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Keily, the Bookworm Part-24

I discovered my passion for writing after I quit my day job. So I began to write fiction stories, self-help books, and articles, blogs, etc.

Pic: Keily

Pic: Keily

It was half-way through the second last semester for Keily. She had built a “Similarity-Based Retrieval System” for finger-print and facial-expression images. Now she thought of including rare animal images.

She had to try several distance measures she knew so that one or more of these images could be retrieved, along with their description and information, from the database in response to the query of a similar rare animal image.

She spent the rest of the semester experimenting and optimizing her codes until it was finally working well. She got it approved by Dr. Mili. Keily was done for the semester.

“Good”, thought Keily. “Now I can concentrate on my thesis dissertation in the last semester. Of course, there was a lot of extra work to do. Binding the thesis book, making several copies including for herself, and defending her thesis in front of the whole committee.

“Phew! It will all go away with the surge of the wind”, Keily consoled herself.

The graduation day for Lucy and Grace arrived. They were conferred upon their prestigious Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science. Keily loved the ceremony and took lots of photographs for them. She also video-recorded for them the first half of the ceremony. Then it was time to eat.

It was at this time she confronted Shakhil, the good guy who had been helping her all along. He already knew Grace and Lucy but didn’t know they were Keily’s friends as well.

Of course, Shakhil was going to graduate the next semester like Keily. But he was curious to see what graduation ceremonies looked like in UT-Austin and therefore, his presence. He also had senior friends who were graduating this semester.

So it was like a big party for everyone with lots of introductions made. Keily was especially happy to spend time with Shakhil. They all sat together and ate together. Shakhil sat beside Keily, and she couldn’t have felt more delight.

Slowly, the ceremony ended. Everybody dispersed in their directions. Keily was on her way too when Shakhil called her by name. She turned back and waited for him to reach her.

Shakhil said, “You know, Keily, like you I am graduating the next semester. I need a favor from you. I am kind of weak in English grammar and sentence structures. Will you help me by proofreading my thesis dissertation? It will assist me a lot, and in fact, it will remove a lot of burden from my shoulders.”

Keily was moved and answered, “Of course, Shakhil. I will be really happy to proofread your thesis. It would be a pleasure. Thanks for asking.”

“Good”, said Shakhil. “I am pleased to hear a ‘yes’ from you. Now I can relax, go home and take a nap.”

“Goodbye”, said Keily. ”Enjoy your day.”

Grace and Lucy were leaving UT-Austin two days after their graduation. They were loading their rented van with furniture, other belongings and suitcases. The van would go to their new address where they would share an apartment. The living costs in California were high, and so they decided to share the rent of an apartment. After a while when things would become stable, they would go along their separate ways. Grace got a job in Google branch at Mountain View, California while Lucy got hers in the HP branch at Palo Alto, California.

“I will join you both in California”, said Keily jokingly. “At least I might give it a try.” She was cheerful and waved them goodbye.

Other than shopping, banking and doing laundry, Keily rarely went outside in the last semester. She was busy writing her thesis. She had already collected Ph.D. thesis samples from Dr. Mili’s lab. So she had ideas on how to proceed.

If she had a doubt or question, she emailed Dr. Mili, and she replied with helpful information.

Time was running. She dedicated the afternoons to proofreading Shakhil’s thesis part by part and exchanged emails with him with comments, suggestions and corrections on his work.

Keily and Shakhil were getting friendlier as days went by, and they kept exchanging emails about work. But Shakhil could hold out no longer. He invited her to his place for lunch.

Keily accepted the invitation, put on her best dress and makeup and went by a shuttle ride to his place.

He had been cooking. There was no other guest. He was only cooking for her and himself. Keily was intrigued.

“20 more minutes”, said Shakhil as he came from the kitchen.

They talked on a variety of topics such as the weather, Ph.D. studies, dissertation, flaws of UT-Austin on the overall and a lot more when 20 minutes passed away.

Shakhil came in with a feast of pasta to his room. Keily already smelled the aroma, and it brought water to her mouth.

They both sat down at an empty table where the bowl of pasta was placed. Both took generous shares in their plates and ate together to their hearts’ content.

After finishing eating, Shakhil asked, “How come you are so good in English? Who taught you so well?”

Keily replied humbly, “I have always studied in English medium all my life. But the real credit goes to my Dad who sat down with me during childhood, explaining grammar and correct sentence structures. Dad is no more. But his lessons, as long as he lived, which he imparted to me stay ingrained within me.”

“I see”, said Shakhil. ”He must have been an educated man.”

“Yes, he certainly was”, said Keily, with an air of pride.

To Be Continued …

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Keily, the Bookworm Part-23

After lengthy and toilsome research over the web, Keily hits upon a good Ph.D. thesis topic, supervised by Dr. Mili. She perseveres hard at her thesis, getting stuck at times and also overcoming hurdles. A Deshi classmate helps her out. Both Grace and Lucy will graduate in Keily’s second last semester. Keily knows she will feel sad without their company. To read more, click the above title.

© 2020 Rosina S Khan

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