I had noticed from the time I got off the bike that Nikhil was staring at me.
“Nikhil bhaiyya, This is Nina” Arjun introduced. He just nodded his head and said hello.He continued to sit on the railings. I wasn’t sure if Nikhil knew about Beautiful Eyes and me. What do I tell him?
I looked at him hoping I could read his eyes. Our eyes met and he looked away immediately. I had no idea what he was thinking.
All I wanted to do was to clarify the fact that Arjun wasn’t my boyfriend.There were so many instances I had the chance to tell everyone that Arjun wasn’t my boyfriend. Like when Anil Kumar, super senior from Gujarat asked
“Nina how did your family react when they knew you are dating a hindu guy, that too a conjuced marwadi?”
I wanted to say I am not dating a Marwadi, but when I looked at Arjun and noticed how happy he was at that moment, I couldn’t simply take away that happiness he had. I couldn’t simply embarrass him in front his friends.
I could always explain to Beutiful eyes this was all a mistake, but could Arjun walk with his head held high, if I tell his friends the truth?
Don’t I owe him that much after all that he has done for me and my family?
I hated being obligated to anyone. If Amma hadn’t gone to Arjun’s house, perhaps none of this would have happened. Arjun wouldn’t have felt the need to take care of me and protect me.
‘Nina, stop blaming your mother for everything. Weren’t you two timing Arjun before Amma went to his house?’ Sensible one admonished me
‘Shut up. You won’t understand anything’ I hissed
‘Ha!’ She laughed
But there was some truth in what the sensible one spoke. Wasn’t there? I never told Arjun even once that I was not in love with him. I was afraid then like I am now that I would hurt his feelings.
I didn’t understand why everyone was staring at me. Then I heard Arjun speak
“She is very shy Anil bhaiyya. Actually her folks are pretty cool. They didn’t mind at all that I am a Marwari” Arjun spoke
‘Pretty cool? My family? You have no idea.’ I thought of telling that to Arjun. But it was still not the right time to say so
Chalo, let us go. the movie would start any minute now” Anil Kumar checked his watch and spoke
“We didn’t buy ticket” I spoke
“Oh Nina, Don’t worry about that. Arjun had already given us money to buy the ticket. See!” Anil Kumar took the tickets out from his pocket and showed. “Your man is very efficient. No?” Anil Kumar asked
I didn’t want to answer. I smiled instead.
“Come” Arjun held me by waist and started to walk towards the theatre
‘Don’t touch me’ I wanted to scream. But the words never came out. I pushed Arjun’s hand away. He was staring at me, then he started to laugh
“Oh Nina, don’t worry They won’t mind if I hold you” Arjun pointed to his friends.”You don’t have to feel shy. Everyone know that you are my girl friend”
Arjun tried to hold my hand.
“no” I spoke finally mustering enough courage to speak what is on my mind.
“ok, ok” Arjun spoke. He was still laughing. “My God Nina, you are so shy”
I didn’t bother to reply.
I didn’t know how was I going to gt out of this mess. But I knew I will have to tell Arjun the truth. I couldn’t ell him before the exams. I didn’t want to be the reason he failed the patho and micro. Already he failed Pharmacology because of me. His family depended on him to finish medicine and start earning money.
I will tell him after the microbiology exams. I had to
Meanwhile I hoped Beautiful Eyes would have enough common sense to know that this was all lies. He knows how much I love him, doesn’t he?
He knows. I knew he knows.
I stared at the images in the screen. I had no idea what I was watching and was just so relieved when the ,movie finally got over.
“So what is your plans?” One of the seniors asked Arjun
Arjun looked at me
“I have to go back home. I don’t want to be late” I spoke
“ok” Arjun nodded his head
“You guys carry on, I will drop her home and will come back”
I heard them discuss which pub is better.
I just wanted to go home, so I walked towards Arjun’s bike and stood next to it, hoping he would understand that it is getting late.
Finally Arjun said his bye and walked towards me
“Why didn’t you stay with me there?” Arjun asked
I shrugged my shoulders
“You are my girlfriend, you have to stand with me” he spoke
“Can we go now?” I asked him
“Why are you so mad?”
“Because my mother would eat my brain , if I am late”
“But you are with me Nah?”
“Never mind” Arjun got on his bike and started it. He accelerated the bike even before I had a chance to sit properly. I had to hold him to get my balance. When I realized what I had just done, I took my hands off immediately and started to hold the sides of the seat to get my balance.
He didn’t even apologize.
He rode the bike like a maniac, zipping over every single speed breaker.
I was just so angry with him for the way he was acting. When he stopped in front of my house, I got off quickly and opened the gate
He could go to hell for all I care. I had no intention of saying bye to a rude and arrogant person.
I opened the door to Find Amma and Liza standing near the kitchen door
nee avaney kettan ullla paripadi aa Are you going to marry him?”
“See Amma. see how innocent she is acting” Liza spoke
I had no idea what my mother and my sister was talking about. My head was still full of anger and remorse for trying to protect the feelings of a moron like Arjun
“I asked Are you going to marry Arjun?” Amma asked this time in English
“No” I replied
kalli, pacha kalli (liar, big time liar) Amma was screaming.
I knew it wasn’t the ideal moment for Tharuthala (talk back). But I had enough of everyone. So I asked
pazhutha kalli illarunno?”
“You are talking back? How old are you? You should be ashamed of yourself”
Amma spoke
“She is right Nina” It was Liza’s turn to be a goody good two shoes
I didn’t respond. I wanted to be able to go to my room and shut the door and get away from everyone. But that was the problem. I had no room.
My head was splitting and my mother was bent up on making my headache worst.
“Have you thought about your sisters? Who would marry them if you marry Arjun? How could you be so selfish Nina?”
“Then why did you go to Arjun’s house and borrow money Amma?”
Pinney njan enna cheyyana?” (Whatelse could I do?)” Amma asked
pinney njan enna cheyyana Amma?” I asked her. Hoping she would know the trouble that she had put me in to. But I knew my Amma considered herself to be a paragon of virtues. She could never do anything wrong. She only had the best interest of her children at all times! What was I trying to prove?

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