We enthusiastically gave out ideas and opinions on various activities to be conducted during the camp. Shantanu was sitting very silent and I understood he felt uncomfortable, but he is a first timer.
Finally Lakshman, “Friends, we are all enthusiastic about the camp but the fund allocated is not sufficient for all our expenses. So I propose that we collect a sum of hundred rupees from everyone, what’s your stand”
Sir, “I personally am against this idea. We are not supposed to collect any money. We are here to serve with our hearts, and not with money. What do you people feel?”
There were hushed responses. I personally can very well afford more than that sum but it’s not a matter of affording, Sir seemed to have a point.
A clear voice emerged from the flusters, “Excuse me, I wish that we discuss the camp budget and see whether we can cut costs”
If not for our Sir, Shantanu would have definitely got a mocking response. Then Lakshman started describing the budget. “We are allocated a sum of Rs.12,500 for camp and we have saved Rs. 6700 from our regular funds”
“We have already spent Rs. 850 on transport from college to camp site, and Rs. 3000 on groceries.”
He continued to tell us about the expenses on our tree sapling plantation plans, other survival expenses and expenses on tools etc. Most of us felt a little bored of this.
After the budget and expense descriptions Shantanu, “Most of our expenses are on food for the 60 people in our unit, we are now buying groceries from retail stores. We should go for buying them in wholesale”
“But we are not buying huge amounts to go for wholesale”, Narayanan another 3rd year with disgust.
“Ya, I understand, this Thursday is an auspicious day, I saw 3 Marriage halls on the way to this village. They are less than a couple miles away. We can partner with them, and hence can save on both commodities cost and transport cost.”
Most of us are now in awe, we didn’t know how pragmatic he speaks, but how could he think of all this. “But is that possible”
“Why what’s so far fetched about this”
Lakshman, “Ok I see there is a possibility, you are not assigned any responsibility right, fine then you are the treasurer, and have to take care of the expenses of the camp”
Sir, “Good idea, go speak with the authorities tomorrow, and see how possible things are, and if we fail we may then go for this money collecting idea”
Shantanu now enthusiastically, “Sir, not just that, for the plant saplings one of our junior’s uncle owns a nursery, and if it is for some social cause he may give the required saplings for free”
Narayan, “Whatever, you just take care of these things and report to us”
I spoke to Shantanu over dinner, “Man tell me seriously, from where do you get all those weird ideas”
“Weird!!! I just had nothing else to think other than money, unlike you, who kill yourself with algorithms”
Why should he have to bring in algo for everything, anyway I felt happy about he being good enough for such an important responsibility. He looked cheerful. After dinner we walked back to the school where we stayed.
We had a lot of time together, and I had my laptop and in the evenings Shantanu used my laptop for accounts. I wrote a simple Visual Basic code to help him with his accounts. He laughed at the program, stating that MS Excel would be more helpful. Later I found out he has been using the software without telling me.
Me being in the teaching team and he accounts, we didn’t have too much of work. During days he stayed with us in the teaching room helping us, and bossing around our team juniors. In the evenings we had that classroom all for us, we had a lot of peaceful pleasant time together. I felt an invisible bond develop between us, which is much stronger than the attraction before.
That night I confessed. I couldn’t keep it to myself anymore. I really wanted to shout it aloud, “I am in love” but I felt shy to do anything like that, so I just told Anu, “I think I have fallen in love with Shantanu”, she simply smiled back.
Anu proposed a computer awareness camp for a day in a nearby village’s school. Shantanu and Anu visited the school, and arranged for that one day camp. Initially the school authorities were a bit reluctant, later their hesitations disappeared before Shantanu’s business charms.
They are now perfectly convinced that this is a blessing for their students to be taught computers by computer engineering students from such a reputed institute, and thanked them profoundly for the idea.
Initially it was decided that Anu and Shantanu will go for the camp, with me taking care of regular teaching team responsibilities. Anu being an understanding friend, she let me go instead of her, but it’s her idea and I didn’t want to take it from her.
At last we left the local teaching responsibilities to our juniors, and all three of us left to the school with 4 other juniors with us. Students and the authorities gave us a cheerful warm welcome.
We used 3 laptops to teach them basics on using a computer. I had the laptop on the table and explained the curious brats who felt so exotic about a laptop. It was a cool uncomfortable feeling to be looked at as someone dropped down from the sky.
It was a tuff day, yet we felt as energetic as we started till the last of those brats. Filled with complacence and their thankfulness we blissfully walked back to our camp site.
On the way we left Anu and the juniors a few paces before us and we got lost in our own world of small talks. Three guys standing on the road side started following us.
Their susurrations grew louder. They started talking obscene terms pointed on me, a typical eve teasing. I avoided them not willing to spoil the romantic environment of walking after dusk on a lonely road. Shantanu looked very disturbed.
At a point he lost patience and turned back at them, “Bastards get lost from here or you will hate the consequences”
“Hey hero what will you do to us, hit us? Come on come on man go ahead”
He gave a sharp punch to one of them, they hit him back and that’s a street fight, within seconds the 3 overpowered him. I joined the duel and gave a knee kick to one and tried to pull Shantanu out, he is well hurt now.
With my entry Shantanu recollected himself and the duo of us with one a novice Kung fu and me a Karate Dan 2 defeated the three, leaving them moaning on the ground.
Shantanu was bleeding with a hit from someone wearing a ring. He limped till our campsite and I helped him with first aid kit.
“Hey idiot they are some goofs, who are utterly jobless. Why do you go in duel with them?”
“I love you..” for a moment all my blood cells turned dead cells, sweat beads turned frosts. The world around me disappeared and I misty blissful cloud surrounded me.
“I love you like my sister, I value you and I can’t tolerate all that nonsense”
I didn’t hear anything after that word, the terrifying word which is often something terrorizing for guys ‘sister’ but it almost killed me now. I felt numb and dead.
Avoiding his eyes, I hurriedly dressed his blood wound and left the place to avoid he reading the frustration on my face.
How many types of friends are there?
5 days ago