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     The First Meeting     

21st August 2010, Saturday

"Hey, I'm Manik",
"Hello, I'm Manik Mishra",
"Hey, I'm Sport's Captain Manik Mishra", and the whole night passed in correcting and contradicting my own thoughts.

The next morning I woke up without Maa's call and seeing the smile on her face, I assure you, that was so far the best day in my Maa's life (her son woke up at 5:30 by himself). But, only I knew the reality. Eagerness to see her, to meet her , desperation to talk to her didn't let me sleep that whole night. This was something new for me. I was happy without any reason.

I reached school at 7:30 in the morning. From the next week, we were having Inter City Cricket Tournament and for that very reason I took the permission to practice during 1st Half and by that we got enough time to net practice including prayer time and lunch time.
That day, when I reached ground, Kamal (my junior in school and a regular player at Satna Cricket Club) informed me," Bhaiya, our 1st match is scheduled on coming 24th and that too with St.Michael". Yes, the coming tuesday it was and the opponents were strong. Only 3 days were left including that day and coming sunday. As a Captain of the team, I wanted to bring home the bacon, and for that, since last 2 weeks we were regular and were giving our best in net practice.

The bat was in my hand and all of a sudden I saw her. Black Shorts, Yellow T-shirt, open hair, smile on her face. "She is beautiful",I was talking to myself. She was with other girls. Might be going to have a breakfast. Point to be noted, "All the players of TABLE TENNIS meet were staying in school premises". While I was busy watching her, a voice entered my ears," Bhaiya, look out" and before I could have reacted, the ball struck my thigh (a leather ball it was). That was my supplicium for loosing concentration from the game.

"Drastic times call for drastic measures.",I heard this phrase many times, but now I was feeling the same. I was not getting any solution. But, all I wanted was , she must know me before I approach her. And for the very same reason, I appointed ( :P ) my 3 close friends.
1. Rishika Nag ( My Tower of Strength),
2. Shreya Mehra ( My dance partner & my rumored GF),
3. Mahika Agarwal ( another pretty girl of our school ).

Let's again move to the net practice session.
Just before the lunch, it started raining and since we had exemption from classes till lunch we directly moved towards school canteen. बारिश+चाय+समोसा, the best combination during those times. And, suddenly Rishika came there. She knew, I would be there. 'School Canteen' was one of the common adda of our gang. She held my hand and took me to the primary gate opposite to the canteen. Haste makes waste and this time because of her action, my white t-shirt tasted the 'Chutni'. I was angry. But my anger didn't last very long. " Where are you taking mmmm....", before my question was completed, I saw my girl and that was totally out of the blue. "I came directly from the net practice, had chutni on my t-shirt, my hair were not set", this is how we met for the very first time.

"Manik Mishra, Sports Captain of this school", I forwarded my hand and introduced my self. "Prakriti Sharma", she replied. Damn, her hand was very soft. I never saw a girl prettier than her before. I wanted to compliment but was not able to utter even a single word. My heart beat was like a top speed F1 racing car. Meanwhile, Rishika told Prakriti to contact me freely whenever she needs during her 3 days stay, I nodded in assurance. Trust me, I practiced so much to speak, but didn't speak any word apart from,"ok","hmm","yes","alright". I don't know what they ( my 3 assistants ) told Prakriti, but the way she met, I was pretty sure, they did a great job. I asked for the permission to leave and  left to join my team.

Next day, on 22nd, I was having my NDA exam at Allahabad. Before leaving to Allahabad, i called Rishika. It was 7:10 in the evening. I knew she had Prakriti's contact number so I called her.
"Hey rishu, wassup?" I asked in a jolly voice.
Rishika was so close to me that she used to recognise my gestures and histrionics even on the cellphone.
"Kaam bol manik" and she had a huge guffaw which lasted for minutes.
"Okay okay, listen can I have prakriti's number as..." Rishika stopped me mid sentence and told me not to tangle up the talks.
"Well, see I cannot give you a girl's number without her permission so let me first ask her and then I'll get back to you okay" Rishika said in a consoling tone.
"Alright rishu, thanks"
And then there was a wait, a long cagey wait.
I did my dinner and left for the station

To be continued.....

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