These are recollections from my first year in college, very amusing to remember the crushes and infatuations from those days 🙂
I was around sixteen when I started college and it was an entirely different world from school because all the classmates were unfamiliar and new – since I was the only one from my school. Therefore the first few weeks were spent making new friends and learning more about everyone in class, getting acquainted to the lecturers and new rules and regulations. It was stressful, but also quite exciting because there was a lot more freedom, and our college was set in one of the most happening parts of town near Brigade Road. There were great eating joints, malls and restaurants around it. And, we had finally got rid of the school uniform and could wear “color dresses”.
Like it happens with most girls, I also gathered a small coterie of admirers around me. However, it turned out to be more exasperating than exciting. While most of them were quite subtle and shy, one of them Pranay – was too earnest and fervent for my liking. He was very loud, made his feelings too apparent and acted quite crazy. He would follow me everywhere and try to start a conversation, and when I tried to escape into the library during breaks, he would end up there too and disturb the peace. But luckily, the librarian got a whiff of what was happening and gave him a strict warning, after which the library became more peaceful.
I noticed that this kind of silly behavior was very common among boys and girls who had arrived from “boys only” or “girls only” schools. They were exposed to members of the opposite sex at close quarters for the first time, and lost their heads. Luckily, others like me who were from “co-ed” schools were more poised and graceful 🙂
Generally, I was always good at choosing the right friends, but I blundered in my first week at college. I made friends with Monica – who seemed like a very fun and garrulous girl, but I later realized that she was from a “girls only” school. The only topic she seemed interested in and talked about incessantly was “boys”. She was really amazing in the sense that she had gathered all the essential data on the attractive guys in class: she knew which school they were from, what their 10th std. grades were, whether they had any girlfriends, even their antecedents and how wealthy they were!! Till then, I never realized that this kind of data collection was important!
She was most excited about the interest that Pranay was showing in me and disappointed that I was not at all enthusiastic about it. To my utter dismay, she befriended him and tried to be a “bridge” between us. She would come to me very often and say ridiculous things like “Aparna, do you have any idea how much he likes you? He told me that he wants to marry you!! He’s one of the richest guys in class, and his dad owns a car dealership etc. etc.”
Whenever she said something like this, I would feel as if I’ve landed up in a lunatic asylum where sixteen year olds were making major life decisions (like marriage) in less than two weeks. Because it was not even a fortnight since we started college. So I decided that to remain sane in such an atmosphere, I must first break-up with Monica and find a more mature companion. And I did exactly that.
I next befriended Anita who was a very serious looking and studious girl. Not my usual type, but ideal in the given scenario. An added bonus was that she lived very close by, in an old and beautiful British bungalow. She had a huge garden and even invited me over to her place many times for lunch. Sticking to her and avoiding the troublesome characters turned out to be a good plan and I began to feel more settled in life.
However, I was being a bit hypocritical in assuming that the giddy teenagers around me were idiotic, because I was harboring a secret crush myself. I’ll write about that in my next post……