Exactly 9 years ago, I was standing in my college courtyard which was filled to the brim with students. It was fresher's day. A day in which officially the unofficial ragging of juniors by seniors would stop and all became friends. And just to clear the air, I, for one, enjoyed all the ragging that I got. I just adored my seniors!
All first semester sections had their own stalls with games and competitions and eateries to attract as many people as possible. Popularity of the stall won points, as did On-Stage performances by respective sections. And the section with maximum number of points would be declared the "Best Section of the year 1998-1999". I was the Class Representative of my section.
As in any college day functions, the music was blaring. One could feel one's hearts flaps moving with the beats. Such was the volume. Theme of the music was predominantly Samba. I remember it as a fitting tempo for the fashion show as each of the oomph-factor girls walked down the ramp.
If there was no music, we had performances like Skit, Mad-Ads; games like Best Dressed Female, Guys with Best Specs; medley and cultural dance competitions, solo and group; singing competitions; auctioning for the Valentine Rose; Rose King and Rose Queen, and so on and so forth. The organisers were one helluva gang and ensured that the stage was never empty, the music between the intervals never stopped and no one ever got bored throughout the duration of the event.
The day just got better and better. Our stall attracted more and more people thanks to our innovative games and delicious cuisine. Some of our class-mates won prizes in competitions and made the section proud. We kept earning more and more points. Sure enough, it was announced later that our section had won the 'Best Section' award for the event! It gave me extreme joy to run over to the dias along with a bunch of my classmates and proudly lift the trophy. After the unceremonious scolding by some people just a few weeks ago for not having taken enough action being the CR of the class, winning the trophy was an ultimate turn-around and a sweet success! Of course, it could not have been possible without the participation of each of the class members...
Meanwhile, the skits and mad-ads ripped us with laughter. The announcement every few minutes indicated that the amount of the highest bid rose from hundreds to a few thousands! Desperate guys were trying to woo girls of their choice; while some gals politely, blushingly refused, some others gladly accepted the roses. The festive atmosphere continued and none ever wanted it to end nor did anyone make an attempt to leave, despite the fact that we did not have any mode of transportation after 10 pm from the college which was the then situated in a godforsaken place so far away from the city. (It is even now situated in the same place except that the city has grown so much now that I can hardly call the place as godforsaken!)
It was almost at the end of such a wonderful day, when I was just standing in my stall, with hands folded across my chest, filled with the day's exuberance and enjoyment, waiting for the organisers to just wind up, that a person walked up to me. I looked at the person. I knew the person since quite some time and had high regards. I have even now. The person looked at me straight in the face and said "I love you." The person then gave me a rose. It wasnt the highest bid rose, but a rose nevertheless.
I looked at the person to detect any hint of joke or mockery, and my lips parted with a knowing smile. But the person's eyes said nothing. The person was very serious and I guess the person meant it. I never came to know whether the person meant it or not. Not till this day.
I made my smile vanish, as I put on a bit of seriousness on myself too as reciprocation. I took the rose, looked back at the person and said "I love you too."
To this day, I cannot forget that scene nor I think I will ever forget. It made me feel very special and honored. It is the only time that somebody has ever done such an act to me.
And as the day came to an end, that simple gesture was just like an icing on top of the cake....