Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Flip Side #1 : Mi Nathuram Godse Boltoy

It’s natural to be influenced when we hear or read something — especially if it’s well presented, but it’s important to remember that you may not have the whole story. There are always  two sides to every story, and it benefits us to make sure we know and understand both sides before making a judgment or rendering an opinion. The Flip Side is an attempt to present you the less familiar aspect of some stories.

The Flip Side #1 : Mi Nathuram Godse Boltoy

Pradeep Dalvi's controversial play which ruffled feathers in 1989, when the playwright was denied permission by the Maharashtra government to stage the drama. After its brief resurrection nine years later, the state government banned the play. Read the play and judge for yourself if the ban was justified.

(The stage is dark save for one spotlight, which is focused on Nathuram, who is standing with his back to the audience. Suddenly he turns and starts looking at the faces in the audience, as if he is searching for someone. Ultimately, he jerks his neck indicating denial or negation and looks up. Now he is directly looking at the audience.)
Nathuram: No. All the faces are unknown. Actually 'unknown' is the wrong word to use in this ... All your faces are very fresh to me...fresh and new. They are, of course, new to me, but mind you, they are not unfamiliar.
The youngsters among you, were not even born at that time. You must have read about me as a Hindu fanatic in the history written by the government. The middle-aged amongst you must be very confused clinging to their parents, who in turn were running around to save themselves from the massacre of Brahmins as the outcome of the assassination -- asking: 'Who is the Nathuram? Why are our houses being burnt because of him?"
But the elders among you... You must remember me! You must have heard about me on the radio. Some of you might have read Agrani, the newspaper run by myself and Nana Apte. Some of you might have attended my meetings and heard my speeches. Some of you may be knowing me directly or might have met me, but must be refusing the acquaintance after January 30, 1948.
Do you know how old I am? eighty-eight, nearly 90! Do you think I am lying, because I look young? Do you know, the mystery behind my youth is my death. My was untimely, but it was heartily accepted!
I was born at the beginning of this century on May 19, 1910. My father Vinayakrao was in the postal service, my mother's name was Laxmi.
Vinayakrao was drawing a salary of Rs 15 per month. He used to spend Rs 10 on his family and send Rs 5 to his parents. Vinayakrao and his wife had three sons, none of them survived. They prayed to God, had their fourth son, Nathuram. Nathuram survived because they were destined to suffer for their young son's death and Gandhi was destined to be assassinated.
The rest of my life was very smooth.
I never stole in my childhood, so there was no question of apologising to my father. I never took a vow of celibacy as I was already practising celibacy. I was moving around the refugee camps and helping the destitute with food and clothes. But I did not wander half-naked because the refugees were naked. I never spun yarn, never cleaned my toilet, never observed silence till I was hanged. There was only one common factor in Gandhi's life and mine. We were both the cause of each other's death. He wanted to live for his principles and I was prepared to die for my principles.
But the interesting part of the biography of Nathuram Godse starts on January 30, 1948. After the assassination of Gandhi.
In a sense, I lived only for 655 days -- from January 30, 1948 to November 15, 1949. But January 30 was an outcome of January 13.
The central government had taken a decision -- Pakistan will not be given Rs 55 crores. On January 13 Gandhi started a fast unto death that Pakistan must be given the money. On January 13, the central government changed its earlier decision and announced that Pakistan would be given the amount. On January 13, I decided to assassinate Gandhi.

January 13, 1948
(The editorial room of Agrani. There is the normal chaos that exists in the editorial room of any newspaper. Nana Apte enters.)

Nana: Pandit, where are you? Visu...
Visu: (Enters) Sir.
Nana: Have you composed and assembled the first page? Break the compose. This is a stop press news.
Visu: You want me to recompose the first page? There will not be any issue tomorrow.
Nana: Listen, we just have to reassemble the first page. This is a very important news. It was on the radio.
Visu: But Panditsaab is rewriting the editorial. I have to recompose and print that matter. How can we...
Nana: Where is Pandit?
Visu: He is sitting in the composing section. He is completing the pages and giving them for composing.
Nana: Call him.
Nathuram: Call? Whom?
Nana: I wanted to call you. We have to prepare the front page again.
Nathuram: No need. My new editorial is on the same subject. Visu just get us coffee. (Visu goes)
Nana: Do you know the news I am talking about?
Nathuram: Yes, of course. The Cabinet has changed its decision. It is giving Rs 55 crore to Pakistan. Gandhi has broken his fast.
Nana: You changed your editorial?
Nathuram: Yes. I thought that my previous editorial was nothing but a pack of lies.
Nana: Pack of lies? And written by you? Impossible!
Nathuram: Yes. Tomorrow is January 14, Makar Sankranti. I had written in the editorial, 'Don't celebrate Sankranti tomorrow, don't take sweets, don't behave in a sweet manner. Distribute rifles, bullets, weapons. Don't talk sweet, talk of war. Kill the enemies.''
Nana: It is true, what you had written.
Nathuram: You have not asked me about the title of my new editorial.
Nana: What is that?
Nathuram: Mere talk without actions is futile.
Nana: Meaning...?
Nathuram: It is time for protests in constitutional ways, processions, pickets to come to an end when the establishment resorts to mindless injustices. You can't just warn the government through editorials at such hours. Tell me Nana. What do you mean by people will not tolerate, people will revolt...and so on? Who are these people? Do you mean our readers or those who attend our meetings and listen to our speeches? No, Nana, people also mean you and me, us. If we forget what we write and what we talk then our editorials and brave speeches in the meetings and futile. A man addressing from the dais is also a part of the crowd sitting before him. When we say that the people should revolt, it means that we should revolt!
Nana: You have written all this?
Nathuram: Yes, I have written celebrate Dassera tomorrow, the festival on which war is proclaimed.
Nana: Pandit, we will be arrested.
Nathuram: I don't think, our Agrani is the mouthpiece of Hindu religion. When the government does not give importance to Hinduism, the question of being a mouthpiece does not arise. Our restraint is misinterpreted. Our massacre is neglected. They presume that we will bear everything with folded hands. Our anger has lost its fuel to burn, we know only the art of pardoning. They will torture us and massacre us and we will bear it coolly... it has become a law of nature. I don't think they will take cognisance of this mouthpiece of Hinduism. Yes, the government will think seriously while arguing the case in the court.
Nana: Which case?
Nathuram: IPC 302, the assassination of Gandhi.
Nana: Pandit, what are you talking?
Nathuram: Of course Nana, while writing the editorial, I was constantly telling myself -- these are not mere thoughts, they are a prelude to an action!
Nana: I have utmost confidence that Nathuram can never make a mistake, he is always right. But I want to ask you something because a blind follower cannot be a genuine friend...
Nathuram: Gandhi must be stopped at any cost.
Nana: I do agree with you.
Nathuram: And there is only one remedy to stop him. His assassination.
Nana: But don't you think it's a hasty decision?
Nathuram: You are wrong Nana. Assassination is never as easy as picking up a rifle and pulling the trigger, assassination is never an accident. Yes, murder could be an accident but not assassination. In this case of Gandhi, it could never be...
Nana: Are you convinced that it is inevitable?
Nathuram: Of course, it is not only inevitable, but is a delayed action.
Nana: Don't you feel that we would be tampering with an important era of history?
Nathuram: I differ with the word era. It could be a page, a leaf of history. Certainly not an era. Nana, if we don't turn this page today, the rest of the pages of the history of our nation will remain unwritten, blank...
Nana: Listen, Pandit...
Nathuram: Time is eternal, indestructible. You can turn its pages but never, never tear them out. Gandhi has acquired some position in history which nobody can deny, not even Nathuram. The page will be there forever in fact. Sometime in the future, in some storm, the pages will flutter and there will be that same Gandhi's page before the world. I don't refute Gandhi's theory of non-violence. He may be a saint but he is not a politician. His theory of non-violence denies self-defence and self-interest. The non-violence that defines the fight for survival as violence is a theory not of non-violence but of self-destruction.
Nana: I do agree with you Pandit, but don't you think that your decision is risky, dangerous?
Nathuram: But somebody has to do it! You can't afford to wait for somebody else to do it. It will be improper.
Nana: If we picket severely?
Nathuram: We have been doing it. Did it help? The division of the nation was an unnecessary decision. What was the percentage of the Muslim population as compared to the population of the nation? There was no need for a separate nation. Had it been a just demand, Maulana Azad would not have stayed back in India. But because Jinnah insisted and because Gandhi took his side, India was divided, in spite of opposition from the nation, the Cabinet. An individual is never greater than a nation, Nana. But Gandhi has stared considering himself greater than the nation.
Nana: Jinnah wanted to be the prime minister...
Nathuram: But we never opposed a Muslim prime minister. In a democracy you cannot put forward your demands at knife-point. Jinnah did it and Gandhi stabbed the nation with the same knife. He dissected the land and gave a piece to Pakistan. We did picket that time but in vain. The Father of our Nation went to perform his paternal duties for Pakistan.
Nana: The Cabinet consented to that...
Nathuram: The Cabinet also consented to the demand of Rs 55 crores today...
Nana: They are also equally responsible.
Nathuram: Of course, they are responsible! Gandhi blackmailed them with his fast unto death. His body, his threats to die are causing the destruction -- geographical as well as economical -- of the nation. Today, Muslims have taken a part of the nation, tomorrow Sikhs may ask for Punjab. The religions are again dividend into castes, they will demand sub-divisions of the divisions. What remains of the concept of one nation, national integration? Why did we fight the British in unison for independence? Why not separately? Bhagat Singh did not ask only for an independent Punjab or Subhash Chandra Bose for an independent Bengal?
Nana: Pandit, if you will write this, people will get agitated, the government will get agitated, the government will have to bow down.
Nathuram: I had written this before. At the time of Partition, when Suharawady surrendered only due to political pressure, but only Suharawady, not his followers...they went on with the massacre. Gandhi started his fast, the Hindus put their weapons down. I still remember that day. A poor Hindu told Gandhi, 'I am putting down my weapons because I don't want your death on my conscience but I am staying alone with my family in the Muslim area. That night, before leaving Hyderabad I visited his home. The whole household was screaming, weeping, his only eight-year-old son had been killed by the Muslims. He had no weapon to defend himself. He threw his son's body on my lap and said, "Take his blood to your Mahatma. Tell him, if he goes on fast again, he can finish it by drinking not orange-juice but my son's blood." I could not say anything. Gandhi was the Father of my Nation. For a moment, I was tempted to pull out the Muslims from their homes and chop them down. But I controlled myself. Violence for self-defence is justified, otherwise it is an ill-cultured act. I returned to where Gandhi was staying but he had already left by car. Of course, there would have been no point in meeting him... he would only have prayed for both the killer and the victim.
Nana: Pandit, I sincerely feel that we should seek the advice of Tatyarao.
Nathuram: No. Because I am going to assassinate Gandhi even if Tatyarao tells me not to. Then why involve him unnecessarily? I, neither want Tatyarao's involvement nor participation. He has suffered a lot for the nation. Now it is our turn. Tatyarao had once sad, if Gandhi is a political saint, then he should follow in the footsteps of Ramdas Swami. Ramdas Swami was always there to advise Shivaji whenever the need arose, but he never interfered.
Nana: Pandit, if you are firm, then I promise you...
Nathuram: I want two promises ...
Nana: I promise!
Nathuram: You didn't ask me what promises?
Nana: A shadow has not to ask the body as to where it is going and why it is going? A shadow has just to be with the body, that's all. When I walk, you become my shadow Pandit, now you are walking... I will be your shadow.
Nathuram: This is the first promise I want from you... This time I walk alone...mind you, alone...
Nana: You have trapped me.
Nathuram: But you promised me..! I am going to assassinate him in the open, before the public, because I am going to do it as my duty. If I do it surreptitiously, it becomes a crime in my own eyes. I will not try to escape, I will surrender and naturally I will be hanged.
Nana: Pandit!
Nathuram: One assassination, one hanging. I don't want two executions for one assassination and I don't want your involvement, participation or company.
Nana: Pandit, you want to end our friendship of so many years?
Nathuram: Of course not. At the time of hanging. I will remember my motherland, my parents and my friend -- you, Nana...
Nana: But if I won't be with you, won't you feel lonely at the gallows?
Nathuram: You promised me.
Nana: What is the second promise?
Nathuram: Today I wrote two editorials. I have not put any date on the second editorial as only God knows the date. I want you to print the second editorial in Agrani, the day after Gandhi's assassination.
Nana: I promise you my friend. The first promise accidentally but the second promise out of necessity. (Nathuram is alone on the stage)
Nathuram: I was convinced that though Gandhi is called the Father of the Nation, he delivers his paternal duties not towards India but towards Pakistan. I came to the decision that as a son of the soil, it was my first, foremost and divine duty to assassinate Gandhi.
On January 30, I reached Birla Bhavan at 12 pm. Gandhi was sitting outside on a cot enjoying the sunshine. Vallabhbhai Patel's granddaughter was sitting at his feet. I had the revolver with me. I could have assassinated him easily then, but I was convinced that his assassination was to be a punishment and a sentence against him, and I would execute him. I wanted witnesses for the execution but there were none. I did not want to escape after the execution as there was not an iota of guilt in my mind. I wanted to surrender, but surrender to whom? There was a good crowd to collect for the evening prayers. I decided on the evening of January 30 as the date for Gandhi's execution.

January 30, 5.00 PM
(Birla Bhavan. DCP Arjundas and a servant appear on the stage.)

Servant: No. Bapuji cannot spare any time now. He will be late for his evening prayers.
Arjun: I know. But I have come because the work is important. In fact it is to do with Bapuji's prayers.
Gandhi: (Enters) Who is it, Mahadevbhai?
Servant: Somebody to see you. I told him, you are getting late.
Gandhi: Who are you?
Arjun: (Salutes) I am DCP Arjundas, Bapuji...
Gandhi: We have met before... Wait a minute, don't tell me ... let me recollect. Yes, when Jawahar had come to Hyderabad, you were with him.
Arjun: (Smiles) Your memory is fantastic. You were very weak at that time.
Gandhi: It is the body that becomes weak. But fasting sharpens of the mind. Why have you come today? For prayers?
Arjun: Yes. I want to request you to let me accompany you for the prayers...
Gandhi: Anybody can attend my evening prayers. How can I refuse you?
Arjun: Okay then. I will be with some of my ...
Gandhi: But not in these uniforms. Not with the revolver in your waistband.
Arjun: But Bapu ...
Gandhi: Why do you need the revolver?
Arjun: For your protection.
Gandhi: If somebody attacks me, you will shoot him with this revolver. Kill at the time of prayers?
Arjun: But Bapuji, if somebody attacks you ...
Gandhi: He is welcome. I don't mind my own killing, but I don't want anybody to die just for saving my skin.
Arjun: Panditji sent me. I am his bodyguard.
Gandhi: Then what are you doing here? Go, guard his body.
Arjun: Panditji said he had spoken to you, Sardar Patel also talked to you, but you are adamant in this matter. Today the intelligence bureau sent this file to Panditji. He has asked me to show it to you. Bapuji, you need protection.
Gandhi: I don't need protection.
Arjun: Bapuji... How can I convince you? Can you see the crowd gathered outside? One of them might be a killer, your killer. All the people attending the prayers are not devotees.
Gandhi: No. Only devotees attend the prayers.
Arjun: But those who threw a bomb here on January 20 were not devotees. The bureau has cracked down on them. Madanlal and Shankar Kistaiyya. They are talking. They are workers of the Hindu Mahasabha. Bapu, that bomb blast was not an accident. It was sabotage, it was an attempt on your life.
Gandhi: The Hindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League ... I don't differentiate between them.
Arjun: They don't understand it.
Gandhi: You are wrong Arjun: When I started the fast, both Hindus and Muslims put their weapons down.
Arjun: Bapu, a bullet does not differentiate between a commoner and a saint.
Gandhi: But the trigger-puller knows the difference.
Arjun: The refugees are furious. They hold you responsible for their massacre. The Hindu Mahasabha claims you are responsible for Partition. These handful of people are conspiring to assassinate you. It is dangerous to move around among the people at the time of prayers. Can you stop the prayers for a few days?
Gandhi: You want me to stop my prayers? It has never happened before. I did not let it happen. Be it imprisonment, detention, fasting or sickness ... I never let anything stand between me and the prayers. Kasturba was serious when prayer-time approached. I started getting up from her bedside. She held my hand, pressed it. I waited ... Ba slowly slipped into death. I got up and went for my prayers first, and then I mourned for my Ba. And today you want me to discontinue the prayers... for my life?
Arjun: But your life we need Bapuji.. all of us. That day you waited for some time for Kasturba, now for the sake of all of us wait for some days. If you want, let us pray here... You, Mahadevbhai myself, Panditji, we all will join the prayers... here.
Gandhi: And what about the people gathered outside? There could be one killer outside among them. But what about the others? They are not killers. I don't want to disappoint them for one Gandhi!
Arjun: But Bapuji...
Gandhi: Jawahar is childish, and Arjundas... you also. You are banking on the revolver that is in your waistband. My killer also has confidence in his revolver. I don't want to participate in your gun war. My weaponless confidence is much mightier than your gun-worn confidence.
Arjun: Maybe the weapons are small, but they do great harm.
Gandhi: That is the misplaced confidence of you gun-toting people. I was in South Africa, where Jawahar was not with me to protect me, the police hit me, imprisoned me. I didn't have a revolver, I had my confidence. Ultimately. I won the war.
Arjun: Bapuji, I am not talking about canes, I am talking about bullets.
Gandhi: I am talking about non-violence, a powerful weapon like non-violence.
Arjun: It is a question of a few days...
Gandhi: It is a question of principle. I am not immortal. I have to die one day. If my blood is going to cool down their anger, if it is going to stop riots and arson, if it is going to satisfy them that they have penalised a criminal named Mohandas Gandhi. I am prepared to give them my blood.
Arjun: Bapu...
Gandhi: I don't differentiate between Ram and Rahim or Krishna or Karim. I am not overwhelmed about the fact that I am a Hindu and I don't repent because I was not born a Muslim. I am I. And I am honest to my principles and to the truth. Arjundas you want me to discontinue the prayers for a few days... but I say, even today, if the killer is waiting outside for me. I am prepared to welcome him with folded hands. He can kill Gandhi, not Gandhism.
Servant: Bapuji...
Gandhi: Aah! Today I am late for the prayers. Arjundas, feel like joining me?
Arjun: But of course!
Gandhi: Come on. Excuse me, please. Keep your revolver here... beside my charkha.

Black out.
(Birla Bhavan. The prayer place is visible: It is a square cement block with greenery in the middle. A small lake is on the left and an arch-shaped, small, wooden bridge on it. Gandhi's sitting place is situated exactly opposite the lake.)

Nathuram: It was 4.45 pm when I reached the gate of Birla Bhavan. The security staff at the gate was scrutinising the crowd entering and I was a little worried about them. I mingled with a small gorup of people and sneaked inside.
It was 5.10 pm when I saw Gandhi and his close associates coming to the prayer place from his room inside. I approached the passage from where he was likely to climb the steps of the lawn, in such a way that I was covered by a few people.
Gandhi climbed the steps and came forward. He had kept his hands on the shoulders of the two girls.
The revolver was in my pocket, I released the safety catch. Though Gandhi was surrounded by people I was looking for an opening.
I wanted just three seconds more. I moved two steps forward and faced Gandhi. Now I wanted to take out the revolver and salute him for whatever sacrifice and service he had made for the nation. One of the two girls was dangerously close to Gandhi and I was afraid that she might be injured in the course of firing. As a precautionary measure I went one more step ahead, bowed before him and gently pushed the girl away from the firing line.
The next moment I fired at Gandhi. Gandhi was very weak, there was a feeble sound like 'aah' from him and he fell down.
Those who were close to me saw the weapon in my hand. They rushed away from the spot. Gandhi had fallen to the ground, I was standing and the crowd had formed a ring around us.
After the firing I raised my hand holding the revolver and shouted, 'Police, police'. For 30 seconds nobody came forward and I scanned the crowd. I saw a police officer. I signalled to him to come forward and arrest me. He came and caught my wrist, then a second man came and touched the revolver... I let it go...

(Black out... Sounds of wireless, Hullo, Victor calling. Victor calling... Gandhi killed in firing. IGP and home minister rushing to Birla Bhavan. Inform the PM).

Monday, April 22, 2013

Naruto - Game of Thrones Sigils [Part I]

Here is the first part of the Naruto - Game of Thrones type sigil series.
Part II is up featuring Nara, Shimura, Lee, Inuzuka & Sarutobi.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

SfePy Issue #167

Today is the most exciting day of my 'FOSSDev - Free and Open Source Software Development' history as Robert closed Issue #167 of the SfePy project. Those who are hearing about this project for the first time well SfePy is a software for solving systems of coupled partial differential equations (PDEs) by the finite element method in 2D and 3D. Do try it someday! :)
I came across this project a few months back and was very excited to contribute in it. For past three years I have been working on projects which had a very restricted circle and it was high time to find a greater purpose. Finally I feel as if I have taken a small step in a new direction filled with a new confidence because someone once said - 
"That's one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind." 

- A Pythonista

Love, Strategy and Antaragni

An exotic white designer kurta; jeans; leather boots and tonnes of deodorant, still there was something I was giving amiss.  I glanced at my shadow in the mirror and it clicked me immediately.
"Bose darwaza khol! Urgent hai." - I started banging my wingey's door. 

Hurriedly he opened the door with dopey eyes. "Kya hua Mato?"
"Yaar tere paas hair gel hai."
"Bas gel ke liye darwaza inte jor se peet raha tha! Nahi hai mere paas. Mattu ke paas hoga dekh."
He banged his door shut and resumed his lazy afternoon siesta.
I entered Mattu's room. Located Set-Wet. And started applying it on my hair. 
"Itna sajh dhaj ke kahan chala Mato?"
"Yaar aaj MUN ka delegate dance hai."
"What's MUN?"
"Yaar ek topic hota hai, ek country allot hota hai aur bas funde dene hote hai." - I added.
"Hmm.. What's your country?"
"What's the capital of Turkey?"
Sarcastically he started rolling-on-floor-laughing.
"What happened?"
"The delegate of Turkey doesn't even know that Ankara is the capital of his country. Doob maro."
"Abey competition ki kisko padi hai. Baat ko samjho .. Law School ki bandiya .. bandiya patane ki nayi strategy hai."
"Saala Thurkey Turkey!"

I reached LHC Foyer, the location of the delegate dance. Participants had already started pouring in. Hot chicks, cool guys - So this is how the law crowd appears.
A few moments later familiar dilapidated people joined me. "Hi Mato" -  Shubham, Gujjar and Bagadiya all three of them cried synchronously.
Neeraj plugged in the speakers and suddenly transformed from a coordinator into a DJ. We danced like hooligans. Waving our hands randomly. Resorting to Punjabi style when we had no moves in our mind. Who cares after all its Antaragni.

Suddenly my eyes fell on her.
She wore Blue Velvet,  
Bluer than velvet was the night.
Sparkling Brown Eyes,
And a mesmerising smile.

She was standing a few feets away from the dance floor.
"Oye Mato usko dance ke liye invite kar." - Shubham suggested.
"Nahi yaar. Kahin ched-chad ke maamle mein kantaap maar di toh."
"Bhai dekh yeh tera aakhiri Antaragni hai. Agle saal toh tum placement preparation karega. Yehi last chance hai. Dance pe chance maar de."
"Abey tension ho raha hai .. Mere se nahi hoga."
"Toh chullu bhar paani mein doob maro. Tum bond aadmi ho. Tum nahi himmat karoge toh kaun karega. Poore mech department ki dua tumhaare saath hai."
"Thik hai." I took a deep breathe, gathered the little courage I had inside me and moved outside the dance floor.
"Hello," she said softly.
I looked back at Shubham, who was beaming right now.
"You are the delegate of .. ," my voice faded out.
"Woh toh bagal mein hai!"
"I mean I'm the delegate Turkey. We're neighbours."  
She smiled. It looked as if finally I had struck a chord.
"How are the foreign relations between Iraq and Turkey?" -she enquired.
I shrugged my shoulders slightly and then I asserted - "We'll have ample time in the next two days to discuss our countries foreign policy."
"Yeah, you are right." She agreed. 
Winter was coming, but I could feel a strange warmth in her company. Meanwhile, Neeraj changed the track to 'Jhoom Barabar Jhoom'.
"Nice song. Would you like to join me on the dance floor?" 
For a few seconds I stood still as if I was expecting some subterfuge to avoid the dance.
Then I escorted her to the dance floor.
She started moving her hands through the air in graceful patterns. The rhythmic fluid movements of her body in tune with the music. The colourful swirling of her blue velvet along with the beat. My PE101 exercise inspired dance steps were nothing compared to her intricate foot movements.

"Ankit can you come with me for a second." - Shilpa interrupted. It was the perfect excuse to take a break and rethink my dancing strategy. I moved away from the floor.
"Haan Shilpa bolo?"
"You haven't submitted your position paper yet."
"Oops. I forgot."
"Aap bas bandi ke saath dance karte raho and maje lo. MUN mein jeetna hai ki nahi?"
I grinned.
"What's her name?"
"Oops. I forgot to ask her."
"Aap bhi hadd ho."
"I’ll submit it, pakka. Chalo, I got to join her back on the dance floor. Bye."
By the time I returned, the girl in blue velvet had already disappeared. I cursed my fate, silently strolling down the street back to my abode. Two hours of googling and I was ready with my position paper.

It was a beautiful morning. I suited up and headed towards L16 the venue of General Assembly. Shilpa was standing at the entrance.
"Hi Shilpa, did you get my position paper."
"Haan mil gaya."
"Is she inside?"
"Arrey Ankit aapka kismat utna accha nahi hai. She is in ECOSOC."
"Shit! Anyways I'll go and take my seat."
Soon the proceedings of the Council began. The delegates where quite experienced, enthusiastic and stupid at times.
"My country has the cure to the illness but not the technology to produce it." - said the delegate of USA.
I think he had gone nuts as how he could have produced the cure without the presence of required technology. Similar "diplomatic" statements followed where people reframed the same thing again and again and again. I had the perfect excuse to refrain from uttering even a word - it was my first MUN and like other first timers I was there to just listen and acquire these tactics of diplomacy.
"Okay delegates, we will now disperse for lunch. Use that time wisely to continue your discussions."

SAC parking lot was overflowing with energy after Khalsa College's Nukkad. And in that crowd I caught a glimpse of her with an I-Card hanging on her chest written "IRAQ, ECOSOC". 
"Excuse me." 
She turned - "Oh hi!" and gave me a dazzling smile.
"Sorry my teammates were heading back so I had to leave the dance abruptly yesterday."
"Chill hai. So how's your Council?" I asked.
"Well the people in ECOSOC are very experienced and this is my First MUN so things are going above my head."
"Well this is my first MUN too. Had you done any research work on the issue?" I further inquired.
"Actually I had no idea that we need to do so much research. I was simply amazed at the amount of material people carried along with them. How was your day?"
"The delegates of my council are quite cool. Also I did some research on the issue, so things are turning out to be on the positive side."
Well my definition of research was simple - Wikipedia entries on Turkey and its foreign policies.
We began strolling towards the Informals stage. 
"Any plans for tomorrow?"
"I will bunk tomorrow's session and enjoy Antaragni." She laughed. "This is the first time I am attending any cultural festival. It is so lively outside our boring council."
I nodded in agreement, wondering, whether I should make the first move and ask her out. Then suddenly from thin air a cupid appeared. Kaithal, the Informals coordinator, had a form in his hand. He waved at me and then started telling her about the Blind Date Competition where she need to just fill the form, go on a date, compete and win loads of prizes. She was quite enthusiastic and eagerly filled in for the competition. 
Lunch time was over and we had to go back for the next session. She left, promising to meet me again. Me too, but in the other direction, towards the Informals desk.
"Oye Kaithal yaar mereko uske saath date pe bhej de."
"Yeh lo Blind Date boy's form, isko bharo." 
"Yaar sahi mein bharna padega kya? Isme toh questionnaire hai. Uske form mein toh nahi tha."
"Mahato bhai dekho, baat yeh hai ki kareeb 200 ladke form bharte hai aur mushkil se 20 ladkiyan. Toh shortlist karne ke liye kuch basis chahiye na."
"Hmmm.. Kab tak form jama karna hai?"
"4 baje tak."
"But abhi toh mera MUN ka session hai."
"Blind Date ka mauka baar baar nahi aata hai, soch lo."
"Chal thik hai form bhar ke laata hoon."

I started rolling my eyes on the questionnaire. The first question - "If you have X-ray vision, first three things you would like to see?" My first reaction - Front View. 
And then I heard a voice from inside - "Bhak Budbak! Roadies nahi dekhte kya. Form mein koi ashleelta nahi."
Then I scribbled - "Firstly, I'll check whether she has some brains. Secondly, I'll check out her eyes, how deep they are. Lastly, I'll see whether her heart skips a beat when I am close to her."
Sounds romantic. The trend continued for other questions and after spending an hour I had a decent form in my hands.
"Kaithal, yeh le mera form."
"Form acche se bhare ho. Chance hai tumhara."
"Thankx bhai. Bas us bandi ke saath setting karwa de kal date ka."
"Dekhte hai." - He winked.
"Chalo session ke liye kaafi late ho gaya hoon. Chalta hoon. Bye"

You're my pumpkin pumpkin, hello honey bunny
I'm your dumpling dumpling, hello honey bunny.. 
My mobile exploded with honey bunny the next day. "Hello"
"Hi Mato, Kaithal bol raha hoon. 12 baje aa jaana desk pe blind date ke liye."
"Sahi. partner kaun hai."
"Abey beti$@#%, aake khud dekh lena."
"Chal thik hai."

An hour later, at the Informals desk, I was well seated waiting for my date. She arrived once again dressed in blue. It sat on her body as if it had been made for her. The satin folds hugged her figure following her curves and the deep blue was gorgeous against her white skin. It was embroidered with miniature dark flowers and finished, as along all the visible seams, with jet black lace to match her stilettoes, and its light skirt flowed out above her knees showing of her toned legs. Her black hair hung perfectly, its choppy layers framed her face and she finished it in style with a deep blue satin bow the same shade as her eye shadow, and same style as her ribbon necklace which held a small beautiful black glass flower. She looked stunning. 
"Hi" - Kaithal greeted her.
He pointed in my direction and continued - "He is your blind date for this event. Also keep in mind that you both need to perform a 30 second dance piece on-stage."
She was amazed by the coincidence.
"When did you decide to take part in it?" - She asked.
"I was just passing by the desk in the evening, when a thought crossed my mind to try out my luck as I have never been on a date."
"Well, it's my first one too. Same pinch." - She beamed.
"So how do you want to spend it?" - I asked.
"Let's know a bit more about each other over a cup of coffee."
We entered CCD and occupied a corner seat.
"Let's order something first," I insisted.
"Any suggestions?"
"How about Irish Coffee." I suggested.
"I haven't heard of it before."
"Don't worry. You'll like it."
I came back with the token number 42 and placed it.
"Hey, that's the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything!"
"What answer?"
"Haven't you read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?"
"Nope." - Quick came my reply.
"In that novel there is a supercomputer called Deep Thought which after seven and a half million years of calculation, had announced that the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything was in fact 42."
"Oh, I haven't read the book, but I do have some idea about supercomputers. "
"Wow, you are a proper NERD. Are you from this college?"
"Oh we haven't formally introduced ourselves so far. Hi, I am Ankit and I am currently in my third year and yes I am a student of IIT K."
"Hi, I'm Aditi. I'm in second year pursuing a degree in Law from NLU, Raipur."
"How's life in law school?"
"Well we have loads of courses and strict attendance policy. Then we take part in MUNs and Moot Courts. What about life in IIT? You people study a lot na?"
"Nope. We just study a day before the exam as a lot of extra-curricular activities goes around in campus which enables people to pursue their passion. Like I am involved in Art, Programming and Creative Writing."
"You write?"
"What kind of stories?"
"Short Sci-Fi stories and love flicks."
"So NERDY. Typical IITian."
"Arrey what's NERDY in writing?"
"Kuch nahi." - She said with a polite smile.
Our order arrived.

"Hey it looks great. What are these layers in our coffee?" - She wondered.
"The bottom layer is of whiskey, a separate coffee layer in the middle, and a layer of cream on the top."
"What is your favourite TV series?"
"Same pinch. And what about cartoons?"
"I like Tom and Jerry. You?"
"Death Note"
"What is that?" - She inquired.
"It's one of the IMDb top rated anime series."
"Equal to cartoons in Japanese."
"Where are you from originally?" I asked.
"My hometown is Bhopal. Yours?"
"Have you done anything reckless after entering IIT?"
"Yeah. Let me recall. Aha I remember."
"When I was a sophomore, once in a chemistry course tutorial I was fed up of the instructor, so I left the class in between."
"So what's reckless in it?" She interrupted.
"Let me complete. Soon I realised that the instructor was following me shouting 'Hey boy, where are you going'. Then I started running and the instructor chased me until I crossed the academic area gate. When I turned back he was instructing the gatekeeper not to let me enter."
"Ha Ha .." she burst into laughter, "You have a good sense of humour."
"Thank you and you are also looking lovely today," I flirted.
"Thank you for the compliment," - She blushed.
For a brief moment I made an eye contact with her, held it for a bit and then I saw something deep inside, like they say -"Eyes never lie."

We finished our coffee and decided to practise for the dance piece. I browsed through the internet and downloaded Enrique's Bailamos on my mobile. It was her suggestion as it had a tinge of Salsa in it. She loves Salsa. 
After reaching LHC Foyer, our practise venue, I played the tune.
"Okay now hold my hands." - She said.
I bore a mixed expression of diffidence and astonishment.
"What? Are you scared?"
"No. It's just that I am feeling a bit awkward. My juniors standing over there are looking at us" - I hesitated
"Cummon nerd, itna sharmaane se nahi chalega. We have to perform it on stage." 
"Yeah! You are right." - and I joined her after giving an evil look to Rudra and Rahul who were spying us all along, grinning mischievously, as if something was about to happen on Facebook tonight.
She taught me a step and two - a bit of salsa, a bit of ball. Half an hour of practice and we were all set.
"Hey don't leave my hand while I turn. Hold it tightly. Our chances will increase if they can see our chemistry." I nodded in approval.
"Chalo, now I got to go. At what time is the event?"
"Then I'll see you at four. Our college contingent will leave this place at 6 after MUN gets over, hopefully it'll get over by then."
"Oh, it will hardly take an hour." - I smiled.

It was already six. The event had been postponed to seven. I informed her. She was disappointed, and I disheartened.
You're my pumpkin pumpkin, hello honey bunny
I'm your dumpling dumpling, hello honey bunny ... 
I felt like smashing my mobile, but I picked it up.
"Hi. We were about to leave. So I was wondering if we can meet."
"Yeah, sure. Where exactly are you?"
"I don't exactly know the address. But there is a park with a fountain, up the road. Can you come there?"
"See you in a couple of minutes," - and I ran.

She was standing there, waiting for me. I waved my hand and together we started strolling down the road, silently. I was trying to prevent a flow of emotions from running all over me. I wish I could keep this memory alive inside of me. This silence meant a lot. Her melancholic brown eyes conveyed the expression buried deep inside her heart.

Her friends were waiting and she got into the cab. I didn't hesitate to hold her hand and told her that in some parallel universe we would have won the contest. She gave a gentle smile. It was a smile for which anyone could die. Promising to keep in touch, her cab raced across the dusty street. And all I was left with was a blanket of loneliness sweeping in.

A few moments later.
You're my pumpkin pumpkin, hello honey bunny ..
"Are you busy these days. You haven't called me for quite some time."
"Haan yaar thoda busy chal raha hai."
"Your cult fest is going on na? Wish I could come. You might be busy checking out hot DU chicks, shayad isi liye tumhe meri yaad nahi aati."
"Yaad toh unhe kiya jaata hai jinhe hum bhool jaate hai. Tum toh sada humaare dil mein ho."
She started giggling at the other end. Maybe blushing too, who knows? 
"Aaj badi pyaari pyaari baatein kar rahe ho."  
"Bas aise hi. Char din toh khatam ho gaye ab baaki ke din bhi toh gujaarna hai."
"I didn't get you. Khair, what did you do in Antaragni this year?"
"Peacefully wrote tonnes of codes. It’s the best time for it." - I smilingly replied.