A cold and frosty
morning around zero degree welcomed a new morning in Manali, the overnight
frost on the frozen grass gave off a shimmering gleam as the bright sun dawned
with warmth, making the atmosphere commendable for winter and coffee lovers.
Students at Manali's Arts and Science Academy are rushing to get to their
respective classes expect for the selected few who were seen seated near the
gazebo in the Academy's central garden. It was an honor and a privilege to be a
part of this particular class that was held outside the walls of the Academy's
main building. It was a special class and it required an extraordinary setting for
encouraging students to explore beyond the traditional solitary classroom
setting. Students were seated in the seats that the professor arranged himself
in the morning when he felt inspired by this particular location; it was his
way of really getting his students to feel the content of his lesson.
Translating pen to
piano, the professor takes his students back through time, in a chamber filled
with great compositions…it's a different tone, a key set out to delight the
saddest of hearts yet excite the hopeful to be inspired, to yearn, and to
dream. It's soft at first, the subtleness is apparent, but slowly is pushes
forwards, growing louder and powerful. It's like magic; a piece composed so
gracefully that nothing else could ever come close to its standards. Like music
on water, the fluidity and smoothness is felt in every key he plays. Engulfed
by the spell-bounding lesson, the students forget to breathe for a moment and
then it finishes. Just like that, it ended. There is a long pause. No one
talks. Absorbed in silence…
The professor looks
about his audience, feeling proud by their captivated attention and amused
expressions, just what he had hoped for he thought to himself and smiled. His
students applaud for him loudly with pride, expressing both their gratitude and
the desire to learn from his talented and admirable personality.
Tara ran after Lucky right after their magical music class ended.
"Hmm..mmm? Kya hain…"
Lucky turned around looking bit irritated by Tara as she grabbed him by his
"Lucky chalo na canteen
chaltey hain…mujhay bhook lagi hain…please.. aur dekho na dohpair ka aik (one)
baj raha hain."
"Dekho puranay time kay
hisaab se abhi sirf bara (12) bajay hain, aur dusri baat yeh kay canteen hum
uss waqt nahi jaaye gay jub tak mujhay bhook nahi lagti…"
"But I am hungry na
yaar…!" Tara pouted like a little kid
"Oye! tum na kahnay kay
akhri bite kay baad se he "hungry" hojati hoon, pata nahi jaata kahaan hain yeh
sub tumharahy ander Naintara..." Lucky's sentence is left incomplete as Tara
gasped loudly, abruptly interrupting him.
"NAINTARA…! phir vahi, kitni
baar kaha hain kay yeh meray parents ka diya hua old fashioned naam na liya karo…hazaar
baar bataya hain kay Tara kaho sirf Tara! Jao mujhay nahi karni tumse baat aur
main bhi tumhay LAKSHMAN bulao gi…L-A-K-S-H-M-A-N! Hmmmph!" Tara complained fuming
with anger as lucku laughed at her cuteness.
"Toh sirf kehnay se kya
hoga, dil se toh Lucky he nikaly ga na…" Lucky smiled, grabbing Tara by her
shoulders and engulfing her in a side hug.
"Hmm…abb zayaada makhan
na lago…aur chalo na please, tumne promise kiya tha kay agar main Sir Shekhar
ki music class attend karoongi toh tum mujhay chaat khilao gay…"
"Haan, yaad hain
mujhay, per khreedo gi tum aur khilao ga main… theek hain sweetheart…"
"Acha tum chalo toh
sahi canteen ki taraf…" Tara dragged him by his backpack again.
"Okay fine…par Khanak
kahaan hain? Voh nazar nahi arahi ajj." Lucky asked as they started to walk
towards the canteen.
"Pata nahi, voh toh
Sir.Shekhar ki koi class kabhi miss nahi karti…lagta hain ajj college nahi
ayi…" Tara replied confused as she knew very well that Khanak is not the type
to skip college just because.
On the other side of
the campus, Khanak is seen running at full speed, tumbling in to things, and
dodging her way through students. While on her way to her destination she
pauses for a moment to ask one of the girls about Sir Shekhar's whereabouts and
finds out that he is in his office. She continues her sprint to his office and
stops right outside his door and peeks in through his window. She sees him on
the phone and so she takes a minute to catch a breath then takes out a band-aid
from her bag and wraps it around her wrist before going in.
"Kya main ander ajao
Sir?" Khanak knocks softly as Sir Shekhar looks up at her after hanging up the
"Yes come in…" Sir
Shekhar responded dryly and got back to work on his laptop, skipping the usual
friendly demeanor he keeps with his students. Khanak picks up the hint.
"Sir… app mujhse naraaz
"Maine toh kuch nahi
"App jaante hain na
Sir, appki top student Khanak Mathur kabhi late nahi hot…aur agar late hojaye
toh usskay peechay solid reason hota hain..." She purposely glances at her
"injured" hand as she finished off her sentence knowing that her professor
would definitely catch her "reason".
"Haan dikh raha hain…"
Sir Shekhar acknowledged her "injured" hand but then got back to his work
"Uhh..Sir, voh subah
saveray jub mein tayaar ho kar Univeristy kay liye ghar se nikli toh mujhay iss
baat ka bilqual andaaza nahi tha kay meray neighbors kay shaaraati bachoon ne
lawn mein paani ka pipe khula choor diya tha, jis ka pani porch per tha aur jub
mein darwazay se nikli toh mera paao philsal gaya aur main gir gaye, haath per
choot lag gaye, aur phir bahiya kay saath hospital jaana para, jahaan per
doctor ne X-Ray kiya ur mujhay yeh note diya aur kaha yeh note Sir Shekhar ko
dikhayiay ga aur batayiay ga kay I have a geniuine medical problem." Khanak
completed her long and detailed sentence and smiled putting forwards the so
doctor's note for Sir Shekhar who had no expression on his face.
"Meri iss khirki say
sub nazar aata hain…you know darwazay ka bahir ka view…" Sir Shekar stated
clearly as Khanak realized that he knew that she was not being completely
honest. She looked like a little child as she made a cute expression looking
"So, abb app bataye gi
kay app ajj late kyun hain?"
"Umm..Sir voh Bahiyaa
ki bike ka tire kharaab hogaya tha…I am sorry…" Khanak stated honestly, looking
"Alright then, just
remember kay nothing should be more important that your education…okay?" Sir
Shekhar finally gave in and smiled at Khanak, knowing she was pure of heart.
"Okay Sir..." Khanak
smiled back widely as he accepted her sincere apology.
"Now go or you'll be
late to other classes as well…" Sir Shekhar pointed towards his door, giving
her permission to leave. As Khanak left his room he shook his head reminiscing
about his own college days and showing up late for classes every once in a
on the other side of the town Shaantanu Khandelwal searches for a telephone
booth to call back home and inform of his safe arrival. Madhavi had instructed
him to call her right away but it was late at night and the small hotel he was
staying had no signal. He had planned on waking up early but his deep sleep due
to fatigue had kept him asleep well in to the afternoon.
"Shaan? Finally! itni dair kyun kardi phone karnay
mein? Sub theek toh hain na?" Madhavi asked with concern as she finally got the
call she was expecting since last night.
"Jee Mom, I am sorry phone kar nay mein dair
hogai..actually there was no signal in the hotel aur phir raat bhi bahut hogaye
thi…vaise ghar per sub theek hain na…?"
"Not really, Sunil kafi naraaz hain per Maa ne kuch
cool down kiya hain aur Khushboo bhi subah se unkay saath he hain, tumhari
bahbhi itni supportive hogi yeh maine expect nahi kiya tha… but I think it's a
good thing" Madhvi updated Shaan quickly about the Khandelwal house atmoshphere
at the moment.
"I know Mom, Bhabhi is the best…abhi unhay bhi call
karni hain…but mujhay cell phone ka kuch pata nahi hain, I'll figure something
out, abhi main phone booth se baat kar raha hoon…"
"Okay beta,mujhay bhi jana hain, Sunil kahein bahir
phir se shuru na hojaye…Take care"
"Bye Mom…" Shaan smiled hanging up the phone and
imagining Sunil's anger but he knew that his supporters back home could manage
to pacify him until he gets back and hopefully amend his mistakes by explaining
everything out clearly.
Shaan heads back to the hotel after grabbing some
garam Chai off the stall and calling it his breakfast. He was super lazy at
eating and when it came to eating alone he just hated the thought of food. As
he walked from the small hotel lobby to his room he planned out his day
mentally and realized he needed to find a way to get to the town's local music
legend before the formal class for which he still needed to go by the school
for enrollment verification purposes. He had a lot to do but with the kind of
determination he had he felt like nothing was impossible.
with the daily routine at his shop, Adi was busy with customers like always.
Convincing them about the different saris and shalwar suits that were in stock
for the season, what started out as a clerical job had turned him in to a one
of the best salesman and a respected manager of Manali's famous Perfection
Cloth House. The name was truly a reflection of how Adi ran things in it,
business had prospered like never before and the owner was satisfied with Adi's
performance. He trusted him enough to manage it all by himself and left for
Mumbai to expand his franchise in the busy city instead to limiting himself to
a small town like Manali. For Adi the store meant everything as it was his only
way to earn a decent living that provided for financial security for Khanak and
himself. He was satisfied with his standing but every once in a while he wished
he was educated properly as it would have geared him towards professional business
field, nevertheless he was thankful for what he had as he knew him and Khanak
were leading a simple but a comfortable life. They made the most of the little
"Mohit tumne phone kardiya Mrs.Sharma ko kay unki
selected sari ki delivery jaldi hojaye gi, naya stock jaldi agaya hain iss
haftay." Adi inquired Mohit who was one of the salesperson on the store's
"Haan bahiya phone toh maine kar diya tha per unhay
ne ghar delivery cancel kardi aur kahaan kay voh ajj store per khus aye gi, koi
naya order bhi dena hain, unki bahu ko humaray peechlay stock ki saris kuch
zaayda he pasand ayi toh phir se kuch ussi style ka lena chahti hain…" Mohit conveyed
Mrs.Sharma's message to Adi as he made a mental note to not store away the old
stock just yet.
"Theek hain toh phir aik kaam karo puranay stock kay
kuch designs yahi per rehany do, aur naye waalay display per laga do…vaise
tumne lunch kiya?" Adi asked with a smile knowing that a hard worker like Mohit
had not only skipped lunch but his breakfast due to the early rush of customers
in the store today.
"Nahi Bahiyaa per app kay liye kuch lao?" Mohit
asked folding up the left over clothes in the sale section.
"Mera toh dabba Chutki ne pack kar kay diya tha…per
mujhay Bhabhiji ko jawaab dena hain kay aur aggar tum bhook se mar gaye toh
main unhay kya kaho ga…abb jao aur jaakay lunch karlo, chaho toh ghar chalay
jao abhi kuch aisa khass rush bhi nahi hain…" Adi instructed settling himself
at the counter to check up on the accounts for the day.
"App such mein yahan akele theek hain?"
"Haan such mein main yahan akele theek ho, aur sirf
30 mins ki toh baat hain, phir ajana vapis." Adi confirmed with a smile.
"Theek hain Bahiya main phir thori dair mein aata ho…"
Mohit smiled with gratitude and left for his break as Adi got busy with the
accounts while there were no customers present for the time being.
Back at the university Khanak and her friends were
finally done with the day as it was almost four o' clock in the afternoon and
they were all tired after a hectic day of examinations and back to back
"Yaar yeh Mondays itnay slow kyun jaatey hain?" Tara
asked slapping down her books on their table that was exclusively reserved for
"Kyunki Sundays bahut fast hotey hain…aur har Sunday
kay baad Monday aata hain…" Lucky replied easing up in his chair a little.
" Oye Shut up Lucky, tujhay har sawaal ka jawaab
dena zaroori hain kya?" Irritated by Lucky's chilled out attitude Tara exploded
"Lagta hain issay thand mein garmi hogayi hain…yunhi
hum sub ghussa ho rahi hain…" Abhay whispered to Lucky as he observed her
"Yeh larkiyoon ki tarah aik duray kay kanoon mein
kya baatein kar rahay ho?" Tara looked at the two guys with suspicion.
"Nahi kuch..kuch bhi toh nahi…hum kyun kaan mein
baatein karay gay..." Lucky straightened up as he denied her accusation
"Whatever… yeh Sam aur Khanak kahaan hain?" Tara inquired
noticing that their gang was incomplete.
"Hum Yahaan hain!" a bubbly replay came from the
back as both Khanak and Sam made their way to the table to join in with their
"Finally, yahan mein akeli larki inn dono losers kay
saath demaag kharaab kar rahi thi…thank god kay tum dono agaye…" Tara sighed in
relief as her two favorite girls settled themselves at the table.
"Well, hum losers toh tum losers ki best friend, aur
I thin kay loser code kay hisaab se tum bhi aik tarah se loser he hui…" Abhay
retorted in his defense while Lucky just sat back and waited for thr bickering
"Uff! Tum loog sirf girls or boys ki jang he lartey
rehna puri zindagi…" Sam interrupted before Tara got the chance to argue back.
"Haan choro na yeh sub aur lunch ya kuch order karo…"
Khanak added as she tried to divert the groups attention in a positive
While Khanak and her friends ate lunch in the
canteen, Shaantanu Kahndelwal found himself lost in the university's hallways
as he searched for the Dean's office. He was sure he took the first right up
the stairs that was supposed to have the Dean's office on the first left but somehow
he had ended up in a hallway filled with empty classrooms at this hour.
"Yaar yeh kahaan phass gaya…kub se hallways mein
ghoom raha hoon per Dean ka office mill he nahi raha…" He thought to himself
and looked around once again.
"Are you lost?" A voice called out to Shaan as he
turned around an found a professor questioning his presence in an empty hallway
"Yes..I..I..think so.." Shaan answered not sure of himself.
"Acha, lakin I can definitely tell that you are lost…"
The professor smiled at Shaan and walked towards him to help him out.
"Sorry, actually I am looking for the Dean's office,
pehli dafa yahaan aya hoon to hiss liye…"
Shaan tried to explain himself a bit
better but somehow his attention was stuck on the professor's face as he came
up close to him.
"Dean ka office uss pehlay valay hall mein hain, app
aik hallway agay pooch gaye ho…" The professor pointed towards the back Hallway
and turned to leave.
"Sir!" Shaan called out and this time he walked over
to him as he turned to face him once again.
"I am Shaantanu Khandelwal…" He extended his hand
and introduced himself as the professor smiled at his polite manners and shook
"I am Professor Shekhar." He revealed his name and
title simply while taking back his hand from a firm hand shake.
"Professor Shekhar! the famous musician?" Shaan
exclaimed not being able to hold in his excitement as now the resemblance in
his head finally made sense.
"Yes, but I prefer to be known as a Literature professor
here…" Sir Shekhar reminded him of his identity clearly.
"Sorry, actually maine appki bare mein bahut kuch
phara aur suna hain, iss liye I got excited…"Shaan confessed his true feelings
"Okay then, if you stay here long enough you'll be
able to know the real me aur main prefer karo ga kay app mujahy sirf aik
musician ki hasiyaat tak limited na rakhay." Sir Shekhar made his point in a
firm but polite manner which Shaat respected.
"Ofcourse Sir, It was great meeting you." Shaan
smiled widely as he finally came face to face with one of his ideals.
"Same here and see you around!" Sir Shekhar smiled
back and then turned to leave for his office as Shaan stood there in amusement,
realizing that Sir Shekhar's personality was so much more than what he had
expected. It was gonna be a great semester he thought to himself and finally
made it to the Dean's office.
NOTE: I know it's not really ShaNak yet, but it will soon be...LOL...The first couple of parts are meant to really explore them as individuals...Please do write your feedback...Long is preferred but short will do to...if something doesn't make sense do ask...Should i post this thread on RBO forums after all...?? Do let me know how i did its important for me...VM is definitely in the works and should be done soon..hopefully...You can imagaine whomever you want as side characters, i just used the names i like, expect maybe Sam, She is actual Sam from RBO...LOL...umm hope you like it...