Better late than.

I remember seeing Nandini for the first time. On the very first day, I remember she was late. The professor looked at her and didn’t say anything.

The entire class was quiet. For some vague reason, that one minute felt terrible.
Nandini had a subtle smile on her face.

The professor didn’t say a word and continued to teach. She was still standing there. Nobody bothered about her but I couldn’t stop myself from looking at Nandini.
She ran away immediately.
For the entire first week, the same thing happened. It was damn weird. She used to never enter the class. Professors ignored her.

My first conversation with her was after a week, since college started. That day both of us were late and weren’t allowed to sit in class. I used to wonder if she even had friends to take notes from.

I remember feeling very embarrassed when the professor didn’t let me in, while Nandini seemed pretty okay about it.

“Don’t feel so bad about it. Happens!” she said.

I smiled and said, “Yeah.”
She smiled and left.

The next day, she was late again. I waved at her from where I was sitting. But, she didn’t wave back. She just looked at me. Nandini had a very blank expression, and she looked scared.

My professor yelled at me when he saw me waving.
“Where the hell is your attention Mr. Veer?”

I took a deep breath and looked down.

The professor continued to explain what he was talking about. By the time I looked up, Nandini had already left.

I decided to look for her after class, and ask her about notes. When the class got over, I quickly went out and started looking for her. I saw her in the college garden, walking.
I went up to her and said,
“Hi, forgot to tell you my name that day. Veer. You have missed lectures for almost two weeks now. Do you want me to mail them to you or something?”

She smiled, took a page from her notebook and wrote her email address on it.

“Nandini.”

I went home and quickly mailed her everything that was covered in class for the first two weeks. I was expecting her to reply but she didn’t.

She must have not checked her email, I thought.

The next day, I saw her entering college before time. I was happy. I thought, I’ll get to attend lectures with her. But, I didn’t approach her before class because I was feeling awkward. Nandini walked without looking behind or anything. She just walked straight towards the building.

There were still good 20 minutes for the lecture. I went to class early to catch a decent place. I was constantly looking towards the door, waiting for her.

The lecture started. Nandini didn’t come. I was disappointed.
Why would she deliberately not come on time? I wondered.

I kept checking the time again and again. After 15 minutes, I saw Nandini outside class. She was late, again. She stood there for good ten minutes, but didn’t say a word.

The professor didn’t even look at her.

I was feeling bad. I decided to talk to her about it. If this habit of hers continued, she wouldn’t be allowed to sit for exams.

Once, I saw her in the library reading some notes. At least she was studying, I was glad.

Though she never acknowledged my mails, I kept sending her notes regularly with the hope that one day she will reply or at least say ‘Thank you.’

A month passed by, and Nandini had still not attended a single lecture.

Exams were going to start in about two weeks. I was sure about the fact that she wouldn’t be allowed to write the exams.

A day before the study break, I decided to check the register for her name, to check her seat and exam hall number. I asked the professor to let me check the register. Luckily, he allowed me to do that.

I quickly went through all the names to find ‘Nandini’, but her name wasn’t there.
The college didn’t even consider her a student.

Our college had kept some annual ceremony just two days before the exams started. I was annoyed to be honest. That wasn’t the right time.
I was sitting with one of my seniors, and talking about college and how it has been so far.

While talking to him, I mentioned to him about Nandini. But, I didn’t tell him the name.

“Dude, that’s sad. You know there was a girl in our college 2 years back. She was very intelligent. Ranker and shit. During the term end exams, she couldn’t make it on time. And the professor didn’t allow her to enter the class.”

“That’s terrible.”

“Yeah, you know what’s more terrible? Poor girl committed suicide that night.”

I got depressed listening to the incident and got worried about Nandini. I was secretly hoping that she makes it on time at least during the exams.

“Do you remember her name?”

“No, I don’t. I’ll find out and tell you. That incident was very bad though.”

 The exam day arrived. I was worried more about her than the exams. I remember getting late and being in a hurry. There was a text message from my senior which I didn’t check.

I was running towards my classroom. When I reached my floor, the entire floor was empty.
I slowed down, and quickly checked my phone for the time. The exam was going to start at 12 pm, and it was 11:59 am.

I slowly walked towards my classroom and thought of checking my phone before entering.

Inbox (1).

I clicked on it, and walked towards the door.

 The entire class was empty. Shockingly, only Nandini was there. She smiled at me.

I smiled and looked down to read the message,

“Nandini Srivastav dude. Nandini was her name.”

Happy journey!

“Life is a blissful journey with multiple stations. You’ll meet a lot of people in this journey. Not everyone will be with you till your destination. Some get down soon. Some, never. Make sure you make the most of the time you get with them. Some of them are just to make your journey a happy one and some are here to be the journey. You’ll be mesmerized by few of them. You’ll want them to stay for a lil longer. But in the process of making them stay, don’t forget to appreciate the beautiful view. Don’t forget to look outside and see other beautiful moments pass by. Don’t judge someone when they enter. It’s too soon for you to decide who they are. They must be tired because of their previous journey. What if they didn’t have a great time?
 Give them time to settle in. But, never be fooled by someone. There are a lot of people who would want to spoil your journey because they never had a nice one. Take care of your belongings. Some are here to grab them away. While some are here to grab your heart.
Remember that not everyone deserves to snatch it away from you. So be careful, make sure your belongings go in safe hands. Only the luckier ones in this journey find someone who takes care of their belongings. Passengers that make sure you are safe, and so is your heart.
There are few who come just to make you smile, just to make you feel that this journey is not that bad. Then they get down, and you never see them again.
While the ones who stay, live through it all. They see you since the moment they enter and change their final destination for you. They stay because you are more important than where they want to go..so don’t forget to appreciate their stay, because not many will afford to lose their dream, just for you.”

It’s time.

Let’s run now, let’s swim to the other side of the sea
We shall cross a lot of oceans and mountains
And solve every mystery
For how long are we gonna sit back
and think about what they have to say about our goals
Who are they to determine the size of our dreams
Who are they to tell us what to do or what are our roles
We don’t need dictators anymore
We are done with them a long while ago
It’s time we focus on what our heart aches for
It’s time we look at the sun that shines without sorrow
We have to do a lot for our generations ahead
We have to make sure we are a good history
We shall focus on the positives now
And start living every moment, like we are free
Those somber days are now over
Now it’s our chance to come out of the cage
To fly like birds and reach the height soon
We have to make our future selves proud, remember?
It’s time to make our own little tune
The time is running, we shouldn’t wait anymore
We have a lot to do
This world is a big place, our dreams are bigger
Let’s not waste time
Let’s be fearless and get through!

The day you’ll come back.

I have caught a lot of stars in the hope that one day I’ll throw them in front of your eyes, to make your eyes shine more than they usually do. I am going to hold your hand and ask you to dance with me when it rains like it’s raining for the first time. I want you to lose yourself under the sky, seeing birds flying high like there is no destination, but just one beautiful journey till we last. The world is huge and it demands to be explored, and I want to explore it with you. When leaves become weak and fall off the tree, it’s something to wonder about. What if that one leaf wanted to be with the tree for a little longer? Think about it. It didn’t have a choice.
   We don’t have choices everywhere. We can only wish for a chance. We will gather wood from the forest and burn it together to see how slowly everything turns to nothing, but a memory. I will write your name on a tree with a sharp stone, in the hope that you will live for as long as that tree survives. I will protect it from almost every calamity, I will water it everyday. Trees should last forever, I feel. They deserve it. Just like you do.
     We will stand together and watch the waves touching our feet and going back to the sea. Some moments in life are exactly like that. Some moments come rushing. Some, gently. But, they don’t last for too long. All you have to do is, live the moment. To feel it, to enjoy it. To smile, when it gets over. To thank the universe. I have had a lot of moments with you, which didn’t last for too long. But, I still remember how they felt. Beautiful and divine.
I am going to wait for the Sun to shine again, like it did when I was with you. Everyday I look at the Sun and wait for it to glow that way. I believe it will. When the clouds cover the Sun, and I don’t see it anymore, I shudder. But, I know that they won’t be able to take the Sun away from me for too long. I know, it will come back, because there is light. Glimmer of hope. Hope that the Sun will come back and shine, just like you.
 Come back. I am waiting.
 I promise I will make life a beautiful adventure. I will fulfill every little promise I made. We have a lot more to do and achieve. I want to show you what all I have planned. Come fast, I don’t want the clouds of despair anymore. My heart aches for a glimpse of you. A glimpse to convince my heart, that you are still there, and it can still continue to beat.

The image used for this post is for representative purposes only. I do not own the rights to the image.