Thursday, June 4, 2009

That first crush...

I got in touch with a friend of mine, Mrutyunjay Praharaj after 14 years. We exchanged numbers and were talking about the old times.

“Do you remember any of the guys?” I asked him.
“Not very clearly, I can just recollect your face vaguely”
“You don’t remember anyone?”
“Yeah. There was one girl, Disha Dixit. She was very thin and had nice eyes. She was from Bhopal and had a brother in our class. She was good at studies and the monitor of our class”

Great! I dint know whether to compliment him on his memory or curse him for not remembering the rest of us.

But he had a point. Disha Dixit was a major feature of my childhood as well….


I had joined the new school. I was in Class 1. She was in my section. She always sat in the first bench. She was attentive and never blinked an eyelid when the teacher was explaining something.

She was a ‘good’ girl - the teacher’s pet. She was thin. But her eyes made her look powerful. Her eyes could drill into you when she looked at you. Her hair was just a little curly. She had long eyelashes and brown eyes that I never had the courage to look into. She had misaligned teeth. But when she smiled, everyone else’s seemed imperfect. And her laughter. She had a slightly boyish laughter. It was Mozart to my ears!

There was nothing that Disha Dixit couldn’t do. She was a very good student. Academics, speeches, drama, dance, you name it. The only flaw was that her singing wasn’t exactly melodious, but such trivial things could be ignored. She was a slow eater. Which was perfectly fine for me. We didn’t get to talk to girls after the 2nd standard, so the only time I got to see her was during lunch and dinner. She’d eat in slow motion. Pick up a morsel of rice and look at it as if she was inspecting every grain for bacteria. And then put it in her mouth. And chew. And chew. And chew.

She wasn’t the prettiest girl in the class. There was Suman, who was very cute. But Disha was by far the most attractive. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. The only problem? She was Varun’s sister. Varun was my best friend. When the two of them would be talking, I would butt in with the lamest excuse.

“Hey, Varun. Wanna play?”
I knew he wouldn’t, but that was just so she would look at me. As a kid, you do stupid things without knowing exactly why you do them. Like, if the teacher asked me to stack some notebooks in the cupboard, I would first search through all the books till I found hers, and then after lovingly caressing it, would put it on top of the pile!

The teachers generally arranged our seating in such a way that a guy and a girl would be seated on the same bench. Each time, I’d pray that she sat next to me. But that never happened. So all I could do was admire from a distance. She was hot property in the class, only a few guys spoke to her, and I was never among them. Everyday I used to make up my mind to start talking to her the next day but that day never came.

She was the monitor of the class, and she meant business. Whenever any of us misbehaved, we were made to wear frocks for the entire day. And since she was Varun’s sister, it was pretty convenient. The teacher would say, “Disha, go bring a frock of yours”. And she would run up to the dormitories and come back with a bright, colourful frock. MP was made to wear frocks on a regular basis. I still remember them. They were always in hues of bright yellow, orange or red. Though the idea seems revolting now,
I used to wish I got to wear them. Wearing her frock would be worth all the thrashing that came before the frock-wearing ceremony. But I never got the chance. I was always made to wear the frocks of other girls I cared two hoots about!

From my description, you must be under the impression that she was a sweet, cute girl. She was not. Another punishment that was meted out on us was this. If a guy misbehaved, Nishant Reddy (the strongest guy) would hold his hands behind his back. And Ms. Disha Dixit would be asked to slap the guy. Now, normally you’d expect a person to slap the guy lightly.

But not Disha. How could she be like others? She had to be extraordinary.

She would raise her hand; take it a few feet, and…… WHACK!!!!!!!!!!!!! Right across the face. For someone so frail, I wondered where all the energy came from. She would keep slapping the guy till she was asked to stop. It was all done with clinical precision. She’d be sitting on her bench, the teacher would call her, she’d alter the colour of the cheeks of the poor guy, and then quietly go back to her desk and continue writing!

But this did not change my feelings for her. They were my friends, but they deserved it, I thought. During the games periods, she would be having running races with some of the guys. I would be playing stupid game like Ramayan and watching her, strengthening my resolve to talk to her. I was never able to talk to her freely. Maybe a ‘Thank You’ or a ‘sorry’ once in a while. But the fact that I’d see her everyday made the entire grind of the morning prayers and ayah bath worth it.

Yes, Disha Dixit was something else!


shruti said...

I am waiting for disha's comment on this piece!!!!!!!

disha said...

just read it..........
dont exacltly know if i felt embarrased....but was a superb one.....laughed my heart out with those MISALIGNED teeth of mine....
shud have remained that BOSSY even till today....miss that nature of mine!!!!

kasturi said...

this is like really sweet :)

Sarmistha Pattanayak said...

its really cute..would love to meet her someday..

Abhiram said...

whoaaaaaaaaa... !!!

Nice post :)

Write one on BKS's "love" for Suman, will ya ?!

Nandalal said...

sweet one....
I can relate to that caressing the copy waala line :)

Ravi... said...

dude..too good!! somehow i never got so many memories of my first crush in 4th std! ;)