“Busy?” Arjun asked.
“No, not really”
“Want to eat something?”
I looked at him to see what exactly was going on? One minute he is pain in the… and the next minute he is an angel with a halo.
“Come, I will buy you dosai” Arjun perhaps saw the confusion on my face.
“It is ok. I will go to the mess and eat”
“Come on Nina, chal let us eat something. I am hungry. I missed breakfast this morning”
I should just leave. I should go to the mess and eat my lunch. I need to walk away from the guy. He is bad news for my mental health. I knew all that.
Arjun put his hand on the small of my back and guided me to the canteen.
“You go and find a place to sit. I will get the food. Masala Dosai and chai?” Arjun looked at me.
I walked towards the table at the back, I had to pass Ramesh. I hoped he wouldn’t see me. I felt guilty when he looked up and our eyes met.

My life sucked.
I never wanted to hurt anyone and all I was doing was hurting everyone. I didn’t want Ramesh to fall in love with me, but I had a strong feeling that he is in love with me. I felt nothing for him. Absolutely nothing. I didn’t want to hurt him, but there was no way I could reciprocate his feelings. He was a wonderful friend and that is all he would be to me.
Arjun came and sat in front of me. He had a Torino bottle in his hand and suddenly I was thirsty.
“Want some?” Arjun passed the bottle towards me.
I couldn’t resist.
I turned the bottle around, consciously avoiding the part where his lips would have touched and took a few sips and passed the bottle back to Arjun.
For so long I had dreamed about sharing a bottle of drink with the man I love. I thought it would be a mind blowing experience.
But I felt nothing.
I need to stop reading Mills and Boon. I thought bitterly.
I remembered my mother complaining about Appa’s idea of ‘Cinema style’ life. My father was a hopeless romantic and my mother was absolutely pragmatic. I was afraid that I was becoming like my father and was going to be disappointed and disillusioned with life.
Canteenwala brought the food and my tea.
I was hungry and i started to eat the dosai. I noticed Arjun had ordered poori masala. He took the chutney bowl out of my plate and started to dip the poori in the chutney.
“You are weird” I told him
“Why? Because I eat poori with chuutney?” Arjun asked.
I nodded my head.
“Have you ever tried?” “Here” Arjun tore a small piece of poori and dipped it in chutney.
I stared at him. What is he going to do? Feed me in front of all the medical students? Is he out of his mind?
Arjun kept the poori in my plate.
“Try it” He ordered.
I was relieved ( may be a little disappointed as well!)
I took the poori and ate it.
It was a very peculiar combination. Poori and coconut chutney.
“Like it?”
“No” I answered honestly.
Arjun shrugged his shoulder as though my response was wrong, as though I don’t know what is good for me and had no clue what I was missing.
I ignored the hidden message.
“So how is your revision coming along?” Arjun asked
“Good” I replied. I wanted to tell him the truth that I only started yesterday, but I knew he wouldn’t be happy with that reply.
“What is your guess for the main questions?” Arjun asked, then he turned and hollered
bhaiyya, one more plate of poori”
If the new arrivals to the canteen hadn’t seen us up until now, they all saw me after the way Arjun hollered.
I was the center of attraction. I looked down and concentrated on the remaining dosai in my plate.
“So what is your guess?”
I remembered Dr. Murthy.
I wanted to tell Arjun what the Pharm main question is going to be. at the same time, i didn’t want to tell him the Dr. Murthy told me the question. Nobody believed that I am capable of getting good marks on my own.
“I am sure cholinergics would be the main question this year” I told Arjun
“Cholinergics? No way. They asked that question two years in a row. There is no way they would ask that a third time”
“No Arjun, I think we should concentrate on Cholinergics?”
“Are you mad or what? Didn’t you hear me? They asked the question twice already. they won’t repeat it. You need to concentrate on other things. I am not studying Cholinergics, it is a waste of time”
You have to. Dr. Murthy told me Cholinergic is the main question. I wanted to tell him. I didn’t. Not because I was selfish. But because I was mad at him for belittling me every time.

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