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Link to: Chapter 1.
Chapter - 7
“Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the most awaited show of its times.... today we are going to talk with India’s top most celebrity.....
“Cock-a-doodle-doo” goes the alarm. Tara shuts it off and wakes up with a thud.
“What a dream!” she says to herself, stretching her arms out and a wearing a smile forces herself off the bed.
Tara walks towards Roohi’s room and finds her fast asleep, hugging her favourite teddy tightly.
Tara shakes Roohi. “Come on Roohi dear ,it’s a beautiful morning! Time to go to school”. Roohi gets up most unwillingly. She is herded into the bathroom by Tara.
In the next thirty minutes Tara gets Roohi dressed up for school. ”Beep beep” the school van honks outside the gate and Roohi rushes out with the packed lunch in her hand.
Roohi has couple of cool friends in the van who are waiting for her. Once she is in, they start playing clap games
Aao mina (clap, clap, clap)
Super sina... (clap, clap, clap)
Big boy (clap, clap, clap)
Lazy girl (clap, clap clap)
Aao Mina, Super sina, Big boy, Lazy girl (without the claps - in continuum)
STATUE! (wait for a few seconds)
O - V - E - R
Over, Over, Over!
Its Maths period and the blackboard is covered with combinations of all possible numbers and signs.
Roohi sits on one of the last benches - not because she is any taller than the rest of the crowd but studies just don’t interest her. She is in her own world doodling in her workbook. Well doodles are always simpler than numbers!
The teacher asks a question and some smart heads have their hands high up, waiting to answer. Roohi on the contrary is lowering her head further to avoid being spotted by her teacher, but Murphy’s Law dictates that you are most visible only when you don’t want to be seen. A small piece of chalk hits her head and rolls onto her desk.
She is forced to get up. Completely unaware of what has been asked she just is unable to answer.
She is deeply embarrassed and hangs her head down in despair. She is at the receiving end of unsavoury remarks from the Maths teacher as she sits down, wishing she could vanish into thin air and not have to face anyone around.
The school bell rings, indicating the time for the teachers to change their classrooms. Before the English teacher arrives, Roohi has already filled her page with more of her doodles and is hardly bothered about any other subject.
It’s not going to be a great period either. The teacher starts distributing the previous week test papers.
“Roohi Dutta come here”. It’s her turn to face the consequences of her performance in the Grammar test.
“I must say, you need a lot of improvement. I have never seen such bad handwriting and poor performance in my Grammar tests. Kindly study hard or else I shall need to speak with your parents”
Roohi takes her paper quietly and without bothering to look at it goes back to her seat depressed and troubled.
Tara enters her office in a euphoric mood induced by her dream. It’s as though she has not yet woken up quite fully. Visualizing herself on the hot seat with top stars, she places her purse on her desk and rushes to the cafeteria to grab a cup of coffee.
“Have you guys heard about it already?” she over hears a bunch of her colleagues chatting amongst themselves.
She grabs her cup and joins them in the hot conversation.
“What’s the whole excitement about?”
“We just got some inside news. Our company is hiring a woman journalist from “News-Abhi Tak” to host this new show.
She might be called here for an interview in a couple of days. We are sure she will be offered a lucrative package which she will find hard to reject.”
This lady is a favorite public figure and our boss thinks she can run the show ensuring high TRPs.
Tara feels as if the coffee has turned to stone in her throat. She sees all her dreams shattered in a split second.
She gets up and starts walks towards her desk.
Read the next part of the story here