Recap- Thapki falls in the muddy water due to a mysterious man. Later she attends college in the same condition.
CHAPTER 3: The project meeting
The girls’ classes get over by the afternoon and they head for a break. While Suman has her lunch, Thapki is busy washing the mud off her dress near the basin.
“Thapki, you should go to the hostel and then wash yourself. Otherwise you will catch a cold if you stay wet the whole day.” Suman tells her.
“Can’t you see people are laughing at me, especially that Diwakar and Monty. And we can’t even go back to the hostel unless our project is submitted,” Thapki replies sadly.
Shraddha stands on the other side yelling over her phone, “Hey don’t jump to any conclusions like that. It all happened so suddenly see..”
Thapki and Suman look at each other.
“What must have happened Thapki?” Suman asked.
“What else! May be he is shouting at her because she is trying to deny tonight’s party due to the extra work in college today. You know how adamant he is and Shraddha, she loves him too much. She may be fights with others but she can’t argue much with him though he is even wrong at times and…” Thapki is cut short as Suman eyes her about Shraddha approaching them.
Shraddha looks at her friends frustated.
“I guess you aren’t able to convince him?” Thapki shakes Shraddha up.
Shraddha replies shockingly, “He said if I don’t meet him tonight, he will end the relationship. And you know I didn’t even meet him since many days and he is screwed up at me.”
“So what do think you will do?” Suman asks.
Shraddha grabs her bag and says, “I am leaving guys, tell Sir I was feeling unwell so I left.”
“But Shraddha your project? And this might hamper your degree too. You never know what Sir is upto,” Thapki tries to stop Shraddha.
“I have no time to think about that Thapki. You please save this time, I will see to it tomorrow. Bye,” saying so, Shraddha runs away.
Suman and Thapki stand behind gazing at her until she disappears off the main gate.
Someobody comes from behind and pats Suman on her shoulder. Suman turns about only to see Diwakar and Monty before them.
“Did your friend run away because she is afraid of the difficult research work and this time she can’t rely on Thapki for it as Sir has strictly mentioned that everyone will have their own unique concept?” Diwakar taunts.
“You mind your own project Diwakar, even you have to submit your own unique concept, you can’t pass by cheating this time,” Thapki eyes Diwakar sternly.
“Huh! You are prophesising for your friend but have you once thought whether you will be allowed to attend the meeting late afternoon?” Monty joins Diwakar.
“What do you mean?” Thapki asks.
“Look at your dress and Sir loves cleanliness, and especially when you have to deal with medicines,” saying so, Diwakar sprays some deodorants on himself.
“How cheap Diwakar, get out of here,” Suman shouts.
Thapki quickly runs away to the washroom crying. Suman follows her.
“Thapki, wait, don’t lose hope. I have always seen you as a strong girl. You can’t give up like this. We still have time to think,” Suman consoles her.
“No Suman, you know very well my family problems. I anyhow need this project. If not, my hopes will be shattered. Becoming a doctor has been my dream and I can’t let it go simply,” Thapki keeps crying.
Suman wipes her tears, “Don’t break down please, we still have some time left for the meeting, we’ll think of a way.”
Suddenly, Suman’s phone rings.
“Wait, Sir is calling again.”
Suman speaks over the phone and then disconnects the call. She is smiling wide suddenly.
“I am worried and you are smiling?” Thapki looks confused.
“The news is something like that,” Suman answers.
“Now don’t tell me Sir cancelled the meeting or ..I mean if he cancels too, it would be worse. I have to attend it,” Thapki tells again.
“Nothing like that dearie. It’s just that the head sponsers have sent their special researchers’ dresses for the meeting. Sir has asked us to put those on. I have to rush now to distribute those clothes. Would you come with me?” Suman asks.
“Thankfully, God saved me today. But I won’t join you. My own dirty clothes may dirty those new clothes too.” Thapki replies sadly.
“Don’t worry, I am bringing the first one for you. You change into those clothes and then join me,” Suman smiles.
“Sure thing,” Thapki smiles too.
Later, Thapki is changed into the doctors’ clothes and she aids Suman with her work.
As they go on distributing clothes round the campus, they speak to each other.
“You know it is a dream coming true. Wearing this dress for the first time which I have always dreamt of. I wish Shraddha was here too. She also wanted to wear one.” Thapki makes a gloomy face.
“This is what is called smitten by love. You have to even give up your favourite things for that one person,” Suman replies.
“No way. If any day, I fall for someone, I will never sacrifice my favourite things atleast. I will try to compromise or juggle between both, but never leave one for the other.” Thapki smiles back.
“Huh nice one. But look here, Shraddha’s dress is the one left behind.” Suman shows to Thapki.
“Leave, we need to return it,” Thapki tells Suman.
“I hope Sir doesn’t shout on us, now let’s head for the meeting,” Suman tells Thapki and they both walk together for the conference hall.
Aryan is speaking to somebody over phone, “I hope it is finally managed and everything is under process successfully. Do inform me after it is done.”
He disconnects the call.
Aryan speaks to himself, “So I got you head over heels Miss Thapki Chaturvedi and the rest of it on board still.”
He smirks and rolls the paper weight on his table, “But I..I hate this.”
CONFERENCE ROOM OF THE MEDICAL COLLEGE
Thapki and Suman, hand in hand tiptoe inside the hall when a handsome man blocks their way. Both of them see him before him and stand still.
“A very good afternoon Sir,” both wish him in chorus.
“Ladies, what you two arriving late? I needed you atleast five minutes before due to some urgent matters,” he looks at them cautiously.
“Sorry Sir, I mean we were coming but…” Suman looks at Thapki to complete.
“Sir, actually, I….I mean we got late due to me. I fell into a pool of muddy water and my dress got spoilt then we got late in distributing the dresses and..very sorry Sir,” Thapki completes her sentence in a single breath.
“You are old enough to take care of yourself. How can you simply fall into gutter like seriously?” their Sir smirks.
“Sir it wasn’t gutter, it was a plain muddy water,” Thapki defends frowning her forehead.
“Whatver! But where’s the other one? I mean you trio have always been together right?” he asks them.
Suman and Thapki knew who he was talking about.
“Shraddha?” they both ask together.
“Then who else?” he replies back with a strange face.
“Sir actually she..”, Thapki stops looking at the face of her Sir.
“I think I saw her in college today morning, isn’t it?” he asks.
Thapki and Suman knew that they can’t hide it anymore. But before they could answer, Diwakar and Monty come up along with their group.
“Sir, Shraddha ran away. May be she is afraid of the research work,” Monty taunts.
Their Sir look at Thpaki and Suman and asks, “Is it true?”
Thapki and Suman bite their lips before answering anything.
“Sir actually Shraddha was feeling ill,” Suman finally replies.
“Ill? Why did she come to college in the morning then? I sense something is wrong and you two won’t reveal in your life. But I will find out tomorrow when she comes to college. I will show her the right thing.” he warns them.
Thapki and Suman look at each other.
“Anyways, I will talk to both of you personally later, is that clear? Now go and be seated. The meeting will start anytime soon.” he informs them.
Thapki and Suman quickly run away and take their seats.
“What do you think what will Sir do to Shraddha tomorrow?” Suman asks.
“I don’t know and can’t guess. But I am sure something severe is awaiting her.”
“We should call her atleast.” Suman tells her.
Thapki tries calling Shraddha over phone but it’s unreachable.
“I think she is very much busy. We’ll find it later on. Let’s concentrate on the meeting.” Thapki replies and they both look forward to the meeting.
Slowly the whole conference room is filled up with various students from the college, even Diwakar and Monty take their seats. After some time, their college head comes on the stage. Everyone claps including Thapki and Suman.
The spokesperson introduces their college head to the various messengers of the sponsors and organisations.
“Here comes the official head of the college Mr. Naman Jaiswal. Now he will address you.”, the spokesperson hands over the microphone to Naman.
Thapki slowly whispers to Suman, “Look at our head. You will never find him around the college throughout the year but when it comes to funding and earning money from sponsors or becoming renowned in front of them, he’ll show as if he’s the everything that this college has ever possessed.”
“Sshhh Thapki, not now. Let’s concentrate otherwise if anyone hears, we’ll be in trouble,” Suman puts finger on her lips.
“Ladies and gentlemen, students, colleagues and all my fellow professors, we are again been blessed with the opportunity of holding yet an another annual medicinal programme this year too. Our college is one of the top ranked medical colleges in the country and our efforts have proved to be the worthy of it. Every year thousands of students participate from all over the country but the students of our college come out with flying colours. We give opportunity to the final and pre final year students every year. But we equally groom first and second year students for the competition for the later phase of their degree,” Naman continues with his speech.
“Oh my God, every year he gives the same lectures. Look students do all the efforts and he earns himself a name. Anyways, we are in the pre final so I am not going to miss this thing,” Thapki tells Suman.
“Now I will like to introduce the messengers sent by various organisations for sponsoring us in the work,” Naman adds further.
He introduces each one of them and everyone claps.
“I will now waste no more time and it will be taken over by my son and also the student councellor, Mr. Jatin Jaiswal. He will explain the details further,” Naman ends his speech with a bow.
“Finally, he takes his leave. Now our Sir is actually taking his place on the stage. Did he inform you anything about what he is going to announce today?” Thapki asks Suman.
“No I have no idea regarding this. Let’s hope for something better,”Suman tells her.
Jatin Jaiswal is actually their Sir, medical councellor in the college of whom all students are afraid of.
Jatin holds his microphone as he speaks, “Like every year, this year too, I have been given the opportunity to preside over the entire programme. Hence I will enlist the details soon. But for now, I will only tell the names of the students who will actually participate and their respective sponsors. Rest of the other details will be provided personally later. Everyone’s project cannot be disclosed openly. And one more thing, considering the amount of honest efforts put in by our fellow students, we have also been given a very responsible project this year. So let us go further.”
Jatin begins announcing the names of the candidates and their respective sponsors, their sponsors hand over their cheque and other project details to them.
Thapki keeps her hands folded hoping to get selected.
Finally, Jatin announces the next group for the project.
“So here we go to the final group, Mr. Diwakar, Mr. Monty, Mr. Roshni, Ms. Suman and they will be led by Ms. Thapki Chaturvedi.”
Thapki’s mouth remain agaped, “And Shraddha?”, she whispers to herself.
“Is this the punishment for Shraddha finally?” Suman asks with a worried face.
(Roshni is a classmate of Thapki)
Jatin continues, “So come up and collect your things from your sponsor.”
All five students gather on the stage.
“And who’s the sponsor?” Thapki asks delightfully.
“Mr. Aryan Khanna, the young industrialist,” Jatin replies back.
Someone comes towards the stage and Thapki looks on.
What will Thapki do next? What will her project with Aryan Khanna’s organisation bring for her? What will happen to Shraddha?
To be continued.
Chapter 4. New worries