Good Old University of Delhi
The first time I met Priya, it was on the parapet of the first floor of the Arts Faculty building. It’s always roomy and airy and warm in Art’s Faculty, the sunrays always lighting up the corridors full on the face. I approached her with a smile and said, “Hi”. And she smiled and replied Hi to me. And there was a slight odd moment, and she said, “So would you like to sit down?” And I said, “Yes, I would like to. I don’t feel like attending class now.” And thus we began talking. I told her that I was from Assam when she asked me from where in Northeast I came from. She was from UP, her home was a six-hour ride from Delhi by train, but had grown up at different places because her father’s job took her all over the country. She had large eyes and curly hair, and there was something truly genuine, upright and wholehearted about her. We talked about the novels we liked and how time was flying by, with second-year almost gone and still hardly knowing a quarter of the people in class. That is true, I told her, every day we get to see new faces. So do you like being here in DU?, I asked her. Yeah, it’s nice but I wish there was more room for interaction between the professors and the students. There are just too many students, and we hardly get to know each other in this crowd. Me, I kind of like it, I told her, I always wanted classrooms packed with hundreds of students. For me, the more the merrier. “Have you made lots of friends here?,” she asked. “Yes,” I said, “But one day we are quite close and the next day she has disappeared and I am close with somebody else and then she appears again and then we say hello how are you or not talk at all. It’s just that with the amount of novels and poetry to read and the amount of material to study, it’s just is not possible to devote time for friendship.” Yeah, she said pensively. “What about you?” I asked her, “You got lots of friends?” “No, not much,” she said, “I have a few still from Miranda House, I have Advatta for instance. Do you know Advatta?” “Oh yes, I do. She’s quite a girl. We had Philosophy class together for our optional.” (And that’s how Priya became a god-sent guardian angel for me!) She was best friends with Advatta whom I had feelings for. “Do you have a boy friend?” I asked Priya. “Yes,” she said, “Me and Prabhud have been in a relationship for more than a year now. This December it will be two years.” “Congratulations!” I said, “I haven’t been in any relationship so I don’t know much about it. How is it like, to be in a relationship?” “It has its ups and down. Sometimes you wish you were free and single again, but you know that once you are free and single again you will again want to be in a relationship, so I just don’t do anything about it.” “Oh, that’s true. I have no girlfriend and I want a girlfriend, and when I will have one, I would want to be free again.” “Actually it’s really nice sometimes, to know that you have someone who loves you and cares for you. But sometimes it gets too much.” “What gets too much?” “As for example, Prabhud wants me to be there for him all the time. But it’s just not practically possible. I wish he understood that I can’t be there for him all the time. I have to devote time for studies.” “What do you want to become when you grow up? Oh sorry! We are already grown ups, what do you want to do once MA is over?” “I am actually preparing for UPSC. I have my Prelims coming and I am hardly prepared at all.” “Oh! Then you have to work real hard. But I have a feeling that you will clear it.” She smiled, “Thanks” she said, “What about you?” “I want to be a writer. I want to write novels and earn my bread and butter.” “Nice,” she said, “Good luck with that”. “Thanks” I said, “You are really nice.” “You too,” she said.