Reviewed by Padu & Ridhi.
It was a Monday evening. Our faculty started leaving the campus. One of the reputed professors of our department, Prof. Govind was about to lock his room. I talked to my juniors via conference call, “Team Prof on the move”
“Team Target come on line”
“Team Target Reporting Sir, Target is seated near the canteen as usual”
“Who is with him?”
“3 of his friends Sir, we are not sure of their names”
“Road Block team report”
“Road block team reporting Sir.”
“Immediately block the subsidiary road we want Prof to head to the Main Gate”
“Barricades in place Sir.”
“Harini reporting Sir, I am ready near the target Sir.”
“Start action, Prof has started his car and he must be there in 2 minutes”
My reliable juniors helped me in this plot. I always dreamed of being a squad leader in a military mission or at least in an NCC camp. This passion of mine drove me into NCC, but for the girl of my dreams, I had to sacrifice these dreams.
NCC juniors who regulated traffic during parade practices came in handy, and of course the power of being the ruling party to bring in regulations in the campus. Blocking a road for a few minutes was no big deal.
Unfortunately I was unable to witness Harini’s exemplary performance; I was later given a description by Uma who accompanied Harini. Harini walked straight to Kiran and introduced herself.
Kiran spoke with the usual 4th year’s tone to a 1st year. She without any delay asked him why you did do that to Anusuya, she really loved you, and you betrayed her. She started firing abuses at him. Another team of my juniors ensured that they occupied the seating in the audible range of Harini’s voice such that none witnessed this scene with their ears.
The professor made a scene at the barricade, but my juniors managed him citing safety precautions at peak hours, and hence the road was closed for 4 wheeler traffic. After some 2 minutes of threatening and shouting he turned to the road to the main entrance.
Back to the scene, Kiran who already was in a bad mood because of the election failure was aroused badly. He would have hit Harini, if only she was a guy. He started yelling at her asking her to get out. Exactly when professor crossed the road, she walked away rubbing her eyes and imitating as if she was crying.
As expected he got down and caught those guys and a couple other lecturers joined him. Kiran and Co pleaded not guilty, but in vain, who would doubt the case stated by a first year girl against notorious 4th year guys. An enquiry was set up.
The panel was ready to take punitive action against the four, with Kiran being the main culprit. He requested and pleaded with the panel but in vain, “We are helpless in this Kiran. If the girl wishes, she can even lodge a police complaint.”
“Not only as raging, she can even add eve teasing to it. It’s all now in the girl’s hands.” I sat in the panel representing the college students’ board. I appreciated myself for the choice of a girl.
Kiran’s friends who were from rich and politically influential background and everything turned him down, fearing that anything they did against this case could have been fatal as a female student from a reputed institute was involved.
Kiran finally surrendered. He called Harini, and we arranged for a meet in a classroom. As soon as he saw me he jumped on me, “You bastard, I knew it must have been you.”
He tried to convince Harini, that he was good, and asked her not to believe me as his final desperate attempt, again in vain. He gave up, “So what is that you want.”
“Nothing. It’s all about Anu.”
Anu and Elvia walked into the class from the next room. He tried all his charms. I don’t remember the exact words, it was something like this “Anu I never meant that to you. You misunderstood me. Please forgive me, I still do love you.” He almost fell to her feet.
After a minute of silence Anu opened up, “I loved you” a drop of tear emerged out of her closed eyes. “I believed you. I believed you as were my life.”
It was a horrible site to see a full grown man cry. Yes, Kiran did cry, may be pretence. But he had to do everything he could, as his whole life was then in Anu’s hands. He just kept saying ‘sorry Anu, I didn’t mean to’ and stuff like that again and again.
“Get lost. At least be good to Rupa” and Anu started walking back. Elvia caught her hand, “Hey what nonsense, after all that he has done to you. You just let him go with it”
Anu ignored her and spoke to me, “Anna you have done this for me with immense efforts. But he is not worth being punished by a man of your stature. He will suffer for his sins.” I tried to interrupt her, she continued, “For my sake please spare him.”
First I didn’t get her, but later I realized that, the worst punishment on earth is forgiving. The lesson taught by the' father of our nation', ‘Ahimsa’. Kiran’s guilty consciousness almost killed him. I saw it on his face. He was ashamed of his deeds. In later days, I saw a great change in him. I saw genuineness in his words and his kinship.
Elvia gave a look of gratitude and her usual momentary smile, when she left holding Anu by her shoulders. I felt like shouting aloud, loud enough such that the entire city could hear of my bliss.
I thanked all my juniors, who helped me with this plot. Later as per Anu’s wish, we requested the panel to dismiss the enquiry on Kiran, stating that we didn’t want to ruin his future, and that Kiran had realized his mistake.
Elvia and I were back on speaking terms. That week I even taught her Distributed Systems and networks, for which I am till day very proud of, that I being a 7 pointer taught technical subjects to a geeky 9 pointer.
I had no intention of delaying things anymore. It’s high time I opened up to Elvia. I decided on how and when. I told myself, “It’s now or Never”.
How many types of friends are there?
5 days ago