That evening on the deck was beautiful. This was our first sunset on the deck, as we had spent yesterday’s dinner time on Kavaratti as a compensation for our late arrival. So this sunset was special. We all stood on the deck looking out to the orange waters and the red sun till Madam Cecelia called us all. She was one of the teachers who was accompanying us on the tour, and she was the spiritual one. She made us all sit facing the sun and told us to imagine the sun to be a flame of the aarti diya. Imagining thus, we sat silently looking at the sun, feeling the wind on our faces, and sang songs to the Almighty and the sun. Praying in such a novel manner had transformed us all into contented cats unlike the frenzied felines we were in the morning. Then we had free time until dinner, after which it was compulsory to retire to our cabins. So we all spread around the deck to have our own personal time. I sat alone for some time. Then saw Anmol and Vaishnavi standing and speaking to each other. I joined them. While Vaishnavi turned and spoke to me, I could see Anmol frantically shooing me away so he could spend some time with her. You see, that’s the mistake he made. I would’ve gone in sometime anyway, but since he told me to go I just gave him an evil look and stayed put.
Abhinav appeared out of somewhere. He was in an playful mood too, and he called Vaishnavi. ‘Vaish, why don’t we move a bit away, I think Anmol and Ved need some time together.’ Vaishnavi gave a teasing wicked smile and started moving away from us. Anmol and me just looked at each other and rolled our eyes. Anmol couldn’t be more crazy about Vaishnavi and I couldn’t be more crazy about Abhinav. So we didn’t say a word and let them move away. We sat down, smiled sadly at each other and shook our heads. It was Anmol who voiced what we both knew already- Just wait and watch. He will be back in sometime and shoo me away so he can be with you. I blushed and smiled, for I knew this to be true. Anmol and me started talking about the trip. We could see the other two sitting a few metres away.
And indeed, 5 minutes had not passed when Abhinav stood up and moved away from Vaishnavi. We stopped talking and started noticing what Abhinav was up to. We smiled as we saw him move to the other extreme of the deck and speak to someone there. He spoke a few sentences and then moved to someone else in the centre of the deck. Then he moved to some to other person nearer, and two people later he was standing right in front of us. Anmol and me looked at each other and smiled. Then Abhinav turned to look at us. He looked at me, turned to Anmol and said, ‘Vaishnavi is calling you there.’ Anmol looked at me with an ‘all-knowing’ Mona Lisa smile, looked and Abhinav and retorted- Is she looking for me or did you abandon her to come here? Then he walked away. I just stared at Abhinav, and even in the dusky night on the deck I could see his eyes widen and his tanned cheeks go a beetroot red. He never looked more beautiful before. He sat next to me and said a shy Hi. I just smiled at him, and then shook my head.
We spent the next beautiful hour together and promised each other that when we were together we wouldn’t tease each other with anyone, not relate each other with any guy or girl. The immediate understanding was that we could tease each other with each others’ name. We decided that when we were together we wouldn’t talk about anything but each other.