Rajani and Shikha could hardly believe it. The exams were indeed over. The time for worrying about the results would arrive soon enough but for now it was celebration season. And almost miraculously, all signs and symptoms of exhaustion and fatigue vanished. They were raring to go.
“Visit the zoo?”
“Boo hoo. Are you in kindergarten or what?”
Dinner and movie it was. Running on adrenaline, sleep forgotten, they all wrangled permission for an evening out from the warden. Rajani had a more difficult time extracting permission from her parents.
“Why the late night show? Would it be safe? Exactly the boys will be with you. Is it necessary? Shouldn’t you be resting? You need to sleep. You are tired. You can go and see the movie during the day. We don’t think it’s a good idea. I don’t know what these boys are like. Let me talk to Suri Uncle and Aunty. If they agree and if Shikha is going…”
Rajani crossed all her fingers and held her breath as Shikha had a brief chat with her parents. They were rather cool and gave their permission.
“Yay!” They did a little jig and rushed to get ready in their evening finery.
“Wearing the new suit huh?” Rajani said. “Whom are you planning to impress?”
Shikha opened her eyes wide as she modeled her new kurta. “Oh don’t you know?” she fluttered her eyes. “Who else but Harry?” she clasped her hands close to her heart and swayed ecstatically keeping a sly eye on Rajani who just picked up a pillow and threw it at her.
“Never mind Rajji, you wear the pink one. You can try to give me some competition.”
“You can try till Hell freezes over.” Rajani sneered.
“Ooh so confident of Harry?”
Rajani grinned smugly.
But it was Shikha’s turn to smirk when Harry called out to her. “Hey Shikha you are looking good! The color suits you.”
“Thanks Harry.” Shikha preened shooting wicked glances at Rajani who pretended to be unconcerned but was evidently (at least to Shikha’s practiced eye) seething.
“Why are you so mad?” Shikha whispered at the first opportunity. “You don’t particularly care for Harry do you?”
“I am not mad.” Rajani tossed her head and chatted over loudly with Raj and Girish. “What movie are we going for?”
“50 Lakhs? Is that the name of the movie?”
“I am sure the movie is awful!”
“How do you know?”
“What does it matter? The exams are over!”
“Yes! Perhaps the movie can show us the way to get 50 Lakhs!”
The (junk) food, the music and the ambience were great and Rajani shed her angst and got into the mood of things. Bonhomie rode high as they filled their bellies with a week’s worth of food.
“Oww! I couldn’t eat another bite ever!” Rajani declared as she filched a French fry from Shikha’s plate.
“Yeah! I am full after ages.” Shikha sighed contently after the gluttonous binge.
“Come on let’s go for the movie.” Giggling, chattering and tripping they entered the hall. Rajani made sure she, not Shikha sat next to Harry.
This time there was no repeat performance of the last time’s eventful events – Harry had the tickets and the seat numbers and nobody wanted to eat or drink anything. Moreover, finally the adrenaline rush petered out and Rajani dozed off on Harry’s arm, Shikha on Rajani’s shoulder and Harry against Girish (poor Harry was quite disgruntled that he fell asleep before Rajani did and hence was oblivious for most part of the honor and privilege) and so on and so forth.
Quite a waste of ticket money – may as well have slept in their hostel rooms. But wouldn’t have been half as much fun 😉
Just as the exams were over in no time, so were the fun and masti days and all too soon results were out.
Happily no casualties were reported and all had passed, if not with flying colors. Their professors did warn them that because it was the first semester and a lot of them had joined in late etc, lenient marking was followed. Next time they would all have to pull up their socks and tighten their belts.
Of course Sir! Yes Sir! Three bags full Sir! They chanted, thoughts elsewhere.
Collage – the upcoming week college festival. Rajani and Shikha were amazed to know of the one whole week of full freedom to do what they liked, no classes, no hostel rules – only fun, games and cultural programs.
“Yes! That’s the best part of college life – the college festivals. Didn’t you girls know?”
They shook their heads.
“You guys are amazing!” Girish laughed. “Which village are you coming from?” He held up his hand as Rajani paled and opened her mouth to retaliate. “And before you say anything, let me tell you even medical colleges have festivals.”
Rajani flushed and subsided.
“But the best part is that this year, we the freshers are planning to set a new trend!” Raj jumped into the awkward silence.
“What?” Shikha asked gratefully.
“Hush! It’s a secret. While the festival is in full swing we will sneak off for a day or two to Chikballapur.”
“What for?” Of course Rajani couldn’t help asking evoking groans and moans.
“Ufff! For some fun what else?”
“But there is enough fun during the college festival? Why miss out on this fun?”
“Because, we wont get permission to leave college otherwise. During Collage, nobody bothers with us as the programs run late and stuff, so easy to sneak off and be back without anybody being wiser.” Raj explained.
“Hey! She is right!” Girish was sparkling. “Let’s do the trip another time…”
“Like when? And what about permissions?”
“I thought of all that,” Girish said smugly. “Next month is the Mysore college festival. We can take permission to attend that and…”
Sameer jumped in to steal his thunder, “on the way take a detour, spend some time trekking exploring and then drop in for attendance at…”
“No Sammy,” Girish snatched his crown back, “first we will have to go and mark our attendance otherwise they may question us. So first to Mysore and then on to…”
“Why can’t we just explore Mysore? I haven’t seen Mysore either, have you?” asked Harry.
Rajani shook her head but Girish piped up again, “I have seen Mysore…”
“Relax!” Sameer played the peacemaker, “let’s do both! We mark our attendance, see Mysore, hang around college for a bit take part in a few events, get our certificates and sneak off to the nearest getaway for a day or so and come back for the closing ceremony. How about it?” He looked around triumphantly.
The guys were unanimously gung ho with back slappings and high fives. The girls were rather cautious and restrained. Flecks of ill-concealed eagerness overshadowed by years of caution drilled relentlessly into their systems.
“Yeah could do it but wont it be too much?”
“Won’t we miss too many classes? What about attendance?”
“What about the expenses?”
“I will have to ask Papa.” Rajani said.
Shikha groaned. “Oh please Rajji! Let’s just go for once. We can always tell them when we come back.”
Cowed Rajani relented. “Fine! I won’t talk to Papa.”
Up next Chapter 92: Just Chilling