Karan was sitting nervously on a bench in a corner. Dhriti was sitting nervously on a bench in another corner. Nikki came & sat near Karan. Karan said, "It's five days, Nikki. Does anyone ignore such a long time? The time I went through was not good enough. I felt lonely & found some affection for me in her. That's why I asked her. And it was just a proposal! She could refuse normally." Nikki said, "Chill yaar! If she deserves your luv, she'll recognise it. Otherwise, I'm ready to mingle with you." Karan asked smiling, "What about Sameer then?" Nikki said looking at Dhriti, "He's working on it." Sameer came & sat near Dhriti. He said, "Dhriti, I want to tell you something." Dhriti said, "Go ahead." Sameer said, " I luv you." Dhriti looked at Sameer shockingly. Sameer was looking in a textbook. Dhriti said, "You… you must be joking." Sameer said loudly, "No, I'm serious. I luv you." Students started making taunts. Dhriti said, "Sameer, keep quiet. Don't make a scene." Sameer said, "I'm not making a scene, Dhriti. This is what I feel for you." Karan asked Nikki, "Nikki, Don't you feel jealous now?" Nikki said, "Strongly! But he's doing this for you so…" Sameer said, "You're the only one who can be my girlfriend." Dhriti asked, "Seriously? Then how does Nikita relate to you?" Sameer asked, "So you don't want a second hand boyfriend, huh?" Dhriti looked down. Sameer came close to her & asked, "Then why are you ignoring Karan?" Dhriti looked at Sameer. Sameer said, "I know everything. About you & Karan." Dhriti said, "Sameer, I don't want to talk on this topic." Sameer taunted, "Great. You agreed without any discussion!" Dhriti said loudly, "Enough, Sameer." & she left. Sameer came to Karan. Karan asked, "Was it necessary to behave so?" Nikki smiled. Sameer said, "Don't worry, now she won't be able to stop thinking about you." Karan said, "Okay, listen. I'm not coming tomorrow. There is a Jagrata at home tomorrow. So I'll have to handle everything." Nikki asked, "Is it for uncle?" Karan nodded head. Sameer said, "But there will be extra classes for MED from tomorrow." Karan asked, "Will you take notes for me?" Sameer said, "Ok." Karan said to both Sameer & Nikki, "You do come for Puja." They nodded their heads.
Dhriti entered her bedroom. Her computer was on. She came to the computer & held the mouse. She started opening & closing every folder on the desktop. There was a folder of her picnic. Dhriti opened the folder & started viewing photos one by one. She stopped at a photo of Karan & her. It was a friendship day picnic. Dhriti tied a friendship band on Karan's wrist & said, "This is for my best friend." Karan also tied a friendship band on Dhriti's wrist & said, "This is for my life partner." Dhriti asked, "Hey, what do you mean by life partner?" Karan explained, "You always use to say - Karan, your friend is always with you. So if you're with me my whole life, you're my life partner logically." Dhriti said laughing, "You know, you're quite mental." They both kept laughing. Dhriti remembered all of that. She said to herself, "Don't luv me so much, Karan, that I won't be able to handle myself."
Karan came to the kitchen & handed that bag over to Aarti who was sitting in front of the stove. Aarti said taking that bag, "Dada, Aaji has asked to call Pujariji." Karan nodded head & came to another room. Dhanaji was sleeping on the cot. Karan called Pujariji. After his call, Karan called Sameer. Sameer said, "Hey, Karan." Karan said, "I just wanted to invite you all to Bhandara." Sameer asked, "What is special? Chicken, Mutton or anything else?" Karan said, "None of the above. You'll have to manage with the Bhaji, Rice, Kheer & Puri!" Sameer said, "Thanks, bro! We'll definitely come." Karan said, "Give my message to Nikki too! Otherwise she'll target me tomorrow." Sameer asked, "And to Dhriti?" Karan smiled, then said, "Okay, bye." Sameer disconnected the call smiling. Soon Dhriti entered the class. Sameer said, "Hey, Dhriti!" Dhriti said, "Talk only if you aren't gonna taunt." Sameer said, "Okay. My copy?" Dhriti sat near him & gave him his copy. She looked around the class. Sameer asked, "What happened?" Dhriti asked, "Karan?" Sameer smiled, then said, "There's a Jagrata at his home."
Sarja asked Karan, "Karan, what happened to the ladies? It is too late already." Karan said, "Aarti has gone to call them. She'll be coming soon." Sarja said, "A lady is the human form of Mata. So Bhandara should be started with them." Karan said, "I know, Aaji." Sarja said smiling, "Go & see what your mother is doing." Karan came to Sushila. She was helping some ladies in making the Kheer. Karan said, "How much time will it take, Aai? Aarti will be coming soon." Sushila said, "It is ready, Karan. You check sitting arrangements again. No one should need to wait." Soon Aarti called, "Dada, all the ladies have come." Karan went to the dining area & started arranging chairs. Some ladies entered & 'Nandini' entered after them. A red Saari, golden jewelry, well braided hair & a face like Miss. Devkar! Sushila welcomed her & said, "I haven't seen you before." Nandini said, "I'm Nandini. I live in the third lane." Sushila arranged a chair for her. All the ladies started eating. Karan was feeding Puri to them. He came to Nandini & Nandini looked at him. Karan got goosebumps. Nandini said, "You must be Karan. Aarti was talking about you." Karan said smiling, "Yes." He offered a Puri & went ahead. After half an hour, Nandini came to the room where Dhanaji was sleeping. She kept right palm on Dhanaji's forehead for a minute & then left. Sushila was giving a return gift, a plate of steel, to all ladies. She looked around & asked, "Where did Nandini go?"
Karan came to Mata's temple. He enjoined his hands & said, "Mata, Baba doesn't suit such illness. Make him healthy like before. It makes our day when we see him working on his machine. We want him to be with us for a long time." He stopped a while, then said, "There's one more thing. I… I luv Dhriti. She also luvs me but she fears facing me. Please help her." Soon Aarti asked, "Did you say Dhriti?" Karan was shocked by the sudden sound. He said, "No, no. I was just..." Aarti said, "I understood. Let me tell this to Aai." Karan stopped her & said, "Wait. Not now." Aarti faked thinking & said, "Let me try. Dhriti Vahini! Good choice, Dada." & she started laughing. Karan also smiled. The Jagrata kept going the whole night.
Karan & the doctor came outside the room in Karan's house. Doctor said, "Blood pressure is not fluctuating & this is good news for us. Still, you'll need to continue his medicines for some days. We'll do some tests after a week. Till then, continue the course." Karan said smiling, "Yes, doctor." Taking his briefcase, the doctor left. Karan looked into his watch & shouted, "Aai, I'm getting late for college." In college, there was an ongoing lecture for EEG. Miss. Ghosh was teaching. Dhriti was continuously looking at the door. Soon Miss. Gosh said, "Dhriti!" Dhriti came to sense & said, "Yes, Miss!" Miss. Ghosh asked, "Where is your attention?" Dhriti said, "Sorry, Miss." Miss. Ghosh said, "Tell me the difference between star & delta connection." Dhriti kept quiet. Miss. Ghosh said, "So, concentrate." & she continued. The bell rang for lunch after the class. Sameer asked, "Aren't you coming, Dhriti?" Dhriti said, "You go, I'll come soon." Most of the students left the classroom. Karan came into the door & Dhriti looked at him. Dhriti said, "We need to talk." & moved aside on the bench. Karan came & sat near Dhriti. Dhriti asked, "Angry?" Karan said, "No, I'm so happy." Dhriti asked, "Can't we remain friends like before?" Karan said, "We still are." Dhriti said, "I like you, Karan, but…" Karan said, "You like me but you don't luv me, do you? Dhriti, do you have any problem? Any family problem or any other?" Soon Sameer came & said, "She doesn't have a problem, she herself is a problem." Karan said, "Sameer." Sameer said to Dhriti, "Look Dhriti, we four are best friends. Nikki & I are a couple & you both are single. Can you imagine how hard it is to believe?" Dhriti looked down. Karan said, "Dhriti, we're not forcing you. You tell me if there's anything you don't like in me. Any habit." Dhriti said, "I'm not worthy to you, Karan." Sameer laughed a lot. Then he said, "Third semester. Both of you have two backlogs with the same subjects. In the first semester, both of you had scores with one or two percentage's difference. When suddenly made to stand up, both of you have the same expressions." Karan & Dhriti were looking at each other. Sameer said, "Both of you know that you've made for each other still don't want to accept it. Come on yaar, you should be a couple." Karan asked, "Dhriti, can you give me just one chance to prove my luv for you?" Dhriti looked at Karan. Soon she found that there were many students looking at them. Dhriti became more nervous. Students cheered Dhriti up, "Come on, Dhriti. Come on, Dhriti." Somehow, Dhriti said, "Okay." Students clapped hands for Karan & Dhriti. Dhriti looked at Karan. Karan smiled. They came to the canteen. Nikki asked Sameer, "Where were you?" Sameer said happily, "They're a couple now." Nikki looked at Dhriti & suddenly hugged her. Dhriti didn't understand anything but she liked that. She smiled. Sameer & Karan looked at each other. Nikki said, "Congratulations!" Dhriti looked at Karan. Karan smiled.
After fifteen days of Navratri, Friday, Miss. Devkar entered the class. Students greeted in an off mood, "Good afternoon, Miss!" Miss. Devkar said in a fresh mood, "Good afternoon, class. Please sit down." Students sat down. Miss. Devkar asked, "So, fifteen days! Did you understand all of the lectures taken by Mishra sir in the last fifteen days?" Students cried together, "No!!!" Miss. Devkar said, "You know, you're impossible. Classes are just guidance, first of all you should believe in self study." Karan said, "But Miss, your lectures are so understandable that we don't need any self study." Miss. Devkar smiled. She said to all, "Okay listen carefully, I'm giving three already delayed sheets today & I want them completed on Monday." Students started grumbling. Miss. Devkar said, "If anyone fails to complete the sheets then I'll give four marks per sheet." Karan's eyebrows went up. Mis. Devkar said, "Last five & these three sheets, I want all the eight sheets completed on Monday." Karan said to himself, "Fifteen days leave was not enough, I guess."
Karan woke up yawning & looked into the watch. It was 7:45am! Karan said, "Oh, sheet! First practical is MED." & he ran to the bathroom. He tried his best but reached fifteen minutes late. He asked from the drawing hall's door, "May I come in, Miss?" Miss. Devkar asked, "Karan, why are you late?" Karan started explaining, "Miss, actually I drew sheets the whole day of Saturday so I slept in the Saturday evening. In the night, I completed a PPR assignment so I woke up late on Sunday morning. I drew sheets the whole day of Sunday also & that's why I slept in the Sunday evening too. In the night, I again did the PPR assignment so woke up late today. And that's the reason I am late today." Students were laughing loudly. Miss. Devkar said, "These sheets don't take that long." Karan said, "Promise Miss! Apart from MED & PPR, I haven't done anything else." Miss. Devkar asked, "Seriously? Then you must remember everything." Karan said, "A little bit." Miss. Devkar asked, "What is feat?" Karan said, "It is the condition of tightness & looseness between two meeting parts assembled together." Miss. Devkar asked, "What is allowance? Give its types." Karan said, "It is the intentional difference between two meeting parts. It's types are maximum allowance & minimum allowance." Miss. said, "Give any five tolerance characteristics." Karan said, "Straightness, flatness, circularity, cyllindricity & symmetry." Smiling, Miss. Devkar gave a chalk to Karan & said, "Draw projection & convection for seratted shaft." Karan said, "Sorry, I don't know, Miss." Miss. Devkar said, "This was what the first PTT based on." Karan smiled. He kept all sheets in front of Miss. Devkar. Miss. Devkar asked checking the sheets, "How's your father now?" Karan asked, "Father?" Miss. Devkar said, "The students were saying that he got an electric shock." Karan said, "He's recovering now." Miss. Devkar gave eight marks on all of the sheets. Karan said, "Eight marks!" Miss. Devkar asked, "Not enough?" Karan said, "No, not that thing." Taking those sheets, he came to Dhriti. Dhriti kept a timetable in front of Karan & said, "Second PTT is on the day after tomorrow." Karan exclaimed, "Oh no!" Dhriti added, "Second paper is of MED." Sameer & Nikki were drawing their sheets. Karan asked Sameer, "You're not done yet?" Sameer said, "Weekend was busy." Karan took his sheet of 'auxiliary views'. Miss. Devkar was near Nikki. Nikki was drawing the sixth sheet. Miss. Devkar asked Nikki, "Are seventh & eighth complete?" Nikki said, "No, Miss." Miss. Devkar said, "You would be happy with four marks too, wouldn't you?" Soon Karan said, "Miss!" Miss. Devkar asked, "Yes?" Karan pointed out in his sheet & said, "I didn't understand this second problem so I had copied it. Will you explain this to me?" Miss. Devkar took Karan's pencil & started explaining to him. After some time, Sawant sir entered the hall & said, "Excuse me, Miss. Devkar. There's a notice for students." Miss. Devkar said, "Sure." Sawant sir said, "So students, principal sir is giving a party on his birthday on 28th October." Students cheered. Sawant sir continued, "We're preparing a gift for him. I expect a little contribution of 100 rupees from you so please submit the same to me till tomorrow. Thank you." & he left. Students cheered, "Party!" Miss. Devkar said, "Relax! There's an exam before the party."
(To Be Continued...)