Posted: 14 December 2011 at 11:31am | IP Logged
He came into the room, threw off his bag harshly on the nearby table, and slumped himself on
the bed. The classes had been quite hectic, but it had been his routine since the past week.
Exams were around the corner, and the teachers had left no stones unturned, in piling them with
work upto their necks. But that wasnt the only reason for his disgruntled mood right now. The
past few days actually hadnt been that good. One of their professor had given them a project, to
be done in a group. The class had been divided in quite a number of groups, and his group was the last to be announced. He still remembered that day how everything had happened, clearly etched in his mind.
"Only you people are left, so i am sure you understand that you all are a group, still i'll call out your names, formality you know (and he winked) Rohit, Abhilasha, Kavya, Karan, Riya, and Riddhan.(all of them gave him big smiles) Yeah yeah, i know you guys are happy, but stop grinning around like fools, ok? I want you all to submit your topics, and your group representative's name, umm, within an hour, ok? The class is dispersed, go run all of you", the professor said and walked off.
All six of them sat up and started racking their brains for something good. They were the
twinkling stars of the professor's eyes, and didnt want to disappoint him by something below
their capability. The fact that they always hanged out as a group definitely helped. They had become friends in the early weeks of their college. Rohit and Riddhan had been roomies, and
Abhilasha was Rohit's chilhood friend. Kavya and Riya came closely knit with Abhilasha, and so
they all became friends. Karan had just recently joined the college, but he'd managed to make a
place for himself in this group. No one thought he was a stranger few days ago. But thats how it
went, friends were found just like that.
Riddhan was scratching the desk with his pencil, when he suddenly noticed a silent interaction
between Rohit and Abhilasha. According to him, both of them liked each other, but were a bit too lazy to confess. He put it away as one of their silent romantic gestures, when he saw Riya hush something to Karan. Usually, Riya and Karan were on 'cat and dog fight' terms, so this mute
conversation was new to him.
"Guys, what are you discussing?", he asked, unable to control his curiousity.
"I just thought of a good topic, and i was telling Karan that its mine, he shouldnt even think of thinking about it", Riya answered blatantly.
"Ji nahi, i had already thought of it in my mind, you just stole it from there, so basically it belongs to me", Karan also huffed away, and Riddhan just shrugged, while the others smiled. Finally, after a long time, they all settled for one subject which they thought was the best.
"Ok guys, i'll just go and submit our topic to Professor", Riddhan was about to go, when Karan
"What about the representative?", Karan asked.
"What about it?", Riddhan asked back.
"Well, whose gonna be the representative?", Karan said.
"Its obvious, Riddhan group representative hoga", Riya answered.
"Yeah, he's the professor's pet you know", Rohit grinned as he smacked Riddhan.
"But...", Karan stopped.
"But kya Karan, you have any problems with that?", Rohit asked.
"Nahi, i mean haan... i mean why Riddhan? As in, even i could represent the group...", Karan said.
"Karan, Riddhan hamesha hamara representative hota hai, so aaj bhi hoga", Kavya said.
"Yeah guys, but i mean, you could try me as well, maybe, i could be better than him", Karan said.
"Par Karan...", Rohit was about to speak but was cut in between.
"I think Karan sahi hai, there's no harm in going for a change. Maybe, we could actually do better than always", Abhilasha spoke after a thought. Karan smiled gratefully at her.
"I dont agree, i think we've always been a great team with Riddhan, and there's no need to
change it", Riya argued.
After that, they all fought over it with their heads hot, ready to burn-off anything.
"Guys, lets vote, ok. I vote for Karan", Abhilasha said.
"I'll go with Riddhan", Riya said.
"There's no harm in a bit of experiment, so i'll vote for Karan", Kavya replied.
"Errr, i'll vote for Karan", the room went silent after Rohit's reply. Riddhan, who'd been silently watching the whole thing until now, saw Rohit avoid his eye. Riddhan knew the vote hadnt been against him, it had simply been in favour of Abhilasha.
"So its decided, Karan will be our representative. I'll go and inform the professor", Riddhan spoke calmly, and left the room. Everyone was baffled at his indifference, but he didnt care. He'd chosen to let it all go as quietly as he could manage. After that day, he wasnt talking to any of them. He just participated with them in the discussions about the project, just like any other student would have. Apart from that, he spent his time alone, away from his friends. There was an internal turmoil inside him, which he was trying really hard to control. Many a times, Riya and Kavya did try to talk to him, but he just ignored their efforts. He wanted to be with all
of them, like the old times, but his ego stopped him. The frustration of being able to do nothing
to be with his friends made him restless, and he wanted to fight it. But everytime he passed
Karan, there was this irritating smirk on his face, which didnt let Riddhan go back to his friends.
Today had been no different, he'd just come back from the evening classes, and had collided into
Karan just when he was outside his room. There rested the victorious grin on his face, which was all to trigger Riddhan's mind, and he punched him right on the face. Karan was taken back by the sudden force, and struggling to keep his feet together, he fell on the floor on his back. Rohit came hearing the sudden voice, and helped Karan. Before Riddhan walked in the room, he saw a glimpse of blood oozing out of Karan's nose. Riddhan went for shower, and he saw Rohit lazing on the bed when he came back. That night, none of them had dinner, and went to sleep.
In the middle of the night, Riddhan was woken up by the shrill ringing of his cell phone. He
cursed the caller for disturbing his sleep, and his anger multiplied when he saw his younger
brother's name flashing on the screen. He took the call, and was about to shout at him, when
voices from the other side silenced him.
"Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to dear Riddhan,
Happy Birthday to you"
It struck him then that it was his birthday today. He looked at the calendar on his bedside table, and the alarm clock next to it displayed the time around twelvish.
"Mom, Dad, Champ, aap... aap sab ko yaad tha?", he questioned.
"Aur nahi to kya, hum kaise bhool sakte hain. I know tumne socha ki is bar tum apne birthday ke
baare mein bilkul baat nahi karoge, so that you could test us if we remembered. But hello! We
remembered, right?", his mom answered brightly.
"Yes, and guess what Bhai, main tere liye market mein aayi hui latest video game laaya hoon, as
your birthday gift", his brother jumped with excitement.
"Er, Champ, tujhe pata hai na mujhe video games nahi pasand... but tujhe bohut pasand hain,
kyun?", there was a pinch of sarcasm in Riddhan's voice.
"Haan, to kya hua. Maine socha ki tu mere liye return gift to lega hie, maine tera kaam thoda
asaan kar diya. Aajkal to bhalayi ka zamana hie nahi raha hai. Mom, aap hie is se baat karo, main jaake apni video game check karta hoon", everyone laughed at this. After talking to his family for sometime, he put down the phone. He saw Rohit stirring in sleep, and recalled last year's birthday. Last year, his brother had been competing with Rohit, as to which of them would wish Riddhan first, and Rohit had won the bet hands on, the advantage of being in the hostel was there. He'd had super fun with his friends the whole day. It was one of the most memorable days of his life. Looking at the picture of his group hanging on the side wall, he thought of making amends the next day, and getting back together with them.
Early morning, he was having breakfast in the mess, and some of his batchmates came to wish
him. Suddenly he saw Riya and Kavya walk towards him. He remembered his resolve to sort things out. They would have to be lenient on him, after all, it was his birthday. He would let them wish first, and then give his sorry speech, for behaving like an idiot. Both of them came and stood in front of him.
"Hi Ri...", he was about to speak, but was cut off in between.
"What do you think of your self? Kahi ke raja maharaja ho tum kya?", Kavya blasted at him
straightaway. He was taken aback by her question.
"Maine kya kiya...", he tried to speak, but he didnt get a chance.
"We'd been thinking for a while to patch up with you, sort out everything you know. But i guess
you're too big a personality for us. Kal Karan ko maarne ka hak tumhe kisne diya? You had no right to hit him. And we all know how to stand up for our friend. So, officially, we're no longer friends with you. Infact, since the project also finishes tomorrow, we're all over with you. Bye",
Riya's words hurt him like anything. He hadnt wanted this, but in the end, it was his fault. He did deserve it for being such a lousy person. They gave him a last look, and were about to turn, when another one of his classmates came and gave him birthday wishes. He was too numb to react, so simply replied a thank you. Riya and Kavya turned to look at him, and one look on their guilty faces, he knew they'd forgotten his birthday. That was more than enough he could take, and controlling the tears that threatened to fall any moment, he went back to his room. He spent the whole day lying in his bed, doing nothing. That was how he spent his birthday. He talked to his brother at night, for a little while, who had sensed something wrong. Riddhan wanted to pour out his heart to him, but something stopped him, and he cut the call. Rohit didnt come to room that night, and like this, sleep took him in his lap.
The next day, classes had been scheduled for the evening time. They started in the afternoon,
and he got busy with them, keeping the other things aside. They were given a break of an hour, after which, they were supposed to report at 5pm, in the conference hall, for the presentation of their reports. Some outside faculty would also be there, so they had to be dressed up a bit formally. He went back to his room, and started getting ready. There was no hint of Rohit in the room. Surprisingly, he'd not seen Rohit and Karan as well, in the classes today. Riya, Abhilasha, and Kavya were there, but they had avoided him. He would anyways meet them at the presentation, and everything would be over after that. He just hoped he could live with the consequences. Well, he would have to, he had no other choice, did he? He walked off to the conference hall, and he saw his group already settled. He went and seated himself next to them. They all ignored him. The lights had been switched off and presentations had started.
It was around eight already, and thankfully the presentations had come to an end, only theirs was left now. As their group went to the podium, Rohit went to stand next to the computer, as he was handling the slides. Abhilasha and Riddhan introduced their topic, and gave the basic information.
"Now we shall give you an idea of how exactly we plan to go on about this. Rohit, slides please",
Just then, the screen behind them lit up with the slides, and immediate voices filled up the hall.
Party bompers were heard in the audiences, everyone got up and started clapping, hooting and whistling. Riddhan looked at them weirdly, and followed their eyes, behind him. He turned to look at the screen, and what he saw, surprised him to no extent. It was a beautiful slide, with quite a few pictures of him with his friends, and birthday wishes next to it. One by one, Rohit, Abhilasha, Riya, Kavya and Karan, came and hugged him wishing him Happy Birthday.
"Wow! Guys its a big surprise, like very big, par mera birthday kal tha, so technically, tum sab ek din late ho", he commented with sarcasm.
"Actually Riddhan, hum late nahi hain, hum bilkul time pe wish kar rahe hain, just how we'd
planned", Kavya said. Riddhan looked at her confused, while all the others smiled broadly. Right then, the professor came and wished him.
"Oh sir, thank you so much, but dont you think ki wo jo faculty members baahar se aaye hain, wo
humein is sab ke liye negative marks denge", Riddhan whispered in the professor's ears. The
professor laughed out aloud.
"They wont, not if they are your seniors from the same college", he said, and winking at Riddhan, he pointed towards the audiences, where the so called faculty members, were taking out their false wigs, beards and moustaches. Riddhan was shocked beyond his wits. He turned towards the others for an explanation, when he saw them grinning.
"Oh my God! Kameeno! You people did this", they nodded at this and started laughing.
"You all are actually crazy, i mean, sirf ek din mein tum sab ne itna kuch kiya, sabko involve kar liya apne plan mein. How did you manage it all itne se time mein? Kaise...", Riddhan continued as he saw confusion form on the faces of his friends.
"Ek minute Riddhan, you tubelight, you're getting it all wrong", Abhilasha shut him up.
"Oye bujhe huye bulb, tujhe ab tak samajh nahi aaya, ye sab hamara plan hai, lekin ek din purana nahi, balki hafto purana. You actually think hum tera birthday bhool gaye they?", Rohit smacked Riddhan on his head.
"Yeah right! Kal Riya aur Kavya ke chehre dekhe they maine, tumne dekhe hote na, to yahaan aise jhooth nahi bolte", Riddhan guffawed.
"Mr professor's pet, why do you think Kavya and me are in the college dramatics team?", Riya
smirked, and Riddhan was shocked like no words could describe.
"No! You both were acting! I so sont believe this, matlab, itne dino se bhi, wo sab, naatak tha, freak. Maine kaise miss kar diya, it was so obvious. How could i miss it, until... until until until... ye sab Karan ka plan tha, right?", Riddhan finally put the pieces together.
"Guilty as charged, my lord", Karan suddenly spoke, and bowed to them all. Riddhan immediately went and hugged him.
"So ye tumhara plan tha huh? I should've known, ki tum hie apne shaitani dimaag se aise ideas
nikaal sakte ho. I mean, dude, you actually had me freaked out all this time", Riddhan spoke.
"Itna ki you forgot your own birthday. Well, i really must have done a good job. Because all these people tell me ki birthday ki date pass aate hie you get so much hyped up ki its your birthday, and they are unable to give you any surprise. So maine socha ki why not tumhe aise distract karoon, ki ye bechare shanti se sab preparations kar sakein. And i didnt have to do much, you and your big fat ego, combined with my charming smile, did it all", Karan winked.
"I prefer to call it 'the irritating wicked smirk', if you dont mind. Anyways, you tell, tumhari nose kaisi hai?", Riddhan said. Karan's face adorned a sad look, as he replied.
"I dunno yaar, i got it checked, and its a fracture. Though possibilities of surgery are less, but thode chances hain. I was just thinking ki surgery kahaan karaoon, you know somewhere jahaan sab facilities ho. Waise i wont mind if you want to pay for it all...", Karan was speaking.
"Uh, Karan, i talked to the medical guy who treated you. He seems to think you're prefectly
alright. Waise i also wont mind paying for your bills, just if you let me hit you once again. So can i?", Riddhan advanced towards Karan, but he held his hand.
"Oho yaar, tu to serious hie ho gaya. Agar abhi apni skills dikha di, to agle 10 minute mein yahaan par karne ko kuch rahega hie nahi", Karan said with a grin.
"Matlab?", Riddhan asked.
"Matlab ye ki teri birthday party start hone wali hai. So lets race, who gets to the cake first, wo dekh, right in the end of the hall"
They both saw a four-tier cake, covered in black and brown all around, the temptation flavoured
cake, and they both ran towards it. The winner was the one who ran faster, obviously, so go ahead and make your own assumptions ;) ...
MANY MANY HAPPY RETURNS OF THE DAY!
Happy Birthday buddy...
Edited by kweetrockstar - 14 December 2011 at 11:33am