Vrushti - University - Chapter 6
Vrushti - University - Chapter 66 mins 301 6 mins 301
The glide to the university was a short one, the clock tower of the university could already be seen from about a kilometer away. The tall skyscrapers surrounding it even though dwarfed it in size could not compete with its old-world charm. Though the clock seemed to have stopped at 6:30 many years back it stood as a proud reminder to the wonderful times it had witnessed and the times that it would possibly see.
Descending Vrushti could see that the open parking lot was a big one, but not many cars were parked, it was probably an indication as to how the number of people attending university had decreased over the years, or it could just possibly be because of the weekend. The escorting cruiser with the annoying blinkers turned around mid-air now that its job was done. Drawing her attention back was the clock tower which was very close now, she could see it was adorned by many statues and scary looking gargoyles at the corners, which looked by a rabid hybrid of lions, dogs, and wolves or even demons, at the top. As usual, ECCo startled her by adding its expert comments "The Rajabai clock tower was completed in November 1878 and took almost nine years to complete..." Vrushti who was captivated by the beautiful tower yet strangely spooked barely paid attention to ECCo.
"It is named after the mother of Mr. Premchand Roychand. The architecture is a fusion of Venetian and Gothic style, the architect Sir George Gilbert Scott designed it...".
"That's enough ECCo", Vrushti had to stop ECCo as she stepped out of the car. She had to tilt up and strain her eyes to see the top of the tower from the ground.
"It is 85 meters high if that's what you're thinking," said Anjali, "surely ECCo has already told you that".
"It is splendid", said Vrushti, "must be really nice to see it every day"
"Haha, I don't even notice it every day, in fact, I am paying attention to it in a long time. We're mostly worried that some crazy student just does not fly into it someday. We have some nut cases here, I hope you don't come across them." complained Anjali.
As Anjali led the way, Vrushti mentally admired that her newly-acquired didi had maintained herself physically quite well, she was already impressed with her dressing style. She decided that she would like to grow up to be like her.
"That means running at least four kilometers every day" jumped in ECCo.
"And the water consumption of..." Vrushti stopped ECCo but chose to hear how to go about it later when she was free. The feeling of being wary of her just evaporated.
The entrance to the hostel was through a lane just left to the clock tower. A several meters walk later, on the left side of the building was the entrance. It was a huge arched stone door, Anjali informed that architecturally this was called "Narthex" and was similar to what many medieval churches looked like. "You don't have to get impressed at my knowledge, even I was once informed by an architect friend recently, hence showing off" smirked Anjali. The pediment above the door had "MU" written in the university logo manner. Anjali pulled open the right-side glass panel white door and gestured a welcoming wave to Vrushti.
As Vrushti stepped in, Anjali informed that this was the place where for over 200 years the Bombay High Court had stood and some of the most historic judgments had been passed, including the judgment to allow separation of Shresth Mumbai, literally meaning better Mumbai. On mentioning this, didi's face fell as if she was saddened by this disparity.
"Now that's in the past, moving on!" jolted out Anjali.
Vrushti made a note to ECCo that she would look up more about Shresth Mumbai soon.
They strode into a huge atrium, at least four stories high with stacked foyers surrounding it. There was a huge screen, almost three stories high, in front flanked by the three sides. Towards the left in a corner on the second foyer, Vrushti could see a group of five to six adolescents, most of them too busy with their headgears to acknowledge the newly arrived presence. One of them, a girl who was watching the big screen turned to look at them and waved excitedly to Anjali who waved back routinely. As they were heading up to the second floor in the capsuled elevator, Vrushti also noted an elderly gent who seemed to be wiping the glass parapet on the right side at the fourth level. Vrushti wondered why was a human employed for cleaning purposes when most of the bots do all this work, her thought was interrupted by her didi.
"That's Karsankaka" as she realized that Vrushti was looking at him.
"He's as ancient as the university itself," she said with a smirk.
As if knowing they were talking about him, Karsankaka raised his head from his methodical work and waved a salute towards Anjali who gestured a half-salute half-wave back to him.
As they exited the elevator, the girl was greeting them with a huge smile.
"Vrushti, this is Baani."
"Baani, this is Vrushti" introduced Anjali.
Baani jumped up and hugged Vrushti tightly. "I've been waiting all morning to meet you, rather waiting since I came to know another girl is joining the university. I am sorry to have startled you with my extreme enthusiasm, but we're going to be the best friends ever."
"Baani is the only girl in our University currently, you can imagine how excited she is to have another girl joining in" claimed Anjali.
Baani was probably a couple of years older than Vrushti. In her heart of hearts, Vrushti too was happy to have met someone her age, well almost, in a long time, ECCo interjected; "as a matter of fact in her lifetime." Before she could express annoyance to ECCo or to Baani how glad she too was on having met a prospective friend in the boys with their headsets now taken off had gathered around them.
She no longer felt unnerved, partly because she'd been attracting this attention since morning and was getting used to it and partly because she was already feeling comfortable seeing half a dozen people in her age bracket. Thus the smile she offered to each one as Anjali introduced them was totally genuine.
"Anjali, can I share my room with V?" chirped Baani.
Anjali smiled wide revealing her beautiful teeth "So, you've already nicked her name. Of course, if Vrushti is okay with it. I mean both, the nickname and living with you."
"Pleeease, Pleeease, pleeease V!"
"Puleeeeeeez, it'll be fun, I promise. Just say yes, V." Baani was begging.
"Yes and yes, I love the nick and I'll be happy to have you around, Baani or is it B" readily agreed Vrushti. She anyways wasn't allowed much of a choice.
Baani made a buzzing sound "Bee it is, buzzzz, beezzzzy bee" While she put her arm around Vrushti's waist in a very friendly gesture and escorted her towards her quarters. Vrushti unable to comprehend this behavior kind of liked it, reciprocated in the same way as they walked away like childhood buddies followed by Anjali, leaving the gawking boys behind.
(Continue to Chapter 7 - F.P.G.)