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The Diary Of a Teenaged Lunatic : Bomb Blasts and Teen Sensations
Cold water from one of the many equally cold and rusty taps of our school splashes against the skin of my face as I close my eyes shut, trying to feel the chill of the water seep in and the hair on the back of my neck to rise. I gasp at the shiver that runs down the scale of my body and reach out for the cloth handkerchief in my coat pocket. I was wrong. Even the water could not de clutter my mind off the disturbing thoughts that had started to play kung-fu in my mind.
My hands were shaking; my lips were quivering and my knees were acting as if I was made up of rubber instead of bones.
What if she makes me recall that day? Will I be able to hold myself? How can I NOT take the blame of his death?
I shake my head and let a tiny, minuscule bead of water to linger on my chin for a little while and then finally, fall.
I walk towards the door at the far end of the corridor and stand outside it, trying to read the name written in bold, block letters across its burnished surface. Mrs. Rekha Dixit. I unfold the cloth napkin in my hand and gently wipe it across my forehead. I look up again, narrowing my eyes to see what is written underneath it. It’s as if the cold water has wiped my memory clean of any sort of understanding for I can’t make out a single word written on the name plate. I close my eyes once again.
You are not mad. You do not have any brain disorder. And most of all, you’re not ugly. You are a perfectly normal 16 year old.
Except that I’m not. I look down at my hands, emblazoned with glistening scars. Hideous reminders of my rueful past. Something that I want to leave far behind me.
A drop of tear appears out of nowhere, blurs the words ‘Guidance Counselor’ written on the oak wooden door in front of me and falls down on my hand.
I reach out to wipe my eyes dry and take a deep breath. I shove my now wet napkin back into my coat pocket and raise my fist to knock on the door when a polite yet perky voice looms from the other side of the door.
‘Come in, Aanya.’
I jump up, startled. The first thought that comes to my mind is, ‘This is exactly what Dumbledore does in Harry Potter.’
I smile to myself and open the door.
The bright light of the room pierces my eyes as my pupils try hard to adjust. There she is, sitting in the farthest corner of the scarcely decorated room. I walk in, unsure of what to say or do next. I take a meek step…then another…then another. Am I being rude? Should I say something first?
But she’s already addressed me. How can I greet her? That would be awkward.
This was a bad idea.
I look around the room. The ceiling is bereft of a chandelier or light of any other kind. That’s weird. Huge yellow and white curtains hang from the tapestries. The ginormous French windows are thrown wide open, allowing the pleasant January sun to come streaming in. All around the room are photos. Not certificates. Not any kind of depiction of an achievement. Just photos. Photos of students who have passed out from Apeejay. Smiling seniors, happy graduates. I walk tentatively towards the compilation of around fifty photos or so. The picture is old. I can see its cranky edges from around the roughly cut wooden frame. Apparently, the framer did not do all that good a job after all. I invariably lean closer. There, I knew her. I look closer, searching for more familiar faces. A smile manages to make its way down to my lips as I begin to recognize more and more.
‘That’s quite good a picture.’
I look over my shoulder to see Ms. Dixit craning her neck to see what I’m looking at. I fumble with the flannel skirt of my school uniform. It’s like I’m stuck or something. My mind is still frozen solid from that splash of water and has lost all its ability of think. I feel vulnerable and over exposed. What should I say now? Should I just answer in an affirmative or should I strike a conversation out of it? Oh my God. This is so difficult.
‘Yeah. It’s very…pretty.’ Pretty? PRETTY? What was I thinking? Now there is absolutely no doubt that I need therapy.
‘Aanya dear, why don’t you come over here? There are some serious issues that I need to discuss with you.’ Her voice is so polite and yet so commanding. It’s as if my legs are moving on their own accord now as they take a turn and move over to the chair opposite to her desk. What is it that she wants to talk to me about? Oh God, please don’t let her crib about my lack of a decent response or worse, my reflexes. And of all things, please don’t let her make me recall that day. That day.
I close my eyes.
Think about something else. Anything else. Think about Jay Chawla. Ah yes! Jay Chawla. My mind has started to force itself to think. ‘Imagine him walking across the corridor towards you. He has a rose, a red one, in his hand. He’s looking at you. Oh my God. Why is your heart beating so fast? It’s almost as if it’s about to come ripping out of your rib cage. He’s looking at you. Those beautiful, green eyes are locked into yours. You’re in your own world. He comes to a stop right in front of you. His body is just inches away from yours. He’s bending down. On his knees. There, he just swishes out the rose and holds it out to you. Take it. Take it take it take it. Your hands are shaking so bad as you reach out for the rose. He’s smiling. Ah, he’s the sexiest man alive.’
‘Um, Aanya? Are you still with me?’
Where did that come from?
I freaking cannot believe my luck. Not only was I born a mistake, I’m also the biggest loser kid alive.
Not only am I a burden on planet earth and an obligation to my parents, but I’m also a stark raving lunatic who has been handed a diary to pen down her inner child.
Isn’t ‘fair game’ a phrase in true sense? I mean, do I not have a mother screaming on top of her lungs 24/7, bragging to me about some guy who lives in Mumbai who is my supposed cousin and has graduated from IIT? Do I not have enough of my parents telling me that there are more ‘greener pastures to be ventured upon’ in life?
I can’t believe she’s making me do this. I told Mira, I mean Mia, that going to the school counselor, of all people, was a mistake. But she insisted that I needed professional help with my…issues.
Okay it’s not like I’m the happiest girl alive. But so what? Aren’t teenagers supposed to be depressed and mad at their parents all the time?
I have no idea what’s wrong with people these days.
First, she makes me skip third and fourth period to sit with her on her hardwood chair in her lousy, boring room. Then, she lectures me about self confidence and believing in self. Then she tells me that I have an inner voice, begging to be set free and out loud in the open. And that I, of all people, am not letting it do so. And that I should try my best to let this supposedly inner child inside me, come out in the open.
‘Aanya dear, you are a very different girl. You have so much talent but you have trouble letting it out. You are aggressive, you are violent. And you are only trying to suppress your innermost feelings. It’s like…it’s killing you on the inside.’
And all that I could do after hearing this was stare at her with my mouth open. Excuse me Ms. Dixit, but we are not dealing with your average sixteen year olds here. We are dealing with a psychopath who does not know what Madonna’s full name is and is always surrounded by an illusionary bubble of BABBLE. And trust me, retard people like me do NOT have something called an ‘inner voice’ or an ‘inner child’ that’s begging to be let out. Please.
But it seemed as if my clueless ness had no effect on her whatsoever because she just wouldn’t stop.
‘You have to learn to set goals. You have to learn to NOT think about what happened to you. You’re tormenting your brain with those…those troubled thoughts of yours. Forget about the past. And remember, you’re beautiful.
‘The best way to be dealt with a situation like yours is to write. Pen down your thoughts, your fears, your emotions. Get over them and not run away from them. And so, I want to give this to you as a gift from me.’
And there it was- The most beautiful, elegant little diary with a dozen roses drawn with rough hand out on the cover, that she held out for me. It had a satin like sheen; only it was a faint pink in color. The moment I saw it, I fell in love with it.
Except that I was supposed to write in it. That was the hard part to absorb.
My mind started its usual battle between right and wrong. Again. Should I just take it? Or should I refuse it, saying I’m good like we’re supposed to say when they offer wine to minors at weddings. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Trust me; my bubble of babble never leaves my side.
The only sane thing that I could think if doing at that time was reach out and take it. Boy, it was the most precious little thing I’d ever held in my hand. It almost made me cry with the happiness and joy of it all.
And then, she saw it. The cuts on my hand, I mean. She got up and ran all the way over to my side. It was a blur of Mrs. Dixit, her enormous folds of sari and the chair falling down when she got up.
‘You got those from the accident right?’
Thanks for the reminder Mrs. Dixit.
‘Yeah. The accident.’ Shoot me.
‘Aw sweetie. Don’t worry. It’s going to be alright.’ As if. These scars are going to stay forever. You’re a counselor Mrs. Dixit, not a doctor.
And that’s when the tears began to fall. Yes, I felt sorry for myself. I felt sorry for being in that car accident six months ago; I felt sorry for cracking open the side of my skull and leaving a vicious looking scar all the way from my one shoulder to the other. And I felt sorry for the innumerable little scars like these that it left me with. Not to mention, the memory was even more painful.
Which was why, I did the only thing that any other cracked up girl like me would do. I started crying.
Mrs. Dixit held me in her arms and tried consoling. Surprisingly, I did feel better. Isn’t it unnatural to be affected so much by someone you’ve just met? I mean, I really like this old woman. She dresses so plainly yet walks around so confidently as if she owns the world. Her personality is very dynamic but still she’s not like one of those monstrous teachers that loom over you and make you feel smaller than an ant.
Anyway, I stood there for a whole period and a half, crying. And she stood by me for the whole period and a half, talking gently to me.
The talking part was fine but all I can say is that it feels weird to be hugged by your school counselor.
Please fill in the following details so that if this diary gets misplaced, it can be returned to its rightful owner.
Name: Aanya Sharma
Age: 16 years, 2 months, 15 days, 8 hours, 23 minutes
Sex: Haven’t had it yet. Ha-Ha. Just kidding. Very much a female, thank you.
Height: 5 feet 5 inches.
Appearance: An oval face, large, dark brown eyes, straight black shoulder length hair, fair skin and thin lips. A sharp and pointy nose with a teeny tiny miniscule mole on the bridge adds further glow to the already peculiar facade. All in all, looks like an oversized beetle.
‘Beautiful’ is what Dad thinks. Excuse me Dad but WHICH PARENT DOESN'T? WHICH PARENT IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD SAY THAT THEIR CHILD IS AN UGLY GIT????????????
Hobbies: Playing guitar, hanging out with Mira, I mean Mia.
Mother’s name: Mrs. Neeta Sharma
Father’s name: Mr. Ajay Sharma
Boyfriend: I wish!
Best friend’s name: Mira a.k.a. Mia Narang
Best friend’s boyfriend’s name: Neil Mathur
Crush’s name: Jay Chawla
School’s Name: Apeejay School
City: New Delhi
State: New Delhi
Okay I’ll admit that I did add a few things to this forum thing. For example, they didn’t provide for the boyfriend thing or the best friend or her boyfriend thing. Ha, ha. I figured that the one who found this thing should know more about me you know. Just factually.
So um. Hi. I guess you who I am already, don’t you? The bio data that I provided above is enough for a complete layman to understand my life. Because that’s what it is all about. Boring stuff. God, why am I writing in this thing in the first place?
I cannot believe my school counselor told me to keep a diary. It’s as if I’m not in touch with my emotions or something. Please. I am known as the most assertive of my kind at school. My kind of lowly nerds. Our kind is known far and wide for its inability to stop the torments of the popular ones. Not that any one torments me. At least not to my knowledge, no they don’t.
Writing this diary is going to be a real chore. If it gets in the hands of my Mom and Dad, they’re going to kill me and eat me raw. I guess they already suspect me of having a boyfriend (ha!) which is such an illegal crime in the minds of these law abiding citizens.
I mean the first thing I’ve written here is about sex which is a big and a very explicit issue to be discussed amongst kids. Yeah right. Like I didn’t know what it meant. Like I didn’t know how I was born.
And then, trust me, but I cannot take another lecture about Sahil, some random relative of mine who has graduated recently from IIT and has landed with a 5 grand job.
I don’t care because Dude, do I even know him? I mean, all these years and his identity is kept hidden from me. And all of a sudden, when I turn sixteen and he graduates from this world class institute, I start getting lectures about him?
The human race is a difficult specie to understand.
I still can’t believe that I’m actually doing this. It’s as if I’m laying down the most interpersonal and the most secretive part of my life, out in the open to be read and mocked by everyone. I mean, no one except for Mia knows that I have had a crush on Jay Chawla since like forever. That guy…that one guy who gives me the soul inspiration to dress up well to school everyday. That one guy whose face I long to see in school everyday. That one guy who makes my heart do weird somersault flip flops and jump ridiculously in the rib cage. That one guy that I long to see in my dreams every night. How much I wish he was my boyfriend. Darn the boyfriend thing. How much I wish he knew me, to begin with. Those deep green eyes…jet black hair…tall but lean built…those dazzling white teeth…and that half, tilted, cute boy smile… Oh wait. Don’t tell me you don’t know him. Where are you living anyway? Pluto?
Jay is the most popular, cute, smart and intelligent guy to walk the besmirched corridors of Apeejay High School. He is a senior and so, has every single girl dying to be with him; every single guy, trying to merit attention in order to get popular themselves.
You see, people like Jay Chawla are never alone. Never. They are always followed up by their entourage a.k.a. a group of equally popular, equally confident and equally cool bunch of kids who make up the entire football team of our school and have all the pretty girls as their girlfriends.
Their stride down the school corridors and cafeteria is not the normal, clumsy, lousy walk that we ordinary people walk. No sir, people like him walk with this thing that most people at our oh-so-prestigious school lack. Grace. Style. Attitude. And the weird, yet astoundingly brilliant talent of looking smart and bitchy at the same time.
To be telling the truth, I don’t want to be one of them. I mean, they are so darn rich and so perfect. It is as if their life couldn’t have been better. What’s so fun being that way huh? Life is good when it’s imperfect; when you get room to amend errors and make new ones. Life is better when you have a goal to achieve and have to work your butt off to get it.
Okay. I sounded a little like Mahatma Gandhi. And no, I do not feel that way. I just wrote it down so that I could make myself feel that way. When it is so not the way I feel.
It is very unfair of God to make some of them so beautiful and perfect and the rest of us pitiable creatures to be so beetle-like.
Let’s just say that I’m tired of living a life so monotonous and boring. My life has nothing all too perky or something to be envious about in it. In other words, my life does not have dash on romance in it.
Alright. I admit that the “one person for whom every fiber of your being cries for and the one person that you can’t even think of living without’ is old hat and all. I still feel kind of left out or something. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a stark raving lunatic or some kind of a desperate old woman to sit behind her computer all day, looking for an equally fake a.k.a. an equally old and cranky guy on an online dating website.
I just mean to say that I wish I had a boyfriend. I mean come on. Every girl wants to have a guy look at her so caringly and run his long fingers down her hair. Every girl wants a guy to flash them an extra special smile that would make them die right there right then. Every girl wants a guy to hold her when she cries. And no matter how tough some silly stuck up girls try to be, they all want to feel that way.
There’s no messing with estrogen, I tell you. It’s some strong stuff.
School is the worst place to be these days. The teachers are all over our head on account of it being the New Year and all and the extra pressure of exams and stuff. I hate studying. Especially chemistry. I almost passed this last exam and got this wholehearted thrashing from Mom and Dad for it. I’m taking extra chemistry classes this semester just to cover up. Talk about pressure.
Which incidentally reminds me, I saw Mira, I mean Mia, sucking faces with Neil today. I mean okay, you two are going out and all but still people, put it in your pants now, will you? Can you imagine how awkward it was for me to be sitting with her talking about Jay Chawla and how much I want him to break up with that b**** Tia when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, Neil appears and lands a big one on Mia’s mouth. Then they started a full fledged tongue action and trust me, there was nothing else I wanted more right then but just to run away screaming ‘GET A ROOM MORONS!’
Mira has been my best friend since like, forever. We’d met in kindergarten and kicked off since. It was as if there was this special revival button kind of a thing in me or something because every time we used to meet, I used to become so happy and content. It was as if nothing could go wrong as long as Mira was with me. We’d actually thought that we’d get our first kiss together and that we’ll even get married to Prince Charles and Prince Harry together. And then came the drift. The time of when we suddenly developed a growth spurt. Um, scratch the ‘we’ part. She developed. I mean before summer last year, she was totally like me. But then, when she came back after the vacations in July, there they were. Two tiny bulges visible clearly from underneath her school shirt. And I was not the only one who noticed. All the guys had their eyes on her and her ‘it’. This was the summer when I realized where I stood in the mammary growth sector. And this was the summer that Mira, now known as Mia, was last seen as ‘single.’
I guess I’ve been hanging on to that for way too long. I guess Mrs. Dixit was right after all. I do have this inner monster thingy that wants to be let out. I guess I do have issues that I need to deal with. But is it wrong for me to expect my best friend to wait for me till I grow out of my shell so that we’d get kissed together? Excuse me, but no. That’s not too much to ask for.
Now, if you think about it, it was pretty obvious that Mia had had her first kiss. The signs have been there all this time. Her wearing strawberry double coated lip gloss each morning, trying to avoid eating garlic in lunch and smiling dreamily all the time.
I really am dense. I am so darn stupid.
Coming back to the one minute lip locking session that I stumbled into today, this was the first real, live kiss that I’d seen and trust me, it’s not a pleasant sight. It’s not pleasant at all. In fact, it’s rather disconcerting.
I guess I’ll have to reframe my daydream where I kissed Jay Chawla.
I just went outside the house to get a Dairy Milk when guess who I ran into? Seema Mahajan. Yep, the creepy lonesome woman who thinks that everything existing or pre existent in the world belongs to her.
I was so not in a mood to talk to her that I took a diagonal swerve and hid behind a tree.
One of the many reasons why I find excuses to run away from her is that I don’t know what to call her. Yeah, call me all the stupid names that you can think of now. Call me insane, juvenile, or a crack head. I don’t mind.
But then again, what are we supposed to call a forty year old unmarried who appears to be on crack?
Looks like my oh-so-perfect hand-legs-mind coordination was on his highest order as she managed to find me after exactly four minutes fifty seconds. Yep, I did break all of my previous records.
Anyway so she totally grabbed me (I mean, literally) and we went for a casual little walk. Yeah right. A casual little walk. Who am I kidding? Which sixteen year old goes for a ‘casual little walk’ with their forty three year old neighbors unless they are suffering from leukemia or something equally hostile? I mean, that’s what they show in those tear jerking, emotionally provoking movies.
And oh yeah, did I mention that fact that Ms. Seema Mahajan, the forty two year old nutcase who happens to be my neighbor, also happens to be head over heels in love with Dad? Yeah, you got that one right. She’s in love with Dad. My dad. My fifty year old pot bellied dad who thinks that I’ve got a boyfriend.
He so obviously hasn’t seen what societal sixteen year olds look like these days.
And she so is out of her freaking mind.
You would think that with his being my Dad and all, she wouldn’t touch the subject of wanting to break free the vicious chains of society and marry him. But well, the whole world knows about how much she loves him. I mean, they’ve practically grown up next to each other. Or at least that’s what she told me.
“I’ve seen you after such a long time. You’ve grown three inches haven’t you Aanya?”
It’s like a pet line or something. Whenever Dad forces me to come to silly weddings and family junctions with him over to his hometown village some where in Uttar Pradesh, all of those weird, out of nowhere, never seen before or never heard of before relatives of mine come pulling at my cheeks, telling me how tall I’ve grown or how they had last seen me when I was a toddler and how they had to change my diapers time and time again as my bowels were so out of control.
And no, that’s not the worst part.
The worst part is when they introduce me to some other random relative of mine, probably of the same age, and then push me towards her, urging me to strike a conversation. Yes, with a total stranger girl who I’ve only just met and who is my alleged mom’s mother’s sister’s cousin’s uncle’s sister’s brother’s daughter. Every possible string of present relationships that you can think of.
“Yes, maybe.” That’s the only apt reply to a question so naïve. Besides screaming on top of your voice obviously. But that doesn’t count as a reply.
“How’s your father?” This one made me look up at her. Now, I’m not kidding. The passive look of abject misery was clear on her plaintive face. I almost see the imaginary tears of sorry running down her rough skin. She’s so sad. Every one makes so much fun of her, ridicules her like an open joke in the society.
She has got this image of her own. Like that aura thing that they once taught us about in yoga last year. It’s like this shadow that follows you around, a secret image discloser of some sort, which can divulge your entire individuality to a complete stranger and can also conceal your true intentions from a beloved.
I bet Ms. Mahajan’s aura has my Dad’s face all over it.
“He’s pretty great. Just the regular work tension and acidity.” I was looking down at my feet. I was feelings so bad for her. I mean what is life worth living for, at the age of forty, when you’ve got no husband and no children? And worst of all, if your one true love lives next door to you and is happily married with a beautiful, sagacious girl?
I mean, I’m sixteen and I’m pretty fraught to get a boyfriend. I wonder what’s going on with her.
“Hm…” That’s it. Nothing else. Nothing about mom or grandma or worse, me. Talk about insult.
“I really gotta go. I’ve got a thing.”
“Sure. Bye Aanya! Take care of your Dad. I’ll see you around someday. Or maybe you can drop in some time to say hello or maybe for a little…Uh... chat.”
“Yeah sure. Bye Ms. Mahajan!”
I so wish that’s what had happened. Except that it didn’t.
I wonder if God has actually given me a brain. Because if he did, it sure isn’t showing signs of being there.
Instead of finding an escape en route, what I did was walk on aimlessly along with her. Just me, my dad’s stalker and the awful silence between us. What else could I have asked for?
I mean, neither of us was speaking a word. And it wasn’t one of those long pauses where you just dive into your own creative imagination. It was one of those where you are looking for something to say but suddenly all the topics of the world are on a leave or something and you just stutter. Or look around. Or maybe flash an uncomfortable smile once in a while.
The silence must’ve lasted for about two minutes or maybe more. I’ve no idea how long we walked on, both of us too nervous to say anything. I had to break the ice. I just had to. And well, I guess you do have a fair idea by now, the way my brain functions. If its there, that is. Which I’m sure it isn’t.
Anyway, I couldn’t think of anything else but dad. I mean, I had to know. I had to know about what went wrong so that I don’t repeat the same mistakes. I know it sounds pretty appalling right now, but I don’t want to end up like Ms. Mahajan. By the time I’m forty, I want to be a successful lawyer graduated from Harvard with exactly three kids (two girls and a boy… actually two boys and a girl are fine too as long as they’re healthy and stuff) and a handsome, loving husband.
So I went ahead.
“Are the rumors true then?”
Okay, I know it’s a sensitive issue and all but still. He’s my dad and I have a complete right to know. He won’t talk about it ever. He totally and completely ignores Ms. M every single time he can because he’s shy of speaking it out loud in front of Mom or something. He’s so obviously scared of Mom getting self conscious and going back over to Nana’s place or something. Or maybe tossing a bowl full of curry onto his head because my Mom’s pretty…fussy. My dad thinks that I’ve no idea what’s going on. As if.
Parents these days really underestimate their kids. Really.
Anyway, Ms M got the shock of her life and whirled around, her eyes white as an eggshell. I don’t know how I’m supposed to describe the way she glared at me right there right then. It was almost as if she was bucking up to slay my neck and drink all of my blood. You know about Ma Durga right? I mean with the hair flowing all around her face in a halo and her tongue sticking out of her mouth and her eyes all bloodshot? Yep, that’s what came onto her. A complete, utter transformation.
All I wanted to do was run away. I swear.
“What rumors eh? What’ve you been hearin’?” She bellowed. Little specks of saliva gushed out of her enormous mouth, hitting me smack on the face. It wasn’t a pleasant site.
You know about how they’re always on about how you see your whole life flash right before your eyes prior to your untimely death?
Yep, there it was. My first day at school…When I met Mira, I mean Mia… when I learned to finally ride my bicycle…the first time I saw Jay Chawla…the day my dad asked me if I had a boyfriend and I laughed out loud on his face…my first sleepover…it was all there, playing like a movie buried underneath enormous piles of my day to day worries.
I’ve had a good life. I’m happy. Just let her kill me and let’s get over with it as quick as possible. Please don’t make it last. And yeah, tell my mom and dad that I love them and that I know that two people need to have something called sex in order to procreate…These were the only words going on and on and on in my mind.
I knew it was the end.
Except that it wasn’t.
“Um, that you happen to like my…uh…dad.”
I was expecting to receive the blow of a slap across my face or maybe a dagger sticking out of my stomach but nothing, and I mean nothing could’ve hit me harder than what she did next.
She laughed. She laughed her bony ass off at me. It was as if she was mocking me. Every shriek of her laughter felt like a million pin pricks all over my body. It hurts to be laughed at.
With tears of laughter running down her cheeks, she took hold of my shoulders and said, “You are such a cute little girl aren’t you?”
How was I supposed to answer to that? No really?
“Who told you about this?” There, they were gone. Gone were her tears of laughter and her ferocious Goddess look. She looked, I don’t know, bored.
“I don’t know. Things fly around you know.” WHAT ELSE WAS I SUPPOSED TO SAY? I couldn’t have said that I see you every single day, finding reasons to bump into Dad and peeking into our house. I couldn’t have said that I haven’t noticed how longingly she looks at Dad every day.
She looked down on her own two, calloused feet, lost in some far off thought. She didn’t reply. At all.
And then again, as usual, my mouth went independent of the soul authority of my brain and started chattering. For real.
“What do you like in him anyway?”
It was good that I saw the flash backs of my life. Because she wasn’t going to kill me. I was going to kill myself.
But really, if you think about it, my Dad isn’t what you’d conventionally call hot. Not that I’ve ever noticed. Excuse me, he’s my dad for crying out loud.
But still, I’m not blind. I see things around me. And trust me; my dad isn’t the one you’d choose to fall in love with if you were to fall in love with fifty year old guys.
I couldn’t help but wonder what she saw in him all these years that she couldn’t let go.
And I can’t tell you how much I regret asking her that.
Because she just looked at me for a long, long time with that sorrowful, faraway look in her eyes. Her eyes were shining so bright that I was compelled to look away. She had so much pain, so much emotion. Her lips were quivering and for a moment, I almost thought that she was going to fall.
I thought she wasn’t going to reply to that. I mean, who could? If someone random came up to me to ask me why I was so much in love with Jay Chawla, then perhaps I, the queen of babble, would be at a loss for words. Because these things cannot be expressed in words. They can only be felt. And that guy who said that love at first sight doesn’t exist has obviously never been in love before.
I hope I never meet that person.
But turns out, Ms. M wasn’t at a loss of words. After giving my question a moment or two of silence, she broke the ice.
“I like everything about him.”
“I mean. Come on Ms. M, there are better looking people in this world. My dad is bald for crying out loud. He hasn’t got a single hair on his forehead. Are you sure you’re not mistaking him for someone else?”
Okay. Call me douche and what not. I’ll surely not care. But HOW CAN you fall in love with someone who’s bald and has a gigantic pot belly and thinks that Lady Gaga is funny?
Excuse me, but no sane person would. At least not to my knowledge, no they wouldn’t.
And then, Ms. M gave the world’s cheesiest, most cliqued line ever.
“Love shows no boundaries. I didn’t choose to fall in love with him Aanya. It just happened. I wish I had control…over my feelings but no, I haven’t. I’m human too. I love him and will always.”
Ha. Look where it gotcha. Your love I mean.
I just had to find an excuse to run away. It was getting too emotional anyway. So I told her that I had a bathroom emergency and had to run.
I couldn’t think of a better excuse so you can stop laughing now.
I can’t help but think it over and over again. It was so naïve. How would you feel if your neighbor ran into you and said that she’ll love your 50+ father all her life?
I need to see Mrs. Dixit. I really do.
Mira, I mean Mia thinks that Mrs. Dixit is just the school counselor and not my ‘personal shrink’ that I’m going over to consult for every wee little problem of mine.
“It was okay to go talk to her about your “stuff” (she made air quotes to say that) but that doesn’t mean that you go runnin’ up to her every moment of your life. You won’t tell ME that happened and you’re oh-so-eager to tell it all to some woman you’ve only just met?”
Okay. I’ll admit that I’m pathetic and have some serious issues but still. I can’t make myself say stuff about my family to someone who is always sucking faces with her boyfriend. Who, by the way, is growing some serious facial hair (ew) and looks even worse than before. How can anyone kiss someone with so much hair anyway?
The only person that I can see myself kissing is Jay Chawla and Johnny Depp. Even that thought is kind of disgusting. I wonder how it feels.
See? Every time I talk about Mira, I mean Mia; I end up talking about kissing. This is so disconcerting.
But anyway, I couldn’t say the sucky facey thing to her right on her face. I’m mental but not rude.
I just had to make some lame excuse to escape. I had to see the counselor. I am, after all, paying a hefty account as the school fee which includes her salary.
So I went over to see Mrs. Dixit. Again, she predicted my coming before I could even raise my hand to knock. It’s kind of really weird. I wonder how Harry Potter puts up with this because it is totally creeping me out.
“Come in Aanya. I’d been expecting to see you.”
Excuse me. What? YOU’RE KIDDING AIN’T YOU?
Not only is she a person-behind-the-door-predictor, she’s also a psychic. This woman is giving me shivers.
I didn’t greet her. I don’t know what came over me. It’s like they say whenever people hold gatherings for prayers and stuff, Goddess Durga appears out of nowhere and enters the body of her most faithful devotee from amongst the crowd which makes the devotee go crazy and start acting like a complete lunatic. I’ve seen women undoing their hair and having it spread like a halo all around their head, waving their hands hither and thither making weird, grunting noises. It is said that they lose control over their mind and body during this time and Goddess Durga takes over them and is responsible for their freaky behavior.
Yes, this is what came over me. Not the undoing hair, flailing arms thing. Just the mental and physical control thing. I wasn’t acting like myself. I stormed into the room, slamming it shut behind me. It closed with a LOUD bang and I thought I heard the walls creaking a bit under the effect. Okay, so my school doesn’t have the best infrastructure. Floorboards often creak and the paint peels off. It’s a PUBLIC SCHOOL for crying out loud.
Anyway, Mrs. Dixit seemed the least bit terse about my attitude because she just sat there with her hands spread out across the table and a calm smile on her face.
“So, what went wrong?”
I hate this secretive ability of knowing stuff. I just hate it. And by the way, from where did she get this idea anyway that something was bound to go wrong? It’s as if she has met a WHOLE LOT of crazed, accident-freaked out lunatics like me.
“Whatever do you mean Mrs. D? You must meet a lot like me everyday, right? Now that you’ve started to foresee what all I’m going to do?”
It was making me mad. Really mad.
Mrs. D smiled. Just like that…no reaction, no outward complain. Just smiled at waited for me to go on.
“It’s not my issues. It’s about Dad and his…love life.”
I didn’t know how else to put it. HOW ELSE WAS I SUPPOSED TO PUT IT?
I’m not the best at phrasing out stuff, I know it. So please, put up with it.
“Aanya dear, is your Father having an extra… and extramarital affair?”
That came as a shock. I mean, come on. A bald, pot bellied, hairy backed, always home on time, oily haired man getting beat up everyday is the last person to come to your mind when you think of extramarital affairs.
Like they said in How I Met Your Mother, in a relationship, there’s a reacher and a settler. The reacher is the one is just…whatever while the settler is the one who is rocking it all and is making all the more special. The reacher can’t get anyone else for him because the settler is all that he’s got and perhaps, his best shot at having a partner in life.
In the case of Mom and Dad, Dad is so clearly, the reacher. That’s because my Mom’s is totally hot with short brown hair and a voluptuous body. She makes heads turn, 40 something guys stare and the mail guy hit on her at every opportunity that he gets. My Mom could have got someone so much better. She ended up with Dad.
Not that I don’t like Dad. I totally do, because he’s my dad and all. But sometimes, he just gets too moralistic. Like the last time I had to get up from the dinner table to talk to Mia (I GOT IT RIGHT!), he totally flipped out, thinking that I was talking to my imaginary boyfriend. I’ve tried to tell him so many times that he’s just a figment of his imagination and that does he honestly believe that someone like me can get a BOYFRIEND?
I wish dad, I wish.
And then the other day when I was playing “Addicted” on my guitar, he totally overheard me singing, “Oh girl! Let’s take it slow. So as for you, you just know where to go-“, after which he burst into the room (without knocking. Goodbye privacy!) and told me off for singing songs like that and that how if someone from his hometown heard what I was singing, they would burn me alive of shame and angst. And on he went about how I should respect the Indian culture and wear salwar kameez every once in a while instead of the eye sore jeans.
And then he made me play Raag Bilawal on the guitar. I swear, he made me do that.
So can you even think that this man can have another woman (which would be the third; wow Dad, you’re better at this than I am) pining for him DAY IN AND DAY OUT?
No he can’t. God can’t be that unfair to me. He can’t make THREE women fall for my dad and NIL boys fall for me.
“Noo! Not even close. It’s just…can I sit?” I was getting tired of standing up and thinking so much.
I told you. My brain is a bit dysfunctional.
“Yeah, sure. Here, take a seat dear. Make yourself comfortable.”
So I did. I just flopped down on the nearest chair that I could find (which I regretted later because I hurt my girdle).
“Alright. So there is this woman. She lives next door. She is in love with my father. And says that she’ll make him hers no matter what.” There, I just let it out. I heaved a long sigh of relief and stared back at Mrs. Dixit.
Ha! She didn’t look so calm after listening to this. Take that.
“That’s a serious issue. Have you talked about this to your dad?” she said. She actually sounded concerned.
“How could I? My family practically HATES Ms. M. Do you think they’re going to sit by idle while I go chat her up about how irrevocably she’s in love with my Dad?”
People these days just don’t understand. They have to have everything explained to and laid out on the table in front of them.
“Okay. So you what do you want to talk about?”
What are you supposed to say to a question like that? I don’t want to talk to her. I want her to solve my problem.
Bubble of Babble comes into action. Zooooooom!
What should I say? What should I do? Should I stare at her, like all blank in the face? Or should I stare out of the French windows pretending not to hear?
What? WHAT? WHAT???
I chose to stare.
After seeing no reply coming out of my mouth, Mrs. D shook her head real hard. And stared right back at me. Okay, if you’ve never been in a situation as awkward as this, let me assure you. It sucks to the freaking core. You suddenly feel all hot in the face as if someone has punched the air right out of your lungs. You feel suffocated and eventually, start hyperventilating. At least that’s what I did.
I’m so not good with nervous situations. I was literally getting a seizure. It was too much to handle.
“WHAT? I nearly yelled it. There, the air puffing up my lungs was out. I took a deep breath, knowing what was coming next. She was going to throw me out of her room because you’re not allowed to scream at staff. It’s against the rules or something. And then I would have to get back to the Algebra period.
She surprised me yet again. She just looked right back at me with that stupid, calm expression. It wasn’t making me feel irritated. It was making me feel mad. Amy Winehouse mad. And trust me; it’s not the kind of thing you’d want to mess with.
“Are you just going to sit there, looking at me?”
It was okay to be rude, now that I’d misbehaved already and was going to be thrown out of the room anyway.
Still no reply.
I had no other option but to get up and turn around to stomp out really irately with black smoke fuming out of my ears just like Veronica from Archie’s and slam the door shut on my way out. Jeez, I’ve always wanted to try that stuff. It’s kind of pretty cool. I guess.
Anyway, I was just flipping my hair the way Mia (Right again!) had taught me and whirling around when she called out. Oh darn. I’d swished my head perfectly this time. Only if Mia (Ee! I’m getting better) had been here to see.
“Where are you off to?” She called out.
Now I understand. Maybe Mrs. D suffers from some sort of a disorder. A disorder in which, while listening to a sixteen year old’s worries, a fifty something year woman goes into a trance and stares into that outer world which human eyes aren’t capable enough to see.
Yes, it fits. Maybe this is why she was able to see me standing behind her door all this time. And guess what all I was about to say next. Oh my god, the signs were there right in front of me all this time. She is a mutant from another planet, who’s come to observe the human specie and their set of trivial problems.
Oh god. This is why she’s a counselor. Just to tell lunatics like us, what to do in life so that they can use us for their experimental procedure.
And beneath her simple attire and calm façade, she’s actually a slimy, green colored monster.
But then again, I couldn’t tell that to her. What if she turned into her original form and tried to kill me? And then mutate my body beyond recognition so that no one can ever guess what happened to me?
Hello there, Bubble of Babble.
You don’t know a thing.
You’re just an ordinary sixteen year old with accident scarred hands and legs, an equally scarred personality and yeah, a neighbor who is in love with your father.
That’s who are.
“I’m going…out. Can I please?”
So I freaked out. After my ten second realization of the possible dangers in front of me. I just had to get out of that hell hole. I was not going to die there. At least not before kissing Jay Chawla. Or not before saying goodbye to Mom and Dad and my guitar.
“Yes, you can. What I want to tell you is that I’m here to just listen to you. You are the one who’s going to solve her problems.”
Yeah of course you are here to listen, agent. Of course you are here to listen and inform.
“Uh. Okay. Goodbye… for now.” I said, my voice shrilly beyond my own recognition. And comfort. WHAT IF SHE GUESSES THAT YOU HAVE FIGURED IT OUT YOU NUMB SKULL?
Turns out she didn’t. And I’m not thankful to my brilliant brain for its nippy thinking. I’m thankful to God for saving my ass back there.
But she didn’t completely let go of me.
“And Aanya, just do one thing. Everyday, in that journal that I gave you, list down at least five things. It could be your biggest fears…your dreams…your aspirations…anything.”
Where did that come from?
“Uh, okay. Ta!”
I made a quick pass for the door and was out of there before you could say “PeanutButterJellyTime”
A list…what could that be for?
Aanya Sharma’s List Of the Five People that she wishes she was instead of being…herself.
Madonna Daughter Lourdes: SHE’S MADONNA DAUGHTER, FOR PETE’S SAKE! And that girl’s popular! And even though they won’t admit it, every guy holds a secret fantasy for her. And then, she’s all over the papers because of standing up against her Mom and stuff.
Kim Kardeshian: Hot hair, hot body, tons of guys dying to be with her, seductive, baby doll voice… That’s more than enough for me.
Naomi from 90210: With guy(s) like Liam dying for her and at the same time, with a house so big and classy with a personal Jacuzzi and the entire living room overlooking the Beverly Hills “Hollywood” valley, and with clothes so fantastic, she’s one I wish I was.
Frieda Pinto: I’ll admit that I have a little crush on Dev Patel. That guy looked wicked hot in The Slum dog Millionaire. Minus the rag clothes and chasing cars in the railway station and living in a slum thing. Moreover, Frieda Pinto is posing for magazines in New York. What else could a girl possibly ask for?
Tia Malhotra: Yeah, call me obsessed. Call me a nerd. Call my love unrequited. But I’ll admit, I’m envious of my one true love’s plastic girlfriend. She’s a big fake it all, but artificial or not, she’s the girlfriend of only the most wanted boy in Apeejay High. And it’s not as if she’s not pretty. Jay is not stupid to have fallen for some random hag. No sir, his girl is a top class, sexy hag. With long, miles on end walking sticks for legs, short and always styled glossy brown hair, a skin that glows even at night and lips fuller than Angelina Jolie, Tia Malhotra is the hottest b**** in town. And bitches are in. When she walks down the corridor, Britney Spear’s ‘Outrageous’ plays on an automatic on every kid’s mind. WHO WOULDN’T WANT TO BE LIKE HER?
Mia doesn’t buy my mutant story. She thinks that it is stupid and naïve. Yeah, talk for yourself girl.
Actually, now when I read my previous diary entry, I think I was being a little irrational anyway. I’ve been watching too much T.V and now it is trashing my mind.
Anyway, you won’t believe what happened. He made my day. He totally did. I was in the canteen, getting the usual maple-cranberry juice and lettuce sandwich for lunch when I accidentally rammed my tray right into Jay Chawla’s rib. Turns out, he was standing right behind me in the cafeteria queue. I knew that there was some heat getting radiated in the back of my neck but didn’t turn around to look. Thank God for that because had I looked, I would have totally fainted because-
Jay has got a new haircut and is looking so Jake Gyllenhall in it.
I was having a bad hair day. As usual. Out of the seven days of a weak, four days are bad hair days for me.
I am already suffering from such a severe case of inferiority complex. I didn’t want to rub it in by seeing him standing so close to me. Maybe he smelled me. I wish he did because I was wearing my new Lomani deo.
As I turned around, I bummed right into him. And got the shock of my life. Had I been a heart patient, I would have totally got a cardiac arrest because I could swear my heart stopped beating the moment those deep green eyes met with mine. There, I was drowning. And you know how I am in these situations. I panic.
And so I did. I started hyperventilating and my eyelashes started batting themselves on their own account. My heart wouldn’t stop beating against my chest; I was almost afraid it was going to come jumping out and land right on top of my lunch tray. Which wouldn’t have been so embarrassing because what happened next was something that could only have happened in my dreams. He spoke to me. HE spoke to ME. Like, to me. The words coming out of that beautiful mouth of his were for me to hear. Can you believe it? And then, the cheesiest thing happened. Like they say in the movies, the butterflies started doing karate chop in the pit of my stomach. My brain went off on a vacation to Hawaii because I couldn’t make out a single word that he was saying. And I so wasn’t really ready for an action-reaction thing. And all that I did, was just look into those amber eyes of his, dreaming of being in his arms, listening to his heart beat in rhythm with mine.
Until he waved his arms in front of mine.
Jay. Moved. His. Arms. In. Front. Of. My. Face.
What else could a sane, ordinary girl like me possibly ask for?
But well, that did jerk my attention back to him.
“Will you please get aside? You’re uh… blockin’ the line.”
Well I did get aside. And what I wanted to do was run as far away from that place as I could. I could hear people making crude remarks from at the back of the line.
From “Get aside Moron.” to “Has she lost it?”
Anyway, the whole thing with Jay so much as asking me to get aside has made my month.
I can be let off so easily. I disgust myself.
Top Five Men I wish were falling for me.
Matt Lanter: The guy has got a hot body. His eyes are really pretty. And those lips…
Jacob Black: Leave that Bella you head case. Can’t you see what big a whore she is? She is all over you behind Edward and the moment he comes back, she reclines back saying you were just a fall back for her.
Chace Crawford: Do I really need to explain the reason why I wish that guy was my boyfriend? Can’t you see how hot he looks with/without a shirt?
Kaka: Hot football player. Really. Too much to handle.
Jay Chawla: Deep green eyes, slight dimples on cheeks when he smiles that diamond studded smile, killer hairstyle, football team captain. I just wish!