Maya was euphoric. Life could never get better than it was today, she thought, as she waited for Rakesh. The last two months had been frustrating.
Most unexpectedly, Maya had fallen in love a couple of months ago, right at the height of her IIT JEE preparation. Her parents reminded her how hard she had worked for this goal and how important it was for her to stay focussed in the final stretch. She had agreed and coaxed Rakesh to wait. The exam was only a a couple of weeks later and Rakesh had agreed.
But, once the exam was over Papa added a new clause. He insisted that Maya wait for the results. If she got in to IIT, she would have his blessing to date whoever she wanted to. If not she would have to focus on figuring out her future and a relationship would be a distraction. Maya was furious. Rakesh felt cheated. But then Maya said, “It's only 6 weeks to the results. And we have a lifetime ahead of us. It would be nice to have my parents approval.”
“What happens if, God forbid, you don't get through?”
“I will.” Maya was confident. “And even if I don't, at that point, I'll talk to my parents and make them change their minds. I am not going to let you get away so easily. It's just that, for a matter of 6 weeks I don't see a point in fighting with them. Don't you think this is best in the long run?”
“Why do you have to always be so sensible?” Rakesh complained, but he relented.
The two talked on the phone planning their first date. It would be at Marine Drive. They would take a walk, hold hands and watch the waves.
The 6 weeks seemed like for ever. Sometimes Maya worried that she may not make it through the JEE. She did not want to have to fight her parents. They had always got along so well, even through her teenage years.
No point agonising over it now, she decided. I'll cross that bridge when it comes, tomorrow. With that thought she tried to sleep, but sleep eluded her.
This morning, with trembling fingers, Maya logged in to the website to check her result. Her all India rank was 43. Wow! She would have her pick of both subject and location. She gave her parents the good news and rushed off to call Rakesh.
Now Maya could not stop smiling. In her eagerness, she had got to Marine Drive half an hour early. She walked and jumped and pirouetted, unable to contain her happiness. Lost in her own perfect world, she wasn't paying any attention to her surroundings. Suddenly she was engulfed in a huge wall of salt water and washed away by the sea.