Harshvardhan L Pande
“Look at these guys, they look so happy”, she said to me; pointing to a bunch of FY students who had just had their first day in college. We looked at them, then looked at each other and laughed. “Bechare, they don’t know what’s in store for them”, she said again. Quite frankly, neither did me. It was the last year of my engineering course. I had finished luckily with my placement work. I won’t say which company I got placed in, but let’s just say I’ll be above the poverty line even in the richest country in the world!
We were both placed in the same company; we were both in the same class, the same batch. I was pretty sure in the last few weeks that she meant a lot to me. But I didn’t know what to do. My male friends always had some advice to give –
“Just go ahead and say it man…” [Yeah, it’s very simple isn’t it? Why don’t I just hold a placard and stand in front of her house today?]
“See a man always has to take the first step…” [No wonder there were no girls sent along with Neil Armstrong to the moon]
“Dude, you have to do it, so just do it…” [I’m not too sure whether he was referring to the same thing as I was]
“Arrey you don’t know girls yaar…” [Oh really, and you are a PhD. On Female Psychology]
“All you’ve got to do is sweep them off their feet…” [Do I need a broomstick to do that?]
What was weird was that these guys who knew so much about girls; they were all single!
Time flew by, the semester was soon over. She started her project work; so did I. We went out very often in a group, but never together. If I was feeling the pressure of time, I didn’t show it, but my friends didn’t make it easy –
“Man, these college days are all you can use to enjoy, don’t wait too long…” [I wasn’t aware that life ended after college, but thanks for the tip]
But somehow even I got the feeling that I was running out of time. I had to do something, but what? So I did the next best thing, I took advice from girls. “All you have to do is impress her!” said one of her close friends, who swore secrecy about the matter. “How do I do that?” I asked. “Think of what you’re really good at” she said.
That night I went through my entire life, finding out what I was really good at. I tried singing, but I woke up the neighbors’ dog, he started barking. I then looked at a poster of Led Zeppelin on the wall, my heart sank; I couldn’t play the guitar either. For that matter I couldn’t play any musical instrument. I could whistle quite well, but somehow I couldn’t imagine myself impressing a girl by whistling. In fact I don’t think anyone in the history of mankind has done that.
All of a sudden my eyes fell upon a book lying on my study table; it was a book on Software Engineering. It had this part in which any successful software development has some stages –
Now, I had an EX grade in this subject and was pretty good at it. I quickly got a pen and a book and jotted down my action plan.
Step 1 – Communication
The next day, when we met, I asked her a whole lot of questions; her favorite color, cuisine, clothing, music… surprisingly I gathered a lot of information I didn’t know in all these 4 years.
Step 2 – Planning
I decided what I had to do and drew up a plan, the kind of gifts I would buy her, the place I would take her out to for dinner on the night I planned to ask the question and also went to that restaurant and made arrangements with the manager for special treatment for us on THE NIGHT.
Step 3 – Modeling
I optimized my own look in the week approaching THE NIGHT.
Step 4 – Construction
I didn’t need to construct anything, so I didn’t!
Step 5 – Deployment
I asked her out for the evening, she agreed. I borrowed my friend’s car for the evening, she was surprised. The moment she entered the car, on the dashboard was a nice gift wrapped present for her. She liked it a lot. The plan was working. We reached the place, the waiter held the door for us, it was an Italian restaurant. The manager called her “Ma’am” and addressed me as “Sir” and specially designated an exclusive waiter for our table. I made a mental note of giving a hefty tip at the end of the night. She was a little surprised about the whole thing, which was a good thing. As the night went on I gained in confidence, but each time I was about to say the 3 magic words, I had the urge to drink water.
ME: Hey listen, I wanted to tell you something…
SHE: What is it?
ME: Ummm… [picking up my glass] gulp… The food is pretty good isn’t it?
Then finally I decided to man up. I pushed away my glass and moved my chair ahead.
ME: Listen; there was a reason why I asked you to come here tonight.
SHE: Uh, huh…
ME: I have to tell you something
ME: It’s like this, from quite some time I’ve had this thought… and I’ve never had the chance to tell you and it’s high time I told you…
All of a sudden her mobile rang. “Hi maa, yeah I know it’s getting late. I’ve just finished dinner… Will be home in 20 minutes… bye”
SHE: Hey, I need to get back home now. What were you saying…
The next morning I woke up really late. I didn’t even go to college that day. I couldn’t execute the plan; after her mom broke my momentum I just couldn’t go ahead and complete the quest. It was over.
The rest of the weeks went off without any major incident. I completed my engineering. The next time I met her in college was at the convocation. There we were in the graduation dress. We were clicking snaps and stuff, then there was this moment, we were about to the leave the gates of the college. Both of us were on our bikes. The others had left; it was just the two of us. “So that’s it then, the moment we leave the gates college life will officially end!” she said to me. “Yeah” I said, looking at her. “What’s the matter?” she said, sensing that something was on my mind. I got off my bike, put in on the side stand. “There’s something I want you to know…”