The college canteen.

It had suddenly started raining after a drought-like week. The whole campus came out of their accommodations to enjoy the beautiful weather. It was also the time of Ashwin’s evening tea. He put his cigarettes and lighter in his shorts pocket and tagged along with his group of friends.

The college campus was a paradise, full of like a million trees, and always imbibed in energy. One could find all the types of people in the world inside the campus.

The shopping complex had gotten overcrowded as an aftereffect of the rain. People were sipping the famous Irani chai which could hypnotize anyone on a rainy day. It was like all the girls had saved their most shiny dresses for this particular occasion.

Flirts were flirting, stalkers were stalking and there were some serious love proposals being made. Everyone seemed so bright that day.

Ashwin went inside the complex to catch a snack. She was there with a friend. But, she was strolling alone, checking things out.

Ashwin hadn’t felt a wave in a long time. He looked at her and couldn’t stop looking.

She met his eyes and after a small, inoffensive stare both looked away. He picked up whatever he could gather and went to the counter where she was still standing, checking out some muffin packets.

The shop was crowded and he felt weird introducing himself. So, he just uttered, “You look nice”, in a way so that she listens to it and he could still pretend that he is shopping.

She smiled.

Suddenly everybody seemed so impatient to pay the bills and stroll out. The bill counter was getting way lot of requests and some people had to move back to make space.

She moved back towards him. They were so close that he could smell her hair. She was still smiling. And, Ashwin’s heart was pounding heavily.

He was smiling all throughout that evening while his friends kept discussing major research topics and politics.


He woke up late the next morning. Last night’s paper writing went up to 4 a.m. Half-slept, half-hungry, he was stroking his bicycle pedals fast to reach the laboratory. He jumped on to the breaks when he saw her pedalling alone towards her classroom.

He stopped close to her and asked, “Mind some tea?”. She said, “Yes”.


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