Friday, November 16, 2012


“I have to explore this building”, that’s what I thought after seeing it. I had been observing that abandoned building for sometimes. It was the other side of the Lawrence highway. The building architecture is  unique when compared to the surrounding houses. I was an artist; so I could easily identify the artistic sense in any building construction. My name is Aryan and working as senior designer in one of the top advertising company. My job is to design company's brand logos. Most Fortune 500 companies were our clients; I had received a “Innovative design” award last year for my logo design to software company. It was not the first time, earlier to that I got several other awards for my work. However, that was all past. After that, I was running out of ideas. Somehow I was not getting “innovative” thoughts to design the company's brand logos. As per my boss advice I took a long break from work. But still, even after return from vacation, I felt something was missing in me. My 7 years marriage came to end that year, and I got a divorce from my wife. People were saying I got disturbed a lot with that divorce. That was real. I disturbed so much. I felt empty, and my mind was not sharp like before.

I visited many places for inspiration. I studied my previous work and other people's work, but still those things were not ignited the spark in my mind. I knew if I notice something unique and brilliant then If I get inspired, and I’ll be back to normal.

I was working on a project. The company who gave that project decided to renew their company logo as one of their key partner left that company. Earlier logo was used to resemble the culture of both companies, but now they need a new symbol. It was almost 3 months; I couldn’t come up with any satisfactory result.

After noticing that abandoned building, I felt it might have some paintings or something, which might inspire me. In one weekend, I decided to explore it.

It was beautiful and truly innovative construction. Until few years back, caretaker was taking care of that building, heard from one of my colleague. After him, no one was there to take care of it. Govt was thinking to renew it and make it as some kind of tourist place, but those things were never happened. People say they heard weird sounds in that building during night times and some even say they have seen shadows. I didn’t believe those things.

It was quite far from the high-way and located on top of the hill. There was a path to reach that house, but that path was totally deteriorated. Somehow I managed to reach it on my car. I opened the door. There was huge hall inside, and there were many paintings on the wall. I was slowly walking and looking at all the paintings. There was so much creativity on those paintings. I sat on a chair and opened the laptop. There were few designs in my laptop, which I didn’t like at all. I looked at the paintings on the wall to see if any of the paintings would inspire me. In parallel, I was studying about the company again. The more you know about the company then the more you can come up with a simple, yet perfectly suitable logos for them. A company logo should reveal about their culture, work, passion, principals and commitments. I knew the value of the brand names and logos. I spent around 4 hours, but none of the designed logo is satisfactory. Those paintings on the wall were not actually helping me to come up with any idea. People might think the company logos are  straightforward, and it shouldn’t take much time to design. But in reality that’s not correct. One has to spend a lot of time and even months to come up with different designs.

I was frustrated. I felt dead tired as my mind was constantly thinking about it. I slipped into sleep. Once I woke up, I realized that I had slept around 2 hours. I closed laptop and left the building. That day night I emailed a file with that list of drawings to my manager and asked him to submit to client for approval. I knew that they wouldn’t like those, but I didn’t have any option as I had already crossed the deadline long back, so I couldn’t prolong further.

Next day morning I got a call from the manager. The client is in the other side of the globe that means,  it was morning for them when they got the email, and they have reviewed the designs. He said they were extremely pleased with few designs, and they have chosen one for their company logo from it. He said excellent work and disconnected the call. I was surprised as I didn’t expect that response.

I opened outlook and saw an email from client appreciating my work. They have sent the selected designs as an attachment to it. When I opened that attachment, I was shocked as those were not my designs. Those were truly excellent, but those were not mine. I looked at the sent folder and checked the attachment that I send last night. That attachment has these designs along with my other designs. I didn’t know how come those designs came there. The file was in my laptop until yesterday so no one could have updated it. Even if someone, I didn’t think anyone here has that much talent to come up with those designs. It was total puzzle to me how could that happens.

Few days later I got another project. The situation was alike. I struggled to come-up with proper designs. I decided to visit that building and work there. I went again and sat on the same place. It was no use as I couldn’t come up with any new designs. After a while, I slept on that chair. When I woke up, I had observed that my laptop was not closed. I looked at the file, which has my previous designs. The file was supposed to be 5 pages, but it has 15 pages, that means, 10 new designs were added to that file.

Who could have added those designs? A big question mark in my mind. I looked around. I didn’t observe anybody. I recalled the stories about that building that a ghost was wondering in it. I usually don’t believe those stories. But, the question had arisen in my mind again, who did those drawings in my laptop? Defiantly it was not me.

While thinking, I went further inside of that building and noticed a room, which was not locked. It was a library room. No books were in the racks. I reckon those were stolen or sold. There was a large picture on the wall, which I understood could be the owner of that building. Sir Arthur, I read the name on that painting. While I was staring at that painting, all of sudden it fell down. I stumbled for that. I grabbed the painting from the floor and tried to put back on the wall, and then I observed a shelf on the wall, which was kept hidden earlier from that painting. I put the painting on the floor and opened that shelf. There was a dairy inside. Sir Arthur name was written on it. It was a century old book. I opened it. First few pages were empty then onwards it has drawings. I recognized some of the drawings as they were exactly same designs that I found in my laptop. That means …. Did Arthur sketched those designs ? My hands became wet with sweat. I closed that book and ran back to the place where I kept my laptop. I took it and came out of that building.

After reaching home, I was unable to believe what I saw. I double checked those designs in that book. I discussed it with one of my psychology friend. He told it was coincident that those drawings were matched. He also told that I might have drawn the designs unconsciously as it happened to many people. In any case, I was not sure exactly what the truth was. I didn’t visit that building again. But I kept Arthur’s dairy with me as that was my inspiration for all my future designs.

This story is published at

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Must read it

Use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is
the way to write English -- it is the modern way and the best flowers
way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and verbosity creep in. When you catch an
adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them -- then
the rest will be valuable. A wordy habit, once fastened upon a person,
is as hard to get rid of as any other vice."
--Mark Twain

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I know Who I am ( Trivedi final )

It is inconceivable that once a person is declared as dead then that person is coming back to life. May be that is called as near death experience. And I would never imagine, one day in my life, I would experience that. I was pretty sure; I was dead in that accident. There should not be any more of me.

But certainly I was wrong. After that accident, I didn’t know after how many days, I opened my eyes, which means I was alive!!!

I was lying on a bed in the same room. I slowly got up from it. I had checked my right leg where there should be a bullet wound, but I didn’t see it. I touched my head where I was bleeding to death last night. No sign of any damage. Even I didn’t feel that my back bone was hit with two bullets. If it was, then I would have not even move a bit.

“There is something going on here. I must be dead by this time. But I didn’t. They have done something to my body. I have to find out”, I was thinking.

After few minutes, boss came inside .

“Hey Afzal! How are you? I guess you didn’t sleep well. The security guards said, you were shouting last night. It must be a bad dream. Isn’t it?”

I was not stupid. I could make out that he was pretending that whatever happened was my dream. I knew that was not a dream.

“Yes, it was very unpleasant dream”, I told by rubbing my forehead with hand. Then I saw Michele, she had come inside.

“Ya, Afzal, here is a surprise to you. Michele came yesterday night. She didn’t feel like working after you left that place”, boss told by showing Michele to me.

“Hey! Afzal how are you, yaar? After a long time?”, She came close to me

I smiled, “What an acting, really. Everyone lives in their characters. I should end this drama soon.”

“I need some time to rest. I’m tired”, I said.

“Ya, sure. Take a rest. But don’t be in this room forever. Come out and have a fresh air. By the way, your passport is ready. We are trying to get the visa. This can be done today. See you”, he left along with Michele.

I got ready in few minutes. Though all these crazy things were happening, only thing that makes me happy was the fact about I was alive.  If I had some remarkable powers or I didn’t know, but I was alive.

I came out of the room and wandering outside. I saw the guy, who had tried to kill me, when I was trying to escape. He told I was a secret service agent, and he was here to help me. But why he tried to kill me. There were many unanswered questions. I had remained silent though I felt like to kill the guy in that spot. He said, “hello” and left as if nothing had happened. His actions didn’t surprise me much. Might be I was used to that kind of behaviors. I wanted something, something to threaten that guy.  Yes, I wanted a gun. The whole day I was trying to get a gun. Finally, I managed to get one. I kept it in my back pocket. In night, I had requested security guards not to close the doors as I told I was getting bad dreams because of that. I didn’t know whether they had believed that or not, they didn’t lock the door.

In midnight, I went straight to room number nine and knocked the door.  I told him that I had to discuss something. He opened the door. The moment he had opened the door, I hit his face with the gun. He fell to the ground. I entered inside and closed the door.

His nose got fractured, and blood spurted out, “what the heck you are doing? Are you mad?” he was screaming.

I hit him with gun again on his head. He lost his conciseness. I tied him in a chair and spilled water on his face. He back to normal.

“See though I was a software architect, who believes that everything can be achieved softly. But after seeing all these stuff, I understood nothing can be achieved by being soft. So tell me, I want answers, who am I? Why did you try to kill me? Then how come I’m alive? If you don’t answer my questions, then I don’t hesitate to kill you.” I aimed my gun at his head.

He looked puzzled. He tried to convince me that I was actually dreaming all that stuff. He didn’t know anything other than that.  I knew he wouldn’t give answers so easily. I was prepared for that, along with a gun I also bought a scissor. I put waste clothes in his mouth, so he won’t shout aloud. Then I cut his little finger with scissor. He was crying like a kid because of pain. I had spent some more time to interrogate him. One moment he gave up and agreed to give answers.

He was talking in pain, “I’ll tell you everything. Please stop hurting me”

“Alight. I won’t hurt you. So tell why I didn’t die?”, I asked.

“you can’t die, because YOU ARE NOT A HUMAN?”

“What do you mean I’m not a human? Am I ghost?” I asked sarcastically.

“No, you are a humanoid. After 15 years of through research, US military scientists come up with your model. You made up with half human organs and half machine parts. You have a capability to change your appearance as like anybody”, he stopped for a while because of pain.

“What are you saying?” my voice was breaking.

The heavy bleeding was made him so weak. But still he was talking.

“The first rule the scientists made after developing your models was ‘HUMANOIDS MUST NOT KNOW WHO THEY ARE’ as that would make chaos in their brain. Once we program humanoid brain as a particular person, then they would totally believe that THEY ARE HUMANS, and mannerisms, actions, affection, love, phobias, character, attitude everything … everything would be like a person whom they have programed. To change you to some other person, we have to reprogram you. But once we convert you into some person then no one could find out.”

“All our previous models behaved exactly in that way… except you. Once we replaced Trivedi with you. I was badly needed money, so I was sold myself to US sleeper cells and leaked information about you. They were very excited. They decided to have you was most important than killing US army chief. So they captured you. I helped them to reprogram you and to change the appearance. I warned them about rule that they should never reveal about you.”

“But the problem came after altering your program. Somehow your brain didn’t lose the ‘Trivedi’ identity. Every day we were trying to make you believe that you are not a Trivedi. But we didn’t succeed. As we proceed with different personalities, yet you strongly believed that ‘you are Trivedi’. As you are thinking, you are NOT here from past two days. You are here from past 30 days; we were doing all types of experiments on you. We even called Michele and tried. But there was no use.  We did everything what we could do to bring you back.  We also tried coming up with another model. I shot you because I knew that you can’t be killed with bullets.”

Tears were rolling form my eyes.

“I’m not a human”, I was blabbering. I was not able to believe that the fact.

“I don’t believe you.  I want proof. Prove me that I’m not a human”, I shouted in angry.

“I know you would ask this. Go ahead and shoot yourself. You will come to know. There is no blood in your body. Instead, a chemical solution is circulating. If you shoot yourself then you would see that chemical. After few minutes, you will recover yourself. But you will experience pain as like normal human beings”, he looked at my eyes after telling that.

I recalled seeing that chemical when he shot me last time. I still wanted to check again. When I got ready to shoot myself, then suddenly someone had knocked the door. They asked me to open it otherwise they would break it. I reacted quickly, opened the door, and hidden beside of it. When they entered inside, I had closed the door behind and ran. Looks like those guys alarmed others, so everyone got alerted. I looked for opportunities to escape. Then I saw the drainage entrance. I entered inside and then ran like anything. Those guys also found that I was in drainage, so they followed me. After running for several minutes then I came out from it in some deserted place. I didn’t know what was that place.

It was very dark. I felt even I shouldn’t be there. They might find out, so I ran again. As I expected they somehow found, and they were following me. I saw a freight train, which was picking up speed slowly.  I ran with full speed and entered inside the caboose.  When I looked behind; they were trying to catch it, but they were too late. The train went in full speed.  I was so tired, so just slept inside.

When I opened my eyes, i was somewhere in northern India.

I got down from train and went to nearby tea shop. I had asked for tea before I went into deep thoughts. Whatever my background was or whoever I was, I decided to forgot all and start from zero. Start a new life and a new beginning. Get a new job and mingle with new friends and new people. A person in a tea shop had interrupted my thoughts and asked about me as he hadn’t seen me before there. I looked at him and thinking, “Who am I?”

Well, there are certain things, which you believe till your death. And what you believe depends on what you are. No matter what anyone says – I believed I was Trivedi.

“My name is Trivedi”, I answered him with a smile.



Saturday, July 14, 2012

Jump over the wall ( Trivedi cont … )

He opened the door. But fortunately that was not the same one where I was hiding. I was relieved. I had waited until they left the room. After that I came out of the almirah. It was my bad luck that they had locked the door before leaving the room. So when I tried to open it. It didn’t open.

“Why it is happening always like this to me?” I muttered.

“How can I go out now?” I had realized there was no other way that I could find out. So I decided to wait until someone opens the door. Few minutes later someone opened the door. It was the guy who had given me the paper slip. I was wondering what that guy was doing there.  He quickly came inside and asked me to follow him. We went to inside his room that was in the first floor.

“It was good as I have seen you going into that room. Otherwise, you would have been locked inside until boss finds out.” I nodded and thanked him.

And also I said sorry as I was not able to meet him yesterday. He said he knew that I was not able meet him as my door was locked. But it was good that he didn’t ask how I had managed to come out, otherwise I had to tell the whole story again.

I didn’t wait much time, I asked him.

“Now tell me? You told me that you knew about me. So who am I actually?”

He didn’t answer my question. Instead, he gave me an identity card and asked me to open it. I opened it, it was someone’s secret service agent identity card. I was puzzled and looked at him.

“That was your identity card.”

“What? I’m secret service agent” I was shocked. “Please, give me a break.  I was really tired of all these things. First I was a software architect, then a common man, who has a brother and family, and then I was a murderer, and then I was a terrorist, and now I’m secret service agent. Please don’t play with me” I was screaming.

“You were indeed a US secret service agent and were working in undercover.  We were total 4 people, who were specialized to find out the terrorist sleeper cells across the world. We came to know that Trivedi was planning to kill US army chief. Then we planned to replace Trivedi with you, so we have kidnapped him. But eventually we realized that they were controlling him through a microchip in his mind.  We have extracted that microchip from Trivedi’s brain. And it was you, who altered the software in that chip, so that it would receive instructions from us, instead of from them. However, that was not tested thoroughly. So it was not approved to use it on human beings. We were running out of time. So you took a brave decision to experiment that, though our higher authorities have refused it. Nobody knew about this mission, except four of us.”

Whatever he was saying was going only half into my mind.

“Before you have been kidnapped by these people, we have replaced Trivedi with you. They were wondering why that microchip was not working. It was because we altered that software. However, it even not worked for us. It didn’t respond to our instructions. It malfunctioned and programed your mind such that you strongly believed that you are a Trivedi.”

“When they removed that microchip from your head, you became normal.  And you have informed us that you were going to India, so you asked me to contact you here. But after coming here, I’ve realized that they had inserted another microchip in your brain, which caused you to lost all your previous memories and stick to Trivedi’s thoughts. Somehow I managed to join this team and waited for a chance to meet you.”

“Here are your family photos. They are desperately waiting for you” He gave me few photos.

I was not in a mood; not trying to understand what he was saying. I looked at those photos then I asked.

“When are you planning to take me to my family in US?”

That was only thing I wanted at that time from him. Going back to USA. Otherwise, whatever he was telling I was not really interested.

“I’m making plans for that. But it is dangerous for you to go to US first. So I’m planning to take you to UK first, where your operation also will be done and then you can recall your past.”

“Oh, I see”, I said.

“I told you all these things upfront so that you would co-operate with me later. Believe me everything is gonna be alright. You will meet your family soon. Now go and take rest”, he patted on my shoulder.

I hesitated to tell him about Michele. I didn’t know why.

I said thank you and left his room. He told, be careful while returning to my room. Millions of thoughts were circulating in my mind. Many things were going around me. I strongly believed that I should have never come to that building. I should try to find out my own way to US. So instead of going back to my room, I walked towards compound wall of that building. It was still dark. I saw a big compound wall around the building.

There was a tall tree beside of that wall; if I could climb that tree then I could jump over the compound wall. I started climbing the tree. Then I heard a noise. Somebody noticed me.

“Hey? Who are you? Stop; otherwise I’ll shoot you?” he was threatening me.

I didn’t listen as that was the last chance I could get to free myself. So I had climbed up.

He had fired two rounds. Fortunately those bullets didn’t hit me. I had jumped from that tree to wall. I was hanging on the wall and pulling my body up, so that I could jump over other side. Then he had fired four times. He didn’t miss that time.

Two bullets had penetrated into my backbone, and another one went inside of my right leg. I fell to the ground. My head hit something on ground heavily. It started bleeding.

I could feel that I was losing so much blood. I looked at my blood. It appeared different to me. I didn’t know why? But I knew that I was dying. My heartbeat was slowing down. Before losing the conciseness last time that I saw was the person who shot me.  I recalled him. He was the guy who told me that I was the secret service agent.

Then that’s it. Everything had turned black.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hidden door ( Trivedi cont … )

I didn’t sleep that night. I was looking at the watch and waited until 1:30 AM. Then I got up from bed and tried to open the door. It didn’t open. The door was locked from  outside.

“Damn it. How can I open the door?” I thought. I looked whole room if I could find some other way to escape. But it was vain; I didn’t find any other way.

I locked the door from inside and slipped into sleep while thinking what that guy in room no 9 would have been thinking, since I didn’t meet him.

I opened my eyes when I felt somebody had kissed on my face. I was shocked to see that person on bed. She was Michele. I didn’t understand how come she was on my bed. She was supposed to be in US. I asked her same question. She smiled and told that she was also part of the US sleeper cell. Once I left, she had requested her boss to replace her with someone else and she came over here.

“I got your photo from boss. That’s how I recognized you. Though you look different, but I can feel your breath”, she told by coming close to me.

I didn’t know what to say. My mind became blank. I was looking for words to say something. Whatever hope that I had some whereas I was not a terrorist was breaking into pieces after seeing her.

“See, boss still didn’t know our intimacy. He was thinking that I was just helping you in that mission. He still has a crush on me. So you have to behave properly with me in front of him”.

I just said fine as I needed time to digest whatever things happening in front of me. Everything was happening so unpredictably.

“I know you don’t remember anything, but we had plans to quit this team and settle in Singapore. We also made arrangements as you transferred 50 million to yours Singapore account. But somehow because of that electric chip in your mind, you became crazy and lost your mind. Anyhow, now the good news is, i have few friends here, who could do anything for me. I asked them to do the arrangements for us, so it would be taken care of. And you won’t be traveling to US; instead we are going to Singapore. You know what? You can get operated in Singapore itself.”

I was jolted after hearing that she was planning to take me to Singapore.

I was about say something. She didn’t listen anything. She said be happy and left the room. While she was leaving I observed that she had opened the door lock from the inside before she was going out. That means she didn’t come from that door.

“If she didn’t come from that door then how she could able to come inside. There might be some other secret door here”, I thought. It was too late for me to explore that room as it has already become a day.

After few minutes, the agent knocked the door. I opened it. He asked me to get ready to meet the boss.

I had seen Michele along with the boss. She just smiled at me and left us alone. The boss told me that he was doing arrangements for my US travel like getting fake passport and visa etc. It would take a couple of days, until then I should not go anywhere and stay inside that building.

That whole day I didn’t do anything. I expected to notice the guy who gave that paper note to me. But i didn’t see him at all. I was roaming inside the building. There were many rooms. I tried to enter inside a random room. But they didn’t let me in. I suspected there was something going on inside.

I was thinking to find that hidden door at any cost that night. I waited until it becomes dark. The agent again left me in the room and locked the door.

I slept for few hours and then in the middle of the night started exploring the room. Finally, I figured-out, there was a button embedded in the corner side of the wall and pressing it actually opened the secret door. It was impossible to anyone to notice it as the paints on the door matches with the wall so it fools any one.

Inside it was dark. I waited sometime so that my eyes could adjust to see in the dark and I could make out the way. That path leads to somewhere. I followed the path then it took me to someone’s bedroom. I quietly entered inside. Someone in the hall was talking over the phone. I recognized that voice. That was Michele’s voice.

“Yes,  darling. Don’t worry about him. I’ll take care of him. As per our plan I told we are going to Singapore.”

Then there was a silence. The guy on the phone asked something.

“Ya, ya. Of course he believed me. You know about me right. Michele can do anything. It’s magic. I did all arrangements in Singapore. You are not going to see Afzal again”, she was laughing.

I understand that she was talking about me. She was planning something.  I decided not to go with her otherwise god only knows what she could do.

I waited some more time. She was watching TV. I searched in her bedroom drawer. I found a revolver and few photos. I didn’t know what I was searching there. I saw few alphanumeric numbers written on a paper. I didn’t understand what it was.  I decided to go back. On the way to my room, I noticed another path. I followed it, and it leads to the hall of that building. After entering into that hall, I recognized the room which they didn’t allow me that day morning. It was not locked. I wondered whether it was unlocked just for me to explore so I decided go inside.

It was like a mix of computer and biology lab. I saw a bunch of computers and some papers lying on the floor. I also saw few human organs in a chemical solution. I didn’t understand what that was for. I tried to login in a computer. But it was password protected. I gave different default passwords what ever I could recall. It didn’t work, and then I remembered the alphanumeric pattern that I saw in Mechele’s bedroom. I tried to login again with that sequence. I was able to login. Then I saw few drawings. A human body shaped drawing. I realized that was a model, combining human body and few electrical circuits. I was trying to explore more. I heard a noise. Somebody was trying to come inside. I quickly logged off from that computer and went inside an almirah in that room and closed the door.

I had sensed that two guys came inside of that room. One person was scolding other one as he forgot to lock the door. They were doing something; I didn’t know what that was. I was sweating inside.

“Where is that chemical solution?” One person asked another.

“I didn’t know. You only put somewhere” the other person replied.

“Ya, I remembered now. It is in that almirah” I could feel that guy coming close to open the almirah door where I was hiding. My heartbeat was running away. I was quickly thinking what to tell if they notice me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Who am I ? ( Trivedi cont …)

Police officer asked me to remain silent and took me outside of the hospital. We were walking towards his vehicle, and then it happened that. A big explosion and police vehicle had thrown into the air. The smoke from the vehicle spread across.  I couldn’t see anything. I heard a van stopped near to me, and somebody pulled me inside, and it accelerated to full speed.  Everything had happened so fast. I observed three people inside the vehicle.

One guy came close to me and removed handcuffs with some kind of scissor.

“How are you feeling Afzal? It has been very long since we met?”

I didn’t understand whom he was asking.

“What are you saying? Who are you guys?” I was screaming. There is a tall man with a long beard in van looked at that first guy and said, “Still he doesn’t remember anything. We have to take him to boss first”.

The first guy went back to his previous position.

Whatever just happened was driving me crazy, “you guys did that blast?  What an earth the reason for you to do like that. See it might be some mistake. You might be thinking I’m somebody else. I’m already in full of troubles. So don’t involve me in another. Please let me go. ”

He pushed me back when I tried to stand-up.

“You are not going anywhere.  You will come to know everything once we see boss”, the long beard guy said.

“No, I’m not coming anywhere, until you tell me what is going on here?” I stood-up again.

“Alright, I’ll tell you everything. You first sit down. As you are thinking you are neither Trivedi nor Joseph. Your name is Afzal. You are one of the best guys in our team. You have been working with us from the past fifteen years. You are part of one of our sleeper cells in US. You have been assigned a mission”, he stopped and looked at me for reactions.

I opened my mouth and listening what he was going to say.

“Your mission was to kill US military chief. You have been planning for that mission for many years. You were almost edge to your target. But, in the last minute we had to back off. That’s where all these problems started.”

“What the heck you guys are saying? No… No… No… you are wrong. You are totally wrong. I’m Trivedi. I’m software architect. I’m not a Terrorist”, I was shouting.

“See that’s the problem. We invented a microchip, which can be attached to the brain. So it gives the instructions subconsciously to each agent. And it makes you think that you are what you are in the present role. It supposed to disable itself after completing the mission, so that you should be normal again. We used to contact each agent through that device. It was our state of the art technology. You are also one of the guys who involved in the designs of this device.”

“But, when we had instructed through that device before you were attempting to kill US chief, some technical problem happened. The device didn’t respond properly.  And you didn’t come back to normal either. You still believed that you were Trivedi. We didn’t have any choice except, replacing you with other guy in that position.”

He was talking continuously without a break.

“The team in US operated you and removed that old “Trivedi’s” chip. Fortunately you have behaved normal after removing that chip. So we bought you here in India. Here you have been assigned to some other mission and inserted another chip. This is supposed to make you believe that you are a joseph. However, after inserting that chip, you behaved violently. You killed the doctor who did the operation and plastic surgery to you. And you tried to escape. Somehow we have managed and left you in that bar, where Joseph brother spotted you”.

“We thought you would recall that you are Joseph after seeing Danieal and Joseph’s family. But you didn’t. Instead, you still in “Trivedi’s” mind. You called Trivedi’s boss in US and Michele too. That is not what we expected. So we decided to take you back.”

I looked at him unbelievably. If whatever they were saying is right then, I was a terrorist. I was appointed to kill US top official. My head was spinning. I sat down holding my head with hands.

After a while, the van stopped at an unknown place. He asked me to get down. I blindly followed them inside a building. There I met another person, from their discussion; I understand that he was boss.

“Hello Afzal. I know you still didn’t believe that you are Afzal. Come with me”, he put his hand on my shoulder and took me inside.

I went along with him. That was a lab. He asked me to lay down on a table. I did it exactly as I didn’t want to do anything stupid at that time after witnessing what they could do at the hospital.

They took scan of my brain. After 5 mins, he had shown my brain x-ray and spotted the place where the chip was placed.

“See, look at this. This is proof that you are Afzal.”

I was shocked looking at that x-ray.

“Unfortunately you killed the doctor, who can only operate and remove this chip from your mind. He is only doctor in India. But don’t worry; we have many doctors in US. We are planning to send you to US and get it operated.”

I was totally confused. The way they were telling those things made me believe that I was not Trivedi, but don’t know, some part of my mind was telling that was hoax. Anyway I was glad that he was planning to send me US, which was only thing I wanted. I thought, once I reach US then I could decide what to do next.

“Ok, Afzal. Your mind is precious and special to us. Go and give and some rest to it.”

He instructed one of his agents to show me a room where I could take the rest. On the way I met someone, he said welcome back and gave handshake. He actually gave me a folded slip of paper while giving handshake. Some reason, I kept that paper slip in my hand.

The agent showed me the room, and he left. I confirmed that no one around then opened the slip. It was written like, “If you want to know who you are, meet me in room no 9 today night at 2.00PM. Make sure nobody follows you”.

After reading that, I was thinking, “who am I actually?”

Monday, July 9, 2012

I didn't kill ( Trivedi cont ...)

“See I’m Trivedi, we both knew that you are not Trivedi. I’ve been kidnaped and transported to India, I don’t know who are you and why are you acting like me, but remember that you can’t manage forever, they will find-out soon”, I was almost shouted over phone.

“What the hell are you talking about? Go check with a doctor, you are crazy, you are not Trivedi”, the phone got disconnected.

I got so much angry, didn’t know what to do. I sat on steps and thinking. “I’ve to calm down and think straight. Figure out the way to reach US again”.

The guy at the front desk came out with a bill and asked me to pay. I didn’t think I had money to pay. When i had checked my back pocket, I felt the purse. I removed it. I saw a bunch of Indian rupees. I paid the bill with that cash. When I carefully observed the purse, noticed a driver license inside. I pulled out and read the name on it. The name was written as P.J.Josheph, and I thought the photo on license was that guy. I went 
 near to that front desk guy, and showed that license and asked;

“Do you know him?” that guy repeatedly looked at the photo and me and laughed, “Don’t joke with me sir that is your photo only”.

“What? What are you saying?”

“Yes sir that is your photo.” 

I ran inside the toilet, and when I looked at mirror, Josheph was standing in front of me. I could not believe that.  I touched my face and Josheph also touched his face on mirror. I understand that they did the plastic surgery and changed my face. So who ever involved in this matter, they were very power-full and dangerous. They could do anything to get what they want. I washed my face (actually Josheph face) and came out of the toilet. That lodge guy was still looking at me surprisingly.  I smiled at him and went back to my room.

“Think… think, don’t panic. I’ve to figure-out how to get out of this country”, I was thinking the possibilities.
“Yes, the person who ever brought me here in this lodge can lead me to the culprits. But even If I go to my company with this face, do they recognize me as now I turned to Josheph.  No, it’s all right; they just changed my face, but not my mind. It is still same Trivedi brain, I can come up with another dozen security solutions”, I slept thinking like that.

When I woke up, I saw that hotel boy with another person in my room. He came near to me and asked “how are you?”; I looked at him unknowingly, “he is your brother Danieal. You forget him or what?”, the hotel boy said.

Danieal was upset, “Where have you been all these days? Yesterday night you were fully drunk, I didn’t want to take you to home with that condition, so I put you here. Let’s get ready we have to go home as they are expecting you”, I didn’t mention anything as I was expecting him.  Good thing is, he is also talking in English.

I got ready; actually I wore clothes brought by Danieal.

He came in a taxi so we returned in same taxi. When we had reached home, the people were waiting for us. The moment I entered inside, they started crying, and asked me not to leave home again. I remained silent. Once that matter is settled, I went to Danieal and asked, “Where did you see me yesterday? Can you give me the address?” he refused first as he didn’t like me to go again to that place. But eventually he agreed to give it with the condition that he would also come with me.”

Before starting, Danieal asked, “Joseph, your accent is very different, you speak like an American. How did you get that?” I just smiled.

We had reached that bar, where Daniel was claiming that he found me. I looked at the premises and entered inside. Then someone called my name, actually Joseph name. He came close to me,” Hey Joseph, where did you go?  We had a nice time yesterday remember?”

I didn’t get what he was saying as he was talking in local language.

“Sorry, who are you?” I asked in English.  That guy got hurt and he replied me, “oh, alright, I can talk better English than you. We had a party yesterday here. You gave me party as you are going to marry ... Laila”

“Laila”, I muttered the name.

“Oh, you forgot Laila also; looks like you are still in yesterday hangover”,

“Ya, kind of, do you know Laila address?” I asked. That guy told me her address. I looked at Danieal, he nodded telling that he knew that address.

On the way, Danieal told, I had mentioned about Laila in home before. But nobody accepted to marry her. That was the reason, why I left the home a week back. I was thinking, “who ever bought me here, they had kidnapped Joseph, and replaced me here. Even if I say, I’m not Joseph, nobody believes that, I need to find the lead, may be Laila helped them to replace me”.

We knocked the door, after a while the girl opened the door. The girl first shocked, and then hugged me. I understand she was Laila. We went inside. When I tried to introduce Danieal to her, she told she knew him already. She also told, yesterday night, I left her home as I had to give party to my friends, and then didn’t return.

I felt that was the right time to reveal the secret to them. I took a deep breath.

“I have to tell something, which is very important. As you are thinking, I’m not Josheph, my name is Trivedi. I’m a Sr. Architect in one of the US software company. Somebody kidnapped me and bought here. They also did plastic surgery so I look like Josheph. I guess the Govt is also involved in this conspiracy.”

They both looked at each other. Laila came close to me, “Joseph, please not again, doctor told that you have become normal.”

“What? What is normal? I’m telling the truth. You guys are not getting”, I was shouting.

“Calm down, Josheph, you had been through this before, please not again”, Danieal said.

“What the heck? What I had been through before?”

“You had these visions before, you thought; you are like a different person. Last time you had imagined you as a doctor, and behaved like that. Before to that you had behaved as a military officer. We consulted doctor, and he had given the treatment before”.

That time I had realized why they had chosen Joseph. Since he had visions, so no one would believe that if I was Trivedi, they thought I was assuming that.

I reacted very quickly, laughed very loudly.  “I was just joking to see your reactions. Actually I had a bad memory because of last night drinks.  I want to see the doctor who treated me. Can we go there?”
Danieal and Laila felt relived. Danieal said, he would take me to the doctor. On the way, I was thinking.

“At least doctor might remember me; I have to tell him what had happened”.

When we had reached the hospital, there was a police car parked outside. I could feel some dreadful thing had happened. The person at reception recognized me, and he stood up straight and told something to the police officer that he was talking over.

The officer looked at me and immediately aimed revolver to me and asked me to sit on my knee. I was shocked of his reactions. He locked my hands and said, I was arrested as I killed the doctor, whom I’d been taking the treatment.  What? I killed the doctor?

Sunday, July 8, 2012


It was truly refreshing having coffee by looking at sunrise. I was doing same thing, standing outside of my 27th floor apartment and enjoying sunrise. The outside view was magnificent. My name is Trivedi, working as a Sr.Software Architect in one of the top US Company. We develop security solutions. US defense department is one of our clients. I was expert in designing and architecting the intelligent software in weapons. There are totally 7 patents on my name. Most people don’t know that modern weapons have microchip, and the firmware inside the chip does the most of the work.  They believe that Weapon manufacturing is just a mechanical work, and no software required. But certainly they are wrong.

Six figure salary and 5% company stock, everything achieved at age of 25. I love to enjoy a luxurious life, so bought costliest apartment and a sports car. Even My boss didn’t have that kind of car. I was bachelor but was dating with Michele. Michele was co-worker.

That day was going to be my biggest day in my life as I had to give a presentation of new weapon technology to US defense authorities, which I had been working for 2 years. US defense department was eagerly waiting for that technology. If they accept it then it would be a big breakthrough in my life.

I finished my coffee, went inside and sat on a sofa. I got a call, it was Michele. I answered the call,

“Hey… Mich”, I call her as Mich, short name of Michele.

“Honey… did I wake you up.”

“No … Mich.. I woke up already.”

“Oh… ok… do you miss me yesterday night?” Her tone was teasing. Almost every day I used to spend night time in her apartment, but yesterday I didn’t go.

“Ya… kind of… you know right. I was immersed in preparing the presentation.”

“Oh … great. I know you forget entire world when you are working... I’m angry that you keep all your designs with you. You don’t even share with me”, she sounded really angry.  That was, may be 100th time, she was complaining that I didn’t share my designs with her. I really don't like to share my designs with anybody, because those are military designs. If those designs land in wrong hands, then I couldn’t imagine what kind of damage that might bring.

I just laughed and remained silent.

“Alright… anyway, come soon to office. See you there… love you… bye”, she disconnected the call.

I took 45 mins to get ready and came out of my apartment. I was carrying personal laptop. Today’s presentation and some other confidential documents were in that laptop.
I was in the basement, walking towards car. Then it happened. Somebody hit with something at the back side of my head. I fell on the floor. Then two hands were holding me down, and I could feel, something was getting injecting in my neck.

I was losing conciseness but still I could see somebody grabbed laptop from me. I wasn’t able to resist, lost complete conciseness ...

When I opened my eyes, I was inside a small room. I realized that was a lodge. It was undoubtedly very low cost one. I got up from bed. I remembered everything that someone hit me from back and stole my laptop.

“God damn it. They wanted my new designs that’s why they hit me and stole laptop. Who was it? I’ve to inform my boss”. I came out of the room; it was in the first floor. I came over then I saw a short guy at the front desk. He didn’t look like an American. I asked him where was that place and who bought me here. He said, some guy bought me here yesterday night. He had told him that I was his brother. I asked him again, which town it was?  He said, I was in Poovar, a small town in Kerela, India.

“Oh my god, it is unbelievable. Am I in India???  Whoever stole my laptop, they brought me to India from US? This is ridicules. I’ve to call my boss.”

I asked that guy, whether it was possible to make an international call. It was fortunate that guy was able to talk in English. I heard somewhere that most of the population in Kerala speaks English and i was witnessing that fact in that small Kerala town. He showed me the phone and told me what numbers I should dial first to make an international call.

I dialed my boss office number directly, no one answered the call. Then I understood it was night in US, so I dialed my boss cell phone number. After a moment he answered.

“Sir, this is Trivedi. Please listen carefully. I was attacked by somebody, and my laptop was stolen. And right now I’m in a small town, India. I don't know how, but they brought me here. You have to call FBI and report it”, I told him everything.

There was a silence for a few seconds from the other side, then he said, “See Mr, this is not a time for practical jokes, I just met Trivedi this evening at my office. So don’t tell me that you are Trivedi. You better call someone to make fool”.

I was shocked after listening what he had said. “What are you saying? You met Trivedi today evening, that’s impossible, I’m Trivedi, and somebody stole my laptop and designs. Sir, you didn’t recognize my voice. I have been working in your company for more than 10 years!!!”

“I told you Mr, stop talking nonsense. You are not Trivedi”, he disconnected the call.

I was stalled. “What is going on?  When I’m here, how come he was telling that he met Trivedi. Whom did he meet actually?” my head was spinning with those questions.

“Who stole my designs? Why they bought me live here, instead of killing. I have to call Michele. Yes, she will remember me.”

I called Michele’s cell number. After a while she answered.

“Michele, this is Trivedi, see… something terrible is gonna happen. I don’t understand what is that exactly. Can you believe that I'm in India, someone brought me here, you have to help me”.

She was laughing in phone. “Are you Trivedi? Then who is in my bed? A ghost … ha ha.”

“What? Trivedi is with you??” it was a double shock to me.

“Yes, he is with me in my bedroom. You want to talk to him” and I heard that she gave phone to some other person.

“Hello, this is Trivedi speaking, who is it?” the voice is not my voice. I was thinking, “if he is Trivedi then who am I??”


Thursday, July 5, 2012


I woke up suddenly from sleep. I darted around, and then recalled the premises. It was my office and I was in my chair inside cubicle. “What I’m doing in my office, now?”  I has tried to remember. “Yes, I have been working on to fix some issues in BTT module, which has to be delivered soon. I slipped into sleep while working on that”. I recalled. 

“Where is Ganesh?” I looked at Ganesh cubicle. It was empty, no one was there. “He was with me yesterday night? Where is he now? He might have left to home?” I thought. “But, why he left without informing me? Strange”, thought. I looked at the watch; it showed 1:50AM! I knew it was not 1:50AM as I could feel the sun at outside, so it might be around 7 or 8 AM.

I went outside of the ODC and noticed no one were wondering around. “Where are the workers? At least few workers would have been here by this time. Is it holiday or what?” scratched my head. Went to elevator and pressed down button. It didn’t take much time to realize that the elevator was not functioning. “Hmm… damn it, I have to use stairs now”. I was muttering.  I hate to use stairs as my office was in 6th floor.

I came-out of the building; there was a canteen opposite to my building. Usually by that time, the canteen should be with full of employees. But no one was there, not even sweepers. Then I thought I should call my manager to inform the situation. So I pulled my IPhone, which I bought recently. There was no signal in it.  “What the hell, usually in office there should be full-signal, now it is showing no signal”. I rebooted phone, as sometimes, that should pick the signal, but even after that no signal. “Ok, let’s go to the security office”, I thought as even in holidays, security should remain in office.

The security office located a bit far from the office. This company is one of the largest software companies in the country. The entire campus consists of several buildings, canteens and play grounds.  “no one is there” I thought after reaching security office. “What is going on? Why no one is here? it can’t be as they can’t leave the office, just like that”. I saw VOIP phone at the desk, tried to call but no call sign. It was dead.

“I better go home”, thought and went to the parking lot. My bike was parked there. Minutes later, I was on the road. I was driving on the city’s busiest highway. Usually by that time, even in holidays that should be packed with vehicles, however, that time there was no sign of any vehicle on road. It was like some curfew was placed in the city. I drove fast, on the way, i saw no body, literally no one!!! All roads were damn empty!!!

“What is going on? Something is seriously wrong. Otherwise, why no persons around?”. I reached the breakfast center. I used to take breakfast in it during weekends. I entered inside, same thing, it was totally empty, but all items were arranged neatly inside the glass door. “Where are these guys? What happened to all of them?” I felt very hungry, grabbed few items inside the glass door and ate it.  I left the shop and sat on my bike. I looked around and started analyzing the reasons for that situation. I had never seen that place like that before as all shops were open, but no people around.

“Is it real? Or am I dreaming? Where are all the people?” I decided to go home. I drove towards my home.

“Ganesh, Ganesh…” I shouted after entering the house. The door was not locked. Same thing, no sign of any persons inside. Ganesh and I were colleagues and staying together.  Two other guys were also staying with us. I searched all rooms; it was a three bedroom house. My house is in the first floor, and a family stays at ground floor. I came over and knocked the ground floor entrance, I expected the uncle would come to open the door. No body responded. I opened the door as that too not locked. “Uncle… are you inside?". No response! I entered inside and noticed few breakfast plates. It looks like somebody had finished eating the breakfast before they left!!!

I slapped my head with a hand. I didn’t understand what was going on, I became insane by seeing all these things, all “nobody” situation in the city. I decided to go city center, so that at least I might find few people.
Reached city center, damn it, no change in the scene, I was alone. All shops, fruit stalls, super markets, everything, EVERYTHING WITH-OUT PEOPLE.



My voice is echoing back. I shouted again and again. I didn’t get any response. I went to a TV showroom. I picked remote and surfing channels and looking for news channels. But those "news" channels were not broadcasting anything "live". “God damn it, it’s not just this city, looks like no people in the whole world. The question arose in my mind again, is it real? Or am I dreaming? I’m working too much that’s why my brain is dreaming too much. I better take a break from work. Ok, if it is dream, let’s enjoy it. Think positive, and make any situation as an advantage to you”. Those self-motivating words were truly refreshing to me. I drove to super mall. I parked bike outside and went inside a branded showroom, where I rarely go, because of the cost of the items in it. Now, since no one was around, and I never really required to buy anything, so happily went inside. I spent almost 2 hours, wearing different dresses, hats, shoes, trousers etc… Finally packed hand-full of items and left the store. I saw a sports car parked outside. I went near to it and noticed the car keys were inside. I smirked and opened the trunk and put all items inside. Though I learned car driving long back, never drove a car without instructor on road. Now I got a chance, that to sports car, I smiled again.

Started the car and accelerated to full speed. Understand how much fun in driving the sports car. I drove to costliest restaurant; went inside kitchen, whatever items were there, tasted all of them and ate stomach full. Then from there went to a bar, and drunk fully. Didn’t know how I drove, but finally reached home and slept on my bed without closing the doors.

Next day morning my head was spinning due to excessive drinks on previous day. I went to the bathroom and washed my face; came out and sat on sofa. I had tried to remember what happened ; I recalled that all persons in that city were vanished. I thought that was a dream, but not. All people are indeed vanished. I didn’t panic that time. Concluded something, so got ready and left home. I noticed the sports car on the road; remembered that I stole that car from shopping mall. Smiled and got inside; wanted to go police-station, where they would have a radio phones or satellite phones, so that I could try to contact somebody, if there are any.

Parked the car in front of the police station.  As usual no one inside, but seems like some activity had happened before they vanished. I went inside the control room; There was a satellite phone and emergency number written on it. During a national emergency, we should call that number. I dialed that number. It was ringing. Waited for few minutes, no one answered, and then I disconnected and dialed again. No one answered the call. I tried some other emergency numbers, no response at all. I was irritated; out of frustration smashed the phone on the floor.

“What to do? What to do? Am I alone in the whole planet? It can’t be; decided to check in internet. I went to a nearby internet center. It was open; all machines were running. I sat in front of a system and typed “” and it came instantly. But that didn’t give any happiness to me as the servers would work for several days or months even if no persons around. I navigated to that day’s news section; it was showing old news.  That means it didn’t record any events since previous day. I searched for several hours, but all websites stopped updating their sites since 1:50 AM. The same time where my watch was still showing.

“God! I’ll really become a crazy guy by seeing all these things?” I thought. I went out and sat on the pavement. The whole street was quiet, the vehicles were parked haphazardly. Then I observed, not just human beings, I didn’t see any other animals, like street dogs, birds, cows, nothing at all. So that means no living species around except me.

My mind was full of contradicting thoughts, “Is it some kind of alien abduction? Why they left me alone and took everybody else, I’m just a normal person? not a special to be considered… Or am I dreaming ???. I'm certain that it was not a dream. Because,  I never felt so real in any of previous dreams. May be I stressed too much, so I’m dreaming very long. Wait a minute... actually in dreams time doesn’t matter, you feel it is too long, but actually you might be dreaming in hours or may be minutes.”

Dont know "dreaming" was not going from my mind. I pinched myself just to confirm. It pained like anything, so it was not a dream. There could be chances that everyone in this city vanished, but there might be people living outside. I have to search for them. I drove my car towards home. Packed things required for one week living and put in the trunk.

I started driving to leave the city. Though it was morning, the highway was damn quiet. The too much silence can certainly make any person go crazy. I had put the songs in car with full volume, just to feel the sound. I never liked loud voice, but that time I felt happy while listening the music. On the way I spotted an old house, it looks weird to me. I ignored it. One way I spotted another house, which looks exactly same. It happened again, and again and again. I stopped the car and got down, decided to go near to that house. I stand just ten yards from that house. Something was missing in that house. It didn’t look like a “REAL” house, some kind of movie setup.  I went further near to the house.  Surprisingly, after nearing 5 yards, I was not able to go further; some invisible wall was stopping me. I touched it; I could feel that there was something in between. I looked at the house carefully, the windows, doors, painting etc… all appeared strange to me. I thought I had seen that type of home before, somewhere. But where, where? I got headache thinking about it.
I didn’t want to stay at that place. I returned back to the car, and drove towards city limits. After driving 2 hours, I saw the sign board, indicating that the road ahead was closed. And there was a giant metal fence across the road.

“Damn it”, I blurted. I realized that is the city limit and impossible to go further through that fence. “Who constructed this? Whoever abducted the city people, would they have done this? But why? … It might be that there is something out there, which they don’t want me to see.”
I got down from the car and noticed there is a small mountain on the right side. “If I’m able to climb that, I may see what is in the other side.”

I started climbing the mountain.

After a while I reached the top and looked ahead. It was not clear to me first what I saw. My mind was taking so much time to process that image. Some electrical signals or gama rays, unfinished shapes. I tried to move closer, then that happened; I have been pulled back forcefully from that place, and fell on the ground.
I looked up; I can see the sky, a clear blue sky.  Then I saw digital numbers on the sky, counting backwards from 10.

“10… 9… 8… 7”, “what the hell, numbers on the sky.”

“5…4…3…2…1”, then I heard a massive sound and everything turned black, pitch black.



I opened my eyes and removed PSE helmet from my head. I kept it on the table.  I pressed a button on the right side of the helmet; a blue colored small chip came out. I took it in my hand, “Alone- Simulation program-59” was written with Golden colored letters on it.

Year 2035/09/09 – Time 1:50 AM, the digital calendar on the wall showing it.

This Story is published at:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Two little friends

That was Mahatma Gandhi general hospital. Ramana was lying on bed in ICU and fighting for his life as his body burnt entirely in a fire-accident; Doctors told that there were doing their best to save him but wounds were very severe. His daughter Vani and his wife Malathi were standing outside of ICU.  Malathi was holding Vani’s hand and moaning. She was praying god that nothing should happen to him. Vani doesn’t know why mummy looked so tensed, but seeing her like that makes her worry. Prabhakar was also standing outside of the ICU room with his daughter Chitra’. Ramana was house-keeper in Prabhakar’s home.
After sometime, Ramana body stopped responding to doctor medicines. Doctors checked pulse and confirmed his inevitable thing. They closed his body with white cloth and called his family inside. Ramana’s wife went inside and burst into tears. She cried a lot. Vani didn’t know what happened to her daddy and why mummy was crying like that. But tears were coming from her eyes to see her mummy crying. Her friend Chitra hugged Vani and told her not to cry. Prabhkar crunched his head with his two hands and sobbing. “I shouldn’t have behaved like that with you… you are a great man”, he was blabbering.
Few months ago ...

Prabhkar was working as a forest officer; actually he doesn’t necessarily require to do any job as he has so many assets inherited from his fore-fathers. The money that he gets from those assets was sufficient enough for him to live luxury life. However, he loves nature so much, so he has chosen that job so he could spend most of his time with nature. He bought a house near to a lake for the beautiful scenery. When he had moved to that house, all of sudden his wife got paralysis, hence then she stays most of the time in a wheel chair. He has been giving treatment to her, but she didn’t recover fully. He has a 5 years old daughter, her name is Chitra. Since her mother was like that, and no one was there to take care of her kid, so he recruited Ramana’s family as care takers. Ramana settled as a cook and his wife, Malathi was responsible to take care of Chitra's mother. Ramana also has a daughter, her name is Vani. She was also 5 years old.
Initially they didn’t talk with each other, but slowly Vani and Chitra became very close friends. They used to play near the lake and spend lot time together. Chitra used to dress up well as per her status, but Vani used to wear normal clothes. Chitra mentioned few times to Vani as she can give her dresses to her, as she has so many dresses in her beruva. Chitra looks pretty and elegant in her manners. But Vani was not like that, though they have so many differences in their appearance, but still they had continued their friendship.
Prabhakar was an arrogant; he inherited the feudal characteristics from his fore-father as he always sees the backward-caste people as salves. He didn’t like his daughter to make friendship with a servant’s daughter.
He warned few times his kid, but he didn’t give a proper answer when his daughter asks innocently, “Why daddy I should not talk to her?” Sometimes he says, she doesn’t look pretty, so you should n’t do friendship with her. But her mother encouraged to continue friendship with Vani.
Days were going very quickly and day by day their friend-ship became stronger and stronger. One day Chitra was sitting along with Vani and eating food given by Ramana with his own hands. That day, Prabhakar mood was not good as he had lost one of the Govt contract. The moment he entered inside home, he noticed that Chitra was laughing and eating food along with Vani. His face became red with angry and went straight to them and kicked the food plate holding by Ramana. The food was splattered across the hall.
“How dare you to feed your cheap food to my daughter… get away from my daughter… if I see either you or your daughter next time with my kid… I don’t know what I do”, he yelled on Ramana and went away with his kid.
Ramana stunned to see him like that. Vani was terrified and started crying.
“Why daddy, uncle always says don’t talk to her? I’m not looking pretty, that’s why? ”, she asked him innocently. Ramana didn’t know what answer to give her. Though the Govt is trying to eradicate the differences between poor and rich, still in many places people despise the schedule caste people. They treat them as slaves. Until there is a change in people attitude, we can’t see a real caste-less society, Ramana thought and tears started rolling from his eyes.
One day Chitra and Vani were playing hide and seek game. Chitra was hiding inside the kitchen and closed the door. Vani was looking for her in all rooms. Then all of sudden there was a short-circuit in the kitchen and sparks came from it, within no time fire started inside. Chitra was terrified to see fire and started screaming loud. Ramana was outside at the garden. He felt that there was something wrong in the kitchen. He immediately went to the kitchen front door and tried to open it. But it didn’t open. The smoke was coming from inside. He understood that the door was locked from inside. He didn’t have time to call fire-engine. He went other side of the kitchen and jumped inside through a window. It was totally dark because of the smoke. The flames were spreading quickly every-corner of the room. He saw Chitra was lying in a corner. He grabbed her and ready to leave the room, then suddenly the gas-cylinder which was kept on stool fell on his right leg. That caused his leg-fracture, he screamed because of the pain. He understood that he couldn’t move, and it was too late for him to escape along with Chitra. Since he was near to window, he had thrown her from it with a full force. She fell on the grass. After that he caught in that fire. Ramana’s wife observed the fire and called the fire engine. By the time they had arrived, Ramana body burnt fully. Prabhakar came quickly from office and he stalled after knowing that Ramana caught in fire while escaping his daughter.

In hospital, Prabhakar realized how cruelly he behaved with Ramana and with his daughter. But still he saved his kid by putting his life in danger. He held Vani’s hand and took away from the ICU room and said, “See Vani, daddy was not feeling well… so he is sleeping… he might take few days to come home again from hospital … but don’t worry … we are all there to take care of you … I’ll buy toys and dresses for you… and even you can play with Chitra too, Ok”, Vani eyes were sparked as he allowed her to play with her best friend that is only she ever wanted.
Later Prabhakar treated her equally with his daughter. And he joined her in the same school Chitra was going. Since then Vani and Chitra were happily playing at their favorite place of near the Lake.