THE WASTE LAND OF DESIRES - TWO ZEROES AND A HYPHEN

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Asmita was a nice girl. She was a university topper.
She secured I think 456 marks out of 800. That was
a big score for you know in literature you don't score
much. She used to sit in the middle of the front
benches. There was something in that girl. Her
presence brought me in the class and when she was
absent I felt the lectures boring and returned home
after attending one or two. In a lecture of 45 minutes
she used to turn back for at least 30 times and this
used to bounce me out, into the heights of the sky. I
felt as if I was God. Throughout the session we had
not shared even a single word. And when the
session was in its last days she changed her seat
from the front to a
,
bench just before me in the
second last row. Her handwriting was stunning and
her speed was marvelous. But whenever the teacher

dictated something, she turned back to copy it from
my notebook. And sometimes she spoke to me for
getting my notebook home. I knew very well that it is
not the notebook that she wants. But I gave her just
the notebook. And when she used to return it to me
the next day, I used to examine all its pages to see
weather she had written something somewhere.
She never wrote anything anywhere.
One day
I hi
t her back with my register.
And one other day she asked me whether I would be
coming tomorrow.
Another day she asked me when was my birthday.
And when our class was going on a tour to Kasuli,
she held the list three times in her hands to see
whether my name was there or not.
And on that last day when we were sitting for a
group-photo, she came to me and asked for a
photograph with her. I scratched in my hairs and
looked at my feet and said `okay'. She personal y

went to the girl with the camera and brought her
under a tree. We stood together. The whole class
was looking at us. Some girls sitting on the pavement
said `oai '
hoi . Boys whistled. Her dupatta fell on my
face as she was adjusting it on her shoulders. She
turned to me and said sorry. The girl with the
camera asked us to look straight and smile. It was a
rare moment in history.
But the camera couldn't click us for the girl had
mistakenly pressed a wrong button and the entire roll
was reversed.
After we left the university, she rang me at home
three times. Once she said that she was preparing
for GRE and want me to guide her. I said Asmita
you are a university topper and I'm a university
dr
.
opper
I said that just through mouth.
I thought she would ring me after that.
She was a brave girl.

B
ut you cannot keep showing your bravery forever.
I don't know where she is now. She never contacted
me since.
People say she is in Canada.
She may be anywhere. We are dead for each other
in this life