Sanjay was an enigma to Payal. She didn’t understand why he always reserved a seat for her in the college bus next to him and then kept mum throughout the journey. He would always be busy reading books on his kindle. She wondered why he was named as chatterbox in his gang when she had hardly heard him speak. A few syllables accompanied by hand gestures was all the response she could elicit from him. She hated him and his silence.
Then came the day when they were paired as Darcy and Elizabeth in the drama of Pride and Prejudice as part of an ongoing literary fest in their college.
“My feelings won’t be repressed. Please allow me to tell you how ardently I love you… ,” Sanjay said enacting Mr. Darcy to perfection during the rehearsals.
The light that shone in his eyes kindled a spark somewhere inside her heart and secretly she began to consider him as her own Darcy.
The constant interactions made her re-discover Sanjay, her senior by two years, and everyday brought in new revelations. One day she learnt that he was a good singer and the next day she learnt that he was their class topper. When he joined in with his guitar for the onstage chorus, she adored the musician in him. Every day she wondered what surprise he had in store for her that day.
On the day of the drama, she was tense as it was her first stage performance. He spent time with her cracking jokes and complimenting her about her looks, she wondered what had made him so eloquent. Was he trying to put her at ease? The Victorian gown was making her feel like a cow. But Sanjay looked handsome even in tailcoats and vests and every moment she fell a little more in love with him.
“You have bewitched me body and soul. I love ...love you. Will you marry me Miss Bennet?” said Mr Darcy and Elizabeth nodded. As he leaned forward to kiss Elizabeth, the lights on stage dimmed and the curtains came down announcing the end of the Drama.
The lights came on a little later amid thunderous applause and all the actors came on stage to take the final bow. Mr. Darcy was still holding Elizabeth’s arms and all the other members of the team had a mischievous sparkle in their eyes.
Behind the curtains, in the dark, Mr. Darcy had sealed the promise with a kiss. From that moment, Sanjay had ceased to be an enigma to Payal.