Raja lay his head on the desk, resting on his hands, a million thoughts flashing through his mind. Thoughts so fast that he lost his cool, stoop up, banged the table and walked away….the whole team staring at him.
It was 17th July, late in the evening and Raja had just returned from office after obtaining the flight tickets. He was leaving for Australia on an official trip that night along with one other friend, 3 days after the first batch had left. His tickets got delayed due to visa problems.
Raja was in his late 20’s and was working for a Multinational bank as an Executive.
11 pm, Raja checked in at the baggage counter carrying his hand luggage and his laptop to get into the flight. Twenty minutes later he was sitting inside the flight, sitting next was his colleague Amar. Amar was in his early 40’s and was heading this project and was a serious character and acted professionally all the time with least sense of humor at any given time. It was a connecting flight to Australia via Malaysia. Ten hours had passed and now 9am, 18th July, both of them where sitting at the KL international airport, their connecting flight was at 8pm and Raja wanted to use this time by doing anything except sitting with Amar.
Raja requested Amar to take care of his luggage and told he would return on time for the flight to Australia and started exploring the place. Malaysia, to its reputation was full of shopping malls and full of people from around the world. So many people passed him, but one girl caught his eyes. Wasting no time Raja went near her and expressed his interest towards that girl. The girl showing an expression of shock, immediately took her mobile and started typing something. Raja got scared and thought that she was going to call the police. Raja immediately apologized and said he did not mean any offence. The girl then smiled and showed Raja her mobile screen to Raja which read “Hi, thanks for your humbleness, I cannot speak, I am dumb. Still interest? J “. Our hero was even more shocked, not sure what to do, he took his mobile and started typing, when the girl stopped him and again showed her mobile and this time it read “ I can’t speak, but I can very well hear “
An hour later after too much typing and even more talking, they familiarized each other. The girl, to Raja’s surprise was also an Indian, in fact a Bangalorian and was in Malaysia for the shopping festival. She was working for a software company, in her early twenties, fair and depicting the modern Indian culture. Raja had seen many people type quickly using their mobile phones, but she was even quicker, as if she had a software which turned her thoughts to messages. She mentioned that she had lost her ability to speak in an accident a few months ago when a car coming in the opposite direction had hit her vehicle. Both of them agreed not to discuss about the accident anymore. Time passed by and Raja was getting late for his next flight. Excusing himself he stood up and they exchanged e-mail addresses’ and promised to be in touch.
All along the journey Raja was thinking about the girl and was wondering if she would make his perfect life partner and will his parents accept her since she couldn’t speak. After reaching Australia he called up his parents and told what had happened in Malaysia, and to his surprise they were ok with the marriage, Raja was waiting to return to India and meet her and tell her this news, though he never told this over the e-mail conversations which he had over the days. During his stay in Australia, he used to call his friend Shreya, talking to her for hours but never told about his love. Shreya was his college mate and his first love, she was the beauty queen of the college, but Raja never proposed her fearing that he might lose her friendship.
Raja in one of the mail conversations with the girl told that he wanted to marry her. The girl told she was also interested but will have to check with her parents.
The girl, one fine day mailed him that her parents were also fine with the marriage and this made Raja even more eager to return to India.
Taking this girl for granted our hero got busy with work and the number of mails exchanged got reduced. —————————-
Shreya, unaware of Raja’s love life one day sent him a mail expressing her love for him. She had started liking him because he had told her that he lost his hearing ability in the left ear because of an accident while trying to save a girl who also met with an accident at the same time. Shreya though that he saved that girl without worrying about his life.
Raja was a bit shocked and took a few days to reply to her mail, finally he replied saying that he also loved her a lot. It was as if Raja had got an option of choosing a new car and didn’t have to worry about his old bike. He ignored the other girl completely. Raja and Shreya exchanged mails and to show their faith and commitment towards each other even exchanged their passwords.
It was December 6th and Shreya was going through the mails in Raja’s mail box to refresh their love, especially the initial mails exchanged between them…..one dated as old as 11th September, her eyes became bigger, she had noticed a mail which read “ From: Pooja Hi dear……” .
Shreya double clicked the mail and started reading the mails exchanged.
Shreya went through those mails and was so shocked, Raja had done a job better than a Xerox machine, copying the contents while Shreya re-lived the moments. She felt as if Raja was talking to her in person.
Shreya was dumb struck, she closed the mail box and walked away. Days passed and the exchange of mails continued and she never showed the effect of those mails in her, it was as if her part of brain which read Pooja’s mails was not working or worse, lost.
One fine day, Raja was browsing through the net and a pop up showed a new mail in his Gmail account. He opened his mail box and it read -“Orkut account notification -You have a new friend’s request from Sharada”. Our hero, after all turned out to be a flirt, he opened the website and changed his setting such that to change the profile visits tab to “hide profile visits” and went on to browse through Sharada’s profile and her friends list which was not that big and all of them being good looking girls, he was a bit excited, and was looking at his prospective new lover….though he did not act on the friend’s requested immediately and continued visiting her profile for the next few days, he thought that making her wait will make her think that he is busy and special. Later, one day he accepted her request and sent a formal message telling her that thanks for adding him as her friend and also asked how she came to know about him. Every day he checked his mail box for a reply from Sharada, but was disappointed every time he didn’t get a mail, it was as if she was acting the same way as he did…making him wait and making herself look special.
Raja, as usual opened his mail box and jumped out of his bed in excitement because he had received a message from Sharada. He quickly opened orkut and read through the message almost ten times and was blushing, the dark face glowing red. Sharada had told that she went through his profile and had liked the contents of the various fields. Raja was appreciating his abilities to copy content from others and put it in his own. He quickly typed back and sent a message stating he was happy to hear this from her and looking forward to a great friendship ahead.
A new friendship and love story was in the making, may be third time lucky for Raja and third time lucky for all the girls he had already fallen in love and for those he was going to love in the future.
He received mails from Shreya, but seldom replied, Shreya was also least bothered since she was getting ready for something big, big indeed.
The love between Sharada and Raja was blossoming, in fact moving towards the end. Sharada had once told Raja, that the end of their love story was the beginning of her marriage life and she meant only her marriage life and not their marriage life, Raja did not realize the singleness of the marriage proposal she had made. Raja was a guitar player and Sharada was going to play the strings this time and use the strings to strangle Raja.
Sharada told Raja that she would like to meet him in person and listen to him play the guitar. They both decided that they would meet at 8pm at the pizza place, the one near the Army HQ.
Raja lay his head on the desk, resting on his hands, a million thoughts flashing through his mind, not sure what was he supposed to do during their first meeting and how to impress her. Thoughts so fast that he lost his cool, stoop up, banged the table and walked away….the whole team staring at him.
On the agreed date they both met at sharp 8pm and Raja was carrying his electric guitar. They had food and she told that she would like to listen to him play the guitar in the open, it was already dark and it being a place near the Army HQ was almost deserted.
Sharada said that she needs to make a call and moved a little bit away and took her mobile and opened the music folder, she played the AK47 music file and the china mobile with 8 small speakers was good enough to make it sound like a real gunshot, Raja could not hear this because he had hearing problems in his left ear, all because of an accident a few months ago and also because he was busy tuning the guitar. The security guard who was standing near the fence, after listening to the sound turned, and as it was dark, mistook Raja for the terrorist and the guitar in the dark was looking like a rocket launcher, Raja unaware of this was fine tuning the guitar, playing music for his own death, the guard thought that Raja was preparing the rocket launcher to fire. The guard warned him to drop the weapon, but since Raja had problems listening from one side and also he was very busy fine tuning the guitar, ignored the warning and as if the mobile music was magnified many times, two gun shots in fine tune with each other went straight through Raja’s chest. Raja immediately fell on the floor, blood flowing all over the place. Since it was just after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the guard didn’t think much before shooting. Sharada didn’t react much to the situation and came running to him as if she was the one who shot him, Shreya who was standing near the guard also walked to him. She was the one who had told the guard that she was a reporter and had followed Raja whom she had overheard talking over the phone about an attack.
Raja was still alive but fast losing his consciousness. Shreya told Raja which during his last few minutes made him think…..may be he should have listened fully about the accident which the girl was talking about at the KL airport, maybe he should have proposed to Shreya earlier and broken the friendship for good…… a min later Raja lost his life…..
Shreya and Sharada were sitting in a restaurant waiting for another person to come in, with mixed emotions.
Suddenly Shreya smiled on seeing that person. Pooja walked in and her eyes were doing all the talking. She was the girl whom Raja had met at the KL airport. Shreya started talking, Sharada was eager to know why she was a part of this, but had done this after Shreya had told that she would be happy after doing this. Shreya started, “I was going through Raja’s mail box and saw Pooja’s mail and I found that she had lost her speech in an accident a few months ago and in the same accident she also lost her dear friend in the same accident.” Sharada stopped her and continued as if she had read the same mail and knew what exactly happened next. Pooja was shocked to hear this and was wondering how Sharada knew this much. Sharada then told her that she was Isha’s sister. Pooja then started to get it, Isha had died in that accident and in which Pooja had lost her speech. The car which had hit their 2 wheeler was driven by Raja under the influence of alcohol, it turned out that Raja had escaped the suit by bribing the officials and also told a false story to impress Shreya.
Sharada started crying and told “I would have been happy if I had known this earlier, I would have told this to Raja during his last moments…………………
Shreya smiled and started drinking her coffee because she had told this to Raja….
………….. I closed the book, immediately opened my Gmail account, changed my password and took my mobile and sent a message to my love “Dear. I love you a lot! “.