I was lost and I needed someone to bounce ideas off. And as always my feet turned towards Divya. She was my quiet place in between the rough sea that my life was. I went to her to imagine me. She was all I was at that age, or rather what I could have been at that age. Smart, cheerful, pretty, a genius and in love with somebody. Divya loved her husband despite all his faults. Despite all his faults.
It was an old fashioned arranged marriage when her parents had fixed her with a stranger who was of the same caste, same region and same line of work; finance as she had told to me. But there could be nothing same about them, the guy was lethargic, dumb, and in the belief that god, fate, the government and the frogs in the pond were against him. He was waiting his whole life, waiting for the economy to turn, waiting for his luck to change, waiting for the government to change and so on. He was some kind of small time day trader who always made the wrong bets. Hustler is his own words though, “Hustlers never work, workers never hustle” he had said these lines before he had winked and took my 2nd drink off my hand. Good for him he had only taken my 2nd drink.
But Divya was a love fool who was happy that any love had come her way, she made her peace that this was going to be husband and started adapting to it. He supported him and moved cities when he did, changed jobs and even stopped for 2 years when he had gone to Dubai. To work on his grand plan. The grand plan never worked and Divya had supported him till he worked from one random tip to another on the stock market. It was because of him that Divya was still a software engineer when she could have been anything she wanted. That was before I had discovered her and given the quality of work she deserved. Flip bit algorithms, AddRoundKey encryptions, hiding and modifying of data. She was a puzzle creator where I was only a puzzle solver. Our small IT Company had grown over 50 times when we had found a way to encode critical financial data of the companies from hackers and inside traders by using a special date based algorithm which made true financial data invisible till the time of publication of it from even the CEO.
She was at her computer again, probably trying to read something in Wikipedia perhaps which she would enthusiastically recount to me again. I was happy to know about Masai drinking their blood from straws and latest nipple slip; because I was happy living my life through her. Surprisingly she never hated me for it. Like Kavita did, as most kids hated their parents for them to live their lives and correct their mistakes though them. But she wasn’t reading Wikipedia but some news report about a death. She turned towards Rajeev and said “It is still being considered a hit and run. No angles lead towards us”. Rajeev strolled around talking on the phone, came near her, kissed on forehead and started talking on the phone again. “Nahi nahi abhi bhaav aur upar nahi jayega. Kya Prasanna bhaai aap mere baat pe yakin nahi karte? Haan agle quarter ka agle quarter ka agla quarter bataunga. Lekin job bhi information hogi solid hogi. Haan haan … Jai shri Krishna” and he hung up.
“Next quarter ka kya scene hoga?” he asked Divya. “Agle quarter ka abhi se kaise keh sakti huun? Abhi to is quarter ke result aaye hai” she replied. “Apne software mae dekh ke bata na!” he shouted. “Kitni baar samjahu aapko? Ye koi alladin ka chirag nahi hai. Sirf financial postings respective GL accounts se decrypt karke batata hai kee is baar revenue aur profit kitna aaya”. “Haan haan” he spat back “Zyada funda mat jhaad, agli baar bhi bas result aane se pehle bata dena kee company ke stock pe position long leni hai ya short? Agli tip ke main apne investors se 20% charge karunga!”.
“Agli baar kiska murder karna padega ye sab chupaane ke liye? She quipped back. Anger flashed in Rajeev’s eyes and he strut back to her.
“ Wahi jo aapne suna. Is baar program modify karke ulta run karne pe ek insaan ko notification gaya tha. Usko aapne ye sun nae pe maar daala. Ho sakta hai agli baar koi aur PM ho, usko notification jaaye kee hum encryption program run karke unka data hide nahi read kar rahe hai, taaki unke financial results ka pata chal jaaye hume. Tab kya usko bhi maar daaloge?
He came and slapped her. She didn’t waste a second in disbelief, she got up and went to her bedroom to cry. Maybe she was worse than me, I would have left Naresh’s for doing this to me. Or maybe she was even better than me; she had broken the code that she and I had together developed to hide the financial data. Not only she had broken the code but also found a way to collate all the GL accounts to consolidate the total financial data to find out how was the company doing before it could declare the results and trade in its stocks.
Only problem was that I had built in a code which notified her and me whenever any other user tried to change the program. But her master stroke was that she herself had modified the program and I am the only person to know it, or rather was the only person to know about it. So now I knew.
I only imagined the happening of events. She was in office finally cracking the code enthusiastically telling it to Rajeev who would have instantly thought about somehow running a scam through it. He calling the people to tip them of the results before they were announced. She receiving an email with me cc in it and telling it to Rajeev in panic and he deciding to kill me to forever keep his secret. It was a good plan. Only someone with the intelligence of her could have pulled this off. I was impressed more than angry.
I felt like walking up to Divya and patting her back, I walked up to her room expecting to find her crying in the pillow. But she wasn’t; she was talking into the phone steel faced and eyes burning like a hunter. She went on “Haan Malik Bhaai jaisa maine bola tha waise hee kaam karta hai, Prasanna nae isi baar usi se paisa kamaya hai. Proof chahiye to us chutiye ko dekh lo. Haan lekin mereko pehli baar ka paisa nahi chahiye”. She drew her breath in and sneered at the other room “Haan ek aadmi ka naam batati huun, wo kisiko kabhi nahi milna chahiye. Naam hai Rajeev…” She continue with the description, whereabouts and finished with “haan jaane ke baad koi use nahi puchega, khush hee honge uske biwi baache, ye mujhse likha lo”. With that she put away her steel face and spouted a few tears and walked out into the hall.
I have no words to describe what I felt like at that point of time, maybe there were no words because nobody has felt that feeling. Somebody had taught me that to know a word is to know a feeling, but maybe it wasn’t that, maybe to feel a feeling was to coin a word. Maybe it wasn’t that either, it wasn’t anything.
If this was a love story I would have been found true love in Naresh and we would have kissed our last kiss, if this would have been a family drama Kavita would have repented at my death and would be transformed knowing that she was wrong all along, if this was a horror story I would have haunted Divya, if this was a poem Malik Bhai would have killed Rajeev in a car accident only. But this wasn’t any of them.
Sometimes a story is just a story, it’s not a fable, there is no learning, and there is no metaphor in it. There is no denouement, the climax never arrives and the protagonist never has an epiphany. Sometimes a story is just a sequence of events which happened and nothing more to it. Maybe it was just to make me realize that only after dying you realize what you life was. And the last thought which comes to my mind before I completely fade away knowing the bittersweet truth is “For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike”