It started with that black hot seat outside principal’s office when she saw him for the first time and hated him as if he was from some other planet just because he smiled at her. For the boy it was love at first sight. It was a teenage love and the boy of 16 found himself trapped in Cupids illusion where nothing is real other than the beloved. Actually in that school, students who were fee defaulters were told to sit on the black hot seat. The hot seat became the seat of blissful pleasure to get a sight of the girl. The girl who hated him at first sight started ignoring him right from the first day. She found the boy, the worst in the world. He brought the cheque of school fees every day, but his interim affection wasn’t permitting him to pay the fees. Finally when the principal told him that he would not be allowed to enter the school till he paid the fees, he immediately fulfilled the formalities and sat in the class. So for a couple of months he couldn’t see her. When the time came to pay the fee for another quarter, he again defaulted happily and was made to sit on that black hot seat. The school ran in two shifts – morning for boys and afternoon for girls. Arrival of the girls and the departure of the boys were the only few minutes when glances were exchanged and emotions were expressed. The unknown anonymous unfamiliar and unforgettable girl could be seen from the hot seat for few minutes more as girls had to stand in the assembly.
Just to ogle at her for fifteen minutes, he used to sit there for one hour; sometimes more than that. He regularly stationed himself in the same place, waiting for her to come. Because of the boy’s blatant shameless presence, the girl didn’t go to school for some days. But then she thought that this was not the solution and resumed school. The day came when he offered his first few words in the form of wishes. The colourful dress she was wearing was the sign of the most important day of life. ‘Birthday’. He was standing with his friends when she entered the school. He wished the girl delightfully but she gave no ear. For once she thought of giving him a piece of mind but then, nice that she was, she decided insulting someone in front of friends was not fair. He took one more chance to win her heart. Her hatred only grew more and she wanted to complain. But was this gazing good enough to accuse someone? It wouldn’t be considered a serious crime in school! Besides she would be the centre of attention for all; perhaps she’d be bullied. She left the idea to die by its own. The war of hate and love was at its extreme and both didn’t want to kneel down till the last breath. But an undersigned ceasefire was waiting ahead. That was post the examinations when summer vacations were about to start. She was sure that the boy would fail that year because almost 85 days he had spent on the same chair. On the Result day, she saw the boy first. He was a bit annoyed and a bit happy. Looking all around with his searching eyes, he came out at last with the result and sat at his old place, as if paying homage to it but still looking cypher. After the holidays she came to school and suddenly stopped at the awaited hot seat. The only evidence of some silent moments – a small history or a witness of love – dust accumulated on its surface during the long summer vacation…….
Then started her class 11th and his class 12th which were scheduled in the morning for girls as well as for boys. In absolute secrecy she tried to find out his name. One or two weeks went by and finally she got her hands on it. Prakash. During her ‘research’ she explained to herself that perhaps she should not have felt so bad earlier! Somewhere, somehow, that boy had taken a soft corner in her heart. But the boy who waited for her since the last eight months had no idea what was going on. Prakash asked around for her to his friends, tried to find her on social networking sites but all his efforts went in vain. One day he spotted her roaming with another girl who was his facebook friend. He immediately checked her friend list but she seemed nowhere! “Who is the girl glued with you all day?” He once asked that common friend. She shrugged. “I am friends with many people in the school. By the way, why are you asking? I thought you aren’t interested in girls!” He sighed. “I was just curious.” He said and walked away citing some urgent work. Next day the friend told her all about the conversation. She too felt that Prakash liked her a lot. But from the girl’s point of view, this was not right. She knew that she would not be allowed to be with him because her family wouldn’t approve. They feared that love leads to unsuccessful union and ended with unhappiness. Till a few days back, her thoughts were no different as she was brought up in the same orthodox ambiance. But who on earth could ever control minds! She had started liking him. She never tried to express her feelings to him; neither did Prakash ever cross his lines. He never got to know that she also liked him. But a secret love story had already started brewing. Two souls were distanced, and yet they had started walking on the same orbit!