It was a busy morning like everyday. Aarti came into the kitchen. Sushila, her mother, was making roti. Aarti said, "Aai, hurry up!" Sushila said, "Am I relaxing? And in fact, your school is at 9." Aarti said, "Not for me, Aai! Dada is getting late." Sushila said, "Really! You're so careful about your brother, huh? Go & call him for breakfast." Aarti called from the door, "Dada…" Karan was in front of the temple in his house. There was mata Durga in the temple. Karan enjoined his hands & said, "Mata, today are my 2nd semester's results. I'm careful about nothing but MED-2 & EGM. Please clear these subjects. Jai mata di!" He came to the kitchen. Sushila said, "Hurry up, son! You'll need to catch a Rickshaw if you get late." Karan defended, "I wake up at 5:30 daily, aai. What else can I do? Give me the roti." He took a morsel & fed it to Aarti. Aarti said, "Dada, I've grown up now!" Karan finished his breakfast & came to another room where his father - Dhanaji was sewing a shirt. He was a tailor! Karan kept the lunchbox in his bag. Dhanaji asked, "Do you have sufficient money in your pocket?" Karan said, "No, I need some more." Dhanaji gave 100 rupees to him. Karan gave a smile. Dhanaji said, "Take care." Karan nodded head & left for college.
Karan reached his class. Nikki waved hand & asked, "Hey, what's up? Let me remind you that today is the result." Karan sat near her & said, "I'm careful only about Drawing & Mechanics. What about you?" Nikki said, "All down." Karan smiled & asked, "Where's Sameer?" Nikki said, "He hasn't come yet." Karan asked, "And Dhriti?" Nikki's expressions changed. She said, "How would I know?"
At the bus stop, Dhriti came out of the bus. She moved to the Rickshaw stop; soon some roadside romeos started following her. Dhriti was frightened; still she kept walking. They started making taunts, "What a fragrance! It must be lavender." Dhriti didn't reply. Suddenly, they came in front of Dhriti. One of them held Dhriti's hand. Dhriti stood quiet with fear. Soon Sameer stopped his bike near them. He removed his goggles. Those romeos took a step to Sameer. Sameer looked for a while & then he shouted at Dhriti, "What're you doing here? Aai baba has been waiting for you for a long time. And why are you holding this decent guy's hand?" That romeo left Dhriti's hand in an instance. Dhriti smiled. Sameer said to those romeos, "Please forgive her, brother! Actually she has some psychological disorders hence she behaves abnormal & follows decent guys like you." Rest of romeos put their shirt's collar down. Sameer said to Dhriti, "Say sorry to bhaiyya." One of them said, "It's okay, brother." Sameer said, "No, it's not okay. She should say sorry." Dhriti said, "Sorry bhaiya." & sat on Sameer's bike. Sameer said to romeos, "She is psycho." & hit the starter. One of them exclaimed looking at the back of the bike, "She was psycho!" On the bike, Dhriti said, controlling her laugh, "Thanks Sameer." Sameer said, "Thank God, I could save them from you." Dhriti hit him on his back.
Sameer & Dhriti reached the class. Sawant sir was teaching MEM. Sameer asked, "May we come in, sir?" Nikki tempered seeing Sameer & Dhriti together. Sawant sir said, "Yes, come in & try not to be late, Sameer, Dhriti." They sat on a bench. Sawant sir said, "So, yesterday we were discussing classification of materials. Materials are classified in three groups - metals & alloys, organic polymers & third one, glasses & ceramics. We studied metals & alloys yesterday. Today's topic is organic polymers." He continued. Lastly, Sawant sir took the attendance & said, "Don't bunk your classes. Your attendance is important for final exams. By the way, what is next class?" Class representative said, "Next one's MED! But sir, it's been three weeks since college started. There are no lectures or practicals for MED. Sawant sir said, "We're arranging a new teacher for MED. Classes will start soon. Don't worry." Soon the bell rang. Sawant sir left. Sameer came & sat near Karan. Dhriti took the MED textbook & started dealing with it. Sameer asked Karan, "What is the condition at home? About results?" Karan said, "baba has more expectations. He wants me to cover first class like last semester. I hope so." Sameer asked, "What did you tell him after the papers?" Karan said, "I said that they were easy. But now I'm afraid of EGM & MED. EGM can be cleared but I'm not sure that I can clear MED if it remains back." Nikki said, "Don't worry, Karan. I'm surely all down, still I'm not worried." Sameer said, "Because your father is trusty here. And by the way, he has earned enough money to feed your children & grandchildren too!" Nikki pulled Sameer's collar & said, "Not mine, our children." Karan smiled. Sameer rescued himself & said, "Let's finish engineering first, my girl." Karan found Dhriti reading the book. He said, "Look at her, her expressions can't hide her stress about the result." Dhriti looked at Karan & smiled. Karan also smiled. The sun kept moving to the west.
It was 6:30pm. Karan reached home. Sushila was preparing for dinner. Karan got fresh & had tea. Dhanaji was on the sewing machine. Aarti was studying. Dhanaji asked Karan, "What about the result, Karan?" Karan said, "It is displayed at 4 but the server is down." Aarti asked, "Then?" Karan said, "Sameer will inform us." He came to Durga Mata's temple where Sarja, his grandmother, was praying. Karan came close & enjoined his hands. Karan said, "Today is the result, Aajji. Ask Mata Rani for my good luck." Sarja said, "Mata Rani knows everything, Karan. Wherever you go, she's after you for your wellness." Karan smiled. Soon Aarti called him. He came to Aarti. Aarti said, "Please explain this equation to me." Karan took her notebook; soon his mobile rang. It was Sameer. Karan picked the call up & said, "Hi Sameer." Sameer said, "Karan, you've got two backlogs!" Karan's expressions went off. Sameer said, "The subjects you were afraid of. EGM & MED!" Karan exclaimed, "What?" Dhanaji stopped his machine. Aarti stopped her studies. Sameer said, "You're in ATKT." Karan said somehow, "Okay." Sameer said, "Look Karan, don't take tension. Have your dinner & sleep well. Do come tomorrow." Karan said, "Okay." & cut the call. Dhanaji asked, "What happened?" Karan said, "Two subjects are back." Dhanaji asked shockingly, "What?" Karan said again, "Two subjects are back." Dhanaji said rudely, "Aarti, remove the T.V. connection." Karan's eyes started flowing. He left.
Dhriti entered the bus & the bus started. Dhriti took a window seat. She was looking outside nervously. Sameer was sitting three seats before her. He came & sat near Dhriti. He looked at Dhriti & said, "Second year diploma Mechanical engineering with two backlogs!" Dhriti looked at Sameer & asked, "Sameer? What happened to your bike?" Sameer said, "I thought that you might be very happy today, so I should congratulate you." Dhriti's glance fell down. Sameer said, "I've already imagined such a face when I saw your results. MED & EGM!" Dhriti asked, "How did you get my seat number? " Sameer said, "Look, don't be tense." Dhriti said, "I didn't tell you." Sameer said, "Those will be cleared in this semester." Dhriti asked, "And enrollment number? Where did you get that?" Sameer said, "Your words are not matching with your expressions, Dhriti!" Dhriti stopped talking. Her eyes started flowing. Sameer said, "It's your first time, I can understand. I too had two backlogs last semester. See, if you get depressed at this time, you will not be able to concentrate on this semester too." Dhriti looked at Sameer. Sameer said, "I too have a backlog. MED! As soon as I saw my result, I controlled myself first. Dhriti, nothing's gonna happen by crying. Only your makeup may fade away." Dhriti smiled.
Sameer & Dhriti came to the workshop. It was practical for MTE. Priyanka came to them & said, "Hey Sameer, Dhriti!" Sameer asked, "How much did you clear?" Priyanka said, "One is back, dude! What about you?" Sameer said, "Same." Priyanka asked Dhriti, "Dhriti, your result?" Dhriti said slowly, "Two backlogs." Priyanka regretted, "Oh! you were all clear last semester, huh?" Sameer corrected, "Third topper!" Priyanka said, "Yeah, yeah. Okay guys, see you." She left. Dhriti found Karan sitting on a chair taking a job in his hand. Sameer said, "Hey, Karan! What's up?" Karan said, "Sameer." Sameer said, "I'm sorry." Karan said, "Don't be sorry. After all, this is what I was afraid of." Sameer said, "Strange! No one is serious here. I thought that you would also be normal coming here but…" Karan cut his sentence, "I can't be normal, Sameer. I've said that if MED remains back then I can't clear it." Sameer held Karan's hand & said, "Come." He took Karan to the lathe machine. He took Karan's job, fixed it in chuck & said, "Why are you so afraid of MED?" Karan said, "Concepts. They're not that easy." Sameer asked, "And why so?" Karan said, "I don't know." Dhriti asked, "What're you trying to say, Sameer?" Sameer gave feed & said, "Interest matters. There is no choice for you other than taking interest in this." Karan asked, "In this?" Soon Nikki came. She said Sameer pulling, "Come Sameer, I want to show you something." Dhriti asked, "What's your result, Nikita?" Nikki said, "Don't call me Nikita. It's Nikki, okay? And I don't want to tell you anything." She left taking Sameer with her. Karan took control of the machine & asked Dhriti, "Why does she behave so rudely to you?" Dhriti said, "It's okay, I don't feel bad." Karan said, "But I do." Dhriti looked at Karan.
Karan came to Mata's temple where Sarja was praying. Karan waited. Sarja finished her prayer & opened her eyes. Karan said, "Does it really work, Aajji? I mean, you ask for something & God gives it to you." Sarja said, "It's all about your belief. If you believe that it will happen, it happens. So at the level of belief, yes, it works!" Karan smiled & said, "One thing I've come to know is that the things you don't see don't exist. I can't fake myself anymore, Aajji." & he left.
Karan came into the bedroom. His mobile was ringing. It was Dhriti's call. Karan took the call. Dhriti asked, "Hey, what's up?" Karan said, "Nothing special. What about you?" Dhriti said, "I was just missing you. How're you?" Karan said, "I'm feeling better now." Dhriti said, "Hmm. Sameer was right. A disturbed mind can affect this semester too." Karan said, "I'm worried about MED lectures." Dhriti said, "Don't worry. Everything will be fine." Karan said, "I hope so." Dhriti said, "Okay, See you in college then." Karan said, "Good night." He kept the mobile down & fell asleep. Some time passed & Karan started dreaming. It was a dark night in the desert. There were big volcanoes everywhere. Karan was among four shadows. All of the shadows had nameplates of M3, SOM, MEM & EEG respectively. There was a shadow some distance away from them. That shadow had the nameplate of 'MED'. Karan said, "Attack!" They all attacked the MED. MED threw them away in an instance. Karan said, "M3, you go." M3 went to MED. They both fought for a while. MED kept hand on M3's head & hypnotised him. Karan was shocked looking at this but he called SOM & said, "Your turn." SOM went to MED. MED kept hand on SOM's head & hypnotised him too. One by one, MED hypnotised all of them. Now, Karan was alone on his side. Suddenly, they all attacked Karan. Karan started screaming, "Leave me, leave me. I want to be all clear. Someone please help me." Soon a divine light fell on all of them. Karan woke up from sleep. He was sweating. He calmed down himself, drank water & fell asleep.
(To Be Continued...)