The trio of Akansha, Parnita and Sarita, was a glued group in our college. They were mostly together in the classroom, where they sat in the same row. Or the canteen where they hogged together, those stale microwaved snacks, or sipped that atrociously sweet chai, coffee, or the unhygienic nimbu-pani or even the chilled soft drinks from the college canteen. And, if nothing else, they were seen sauntering around the college lawns discussing what not. Where we thought it was that reaaal whaaaat not.
Even when the trio was mostly together in college. They appeared to be poles apart in terms of their personal habits and traits. Parnita appeared the bold, chirpy and articulate sort. Where, Akansha was fun loving, and Sarita somewhat frivolous. One day I found Akansha standing alone near the canteen is when I asked her.
‘Hi Akansha, where are the rest?’ She looked at me, without even a smile. I could make out something was upsetting her, is when she said.
‘Sarita hasn’t come today, and I had a tiff with Parnita.’
‘Tiff! but why?’ I eagerly asked.
‘Because, she is a bloody motor-mouth and just can’t shut up.’
Seeing her upset, I asked her for a soft drink, where she joined me. And, when I had just about had the first gulp out of the bottle I softly asked.
‘But, what has she said that has upset you so much?’ She looked at me somewhat dazed and started softly.
‘See Parnita, is a very average looking person and we all know about it. But she has an articulate tongue and a sexy singing voice, and that makes her talk excessively, which is highly irritating. She has this false notion that by talking excessively in her sexy voice she will be able to impress and hook boys or even the male faculty. My foot!’
‘But, isn’t a sexy singing voice, a beauty in itself, a much adored gift from God, and that she can articulate well a bonus? I asked.
‘May be yes, but the takers are very few. And you just can’t compare Parnita with me and Sarita who are always eyed by men.’ And, with that our cold drink was over. We started walking towards the classroom for the next period. But Aakansha’s mindset had got me thinking.
Couple of days had passed when one morning in the assembly there was an announcement by the Principal after the prayers:
The teacher’s council has selected Parnita for the inter-college debate contest, starting next week after a rigorous selection process and we wish her all the best. We are sure with her debating skills she will definitely get laurels for the college.’
The announcement was followed by some loud clapping, by students and the faculty members. Parnita, was suddenly surrounded by whole lot of students wanting to congratulate her. When in the far corner of the assembly, I saw Aakansha standing, all alone and all by herself, .
Surely, in talent lies the ultimate beauty that has many variants.