Swara was feeling too sleepy in the first hour. The lecture was about ancient history. The weather was great outside. Not the usual sunny day, it was a little breezy that day. The class was boring and drilling. She wanted to get out. But it was impossible. It was a double hour today and they had one more hour to go.“Ahhhww!! “She tried to stifle that yawn. She wanted to alert her mind. So she took out her phone and slipped the headphone into her ears and covered with her hair. She started watching videos which she had taken the other day. The particular video had Eddie playing in a big tub of water and splashing it playfully all over ragini as she was standing near him. She was reminded of the time when it had happened and subdued her laughter with difficulty.
Laksh was in half-sleepy state. “Why do we have to read all these things which happened centuries back? Thank god, these guys have died before or else grrr…” and made a fist. Swara’s giggle caught his attention. He could figure that she was also not listening to the class, but playing with her mobile. He wanted to get out of the class. He got an idea and smirked at his idea. Omi and sharath were swaying their head in sleep.
The professor was totally oblivious to the students’ condition during his lecture. For him, his job of completing his lecture was important. So the students called him “wall” due to his indifference attitude.
L: “sir, excuse me”
Everyone was surprised to hear someone speak during wall’s lecture because it was a rare thing that could ever happen. Even the professor was surprised.
W (wall): “yes, what is it?”
L: “sir, actually swara and I have to go and meet union members now, regarding the upcoming fresher’s party event.”
Omi and sharath got alerted at laksh’s lie. Omi was looking at laksh with the expression like “u betrayer, how could you alone escape???”laksh winked at him.
Swara was quite busy with her phone that she didn’t notice laksh speaking. She was watching the video.
W: “just go. Don’t disturb my class. Swara and laksh u may go now.”
Swara was still busy with her phone. Laksh had to snap his fingers before her to make her look up. He saw that she was watching some funny videos. Swara looked up with frustration towards laksh. The whole class was looking at her. So she hurriedly hid her confusion. And enquired towards laksh with her eyes.
W: “both of you leave the class. You guys are disturbing the whole class.”
Laksh knew that she might spoil the chance if she spoke. So he took hold of her hand and left the class, dragging her along with him by side.
Sanjana was looking furiously at laksh, in the way he held swara’s hand and dragged her along. How much she wished to be in that place. Sanjana has a huge crush on laksh from the first year of the college. But she never had the courage to tell him.
Neha: “ahh, I can smell something is burnt. I guess it is someone’s stomach burning” and shrugged her head at Sanjana.
Neha is Sanjana’s bestie. She knew everything abt Sanjana. Just by her expression she was able to sense what was going in her mind.
Sj (Sanjana): “stop, it neha.”
N: “that’s why I told u to confess your feelings earlier. No use of getting irritated now.”
Sj: “and I am not getting irritated. By the way, swara and laksh don’t get along well. So why should I feel insecure over her. I am alright. I will confess my feelings to him.”
N: “whatever. You have been saying the same thing for ages.”
Sanjana gave her a stern look at this remark.
N: “okay chill baby. Laksh is only for u okay. Now let’s get back to sleep”
Sanjana was actually worried abt the whole thing. She thought of speaking to mam about being a representative for the event. But that would be useless. So she thought of doing something else.
Outside the class in the corridor:
S: “laksh, let go of my hand first! what happened? Why are you dragging me away from class like this?”
L: “oh! So you seriously don’t know abt what happened in the class??” laksh decided to play along.
S: “wh…what??” with serious face thinking of all possibilities.
Laksh couldn’t stop himself laughing after seeing her like that.
L: “it is very easy to fool you!!” which earned him a smack from her.
L: “okay okay, we both have ditched the class in the name of preparing for the upcoming event”
S: “why? How could u ahh? Forget it! am going back to class”
Laksh caught hold of her hand again.
L: “oye, then I will get caught. Don’t try to act like a righteous person, as if you were listening to the lecture. you were also not listening to it. I saw you watching videos in the class.” And raised his eyebrows.
Swara took her hand out of his grasp.
S: “uhmmm…ah!if someone sees us lazing around, it will become a problem. so let’s go to the class”
L: “I have an idea for that. Just tag along, I will take care of it.”
L: “we can go to the canteen and pretend to discuss abt it. If someone asks us, we ll say the same.”
Before she could say yes, he moved forward, which gave her no option but to follow him. Being with him gave her headache always.
Laksh was enjoying the way he was ordering her around. Since he has to put up with her for another 2 weeks, he wanted have an upper hand.
Ragini was in a thinking mode. It was all about sanskaar. The thought of him plastered a smile across her face. She couldn’t forget him. The help he had done her had earned him a soft spot in her heart. Whenever she saw Eddie, she was reminded of sanskaar. ”hmmm…nice decent guy”.
“Ragini, can I have ur assignment?” said a voice near her. It was charu, who sits near ragini.
It took a moment for ragini to realize what charu was asking about.
R: “ohh!! I think I have kept it in my locker. Okay, wait I will go and get it” and left the class.
The locker of their class was in the end of the corridor. When she opened the locker, there was something inside it, which made her go blank into shock.
At the canteen:
S: “why pretend to discuss, let’s actually discuss abt what we are going to do for the dance as we have only 2 weeks ahead”
L: “hmmm, okay. First of all we have to decide on the song, the no of dancers and audition for the dancers.”
S: “I can help with the audition. As for the song lets pick up some party song which will equally give a scope to groove and also to enjoy.”
L: “hmmm okay. But before that we have to talk to our seniors regarding the song selection.”
Swara was binging on her sandwich, and looking outside the canteen. They were sitting in the window side table. At a distance, she could see someone like ragini, sitting on the stone bench. “it might be someone else too, but if it is ragini, what is she doing there at this time?” she was seriously thinking abt it.
L: “so, I guess, we both being representatives don’t have to give audition. We can dance if we want to. So would u like to dance?”
Swara was not listening to him. She just said “hmmm”and nodded her head without listening properly, thinking that he might be talking abt the dance numbers.
S: “just a minute, I will be back.”
Swara was somehow convinced that it would be ragini due to the hairstyle. So she wanted to confirm that she was doing okay!. She left in a hurry that she left her mobile there.
Laksh was wondering where she would have gone to. But just shrugged his shoulders and drank his juice. It was boring. So he couldn’t stop his curiosity from peeping into swara’s phone. He wanted to see what video she was watching. “it might be indecent to look into a someone’s mobile. But that’s okay! I ll keep it before she comes.” Thought to himself and took her mobile.
He was thinking about what would be her password if she had one. Surprisingly she didn’t have any. He just had to swipe the screen to unlock. When he unlocked the phone, it was already in the video section. The video was paused. He guessed, she might not have come out of it as he had dragged her from the class. He saw the video. There was a dog and another girl in the video. He thought “it might be her sister”. The dog was real cute. He then surfed through the videos. A particular video caught his eye. It had swara’s face with a twisted expression in its cover. So he clicked on the play button. It was the video which was recorded on the day when eddie went missing. “Omg! She looks so different. Hmmm, she dances pretty well. It would be great to have her dance for the event” the video was funny. He was impressed by her dance. When he had watched half the video, someone waved their hand at him. It was karthik. He was standing before his table. He had to pause.
L: “hi karthik.”
K: “what are doing here? Don’t u have class at this time?”
L: “oh! Swara and I came down to discuss abt what we should do for the dance. So we were choosing the songs. Karthik I wanted to ask u. in which language should we choose the song? Tamil or hindi?” he was telling everything at the same time, so that karthik would get diverted.
K: “hm, it would be nice, if guys would dance to a hindi song. Because majority of the groups will be taking up Tamil songs. So have you decided on the dancers?, don’t make it crowded, it would be better if you had 6 members, 3 boys and 3 girls. Okay? ”
L: “okay, we will select a hindi song. As for the dancers, we both will be dancing. So we have keep an audition for 2 other boys and girls. We will talk about it in the class today”
K: “make it as soon as possible because we don’t have much time. Okay?”
L: “yeah we surely will”
K: “okay, come and report to me as soon as u guys decide on the song and the team mates. Okay? And where is swara? I don’t see her”
L: “she has gone somewhere. We will report to u once we are done with it. And u seem like u are tired! are u busy with the event?”
Karthik nodded and left the place.
L: “he doesn’t even cares to answer, if someone questions him.” And laksh glared after him.
As swara went near the stone she found that it was ragini.
S: “di, what are you doing here alone? Don’t you have a class? And y are you looking so troubled?”
Ragini was still in the shock.
S: “di, say something.”
R: “swara, eh, the … the thing is that I think I found something in my locker today. I guess it must be left by the stalker.”
S: “what? How can u be so sure? What was in the locker?”
R: “there were lots of flowers, chocolates and a letter. All of it were my fav flowers and chockys. Swara, I opened the locker in the morning too, but it was not there. In the 2 hours gap, someone has filled the locker with flowers and everything.”
S: “calm down di, finally that person has started to reveal himself. So what was in the letter?”
R: “swara this is what is freaking me out. Someone watching u without your knowledge, and observing you, it is creepy yaar. I don’t know, I am feeling too uneasy. That person is right with us in the college and there might be even a possibility that he might be watching us now” and she started to hyperventilate.
S: “di, don’t worry, I am with you right? Calm down. First tell me what was in the letter? Has he said anything about him?”
R: “read it yourself” and handed her the letter.
“Hi my ragini,
I know that u have guessed about someone has been following you around. I should have talked to u sooner. No problem. I will make it up for the lateness, if you give me a chance. So if you really want who I am come to the football ground at the back of the college main block, after the college at 3pm. i have a hunch that you will come. I will be waiting for you my love.”
P.s: I hope you loved the flowers.”
There was no signature at the end. The letter gave her chills. She didn’t know what to think of it. it was clear that person, whoever it was, is completely interested in ragini. She didn’t want to freak her sister more. So she didn’t voice out her concern.
S: “common, di, let’s think of a way. We will decide what we shall do about this thing at home because as you say that person might be watching us from somewhere. Be normal. Don’t say a word about this to anyone okay. Wait for me in the evening. Don’t go alone. I have some work, after that we will go home. now go back to ur class. Don’t stay here.”
Ragini was totally fretting inside. But swara was right. She can’t go home alone. She was afraid. Rather than being here alone she better go to the class.
R: “okay swara, will see u in the evening. I will come to ur block by 2pm”
Ragini went first. Swara was concerned about what would happen. Who could be that person? let him come before her tom, I will break his knees!! Even if he is interested, he shouldn’t be stalking her and freak her out!! She was reminded of laksh waiting for her in the canteen “I guess, this college has more freaks than normal people.” And she walked towards the canteen.
After karthik, left the place, laksh proceeded to watch the remaining video. He wanted to watch it fully. But before he could anything, he could see swara coming towards the canteen at a distance. He wanted to watch it, but if he did he would get caught. ‘hmmm, let me transfer the video to my mobile, I can watch it afterwards”. He transferred the 2 to 3 videos from her mobile to his through Bluetooth. He was fortunate because, the moment the transfer of files got completed, swara entered the place. He replaced the mobile at its place before he could delete the Bluetooth history. “Anyways, she wouldn’t be checking that, I hope”. He tried to remain normal.
He was afraid whether she would notice his face expression. He observed that she was immersed in her own thoughts to notice him. He felt relieved. So he initiated the conversation.
L: “swara, are u okay?”
S: “yes I am”
L: “okay, I met karthik now. He said to conduct the auditions as soon as possible and to start the practice as early as possible. Hmmm he also told us to choose a hindi song.”
Swara was bit off the mood. She didn’t say anything.
L: “oye, are u listening?”
S: “yeah, am listening. Okay then, we will conduct the auditions today itself.”
Laksh nodded his head in affirmation and they left the place to class.
Sanskaar was trying to keep himself calm. He was cursing himself. “I should have asked for her number the day before. Cha, no no, then I would have come across as a desperate one. Aiyo!! She has made me blabber like a fool!! How will I see her again?? How will I get close to her? may be I can go to her home to see her dog!! No no… That reason would be idiotic!! Ahh, I have to think of something”
The whole evening he was thinking about the same thing. He couldn’t zero upon any idea because all of them sounded stupid even to himself. He wanted to maintain his image as a cool person before her.
Laksh and swara had spoken in their class about the auditions and the interested students showed up in the dance room after their classes. Sanjana also went there. She wanted to dance with laksh so that she could get close to him. She went up to him.
Sj: “hi laksh”.
L: “hi” and smiled her. “you know to dance uh?”
Sanjana nodded her head.
L: “nice! I will be looking forward to it”
Sanjana found herself blushing at his comment.
Swara called him at the moment. He excused himself and moved towards swara.
S: “ahh! 10 of them showed up. So how many should we select?”
“hmmm, swara and I would dance together. So 4” he thought to himself.
L: “4 swara, 2 boys and 2 girls”
S: “are u sure?”
L: “yes am sure.”
Swara went forth.
S: “hi guys. Thank u showing up. Hmmm we wil be selecting people to dance in pairs. So we select 2 boys and 2 girls. Okay. First girls will dance. I will show u girls a move and u have to do the same. The best two will be selected. Okay”
Everyone nodded their head.
Laksh played the music. It was a random music. Swara showed a dance sequence and asked them to repeat the same. And for boys they played the music and they were asked to dance for a minute. So finally laksh and swara chose 2 boys and 2 girls after much thinking. Sanjana was one among the girls. She was disappointed that she was not paired with laksh.
L: “okay congratulations to the people who got selected. We will tell u when the practice will start once we decide on the song. You guys may leave now. Thank u guys.”
Sanjana waited till everyone went out. She went up to laksh.
Sj: “laksh, why are u not dancing this time? You dance so well rgt?”
L: “who said u that am not dancing?”
Sj: “uhmmm, no, u guys chose only 2 girls, and if u are also dancing then…?”
L: “hmm, sanjana, don’t worry. Swara and I are dancing together. Thanks for the concern” and smiled at her.” I will let u know once we decide the song.”
Sanjana left the room with sadness.
His sentence caught swara’s attention.
S: “laksh, what did u say now?”
L: “which part are u talking about?” cluelessly.
S: “I meant the part where u said I will be dancing with you.”
L: “yeah, what’s wrong about that?”
S: “laksh, how could u decide that on your own? I never said u so?”
L: “what?? At the canteen, when I asked u abt whether u wanted to dance and u said yes”
S: “I never said it”
L: “so does it seem to u like I am lying? Why would do that?”
S: “sorry laksh, I guess we have a misunderstanding here. Let me make it clear, I am not dancing”
Laksh was dumbfounded. He didn’t know how to react. Swara started to leave the place as he didn’t say anything. When laksh realized that he caught her hand from back.
L: “but y? U dance so well, then what is your problem?”
S: “laksh, first stop holding my hand okay. Why do u do this all the time?” and took her hand out of his grasp.
L: “I don’t know. My instinct just makes me do it whenever you turn your back on me. Okay leave it. Just answer my question now”
S: “see, it is none of your business, I have my own reasons. I don’t have to explain it to u. I can help with choreography but I can’t dance for the program. That’s it.”
Laksh lost his temper.
L: “oh! None of my business, fine, may be the reason why are refusing to dance might be none of my business but u know what, I already informed karthik that u will be dancing. So what are going to do about it? I think I can ask about this” in a slightly loud tone.
S: “with whose permission did u say so? You are the one at mistake, so you should rectify it”
L: “hello, I guess, those words should be said at you. You said yes. It’s not me who is at fault. I can’t go and talk to him. Take responsibility for ur words.”
S: “look laksh, may be I said it in a mistake. Okay. I am not dancing with you. So find a girl for that position soon.”
Her sentence made laksh think in a different way.
L: “so, don’t tell me that I am the reason why you are refusing to dance?”
Swara didn’t want to prolong this conversation. She wanted to get out of there as possible without telling her reason.
S: “yes, you are the reason. Satisfied?”
Laksh was quite shocked at her answer. He couldn’t control himself. He caught her by the shoulders and cornered her to the wall.
L: “okay, so if this is the reason, am not leaving you. I am the reason for ur refusal so I will make sure that u will dance in this event with me. You have hurt my pride swara.” And he glared at her.
His face was so close. Swara tried to free herself of his grasp. But couldn’t.
S: “do whatever u want. But u can’t make me dance with you”.
L: “let’s see.”
And laksh stormed out of the room.
Swara also left the room behind him, only to find ragini standing outside. Before ragini could say anything, she left the place.
“Oh no, I think she is behaving like this because of that incident. Is she still holding herself to it?? if this is true, I have to help her get out of it. She can’t be like this forever. She will not even want to talk abt this!! God, what will I do?” ragini thought to herself.
Laksh was in a rage when he reached home. He still couldn’t believe the reason which swara said. How could she do this to me? Ridiculous!!! No other girl has ever done this to me. I am not leaving her. I have to think of a way to make her say yes. ahh. He didn’t even speak to his mother properly. He straightly went to brother’s room only to find sitting like an idiot with a weird expression on his face.
L: “bhai, what happened?”
Sanskaar shook out of his trance.
Sa: “nothing laksh. what are you doing in my room? Do u need any help?”
L: “yes bhai, I need an idea. A girl has hurt my pride today.”
Sa: “what? Did she reject you? Don’t say me yes. “
L: “not exactly. She refused to dance with me.”
Sa: “that’s okay laksh. It hurts for the first time when someone rejects you. It will get better with time” and laughed.
L: “bhai, I want to make her dance with me. Do u have an idea?”
Sa: “first tell me about her.”
Laksh told all about swara from the day he met her till today.
Sa: “hmmm she seems interesting. Now I can understand why she refused to dance with you, listening to u guys history.”
Laksh paused the video and showed her face to sanskaar.
L: “I am getting irritated by her. i am not backing off. If you are not going to help me, i will think of a way by myself.”
Sanskaar was staring at swara’s face in the photo. He couldn’t believe his eyes. If she was studying with laksh, there might or may not be chance that ragini might be studying there.
Sa: “laksh, are u sure that this is that girl?”
L: “why, bhai? Do you know her?”
Sa: “laksh, tell me is her sister also studying der??”
L: “hmmm I guess so. I heard the mam tell it once. Yeah”
Sa: “wow!!!!” and was jumping in joy that he has found a way to meet ragini once again.