The Search: A Story by Manisha Amol

Meena, entering her sixteenth year was living in an imaginary world of her own. She was a smart-looking girl, a sports person and also quite popular in the area where she lived. Her apartment was situated on the 1st floor, and every evening she would spent some quality ‘me time’ on the terrace. This would be the best time of her day as she would be alone dreaming in a happy state of mind. She grew up listening to praises by everyone on her achievements etc.

One day in the evening while standing on her small terrace she looked up to find a handsome young man tending to the potted plants placed in the terrace of his apartment which was on the 4th floor in a different wing of the same block. The block had three wings in the shape of a Y and terraces of these two wings were overlooking each other as they were on the same side. She kept on looking at him for a while and felt a certain attraction at the very first sight.

Rahul aged 24 years had just moved in the apartment along with his family a few days ago. He loved gardening and would regularly be on his terrace almost similar time as Meena. Or should I say that Meena started matching her timings accordingly?

The film ‘Love Story’ had been recently released and few of the songs from this film were quite popular those days. Meena loved to play loud music and dance on these filmy songs. Rahul resembled the hero of the film to an extent and that made her feel more attracted towards him making her a bit vulnerable.

Rahul loved playing football and one evening the ball went up to the terrace of Meena’s apartment. She was busy dancing on the popular song -‘Mai aayi aayi aayi aayi aaja’ from the movie Love Story and the doorbell rang. Exasperated she swung the door open and was surprised to see Rahul standing there with a broad smile on his face.She was taken aback but did not react at all. Rahul casually asked,” Our ball is in your terrace. Could you please give it back. Sorry for the inconvenience.”She quickly ran to fetch the ball and return it to him. Rahul went away thanking her.

Post that small incident she started building up a wrong notion that even he had a soft corner for her. She started waiting for him on the staircase, in the playground or terrace to have a glimpse of him or try to speak with him. This activity continued for sometime before the news of Rahul’s engagement to another girl started doing the rounds.

She was totally shattered as she had never faced any rejection in her life before. She started slipping into depression as there was a strong feeling of dejection as well. A young immature mind was unable to handle this.

Only when her close friend made her search her soul within to find out that,” Was there any fault of Rahul? Had he given any such hint whether openly or even in any of his gestures? Why was she so harsh on herself ?”

After all it was just a one-sided teenage crush, no big deal!