“Are you dumb. How will students vote you if you still follow old techniques?” asked Ragini to Nitin when they met during lunch break. “What you want me to do then? I cannot go fold my hands in front of each student and ask to vote for me” said Nitin eating a chapati byte from Ragini’s tiffin box. “Dumbo you are seriously. Did I tell you to do that?” asked Ragini.
“Then what you meant Dumbo?” asked Nitin. “You dumbo” said Ragini. “No you” said Nitin. “You you and you” said she. “You you you and you” said he. “You both are dumbo” said Suhani. Both of them looked at her. “Oh please don’t give me that look. Im seeing first time people fighting over who is dumb for half an hour.” said Suhani annoyed. “Oh fish. Ginu. Sudhakar sir’s class. We will miss it” shouted Shruthi. Ragini swallowed the chapati byte in her mouth. “OMG. Today I’m really gonna miss his class. I did not even finish my tiffin because of this dumbo” said Ragini glaring at Nitin. “Oh hello you are dumb” said Nitin. “No you” said Ragini. “Gosh. Are you both human beings only? Ginu come fast. I cant afford my attendance for a stupid fight” said Shruthi dragging Ragini. Ragini glared Nitin and he showed his tongue.
“Why do you argue with him?” said Shruthi walking in the corridor. “Hello. He only always starts okay” said Ragini tucking her hair behind her ear. “I seriously have never seen him fighting like this” said Shruthi confused. Suddenly Nitin’s reactions so far around Ragini flashed in front of her. “Am I over thinking, Is it possible?” thought Shruthi to herself. “Shru. Fast. First bell gonna ring” said Ragini which brought her out of her thoughts.
“If I ask Nittzzz bro or Gini, if it isn’t true, I don’t want to do the same mistake again by misunderstanding Gini” thought Shruthi and again concentrated on the Physics class.
“Hello Dumbo” said Nitin in Ragini’s ear a bit loud who was searching a book in Library. Ragini got jerked and the heavy book in her hand fell down and she closed her ears fearing and her heart started thumping fast and she sat down on the floor fearing. She felt difficult to breath. Nitin who was laughing as he scared her got concerned looking at her situation. “Ragu… Ragu….” he called sitting on his knees adjusting to her height. Ragini still closed her ears with fear. He kept his hand on her shoulder and she got scared more and immediately hugged him. “Nitin. Take me from here please. It is so scary. Please” said Ragini still hugging him and sobbing. “Shhh. Relax Ragu. Let’s go” said Nitin rubbing her back and taking her out of Library. “Ginu…. What happened?” asked Rachna who spotted Ragini first who was shivering badly. Nitin controlled his tears which were forming looking at her. Ragini hugged Rachna and started sobbing. Rachna looked at Nitin asking what through eyes. “I’m really sorry Ragu. I did not know you will panic so much I just wanted to surprise you” said Nitin. Ragini was still hugging Rachna and sobbing. “What happened?” asked Rachna. “Actually I thought of surprising her so just spoke near her ear suddenly. She got jerked and she is behaving like this” said Nitin staring ground. “Are you mad Nitin. Why did you do that? When you don’t care about her at least don’t act as if you care” said Rachna angry. Nitin did not reply her as the mistake was his only. “I’m really sorry. I did not know” said Nitin trying to explain. “Stop it. Do you even know how much your prank is gonna cost her. Radhu and Ani are also on leave. I don’t know how to manage Gini now” said Rachna glaring him angry. Nitin felt bad for Rachna’s behavior but thought she is just worried for Ragini. “Shall I help?” asked Nitin hesitant. “No thanks. Already you have helped her a lot” said Rachna sarcastically. “I’m sorry na Rachu. Please” said Nitin holding his ears in front of her with puppy eyes.
Rachna at last melt for his antics. “Fine. Don’t do it again” said Rachna warning him. “But what happened to Ragu?” asked Nitin worried looking at Ragini when they sat on a bench and Rachna side hugged Ragini who was still shivering. “Actually she has a phobia to sudden noises. Especially someone makes noise standing at her back” said Rachna. “How did it happen any particular incident responsible for this?” he asked curios. “Actually when she was small kid and started walking, she went out of the house without Janaki aunty’s knowledge. On highway she was walking and suddenly a truck stopped which was about to hit her. Thanks to that Driver’s sudden brake application, Gini is with us today. But the screeching sound of the truck tires and horns noise made a place in her mind and she is suffering still. If she hears any sudden noise she will panic like this” said Rachna caressing Ragini’s hair. “Oh” said Nitin. He observed Ragini was still shivering. It pained him. More than that he was angry on himself for her condition. “And what to do when she panics like this?” asked Nitin. “Usually Radhu will console her or Janaki aunty will. Now I don’t know what to do. How to take her home. She cannot travel like this in bus. Better I call Kabeer” said Rachna dialing Kabeer’s number and moving aside. “Ragu…” called Nitin to Ragini. But she didn’t respond. It hurt him. “Can you please look after her for sometime. I have to make a call to Kabeer” said Rachna. “Sure” said Nitin smiling weakly. Ragini was still staring ground and tears flowed from her eyes. He couldn’t control his tears looking at her. “Ragu. Please look at me once. Please” said Nitin in cracking voice. It triggered her senses suddenly which were numb till now. As she also cannot tolerate his tears. She looked at him with tears in her eyes and met Nitin’s tearful eyes. He cupped her face and spoke “I’m sorry Ragu. I’m really sorry. I didn’t know you will panic so much. Promise I will not do like this again. I can’t see you like this. Cheer up”
“I want Ice cream” said Ragini pouting sadly with tears still in her eyes. “What?” Nitin looked at her confused. “Dumbo I want to eat ice cream” screamed Ragini suddenly. Nitin smiled through his tears and nodded his head. “Wait. I will just get it” he said moving towards the ice cream shop near by. He brought the ice cream and gave to Ragini who snatched it and ate like a small kid. Nitin kept admiring her innocent face, slowly the wrinkles of worries vanished from her face. Rachna was watching them from a distance. She was really shocked the way Nitin cooled Ragini. Even if Radhu speaks to her in such situation she will not respond then how did she responded to Nitin so fast. And she is back to normal in five minutes, but usually for hours she will be in the state and won’t respond. thought Rachna confused. She went and sat near Ragini and Nitin who were fighting like small kids with fake smile.
“You said she is in panic mood. Look at her does it look like she is in panic mood” asked Kabeer to Rachna standing at a distance from Ragini and Nitin who were laughing on some joke. “How do I know she will recover so fast. Usually she will be shivering for hours when she panics. I don’t know how Nitin cooled her so fast” said Rachna confused. “He cooled her that’s important. Leave it. Let’s leave home. It’s already late”said Kabeer. “But” said Rachna. “Rachu. Nothing wrong in that. Don’t crack your head. I know from many days you are wondering about Gini’s sudden behavior changes but, it happens. You wait all your life for someone who is compatible to you and sometimes you will not meet and sometimes you meet them all of a sudden. Their arrival changes you. Gini is in that phase. She is compatible with Nitin so she is behaving like that. Don’t over think” said Kabeer dragging her. “Gini. Come bacha. We are getting late” he called turning to Ragini. She complied. As she walked Nitin said “turn turn” under his breath and as usual she heard it and turned. He smiled widely and held his heart which was jumping with joy and blinked his eyes slowly. Ragini asked him what through eyes. He waved his hand. She hit her head signing you are impossible and then turned and walked. Rachna who saw it got more confused.
“What is this?” asked Kabeer showing a video in his mobile which showed Ragini and Nitin’s dance on fresher’s party which he found in Rachna’s mobile which was forwarded in WhatsApp by some of her classmates. Rachna and Kabeer were standing in front of Ishan, Manny, Radhika and Suhani who were standing staring ground not able to answer Kabeer. “Ishan will you explain” shouted Kabeer for which Ishan jerked and struggled to say. “Wo kabbie bhai” said Manny trying to explain. “He is asking to Ishan. Shut up Manny” said Rachna stopping him. Manny glared her and said Siyappa Queen under his breath. “Ishan” said Kabeer again. Ishan was hell nervous his face became like he will cry at any time. “I drank the alcohol Kabbie bhai” said Ragini entering much to Ishan’s relief. “I swear I did not know it was alcohol” said Ragini pouting when Kabeer glared her. Kabeer melted at her antiques and signed her to hug him smiling. Ragini ran and hugged him and said “Im sorry” pouting sadly. Kabeer caressed her hair and said “Don’t you do like this again” He looked at others who were relieved and smiling and stiffened his face and said “If you people hid anything from me about Gini that will be your last day” All swallowed the spit scared looking at Kabeer and nodded their head like small kids. Rachna controlled her laugh looking at their horrified faces. Everyone glared her. “Including you Siyappa Queen” said Kabeer looking at Rachna. She opened her mouth in ‘O’ shape. Everyone burst out laughing and Kabeer joined them. All of them had a group hug. “Where is Nittu?” asked Kabeer. “That dumbo is busy in election canvasing” said Ragini. “Gini” said Radhika and Suhani glaring her. “What? He is dumb. He never listen to me” said Ragini casually. Everyone nodded their head in disbelief as it was usual for them now to hear Dumbo from Ragini and Nitin’s mouth for each other, Siyappa queen from Manny’s mouth for Rachna and Sadu from Suhani’s mouth for Manny and Jaan from Ishan’s mouth for Radhika, and Mr. Khanna from Rachna’s mouth for Kabeer.
“Congratulations Shru…. I’m so happy for you” said Ragini when Shruthi told her about her and Arjun’s engagement being fixed for next week. Gupta who turned after finishing writing on the board saw Ragini and Shruthi hugging each other and smiling. He threw a chalk piece at them to grab their attention to him and whole class’s attention to both of them. Shruthi and Ragini jerked and stood up looking at Mr. Gupta who was staring them furiously. The chalk hit Ragini on her cheek and it became a pink bit. She had tears as some of chalk dust went inside her eyes. Shruthi looked at her worried. “Both of you come to staff room after practicals” said Gupta as the bell disturbed them and he headed out of the class. Ragini sat crying holding her eyes as it burned her eyes and she was not able to open her eyes. Shruthi panicked looking at her and sat beside her consoling her.
“Jenny can you please call Radhu” said Shruthi hugging Ragini who was crying feeling burning sensation in her eye. Jenny ran and told Radhika who was standing in a corridor talking to Nitin. Nitin heard Jenny and ran to the class room where Shruthi was washing Ragini’s eye which was burning due to chalk dust and tears were flowing from her eyes. He went and sat beside her on the other side of the bench and dragged her facing him. He cupped her face. Ragini could sense it was Nitin with his touch. A tear escaped from Nitin’s eye looking at her closed painful eyes. “Are you okay Ragu?” asked Nitin worried. “Its burning” said Ragini sobbing. Nitin held her eye lashes(falak) with his hands and opened it slowly and blew hot air to relax her. Ragini felt a shiver in her spine as Nitin’s hot breath touched her skin. As her vision cleared she looked Nitin was blowing air from his mouth. Ragini relaxed and kept staring him lost in his eyes which were worried for her. “Okay now?” asked Nitin which brought her to the world. And she nodded her head. He sat a bit away from her realizing where they were. At that time Radhika entered the class worried. Shruthi was numb looking at them. Did she saw love in Nitin’s eye for Ragini or was it just concern. She was in dilemma again. She looked at Radhika who came just now and she was relaxed as Ragini was cool and sighed in relief. Shruthi relaxed as Radhika did not see what she witnessed. “How did this happen?” asked Nitin angry. “Wo Nitzz bro….” narrated Shruthi everything. Nitin closed his fist angry. Ragini hit her head as she knew Nitin will be hell angry now. She held his hand to cool him. Shruthi saw his stiffened face softening when Ragini held his hand. “The lecturers need to understand their responsibility” said Nitin coldly. “We will make them understand in a better way” said Ragini smiling and assuring him. “I know my intelligent Gini has thought something about it” said Radhika cupping her face sitting in the bench in front of her. Ragini smiled and nodded.
“This street play? How is it gonna convey what we want to say” asked Nitin confused looking at Ragini when she handed him few papers. “It is a new trend Nittu. I’m damn sure it will have at least little effect” said Ragini. “Fine” said Nitin giving up. Nitin started practicing with his party members for Drama. Something flashed in his mind. He went and asked Manny. “Manny have Ragu seen my drama ever?” Manny smiled and said “Ofcourse she might have seen. You act on stage not in a private room” “I did not mean that” said Nitin. “Then what you meant Ragu maa’s dumbo” said Manny chuckling. “Shut up Manny. Tell me one thing do you remember have I acted with any person with name Shraa” asked Nitin. “I feel I have heard that name but don’t remember” said Manny trying hard to remember. “By the way why are you asking all this” said Manny looking at Nitin doubtfully. Nitin avoided it as he felt Manny will make fun of him if he came to know about Ragini’s terrace drama. More than understanding hidden meanings of Ragini’s words when she was drunk; for him avoiding embarrassment for him and Ragini was important.
“Stop it Manny” said Suhani when Manny was disturbing her with a grass plant poking it in her ears when she was busy studying in library. The librarian who came on their way glared them and Manny smiled at her like stupid and lowered his head fearing. He touched Suhani’s legs with his leg shocking her. Suhani glared him and signed him to take his leg back but Manny looked at her stretching his hands wide and biting his cheeks inside teasing Suhani. Suhani dragged her leg from his leg’s hold and stepped on his legs wearing her heels which she had kept a bit aside to relax her legs. Manny winced in pain and bent. He was about to scream but the librarian again came on that way and Manny controlled his scream and smiled and waved her smiling with difficulty. Librarian looked at him weirdly as he was bending to the table and walked from there nodding her head in disbelief.
Manny ran from there not able to control the pain. Suhani giggled looking at him. She felt bad and headed out with him. As soon as Manny went outside he screamed so badly the whole college was shaking due to his voice it looked. Suhani saw him and went to him. She saw he was holding his leg and wincing in pain. “I’m sorry Manny I did not know it will hurt so badly” said Suhani teary eyed. Manny looked at her. Her tears made him forget his pain. He cupped her face and wiped her tears with his thumbs and hugged her consoling her. He rubbed her shoulder and said “Ani relax. It will be alright. But please Jaan stop crying because more than that pain your tears pain me please” Suhani wiped her tears and dragged herself away from him and smiled. “Awww mela chotu sa Ani bacha” said Manny dragging her to a hug as he found Suhani cute. Suhani hit his stomach playfully and he acted as it pained. Suhani got worried and looked at him. He laughed at her and she chased him all around and he stumbled and fell on grass nearby holding Suhani who fell on him.
Her hair which fell on her face was moved by Manny. Suhani who was trying to get up looked at Manny and they lost in each others eyes. “Oye hello. This is not your room. Ani what are you doing” came Rachna’s voice which brought them to reality and she dragged Suhani up. Manny made annoying face and got up and wiped his dress and hands. “I was just thinking why didn’t Siyappa Queent gave Darshan yet, Shaitan ka naam liya aur shaitan haazir” said Manny leaning to Rachna. Rachna opened her mouth in a ‘O’ shape and glared him and showed her index finger saying “You…” Manny joined his index finger with her and both of them touched each others forehead angry. “Relax guys” said Suhani standing in between Rachna and Manny trying to separate them with difficulty. Manny got a naughty idea and held Suhani from her waist and smirked. Suhani got shocked and looked at Manny standing straight. Rachna jerked his hand and dragged Suhani to her side. “Siyappa Queen” said Manny shouting and dragging Suhani to his side holding her hand. Suhani landed on his chest. As he was about to kiss her cheek Rachna dragged Suhani to her side and shouted “Manny ke bache”. Suhani was struggling between both of them. “What the hell are you both doing?” asked Radhika coming to the spot as she found Rachna and Manny dragging Suhani on either sides. “Tell him to leave my Ani” said Rachna angry looking at Manny and dragged Suhani to her side. “Hello she is engaged to me. And she is my Ani” said Manny dragging her to his side. Suhani looked at Radhika pouting to save her. Radhika moved her head left and right looking at Manny and Rachna who were behaving worst than kids. Ragini Ishan and Nitin came and stood beside Radhika who was hitting her head with her hand. Ragini held Rachna and Nitin held Manny trying to seperate them from Suhani who was struggling between them. Now it looked like four people are dragging Suhani.
“Leave Manny” said Nitin holding Manny. “No” said Manny. “Rachu you at least leave.” said Ragini. “No” said Rachna glaring Manny. Radhika winked at Suhani. She understood and cried in pain. “Ani” screamed Rachna and Manny at a time and left Suhani’s hand and cupped her face from either side worried for her. Ragini and Nitin relaxed. Radhika and Ishana sighed in relief. Suhani got up angry and walked from there huffing. “This all happened because of you Siyappa Queen” said Manny glaring Rachna. “Oye hello you are also equally responsible. Haven’t I told you to stay away from her” said Rachna glaring him. “I hate you. Meri Jaani Dushman” said Manny huffing. “That was bad” said Rachna complaining.
“Not bad than you” said Manny. “I will show you what is bad” said Rachna throwing a stone at him. “Ouch. How dare you” said Manny glaring her. He approached her angry and held her hair and she held his hair. All of them opened their mouth in shock looking at them. Ragini held Rachna and Nitin held Manny to seperate them. “Hey Bhagwan” said Radhika hitting her head. “Guys relax” said Ishan trying to cool them. “Shut up Ishan” said both of them at a time looking at Ishan. He jerked and stepped back. “Leave her Manny” said Nitin dragging him. Manny struggled in his hold. “Relax Rachu” said Ragini holding Rachna who was struggling in her hold. Ishan and Radhika burst out laughing looking at their messed up hair and gave high five. Ragini and Nitin glared them and they controlled their laugh. “Rachu. See Ani is angry. Now you both have to cool her together” said Ragini cooling Rachna. “Yup Manny” said Nitin. “Together” said Rachna. “That to with her?” asked Manny showing Rachna and both of them said “Never” in chorus and glared each other.
Nitin winked at Ragini and she understood Nitin’s plan. “Fine. You both keep fighting” said Nitin leaving Manny. “And bare Ani’s anger” said Ragini completing Nitin’s sentence and left Rachna. Both of them stopped their attacking mode and brushed their hair and combed properly and stood proudly. “Okay” both of them said in chorus and headed to Suhani who was sitting on a stair near ground. “Ani” both of them said at a time and glared each other. “Kya hai” asked Suhani angry. “We are sorry” said both of them at a time again. “No no why are you sorry. Come on stretch me from both the side. I’m made of elastic na” said Suhani standing in front of them stretching her hand which still pained. “Ouch” said Suhani as she felt the pain. “Ani relax” said Nitin standing beside her side hugging her and rubbing her shoulders to relieve her pain. “We are really chorry na” said both of them pouting and holding their ears. “Maaf Karde na Ani” said Ragini side hugging Suhani from other side. “Iss baar bilkul nahi” said Suhani glaring Ragini and walked from there angry. She was rubbing her shoulders which pained. Rachna held her right shoulder and pressed it to relax her. Manny pressed her left shouler to relax her. Both of them looked at Suhani pouting cutely. Suhani melted and smiled nodding her head in disbelief. “Yaay” both of them screamed and hugged Suhani from both the sides. Suhani held their cheeks with her both the hands and her smile widened. Radhika hugged Ishan relaxed. Nitin felt like hugging Ragini who was jumping in joy but controlled himself and caressed his neck blushing. Rachna saw him and again started thinking.
“Haa Arjun tell me” said Shruthi. “How are you?” asked Arjun. “I’m fine” said Shruthi tucking her hair behind her ear. “Actually I called to ask Sorry” said Arjun. “Sorry for what?” asked Shruthi confused. “Actually I could not avoid the engagement. I know you are not happy with this. I tried my best. But now we have to do it for our parents. Don’t worry I will convince them later” said Arjun. A tear escaped Shruthi’s eye. Ragini who came smiling and jumping looked at Shruthi and got worried. As she was about to speak Shruthi pleaded her to be quite and Ragini complied. Shruthi turned other side to control her emotions and spoke “That’s fine Arjun. I have no complains. We will see what happens” and wiped her cheek fastly. “That’s so sweet of you yaar” said Arjun. “Okay Arjun I have to go for Lunch otherwise Gini will eat me raw. Bye” said Shruthi and disconnected the call. Ragini placed her hand on Shruthi’s shoulder. Shruthi was not able to control her emotions anymore she turned and hugged Ragini. Ragini rubbed her back to console her. “When you love him so much, why don’t you tell him?” asked Ragini. “What should I tell him Gini that I changed my mind so fast and I love you?” asked Shruthi still sobbing. Ragini cupped her face and said “He loves you Shru and you also” Shruthi smiled between her tears and said “And this is my punishment Gini. I rejected him and said that I don’t love him when he came with proposal. I hurt you misunderstanding that you did all that and then to save me from my stupidity you risked your life.
I deserve this Gini. I love him but I can’t even tell him. And we are in this only for our parent’s sake. I deserve this” said Shruthi closing her eyes and sobbing. Ragini dragged her and hugged consoling her with tears in her eyes.
“Why is love so complicated” said Ragini sitting beside Nitin when they were spending time in their favorite place Gurudwara’s lake. Nitin looked at her confused. “What?” asked Nitin. “Dumbo” said Ragini. “Ragu” said Nitin glaring her. “Love is so complicated na” said Ragini staring the sky. “Love is not complicated. People make it complicated” said Nitin staring the same direction. “How?” asked Ragini. “First tell me why have you started this topic I will explain” sad Nitin. “Shruthi loves Arjun and she can’t even tell him this. And Arjun loves Shruthi but thinks she doesn’t love him” said Ragini explaining her tension. Nitin smiled at her widely. “Why are you smiling?” asked Ragini confused. “In your problem people only have made love complicated” said Nitin. “How?” asked Ragini bending her head. “Arjun expressed his love already right?” asked Nitin. “Hmmm” said Ragini.
“Then why can’t Shruthi express it?” he asked. “She is thinking that she will look cheap if she accepts her feelings” said Ragini. “And why she thinks that way.
Arjun is her childhood friend. He knows her more than anybody and he is well aware of her life. Still he is supporting her. You know when all were angry and against her Arjun was the only person who stood beside her. Don’t you know?” asked Nitin. Ragini nodded her head in yes. “Then where is the question him misunderstanding her as cheap came in?” asked Nitin smiling. “Oh yaaa” said Ragini smiling widely. Nitin smiled at her expression. “That’s why I call you Dumbo. Simple thing you don’t understand” said Nitin hitting her forehead playfully. Ragini glared him and said “You said you will not call me like that in hospital then again you started. I think I have to go to coma again so that you can stop calling me that and this time I will take promise” said Ragini showing her tongue to Nitin. Nitin’s face became intense. He remembered that bad dream again. He swiftly got up from his place and started walking without uttering a word. His face was burning due to anger. “Ohho Siyappa” said Ragini biting her tongue as she understood why he behaved like that. She got up swiftly and walked behind him pleading. Nitin did not listen. He went and started the bike and waited for her to sit. Ragini cursed herself and sat back. Nitin did not speak a single word all the way and Ragini kept blabbering. Nitin dropped her in college and stormed to his house at maximum speed. Ragini just kept staring his direction.
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