Fiction: Once Bitten Twice Shy, Really?

June 12, 2018 Fiction , POETRY / FICTION

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Quleen Kaur Bijral,  Simranpreet Kaur and Kamaldeep Kaur



I wish I had a time machine which could take us back to the funny, frolic and comic lanes of our University times during our Masters. It was more of fundamics rather than academics as our days would beam with amusing anecdotes and funny antics. We were an inseparable quadrumvirate of the University- Kamal, Nisha, Quleen and Simran with humorous eccentricities and tricks to throw at each other. Beginning with Kamal, our big sister, her favourite hobby was to wash clothes like a ritual. So fastidious she was, that believe us she never kept her pull and dry stand empty. Nisha, the second eldest member of the group, was known for her sagacious comment, “I always tell the truth” and because of her habit, we were always admonished while executing any mischievous plan. Quleen, the coy and musical one in our group would brighten our day with her comic acts to remind us life is one big happy family. Then, Simran, the chubby and lively one, always kept reading articles and watching videos on how to ‘reduce weight in a week’ then ‘how to lose belly fat overnight’ and the funny part was that she didn’t lose even an ounce!


The anecdote which still strikes a chord among us happened during the recess time of our daily classes. We were given some notes to be xeroxed for the next lecture. As we had the most obedient student of the class in our group, Quleen, we had to give up playing during the recess to instead get the photocopy done at the stationary shop. The shopkeeper having shortage of notes gave us coins for the change, which our coy mistress, Q, took charge of. As she began to count them on the way back, out of the blue they fell here and there, all scattered, like one magnet repelling the other. Far and Near. Near and far. It was not the end of the world, but it seemed like one as right then a group of boys came our way and stopped to help. In a lighter vein, they tried to lend a hand by giving directions to where the coins had rushed off to. “Here is one.” “There is the other one” “Here too!” “Don’t miss this one”. It was good of them to help, but they were not exactly helping. None of them actually picked the coins but only gave directions with a smile up their sleeves.


It certainly had her blush. But she blushed even more, when our sweet friend found that her pals for life were nowhere near but watching from a distance. They were delightfully giggling at how the event was playing out. The trio was chuckling while the coy mistress was picking the coins. And the naughty boys were certainly directing. She blushed with a fiery scarlet glow on her face. With a burning flame to take her friends to task. She blushed and was too conscious to look up and call out to her friends.


The most hilarious part was that even in such a tense ambience, Quleen didn’t even leave one single coin left behind. As if she had taken an oath to pick the entire litter so we could use it to grab a sumptuous bite at the canteen later. Eventually, with the grace of God, she caught up to her friends and gave them a good beating with her bonbon words. It was not so bad, as when she heard their version of it, it was really a big laugh.


Simran beamed with naughtiness “You blushed red, Quleen! It was so funny. We had to watch how it played out”.


Nisha grinned too. “The boys were so mean, Quleen! They didn’t even help you pick the coins.”


Kamal joined in. “Yeah they were mean. We were not. We were the audience and wanted to applaud you, dear Q”


Simran smiled and it really didn’t matter as it was a hilarious incident. Kamal patted Quleen with a smile, and all four agreed it was indeed fun. Nisha too kept winking all the way so the incident was taken as a funny encounter.


As if we were not having a jolly good day already, our own humpty dumpty, Simran, rolled down the stairs of the department. Perhaps she was too absorbed into what had come to pass, she lost control over her body and her reflexes didn’t catch the stairs. Our bouncing ball bounced so much that we couldn’t stop ourselves from laughing at her hilarious somersault. That tumbling down was like an icing on the cake. But soon we got overwhelmed with worry as Simran wouldn’t stir. She hid her face in her palms, and her body began to shake as if she was crying. We certainly got so anxious what if she was hurt. At our distress and commotion, the same boys came running towards us and brought more along with them. They all surrounded her.


“Is she okay?”


“Should we lift her?


“I hope it’s not a fracture?”


Quleen was positively worried. “Simran, I am here. You will be just fine!” Nisha, too was troubled. “Sim, I will go get help.” Kamal was equally tensed at the strange turn of events. “Can you walk? What should we do. Oh dear!”


Just then our humpty dumpty lifted her head and everyone heard her- she was laughing! Laughing with a cackle! Simran was blushing with the full shine of laughter and we were all stumped. Now that was certainly icing on the cake. We were astonished and Sim laughed her heart out. It was indeed a funny dusk to remember.


Even today, when we recall that incident, Quleen glows with a happy blush on her face. Red blush vivid as the calm of the setting sun. Simran, our bubbly pal, wishes if that tumble down the stairs would have at least worked as an exercise and reduced her weight. Kamal and Nisha, never cease to remind us of how one day we looked at the bright side of the uneasy episodes that had come our way.


Cheers to our merry and joyous comradeship that has bypassed all the anxieties and the fear of the exam festival and so on.






Dr. Quleen Kaur Bijral

Dr. Quleen Kaur Bijral is a writer, journalist, musician and an avid lawn tennis player. She also is a freelance columnist at Daily Excelsior and The Greater Kashmir. Recently she had her novel titled “The Witch Some Witch” published by Partridge India, a Penguin company. Academically, Quleen clinched First Position in her Masters, and lately was conferred Ph.D. degree for her research work on the works of Mahasweta Devi.


Dr. Simranpreet Kaur

Dr. Simranpreet Kaur is Assistant Professor at Department of Languages and Literature, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University. She has been associated with the University annual magazine, Chronicle and also University literary Magazine, Pratibimb as a student editor. She has also been an active member of Gender Sensitization Committee Against Sexual Harrasement.


Kamaldeep Kaur

Kamaldeep Kaur, 28, Assistant Professor at Government Degree College for Boys, Udhampur and is also a part-time research scholar at Department of Languages and Literature, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, She has been associated with the University literary Magazine, Pratibimb as a student editor.  

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