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Like I promised! I am not entirely satisfied with this update, so am quite nervous about it. I still hope you enjoy it, and would like to have your feedback. Please pardon the formatting errors, IF was being a pain!
Banner Credit: vfordonkey
They all sat there sipping coffee, each lost in their own thoughts. They were all so full, even talking or getting up seemed like an ordeal. Vighneshs mother, Mrs. Sridhar had, in Shekhars words, fed them all enough to last three days. Simran had to physically drag her out of the kitchen to stop her from making any more dosa-s. It had worked for all of ten minutes before she went right back in to prepare coffee. All they had done was eat, and they felt like they had just completed running a marathon, whereas the old lady looked fresh as a flower, showing no signs of tiredness or fatigue. She looked around to find something to start a conversation, when she found Khushi looking intently at the massive bookrack on the wall.
Khushi, Vighnesh tells me you aspire to be a writer? she asked tentatively. She saw it caught everybodys attention, and while most of them looked interested, Shekhar and Simran looked positively shocked. She realised not everyone was privy to this information, and that she may have put Khushi in a difficult spot by posing this question. Before she could do anything to change the topic, she saw Khushi smile slightly and reply, I do want to be a published writer some day, Aunty.
You do? , Shekhar couldnt help himself. He had envied her intelligence and her skill that had made her fairly popular at their workplace; this little piece of information had really taken him by surprise.
Yes. She replied politely, but did not offer any more information, hoping he would get the hint and not probe further. He did get the hint but was curious enough to ignore it, Then how is it that you are studying engineering? And what about this internship? According to you youd rather be writing a story right now, isnt it? he said a little too forcefully, unable to hide his sourness, his insinuation crystal clear.
She was not taken aback, she knew this man had a tendency to see everything the way he wanted to and behave like the world owed him something. There was no way she was going to reveal her problems to him, it was between her and her family. She could fight with them all she wanted but would not tolerate anyone else judging her fathers decisions. She took a deep breath and exchanged a quick look with Arnav before she responded, The fact I want to be a published writer someday need not have everything to do with the career choices I make today. Also, what is to say I am not equally interested in both energy systems and writing? Why must I pick one? I choose to have them both and I make no apologies for it, especially because I have worked hard to be where I am. she finished leaving no scope for further discussion and felt Arnavs hand on her shoulder, a reassuring squeeze.
This was getting out of hand and she just wanted to do something before things got unpleasant. Not one to casually strike a conversation about upcoming movies, Vaidehi asked, Umm, so do you guys think there is any scope for India to meet its renewable energy target by 2020? She felt like kicking herself for bringing up a topic closely related to work at this time, but this was the best she could do at the moment.
The silence that prevailed for the next few seconds was proof that no one had seen this coming, but the tension in the room did reduce as they all got thinking, gauging their responses before speaking. Vighnesh was first to break the silence. You mean the 15% renewables target? I have my own doubts. And even if we do meet the targets, Im not sure its going to help meet the agenda of energy security. Even the PM didnt even make a mention of this in his speech on the 15th August.
Thats besides the point, we can go on nitpicking endlessly over that speech. But I do agree with you, that target, even if it is met my 2020, will not much to help the people in need. said Vaidehi. For one the energy demand would have doubled by then. And then theres the fact that no matter what, the villages and the more remote areas do not have access to electricity regardless of whether it is available or not.
But they have to start somewhere. added Khushi, when she felt she had recovered sufficiently from the previous argument. There will be drawbacks in any scheme, but it is never entirely futile. So you say this scheme will not be of any help at grassroot level, what do you think will be fruitful?
Khushi, one cannot overlook that fact that the grids in India rarely extend to many of the rural areas. And all of your schemes, including the JN National Solar Mission only talk about providing reliable electricity on the grid. Without development in infrastructure, there is very little progress that the poor can hope for. This scheme may be helpful to some extent for the urban poor, yes. But for those living far from major cities in smaller villages or districts, there is very little hope.
It still doesnt answer her question. Shekhar interjected. What do you think will be useful at the end of the day?
I did mention infrastructure development. Funding for small-scale solar PV or hydro projects, these are the ones that have really helped transform the lives of people in several villages; there are plenty of examples especially in South India. Faster legal procedures for land clearance. More-
Thats easier said than done everyone looked up to hear Arnav speaking. More often than not its an issue between ministries. Wind farms, larger solar PV or solar thermal projects the land requirements often encroach on farm or forest areas. Getting environmental clearances in this case always takes time. This isnt my area of expertise, but I know enough to say that the delay in legal procedures isnt always without reason.
I also read something about decentralised energy in the papers. Mrs. Sridhar added, looking visibly relieved to have the subject of discussion changed. Something to do with micro-grids, that is also included under the National Solar Mission, which would help reach out to the more remote areas.
That is true Aunty, but efforts in this line usually get pushed back when theyre trying to achieve ambitious targets. Micro-grids at one point can take a maximum load of 10 Megawatts at the most.
We could keep waiting for others to do something. Or we could do something ourselves. Isnt that why were here in the first place? said Khushi seriously. She never did enjoy the blame game of any kind. The government is doing what it can. There is also the possibility that it isnt doing anything. That doesnt stop us. Each one of us will be working on specific projects from next week, and well have the chance to do something fruitful. One thing at a time.
Khushi, youre being awfully naive Vighnesh looked at her pitifully. Well be working on the projects for all of three months, and that too in Phase 1. Even the smallest of projects take a minimum of 18 months before they are operational, and this is when the legal work is smooth. Youll be hugely disappointed if you think youre going to see something concrete at the end of this internship.
I am a patient person, Vighnesh. I am fully aware of all that one can and cannot achieve in a span of a few months, but I also know how much I can learn. I may not be able to perform a miracle when I finish here, but like I said, its one thing at a time. My contribution at this point may be little, yet I believe it counts. Whenever I put to use all my knowledge and resources and skills, I am certain it will bear more fruits than sitting around complaining about our government.
I like that attitude, child. Mrs. Sridhar looked almost proud. I wish my boy would also learn to be a little cynical in his world view. This man who was talking to you about naivety... he wishes to do his bit for society yet has already decided that it will be inadequate no matter how much he does.
Amma, dont start off now. Vighnesh pleaded, he didnt want to have his worldview discussed and dissected in front of his colleagues. x
You say that every time we talk about this. Ill stop before you say that, but the faster you change the way you look at things, the better it would be. I dont want you to start off on the wrong foot. the fatigue made an appearance on her face at this point. She get up with a sigh and said, You kids carry on. I will clear the kitchen and get back to work. Vighnesh, I made some extra coffee. Please heat it up and serve if anyone wants another cup before she left for the kitchen.
Ill be out in five and then well make a move. Khushi whispered to Arnav before wordlessly following the older lady to the kitchen to help her out.
She helped him sit up straight and arranged the pillows behind his back to make it more comfortable. She then handed him his medicines and glass of water, wordlessly asking him to take them. Placing the glass back on the side table, she went to sit at the corner of the bed.
Payal, Nani has gone to the temple. At least now come and sit close to me?
Uff, you are incorrigible. I dont want to fall sick, thats why I am not sitting next to you. she said with a playful smile.
You didnt seem all that worried about it when you first came over in the morning? he teased and was rewarded with the rare sight a blushing Payal Gupta. It was gone just as quickly as it came, but it was enough for him to flash a victorious grin at her. She stuck her tongue out and hmph-ed at his gloating. He knew better than to push it, he would do anything to make this lovely day last as long as possible. He knew she cared but had really not expected to her take the day off to be with him. To say he was overwhelmed would be an understatement, so shocked was he when she told him she way spending the day by his side, he was unable to speak for a whole minute. It had made Nani laugh and was grateful for that too, she had been worried sick since the last two days owing to his health.
So lost was he in his thoughts he did not hear the knock on the door to his room, nor did he see Payal open it. It was only when Hariprakash placed the tray on the side table that he broke out of his reverie and grimaced at the sight of what lay before him.
Not the kadha again, Hari! Nani isnt even here, she wont know! he said, consciously ignoring Payals stern face.
Naniji specially instructed me to make you another glass before she left for the temple saab. She also told me to make sure you drink it before I leave. he whispered sheepishly.
Nani ka chamcha! he scoffed as he picked up the glass. He knew better than to argue with Nanis second in command, there was no way he could win this. Where is Jaiprakash? He is the only one in this house who ever takes my side. Why did he have to leave just when I fall sick? he asked his face resembling a petulant child; Payal bit her cheek trying to hide her smile.
Bhabhi delivered on Tuesday, Bhaiyya has gone to see her his baby girl. he said happily. Whether or not it worked on his disease, the kadha effectively killed Akashs jovial mood. What is this, his sixteenth kid? he barked gulping down the last bit of the tonic before placing it back on the tray with force. HP knew better than to offended, he had made the tonic after all, it was a drink from hell alright. No bitwa, it is only his ninth kid, five boys and now four daughters, the house will be truly alive now.
Payal placed her hand on his knee, silently asking him not to say anything more. She then turned to HP, Thank you HP, do send our congratulations to JP. And ask him to let us know if he needs anything. The old man grinned merrily before he picked up the tray and left the room closing the door behind him.
So how many kids would you want before our home looks satisfactorily alive to you? he asked Payal trying his best to look charming and flirty.
Our home? she raised an eyebrow.
Yeah, our home. You dont want me to be a ghar jamai, do you?
Ghar jamai? Youre going too far arent you? Why would we ever be married and have kids? Would he ever admit it, she sighed.
So you can take care of me like this whenever I fall sick, of course! tongue firmly in cheek.
Surely we dont need to marry and have an army of children for that? I could just come over with some of that delicious kadha and shove it down your throat.
Err wheres the fun in that? No romance. No Rabba Vey.
No what?! she asked, looking perplexed. No way she would let this chance go, she did a mental jig.
Ah nevermind. he had to change this topic. Quick!
No what did you say? Something about rubbing? she said blinking her eyelids furiously.
I dont want to talk about it he frowned. He looked cute when he was being a child, she thought. Akash, but-
Look I dont want to talk about it, Payal. Especially not today. I just I wanted to just say thank you. For coming here today. For being with me. You didnt have to but you still did, it means a lot to me. he spoke sincerely.
Akash, thats so much cheese Im afraid the flies will barge right in. Its no big deal, I wanted to come today and so I came. she shrugged. Besides, I know you could use some moral support today. she added teasingly.
Moral support? it was his turn to look perplexed.
Akash, she said seriously, Im really sorry about it. I know it must be really tough for ya. biting her lips trying to control the laughter.
Payal, I have no idea what youre talking about. What was this girl on about now?
The heartbreak, of course? Ek baar phir? amusement dripping from her voice. It took him a second before he realised what she was playing at. How the hell did she know about this? He would kill Arnav!
I dont now what youre saying, Payal., he said categorically. And this time she did laugh, a full-throated, full-toothed laugh that made her look at least 5 years younger. She looked so pretty!, he thought. She stopped to get some air, You dont have to do that Akash. I know just how heartbroken you are. Your favourite show restarts tomorrow with its next season, that according to you is the ugly synthetic twin of the original one, isnt that true? she said in between giggles.
Who told you about this? he barked.
Weve been together long enough, Aakash. You really think I wouldnt know about your secret obsession with a TV show? For gods sake, you scream Haye Devi Maiyya every time you bang your foot against the corner of your side table! she couldnt stop laughing. And he was speechless. Did he really do that? Haye Devi Maiyya!
So, whats this season two about? Two more people who Rabba Vey? God this was fun!
Theyd better not! he sounded really hurt. First they ruin the original show and end it disgracefully. And now they want to cash on its popularity so they come up with a new load of crap and say its Ek Baar Phir! What the!
Are you saying the original show was not a load of crap?
It was no gold, yet it was magical. he said dreamily.
Magical? she remarked unable to keep the incredulity from her voice.
Yeah! You should watch it sometime. The chemistry. The love. The Rabba Vey! It makes you want to fall in love. And eat jalebis. Really! he near-squealed. Now Payal was speechless. What could she say? What the f**k!
Look, Payal, you will not judge me for this. he said in all seriousness. He looked adorable even when he was being serious, thought Payal.
And why in the name of Devi Maiyya would I do that? she giggled.
Because you are my girlf... he pasued. Not for too long. It was time, he decided in that moment. Oh what the hell. Because you are my girlfriend. I love you and you love me. Thats why.
And because we like to meet. He added as an afterthought, smiling.
There. He had said it. It was done. No beating around the bush. No unspoken affections. She looked shocked. And she hadnt spoken a word. He hoped it would be worth it.
And it was. For the second time that day, he was graced with the sight of his beloved blushing furiously. Payal Gupta ko sharmana bhi aata hai ? He smirked. And she blushed some more. She louurved him. To hell with Ek Baar Phir.
Iss pyaar ko kya naam doon?
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The update was worth the wait dear. One thing which I have noticed in this story is there are so many realistic bits which u beautifully embed in the story through your writing style. I have felt a connection to Khushis character mainly because she too has to go through a tough choice. Her career choice which she had to make by bending her dreams for her fathers dreams. Your Khushi is strong because I absolutely loved the way how she replied to her colleague by not allowing anyone to question or probe her decision. I felt proud of her and I felt I should learn a thing or two from her. ---- Then how is it that you are studying engineering? And what about this internship? According to you youd rather be writing a story right now, isnt it? he said a little too forcefully, unable to hide his sourness, his insinuation crystal clear. This man had a tendency to see everything the way he wanted to and behave like the world owed him something (Speak about the egoistic men, I have a bunch to deal with daily and unfortunately my hands are tied since they are superior. I wish I had your Khushis grace to deal with such people). There was no way she was going to reveal her problems to him, it was between her and her family. She could fight with them all she wanted but would not tolerate anyone else judging her fathers decisions ---- The fact I want to be a published writer someday need not have everything to do with the career choices I make today. Also, what is to say I am not equally interested in both energy systems and writing? Why must I pick one? I choose to have them both and I make no apologies for it, especially because I have worked hard to be where I am. ---- clap! clap! clap! I am really proud of Khushi, her grace and dignity with which she gave her reply!
Im not sure its going to help meet the agenda of energy security. Even the PM didnt even make a mention of this in his speech on the 15thAugust. ---- Here you again display your skill at mentioning a relevant point and how much you are aware of the situations in our country. Honestly speaking I am learning all these issues from your story. The solar project, I googled later after reading the story and was surprised. Even in this update, the discussion between the colleagues was an eye-opener. The fact is this kind of situation is present in all fields. I am a bio-nano researcher in cancer field and I have seen the pathetic way our Indian system works while in abroad we can make a change within a year or two. In india due to the ways political and legal and other crisis, the problem get accumulated and we cant get anything done and at a point u become too much frustrated and loose ur hope.
We could keep waiting for others to do something. Or we could do something ourselves. Isnt that why were here in the first place? said Khushi seriously. She never did enjoy the blame game of any kind. The government is doing what it can. There is also the possibility that it isnt doing anything. That doesnt stop us. Each one of us will be working on specific projects from next week, and well have the chance to do something fruitful. One thing at a time.--- Aha! I admire this Khushi. I could feel her optimism and positive energy.
Khushi, youre being awfully nave Vighnesh looked at her pitifully. Well be working on the projects for all of three months, and that too in Phase 1. Even the smallest of projects take a minimum of 18 months before they are operational, and this is when the legal work is smooth. Youll be hugely disappointed if you think youre going to see something concrete at the end of this internship. ---- Again I see Vighnesh kind of people around me who always gives up. Its so disappointing and after certain time it rubs off on u too..
I am a patient person, Vighnesh. I am fully aware of all that one can and cannot achieve in a span of a few months, but I also know how much I can learn. I may not be able to perform a miracle when I finish here, but like I said, its one thing at a time. My contribution at this point may be little, yet I believe it counts. Whenever I put to use all my knowledge and resources and skills, I am certain it will bear more fruits than sitting around complaining about our government. ---- I applaud u for writing this part. Its truly inspirational. I had this attitude while I was doing my PhD abroad but after returning to India and working in Indian research scenario, my spirits are getting depressed. But once I read it, it reminded me of those days where I dared to hope and keep things moving even when there were difficulties. You really gave me a wonderful positive energy through your this character dear.
Where is Jaiprakash? He is the only one in this house who ever takes my side. Why did he have to leave just when I fall sick? he asked his face resembling a petulant child; --- Wow.. thats sweet of you to give the prakash brothers some space and dialogue..I always liked them.
Err wheres the fun in that? No romance. No Rabba Vey. ---- Even I happen to say this like Akashlol!
For gods sake, you scream Haye Devi Maiyya every time you bang your foot against the corner of your side table! she couldnt stop laughing. And he was speechless. Did he really do that? Haye Devi Maiyya! ---- Lol! Again same pinch..
So, whats this season two about? Two more people who Rabba Vey? God this was fun!
Theyd better not! he sounded really hurt. First they ruin the original show and end it disgracefully. And now they want to cash on its popularity so they come up with a new load of crap and say its Ek Baar Phir! What the! ---- I wholeheartedly agree!
Are you saying the original show was not a load of crap?
It was no gold, yet it was magical. he said dreamily. -----True!!!!!!!
Yeah! You should watch it sometime. The chemistry. The love. The Rabba Vey! It makes you want to fall in love. And eat jalebis. Really! he near-squealed. Now Payal was speechless. ---- You had me there..laughing out loudlybecause its exactly the same dialogue I used to say to my close friends who knows that I am an insane case . Honestly I too share Akashs same sentiments. Its after watching this serial I too fell in love with already favorite jalebis. Now a days whenever I have them, I used to think and eat them as Khushis jalebisand absolutely true that serial had that charm which makes u want to fall in love, believe in love!!! You voiced the sentiments which I couldnt put into words..
. Payal Gupta ko sharmana bhi aata hai ? He smirked. And she blushed some more. She louurved him. --- cute! J
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