“You try hard. You don’t want to give up. You want to try as long as possible. But, sometimes, you need to give up. You need to know where to draw the line and when to move on,” said Shankar to his students. Though he is the physics lecturer, he is known to give these off-topic discourses to students to motivate them. He was also nominated as the student counselor to help them cope with different kinds of stress.
Though his lecture seemed normal to everyone, Shradda was worried. She did not like the tone of the lecture. Shradda’s sister, Keerthana was also a lecturer. Everyone in the college knew that Shankar had been vying for Keerthana’s attention for a long time. But, Keerthana never wants to get married in life. In fact, she has lost hope on all men in her life. Shradda was happy when she came to know Shankar liked her sister and would want to get married to her.
When she first met Shankar, she warned him, “I’ve known her since childhood. It’s very difficult to convince her and make her fall in love with anyone. She is the most obstinate person I have ever known.”
Shankar was extremely confident of winning her love. He said, “I’ll do everything that I can to win her love. More than doing something, I want her to love me as I am. And, I’m pretty confident that I can win her over. I might need your support for that.”
It took two years and many plans to get Keerthana to talk to Shankar. Though they were colleagues, Keerthana initially avoided him because she knew that he was trying to get her attention.
After one more year of trial and trepidation, Shradda realized that Shankar is finally giving up. She wanted to do something to unite them. She wanted to prove to her sister that Shankar is a great guy and that she should not miss him at any cost.
Finally, Shradda came up with an idea and went to discuss it with Shankar. She said, “Here’s the plan. I will get kidnapped by someone. They will call Keerthana and demand a ransom. One of my friends will let you know that I am kidnapped. You’ll fight for me and save me without having to pay any money. Isn’t this a nice plan?”
Shankar laughed hysterically for some time. He said, “You should stop watching silly movies. It seems so filmy and your sister will find it out. And, let me tell you one thing. I like her. It does not necessarily mean that she should love me. On top of all this, it would make no sense to make her fall in love with me over a lie. It is not me. If she does not want me, it’s alright. That’s not the end of the world, for me. I know I’ll be sad for some time. If I have to be depressed for some time, I’ll be depressed. There is no use worrying over things beyond our control.”
Both Shankar and Shradda did not know that Keerthana was overhearing their conversation.
Shradda said, “Please let me execute my plan. Ever since my parents died, she has been taking care of me. I’m so worried about her. I don’t want her to lead her like this. I want her to enjoy everything in life. The fact that Rohit broke up with her and my parents died almost at the same time made her really sad and depressed in life. I want to see her happy. Please let me do this.”
Shankar said, “Alright. Listen to me. Let us think of some other plan if you insist. But, I do not want you to be kidnapped. Remember that you are a beautiful, innocent girl. I do not want you to get into any trouble while trying to help both of us. You are precious for all of us. Your sister takes care of you as though you are her daughter. Forget about winning her love. If she gets to know that this is staged, she will feel so bad that I chose to ignore your safety for my selfishness. Let us drop the plan. Think of something else. And, promise me that you will do anything foolish to change your sister’s heart.”
Shradda said, “I’m not a kid. I can take care of myself. Harish has already made all the plans. He is too excited about this.”
Keerthana started getting worried about Shradda. For a moment, she wanted to walk into Shankar’s room and take Shradda away from there. She wanted to take Shradda to safety.
Shankar said, “I told you I do not trust this guy, Harish. Why do you go with him? And, why did you have to discuss with him? Whose idea was this?”
Shradda said, “You talk like Keerthana. Stop parenting me, already. I know what is right and what is wrong.”
Shankar understood that she believes Harish blindly. He had to deal this differently. Shankar came up with a plan. He said, “Alright. Do me a favor. Call Harish and tell me that you dropped that plan. Put the phone on loudspeaker mode. Disconnect the call when I ask you to do.”
Shradda said, “Why should I do as you say?”
Keerthana wanted to slap Shradda and shout, “Do as he is saying. He is making sense for the first time.” But, she remained silent. She wanted to see how Shankar would deal with the situation.”
Shankar said, “If you trust him and want to prove that he is all correct, call him. If he is not tricky and if everything is right with him, he will be good with the decision to not go with the kidnapping plan. If he insists that you have to carry on with that plan, something must be fishy. Trust me. I’ll leave it to you to prove that to me.”
Shradda immediately took her phone to prove that Harish was good. She called him and said, “Hey Harish. I had a word with Shankar Sir just now. He asked me to cancel this plan of kidnapping. We need to come up with a new plan.”
Harish was silent. He did not respond. After a few seconds, he asked, “Where are you? Why is your phone in loudspeaker mode?”
Shradda was shocked at his reaction. She said, “I’m at home. Keerthana di is not at home. So, I put it on loudspeaker mode. Answer my question first.”
Harish said, “Listen to me carefully. Keerthana ma’am is one stubborn lady. This is your golden chance to change her. Let us not kill this plan. Let us execute. Please talk to Shankar sir and convince him. I have talked to two people who will act as goons. You have to trust me on this. It’s working out extremely well. Let us give this idea a chance. It’ll change all our lives for the better. Your sister might like men again. And, then, we can share our story with her.”
Shradda was surprised at his reaction. She said, “Sure, then. Give me a moment. I’ll call Shankar sir and call you back.”
Shradda disconnected the call.
Shankar said, “Let us not be judgmental here until we get the proofs. At least, we know that he is not as innocent as you believe. But, I will not comment already that he has other motives behind this operation.”
Keerthana was furious. She walked into the cubicle and said, “What’s wrong with you Shankar? Get that fellow arrested already. He wants to kidnap my sister and demand money, really. I knew from beginning that he is not at all trustworthy.”
Both Shankar and Shradda were surprised to realize that Keerthana was listening to their conversation all this time. Shankar said, “We cannot get him arrested until he does the crime. As of now, he has just come up with the idea. He knows that you girls are rich and alone. He thought that this is best chance to get some money.”
Shradda felt anxious. She said, “I still trust Harish. May be he just thinks that my sister will change after this.”
After much argument, they decide on a plan.
Shradda called up Harish and said, “Hey Harish. I had a word with Shankar sir. He agreed. How do we execute this?”
Harish said, “There’s nothing much. You come to our college parking lot at 7 in the evening. There will hardly be anyone there. We both will go for a long drive and wait at a picnic spot. My friends will do the calling part of it.”
Shradda came at the designated time and waited for Harish. He came after a few minutes and felt glad that his plan was working out. Shradda wanted to tell him everything about the plan and prove to everyone that he really loved her and not her money. But, suddenly she felt a cloth at her nose and started feeling giddy.
Harish called his friends and they arrived in a car. Just as they were planning to put her in the car, Keerthana, Shankar, and three cops came from behind. Harish and his friends were arrested on charges of kidnapping.
Shradda woke up after three hours in a hospital room. She felt sad after hearing everything from her sister. Keerthana said, “Now, you know why I don’t trust men.”
Shankar felt sad that he lost a chance again.
But, Keerthana said, “You should be very lucky to get someone like Shankar who will treat your sister as his daughter. I’m really lucky.”
She went forward and hugged Shankar.
Though she felt bad for what Harish did to her, Shradda was happy for her sister.