Monday, 5 November 2012

The Heartfelt Wish comes true...

(Part 2 of Khushi's story)

The rainy season has a certain mystery about it, some hidden joy which used to bring out the best in Khushi. Just like her name, which means 'happiness' in Hindi. This is why it was the season closest to her heart.

A soft drizzle had marked the beginning of that day and she woke up to a slight chill in the air. Feeling lazy due to the extra hours she'd spent studying the previous night, she felt like sleeping for five more minutes but dozed off for another thirty! She woke up with a start, to her grandmother's shout. And stood bolt upright, realizing that she was late for college!

She got dressed fast, fearing the lecture would start. And reached college in a hurry, only to find that the first lecture was off and her classmates were having an animated discussion about something.

"Prof. Das has got transferred to the other branch", said Shyamli, Khushi's friend and benchmate for one year, with a twinkle in her eye.

"Wow! That sounds exciting! Is that why he was not taking any lectures since the past few days. But now who's going to teach us biochem?", Khushi said to her with a bit of concern in her voice.

"I don't care, as long as we've finally gotten rid of all those boring lectures", said Jyoti.

"Yes indeed!" uttered Ravi, "We get a few days off hopefully?"

"No, that's highly impossible. The head of department has said that someone's going to join today itself"
said Shyamli, matter of factly. And they all started doing what they loved! Chalk fight!

But Khushi, still a bit dazed and lazy, looked at the rain outside, from her desk in the classroom, adjacent to the window. And felt poetic. She thought of all the amazing teachers she'd had all her life, while staring deep into the eyes of the pristine raindrops which fell from the sky. They soothed her. And breathed life into her very being.

And then it happened. Her wish came true. Without she even realizing it.

Their new teacher walked in. And introduced himself.

"Hello guys! I'm Prof Shirish and I'm going to teach biochemistry to you all"

There was some kind of a warmth in his ways. None of the teachers had referred to the class as 'guys' before. They felt a sudden closeness and took an immediate liking to him.

Something, somewhere clicked in Khushi's mind. Her heart said that he is an awesome human being.  Nothing much interesting in his appearance. Especially from the Indian point of view. But his aura was very positive she felt.

"He has come into my life for a reason," her intuition spoke again.

The classes began. The class enjoyed the subject for the first time ever. Shirish sir's knowledge was vast and he had a way with students. He understood them well. The class used to be more like a playful discussion. Full of diagrams, educational videos and question answer rounds. Something which the students had never seen before. Sir seemed to know just what the students liked and captured their imagination. Months passed since the students bunked a biochemistry lecture. They now took more interest in the subject.

"Before we start with today's talk, let's discuss something about proteins. What are proteins made up of?" asked Shirish.

"Amino acids" the class replied.

"Can we say that amino acids are the building blocks of life?" the teacher asked with a twinkle in his eye.

"Yes" could be heard sporadically.

"Oh come on! In science you can't just give a simple yes or no for an answer. You need solid reason for any statement." Shirish added.

Khushi was sitting silently through all this. Right there on the first bench next to the window. Silently observing the way in which sir was teaching. His mannerisms, his body language. The way he speaks and interacts. His way of asking questions which force one to think!

"So, can anyone give me the exact answer for the question. Support your answer with a statement. There is no right or wrong answer. I'm not going to punish you!" The class giggled and fell silent.

"Wow! I've never heard this before from any other teacher, there is no right or wrong answer. He is so encouraging." Khushi thought.

"Oh I guess Khushi would like to answer that." Sir said suddenly.

Khushi came back to her senses. "Sir remembers my name!" was another silent thought before she started speaking.
She blurted out "We can not exactly say that proteins are the building blocks of life as a whole, in spite of the fact that they form a wide array of functions and are pivotal in the building up of any organism, even viruses for that matter. But there are many more things like carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acid, and many such biomolecules, which in the optimum proportion and conditions need to interact and strike a fine balance, to make life happen. And even more important than that is energy. Without which every cell, every molecule, every atom is lifeless!"

For a moment all was silent and everyone looked at Khushi as she answered. Shirish looked at her. Her saw a spark which he had never before in his whole career, in those light brown eyes.

He said, "now that's something really very true and amazing which she'd told us, guys. That is something to ponder upon. Very good Khushi!"

"Applaud those whom you appreciate and to correct those who are wrong!" Khushi remembered one of her late grandfather's qualities. Her mom used to tell her stories about Khushi's paternal grandfather. Who was a great teacher himself and was immensely loved by all. He had passed away a year before Khushi was born.

Prof. Shirish spoke about proteins and the class eventually came to an end.

Khushi felt that there was something missing. She needed to read more about the subject. She did not feel satisfied with herself. She decided to discuss about it with Shirish sir.

The practicals were about to begin. So everyone donned their lab coats and entered the lab. Khushi lingered outside. Her eyes searched for Shirish sir's tall frame in the corridor but she couldn't find him.

"Must be busy," she thought to herself, and entered the lab.

They all performed the practicals. It went on till late evening, even later than the college had closed.

Khushi rushed out of the lab as soon as it was over, only to find that Shirish sir had already left.

Lying down in bed that night she thought about Biochemistry. A subject so difficult which was made easy by Shirish sir. Shirish sir, whom everyone adored and who seemed to be just so perfect! "I wish to be like him one day" she thought and then fell asleep.

In her dream she saw Shirish sir teaching biochemistry and herself, answering questions like always, and being applauded by all. Shirish sir supported her, and guided her.

But Khushi had not thought, even in the wildest of her dreams, that this dream of hers is soon going to be shattered...

Find out more about Khushi and Shirish in the posts to come!

To be continued...

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