( I )
“Hey Bijesh did you meet her.” Rajeev inquired enthusiastically. “You impressed her, didn’t you.”
Biju knew he has to face these questions, he wanted to say, I never went rather than describing how he was dumped in the end, but doubted that Sravanti will miss her chance to show off how he toyed with Bijesh’s feelings.
“Did you do the maths homework” Biju tried to switch off the conversation.
“There was a maths homework too” Rajeev appeared to be clueless.
“Ok lets not discuss studies in the courtyard, we have a class room for that, so what about your date what happened”
“Nothing, its just a date , we went to cc1, had some nice conversations, I returned home at 7:30”, Biju tried to mask his mood swinging down the deep and dark pit of depression and fear of the inevitable. He hasn’t talked properly to anyone since he arrived home, he stayed clear of whatsapp and facebook the whole night, expecting that Sravanti and her friends must be making a joke of everything that has happened on her date, starting from his selection of that shabby cafe to his equally dull and shabby personality.
“Is she really the oddball others describes her to be.”
“May be, may be not, she is really fun to hangout with, I don’t know man how to tag her, we had a great time together, but then again she ruins the meaning of our whole date thing.” Biju attempted to tell the truth, blaming Sravanti for deadlocking the date.
“What do you mean by that” Rajeev looked brimming with an odd curiosity.
“Hey did any of you do the maths homework, Rumki maam said she would be deducting marks from the final exam for irregular submissions.” Soham cut in their conversation just in the right time.
“She would be deducting marks” Rajeev freaked out, both Rajeev and Soham turned to Biju their usual savior in such situations, without wasting any more time they started to copy Bijesh’s homework. He tried to avoid and ignore, any kind of eye contact with Sravanti in the class, but he threw a glance from time to time, checking Sravanti and her friends out, they appeared to be having just another normal day at class, “Or are they waiting for the right time to bite me.” Bijesh concluded in his mind.
He kept repelling any possible contact with Sravanti for the next few days, he maintained a distance from her, almost ran away from places whenever she is around.
But inevitably enough he finally came face to face with Sravanti, during the launch break one day, he felt a sudden pause in his bodily functions, as if time itself has come to an abrupt halt, he forced all his willpower to focus on breaking the eye contact, but failed miserably to sever the invisible magnetic pull, that made him vulnerable inside, she didn’t break the eye contact either, a subtle smile danced on her lips, he felt a rush of blood in his face, he wanted to say hi, but he felt stiffened by a sudden advent of convulsive fear and anger, as she passed by.
“Are you angry on me, I am sorry for being so direct with you, I ruined the day for you didn’t I” Sravanti stopped and turned towards Biju.
“What no, its just that” Biju suddenly found himself at a loss of words, unable to formulate an excuse.
“Bad liar!” Sravanti exclaimed softly.
“No its not you, I am just tensed about the… exam”
“Yes the exam, its till 4 months away and if I am not wrong our syllabus isn’t finished yet, no high priority questions are rolled out yet, see you don’t have to lie to me.”
“Hey Biju, you joining us” Soham waved from a table, Rajeev and Soham has already taken a table in the canteen.
“If you don’t mind can we sit somewhere alone” Biju asked.
“I thought you will never ask” Sravanti made a dramatic expression.
( II )
“You should rethink your plan , do you realize you are… ” Angeley hesitated over her next choice of words, “Banner, there is no need to do this ”.
“You know why I have to do this, honey” Banner leaned on the backrest trying to relax.
Angeley pumped in the Ty serum into the syringe, she knew it well its going to be an one-way trip, like it always has been with the Time Drill. She has been working with Banner for eight years now, she has always tried to be a competent assistant, always trying to keep up with Dr Banner. In these eight years she has become well acquainted with his biography, her genius partners life, dwindled on a particular incident revolving around a girl, Schevanti, a sin as he prefers to call it, that happened, in the turbulent period of every human’s life, in his teenage years.
She knew it well that his sole motivation has been to find a redemption for it and that made him a much sought after researcher, that he is today. He came from one of the Indian cities, his cv proves his educational credibility, which has the names of some of the top universities, from all around the world decorated on it. 8 years back the Russian company ITS gave him an offer to work on a classified project on Time Dialing, in other words going to and fro in the time stream, time traveling in short. That is when she met Dr Banner, the responsibility of assisting him and to help him get integrated in the company, was given to her by her employers. A job she always hated, babysitting other celebrated scientists.
“You learn more from shadowing them” her senior’s advised.
But Dr Banner was pretty easy to get along with, he never shoved his authority on her face, never for once she felt that, he is pointing out his success and experience, to outweigh her in discussions, he rather dissected fairly, the reasoning of each of his research team members, but never did he ignore them.
Angeley found herself getting closer to the mild natured Dr Banner, who is always ready to share his knowledge with fellow enthusiasts, Banner as she called him passionately, always encouraged her, believed in her capabilities to be more than an assistant,
”You are ready to walk on your own path” he always said.
Her growing appreciation and respect for him, didn’t made Angeley think twice before sharing a bed with the man.
Their relationship didn’t have the certificate of marriage, but it has more depth in absence of any shallow behaviors to be exhibited for the societies sake, rather it is a bond woven out of the feelings of pure respect, love and care, without any murkiness pertaining to any unkind compromises.
“You can’t change the past, it is only to be seen, like a movie, that’s what your own theory says ” Angeley pushed the serum in banners vein.
“Honey lets not do it like this please, no specimen has made it back in one piece, from this machine. Listen to me honey! whatever happened is just another unfortunate event that befalls to everyone of us, at some point of time. Its not your fault, please don’t do this, please” Angeley pleaded frantically.
“Its not only about that crime I committed in my ignorance, every scientists have to take some risks, to get the ultimate breakthrough. If I don’t make it back, it will testify for some of our assumptions, then this project is yours to complete. I am an old man now, I achieved a few things in my life time, now its your turn, I will welcome death gladly knowing that a project I contributed to, that will provide a new dimension to the life of the homo sapiens, is in competent hands” Banner reasoned with his lady love.
–To be continued–