Sunday, September 16, 2012

Winds of Change

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...


Last evening, I was walking through the Marathahalli market in Bangalore and suddenly a very old lady(seemed to be in her 60s) came to me. She spoke something in Kannada and handed a slip to me which was a prescription given by some doctor. She again spoke something but I couldn't understand what she was trying to say. Then, some passer by(who himself was an old man) came for rescue and explained me that she wanted these medicines but had no money. I was disturbed but at the same time cautious because I'd already encountered a lot of frauds who would just make any sort of excuses to get some money from you. I'm basically among those who would never shell out even a single penny to beggars but here, she didn't look like one. The way she spoke to me, she looked quite humble and genuine.

I wanted to help her but I didn't want to give her money just because it promotes beggary. So, I took her to a chemist shop and ordered the medicines written on that slip. I bought them and handed over to her. I felt happy and satisfied but that old lady didn't seem thankful. Anyway, it didn't matter to me. I think if you help someone, you do it to please yourself not for the person being helped and believe me, I was pleased. I get a strange sense of achievement when I help someone, especially old people. I think we should be thankful to God that he made us good enough to help someone.

We again got busy in shopping and after around half an hour, I was on the same road and saw that lady again. I was shocked. She was talking to some girl. Then the same old man, who told me what she wanted, went to her and explained something. I couldn't hear because they were at a distance. That girl took out a 100 Rs note and handed over to that lady. She blessed her and passed away.

I was too shocked to say something. I just didn't care and moved on. I again thought, if you help someone, you do it to please yourself not for the person being helped. I don't know what circumstances would have forced her to cheat someone at such an age. It was the first time in my life that I was cheated and I didn't mind. May God bless that old lady.