In the morning, Karan came to the kitchen. There were Dhanaji, Sushila & Aarti. Karan took his dish, fed a morsel to Aarti & said, "Aai, I'll be late in the evening. There is a welcome party for first year students." Sushila said, "Reach before the dark." Dhanaji asked, "How's your study going?" Karan said, "It's fine." Dhanaji said, "I hope you'll be all clear, at least this semester." Karan stopped eating. He drank water & left the kitchen. Sushila said, "Karan, finish your breakfast, son!" She asked Dhanaji, "And you, was it necessary to say so in the early morning?" Dhanaji said, "What else should I do, Sushila? There are two backlogs & he is partying!" Aarti took Karan's tiffin & came to the bedroom. Karan was packing his school bag. Aarti said, "Dada, tiffin..." Karan said, "Keep it to you." & left. Aarti kept looking. Karan reached the college. He entered his class; soon a notebook hit his face. A boy came & picked up that notebook saying sorry to Karan. Karan asked the CR, "What's going on?" CR said, "You can see that." Soon a chalk hit his head. He said to all, "Be quiet guys, we're breaking the rules." Karan found Dhriti sitting silent on a bench. Karan sat near her & asked, "This is…" Dhriti asked, "What else can you expect from an off period?" Karan asked, "Off period?" Dhriti said, "MED." Karan looked at the ceiling fan & asked, "Why is it off?" Dhriti said, "Sudden power cut." Sameer was running all over the class. Soon peon entered the class & he said, "Silence please. Professor for MED has arrived. The lecture will start soon." Soon Nikki dashed to the peon. Sameer controlled her. He said to peon, "I'll handle her." Peon went off. Sameer asked Nikki, "You've drunk, Nikki?" Nikki asked, "Who told you so?" Sameer took her to a bench & sat near her. Soon the door knocked. CR opened the door. Miss. Devkar entered the class & the ceiling fan started. Karan looked up & then, to Miss. Devkar. A Lemon coloured Saree, free hair, mid brown tone face still a shine on it & holding MED textbook in a hand! All the students greeted her with a 'good morning'. She came to board & looked at the whole class. It was littered everywhere. Students had made the classroom dustbin. Miss. Devkar said, "It seems that your morning was pretty good!" CR said on the behalf of all the students, "We're sorry, Miss. We ensure that this will never happen again." Miss. Devkar said, "I know that this will never happen again." Sameer asked, "Miss, can we sit now?" All laughed. Miss. Devkar also smiled. She said, "Principal sir has told me much more. Anyways, students who have cleared MED-2 may sit." Two to four students sat down. Miss. Devkar's eyebrows went up & she exclaimed, "Great!" Students laughed again. Miss. Devkar said, "Okay, sit down." Everyone sat down. Karan was confusingly looking at Miss. Devkar. Miss. Devkar said, "Okay, let me introduce myself to you. My name is Teja Devkar. I've done my B.E. from Solapur district. Two years experience in Cusrow Wadia. Now all of you will introduce yourself. Name, residence, education & hobbies. Let's start." One by one, all students started introducing themselves. Nikki stood up on her turn. She introduced herself. Miss. Devkar asked, "Your hobbies?" Some students laughed. Miss. Devkar looked at them & they kept quiet. Nikki said, "I like to party." & sat down. Sameer stood up. Miss. Devkar said, "And Nikita, Alcohol consumption is injurious to health." Nikki looked at Miss. Devkar in anger. After a few numbers, Karan stood up. He looked into Miss. Devkar's eyes. He got goosebumps & He looked down. Without looking up, he introduced himself. Miss. Devkar smiled & said, "Next." Karan remained confused. Dhriti stood up & introduced herself. Miss. Devkar asked, "What're your hobbies, Dhriti?" Dhriti said, "I like to write." Miss. Devkar said, "Great! Can we listen something?" Dhriti said shying, "No please, Miss! It's just a timepass." Miss. Devkar said, "Okay, okay, no problem. You must be shying away. Please sit down." Dhriti sat down. Karan was looking at the desk. Dhriti asked him, "What happened, Karan?" Karan looked at Miss. Devkar.
The party was on fire. Some students were dancing on the beat, Some were enjoying the snacks. Karan & Dhriti, as usual, were sitting in a corner. Karan asked, "Dhriti, didn't you find Miss. Devkar somewhat different?" Dhriti asked, "Why?" Karan said, "In the class, she talked very frankly with all students, except me. She just didn't talk to me." Dhriti asked, "So you want her to talk to you?" Karan corrected, "No, I didn't mean that." Dhriti said, "Let me remind you that you also don't like to talk more." Karan said, "Yeah, but most of the teachers try to be frank with students. But in case of her..." Dhriti asked, "Karan, why do you always overthink?" Karan looked at her, then said, "I don't know, Dhriti. I don't know whether I overthink or others don't think like me." Dhriti said, "Sorry, Karan. I didn't mean to hurt you. Don't feel alone." She waited for a second & said, "I'm with you." Karan looked at her. Dhriti continued, "Your friend is with you. Forever!" Karan kept looking.
The continuous ringing tune made Karan wake up. He picked the call up & said in a lazy tone, "Hello." Dhriti started her radio, "This tone? Are you still in bed, Karan? Don't you know that our first practical is of SOM which will start at 8:30 sharp. And by the way, usually you don't sleep for such a long time. What has happened to you today?" Karan said smiling, "Finished? At least now say the thing for what you have called." Dhriti smiled. She said, "Happy Birthday!" Karan said, "Thanks." Soon Aarti came & said, "Dada, it's your turn to bathe." Dhriti said, "Go & get fresh. And give the phone to Aarti." Karan gave the phone to Aarti & said, "Talk to Dhriti." & left. Aarti took the phone & said, "Hi Dhriti, how're you?" Dhriti said, "I'm fine sweetheart, how're you?" After some time, Karan came into the bedroom & kept the tiffin into his bag. He was thinking about something. Dhanaji noticed that. He stopped his machine & asked, "What happened?" Karan said, "Baba, I need some money." Dhanaji took a pause, then said, "Check my wallet." Karan checked Dhanaji's wallet. It was empty. Dhanaji said, "It's the end of the month, boy. See if your mother has something." Karan said, "No, it's okay. I'll manage." Dhanaji said, "I'll be paid in four to five days. I'll give you that time." Karan nodded his head & left. He entered the bus from the bus stop; soon he received Dhanaji's text message, "Happy Birthday, my boy." Karan smiled. Karan entered his class. Nikki hugged Karan & said, "Happy Birthday, darling." Then Sameer hugged Karan & said, "Happy Birthday, Bro." Karan said, "Thanks." Nikki said, "No. 'Thanks' is not enough. We want a party." Karan slightly touched his wallet, then said somehow, "Okay, in the break." Sameer said, "That's like a good boy!" Soon Deshmukh sir entered the class.
Karan sat on a chair & the rest all sat around him. They all were in the canteen. Karan said, "Okay guys, tell me what will you eat?" Rajiv said, "A sandwich & a coke." Nikki said, "Strawberry milkshake." Sid said, "A burger." Sameer said, "I'll take PavBhaji." Karan took a long breath. He asked Dhriti, "And you, Dhriti?" Dhriti said, "A cup of tea." Everyone was shocked by this. Sameer wore Dhriti's glasses & looked at her. Karan asked, "Are you sure?" Dhriti said, "Yeah." Karan came to the counter. Once, he looked at all of them. They were busy. Karan said to the owner, "Uncle, today is my birthday so my friends have asked for a party but..." The owner said, "Don't you have enough money, boy?" Karan said, "Something like that." The owner looked at Karan for a second, then said to a waiter, "Ghanshyam, take his order." Karan said happily, "Thank you, uncle. I'll definitely pay you in a few days." The owner nodded his head & said, "Happy Birthday." Karan smiled. He took the tray & came to the table where all of his friends were sitting. Dhriti asked, "Your snacks?" Karan said, "It's my birthday party, isn't it? The treat is for you." Rajiv & Sameer said simultaneously, "Really?" & forcefully fed him morsels from each plate. Dhriti smiled.
Miss. Devkar kept the textbook on the table & said, "Okay, yesterday we discussed the projections of lines. Any doubts?" No one raised their hand. Miss. Devkar looked around the class & found Karan at a corner. Smiling, she asked, "So, Karan? Will you come here please?" Karan was frightened by this sudden call. Nikki, who was sitting near Karan said, "Go, Karan." Karan gently came to the board. Miss. Devkar gave a chalk to Karan & said, "Draw a line CD, 80mm long, inclined at 45 degrees to HP & it's top view makes an angle of 30 degrees to VP. The end C is 15mm above HP & 20mm in front of VP." Karan just had drawn a XY line on the board. Dhriti was feeling careful about Karan. Miss. Devkar asked, "What happened?" Karan said somehow, "I can't, Miss." Miss. Devkar asked, "Why?" Karan said, "Actually, I didn't understand what you taught." Miss. Devkar shouted, "Are you mental?" Some students laughed. Karan held the chalk tightly. Miss. Devkar asked, "Why didn't you speak when I was asking?" Karan kept quiet. Miss. Devkar said, "Speak out." Sameer said, "Miss, today is his birthday." Miss. Devkar asked, "So should I sing a jingle for him?" Karan looked at Miss. Devkar. Miss. Devkar turned to Karan & asked, "I want an answer. How much time do you need to clear it?" Sameer said, "It's not his fault, Miss." Miss Devkar said to Sameer, "You stand up." Some students laughed. Sameer stood up. Miss. Devkar asked, "What were you saying?" Sameer said, "He's not alone. Most of the students have the same problem." Miss. Devkar gave a smile. She said, "You must be CR." Some students laughed. CR stood up & said, "Miss, nobody has taught this subject to us before. Seriously." Miss. Devkar said, "But this is the basic concept of MED." CR said, "I shouldn't say but we just were asked to copy paste the problems in the textbook." Miss. Devkar asked Sameer, "Seriously?" Sameer nodded head. Miss. Devkar turned to Karan & asked, "So this is why your MED is back?" Karan looked at Miss. Devkar. His eyes got wet. Miss. Devkar smiled & said, "Okay, You may go. Everybody sit down. It looks like we should start from your basics." She drew a diagram of 'planes of projections' on the board & asked all students, "Which projection method do we use?" Some said first angle method, some said third angle method. Miss. Devkar asked, "What is the first angle method?" Three four hands raised up. Miss. Devkar exclaimed, "Well done!" Students laughed. Miss. Devkar said pointing in the first quadrant, "In the first angle method, objects are placed here, in the first quadrant. Understood?" There was a pin drop silence. Miss. Devkar said, "I think I need to work harder." After the lecture, CR asked, "Miss, the first PTT is on Monday. What is our syllabus?" Miss. Devkar said, "Next practical is ours. We'll cover the first chapter in the same. It is easy. And the syllabus is that chapter & yesterday's projection of lines. Okay?" Dhriti said, "God, save me." Miss. Devkar looked at her.
Dhanaji was pressing a pant sitting down on the ground. Karan was studying nearby. Soon Dhanaji got an electric shock. He instantly took hand away. Karan asked, "what happened?" Dhanaji said, "Nothing. Just the press problem! I'm okay." Karan said, "Be careful, huh!" Soon his mobile rang. It was Dhriti. Karan took the mobile & came to another room. He picked the call up & said, "Hey!" Dhriti asked, "What're you doing?" Karan said, "Studying." Dhriti asked, "SOM or EEG?" Karan said, "EEG. You?" Dhriti said, "I was doing SOM when Sameer called me. He was saying that rechecking forms are on the website. If you want to..." Karan cut her sentence, "I know. But I don't think rechecking will work." Dhriti said, "Hey, don't be nervous. Everything will be fine. Okay, I won't take your time. You carry on. Bye." She ended the call. Karan kept the mobile down & continued his study. No sooner had he read a page, he heard Dhanaji's scream. He ran to the bedroom. Dhanaji's hand was in the air & the press was stuck to his hand. Karan immediately switched the main switch off. The press fell down & Dhanji lost his consciousness. Karan held Dhanaji in his arms. Neighbors gathered hearing that scream. Sarja came to Dhanaji and started crying loudly. Karan handled her too & said, "Somebody please call an auto."
Karan, Sarja, two ladies & the auto driver Raghu were waiting for the doctor outside that semi private room. Sarja was continuously crying. Raghu said to Karan, "Nothing will happen to your father. Don't worry." Karan nodded head. Sushila & Aarti reached there. Aarti hugged Karan crying. Sushila asked Karan, "What did the doctor say?" Sarja shouted at Sushila, "My son is fighting for his life & you're asking what the doctor said!" & started crying again. Sushila sat near her, controlled her & said, "Don't cry, Aai. Nothing's gonna happen to him." Soon the doctor came. Karan asked, "Doctor, is he okay?" Doctor said, "His BP is too low. Manually we've tried to increase it but he is not responding." Karan stopped a while, then asked, "Is he in coma?" Doctor said, "No, no. He's unconscious because of the shock. As soon as the BP rises, he'll respond." Karan said, "And till then?" Doctor said, "He needs to get admitted." Karan kept looking.
(To Be Continued...)