Nepalgunj is one of the most developed cities in Nepal. It is also one of the largest industrial cities of Nepal, where a mixture of people from different communities live and survive.
For your information, Nepalgunj is located in the Terai region (lower belt) of Nepal from where one can pass freely to India.
As I was born into a Brahmin family, from the Hindu community, my friends used to call me “Pandit”, my nickname, rather than calling me by my real name, Vir Prasad Upadhaya.
Born into a small but higher class family, I had everything I wanted. I still remember when I was around 15 years old, I used to attend the nearby Bageshowri English Medium Secondary School where I was in grade 8. My life was normal. We know that with time everything changes, but for me it was taking some time. Truly I have to admit that I was waiting for some change to happen.
After a one-month holiday, I started to go to school again. On this particular day I was even more excited about the prospect of returning to school, because I was hoping to get to know some new people in my new class i.e. in grade 9. And believe me, luckily it happened as I had expected. I noticed the faces of some new boys in the classroom. I was still happy although I had also expected some new girls. Slowly I sat down on a bench in the third row, beside a new boy, black and handsome. I just gave him a smile and in return he also greeted me with smile.
Later I found out that he was Rajan Regmi who came to become one of my best friends.
As the days passed, I began losing hope because the admission date for new students was approaching. One day I was late for school and so I ran as fast as I could. On the way to school, I noticed a girl in front of me. I wondered about her because she was totally dressed in black, from top to bottom. I asked myself how a girl could cover herself like this, from top to bottom in black when the temperature was greater than 45 degree Celsius, what kind of culture is this? However, because I was late for school, I left the girl behind and ran to my school.
Within five minutes I reached my classroom and with permission I entered the classroom. Before sitting down in the third row, I turned my head towards the white board and I was surprised to see the same girl at the door of our classroom. “What…! Is she a new student in our class…?” I thought to myself.
I was absolutely surprised to see her at our classroom door. Before I was able to answer my own internal questions, that girl came inside and also sat in the third row. She was exactly opposite me, about one metre away from me.
“Is she crazy?” I thought to myself and laughed at her. But, after sometime when she revealed her covered face, I was completely amazed when I saw half of her covered face i.e. her eyes and the area around them.
She had blue eyes that could automatically generate the love of the ocean. I promise, her eyes were the centre of attraction. At the sight of her eyes, I guarantee there would be nobody who would not fall in love with her. Her eyes were really appealing. I could clearly see the beauty of the whole world within those eyes. How beautiful her eyebrows were! Those eyes were very sensual and luring.
Now, with an open heart I have to say that I was feeling very happy that she was sitting so close to me. Due to her presence, many others in the class were somehow curious and excited, especially the boys.
As time passed, I don’t know why, again and again my full concentration focused on that girl. Probably because she was so close to me and I was very curious to find out more about her.
She was dressed totally in black. As I stared closely and looked over her, I was amazed to see that the palms of her hands were very white, soft, smooth and clear. The narrow white circle of her exposed skin between her socks and her black “Burkha” was enough for me to presume her beauty.
Now, I started to wait the three minutes until the break after the Nepali lecture. My countdown began, but the time was moving very slowly for me. I was thinking to myself, what is her whole face like, how is her voice, what is her name, etc. etc. I must say that I could hardly wait to find out more about that girl.
Engrossed in my thoughts, I was suddenly brought back to the here and now by somebody pinching me from behind, asking, “Are you lost?” Then, opening my eyes, I found that the Nepali class was already over and heard Binod calling me. I glanced at him and smiled, saying that I was thinking about yesterday’s homework.
I waited for some time, to see if any girl would begin talking to her so that I could hear her voice and know her name, but nobody spoke to her. Then, I decided to ask my friend, Rajan, for some information.
I asked him, “Do you know that new girl?” He laughed at me and replied, “No, how can I know her? I thought you knew her. After all you came in together. Are you kidding with me?” He immediately added, “Are you girlfriend and boyfriend?” “What? Have you gone mad?” I replied but with a silent smile on my face. I added that I didn’t even know her name.
Although inside I was happy because he had associated my name with hers, for the moment I thought it best to remain silent. Within a few seconds, Kishor Aamatya, our maths teacher, entered our classroom.
But, I don’t know why, on this day Kishor was in a hurry. When he entered the classroom, he immediately started the lesson. Now, all I could do was wait on the short break which we would have after the maths lesson. After what seemed like a very long wait, when the bell rang, I tried to ask Natasa, my friend, about the name of the new girl, but I couldn’t dare to ask her in front of my other classmates. So, to meet her in private, I decided to sit in the classroom and not to go out for the break.
Within a few minutes Natasa went out of the classroom with the new girl. I waited in the classroom for them, wondering when they would eventually return. Several minutes passed, but they didn’t come back. Our other friends slowly and gradually started to return to the classroom, but Natasa and the new girl didn’t. Now, I realized that my wait would be in vain. Finally, all students were in the classroom except Natasa and the new girl. Suddenly I heard a loud “Good afternoon sir“, and our English teacher, Rakesh Tiwari, came into the classroom along with Natasa and the new girl.
What bad luck, I thought to myself and had to wait for the next long break, in 90 minutes! While everyone else was concentrating on the story of “The Woodcutter” that was being explained by Rakesh, I could only focus on the new girl.
The same thing happened in the science period held by Suresh. We were discussing the difference between speed and velocity, when the bell rang and we had to go to the canteen for our lunch. Natasa and the new girl left before us, before we were ready to leave. When I reached the canteen, along with Rajan and Binod, unfortunately I couldn’t see Natasa and that new girl there. Once again, I thought I had missed the opportunity to ask Natasa about the name of the new girl. I felt very disappointed. I ate my lunch of “chola and samosa” very quickly and also asked Rajan and Binod to hurry up.
Now I wanted to make a round of the school compound and I asked Binod and Rajan to join me. I thought if I did so, I would be able to see Natasa and the new girl. We did several rounds but couldn’t see them; finally the lunch break was over, but I hadn’t had an opportunity to speak to them. When we returned to the classroom, we found out that Natasa and the new girl were already there. All day I had tried in vain to find out something about her. The remaining three periods were also the same. Now the school day was over and I walked home with Rajan and Binod.
A few 100 metres ahead of us, I could see the new girl walking, and she was accompanied by Natasa and Mahima, our classmates. That day, although I had tried my best, I found out nothing about her. All night I thought about her, imagined her and made hundreds of plans about how I could discover more about her and what I would speak about with her.
To be continued…
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