Materialistic World

“Hey, how are you?” Sukriti greeted Nakul with an utmost affection.
“I’m good,” replied he in a usual tone as he got off his bike in the college parking. While locking his helmet, he asked about her and checked whether he handle-locked his 100cc bike. Her smile glistened as he looked at her.
She was content as he asked about her well-being. But she replied adorably, “I’m good too.”
Sukriti admired him for his simplicity, sincerity, and integrity. She was in love with him, but never told him. An introvert nature, feeling of not being good-enough, and average looks resulted in a low esteem in her. Though she was eloquent and articulate about how she feels, but when it came to Nakul, it was different. The admiration and confrontation to genuine feelings prevented her from expressing love for him. Nakul was so conservative, quiet, and emotional. Whenever he complimented her, she expressed her gratitude through blushing only.
“Look who is looking ravishing today?” Nakul said as he stepped outside the parking lane and noticed her black kurta and red leggings. An embroidered border on Chinese collar and plain black color dispered all over kurta magnified her beauty.
She blushed, but to hide her genuine feelings, she replied noticing his white shirt, “Guess how many girls will have a crush on the dude in white?”
“Stop flattering me. A ‘thank you’ would have been enough.”
Nakul was aware of her admiration, but he avoided having that uncomfortable conversation about her feelings for him. He was in love with Parul. A beautiful, witty, and charming Parul always emphasized on the fact that she has a taste. Knowing Parul’s way of thinking and her entire demeanor, he knew she was out of his league. But he was ready to love her with every bit of his heart. She never showed any love interest in Nakul. Every day, he thought of different ways to impress Parul with his witty talks, his very few funny experiences, and helping her in every way possible. One thing he knew he will never be able to do is lure her with cool gadgets, bike, and all the materialistic things which she defined as her taste. Nakul, being a simple guy without a smartphone, or cool looks, and having a bike with good fuel economy only dreamed for a long ride with Parul on his bike. He lived in a hope that his love will change her. But till now, all his attempts to form an emotional bonding were in vain.
As they reached cafeteria, all of their friends were already there including Parul. They greeted everyone. Their friends showered compliments over Sukriti, while Nakul was interested in Parul’s reaction on his shirt. She didn’t seem to notice. She greeted him and got busy in her phone. Though he was disappointed, he behaved normally. The disappointment in his eyes was evident to Sukriti. As they finished breakfast and usual chatting, they moved toward classes. Nakul was walking alone, behind everyone else to prevent his feelings from bursting if he gets into a conversation with anyone. He didn’t tell anyone about his crush. As Sukriti noticed him walking alone and his pitiful face, she approached him.
“Hey, what happened?” asked she.
“Nothing,” said he.
“I know you’re pretending that you are normal and also trying to avoid expression of your honest feelings. So why don’t you spit out what really is the matter and we’ll find what we can do about it?”
“If you could figure that out, then I guess you also figured out that I have a crush on Parul. And I don’t know how to impress her. She is way out of my league.”
“Yes, you’re right. I know. But I’m not able to figure out why do you need to impress her? Just be who you are. No need to change yourself in trying to be good enough for her.”
“You are not getting my point. She won’t date a guy like me.”
“No, you are not getting my point. You don’t have to make you feel inferior because a girl has high materialistic expectations for her boyfriend. You don’t have to try to fit into her expectations.”
“Yeah, I hate to admit this. The world respects people with high materialistic belongings. But she is the one who does that. So the only way to impress her is to show that I can get to that level.”
“Really? I think you are also one of them who respect materialistic belongings. You were not, but you are becoming one of them with thoughts like this.”
“I know. But what can I do now? I’m not about to get it out my head. I’ve taken a step in the direction I’m not able to get back.”
“You will. Because this isn’t love. It’s infatuation. It comes and goes.”
“How do you know?”
“Because I know what love is. And you’ll know when you will be in love.”
“I think I’m in love.”
“No, you’re not. You won’t need to change yourself when you are in love. You accept your love as the way they are and also yourself as the way you are. This materialism doesn’t matter.”
“Yes, it does.”
“If you think it does, then you are devaluing yourself. You are overlooking the fact that you are special and you are disguising your true self in chasing oasis of materialism. You are overlooking the fact that you swum for eight straight hours in Bay of Bengal. You are national swimming champion. You have endurance of a marathon runner, and above all, you have a kind heart. You are enough, you don’t have to focus on showing off you are capable enough. You should be proud of it.”
“Ohh, I could never think of this. I never looked at myself in this way. Thanks for showing me this. How stupid I was to compromise who I am.”
“It’s fine. You don’t have to go hard on yourself.”
“Yes, you are right. But I want to know, how do you know what the love is?”
“Just the way I know we have reached the class.”
“This is not done.”
“We’re done here. Time for studies.”
“But you won’t escape from this after the class.”
“We’ll see that.”
And they entered the class.
The crazy fact is, an endeavor to fulfill the materialistic expectations set by the world sinks the true value of a person.

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