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On a quiet lazy Sunday afternoon, he got off the bus, walked down a quite lane to a small cottage with peeling paint and faded curtains. Suddenly a voice behind him asked “Are you looking for somebody…”,he turned around only to find out a blue eyed girl with long curly hair till her waist; wearing a floral top and short pleated skirt that ended a few inches above her knee. He just kept staring at her for a few seconds and soon was lost in his own thoughts. She kept on asking him but he never replied. Slowly she walked towards him and whispered in his ears “Are you looking for somebody” and then finally he replied ‘No’ and moved on. She walked towards him and asked what are you doing in this old, unclean cottage with spider webs all round the place? He was in no mood to reply her. But the blue eyed girl didn’t give up. She again approached him. This time he burst into tears. She didn’t know how to respond or what to do next. He just couldn’t stop himself from crying. Somehow she managed to stop him from crying and tried asking him the reason behind his tears. He turned red and told her ‘Get Out. Just leave the cottage and leave me alone. I want some time alone.’ She felt awful and irritated. She thought she was just trying to be nice to him but he was rude and arrogant. She decided to leave. While she was leaving she hit herself on the cupboard and fell down. He saw her lie on the floor but ignored thinking she was pretending but after a few minutes, he ran towards her and picked her up in his arms and took her in his old and messy room which was covered with dust and cobwebs. He then apologised for his rude behaviour to her. But she was in no mood to forgive him and told him to leave. He got up and walked away. After all he was just a stranger to whom she was trying to be nice to.

While getting up from the bed, she noticed an old, dusty book with few pages torn side by side; pages turned yellow and were hardly readable. She picks it up and leaves the cottage. When she reached home she decided to read the book she found in the cottage.

As she opened the book she read that the date was two decade ago. Turning to the page, she read about a boy name Sagar who was fat, ugly, wore big fat specks, had no girlfriends, and hardly had any friends. In short, he was a nerd who was always occupied with books and his work. He had no social life as such. He went to St. Xavier’s College which was located in Dehradun- the foothills of the Himalayas. Every day when he passed by the chemistry lab, his eyes used to search for a girl. All he knew about the girl was her name and nothing else. According to Sagar, Shilpa was short and good looking girl, who had a quite an oval face with sharp pointed features, who used to dress up in slits that went up to her armpits. Every boy wanted to be her boyfriend as she was so-so-so stunning. She had couple of boyfriends in the past and was known for her tantrums. He too was like every other ordinary guy who wanted her as his girlfriend but never had the guts to approach her and talk to her. Yet, having a glance at her made his day. Sadly, she never noticed him throughout these two years of college. She did not even know whether he existed or not. She only knew the so called good looking and muscular hunks. Every other day she would be seen with a new guy. This made him even more jealous. But he never gave up on her. He hoped that one day she might come to know how much he loves her and wanted her in his life.

Finally the most awaited day of his life had arrived. For the first time in these two years of his college life, Shilpa and Sagar came across each other and he just smiled at her but she didn’t smile back. She just walked away. But this didn’t make him sad instead he was happy that she at least noticed him. He just couldn’t stop smiling. His friends had never seen him like this before. They thought he had gone mad and therefore his friends left him alone.

College festival was going to arrive in a few months and he knew that Shilpa would participate in all the events as she loved everything except studies. He thought this could be one of the best opportunities to approach her and know more about her. In these 20 years of his life, it was the first time when he was participating in any kind of a co-curricular activity. Maybe that’s the reason why people considered him amongst nerds.

Somehow he managed to know the department in which she was going to contribute for the festival. He too joined the PR department. He was excited to be a part of festival but more than that he was excited to meet her. Soon they met for a meeting. Everyone was busy discussing what to do and how to promote their festival but he didn’t utter a word. He was busy staring at her. Shilpa’s friends told her, that Sagar was staring at her. She turned and saw Sagar. She went red watching Sagar’s behaviour and left the room. He ran behind her to stop her and apologize for his mistake. He managed to convince her. She accepted his apologizes. After having a chat for some time they became friends. They were not very good friends but whenever they came across each other, there would be normal conversation between them.

For promoting their event they were divided into groups of two so that things could be done faster and properly. Sagar was a lucky man as Shilpa decided to team up with him. It was one of the best moments in his life. This was his first step towards Shilpa’s friendship. They started spending time with each other for promoting the events which helped their friendship to grow stronger, bigger and even better. Gradually, they turned out to be best friends. Both Sagar and Shilpa knew a lot of things about each other like their likes, dislikes, personal stuff and the list is endless. Slowly, Shilpa began sharing all her problems with Sagar. He was happy with this change in Shilpa as he thought that she trusted him a lot and he used to guide her. This gave a sense of security to Shilpa as she had no best friend with whom she could share all her secrets.

After few days, Shilpa started avoiding Sagar. She stopped answering his calls and didn’t even reply to any of his messages. Sagar tried every possible way to talk to her and figure out the reason behind this change in her behaviour, but he failed. Therefore after trying all possible things to know what was wrong, he decided to visit her place and talk to her. Around 9pm, he quietly entered the girl’s hostel and went to her room hiding from the hostel girls as visitors were not allowed in hostel after 7pm. Somehow he managed to barge into her room. Shilpa was about to shout but Sagar covered her mouth with his hands. He said, “Shilpa it’s me- Sagar and you know the reason for my visit.” Sagar started questioning her but Shilpa refused to answer. But this time, Sagar wasn’t in a mood to give up. He went on and on till Shilpa was in tears. Finally, she answered him. She said, she is disconsolate and has lost all faith in love. Roy, her present boyfriend broke her heart. She was madly in love with him and he just used her. She just couldn’t speak more and was already stammering. Sagar was sorry for her. He tried to make her happy with his sad jokes. The interaction with Sagar made her feel a little better. Sagar then left the hostel promising that he will meet her tomorrow again.

As each day passed, they met every day. Spending time with Sagar, made Shilpa happy. It seemed Shilpa enjoyed Sagar’s company. Her day started and ended with Sagar. Gradually, there was a change in Shilpa and everyone could notice that clearly. She no longer got in relationships. She valued and respected every person. People started respecting her. She no longer was seen as what she was earlier; people couldn’t believe that the change she underwent was reality. Sagar was very happy with the change he brought in her.

It was a new beginning for both Sagar and Shilpa. Now both Shilpa and Sagar lived for each other. A silent form of love was growing between the two. They were known for their friendship in the college. Sagar thought that it was the right time for him to express his love for Shilpa. Finally, Sagar expressed his love. Shilpa was in shock. She didn’t know what to say as she never thought about Sagar in that light. She always considered Sagar as her best buddy. Sagar said he was waiting for her to answer.
She replied, “Sagar I’m sorry but I don’t think that’s happening between us.” Sagar was sad but he tried convincing her and made her remember those moments they spent together. Yet, Shilpa didn’t change her decision. Months passed but they remained only friends in fact best buddies. In those days, Shilpa realized Sagar’s true love for her. The way he pampered her, cared for her, did anything to bring a smile on her face and this made Shilpa realize that Sagar was the right guy for her. Finally, she told Sagar that she would love to give a chance to their relationship.

Soon both Shilpa and Sagar were deeply in love. Days, months and years passed and yet their love for each other didn’t fade. Both Sagar and Shilpa were in a live-in relationship. This helped them to understand each other better. Almost every day they had fights over small things like Sagar was very lazy and he kept his wet towel on the bed. Shilpa disliked this habit of his. On the other hand, Shilpa hated to wake up early in the morning. Sagar disliked this habit of hers but both compromised for their love and ignored the bad habits of each other. They thought that soon after their graduation, they would get married and their parents did approve their proposal. People always believed that friendship was the first step towards love, and this was true in Shilpa and Sagar’s case.

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