Read part 1.
They are six pairs. Gullu keeps looking at bhOndOO with a mocking smile to suggest who the winner is and who is the loser. Whenever bhOndOO tries to increase the speed of his bike, Gullu increases it further and manages to stay ahead — to force bhOndOO to look at Gullu-Shami pair.
The tragedy continues even when they reach the bottom of Nandi Hills. Gullu is always accompanying Shami and bhOndOO does not get a single chance of talking to her in privacy.
Everyone enjoys a few biscuits and Lay’s. Lili keeps the second last biscuit for herself and gives the last one to bhOndOO.
“Hey, I haven’t got a biscuit!”, Shami complains.
bhOndOO goes forward and offers his biscuit to Shami. Shami cuts it in half and they share it — not only the biscuit, but also the smile. Gullu gets suspicious.
As junta get ready to go to the top of the hills, Mungi comes close to Shami and whispers, “Did he?” (Did he propose?).
Shami nods in negation.
They start towards the hill-top and within minutes reach the plateau. They spend some time with suspicious Gullu not allowing bhOndOO and Shami to talk, they have photos with bhOndOO being the photographer, they cut jokes at bhOndOO.
After spending a full hour at the hill-top, bhOndOO witnesses BenJi’s face turning in to a sudden excitement and he remembers his advisor at the cycle-shop. BenJi shouts, “Hey guys, why are we wasting time here? We can go to a small river nearby. It is only 40 KM away.”.
Everyone likes the idea — no one asks bhOndOO. They all start towards their bikes, but BenJi forbids them, “The road is not very nice for the bike. But we can get a bus from the village below.”.
They leave the bikes and go to the highway near the village. Within minutes they all are inside a bus, with Gullu seated beside Shami and bhOndOO trying to support himself on the half-seat donated by stout Lili. bhOndOO realizes that it is not his day and he is not going to get past Gullu’s tactics to propose Shami.
After an hour, the bus stops and they all get down at a bus stop. They see an old lady selling bananas. bhOndOO sees a drastic similarity between the old lady and the bananas: both are old, both are lean and both are black. No one dares buy the fruits. After getting down, Mungi asks Shami, “Did he?”.
Shami nods in negation.
After walking for a few minutes, they reach the river. The river has clear water and everyone simply jumps into it. They all praise BenJi for the nice suggestion. All of them get drenched. bhOndOO does not get a chance to talk to Shami.
The evening slowly settles itself. After two hours of playing in the river, photographing, eating, drying, they all start walking back towards the bus stop. Mungi comes close to Shami and “Did he?”.
Shami nods in negation.
I have lost it! I am a loser!, bhOndOO curses himself for not doing his job in the whole day.
As they reach the bus stop, they find a group of people wearing similar clothes and having different instruments in their hands. Here are the first reactions.
Gullu: It is a band.
BenJi: It is army.
bhOndOO: It is Rhythmica.
It turns out to be a music band coming back from a wedding, waiting for the same bus. The darkest and fattest person of them holds a big drum. The face of the drum contained the band’s name: Love Birds Band.
What a mocking name!, bhOndOO sighs.
bhOndOO continues looking at the drum and the next moment is the moment of excitement, triumph and celebration for bhOndOO. He suddenly gets restless and starts looking around. Then he looks at his pocket and finds a pen and a folded paper given by Prof Krishnamurthy. Sir, you are great!, he admits for the first time. At the back of the paper, he writes a big letter ‘S’ and goes to the darkest,fattest person.
“Can you stick this on your drum?”.
“You can take it out as you get down from the bus.”.
“You will help a lover.”.
“I don’t want to.”.
“Okay. I will give you 10 rupees.”.
“I want 50.”.
“Done.” and bhOndOO gives him Rs.50.
“But I don’t have glue.”.
bhOndOO thinks of spitting, but since the back side of the paper contains his research work, he starts looking for options. Another idea strikes him. He goes to the old lady and buys an old banana for Rs.2. He uses banana as a glue and sticks it on the drum — at an appropriate place.
No one understands what bhOndOO is doing and no one bothers. Shami is observant but does not understand why bhOndOO pays Rs.50.
The bus arrives, a dozen of the IIScians and the band-people enter the bus for an hour long journey. The darkest, fattest person is seated at the front seat, holding the drum in such a way that its face is visible to all the passengers. Gullu is seated next to Shami. bhOndOO does not find a place to sit. But despite standing, he is happy.
For the whole journey, Shami keeps looking at the drum and smile does not detach her face. Gullu feels that she is shying because she is seated beside him.
As they get down the bus to go for their bikes, Mungi comes close to Shami and asks, “Did he?”.
Shami looks down smiling.
As they reach their bikes they hear a loud sound behind. The IIScians turn to witness the band playing the song, “Mujhse shaadi karogi…“.
For the still confused readers, BandS == B and S.