Reviewed by Ridhi.
I was lying on the bed, when Anu called Shantanu, “Hi na, what’s the status?”
Anu addressed Shantanu as Elder brother. She always wanted someone to love her and care for her. She, who lived with minimal relations, would have definitely fell for Shantanu’s charms, and I bet she would have had even given half her father’s savings as his share as a hire.
I came back to the outside world, “So the fate lies in the hands of 4th year mech.”
I didn’t hear the other side of the conversation. I eagerly waited for her to hang up.
“They are leading by one vote. 4th yr mech classes have decided, that, they will go for voting for the same side. So only if both of them vote in favor of us, we would win”
“Initially one of them was on our side, right?”
“Ya, looks like they don’t want their department’s integrity to be disturbed by elections. So they have decided to stay together.”
“But how will they decide on which side both of them will vote?”
“He said something which I couldn’t make out. The elections in their classes must be going on now”
“Guess their classes must be in their department itself”
“Ya, but the elections are going on in the humanities block as it is closer, when compared mech dept.”
Speaking this, we got ready to get down. ‘Even if there is an earth quake, girls will never come out of the building without a few layers over their façade.’ Recalling one of our seniors, Mohan’s words, I came out of our room smiling.
Anu and I leaped for every step, but didn’t run, though we badly wanted to. Shantanu and Co were standing there before the building waiting for the results. Similarly the other side guys and girls were also there. Almost half the college waited there.
The road separating the CSE department from the Humanities block was completely blocked for traffic. We fought our way to Shantanu, but couldn’t get there. So we asked a nearby 4th year of our side, “What’s happening?”
“Mech dept elections”
“Oh we know that.”
“Then why did you ask?”
“I mean, have they decided on what side they are voting for.”
“Looks like they will count the total number of votes in both the classes, and if the net count of votes in a side is well ahead of the other, what then that side wins this election”
“Oh my God”, Shivering I punched a few alphabets in my mobile. “Divi divi where are you?”
”Forget it. Now listen, in mech dept they have decided.” Gasping for breath, “that they will vote, based on the total number of…”
“Hey hold it, hold it, I am standing before the block under the Neem tree near physics dept. I have heard of all that.”
”Oh well fine. Now listen, your school mate, who is he? Praa..”
“Ya him. You said that he is voting for the opposition only because his class will win on the opposition whether or not he voted for them. So..”
“Ya got it. Now if he votes for us that will count”
“Ya, now you…”, she hung up. She must have cut my call to call him.
I saw her speaking over phone near the Physics department. I walked past the crowd pulling Anu. A guy was praying, looking straight into the sky; another was biting his finger nails. We came off the road near the physics department. I engulfed the pleasant breeze of the fauna of our campus.
Running to her, “hey what did he say?”
“Hmmm.. he is just prattling over some non-sense. I am not sure of him”
We waited and suddenly the murmurs rose too loud. Sensing the meaning of it, we ran towards the entrance of the block. It was jam packed. People were speaking a lot of things. I was unable to make out anything.
But one thing was sure, the battle was not over. If either of us had won, there would have been heavy cheering and teasing the others. I called Shantanu, the line was busy, after some few minutes he picked up. “Hey what’s happening?”
”I am kinda busy talk to you later. Where are you?”
“Near the block”, I could hear background shouting and arguments.
“What the hell! Get out now. Go back to your hostel. Things will get dirty here. Get out now”
“But..” he was no more on the line. Before I could say anything, Divya, “hey guess we gotta get out of here”
Back in our hostel, a 4th year girl told us that the vote difference was so close. “Our side was just 4 more votes than theirs. Our side guys are arguing that they stand by their words. The others are fighting that the difference is so small and so they will have one vote for them and the other for us.”
Finally, the case came to a conclusion, that, one of the classes will vote for us, and the other will abstain from elections. This left the result hanging, and if they managed to convince Ramesh, the Printing dept representative, they will win.
“They have almost done with Ramesh”, someone said.
Hearing this, Anu almost fainted. I called Aiswarya the senior whom I knew in that dept. I tried to convince her, but in vain, she said she is helpless.
Finally, I zeroed in on the final desperate attempt, which had some probability of victory. I said, “Kiran would be cheering by now. For another year we are going to live with this.”
Anu broke out. I immediately called Aiswarya and put the phone near Anu. I knew that was dirty, and may be even cruel. I cursed myself to have got influenced by Shantanu’s political sickness. But in the long term, if it worked, Anu will definitely be very happy. Consoling myself with that thought. I waited for Anu to hang up.
She cried for some time. Aiswarya, a soft natured girl, got her heart dissolved in Anu’s grief.
Finally, “I will try my best dear. I will speak to him right now.”
We hugged Anu and consoled her wondering, whether Aiswarya will mange to influence her boy friend.
By 3.20PM we got a call from Aiswarya, “Hi ka” I stopped from going further. I didn’t want to sound desperate. The polling will start by 3.30PM
“Hi dear, is Anu still crying?”
“Yes ka, she is lying on her bed. We tried to console her, but in vain”
“Hmmm.. I tried but Ramesh was not convinced.” I could hear all my insides crash.
She continued, “But if Anu speaks to him, may be he will acquiesce. I know him. He is kind hearted. If Anu speaks to him, there is a good chance. Meanwhile I will speak with other girls in my class and try to thrust him in voting for you.”
Almost all hope is lost. “Thanks ka”, I meekly replied, and hung up.
Just for the heck of it, I dialed for Ramesh, and gave the mobile to Anu. She started to speak with tears in her eyes. Sobbing she fumbled for words.
I sat near her, wondering whether these tears had the power to change the future.
How many types of friends are there?
5 days ago