Radhika sat beside the edge of the roof-top food court in her office, gazing at the road five floors below her. This was her favorite place in her office, though the security had warned her not to sit there. Her colleagues also teased her quite often if she had any plans to commit suicide. She loved the place and more importantly, she loved the weather in Bangalore and this was the best place to feel magic of winds. This magic was something unknown to most people in Bangalore who spent most of their day in air conditioned offices and if at all they were out, all they saw was traffic and pollution. She considered herself very lucky to have discovered that place.
Sipping on a cup of hot latte, she saw people roaming around, enjoying the rain. She cursed her luck for being in office and thought she’ll leave after fixing the only defect remaining. More over the next day was her birthday. She wanted to groom herself for the day. Life had been revolving around defects since she’d chosen the profession. Being a software engineer was not as easy as it seemed, especially when you work for a Chinese organization. She thought, her birthday might be a tiny slit of relief for her.
With a hope to enjoy the rain, she rushed back to her seat. She wanted to complete the work as soon as possible. Suddenly, her hands seemed to be dancing vigorously on the keyboard. Her fingers were ecstatic and were hitting the keyboard hard. She was rushing through the code. Just when she was about to resolve the defect, she got one more and then there was a flurry of defects. She just cursed herself for choosing a Chinese company but then this was what she wanted. The whole day passed in bug fixing, mails and check-ins. It was already ten when she boarded the cab.
Once again, she reached home a few minutes past eleven in the night. It was almost her routine since she had joined the organization. After Nishi got transferred to Noida, she was alone in that 1BHK apartment. Nishi was her best friend and in fact the only good friend she made in Bangalore. Earlier she thought that staying alone was going to be tough and looked for some appropriate roommate but never got one. Now she was quite accustomed to the loneliness and it was also never easy for girls to share a room with someone.
She took out a slice of bread from the fridge and gave it an obnoxious look. The piece was rock hard, more like a cookie. Firstly she thought of heating it but then she didn't have enough patience and energy to switch on the microwave and wait. She directly applied some cheese spread on it and went to bed. She remembered her previous birthday when Nishi was with her. She had called all their friends for a surprise party. As soon as she cut the cake, snow was sprayed wildly on her from all directions. The quantity of snow was so much that even the cake was not spared and was made inedible. It looked as if another layer of cream was accumulated over the cake. But then who wanted to eat the cake? So, it was applied all over her body. They had celebrated for the whole night.
Today, it was totally different. A cold and dry piece of bread was all that she ate. Friends might beat the hell out of you and do all kinds of stupid stuff on your birthday, but it’s much more painful when there are no friends with you. She lied down on her bed and looked at her cell phone which showed “23:43.”
“Another 17 minutes to go,” she told herself. More than Nishi, she missed Gaurav who dumped her nearly 3 years ago after an affair which lasted for all four years of their engineering. She pretended to hate him from the bottom of her heart but only she knew how much she still loved him. He always used to call her at 11:30 and used to keep talking till 12, in order to be the first one to wish her. In fact, that was the only time when he himself called her otherwise it was always Radhika who called him. Managing finances is always a tough task for college students especially the phone recharge. Radhika’s father was a Class-1 government officer and was earning a lot, black as well as white. She knew that Gaurav’s father was going through rough patch in his business, so she always acted as an understanding girl friend but even then, he left her.
Nishi always told her that he was cheat and used her for money, status and even for her body but she would never listen. Radhika, being the best looking girl in their class was one of the most sought after girls in the whole college where as Gaurav was just an ordinary guy who became popular after he was seen roaming around with Radhika. She had thought about it a several times but still, it was too hard to believe. For her, Gaurav was never a guy who could use someone, and especially her. It was just that he was over-ambitious and was ready to sacrifice anyone and anything for it. Radhika was just one sacrifice he made for his career and went to US for some research telling her that she didn't fit in his life. That was a simple end of the relation for him and Radhika’s thoughts and wishes didn't mean anything to him.
His last words still echoed in her mind and still filled her eyes like a pool of tears. They never talked to each other after that day. She looked at the watch which read 00:05. It was her birthday and surprisingly there was no call. Even Nishi didn't call her this time. She kept sobbing and there was no one who really cared. She was all alone in the apartment, and had wept her pillow wet. It was the worst birthday of her life, she thought.
To Be Continued...