The Fresher's Eve

       I glanced around, little nervous. My friends hadn't arrived yet and I didn't want to be the first one to go year. It was the time of 'Fresher's Party' and going in alone, that too first, was not a wise choice. It was like walking inside a lion's den saying 'Come Lion, eat me!' I shuddered as the line went through my mind. I felt a tap on my shoulder and I almost screamed in panic. But when I turned around, it was just my friend. Thank God! I wasn't alone anymore. We waited for few more people to come and finally when all my friends were there, we decided it was time to go in.

       The party started half an hour later. It was grand, as expected. It started with few songs and dance from seniors. We were served samosas and a drink called 'Ginger'. It was all fun but we knew this was just the start. The important part was yet to come - ragging! Of course it isn't like they show on TV, where the seniors make you do terrible things. It is just a friendly way to 'get to know' each other. But still, we were all on edge, not knowing what to expect. And withing minutes, the ragging began. Our seniors started coming and picking up people they liked and taking them to their group where they would give them tasks.

       I had been picked thrice. One group asked me to sing, another made us do drill. It was funny and embarrassing at the same time. The third group had asked me to search someone named 'V' but I had evaded them and was sitting in the opposite side of the room, hoping they wouldn't come searching for me here. Just when I thought I had escaped, another girl approached me and told me to follow her. I did; it's not like I had an option. 

       Her group consisted of 7 members - 3 girls and 4 boys. All of them were sitting in pairs except for a guy who was the odd one out. I didn't pay attention to any of them; as far as I was concerned, I had a task and I would finish it soon and leave. The girl who had called me here asked me to introduce myself. I had done this thrice already and repeating it again made me feel like I was reciting some answer I had memorized from a textbook. But I did what I was asked to. If I will be good, they would let me go soon. Once I was done with introducing myself, they told me to do something else. After series of questioning, the boy sitting in the middle pointed towards his friend who was sitting at the end of their semi circle formation and asked me what did I think of him. I looked at who he was pointing. He was the same guy whom I had thought as odd one out. 

       I stared at him, which I hadn't done usually. Being shy, I avert my eyes as soon as some stranger's eyes meet mine. But since they had asked me, I had to look at him now, while he sat there staring back. He was sitting sprawling his leg forward. His posture was relaxed, he was leaning back in his chair. There was something about his relaxed posture that felt charming. I would have said he was handsome but the stubble came in the way. Perhaps, if he had a well groomed face, I would have considered saying it but that stubborn stubble stopped me, forcing me to look away. I hadn't realized I was scowling in his direction until I heard the other guy, who had asked me the question, ask me what was wrong? The guy with the stubble smiled at me, a crooked smile, but it didn't make quite the impression. I turned towards the other guy and said "He is good" and shrugged. I didn't want to say anything more than that.

       But I had walked straight into the trap. I realized his only after the next task was laid out in front of me. "So how about proposing him?" another girl in the group asked me. I looked at her, expecting her to laugh and the joke to end but as I stared at her, I realized this was no joke and she meant it. Of course it was all just a prank but proposing him? I turned to look at him again. He was still smiling. I don't know what he expected or what the others expected but I knew that there was no way I was going to do what they had told me. I stared at him for a minute and before I knew I blurted out the words that came to my mind - "Sorry; I don't like guys with stubble. So maybe you can find someone else who could even out your group of seven" I didn't mean to say it out aloud! I wasn't supposed to. But it was too late now. The words were out of my mouth and I had no way of taking it back. I slowly watched each of their faces - frozen from shock and prayed to God that whatever happened next wouldn't be too bad!

       I was ready to do the next set of tasks that I was definite would follow my stupid blabbering. But what I wasn't expecting was them to laugh! Yes! They all started laughing! All but the guy whom I had commented on. He was scowling at me but the others were rolling with laughter. I was shocked and confused. I didn't know if I should be scared or relieved. I just sat there staring at their faces hoping someone would explain me what was going on. One of the girl controlled her laughter enough to say "Told you to shave it" and started laughing again. When they were all done, one of them explained it to me. "He is always like that. He doesn't listen to us when we tell him to get rid of that stubble. He thinks it is a fashion statement. But knowing what a girl thinks, it will help him a little now" One of them patted my back saying "Brave girl" and I smiled. I knew it was over now. The stubble had failed in creating a good impression about the guy but it had helped me escape the ragging session from that group.

PS: This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette.

PSS: Half of this story is fiction and half is true. For my friends who were there with me that day, don't ask me when the other half happened :P

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)


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