Dil Jaanta Hain (The Heart
"Arti!" called Suneeta, "Mrs. Thakkar wants to meet us. Chalo!"
Mrs. Thakkar? Why did the college vice-
principal want to meet her, and now of all times!! She was already late for her
date with Prashant.
Knocking at the
office door, Arti asked "Ma'am, can we come in?"
looked up at them "Ah Arti, Suneeta. Yes, yes come in please. Sit down".
college is organizing an alumni get-together and we need some help from the
students. I want you, Arti, to head the student-organizing committee, and
prepare a welcome as well as a program for the alumni evening. The staff is
taking care of the venue, dinner, etc. Chalk out a program by tomorrow evening girls
and let's meet again in my office to review it. Ok?"
Tack-train nahi sudhregi.
Must she treat everything as top priority? Homework for an alumni get-together
and an unreal deadline to boot!
Arti gritted her
teeth as she gave a thin-lipped smile to Mrs. Thakkar. "Of course, Ma'am. I'll
be honored. But...can I get some extra time to plan?"
"No no, we don't
have time. The event is next week".
Of course it is!! And the staff just
realized it. Arti was beyond irritated with the vagaries of the college
"Yes Ma'am, I
understand. But you know, with such short notice, it's even more important to
have a detailed plan in place so there's no flaw in the execution. I want to
make sure our plan is perfect - how about we meet you 2 days from now with all
the details lined out?" Arti cajoled.
Mrs. Thakkar took
a moment to think over what Arti had said and then nodded "Ok, but I want
complete details worked out, including a budget."
"Of course, Ma'am.
And how long should the program be?" Arti asked in relief.
"One hour for the entertainment
should be enough. The guests will start arriving around 6:30pm. Start the
entertainment at 7 and we can serve dinner at 8pm."
"Ok Ma'am. We will
see you in a couple of days" said Arti as she grabbed Suneeta's hand and almost
ran out of the office.
glasses back on, Mrs. Thakkar chucked to herself. Clever girl! As if she didn't know why Arti wanted the extra time.
Prashant was ruining her concentration! But if that boy did marry her, as the
rumours suggested, then at least Arti would have a home again...
breathed out in relief. "Kya yaar Suneeta,
couldn't you have told Tack-train that I had left? I have to meet Prashant and
am so late now" Arti complained as they left the administrative building.
"Sorry yaar, but kya karoon?
You know what she is like. At least you have two days now to prepare" Suneeta
"Not just me. You
too. You heard na - we have to have a student-organizing committee and you
madam are going to be its chair-person" Arti teased as she ran off to catch an
ran into the gazebo in the garden. Prashant was already waiting, tapping his
foot on the hard stone floor.
Crap! He hated her being late and now she
would have to manao
Walking softly up
to him, she wrapped her arms around his waist. Placing her chin on his shoulder
she said "Hi Jaan".
arms, Prashant turned around and glared at her "You are almost 30 minutes
Taking her heavy
bag off, she put it on the floor before replying. "I know. I am sorry. Mrs.
Thakkar called me just as I was leaving."
"So now Mrs.
Thakkar is more important than me?" Prashant snapped.
Arti felt a tinge
of irritation - how childish can he be!!
"Of course not, Jaan. But she is still the vice-principal and I had to go meet
her. I left as soon as I could."
As Prashant stood
there, with his hands on his waist, still pouting, Arti gave in to her
irritation. "Ok. Let us both sit here on the cold floor and not talk to each
other. Theek hai?"
Prashant smiled at
that. "You are not going to talk? Really? Chalo -
let's try it. Let me see how long you can stay without talking".
She smacked his
arm "Are you saying I am a mooh-phat?"
He held his ears
and bit his tongue. "Of course not! Would I dare? But you didn't win the Miss
Talkative title without reason you know" he grinned at her now, openly teasing now.
mumbled. "Well, are we going to stay here or are you taking me somewhere to
Madam" Prashant said, sweeping his arms out towards the exit.
It was the evening
of the Alumni reunion. Arti, Suneeta and
their friends had spent the intervening days preparing everything. The majority
of the work fell on Arti and Suneeta since they stayed in the hostel and both
the girls' had worked late every night getting everything ready - from the
stage decorations to the costumes, the welcome thaalis
and the parting gifts. Mrs Thakkar was delighted with them, especially since
they had managed to re-use many props from previous shows and saved a bundle of
uncomfortably as Vidhi, her best friend, draped the saree around her. She
didn't have a saree so Vidhi's mom had
loaned her one.
"Arti, hold still
will you" Vidhi said, her words barely understandable as she held two
safety-pins in her mouth.
"I don't like
wearing sarees" Arti grumbled.
Vidhi ignored that - saree was a requirement at the event so it wasn't as if any of them had a
Pinning the pallu
in place, Vidhi stepped back and smiled. Turning her friend to face the mirror
she said "What do you think?"
Arti gasped. Was that really her? She couldn't recognize
herself. The saree was gorgeous, a deep midnight blue with barely visible
shot-throughs of silver thread that shimmered as she moved. The chiffon
material clung to her curves. Vidhi had left her hair open, braiding a white
it. The simple pearl ear-rings and pendant completed her getup, with a black
hand-drawn bindi -
Vidhi's trademark - adorning her forehead.
Vidhi said, turning towards Suneeta as she entered the room.
"Prashant won't be able to take his eyes off you" she said grinning.
Arti grimaced "He
won't be coming. He is not interested in an alumni meet". His irate speech
still rankled with her.
Turning back to
Vidhi, Arti clasped her hands "Thank you! And thank Aunty for me. It's a lovely
saree - I hope I can take care of it tonight."
"It's yours. An
early birthday present from Ma and Papa" Vidhi grinned.
Arti's eyes opened
wide "Really? Oh how sweet of them. I must write them a thank you note".
"You can do that
later - we need to go now" Suneeta reminded them of the time.
Taking a last look
in the mirror, the three friends posed for a brief moment. Then, as if on cue,
the three blew out a kiss. Seeing the three reflections mirror their action,
they burst into a happy laugh as they ran down the stairs.
Arti stood at the
entrance of the venue, welcoming the alumni as they came in. It was almost
seven and she hoped the all the guests had arrived - she had to go to the stage
and get the program started too. Just as she thought she could leave, one more
guest arrived. Tall, dark, handsome - the
words had been written for him - a true Mills and Boon hero thought Arti to
She put the tilak
on his forehead. Just as she placed the garland around his neck, her fingers
brushed him and a spark of electricity jolted both.
"Oh sorry" Arti
gasped, embarrassed. "Must be static".
looked at her then and a moment later smiled. His whole face lit up and Arti
felt as if the sun had come out. "It's ok" he said smiling at her.
Just then a
beautiful girl arrived and took the stranger's arm. He looked down at her and
his face changed again - transformed by joy and love. Arti
turned to look at the girl - she had the same look on her's. How nice! They both love each other so much.
How sweet. I hope they always have that.
forward and put tilak and a garland
on the girl.
"Thank you!" she
smiled at them. Then, holding hands, the two alumni walked into the auditorium.
Arti, "Do you know who he is?" she hissed.
As Arti shook her
head, Suneeta gleefully supplied the details "Yash Scindia! And the girl with him - that's Arpita. They are
engaged now - our famous college sweethearts". Yash and Arpita's love story was legendary in their college.
"How do you know?"
"Because he is
also from Bhopal" Suneeta said. Bhopal was her hometown. "His father is one of
the richest men in Bhopal, they have an event planning business."
Turning back to
look at the couple Suneeta added "He is HOT!"
Arti shushed her,
"He is ENGAGED! And his bride is lovely. Ab
chalo - we have a program to present."
Next: Chapter 1
Edited by kdsubs - 02 July 2013 at 10:19pm