“Do you have a DELL charger? Can I borrow?” Sumit asked the neighbor without even introducing himself.
Despite evening breeze, fresh sweat droplets were distinct on Sumit’s forehead.
“Wait”, the girl went inside.
Sumit knew nothing about his front-door neighbour. His hectic corporate job, the city’s superfast life, and his introvert nature contributed to his indifference.
However, that evening, he had no other go. Lockdown had been declared. He had forgotten his laptop charger at his office last night. There was a project delivery lined up for the night.
The girl returned with a DELL charger with a narrow pin.
“Yes!!!”. Sumit exclaimed with a vigorous fist pump.
“Do you need it back in the night?” Sumit asked.
“No, until the medical entrance gets over next week.”
Sumit later learnt that it was the girl’s fourth attempt. Both her parents were doctors. They wanted her to be a doctor. Sumit often observed from his balcony that her study room lights were up till 3 AM.
Nevertheless, the girl did not clear the entrance this time too.
In a society meeting, Sumit caught up in a conversation with the doctor couple.
“But, one can contribute to medical field remarkably without being a doctor.” Sumit quipped.
“How?” The girl’s mother asked.
“Many ways. For instance, as a public health administrator.”
“That’s peripheral.” The girl’s father was not convinced.
Sumit then narrated the doctor couple a slice of CV Raman’s life. After winning the Nobel, Raman worked hard for decades to develop science in India. But he realized later that the real power to do so lies with the administrators.
Thereafter, Sumit had forgotten about the front-door-girl. He did not even bother to know her name.
The lockdown was making Sumit miss his office colleagues, specially, Vilashini. He had no clue whether Vilashini had any feelings for him, but one glance of her in the office had always made his day.
It was Valentine’s Day. The office had put up a contest to describe ‘my true lover’. Sumit’s entry read,
‘You loved me because you were fond of me. In this case, you did not love me actually. You loved your choice; you loved yourself. That’s self-love. If and only if, for my love for you, you could have loved me leaving aside your all choices, then only you could have been ‘my true lover’.’
Later on the day the result was announced. Sumit’s quote was the winner. It created a ripple among his colleagues. Sumit was daydreaming how Vilashini would react.
The doorbell rang. A piece of paper was slipped under door.
“It was lockdown for me for last five years. You freed me from the shackles. You stormed into my life like a prince in the dream. Will you be my valentine? I will wait; children’s park; 6 pm. – Madhuri”
Sumit was about to tear the paper apart. However, his winning quote, flashed on his screen, calmed him.
He was soon ready with his favorite t-shirt for the evening.
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