Chapter 1:

In A Place Where I Used To Cry, I Met Her

A Week Like A Rainbow

- "Nishant, please stand up."Bookmark here

- "......."Bookmark here

- "NISHANT!!!"Bookmark here

- "Yes sir!"Bookmark here

- "Could you please explain what I taught just now to the entire class?"Bookmark here

- "Uhh....umm....N-No Sir."Bookmark here

- "Oh come on Nishant, atleast now focus on your studies. Don't forget you are in class 12 now! Badminton is no more going to make your career."Bookmark here

- "Ok sir."Bookmark here

I sat down. The whole class laughed at me. If it would have happened just a year before, I would have died out of embarassment. But now, it doesn't matter anything to me.Bookmark here

I have accepted my fate. I know that without any friends, the last year of my school life would probably be the worst year of my school life as well. I don't even know what kind of future will I experience, nevertheless, darkness would most probably prevail there because, apart from badminton, I am not good at anything else. I don't play badminton anymore now. I am Nishant Arora, probably the most useless student of New Delhi.Bookmark here

The dispersal bell rang. Eventually my classmates started hanging out among themselves and some of those school couples started matured talks and discussion about timings of their next dates and stuff. Bookmark here

But to me, these things are of least importance. I try to ignore looking at them, not in order to avoid jealousy, but to not to remember about the past. Whenever I compare my golden past to the dark present, my head starts paining and I experience such a breathing problem, as if my lungs are gonna burst out! Bookmark here

It gradually became my habit to release those frustrations and pain by crying; crying in a very secret and safe place, where nobody goes anymore now, after the school. The place is none other than an old hallroom building, which was once used as an indoor badminton practice area. It was the place where I got fascinated by the game of badminton for the very first, when I was just 7 years old. From that very point, I started taking interest in badminton and practicing it with my father. That's where my journey had begun almost 10 years ago. And now, that journey has ended with a very dreadful conclusion.
Bookmark here

Anyways, just like any other day, I went there. As soon as I entered the building, I felt the presence of someone. I started hearing some hard sounds, which I recognised as nothing but shuttlecock smashes. But the smashes made such hard sounds, it seemed like someone was expressing his/her anger through it. I slowly walked to the corridor and entered the main hallroom.Bookmark here

As soon as I entered, I was surprised by seeing that those strong smashing shuttlecock sounds were made by - a girl. Suddenly, she stopped practicing and looked at me, making an eye-contact for quite a sometime. Then she spoke," Why are you here now?" I came back to my normal senses as soon as possible and replied," I was just passing by when I suddenly heard such strong shuttlecock smashing sounds." She smiled; raising an eyebrow, she questioned,"Are the smashes that loud?"Bookmark here

- "Ofcourse they are. With such an accuracy and concentration you were smashing them, it seems like you have practiced badminton for a long time."Bookmark here

- "Thank you, Senior."Bookmark here

- "Senior??"Bookmark here

- "Yes. You are Nishant Arora of class 12 right?"Bookmark here

- "Y-Yes. But how do you know me?"Bookmark here

- "Well, I study in the same school as yours, you know. I have seen you play badminton many times. Don't know why you quit it, but I have heard some rumours about your 'match fixing' case. Is it true?"Bookmark here

- "No, it's not."Bookmark here

- "Even I don't think that it would be true. I have seen, in your eyes, the respect and honesty towards badminton. I don't think you will ever cheat there. Anyway, can you please guide me for the upcoming Inter-School Women's Badminton Competition Final?"Bookmark here

To be honest, I didn't ever wanted to get to badminton. But with such a trust and hope she requested me, I was helpless. I cannot refuse her. Therefore I asked, "What about your coach?"Bookmark here

- "I am having some personal problems with him nowadays. He is trying to change my technique of playing the game."Bookmark here

- "Oh, I see."Bookmark here

- " Ok so that's it. Meet me here tomorrow after the school. Bye."Bookmark here

She went away with such a speed, I couldn't get to say anything. I just thought, what did just happened here. I came here to cry, but I met an unknown girl, who was asking me to guide her for badminton. And I couldn't even refuse it.Bookmark here

Why did it happen with me? Is it because there is still some twist left in my life to experience? Bookmark here

Ghatak Ankit
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