‛He Is Not My Friend’ is originally written by KATE SARAH (26.6.14 ). This is a fictional story in episodes, from a beautiful and a fantastic writer,a friend of mine.To all the readers and bloggers, here I present the two episodes from the story. Enjoy!
HE IS NOT MY FRIEND
I woke up this morning; there were butterflies inside my belly. I felt nauseous because we were close to the station. It had been three days that we spent in the train boogie. My parents came with me. If you are wondering why I am super excited it’s because I am accepted at Benjamin college of Bangalore. One of the most prestigious colleges of India, you can see this college in commercial ads and over dozens of newspapers. After my boards I told my father if I was going college then it shall be this college. My cousin sister Shristi graduated from this college last year. She is the only cousin that I am attuned to, the rest are all barbaric.
So coming to the point, I was thrilled when my dear father said,
“Rosie, you are my only child. I will spend everything for you” well my father occasionally drinks and when he drinks he makes promises but this time I wasn’t going to take it lightly. So the net was set, the trap was ready and the fish was already inside it. My mother was strictly against it.
She said, “Look at your cousins, they have government jobs they can afford big city life. I heard Shristi has a boyfriend there. You will be like her. Hanging on your boyfriend far away from home. Blah blah blah….”
To a certain point dad agreed with mother. Then I couldn’t make him see how I wanted to get out of this small town as soon as possible. I cried all night and in the morning I won.
Me=1, mother=0. Ha I won mother!
My father loves me and he will do anything for me. He is manipulated sometime by me and I hate when my cousins do that to him. They make fun of his walrus moustache and bald head but to me and mother he is handsomest the way he is.
So Rosie Rai was off to big city Bangalore, to fulfil her dreams and to be a new girl.
It’s not that I hate my hometown. I love Darjeeling so much that if God has made the paradise for me then it is my paradise. But I am not dead, I want to feel alive. It’s crazy to think that I would be spending my college years at my hometown and beside I don’t stay with my parents there. I lived seven years with my cruel maternal aunt. Her husband is worst. They make me do all the work. And on weekends they made me fill the Sintex. (as we all know about the water problems of Darjeeling). It was a total Cinderella story, only my fairy godmother and my prince charming was missing.
All work and no play will make Rosie Rai mad one day.
So I decided to save myself from further agony and decided to ditch the hills for another beautiful place.
Thats how I got here.
The first day of college I was over the moon. The weather, the trees and the soil, no more mist, no more “Rosie who will do your dishes, your appa!”.
I loved being here. It was as if the universe was in my favour. I was singing loudly at the girl’s hostel.
I made friends with fellow roommate. One was Choden Bhutia from Sikkim and the other was Priya Jain from Rajasthan. Choden was about my height. I think I got my attention towards her because she was from my neighbouring the neighbouring state. She was blessed with round face and beautiful fair skin. She wore glasses that were of a size of a bangle but she looked good on them. Beside she had good sense of dressing. Her hair was straight on her feminine shoulder. From my observation she was coy young girl who would smile whenever she meet my gaze.
Priya Jain was nothing like Choden but she was tan beauty. She looked filthy rich. Her everything was branded from her underwear to toothbrush. She was lean and weak. She had sharp facial features. Her hair was wavy and she had too many shades of red attire. She was little taller than us but due to her lean figure she looked taller than her actual height.
My parents spend their evening chatting with the director of the college who coincidently was a Gorkha. Suraj Mani Pradhan, was a resident of kurseong. Now the city of Bangalore was his home.
I heard from Choden that he owns a big land at the outskirt of the city and an authentic farm house. Dear God, Some people are living such a great life? Here I am dying for a new laptop.
Anyways my stuff was unpacked. I was doing my BA in Benjamin College. And tomorrow it was my first day at the institution.
My Dad became grumpy in the evening as we went across the city for some fresh air. He was very upset about me staying at the hostel. He kept blabbering and my mother nudged me and whispered to me my aunt’s conspiracy.
I knew it that woman needs a detergent for such foul mouth. He was having second thought, of course the city was expensive but come on for once I want to breathe here. I want to fly away from the safe nest. I want to hold on to life.
Next morning I receive a call from my father. They were leaving early, so my father bid me goodbye at 4am in the morning. I was half asleep.
When I woke up, I was late for my breakfast. I had to skip it. I had my oriented classes at 9. The shower was not working. When I hurriedly ascended towards the corridor, I saw Choden with a pale expression, “I am sorry I tried to wake you up but you were dead as a log”
No hard feelings girl! Because when someone disturbs my sleep I usually end up getting a dead sleep. And this time it was my father calling me to say goodbye. Tears swelled up as I recalled his face from yesterday. I‘ve been very close with my father more than my mother and it was killing me that for a year they would be thousand miles away from me.
I ditched my class. I had a nerve to ditch my first class. Choden insisted joining me but I wasn’t going to ruin her life for me. I walked across the lonely student park, the college was still under construction at other side of the land. I heard that they were making professor quarters. It was a huge compound. I went across the swimming pool and care to cry over for saying goodbye to home and to my parents. It’s kind of funny it wasn’t for forever that I had left them but at that moment I felt homesick, alone and stupid. Then I went to the basketball court. It was a decent court with wooden benches covering the perimeters. Beside it was the tennis court. I decide to sit at one of the benches to scratch some sketch on my note book. Not caring that it was now 11am.
While I was busy with my thought, I heard a group of boys howling. I cared not to lift my head and shower them with my attention. Then after a minute they occupied the basketball court I heard them playing. Soon they forgot I was there. The howling was for the game. I was disappointed at the thought but I was stubborn enough to stay there. I was about to finish drawing blue mimosa the ball hit my head hard and I fell on the ground between the bench. It was so embarrassing. My leg was up in air, my upper body was on the floor, God knows where my notebook was. I heard sniggers and a curse. Then two boys came to rescue. It was a surprise that they were Mongolian looking boys. One tall boy had an orange thin band around his head. He had a round face and small sparkling eyes.
He smiled apologetically at me “miss, are you okay?”
I was trembling with embarrassment and anger. I felt a warm gust of emotion rising on my face. I chose to stay silent as I dust off my jeans. The other boy was beaming at me like he was having the best time of his life.
I felt a sharp pain and realise that there was bruise marked by my pencil.
That silly boy clutched my arm and I realise that my arm hurt.
“Ouch, you idiot!” I cried.
“Sorry it was Tsujae’s fault, not mine.” He spit the truth out by pointing at the boy.
That Tsujae fella had the audacity to turn his back on me. He was about to score when the jerk looking boy next to me sold him out. He was tall and strong built. He wore his blue satin sports shorts and sport tees like everyone in the group. His hair was onyx black with a pale skin turn tan around his sleeve lines.
I was pissed that the boy who did me wrong wasn’t sorry for what he did to a girl.
“Jerk!” I said it loud so he could hear it. I saw the expression of the teammate. That Tsujae boy froze too. Then the cute looking guy next to him patted his back with a smile. So he was short tempered too. Unlucky you I can beat you in anger game.
I saw my note book at one corner and I had to rescue that piece of art I had just drawn.
I heard the boy name Tsujae call me. It was not the voice of a 19 year old boy. It was a voice of a man coming out of his throat. Though it was muscularly coarse, he had a singing voice. I looked above to meet his gaze. He was indeed handsome boy with a perfect face and the ingredient to make him qualify as the next greek model. His nose, his eyes and his Adam’s apple were both attractive yet repulsive because of the aura he was throwing at me.
“Sorry” he said narrowing his perfect eye brows. I was appalled because his apology was like a forced one word speech. Was I suppose to thank him for knocking me off the bench?
Argh! What a Waste. So I rolled my eyes and I moved across the court to have lunch. I could sense their eyes following me so I had to run away as soon as I left the court. I heard them snigger again and while I turned back. I saw him smirk.
2. Make a friend
Few things to keep in mind while you are in college; make friends even when your roommates are super moody. At first I thought maybe I was being judgmental about everyone, my roommates were giving signs. Priya seldom talks. She is perky not in a good way. She has opinion about everyone and everything. She cannot be in my friend circle. And darn it she snores like a motor boat.
Choden is timid. It’s a dog eat dog world. You cannot be meek. When I ask her about her parents she stays quiet and she begins to change the topic. Her brother works at Chennai and she was suppose to go there but she opted for Bangalore. When she talks about her siblings, she can go on and on. She has six siblings and she is the youngest. Her eldest brother is married and has three kids. She has three sisters who are married too. The brother in Chennai is a bachelor. So I never ask her about her parents and I usually don’t talk about my parents. But it pisses me off when she goes all about her sibling adventure. I was always proud of being the only child to my parents.
My college friend was my roommate Choden, over the days she became my only friend. Maybe she stuck by me because she too was too lazy to make friends. There were many north-eastern seniors who would smile cordially at us. Lunch hours were entertaining. The cafeteria was flooded by the students of all department in it. I saw those four basket players sitting at one corner of the cafeteria, they looked eccentric. I noticed that they all had their left ear pierced. They looked pale and ghost like. They were sipping diet coke. The cute looking guy that stood next to that rude Tsujae guy on the basket ball court sat at the far end. His hair was jet black. He had beautiful smile. He wore brown lens making his eyes look bigger. His neck was long and of all the four boys, I found him smart and attractive. The boy with the orange thin band had swallow dimple. He was cheerful and shy. He had a silver ring at his left ear like everyone else. The idiot guy had honey blonde head which even made him look more foolish. He was gobbling down the burger voraciously. Again that Tsujae kid had his back on me. He sat lazily at the chair like the college belonged to his father. Get some life moron!
“Psst. They are freshers like us. I heard from Sakchi the other day that they are called N.E.S.T boy band. They are a big thing in music” Choden whispered to me. I don’t know when, how and where she gets to hear all these sorts of things. She is always with me. But darn! NEST, that’s a bird home. Why not change the name to CAGE instead, that would be much better if they are bird lovers. Choden corrected me, their names initials made up for their band’s acronym.
The cute and smart boy was Namsay Wangchuk, the guy with orange wire band was Emmanuel Kikon, the boy with the funny hair was Namsay’s cousin, Sangdhup Wangchuk, and last one was Tsujae I don’t know his real name everybody called him that.
My eyes were burning, I don’t have friends and while I was in school I wasn’t that popular. I think I had enemies more than friends and I don’t care if history repeats itself here. I wasn’t here to make friends. I was sure that this boy band here would always be my worst enemy, especially that Tsujae kid. When the boys saw me stare at them, that Tsujae Guy turned to face me. I saw his eyes, they were weary and he too wore lens. There was definitely tension between us, by now he knew I hated him. Hate is a strong word to say someone but every inch, everything about that guy and even his name made me hate him.
“Lets go Choden” I pulled Choden to leave then a guy dashed with me. I felt hot oats at my pink shirt. The four boys guffawed as I rolled my eyes.
“Who has oats at their lunch?”I told the boy whose lunch was at my favourite t shirt.
“I am sorry,” he apologized.
I don’t know why but I turned to look at Tsujae. He still had that antagonist smirk on his face.
What the damn hell!
On our second week in college, the seniors called us in. We freshers were escorted by a thin boy wearing khol in his eyes. The orientation programmes were finally over. When we entered the hall which was double the size of my school hall, the seniors welcome us with applaud. On the back of my head I thought “oh boy, I feel like lamb walking in a slaughter house”. However it was a different scenario. We were given the front seats. Some seniors wore white coat, goth make up, bikers jacket and gloves and magnolia brooch pinned at their chest. There were four people on the stage. One lean guy with the goth make up and mike in his hand introduced himself and the four clubs. Benjamin College was different from others. Here the power of administration was equally distributed amongst the faculty and the club leaders. Which was kind of good thing. Every year the freshers had to choose their club and based on your personalities, you got your club. It felt like being in Hogwarts except the sorting hat was missing. The club names were hilarious, as if the founders of clubs had decided the names on a lazy summer afternoon.
Geek Genius, also known as white coat or Greek. They would only take nerds. Most of them were from science department.
Punk Goth aka the black band or Punk. I thought they were joking when they called us, freshers and introduced these clubs to us. This club belonged to all kind of music fanatics and I heard they usually dominated the cultural fest held at the college and at the city.
Meteriods or steroids. Dominated by men. This club had least members. This club members wore bikers gloves. Though less in number, this club was good at everything mainly sports.
Magnolia aka sisters (I don’t know y they called this group sisters). The leader of this club wore a white magnolia flower brooch on her coat. She had familiar face. This club was for artists.
Now we were seated at the first row. I was with Choden, beside us at the first row was the NEST boys (I will call them NEST, because the whole college calls them that). The club leader of Magnolia, a young girl probably in her early twenties came up to us. She had round face and with bob hair which even made her face look round. As she smiled and waved at us, we couldn’t see her eyes. She looked like the next generation of entrepreneur. Her lilac coat had magnolia brooch, she wore a white stockings underneath her gray skater skirt. Her ballerina shoes were so small it made my feet hurt.
She was friendly and was excited for us, well her eyes and attention was towards the NEST boys. She gave us each the Magnolia Brooch which was a code that we belonged to the club.
“But we haven’t selected our clubs” I had to tell her.
“Haven’t anyone told you? Magnolia is compulsory for Mongolian Indian like us”.
My dreams were shattered, I wanted to try bikes.
Later that evening we gathered at the club room for meeting.
The girl whom we had met at the hall was our club president, her name was Megha Zow.
She was enthusiastic when we entered the room. All the eyes were on us. I was kind of blushing by the attention they were showering. When I realise that the attention was for the four boys. I could see Magnolia had 80% girls. The other reason for their joy was the NEST.
Megha had clear scheme. She always dreamt of beating the Punks.
She happily announced that the autumn culture fest was ours now. I could see the Magnolia’s were blushing ear to ear.
NEST boys were least interested in their schemes.
They were too soaked in vanity to present a fresher’s song.
Well yeah, the college was buzzing with fresher’s and the party the Punks were throwing. It was the year of black band aka punks. The posters were pasted on the fresh white walls. The theme was dark as the club members. It was a theme of vampire’s. Twilight, Bram stroker, true blood and vampire diaries were pasted all over the bright corridors.
For the first week it was interesting and exciting. Choden too was curious, Megha had provided us with the theme costumes details. Even though I told them we were perfectly okay in our jeans and tees. She was crazy about the customs that Benjamin College had for four years. It was to abide by their rules. The rules were to follow whatever the clubs decided. Democracy here was hanged. I got few clues that I was not welcome at the clubs.
At a club where there are female population over 80% and who steal glances and some glare at you, you can clearly picture how you would feel.
They were all over the new boy band of the college. Even the boys had their man crush on the members. Surprisingly, my friend Choden too disliked the band. Well I had my reasons and she had hers. Whenever we met the NEST boys at the corridor, her lashes would drop while my head would be extra strong on my shoulder. I don’t know why but the boys would snigger whenever they pass by us.
It was my second week on campus. I was full of energy and positivity. Most of the professors and my peers had prophesized that I was the next Megha Zow of Benjamin college. I was flattered because Megha is a pert. I like her because she brings the best in our club and in our campus. At first I was not confident whether I was even capable of the title.
Choden was supportive when she encouraged me to have faith on myself. I look at her sometimes and I watch her closely. She gives me advice, she gives me company and I feel like she is lonely most of the time. I feel sorry for her and I try to break the ice but she has kept herself within the barb wire. She doesn’t allow herself to slip outside her barrier. She doesn’t laugh too loud, she doesn’t smile too wide. She is limited at everything she does. She is an altruist.
The preparation of Fresher’s day was going smoothly except for costumes. We freshers would win the competiton if our costumes were best. And only the fresher’s had the right to wear the themed costume and make up. Megha gave me a Victorian gown. It was a dirty lilac cotton bush that an amateur designer had built in a hurry. I hated it the moment she gave it to me. Girl! She is tough. She told me straight, wear it or wear nothing. I was little hurt. Who was she to boss me around? One thing led to another and Choden had to sacrifice her purple satin gown with my ragged gaga gown. By now
I realise that I had messed up my first quarter of semester with my club leader.
The other members soon began to give me cold stares.
The NEST boys were having the time of their life. They were given best clean looking cloths. That Namsay guy got the best tuxedo in the house. We had to the dinner rehearsals with our costumes. Sangdhup proposed that since the theme was of “vampire” why not wear artificial fangs.
“Why are you being dramatic?” I told him. It irritated me because they were being too extravagant for fresher’s. My parents belong to lower middle class family and seriously I don’t want to be albatross around their neck. Extra something to me meant being profligate. I came here for better education not for fashion.
“Why do you have problem with everything Ms Rai?” Sangdhup teased me.
Sometime I feel like slapping his face but I can’t.
I saw Megha was staring at me from head to toe.
“Purple looks great” she examined me. “Do little goth makeup and hairdos”
She was avoiding Sangdhup’s crazy ideas.
The club room looked congested with the four tall boys overshadowing her judgements.
“What I am saying is that it’s too extravagant for Fresher’s welcome don’t you think? Costumes and makeup and all the crazy stuff as theme Fresher’ welcome.”
Everybody gasped except the boys.
“Look Rose or whatever your name is” said the girl next to Megha I don’t ready get the names right so let’s call her “the vice president of the club”. She had thin face and black circles and white teeth that made her look more dark skin. “…just because somebody told you can be a president of this club one day doesn’t mean you already are a president. Megha is the leader here, she decides what to do”
It was like a thump on my ego. How can people be so rude? I was just suggesting. My thumb crushed inside my fingers as I controlled my temper inside my fist.
Megha on the other hand was sneering at the statement her vice president had just thrown me into.
“Why? Can’t you pay for a fake fang?” everybody laughed I felt ashamed of my poverty.
“No it’s not that” I defended with my lie. My face however couldn’t suppress my shame and my lie. I felt hot warm blood over my cheek, I knew instantly that my skin matched with the interior of the club room.
“Oh forget it, the clubs pay for everything that is why we have quarterly fees for clubs”
Seeing the colour of my skin, she smiled cordially at me and rubbed my forearms gently.
“We can also wear lens?” suggested someone from the group. Everybody around me clasped their hands with excitement my lashes were down because my ego was hurt. I was ashamed of my family economy. I watched the boys and girls around me. They had beautiful cloths and hair extensions. They had expensive cell phones and loud make up. Their shoes looked new. My knees were shaking. Maybe coming to another city mixing up with other group of people who doesn’t speak your tongue, whose pocket money is greater than your father’s pension, was a wrong idea.
Earlier that week I was blooming with confidence. Today I felt like a loser and everyone who was laughing at their own jokes made me feel like they was jeering at me.
I sat at one corner playing with my phone. There was a certain urge to call my parents and to beg them to take me away to my paradise. I fought with that strong urge. Choden was doing her hair. Divyani ah yes that’s her name, our vice president was doing her makeup and hair.
My eyes were at my feet when someone called my name,
“Rosie, are you okay?” I looked up to see him. Namsay had the most beautiful smile.
“Can I sit with you?” he was gallant too.
It was confusing. I hated almost everyone in that boy band except this beautiful creature.
I looked away I didn’t wanted to chat with him. Half of the girls around me froze as he sat next to me. I saw the rest of the boys. Emmanuel was watching Divyani and Choden. Did he want to have a hairdo that Choden was getting? I wasn’t sure.
Sangdhup was having the best time of his life with the girls, who were hovering around him like bees doing his makeup. I saw Tsujae staring at the mirror. Surprising no girls hover over him. He was alone staring at the mirror and I realised when our eyes met at the mirror that he was watching me with grim face.
“Why is he always like that?” I asked Namsay. He laughed a short laugh and said, “You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover”
We had a little chat. Namsay was from Bhutan but his parents had settled down in Delhi. Sangdhup was his first cousin and currently he was staying at his cousin’s place.
I don’t know why I wanted to know more about Tsujae but I had no gut to ask.
Choden was not beside me, I felt lonely in the crowd. So I decided to visit cafeteria and have some fresh air there. On the way I heard some giggles behind my back. I felt exactly like Hermione Granger when her friends made fun of her at the beginning of her days at Hogwarts. The only exception is that she was a witch and I am nobody.
At the cafeteria I ordered a coffee to Joseph. “What are they laughing at?” he asked.
And I had no answer. The giggle started as I turned for my class. I ran away I heard Joseph shouting behind me my name.
After that I returned to have my Psychology class and I saw that everybody at the corridor was giggling at me.
Have you ever dreamt of being naked? I felt like I was stripped. They were laughing too loudly. My temper was safe inside my fist.
I entered my class room and they started to laugh at me. I wanted to wake up from this nightmare. My tears were at the brim of my lashes. My lips were trembling. What had I done? I had no idea. Hopefully I saw Choden at the front row with the same look as Joseph in the cafeteria. I raise my eyes to see the NEST boys who were not laughing at me except for Sangdhup. Namsay waved at me, Emmanuel had his hands folded on his chest. Tsujae was watching me through his grave eyes. He had leaned forward with his elbows on the desk and his lips sealed by the hand on which he had rested his head. I sat beside Choden and the laughter began to reach at the peak.
“What’s this?” she pulled out a sticky note and cartoon sticker of a red angry bird off my back.
I had never cried in public and the tears at the brim of my eyes would not stop for a second. They laughed and they laughed at me except Choden who stood up at her chair and led out a loud cry.
“Who did this to her?”
I had never seen her that way. She was as red as me and I saw her veins throbbing at her temples as she demanded to know who the culprit was. I ran away because my throat could no longer hold my cry. After a while I was crying at the ladies common room.
My mother doesn’t cry. She has I think castrated her tear bags. I have never seen her cry in my entire life even when muma(her mother) passed away few years ago. I don’t have a friendly relationship with her. My father is a cry baby and my mother is a rock for both of us. I know she loves me when she used to put an extra lump of momo she had saved for me. I was missing her at the moment because whenever I cry she is the one to cheer me up. I missed my home. The tears wouldn’t stop. My eyes were red and swollen so were my lips. My nose burned because I had rubbed it for too long. I heard Choden at the door.
“Things are taken care of no need to worry” I heard her concern voice.
And that’s how Choden Bhutia became my best friend for life.
Next on HE IS NOT MY FRIEND
Freshers day a disaster for Rosie. How could I be friends with the beast? He is malechavinist, a pervert and socially incompetent. Who put the drugs in our drinks? Who?…..