Recap: fab 5 performance. Manik Nandini accidental meet.
Nandini enters the principals office and gets seated in a chair opposite the principal.
Nandini: yes sir ? What did you call me for ?
Principal: first of all let me tell you, the performance in the morning was marvellous ! You guys never fail to surprise me !
Nandini: (smiling) what’s there to surprise you sir ? You know it, fab 5 is the best always ! So, if we are giving another best performance then there’s nothing to be surprised at .
Principal: certainly ! Now, Nandini I have called you because we have a new student in SPACE. His name is Manik malhotra. He is from New York and is here for the second year and is going to complete his musical graduation with us. Now I want you all that is fab 5 to help him and not bother him.
Nandini: (smiles playfully) sir if he is a new student and that too from New York then he definitely deserves special attention.
Principal: Nandini that’s what I’m saying. Please don’t bother him too much.
Nandini: not too much sir. Don’t you worry.
Principal: I hope I don’t need to keep worrying about that comment of yours. Now I have called him here right now, he must be coming. I’ll introduce the two of you.
Just then the door half opens and Manik asks sir’s permission to come in. As the principal permits him, he comes in and gets seated beside Nandini.
Nandini: so it’s you ! Are you seriously from New York ?
Principal: Nandini ! Welcome to SPACE manik. This is Nandini murthy, part of a very famous band from our college, the fab 5.
Manik: I know sir. They are truly amazing. (He says all of this constantly looking at Nandini) nice to meet you ! (Extends his hand for a friendly handshake)
Nandini takes his hand and squeezes it slightly. “Ouch !”
Principal: what happened ?
Manik: nothing sir. I’m just in a shocked state of mind. Had never imagined I would have the honour of meeting a band member from fab 5.
Principal: haha ! You would get to meet the others as well. Nandini please go and show him around the college and introduce him to your friends as well. And I hope you remember what I said earlier.
Nandini: yes of course sir. Come Mr. New York !
They leave the principals office and Nandini leads him through the corridors towards the canteen. While they are walking, Manik walks behind her and does not reach up to her pace. After some time Nandini stops and turns around to face him.
Nandini: please don’t try your smart tricks from New York and just walk beside me. What is it that is more interesting in walking behind ?
Manik: umm nothing. I was just following your footsteps.
Nandini: ha ha ha !! Following my footsteps ? Oh dear you still won’t be able to reach where I am !
Manik: I don’t even wish to. Okay if you don’t like it, I’ll walk beside you. Please.
Nandini just starts walking without replying. They reach the canteen and Nandini spots her friends and waves at them from a distance. They wave her back and are left confused at seeing the guy from the amphitheater walking with Nandini.
Nandini: so friends this is Mr. New York ! I mean he is from New York. And his name is, what’s your name ? (Asks Manik)
Manik: Manik malhotra.
Nandini: yea Manik ! And the principal has asked us to take good care of him as he is a new student and part of our class.
Cabir: (getting up from his seat) Ohoo !! Superb ! Then we can take really good care of him !
All the others chuckle at his sarcasm.
Cabir: in fact let’s start with welcoming our new guest. Umm..it’s really hot today isn’t it ?
Aliya: (removing dhruv’s jacket that she had been wearing) yes it is ! Too hot !
Cabir: and we should make sure our new guest is comfortable even in this hot weather. And, I forgot to say, he should prove his talent to the college. I mean he is from New York and is definitely an amazing talent. So let’s do one thing let’s go to the assembly hall and make the arrangements for his performance.
He instructs Dhruv something through his eyes and Dhruv and mukti leave to make the preparations. Cabir, aliya and Nandini take Manik to the assembly hall. On their way cabir asks the peon to switch on all the air conditioners in the assembly hall and set them at the minimum temperature.
By the time they reach the assembly hall, it has started getting cold because of all the air conditioners. Mukti makes an announcement in the mic for all the students to gather in the assembly hall for a special performance.
Soon, the students start filling up the assembly hall and in no time, the hall is filled to its full capacity. Cabir then takes up the mic on the stage.
Cabir: so friends I welcome you all to this special performance. We have a new student in college and he is from New York ! So I’m sure he must be an amazing performer and therefore we have all gathered here to experience his performance. He is going to perform for all of us right here. He is going to sing a song. Any song of his choice. So I welcome Mr. Manik malhotra on stage please. Big round of applause !
All the students start applauding but cabir comes back to the mic and interrupts everyone.
Cabir: on second ! Sorry friends. Let’s bring an interesting turn to this performance. Umm Nandini, what does your amms say ? If you can sing clear even while shivering then you are a perfect singer right ?
Nandini just playfully smiles at him. Just then navya enters the hall.
Cabir: (continues) so let’s see how well do manik’s voice sounds while he is shivering. Actually not shivering. It’s quite hot outside and he is from New York so I’m sure he won’t be able to take in this heat. That is why we have arranged the performance here with all the air conditioners switched on. Is it comfortable now Manik ?
Manik says nothing.
Cabir: please come on stage then.
Just when Manik was about to start singing, Dhruv comes in and cabir stops Manik.
Cabir: hey bro ! Sorry to disturb you. But I believe it’s still too hot for you right ?
Manik: no I’m fine.
Cabir: how come fine ? No no you are not fine. Dhruv come let’s get him more comfortable.
Both of them climb on the stage and stand on either side of Manik. Both of them have buckets full of water in their hands. They slowly raise the buckets and pour the water over manik’s head. The water was ice cold. He instantly starts shivering.
Cabir: now it’s perfect. Even if it’s a bit too cold you should still be able to perform. Because, as per nandini’s amms, one should be able to perform even while shivering. Come on everyone lets cheer for him. Manik ! Manik ! Manik !
Even the crowd starts cheering. Manik ! Manik ! Manik !
Manik still tries to sing but just when he is about to start, he starts sneezing and the shivering increases.
Cabir again comes on the stage and announces in the mic,
Cabir: sorry friends it seems like Mr. New York is too weak for SPACE ! Sorry for the inconvenience guys. But all of you may please depart.
As the students start emptying the hall, Manik is still standing on the stage, shivering and fab 5 go up to him on the stage.
Nandini: welcome to SPACE !
Manik looks up to her, looks into her eyes but she ignores him and all of them move out of the hall.
After everyone moves out, Manik faintly smiles remembering Nandini and then moves out of the hall.
Navya is really disturbed with what her friends had done but she knew it was their tradition and she could not interfere in it or else she could even lose her friends as well as cabir. But she excuses herself saying that she needed to issue a harmonium from the library and goes to find Manik.
She spots him entering the boys washroom and calls him from a distance. Manik turns around to see her.
Navya: hey listen. My name is navya. Would you like to have some soup ? That would help you.
Manik does not respond at first.
Navya: don’t worry it’s no prank. You freshen up and meet me at the canteen. I’ll prepare soup for you.
Manik nods an okay and gives her a friendly smile.
10 minutes later he reaches the canteen, his clothes still drenched in water.
Navya: why didn’t you change ? This way you’ll completely freeze !
Manik: I don’t have another pair of clothes right now.
Navya: ohh ! Okay wait I’ll get you clothes to change. Do one thing, meet me near the boys washroom in 5 minutes.
Navya always used to have the keys to cabir’s locker as he would always lose it. Therefore, he had given them to navya so that she could keep them safe. She goes to the boys locker room and after checking that nobody was there, enters. She quickly opens cabir’s locker and takes the clothes from it. She could easily spot cabir’s locker because many a times after rigorous jamming when cabir used to go to the locker room to get changed, he would drag navya in as well and they would share some romantic and intense moments near his locker. As she closed the locker she remembered those moments and started blushing but them immediately kept that thought aside and headed towards the boys washroom. She gave Manik the clothes and asked his to get changed and reach the canteen.
Fab 5 had been jamming in the music room.
Cabir: where is this madhubala ? I’ve been calling her since a long time but she’s not even picking up !
Mukti: relax lover boy ! She said she was going to issue harmonium.
Cabir: yea but that does not take so long !
Aliya: chill yar ! She’ll come soon. For now let’s just rehearse !
Dhruv: (looking at Nandini who is not into the conversation and is lost in her thoughts) Nandini where are you lost ?
Nandini: huh ? Nothing ! I was just thinking, I think I have known this Manik malhotra. But I can’t remember.
Mukti: even you were in New York right before your dad shifted here ? So maybe you knew him then.
Nandini: maybe. But I can’t remember anything. I was too young when we shifted. I hardly remember anything from New York. Neither did dad ever talk about New York !
Aliya: don’t stress your head too much ! It might just me your imagination that you know him. Let’s just make some good music and all of us would feel relived !
Cabir: ohh yeah ! ( saying this he starts giving the drums beats and all the others join him as well)
Back in the canteen kitchen navya prepares the soup and gets it outside for Manik. They sit on a table and she offers him the soup.
Navya: have it. You’ll feel much better. I make it for cabir many a times. He loves to get drenched in the rain and therefore I have to make this every time or else he would fall ill. It’s my special recipe.
Manik looks at her as she is talking.
Navya: don’t worry. I won’t trick you into anything. Yes cabir is my boyfriend but I’m not involved with him in all these pranks. It’s just the fab 5. But you don’t worry. They won’t harm you too much. I mean yeah at first you will think this is too much. But it’s their tradition. You know when I joined SPACE last year, even I was a target of fab 5. They have been friends since their school days. And I was a new entrant. At first me and cabir could not even look eye to eye. But gradually we didn’t even realise, that even to fight we need each other and to love. (She blushes) I’m so sorry I’m dragging you into my story.
Manik: no it’s okay. I understand. And I don’t mind them playing such pranks.
Navya: why ?
Manik: that’s a secret. (Winks)
Navya: okay. Hopefully we become such friends one day that you reveal your secret to me.
Manik: you wish. But I can’t do that.
Navya: circumstances change. You might have come here with some target and you might realise later that you target has changed.
Manik: maybe. Maybe not. But for now my target is quite clear in front of my eyes.
Navya: if that target is winning musicana then you might as well drop that idea. Nobody can beat the fab 5.
Manik: ha ha ! Sure ! Thanks for the soup.
Saying that he leaves keeping navya thinking as to what was he talking about ? What target ?
So friends, this one is a very long update indeed ! But I’m really doubtful as to if you all would like this story. So please don’t forget to drop in your feedbacks ! Thank you !
Credit to: Medhavi thakkar