“Hey! Shriya. This is Jagadish. I was trying to call you from past one week. What happened? Why you didn’t answer my calls and why no responses to my sms’s”
“Jagadish! Please don’t try to call me again!”
“What? Why? Do you forget that we are lovers?”
“Yes, I know! But as per current situation! It is better if you live me alone”
“What do you mean by current situation? You mean my job? I can get another job soon. You know I’m trying”
“No,Jagadish… Please...I know that you are struggling a lot. I don’t want to be a burden to you. Please don’t ever call me again! Sorry!”
Call got disconnected.
He smashed his IPhone on floor with agony and pain. The pieces scattered across the hall.
Few months back.
Jagadish and Vineet are best friends from childhood. They did engineering in different colleges; nevertheless they got the job in same company. It is such a coincident that after their basic training got placed in same project. They were extremely delighted that they are in the same project and doing same work. Both stay in same room along with 2 other colleagues.
Though Jagadish is from middle class family, he lives his life lavishly. He is an extravagant. There is nothing like “saving money” in his dictionary. He always carries the latest cell phones and maintains sport bikes. He has 5 to 6 different credit cards. His monthly expenditure is more than what he earns. He has an elder sister, who got married when he was doing engineering. His both parents are living without depending financially on him, so he has no family responsibilities. Several times his parents warned him as he ought to change his habits and reduce the expenditures. However Jagadish is not cared them at any time. There is a reason for his behavior; he had gone through tough phases during childhood and while he was studying engineering. He desperately waited for the job so that he can get the financial freedom. Once he got the first month salary, he changed his life style. He started behaving like a wealthy person.
Vineet is also from middle class family. His father retired. He has a younger sister yet to get married, and has an elder married brother. His brother never worked in one place constantly. Thus, Vineet has to take care of whole family expenditures. He sends 70% of his salary every month to his family. He is thrifty, very careful in spending the money. It doesn’t mean that he is stingy; he spends money on movies and weekend diners, but not like Jagadish, will not maintain expensive cell phones and bikes. He knows the value of money and where to spend and where not, he also kept some money aside for savings.
Vineet many times told to Jagadish that he should reduce his expenses. But Jagadish always says “Life is too short, my 30% of life went without much enjoyment. Next 30% life after marriage goes in same way. I have only this time to enjoy, so please don’t object me, let me enjoy”. Vineet knows him from childhood; he had seen him how he struggled to complete this engineering, so some times he let him to do whatever he does. At intervals, Jagadish feels jealous of Vineet, and tries to spend money like him, however his family responsibilities bring him back to normal.
They never thought that fate is going to break their friendship in near future.
Jagadish is brilliant in work compare to Vineet. He is quick in grasping the design of the system. He helped Vineet many situations, when Vineet was struck in resolving the issues. Every so often, Jagadish did the Vineet work so that Vineet gets the recognition in the company. Indeed, in his management point of view, both Vineet and Jagadish are important resources for the project. Very few in that project actually know that Jagadish is excellent than Vineet.
Jagadish has a girl friend, her name is Shriya. Occasionally he bunks the office in order to go with her, that time Vineet covers him. Often Jagadish is used to take money from Vineet for his expenditures, and withdraws excessive amount from the credit card account.
Days will not be same always, world economy collapsed. All companies are facing hard challenges, reducing their costs and doing whatever to do to retain the existing customers. Jagadish and Vineet’s employer company is no exceptional, many upcoming projects are canceled in that company; they are facing difficulty paying salaries to employees. Rumors surrendered that company decided to fire the bunch of people in each project. Every one counting their days, no one knows when they would get pink slip.
Jagadish is not worried about the situation; he knows that his project is totally dependent on him. If company loses him then they can lose the project. Vineet is scared about the situation. He worried a lot, and thinking how to take up by any chance if he is fired. His whole family is depending on him. It is adamant outside to get a new job. He is not able to sleep properly, was getting dreams like they have removed him, his family suffered without money.
Surprisingly Jagadish and two other members got pink slips. Rest all team mates astonished about the management decision. It is a big shock to Jagadish, he never expected that. Vineet also equally shocked after knowing it. He knows about the Jagadish, he doesn’t want condolence words during that time, so he didn’t say anything. He left him alone for few days. Jagadish came out of the situation quickly. He started attending interviews outside. However, the situation is very bad, hardly 1 or 2 calls he is getting in a month time. Vineet is worried knowing his situation.
Jagadish is getting notices from the credit card companies that he has to pay the due amount. He has no money in his bank account, he sold his bike and laptop to repay some of those bills, but still he has a lot of debts. He took personal loan from bank to buy expensive items for his girl friend; he has to pay that too. He totally frustrated about his situation, he is not able to digest the fact that he is became like earlier Jagadish who was desperate about money.
His girl friend Shriya left him. It was a shocking moment to him. Gradually, he forgot to take care of his physical appearance, started growing beard and not showing interest about what dresses he is wearing. Vineet could not able see his friend struggling like that. He told many times to him, he has to keep some money aside, which will become handy during this kind of circumstances. He helped him lot of times. However, his debts are many, if he pays one another is coming up.
Everyone is worried what will happen to Jagadish. They thought credit card companies may file a case against him.
When Jagadish was staying alone in room, Vineet noticed that Jagadish was alone. He approached him.
“Jagadish, what happened to today interview?”
“Jagadish, I’m asking you what happened.” He started thinking that this interview is also gone.
“What will happen? I’m not as intelligent like you to get through the interview”
“Hey! Don’t say like that. Everyone knows who is the intelligent”
“Yes! Everyone knows, that’s why they fired me instead of you. Tell me Vineet, why they fired me? What wrong I did? ”
“Jagadish, you are the highest paid resource in the project. So, when they thought of reducing the cost, first thing they would do is removing the highly paid resources. That’s what happened, but not because that you did something wrong. I told you many times to reduce your expenses; you didn’t listen so now you are suffering”.
Jagadish face turned red with rage, he forcibly kicked the glass table in the hall with his leg. It fell on the floor and broke into pieces.
“Shut up Vineet!, I know what to do ? You no need to tell me. Actually, you are the reason why I lost that job. If you would have not part of the project, then they would have considered me. Because of you… you! I lost it. You are a coward. If you are my real friend then you also could have resigned”. Jagadish is shaking; he is totally out of balance. He doesn’t know what he is speaking.
Vineet don’t have any words to say, tears are coming out. He never saw him like that before. He silently went inside of room and packed his clothes. He came out and said,
“Jagadish, I always wanted to be your well wisher. You know about my family. If I don’t send money nothing will move. It is my bad that after this many years of our friendship, you didn’t understand anything about me. It is better if I’m away from you. I sincerely pray god that you will get job soon. Bye”
Vineet went out with his bag.
Jagadish banged the door vigorously. It closed making big sound.
It became 4 weeks since this incident happened.
One day Jagadish got a call from Credit Card Company. He didn’t answer the call. Then he saw an email from the same company. He knows what it would be, mostly asking him to repay the due amount otherwise they would file a case in the police station. He opened the email, to be his surprise; the email is thanking him for repaying the due amount. He didn’t believe it, he checked the name that whom it is addressed. It is correct, it is addressed to him. How come they are saying that I paid it, when I didn’t, he is thinking?
His phone started ringing, he saw who is calling. It is from the bank from where he took the personal loan. He lifts the call thinking about the email,
“Hi sir! Thanks for repaying your personal loan. We value your business”
“What! I didn’t pay to anybody. I don’t have even single paisa in my account, how would I pay? Are you sure ?”
“Yes Sir! We are sure; we have received a check yesterday”
“Check… who signed it?”
“Yes sir! It is Vineet, Once again thanks for your business. You will get papers in a week time”
The person disconnected the phone.
Jagadish phone is dropped from his hands. He realized about what happened. He quickly checked some of the previous emails which he had not opened. All are from his credit card companies, showing their gratitude for repaying the amount.
He understood that Vineet paid all his debts. But, how? He doesn’t have that much money to pay it. He then remembered ….that he was saving money for his sister marriage.
He is muttering himself “he paid all my debts with the money that he saved for his sister marriage”.
He apprehended how much big mistake that he did scolding Vineet that day. He totally misunderstood him.
He groaned holding his head with hands.
Muttering, “Vineet! Forgive me for whatever I did”.
After sometimes he quickly washed his face and get ready to meet Vineet. He called few of his other friends and enquired about Vineet address. He got his address.
He reached Vineet room, knocked the door. Vineet opened it; he shocked seeing Jagadish at the door.
Jagadish eyes filled with tears after seeing him. He immediately hugged him and said,
“Please forgive me Vineet. You are my real friend. I really misunderstood you. I know god will not forgive me for whatever I told to you, but I know a real friend like you will forgive me”.
Vineet took him to inside and asked him to sit in a chair.
“See! Jagadish, whatever I did is actually nothing when it compares with what I got from you”. Vineet tone is changed; he is talking in diplomatic way.
“As you said, Indeed, I was really responsible for your job lost. I came to know that company was planning to reduce the head count in our project few months back. I was very much scared; I know in that case they will first fire me. It is very hard to get another job outside, I remembered my family. If there is no job, they may die with starvation. That time, do you remember? I asked you, I would take the ownership of your module. You happily agreed and helped me to gain full control over it. I asked it because I know it is a critical module in the software, you were the only guy who knows about it. If I get to know everything about it then they will not fire me. Instead they might consider you.”
Jagadish is hearing him unbelievably. Vineet continued …
“As I expected, they didn’t fire me, the next obvious choice for them is you, because of your high pay…finally they fired you. I know that, I look vile to you after hearing that. But, I don’t have any choice. I did it for my family. I expected that you would get job soon outside because of your talent, but it didn’t happen. You suffered a lot. I could not able see you like that so I repaid all your debts.”
Jagadish is speech less. He doesn’t know what to say, he is totally confused after hearing what actually happened.
All of sudden he started laughing … laughing madly… saying ….” Because of you I lost the job. That is correct… you are really coward…. you made me to struggle like this … you caused me to lost everything, including my girl friend …there are no true friends in this world. No one will do any help without any reason…aha…aha…aha no friends …no real friends”.
He left the room laughing like that.
Do you think Vineet is a coward and selfish? Whatever he did is wrong?