While you are a fresher, everything around looks very fresh. It did to me too, in a very literal sense. The building was fresh, as it was still under construction. The walls looked fresh, for they were yet to be plastered. Even the floors were raw and fresh. And amidst all the freshness, in harmony with not just nature but cement, bricks and sand we had our classes! It had been a week since college began. I was being my usual reserved self, maintaining a healthy distance from all my classmates. They were equally hesitant in making any attempt to converse with me. Either they thought I’m too arrogant and proud or were afraid that I wouldn’t be knowing enough Tamil to talk with them(they were all dumbstruck to learn that I was more comfortable in talking English than Tamil). I of course prefer the latter.
In the sea of reluctant faces, there was one face that stood out. She had a round face with wide black eyes and a small smile playing around her lips. Everything about her radiated warmth. Be it her black eyes, that were deep and harbored a mischievous glint or her sweet smile that never left her lips, everything spoke the language of friendliness and welcome.
On our first laboratory class, we stood shoulder to shoulder, head bowed down in shame, fidgeting our wrists and fearfully facing our lecturer with our incomplete observations. The only one among the rest of the class. So many emotions were raging inside our heart, but the predominant emotion was relief. We were relieved to have each other. The humiliation seemed more tolerable when I had someone to share it with and the relief was profound when our lecturer having done with her reprimands and warnings, turned her back on us. I turned towards her, a timid smile trying to escape my lips before I could stop. Her answering smile was brilliant. The seed of a lifelong friendship was sowed deep in both our hearts, and we are nurturing it with all the care and love we could give it, smiling our way through thick and thin like that first time.