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Touched By An Angel

“Are you mad?”, I shouted at Neha
“Come na Janu, please!!!”, Neha was still insisting
“NO, I’m not coming, and stop calling me Janu, it sounds very filmy”.
Although I liked Neha calling me Janu, I always pretended to dislike it, so that she will continue to call me by that.
“Ok baba, I won’t, but please, come with me. I already have committed my teachers that you will be there.”, Neha said
“But, why me yaar? Can’t you get somebody else for your stupid thesis?”
I was still not able to digest the thought of being in a girl’s college as an Object to some idiotic thesis of Psychology, where girls will ask me questions, will show me weird diagrams and pictures and I have to tell them what I see in those shapes. Based on my answers, class will write down their observations. The end result will be my psychological behavior.
This was some kind of activity that was planned in the coming week in Neha’s Psychology class and they wanted somebody who has never studied Psychology before and has never experienced such a stupid humiliation.
For me, or for that matter for any guy in the city, Neha’s girls college was like a cave of Alibaba. Everybody wanted to peep in, to see what treasure it held. 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week, you will see some guy standing near the college gate or around the girls’ hostel. On any other day, the idea of being in that college would have fascinated me. But,somehow being the ONLY man in that college was scary. I couldn’t digest the thought of being there and being questioned by the girls.
When you have a girl-friend, it doesn’t matter what you think or what you believe. You just have to obey.
It was difficult to say NO. She was pursuing since last 3 days now. I had few days off in the next week to compensate for the extra work done during the release and I had no other plans but to laze around, which according to Neha was a boring. She thought it would be good for me to spend time with her. And she was equally curious to know my psychology, by means of those practical (or should I say, she was eager to cross-check whether I am a psycho !!!!) The other obvious reason from girls point of view could be to show-off her boy-friend. Whatever be the reason, I couldn’t stick to my opinion. I gave in finally and agreed to attend the practical.

“Thanks Tarun for coming here ”, Neha said
“My pleasure”, I tried to smile, but couldn’t.
“You are looking handsome in this white shirt and blue jeans”, Neha tried to boost my confidence.
While we were talking, I noticed that I already had crossed the border-line of the gate and was inside the college premises. A cold wave of shiver passed through me. A group of 3-4 girls were staring at me. I thought, the moment we would be out of earshot, they would start commenting and start spreading the news in the college premises. By the time we crossed them, I was dead sure they were talking. I could sense their daunting stares on my back !!!!!
College was huge, constructed somewhere in 1935, but still looked solid. The premise looked clean. At least there were no empty cigarette packs, gutkha packets and litters. While we were walking towards the class, I saw two older ladies coming in our direction. It didn’t take a brainer to guess that they were teachers. Both of them had spectacles, neatly draped saree, no heavy make-up and expression less face. They were busy, discussing something. The eldest of them saw me first. She said something to the other lady who also looked at me.
With every step of them moving towards us, I could hear my increased heart-beats. I looked at Neha. She was cool.
While I was busy thinking, what will happen next, those two Ma’ms reached us.
The elder one, looking at me, asked Neha for her I-card. Neha produced the I-card . The lady was not at all interested in it, she was still enquiringly looking at me. If someone breaks the signal, traffic police catch him and asks him for his licence. Now tell me, is he really interested in looking at his license? No right? There was something else he is curious about. It was that kind of look, the other lady was having when I stared at her.
“Mam, he is Tarun, my friend.”
I thought, what if she had said, “My Boy Friend”. Would either of them took out a revolver in Rajanikant style and shoot me?
“He is here for the Psychology thesis practical that we are going to have. I already have the permission to bring him in.”, Neha continued with her blabbering, and two teachers continued to stare at me For no reason, I had that guilt conscious and hence I continued to look down at the floor.
“Whose class? “, this time the other Ma’m spoke. “Desai Ma’m”, Neha replied with confidence.
Neha’s answer seems to pacify all their inquiries and both left us without any more fuss after that.
The curiosity among the girls was increasing with every inch I was moving in. I was trying to avoid direct eye contact with any of them but yet could feel their stares at me. I was kind of alien or outsider for them.
I wished Neha could hold my hand, so that I could feel safer.
Neha was pointing me to the buildings. “This is our Economics lab……. this is the hall for our extracurricular activities……. that is a school………… that one is auditorium and the building back there is for sports……. “
Couple of more steps we cruised in and I heard a loud shout from a group of girls. The next building was the girls’ school building. The girls of division 6 or 7 had an lecture off and probably didn’t have anything to do. Peeping outside their class window when they saw me, they started shouting “Dadaaa sss Dadaaa ssss”
I remembered last month, when we were out to a hill-station, a bunch of kids from our bus started shouting “monkey, monkey” /when they seized black faced monkey gang on the corner.
Was I a moneky for these school girls?
I was too ashamed to look at them, or to look anywhere for that matter.
Neha was laughing at this situation and I was furious at her.
“Let’s go to the canteen and eat something first.”, Neha said, showing me the way to the canteen. Argh...girls’ word was silent. She actually meant girls’ canteen!!!
Canteen was very noisy, as opposed to the deadly silent premise. It was buzzing with shouts, laughs, gossips and what not. When we went inside, the canteen lost its voice. Everybody were staring at me. Nobody moved, nobody said a word, pin-drop silence.
There was no space to sit or to stand. Neha asked me to wait outside, while she will go in and get something to eat. I was about to say something but it was too late. By that time Neha had already gone.
Canteen was again busy with its chirping.
I was alone and wanted to look around. I wanted to look at the beautiful faces around, I wanted to smile and make myself comfortable, but couldn’t do either of it.
It was more than 5 minutes and Neha had still not come.
“Is there a big queue? Did she meet any of her friend? Is she busy talking? Does she remember that I am with her and waiting outside all alone, helpless, very much dependent on his girlfriend?”
I had no courage to go inside the canteen and search for Neha. It was already filled to capacity with girls of all standards and classes. So instead I thought taking a look inside from the nearby window to check on Neha. While I was doing that gutsy act, I heard a heavy voice, ”Excuse me!!”
I turned around.