and ground. Occasionally with the breeze, the drops of water entered through the window. Our seats were besides the window giving us an opportunity to enjoy the rain while the boring classes were in progress. The outer scenery of people carrying umbrellas along with beautiful chicks was much more fascinating than the inside one and therefore most of the time we respected Mother Nature over the non-stop lecture!

“Bryan, lean down. I need to see my Neha peacefully,” Varun Bhai ordered from behind.
‘‘My Neha’’, was how he always addressed her as if he was the father of that girl. It was a signal to everyone as if copyrights been registered under his name. Slowly the whole class came to know about it and no one even dared to go close to her, not even girls!
Varun Bhai sat behind me in the left corner while Neha sat in the next row to my right . Therefore unintentionally I was falling between Varun Bhai and Neha which I rectified by correcting my posture. Every day I had to sit in a lean position as if I allowed Varun Bhai to screw me from the back. My back pained like a hell but I still never dared to object.

Once, we suggested a plan to Varun Bhai after checking his horoscope in the newspaper. It was our daily homework, given by Varun Bhai. On a regular basis we had to inform him if his stars showed any love signs.
“Varun Bhai there is some good news for you. Your star sign suggested ‘‘Love life might take a different mode’’,“ I said.
The statement, as usual, like a typical astrologer’s, was confusing. It carried two meanings, which it often does. Not sure of what mode it was going to take, we decided to settle for the positive one. More or less, we had our own interest behind it. If it worked out with Neha, Varun might get busy with ‘‘his Neha’’ and will spare us from his cage.
The moment I read it early in the morning, my thoughts suggested to me, ‘‘Bryan if ever some good signs were there then they probably were for the million other Sagittarians excluding Varun. Varun was the last on earth to be benefited by this’’. But still we thought of giving it a try.
“Why don’t you write a letter to Neha Bhabi expressing your feelings? When your stars are favouring, we think you should give it a try,” suggested Vicky and we all agreed to it.
“Yes I want to,” said Varun and paused a little before continuing. “But do you think it will work?” Varun Bhai tried to confirm and we all waited anxiously for his approval.
“Of course, Varun Bhai.”We all pushed his thoughts in unison.
“Ok then, take a pen and a paper,” he said as he pulled a notebook from Somu’s hand and tore a page without asking him.
“Give me your Pen Vicky.” Varun Bhai demanded.
“Pen! Are you going to write it with a pen Varun Bhai?”Vicky asked and we looked at him in surprise.
“It’s below your standard Varun Bhai. Writing with a pen is very commonplace which every lover does, so what’s new in it. You should be different Varun Bhai. The letter should be very touchy; it should reflect your bravery. The very glance on the paper should melt her heart.”
I was afraid, as Vicky had given a long speech, which even Indira Gandhi would have been proud of. I sat without any clue wondering what it was going to be.
“Then tell me Vicky, how should I write?” Varun asked in a confused tone.
“With your blood Varun Bhai.” We were taken aback as Vicky said so. How could he suggest something so weird and so painful? I visualized Varun bhai crying out in pain, squeezing out blood from one of his fingers while still continuing to write.
“That’s a good idea Vicky,” Varun agreed.
I could not believe that Varun was actually ready to cut his finger.
However, we were wrong; Varun was smarter than what we thought. He removed a blade from his compass box and flicked it one, two and three on each one of our fingers, and blood spouted out even before we could express our pain.
Three different words of pain from three different mouths. Somu and I gave a furious look at Vicky gnashing our teeth. What on earth made him to suggest that injudicious plan?
“Don’t worry guys, it won’t pain a lot. Everybody squeeze your finger and collect the blood on the desk while Vicky you dip the pen and write the letter for me,” Varun said with ease.
“If it was so painless then why didn’t he cut off his own hand?” As usual I didn’t say a word, as I did not want Varun Bhai to cut my other finger as well.
Vicky was good at writing. His language and ability of expressing was better than ours, while Varun Bhai was hopelessly dumb. I wished someday someone comes and make him realize how dumb he was. However, the fact was that at the present moment we all were sitting like dumb folks squeezing our finger and feeling the pain.
Vicky wrote a beautiful letter, which read…

Darling Neha,
Least aware of the fact, when you sit lonely listening to the lecture, an unknown person keeps on staring at you, dreaming about you, and appreciating you, is me. When you look outside the window and watch the birds flying high, then the sun after burning that shines for you is me. When you write the exam, the answer that makes you pass, is me. When you chat with your friends, the smile that makes you look more beautiful is me.

Can you guess who it is? Knock your heart and ask. The reply that comes is me, yes it’s me yours and only yours, Varun.

I Love You Neha. If not me then the pain hidden in the letter written by my spouted blood will let you know that ‘‘Neha I Love you’’.
Yours Lovingly,

The letter was very expressive. If not Varun, then the letter would work for him. Varun Bhai handed it to Somu who was then to act like a postman. Somu knew that Neha would kill him and the situation might worsen if she reports it to the principal; so what he had to do was act smartly.
“VV V..a..rrun…”
The voice hardly came out of Somu’s mouth as Varun stood like a predator in front of him.
“wwwhat am am I I saying, see see if I gg go and give tt this letter to your Neha then she might doubt yy your bravery and might think that you are a coward. Why don’t you gg go and gg give it to her?”Somu said stammering with fear.
“I think you made a valid point, I will go myself,” Varun agreed.
Recess bell rung and we all went to the men’s room where we helped our romantic hero with his make up.

“Let’s move guys…” Varun Bhai uttered in his firm and confident words as he moved giving a final touch by running his wet fingers over his hair. We followed Varun Bhai to watch all the drama live and exclusive.


The craze of Neha was out of Varun Bhai’s mind for a few days, which narrowed our chances of getting out of Varun Bhai’s life, until from somewhere Varun Bhai got this information.
“Guys bring your ears close to me.”
We all were ready with our ears offered to Varun Bhai; probably for a slap.
“Guys I have come to know that Neha’s birthday falls on the 13th of this month. I have my final chance to impress her.”

Though the unlucky date had suggested everything, we still decided to support Varun Bhai.
“I have my final chance to impress her, so I am thinking of impressing her with a gift. But I am confused. What should I gift her? You have to make some suggestions.”
Different options were offered such as ladies’’ purse, lipstick, make up box, etc. but finally we settled for a bouquet of flowers when Vicky told us girls like flowers a lot and it touches their heart directly.
“Ok then. We will go with flowers.” approved Varun Bhai.
Everything seemed fine except for the date which fell on a Sunday. It meant either we drop our plan or visit her home, though the first one looked much easy. However, this time Varun had made up his mind to impress Neha. He wouldn’t have let it go easily just for a stupid day.
“No guys. No matter what happens we will go together at her house.”
We all looked at each other’s faces as we tried to figure out whose would be girlfriend was she and why the hell Varun Bhai wanted us to get into this crap.
“Ok Varun Bhai.” We had to agree.

On the following Sunday morning, skipping my Sunday mass, I was with Varun Bhai holding an umbrella against the heavy rain, half covering myself but fully covering him along with the other two preys as we headed towards the flower shop.
“Bhaiya how much for that?” asked Varun wiping away droplets of rainwater from his face and pointing at a beautiful bouquet of pink and white lilies.

“Rs 50,”answered the vendor as he was busy arranging flowers under the plastic shade in front of his shop. We tried hard to fit ourselves under the artificially created roof trying to save ourselves from the heavy rain.
“50 Rs looks so cheap! After all it is for my Neha. It should carry some value,” Varun Bhai said and we all nodded.
“What about that, that big one?” asked Varun Bhai as he spotted a big almost three feet bouquet full of pink and red roses, white daffodils and pink lilies. It indeed was beautiful but also indeed very big; one which would have been best for a funeral. I thought Varun Bhai must have had some alternate plans for it. If something or the other goes wrong which obviously was very likely to happen, then the same flowers could help in our funeral.
“Rs 100,” the vendor replied.
“But it is too big Varun Bhai,” said Somu. I guess Somu thought the same thing which I was thinking.
“Shut up anna, you hardly know about girls,” Varun Bhai chided Somu as if he had obtained a degree on this. Don’t know about degree but he had a stamp on his face approved by Neha.
“Make it for Rs 90 Bhaiya,” Varun Bhai bargained.
The sale was fixed and the vendor handed it over to Varun.
“Give me Rs 30 each,” Varun Bhai commanded.
What for? I would have asked but removed a Rs 50 note from my pocket and handed it to him expecting to get Rs 20 in return, which I never got. Somu and Vicky smartly handed Rs 30 each. A chocolate was bought from that extra 20 rupees, which, in short, I should say, my 20 rupees. I thought if this were the case then I would have managed to steal different varieties of fresh, colourful and sweet scented flowers from our neighbour Shantilal’s garden which he maintained behind of our building.
“Ring the bell,” commanded Varun Bhai as we stood in front of Neha’s door shivering (not knowing whether we were shivering from the cold because of our drenched bodies or from fear .) with Varun holding the big bouquet labelled ‘‘With Love, Varun’’ which had covered half of his body. With his front vision blocked due to the bouquet, Varun Bhai commanded me to ring the doorbell; my legs were shaking assuming the dreadful consequences of our imprudent act.
As soon as I rang the doorbell, off we ran, all three of us, in a split of a second leaving Varun Bhai alone, who stood like a stupid moron carrying the big bouquet. For the present moment the most dreadful fear over Varun Bhai was in the form of Neha’s parents.
We ran hard until we found a comfortable place behind a tree