August 9, 2009

Dawa: Chapter Two (2002)

The year is 2002. We are in college. She is a senior while I am just a fresher. We meet during the dance practices. We are in the same House. At first there are just hellos and hi’s. But then we are partners in three dance items… so we practice together. We meet outside practice too, but we no longer talk about the show. We talk about other things. I find her interesting. She is quite a woman, while I am just a kid. I have many vices which she tolerates. I introduce her to all my group friends, and she likes them instantly. We have lunch together. We walk together around the campus.

Once she doesn’t come to college, and I am a bit disturbed. My friends notice it and leave me alone for the whole day. The next day she comes. I don’t say anything. I just… I am just happy that she is there. But my friends have noticed that I tend to be grumpy when she’s not by my side.

That evening I take her to my favorite place, a small hillock overlooking the countryside. She wants to know why we are here. I just tell her to wait… I tell her to watch.  Then the magic happens. The setting sun throws its orange rays across the plain, over the hillock and baths us all in its light. Everything is lovely. This is my favorite time of the day, I say. I love sunsets. Suddenly she is leaning on me, and I can feel her eyes brimming with tears.

The sun is just an orange ball in the darkling sky… like a yolk which you could scoop with a spoon.
There, gazing at the setting sun I realize I am in love. But should I tell her? I cannot decide.  All I know is I love her. I want to confide in my friends but I daren’t. They will certainly make fun of me. Ok, I will wait and ask. Maybe ask about her life.

So I do. She says that she has a boyfriend in Thimphu, Dorji something. They studied together in high school; he helped her through a very difficult phase in her life, so she is committed to him. I am jealous, but what can I do? I just keep silent… I don’t tell her about my love. But she knows. We feign innocence, and just tell each other that we are just friends, but deep down we know that we aren’t. But we try to be normal and try hard to continue as before. We still walk together around the campus, we still eat together… but things are different. For me, the difference is good… because I am in love. But for her, it has come to a choice. Me or Dorji!

The news about us reaches Thimphu to Dorji’s ears, and boy is he mad! He comes to confront me… and we do talk. She decides to go with Dorji. I give up. We are not meant to be together. We were not meant to be. And I lose my love.

By the end of the term she is gone. And I am alone… wiser and alone.

It takes me a long time to forget her. I try to get into other relationships but her face always pops up… I compare the other girls to her, and they all fail.