Neel rushed through his morning exercises, he hates them but mom has strictly set a routine for him and he follows them with the greatest agony. As a teenager he used to talk about being able to modify human genes such that the need for exercising is eliminated forever, mom told me. Possibly he still holds onto the thought but had not had the opportunity to work on it.
It was not that he felt any discomfort or pain, as years of workout has made him strong, keeps him extremely fit and in good shape. At 30 Neel even looks much younger than his counterparts. But he just can’t stand the notion of having to focus on the physique and not being able to engage his mind for those 45 minutes of physical activity. Mom had always made it a point that he should be in the present and focus on the ‘gift’ as master Oogway describes the ‘present’ as. So to his utter dismay, he has to focus on every part of his body as he worked them out.
After breakfast, Neel went to his study and started working. He can go to his lab day after tomorrow so he wanted to prepare beforehand. As expected, ‘the Neel’ as I know was back in form and I was the human equivalent of contended.
I arranged for lunch and called him, Neel asked me to sit. I sat at the table keen to listen to him. He talked at length about his idea. Neel said this C. Auris fungus has a set of genes that can form a biofilm such that the cells stick together and also with the surface creating a slimy film contributing to the capacity of the fungus to be multidrug-resistant. He was going to work on these particular gene set. He is an expert in genetics.
These data-oriented conversations were much easier for me to process and I was getting what you call in human terms comfortable when he suddenly switched to the girl in pink dress. He didn’t even know her name but he said Dr. Matheus was a very famous virologist so the girl must be a virologist too as she was assisting him. ‘A relevant deduction but why were we focusing on her?’ I thought. I asked, “Neel why do you think it is important for her to notice you?”
Neel looked surprised and didn’t talk for a while, then exclaimed, “I don’t know. You are the human emotions researcher, you tell me!” Just then ‘White Fang’ rushed in and jumped on Neel. ‘White Fang’ is our pet husky but he thinks he is our alpha. As for me, he doesn’t even consider listening to and Neel he regards to be his younger sibling, only when mom is around I see that he knows the meaning of obedience.
Neel played with White fang for a while then went back to his study to work again. I chased ‘White Fang’ and ‘Buck’ the Australian shepherd around our huge compound but finally they jumped on me and pulled me down to the ground, I was defeated according to them as always, and they happily licked me all over.
It had been a satisfactory day that culminated in Neel and I having a long discussion over dinner and beating my probabilistic anxiety that said there is a 70% probability that Pink, Blue, Magenta, and all the rainbow colours might come up, we talked only about virus and fungi and bacteria.
I must switch off for now, tomorrow Neel will go to the university and I need to start a bit early. So am setting my internal alarm at 5 am.
‘It is a beautiful morning’ said Neel to me over breakfast and added that Dr. Matheus is joining him at the lab with a twinkle in his eyes. I looked at him blankly, well I can’t really make facial expressions well yet but that is what I would have done if I could. He was again babbling like Impedimenta, nonstop. Finally, he slapped my hand and exclaimed, “She might be there too!”
Neel was in a hurry and I didn’t have the ‘heart’ to ask him who might be there too! Though; my internal logic suggested that he is talking about ‘Pink’. I was the human equivalent of disappointed, I was unable to process Neel’s obsession with girls in different colour dresses, blue, pink, ‘What next? Should I talk to mom?’ I thought.
I have been very busy all day mostly with cleaning. Neel came back home joyful. He said it was a pleasure to be back at the university campus. He found his teammates extremely efficient and they might soon be able to work out the plan as has been chalked out. And then he said the most amazing thing. “Crogy she was there! I told you she must be a virologist, remember the girl in the blue dress I mentioned she was speaking about zoonotic viruses? And then we saw her in the pink dress with Dr. Matheus. She even smiled at me and said hi!”
“Wait wait Neel, so this is the same girl you saw in the convocation?” I asked. “Yes Crogy, Yes! I have met so many girls in my life but I have never felt so animated in someone’s presence. She is growing on me,” said a beaming Neel. “What? Growing on you? Like a fungus?” I said in a state of shock. Neel laughed and laughed and laughed.
“Sooooo what is ‘Blue’s name?” I asked showing a slight embarrassment. “What do you expect? I’ll walk up to her and ask her name?” Neel had surprise in his voice. “Yes that is the ‘logical thing’ to do when you feel ‘animated’ as you say or interested about someone, you tend to try to know more about them, and the name is where the story begins.” I said in a matter of fact way. Neel gave me an intense look and said, “As if!”
Over dinner, he confessed that he doesn’t yet have the courage to ask her name or start a conversation for that matter. I reminded him how grandpa Mohit was feeling nervous and reticent when he first met the love of his life. I also told him that I am writing grandpa’s story. He said he would love to read it and added dreamily that maybe he’ll make a story of his own, preferably romantic, preferably happy!
Until next Saturday…
 Master Oogway – https://kungfupanda.fandom.com/wiki/Oogway