The Last Adventure

The Last Adventure

“Next Friday is off. It means a 3 days weekend!!!” As soon as I realized it, I could not stop myself planning for the huge weekend. For the last two years, it’s been a trend for me and my friends to have a weekend trip at least once a month. Almost all the nearby adventurous places had been explored by our adventure hungry team.

A meeting was called immediately. All 5 of us were ready to plan the weekend and were expecting it to be as much fun as we used to have on the previous trips. We were unaware of what we were going to experience would change our lives forever.

“But Arjun, we have already visited all the nearby places. No adventurous place left now”, declared Asit. He was kind of most impatient in our group. All of us were thinking about the unexplored places when Raghav broke the silence, “Eureka!! I think I know a place.” We all listened to him with a bit of surprise and then a huge smile was spread on all the 5 faces.

Priya and Payal were the female members of our group. It was hard to find a girl as adventurous as Priya. She could go to any extent to smell adventure. However, Payal was kind of simple and smart girl who knew to use her brain at the time when it was needed the most.

Having all set, we packed our bags and were ready for the adventure. It was planned that we will leave on Friday morning. We had enough food for the weekend and a camping kit. Asit brought his father’s newly bought XUV and it was the perfect ride for our adventure.

“So what exactly is this place”, I asked Raghav. He was the one who suggested us this strange place named Gujmani, a place near his maternal grandfather’s village, Bukaani. It was 230 km from our place. “It is a place which was always described by my mom’s grandfather”, Raghav seemed excited while describing it. “I am yet not sure about the truth behind the story but it will be awesome if we find that the story is true.”

Asit was a bit sceptical because if the story turned out to be false, we could find ourselves having wasted a preciously huge weekend. But we had no other choice as we had already discussed over all the other places, so we moved on.

After 4 hours of drive, we were almost there. I found a board named “Bukaani” showing an arrow directing towards right. “So, we are near your mom’s village. Where to go now?” I asked Raghav, as I was on the driving seat now.

It was 9 in the morning. There was almost no traffic and we encountered just a few cars on the way. Raghav looked out of the window and directed us towards left, “This way.” I noticed a very narrow road between the dense trees going inside. The highway roadside barricades were absent from that part giving just enough space for a car to pass.

“Are you sure we can go in?” I was not sure if we can take our XUV inside. But Raghav seemed to know this place. He was confident, “Just go ahead.” I looked behind. Asit, Priya and Payal were almost asleep on the back seat. I thought for a while and then turned left. Our car disappeared in the forest alongside the highway.

The GPS panel fitted on the car dashboard was showing that we were nowhere. I couldn’t find Gujmani on my GPS tracker. Raghav said, it is a place truly unexplored as it is not officially a village. It was devastated long ago and only a handful of people were left there. It was dense forest with plethora of wild animals. So people avoided to live there. Our XUV was going on a narrow but clean piece of raw road. Thankfully the rainy season was still away, otherwise this road could turn into a swamp. The road was wide enough to accommodate our vehicle and in case we encounter someone coming from the other side, we could be stuck there. But Raghav was assured that we will find nobody there at that time.

After about 4 kms of dirty drive, we entered a less dense forest and a clear road wider than the previous road. Raghav was excited to see his childhood place and directed me towards a small gate. I was amazed to find a gate there. It meant people lived in this area which almost looked haunted. Raghav went out of the vehicle and shouted to call someone. Asit, Priya and Payal woke up by this noise. We saw an old man opening the gate. Raghav came back and seated again. We drove inside.

It was a nice farmhouse skirted by high fence. We were given nice village food and proper arrangements were made for our stay as Raghav already informed his uncle about our visit. We were delighted.

Raghav told us that he had visited this farmhouse only once in his life as his mother did not allow him to go to that place. He visited this place in his summer vacations but was not allowed to roam around. It was because this area had a waterfall in which many village kids were drowned or killed by wild animals. But now he was grown up and was free to follow his will. He told us that we will start for the waterfall in the afternoon. He was quite excited to explore the place from which he was always kept away.

In the afternoon, we started in our XUV to explore the waterfall. A person from Raghav’s village accompanied us. His name was “Sarju” and he had strict instructions from Raghav’s uncle to stick with us all the time. He seemed a fearless man and he was quite familiar with the area. He was not quite happy with our idea to explore this place in the evening. But it was necessary to check if the story about this place was true or not because as per the story every night, the waterfall was visited by some of the rare species of animals found in the forest. Our plan was to observe them while hiding in some safe place.

Our XUV was running slow due to bumpy road. The forest was quite dense and unpredictable and we were not sure where we will have to leave our vehicle as the way was becoming narrower. After half an hour of drive, we heard the noise of waterfall. Suddenly the forest ended and we were in an open rocky area with an awesome waterfall in our front. We all rushed out of our XUV. “What a beautiful place it was!!!”

We did not understand why this beautiful waterfall was so dangerous. Then we came to know the reality. When we went forward, we found that it was just the tip of the iceberg. This water was actually going down and there was a waterfall which was falling hundreds of feet down from where we were standing. We were stunned. We could not see the end of this waterfall. It was the time for the real adventure. We were ready to go down.

We all wore our trekking gears and started climbing down towards the waterfall. There seemed no other way as the waterfall was surrounded by dense forest from two sides and in any case, we had to climb down as we could not see any direct slope going down. We were going down parallel to the falling waterfall. Sarju was very comfortable while climbing and was moving ahead to guide us.

“Lalla, we should not be here at this time. It can be dangerous. This place is full of wild animals and if we confront them, no one will come for the rescue.” Sarju spoke for the first time. We all were thrilled by listening to this. But instead of being afraid, we became more excited to reach down as soon as possible. Sarju was not afraid. He seemed to be worried about us. It was very dangerous to go down as there were some trees emerging out of the cracks in the rock and a few had snakes surrounded on them. We were assured by Sarju that they were non-poisonous snakes quite abundant in that area.

After 2 hours, we were finally at the bottom. What an awesome place it was! Clean water falling down from such a height. It was truly beautiful. We set up our tents on the side of the river and played in falling water for some time. Sarju was trying to be near us and seemed ready for any upcoming danger. It was getting dark now. We had our night vision binoculars to observe the other side of the river. Sarju told us not to lit campfire as it may scare away the animals. We all hid in our camps with the night vision binoculars on our eyes.

After an hour, we finally saw something rare. A family of leopard visited the river. They were the rarest breed of white leopard and lived in the densest part of the forest. We were watching three fully grown leopards drinking water and playing around the river. It seemed that this river marked the boundary of the forest and they did not go the other side. Suddenly the leopards became uneasy and in a few minutes they left the place growling scarily. Our eyes widened with fear as well as adventure. It was a lion. We could not believe that we were sitting inside a tent in a forest and watching one of the most dangerous animals of the world from just another side of the river. We were hardly 30 feet away from the lion.

Suddenly Priya screamed. We all looked back. She was jumping with fear and pain. There was something around her leg. We switched on our flash lights to find a huge snake surrounding her leg. Its teeth were dug in her leg. We all were badly scared now. Sarju immediately jumped and tried to pull the snake. But the snake had badly drilled its teeth in the flesh and was not ready to leave. It seemed Priya unknowingly stepped on the snake and it attacked her. Finally Sarju got successful in getting the snake by its neck and threw it away in water. Priya’s leg was bleeding. Sarju ran in the forest. We immediately comforted Priya. Payal started cleaning her wound. But Priya was getting unconscious.

Just then, Sarju appeared from nowhere. He brought some plant leaves. He crushed them and put the paste of the leaves on the wound. We brought our first aid kit and dressed her wound. After a few minutes, Priya regained her consciousness.

In all this mess, we forgot that there were wild animals on the other side of the river. Suddenly we heard a roar from behind us. As we turned back, our faces got numb. Three giant white leopards were standing just a few feet away. We realized that we were going to die. There was no way fighting those animals even though we outnumbered them. Clearly, they were more powerful and fast. As we could think of something, Sarju made a banging sound by his stick and threw a few packets in the shallow water stored in small gaps along the river side. They immediately burned with bright light and made some sound. This scared the leopards.

Sarju told us to leave immediately and we ran towards the rocks and started climbing. Sarju was behind us and he lit a piece of cloth and attached it to his stick, scaring the leopards with fire. Priya was not well and we were holding her and climbing as fast as we could. We reached the top in an hour. Asit reached the top first. He ran towards the XUV and ignited the engine. We also ran towards the XUV, opened the doors and jumped inside it. Sarju was left behind scaring the leopards. We locked the XUV from inside waiting for Sarju.

Suddenly a leopard jumped on the XUV and started scratching the wind screen. We all screamed with fear. Suddenly a stick came and hit it and the leopard fell from the vehicle. Sarju was running towards us with no defence. We immediately opened the door and got him in. He was badly injured. We, then, drove towards the farmhouse.

Finally on reaching the farmhouse, we felt a bit of comfort. Priya and Sarju were immediately sent to hospital. We spent the rest of the weekend and the following week in the hospital. Priya recovered soon however Sarju took some time to recover. We were feeling guilty for putting Sarju in such a dangerous situation just for the sake of our adventure.

It was an incredible experience of our life where we almost lost our lives and survived by a slight chance. We could not plan another weekend adventure trip for a long time.

XUV500 is a new SUV launched by Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
Click here to know more about it.

When Pilot Pen was a precious possession

PilotPenThe other day, I was resting on my bed after a stressful day in the office just when I felt a familiar fragrance. I felt delighted and opened my eyes and found some new books which had just arrived and were kept on my bed side table. I turned the pages of one book and smelled the soothing air rushing out of the turning pages. That fragrance reminded me of the beautiful childhood days when I was at my home.

During school days, each year, when the new session started, I eagerly waited for the new syllabus books. I enjoyed the visit to the bookseller with my father and buying all the books. I loved to read all the stories in the English and Hindi books as soon as I got home. The pleasure of holding the new books, with new plans for the new class cannot be expressed in words.

The course books were given to binders to get them binded with rexene paper. The decision of rexene colour (black, grey, blue, maroon) was a hard one.

After the course books, came the turn of the notebooks. My mom and dad covered the notebooks by brown papers. Selecting from among the beautiful cartoon nameslips was my task. Deciding which slip to paste on which notebook was a tough task, atleast for a kid. Then it was covered by plastic sheets, kind of laminated.

Likewise came the practical files, drawing files, and stationery like new geometry box, Stick pens, Natraj HB pencils, Natraj sharpener (we used to call it cutter), Apsara eraser, Natraj ruler (we used to call it scale) and pencil box. Most of the times, a new school bag too.

New class meant new school dress. Choosing from the colours which best matches the colour prescribed by our school was again a challenge. They said grey trousers and I dont know why somehow my grey was always different from their grey. It was a burden to keep those white shirts white till the school got over in the afternoon. New shoes, new white socks, tie and school belt.

I remember that my school was even more important to my parents and they stopped all their work to prepare me for the school. Ironed dress, polished shoes, tiffin full with delicious hot food it was all ready before I even woke up. When I went to school, my mom used to bade me bye till my rickshaw disappeared from the view.

It was a tradition that I lost atleast one water bottle every year. Sometimes the cap of water bottle had a game of small steel balls where the balls were to be put in the middle ring of the maze. I loved playing that game on my way from school to home by the rickshaw.

I feel amazed to realize that at that time, how important was each and every thing to me. Owning a Pilot pen (Gifted by my father on my birth day) and using it for writing in examinations was a moment of pride. The cardboard pads with clips for exams, with cartoon characters were awesome possessions.

Suddenly my mobile rang. A reminder to wake up. I came back to present. Some work to do. I have to read a report which is on my laptop. As we all use technology now-a-days, with environmentalists loudly appealing to minimize the use of paper, I wonder will it be a real life for the new generation to read and learn without the fragrance of new books.

I still feel delighted to remember old days, not just because of the memory, but also due to some stimuli like fragrance of paper which is still the same as it used to be. Sensing these things today, I feel like reliving those moments for a while. But if the present generation kids will not have any fragrance attached to their memory, all they will know is the silicon based material (used to make computing devices) for everything they do. In that case, when they will grow up, how will they embrace and cherish the golden moments of their childhood as much as we can do today…

My first job, Infosys

Getting the first job is an experience which cannot be explained in terms of words. Its something which makes you feel as if you have got wings, you can fly as higher as you wish. I felt the same. I couldn’t sleep that night, read whatever I could find about life at Infosys Mysore campus.

Finally the day came when I joined Infosys along with some of my friends and hundreds of others. We were allotted hostel rooms where we had to stay for the training duration. When we were taken to the hostel buildings, I got the chance to have a glance at the amazing campus which I dreamt for so many months. I was finally here, Infosys Mysore.

I got room on the 5th floor. The room was awesome, one room per person with all the facilities like huge king size bed, big LCD TV with cable connection, study table, chair, bedside tables, bedside reading lamp, a sofa with table, table lamp, electric cattle, cup, spoon, big cupboard, electronic locker, laundry bag and a very nice attached bathroom with a life-size mirror. There was a large sliding window, with beautiful double curtains, in the room which gave a nice view of a small pond behind my hostel building.

There were two families of different breeds of ducks which kept quacking and playing in the water. Sometimes in the morning I used to find the white mother duck shining in the morning sunlight, crossing the road followed by four small cute ducklings which used to walk in a perfect rhythm. I found a variety of beautiful birds playing around and amazingly they didn’t fear from human. They knew it’s a safe place for them.

Infosys Mysore campus is made like a small city with greenery all around. Walking here in such a peaceful environment makes you feel so good that you forget everything else. Many times in the evening I used to walk around the campus enjoying the scenic beauty and the peaceful life.

The first week was complete introduction to Infosys. We had a variety of sessions by all the departments of Infosys, even had a security demo for disaster management. It was all done in a big multiplex where they showcase movies on weekend. Most of the paper work was completed in the first week itself. Practically we had enough time to explore the campus in the evenings and we did it riding on the bicycles parked at various places in the campus.

On the fourth day of our joining, we had a DJ night. We kept dancing until it was over. We all were highly motivated by now and slowly realizing the way of life we were going to spend for the rest of our lives.

After the boring day-long sessions of first week, we were finally allotted classrooms and computers. All the friends were separated, and it was for the good reason. We were going to make a lot of new friends, but we didn’t realize that some of them will become friends for life.

A great thing about Infosys training is that people come from all the possible places around the globe, not only from different states, but even from different countries. In our batch, we had great diversity. You can estimate it from this: I am from Uttar Pradesh. Around me used to sit people from Punjab, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala, Bihar and Jharkhand. I made friends from even West Bengal, Rajasthan, Goa and Maharashtra. This was possible only because of the huge diversity of people and surprisingly we all fitted together seamlessly. It was amazing experience and gave me friends which will stay close to my heart forever.

Another good thing about Infosys training is that during training, we were considered strictly as students and had to study as if we were in a college. One of my friend rightly said that it should be considered as the ninth semester of B.Tech. But where on earth you get paid for studying? It happens in Infosys. We were getting paid for studying, for performing nicely. It was a win-win situation for us, going through a world class training experience and that too while getting paid.

In love, its never too late, or is it?

“I should tell her now. But, she knows it all. Then why she does not show it up. I know she loves me. I will tell her today. For sure.

But, what if she gets angry? What if she doesn’t love me? What if she stops talking to me? I cannot live without talking to her.

Oh God, what should I do? Show me a way.”

This was his daily conversation with God. It seemed God was enjoying watching him fighting with himself. May be it was the way of God to tell him that everything happens for good.

When Arjun returned from Bangalore to Delhi after a 2 weeks business trip, he was in no mood to first report at office after his flight landed. After all, it’s a weekend, and who goes to office on Saturday evening? But, sometimes there is something waiting for us somewhere and situations turn themselves in our favor so that we can get what is for us.

After he landed in Delhi, when he switched on his phone, he got a lot of pending messages delivered (bombarded) to him. Most were the status messages about his latest project. Just checking the subjects, he was stuck at one message. “Courier Delivered”. It took him some time to remember that he ordered something for his girl. As he was out of the city, he gave the address of his office. Now finally, the gift had arrived. He had no reason to go home now. He had to go to his office. “Two tasks done in one go”, he said to himself.

While sitting in the cab, he started remembering the events of a month back. He got an offer to go to California for a two year project, a big one. He was waiting for this opportunity for a long time, but finally when he got it, he was not happy. He didn’t go to office the following day. Manager called him, but he didn’t pick the phone. Next day, he went to his manager and declined the offer. No one could see the reason for his foolish act, but in his heart, he knew he did the right thing. How can he go leaving her alone in this bad world? But his manager was a man of patience and wisdom. He understood the reason and gave him a month to decide. Meanwhile he got this trip to Bangalore, and now today, he is back.

While sneaking outside the cab window, he got a glimpse of Qutub Minar. “Ahh! My first date was here,“ he told to himself. “What a great time I spent here with her.” It was the time when he got promoted and was informed about a new girl who was going to report to him. He was too much sincere with his work, so much that in no way his professional life could cross his personal one. Then what happened to him so that he declined a lifetime opportunity?

The reason was her. Her name was Payal. In the last one year, she became his best friend with whom he shared almost everything. They used to hang out together, work together, enjoyed all the happy moments of life, and shared the sad things. These kinds of relationships cannot remain unnamed for a long time, and it was the case with this one also. He started loving her. He could not say, but he did love her a lot. They used to call their outings as date, the first one they spent visiting Qutub Minar, weird choice for a first date. She also seemed to love him. Arjun had already started dreaming about his future with her. He still hadn’t proposed her. That was the reason he was ready to give away such an opportunity. He was just waiting for the right time.

Thinking all this, he reached office. It was a holiday, who would be there in the office. No, its deadline, his whole team would be there, working day and night to deliver the project. He straight forward went to his manager’s cabin to say him the final ‘no’. Suddenly he met with Sunil, his cubicle mate.

“How are you buddy? How was your trip?” Sunil inquired.

”Trip was good. I hope we made this deal. Simpson will notify us within a week”, Arjun gloriously said.

”Ok,” Sunil smiled and went away.

Today, Sunil’s smile was somewhat mocking. “What has happened here in the last 2 weeks. Something changed? Am I looking stupid? May be I am too tired as I am coming from a long journey.”

Anyways, ignoring it, he proceeded to his manager’s cabin. The manager was sitting there, silent as ever. Looking at him, he asked him to sit. He was not looking happy. “What has happened here?” Arjun said to himself. Then he said, “Deepak, I know you want me to go, but I am staying here. I cannot go to California.”

“You need not.” He said with a cold voice. “Someone is already going there.”

“Ok. That’s good. By the way who?”

“Payal.”

Arjun thought he has misheard him, “Sorry, did you say Payal?”

“Yes, when you were away, she asked the Senior Manager assuring that you will not go and that she is willing to go there. They both are going there. They have developed good friendship within 2 weeks. It seems they are going to be in a relationship.”

There was acute silence in the room. Arjun was speechless to what he heard just now. He felt like crying out loud like a small kid but controlled himself, collected the courier and came back. What the hell had happened? Just last night Payal told him that he is doing the right thing following his heart. He was planning to propose her today with a beautiful diamond ring he ordered. He was ready to sacrifice all his dreams just to live a life with her. He couldn’t believe it was true.

He rushed to Payal’s house. Just as he was about to get out of the car, he saw a car stopping in front of Payal’s house. His senior manager and Payal came out of the car and went inside. They seemed drunk. May be they celebrated their chance to go onsite. Arjun did not have the heart to go inside. He came back. He was shocked to see how a girl he loved so much, was with someone else. Why she didnt tell him?

Next day, newspapers said that a software professional found dead. It seemed suicide as a suicide letter mentioned that a girl called Payal refused her love. A lot of alcohol found in his blood. He was too drunk. All the people of the office gave a last visit to his dead body and bade him goodbye. Payal was crying badly considering herself responsible for this all. But her colleagues consoled her and pursued her not to cancel her trip so that she could get out of this environment and forget these things.

Few days later, in a flight to California, Payal was waiting for someone. Suddenly Arjun appeared, “Sorry I got late. I had to buy these chocolates for you. You like them?”

“Ahan. I love whatever you give me.” She kissed him.

Then Payal said, “You still didn’t tell me, when you came back from Bangalore, why it took you a whole day to contact me and then a week to propose me? Well, I knew you would propose me. I could have married you in India only.”

“But it would have been rude after the accidental death of our senior manager. He was a nice man. Anyways, I wanted both of us to go to California. I am happy we are going together”, Arjun said.

Payal hugged him with great love. Arjun smiled thinking, “in love, its never too late.”

Finally, its Mysore…

Mysore PalaceMysore. Yes, it’s Mysore. I like this place a lot and luckily I am going to spend some more time here. After the completion of my training, I got posted in Infosys Mysore DC. It was joyful because I have spent a good time during my training here, and I could still enjoy being here. But, at that time I didn’t realize how hard is to say good bye to all the people, whom I didn’t even know before I came here, but who are not strangers to me anymore. They are my best buddies with whom I have lived a new life here, in Mysore. It is amazing that in such a short time, we made strong bonds.

Out of 600 people in our batch, a whopping 33% got Chennai, about 16.67% got Bangalore, 25% got Pune, 8.5% got Chandigarh and remaining got Hyderabad, Bhubaneshwar, Mangalore and Trivandrum. Only 0.2% got posted in Mysore. I was happy to be here, but at the same time, it was too hard to say good bye to all the remaining 99.8% people. But finally, they all went to their destined places.

Each one of us got their new life, but now we are no more trainees. It feels like we are no more students. During training, the environment here makes you feel like a student, though here you are getting paid for being one. We enjoyed roaming around the campus at nights, doing limitless photography of almost every part of campus, dancing endlessly on DJ nights, eating bread jam while sitting on streets on New Year night, getting crazy when India won the World Cup, studying in GEC till late nights and many more moments which have been embarked on our hearts for our entire life.

This training time, turned us from nerds to professionals. We learned how to be responsible. A lot of good habits became a part of our lives like not littering our surroundings, walking on footpaths, walking long distances without vehicles, keeping things properly, dressing up professionally etc. These things became the part of our lives without even our knowledge. A few weeks back, I went to market and was unable to throw an empty bottle because I didn’t find a dustbin in the way. When I came to campus and threw the bottle in the dustbin, then I realized that I was carrying it with me. It becomes the mindset.

However there are also some bad habits which I got here. Many times outside campus, when somewhere I go to washroom to wash hands, I put my hands below tap and wait for the water to come itself. Then I realize, oh, its not Infy. When I go to collect some ticket or buy something, I stand in a queue where I notice people running haphazardly to get their chance first. Again, I realize, I am outside the campus. Many times in restaurants, when I complete my food, I pick my plates to drop in washing area, but suddenly I come to know that I am not inside the campus. It happens in many cases and these things remind me of the great life we have inside the campus.

With those memories, today when I walk around this campus, it feels good to be a part of those times. All my buddies have settled in their new places. Wherever we go, the things we learnt here, the memories we made here, the life we lived here, all of them are indispensable. These are sweet memories which will remain in our hearts forever.

If we could be together again…

She was so different from other girls, so pretty & moreover, she was a magician, otherwise how could she get my phone. “You dropped it in the garden. I called you but you didn’t listen,” she offered me my phone & walked away without even waiting to accept my gratitude. Yes, this phone made me meet her, made me meet my life but also…

Many years ago, when my dad brought home a giant black gadget acclaiming it as a mobile phone, I was amazed to see something like this in my hands. He bought this phone for his business requirements & I always used to find a chance to just touch it & play the famous game of snake on it. Being a kid, I would get scolded a lot of times but I could not resist the charm of using it.

Life went on, I grew up from kid to teenager & got to go to the college. I was a good student, my dad was proud of me. I studied hard & got good marks. On the very first day of my college, my father gifted me a smartphone, something I had never imagined. May be he was happy to see my progress & hard work. This smartphone became everything in my life from then. It became the reason of most important happenings in my life.

I remember the day when SHE called me from behind. I was amazed to see my smartphone in her hands. She was so different from other girls, so pretty & moreover, she was a magician, otherwise how could she get my phone. “You dropped it in the garden. I called you but you didn’t listen,” she offered me my phone & walked away without even waiting to accept my gratitude. Yes, this phone made me meet her, made me meet my life but also…

I was attracted towards her. I took her pic secretly & kept looking at it for whole night. I decided to propose her. This phone got me find everything from her Facebook user id to her college student number. She was my classmate & it didn’t took me long to become her friend & express what I had in my heart for her. She liked me too. I was very happy that day. I almost cried out of happiness.

Time kept on flying & we completed half of our engineering. Those two years made us feel as if we are made for each other. She would call me in the morning to wake me up & always wrap a good night kiss in the good night call. She would keep messaging me all the day & I kept replying with all the joy & love. My smartphone had become her image for me when I was alone. I was everything for her apart from her sincerity in her work. She was a merit holder & deserved a good research based job, she had dreamt of.

She was perfect & I always felt lucky to have her in my life. At that time, I felt as if time is on my side & believe me, at such moment, you feel like you can do anything. I forgot that the flow of time is not constant.

It was that time that mobile internet & social networking got a lot of limelight. I had a phone which was much advanced of its time & thus I could use it all in my hands & carry in my pocket. Social networking started eating my time & mind. I spent more time on the FBook & less with her. She became busy in her preparation for competitive exams. She believed nothing more than me. So did I. Therefore we were still happy disregarding the comparably less time we were spending together.

But I was not that good. My smartphone had shown me new ways to enjoy life. One day I added a friend on a new social networking website when I found a girl in his friend list. She was good. I don’t know why, I was just tempted to ping her, & I did it. Surprisingly she replied immediately. She was good at flirting & I was good at social networking. Friends, I don’t know how I slipped. I exchanged phone number with her & actually started talking to her. I was the biggest fool at that time. Within a few days, my smartphone transformed into the image of this new friend. We soon started hanging out on weekends. I was feeling a bit guilty, but the temporary joy of that time made me forget everything.

Time went on. In my final year, I was no more a meritorious guy. I was a spoilt one, always fiddling with my smartphone. I used the phone to copy answers from the internet in the exams. I was happy to get good marks in my mid-session exams. But these fake tricks could not get me a good job in the campus placements. I & a few really useless guys got the worst job offer on campus. The girl I met on internet stopped replying my pings & broke contact.

Finally, it was the day when our final year result was to be announced. She suddenly grabbed me from behind flying with joy. She showed me her offer letter from the most reputed government run research lab of the country. She finally got one of the two things she had dreamt. And the other thing was me. She still loved me even after my failure in getting a good job. She believed in me so much that it was hard for me to stand on the ground in front of her. I immediately rushed to the washroom to hide my tears of guilt. Then I decided to tell her the truth, about how I broke her trust. I wanted to apologise for everything I ruined. I didn’t know if she would forgive me, I hoped she would.

When I got back, she was in tears holding my smartphone. When going to the washroom, I left my smartphone being signed in various social networking websites. She was not a suspicious kind of girl to check my chat histories & thats why I never hid my phone from her. But today, when she was waiting for me to come back from washroom, she just opened the “images” folder & was stunned to see my picnic pics with that internet girl in some very intimate poses. Then she had opened my chats & got to know everything.

I ruined her day, broke her heart. She was crying like a small child. I tried to hold her but she stared at me with helplessness & feeling of being cheated in her eyes. I can never forget those flooded eyes in my life. She left immediately to never come back. I kept watching her going, holding my smartphone still showing a ping from one of my friends. I clicked it to open. It said, “You got caught on a CCTV camera fitted in the examination room while cheating from your mobile phone & thus your scores are suspended. You failed. Your job is also gone.” I dropped down on my knees, crying. Yes, I failed. I failed my love who was the most precious gift I could ever get in my life. I failed my dad who would curse himself for the day he gifted me this smartphone. And I would curse myself for the day I started misusing it. It gave me everything when I used it wisely & took everything when I didn’t.


Today, I have repeated my final year & searching for a job in the open market. I am sitting, still holding the same smartphone. But I am not angry to look at it for what I made my life misusing it. The mirror in front of my chair is showing the sad smile on my face with a little shine of hope in my eyes.

“Next,” the receptionist called. It is my turn. I looked at the big banner in front of me which said “Futuristic Smartphone Designers”. I have to go in to get this job by any means. I have come here with a determination, with a wish to add a feature to my smartphone.

I wished for long to have a feature in my smartphone that can restore time. What if I could set the time back to the second year of my college life in my smartphone & can reach that time. I would fix all the things I have broken.

I know you are laughing at me thinking that how can I make a phone that can restore time. But I know I can. You can call me crazy or mad, just like all the other people here, especially those in the white coats. They are bad people. Earlier, they used to give me electric shocks. But when I complained my dad, he got me these people who make smartphones. I give an interview daily, but they reject me. I don’t know why even after I put all my efforts, I always fail. I suspect the main interviewer. His face looks like the man in white coat who earlier gave me shocks. And also that receptionist, she sometimes dress up like a nurse. Freak, she is.

Anyways, I have to go inside now. Time for the interview & this time I am sure to get the job & then I will add my dream feature to my smartphone. Everything will be fine then.