2 months ago, Sri remembered, it was Chitrangada's turn to publish the weekly journal, but the key of the main notice board lied with Vir.
Vir had told Sri that he was leaving for the town to buy some important things, and the things were not very important, so she need not come along with him. Somehow, the day had been quite hectic, keeping Sri busy all the way. Thankfully, Enya too had some work in lab, some register she had to make for the lab tomorrow. She wanted to relax today, and the whole room was for her, she was all in luck!
She remembered quite late that it was Chitra's turn, and she had to deliver her the key. She called Chitra from her room, and she sounded worried about tomorrow's issue. Chitra was cool as usual, she said- "Dun worry kid! I got the key from Vir 5 minutes ago! He came and gave it to me."
It was surprising that Vir didn't go to town. Well, he too might have been busy.
Sri would often help Vir to do his assignments, and she would take care for him, thinking twice so as not to do anything which might hurt him. She was a bit more sensitive than him, so she would often try to understand him. Vir would seem to be a bit worried about something, that's why he would often remain reserved, and for few months, he wasn't able to focus on his studies, so Sri made it a point to be of his help.
Yesterday, Vir had come to her, and asked her if she could draw the final of his plans, elevations and sections? It was very necessary for him to visit the town, as his aunt lived there who was serious and it was urgent for him to go. The assignment was also necessary to be submitted, as it was final assignment, and he feared it would be impossible for him to submit it tomorrow.
Sri smiled and said "She'd be all right, don't worry. I'd do the needful".
Next day morning, Chitra came running to Sri, she was pretty excited. "Hey Sri, Did you know, Vir got expelled!" Sri was struck by a bolt! "What? how?"
"come to the HOD's chamber. He's waiting for you. He asked me to locate you and send you there".
With weak knees, she went in the chamber, laden with grim air around her. The whole batch, class of '09 was present there. Vir was standing in the corner, red faced. Perhaps, he had cried. She could see him sweat in the air conditioned chamber.
The Head of the Department asked her in a calm, but serious tone, "Are you aware that Vir had copied your Design assignment? apart from the previous few assignments of detailings and Building Construction Techniques?"
"huh? No Sir! Was he?", she replied, wide eyed.
"Yes, I had already got the reports that he had been copying details from Chitrangada's sheets. Since he has failed in more than 2 subjects in a semester, he is not eligible to carry his studies in this premier institute. It is imperative for you all now to keep your sheets in locks from now onwards. You all may go."
She was the last to leave, and as she closed the door, she could hear Vir pleading the HOD to give him another chance, but she knew it was impossible, HOD was too strict to budge.
She calmed her sudden excitement, and came back to her room, at the end of the day.
Her room mate Enya was sad, apparently her day too had been bad. Sri held her by shoulders. Enya turned and looked at her. She was crying.
Sri asked, "What happened?"
"You sure, baby?"
"Yeah, I'm. Just one bad day won't hurt, right? It's some experiment gone bad..."
Later that night, Chitra came to Sri's room.
"Everything okay Chitra?"
"Yep. Is Enya asleep?"
"yes, she just slept, can you ask me whatever it is, on a stroll?"
On their way on a big 2.2 km long circuit, Chitra initiated the talk.
"Just wanted to ask you something- you orchestrated this whole scandal, didn't you?"
"What leads you to think of this?"
"My locker has number lock. The key to that lock is known to you and Vir only. Vir is not that a fool to copy it blatantly. You know, he always introduces a twist in something original."
Sri recalled the day about a month ago, when she was crying in the room, and there was no one to support her.
Chitra had told her that she had seen Enya and Vir strolling late night in the institute, when she had been to the department to change the Wall magazine in the noticeboard. They hadn't seen her.
Sri had been thinking of an adage "When faith becomes blind it dies". How was it, that she couldn't get the point of Enya asking her about trust and faith? Wasn't it the same day Vir told her that he was going to the town? Sri first didn't believe this whole thing. Seeing is believing. She started digging into the emails, and saw only one email of Enya to Vir, appreciating how smart and intelligent he was, with a reply of thanks from Vir. She cried the whole day.
She realised then that faith in a relation is like a principal sum in bank. It accumulates slowly, and steadily. It can not be given to someone in a lumpsum. It is more related to actions in the past, not the feelings.
She composed herself, and came back to her room, still undecided whether to let them go, or to avenge. She was convinced that she was cheated, and her right was denied. So Vir deserved an apt return gift .
Why did Enya hint her about her feelings then? May be it's completely human to hint their own actions in advance, which might satisfy their emotions. Anyways, it was foolish of her.
Next day, when Enya opened her eyes, she saw Sri smiling, "Good morning baby! How was your sleep?"
"Ummmmm... It was quite good, thanks!" Enya replied, stretching her hands.
"Water, in stagnation, rots. So should we move?" concluded Sri. Enya couldn't agree more.