Mansi and Tej ~ episode 3

“Would you like some tea?”
Nodding his head, Tej added, “yeah, just give me a minute ” and he went inside. 

The wind was light, the gentle breeze swaying the leaves of the trees.
Mansi took a deep breath, an ultimate feeling of satisfaction spread through her. May be it’s the fresh air and the scenic view. Or may be the just the man behind, his presence, her anchor, always guiding her to his heart. 

A stronger bout of wind passed by, gushing against her face, her hair now strewn all across her face. The leaves no longer swayed but fluttered like a sparrow propelling its wings for a take off. The sound was like music to her ears. Everything seemed to be so much in tandem with everything else. Such harmony.

She saw Tej coming through the balcony door. His lean frame more pronounced from the silhouette through his loose night shirt. The dark stubble in his chin complementing his brown skin. 

“It’s chill. Wear this”, handing over the cardigan to his wife, he continued, ” it’s so peaceful in here .”

“Ya.Feeling so relaxed”

Taking the tea cup from her hand, Tej made his way towards the steel railings. Turning around, he asked
“You remember our Mahabaleshwar trip. Even that place was beautiful”

“Yes of course, the one where you almost forgot to invite me”, rolling her eyes, Mansi feigned a frown.

“But I did at the end, right?”, with his trademark naughty grin.

“That’s only because I reminded you. Remember I sent you an SMS that very day”

“But you sent the message  on mistake, you can’t claim credit for that now!”, said Tej with a mock horror.

“Well!  Even as a mistake, I did send!!” , Mansi laughingly justified herself.

“But was it really a mistake?”, raising her brows in question, she asked Tej with a smile still playing her lips. She beamed recalling the events that led to that message that day.

It had been some time Tej talked to her.  She noticed that Tej found new ways to start a conversation with her every day. Sometimes it’s the exam notes, quality of evening tea in canteen on other days and at times even the good old clichéd – weather. Whoever discovered weather as a conversation starter had probably studied human behavior very closely. Weather never goes wrong. 

But for the past few weeks, Tej was not seen in the campus. She purposely made rounds of the canteen in the hours in normally which he visited, even stayed at the college gate for some extra 15 minutes talking to the gatekeeper just so that she came across him. She even brought him up in casual conversations with her permanent notes customer, Sid, trying not be too obvious that  Tej was all she thought about these days.

She realised she had to do something concrete, tangible to establish contact with him. Needless to say she was little upset at his absence and more so with his indifference for last few days. She thought they were on to becoming something long term. Nevertheless she decided to give a last try. She wanted some closure of their non existent relationship – whatever that meant. Even she didn’t believe her own words.

She had his number. He gave her the week before he went all hiding. She contemplated how to start the conversation. They have never talked over phone, nor did they ever message – not even in mistake. 

Ah! Mistake. Well they could be made, she decided. She could surely arrange that.

Scrolling down her contact list , she tried to check the name of anyone whose name started with T, of course other than the obvious one. 
“Tuhin! Great!” , she exclaimed.

So she started typing. 

“Hey Tuhin, it’s Mansi this side… Roy Sir just asked me to inform you that you left your notes at his desk. You need to personally go and collect it”.

She re- read the entire message once again and was satisfied that it surely sounded like her – notes, books, teachers. That’s what she was perceived to be. 

Then she hit send. Of course not to Tuhin. By mistake to Tej. 

Half an hour later.

” beep beep”

“1 message received ”

She smiled as she saw Tej’s name in the screen. Uuf! So it was worth all the trouble. 


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