Well, she was just 17
You know what I mean
And the way she looked was way beyond compare
So how could I dance with another (Ooh)
When I saw her standing there
Boredom vanished, the years rolled back, the hot sultry weather disappeared and I was back in the courtyard of my College. Rolling up the windows I lost myself into the lyrics written and sung by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. This was my special song, the one which played in my ears every single time I saw her from the time I had walked into the II year Mechanical Engineering class and spotted her in the second row from the front. A long flowing patterned skirt and a ruffled peacock blue blouse covered her lissome frame. The complexion was peach…no no let me correct myself, it was the exact hue of peach iced tea and the look was that of a fresh blossom.Sparkling eyes and long hair freshly washed. This was the vision that blocked out the frame of Mr. Venugopal Ramamoorthy our "Strength of Mechanics" Professor. He had patented this expression of satirical malice, Bushy eyebrows raised, an expression of fake surprise complete with a startle. He knew very well that I was in his class just to meet the mandatory attendance norm. “Kind Saar, said he, voice oozing sarcasm with every word, have you lost your way, this happens to be a classroom. How come we are graced with your presence today?” The classroom erupted into giggles and fuming I walked in and took my place.
Rajat my neighbor, the virtual encyclopedia of anything remotely female on the campus, followed my gaze & started whispering “Ayesha Wirk”, direct admission into second year, just her third week in our college, wears skirts always, Father - Hindu Punjabi & a Doctor with the WHO, Mother - Muslim-Sunni and also a Doctor in Medicine, Ayesha is an only child & has a purebred Labrador named Coffee, goes to the canteen and the library in her time on the campus, is pretty studious and not your type”. Amazed and irritated I looked at this mole with a withering look that said "your job is to chronicle the data and not make an analysis, much less dispense out half baked theories as if they are solid facts". Not my type…what did he know of the Beatles song playing in my head? Lennon -McCartney went on
Well, my heart went "boom"
When I crossed that room
And I held her hand in mine...
Funny, how a single song can evoke a string of memories. Ayesha succeeded where a score and two teachers had failed all of last year. She had me attending classes and before long had worked up the nerve to sit beside her. When she smiled the Beatles rocked away and I was hitting a high note that no guitar string had yet known. There was something very pristine and pure about her that had me near her but just there, no further. Months flew by in a similar fashion and my one sided passion flourished. It was soon the time of the annual cultural festival and its crowning event - The Rock Show. The cultural committee had spent a bomb this time and had as performers a band called “Rock Machine” they I remember became “Indus Creed” later and then faded away. But that summer evening they rocked away playing one lovely number after another, till they came to the song which in my mind was our song and I just grabbed Ayesha and danced away…The Beatles timelessly sang through the mouths and strings of Rock Machine…
(Whooh), We danced through the night
And we held each other tight
And before too long I fell in love with her
Now I'll never dance with another (Whooh)
Since I saw her standing there
The summer ended and as I looked forward to seeing her back, the pest Rajat informed me. “Father deputed to Kenya as the Director-In-Charge of the African Sector-WHO and the family has migrated”. Ayesha faded away from the memory just as quickly. The heart of a young collegian can be impressionable yet at the same instance, very resilient. Its quick to recover and replace the object of affection with an alacrity that’s remarkable. But something sweet does stay back in the memory locked away. The key to my trove of memory was this song. A wistful smile played on my lips, all the distance had been covered and I was turning into the gates of my apartment complex as the final string of the number faded away.