As explained previously, I was selected for the school quiz team. One guy from 10th grade name Arun and one girl from 10th grade named Kavana were my team mates, as instructed by our headmaster we were required to wear our blazers, so as to carry out a dignified look while representing our school, he gave a skeptical look to me when he mentioned the word “dignified”. He wished us good luck and left.
The quiz was scheduled the next day, the college organizing that quiz had arranged a bus for us to take to their location, which was on the outskirts of Bangalore, off Kanakpura road. While passing on Kanakpura road I glanced at one engineering college whose building looked like a government school building in a remote village, without any compound wall but with a bushy fence, wondered how can an engineering college be so pathetic, 3 and half years later I was a student of that college.
We finally arrived at the location, it was completly amidst green fields, which at present is the hub of villament projects. On the preliminary round we were given a paper with a set of questions, which we managed to clear as a team. Yes, it was not a traditional quiz, it was more of a science fair, second round we were to construct a bridge using broomstick strands and rubber bands such that it had to withstand a load of 500grams, I was artistically inclined and worked on a way to build it using minimum number of strands. On the third we were asked to build a two way circuit which was beyond our scope at that point of time. So that was the end of our journey in that science fair, we managed to secure third place.
The fair was not just science and nerd stuff, there was music and dance, which the students from few of the so called cool schools danced and made merry. Our team sat silently in one corner, I noticed a girl from a Baldwin’s girls high school sitting quietly scribbling something in her note pad and she was using a fountain pen, damn she was pretty. Arun observed her too and said, who uses fountain pen these days , I replied I do and showed him my “Parker”, which now is replaced by a “Waterman”. He said she’s cute and he said he wanted to ask her out, but he didn’t have the guts, I found her attractive too, I went close to her and said ” Bhaskar” and stretched my hand, she took my said her name was “Aishwarya”, I said “strange you still use a fountain pen” , she smiled and replied “there’s a certain feel which cannot be expressed in words”, I replied “did I trigger a poetess in you”, she laughed hard and I further asked “where’s your team?” She said pointing towards her team “over there, dancing” , my next question was ” you don’t dance?” She laughed further and said “I enjoy my alone time and hate the crowd, how about you?”, I laughed hard and shrugged a no, to continue the conversation further I asked “if I may ask, what are you writing?”, she said “oh! Its just some poetry, do you want to take a look?”, obviously I said yes and read through few pages, I was impressed by her language and of course her handwriting, which was beautiful in contrast to mine, She asked if I read any literature, I said I did read philosophy. “shall we have coffee? ” I asked, “sure” she said and we went near the free coffee counter set up to cater to the participants.
We went to a quite corner to chat further, we discussed about our interests. Time was literally flying away, All of a sudden she asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?” It was a hard question, I mumbled “an engineer, maybe an automobile engineer”, she asked ” why automobile? ” I said what came to my mind then “to build a car that runs using minimum fuel”, ” hmm, nice” she responded, I asked “what about you?”, ” a journalist “, she said and gave toothy grin, “amazing!” I responded and did not react further, “why what’s wrong?” She probed further, “nothing, its just that its the first time I have heard someone who wanted to do something other than engineering or medical” I replied, she blushed and she felt appreciated.
I realized it was getting dark and our buses would leave soon and everyone were aligning with their teams, she asked my phone number so we could stay in touch , I gave my landline number without thinking about the consequences, of course I did not have a cell back then. She asked me to note down her mobile number and her email ID, so I took out my fountain pen to make a note of it, she smiled and said “so we both are weird”, I blushed , “okay I gotta go, you can add me on Orkut and do stay in touch” she added and gave a lovely smile, she looked damn cute with her short hair, “for sure” I responded, but with one question on my mind, which I asked Arun later in the bus “what is Orkut?”