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The authorities at the local University had announced admission schedule for the current years’. One could see multiple groups of students in all teaching departments in and around the university campus. Young boys and girls attired in their best, some of them in new clothes, majority in denims could be seen going through the notices put up on the outside notice boards and walls of various offices. The list of different study courses being offered in the faculties of  science, arts, law, commerce etc. could be obtained otherwise also from the main administrative block building. She decided to take a walk to the administrative block building, to obtain the combined list offered by the university along with prospectus for the current study session.  She was aware that her walking   through each and every faculty building might have involved a research of one full day. She remembered her mother had asked her to be back home by the early afternoon for her lunch positively as she had to go out for shopping with the neighbors.

“Could I have a prospectus please?” Koena requested the man sitting behind the large wooden counter.

“That would be Rs.50. You deposit the same at the cash counter and come back here with the receipt.” the clerk had said.

There were about 6 to 8 persons waiting at the cash counter. Koena joined the group behind the people standing in the smaller queue. The other queue at the adjoining window was a much longer one.

“Where do I deposit the cash for prospectus”? She had asked the girl ahead of her. “Anywhere both are cash counters, by the way I am here to join faculty of law studies. What about you?”

Koena who was still not sure of which study course she wanted to pursue in her post graduation course could not reply her back immediately, “I am not sure! I think I will have to have a look at the prospectus and then only I will be in a position to decide which stream of further higher studies I should take to.”

She gave a transitory look to the long line of people waiting patiently outside the other window. Suddenly she turned again and noticed him. While others were busy talking amongst themselves or waiting for their turn, this Youngman was keeping a constant gazes at her very closely as if he was appraising her. She ignored his inquisitive looks for a while. But his mischievous smile and naughty eyes called for her attention again.

“Now he was definitely smiling at her”.  She was quite sure there was a glint of   mischief in that smile.

Koena wondered, “Have I really known this man earlier.  What if I had known   him previously and am not been able to place him now”.

She just shrugged her shoulder as she realized that she was unable to place him. She averted his intense gaze and shifted her eyes away from him. But those two iniquitous eyes of the young man were literally seeking her attention.

The clerk sitting behind the cash counter called out, “come madam what can I do for you? Please hurry up as we have to close the office for afternoon break”.  It was her turn now. She paid the charges picked up the prospectus and rushed towards the local bus stop. She wished she had taken an auto rickshaw back home.  Since there was none available she preferred waiting for a city bus.

“Hi. I am Ranjit.” Koena raised her eyes upward to look towards the sound of the voice.  It was the same Youngman who was, introducing himself to her. She just threw a uninterested smile back at him, without bothering to give him her name or extending any formal introduction. She boarded a bus hurriedly and selected a seat next to the old lady sitting on the left side window. She did not even bother to see if the man had boarded the same bus. Koena looked out of the window of the moving bus. She noticed that the seasons were changing in her town. . Spring was about to set in. The tree leaves and the flower plants were altering their color. The hue of natural world in and around her lovely town everywhere wore many a festive look. The rainbow flowers that had been grown on each police traffic circle by the local horticulture department were looking just splendid.  The dahlias and the sweet peas had been raising their neck upward to catch a glimpse of the sunshine through the flower laden gulmohar trees stretching themselves towards the skies. She savored the fresh fragrance of the tall mahogany green trees growing up on both sides of the road.

“The town I live in is the most beautiful town in the world. May this heavenly bliss is always showered upon the denizens of this city beautiful”, prayed Koena.

The bus had arrived at the stop where she was supposed to get down and walk down towards her home. She alighted down and paced her steps hurriedly towards her home lest the fellow should appear again.  She did not unnecessary want to face the uncalled for queries from her father Mr. Kumar. He was very pertinent that “no young man should ever be encouraged to come to their house even if he happened to be her class mate”. Though her mother tried to reason with him about the change in times and the ways of the current generations which were different, but in vain; his attitude towards the difference in genders of species remained steadfast.


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