The Day The State Split Asunder-19
The Day The State Split Asunder-1914 mins 28 14 mins 28
The office cropped up a new chapter in his life. When Adarsh realized he wasn't going to move up the ladder at his company by doing only what was expected of him, he started to proactively look for ways to help his team. He always used to finish the work in six hours what others would do in nine, and spend the remaining hours learning new courses and optimization techniques.
In a year, he meticulously accumulated a lot of knowledge about the programming styles that if anyone is stuck in between their tasks and executions their ultimate resort would be Adarsh. He became a cult programmer. His proactive way of working impressed his manager. One day Tarun called him into his cabin to assign a new project to Adarsh.
"Adarsh, In a year you've implemented a lot of changes in the product. There were no major issues reported for the past six months. Keep it up," the manager Tarun said. "Technology is changing quickly, new platforms are being created, digital languages are being developed, and products are being manufactured at an amazing rate. I wonder how well you keep updated yourself with changing trends and patterns."
"The credit goes to you Tarun," Adarsh said. "You once said instead of getting less out of doing more, you can get more from doing less, by working smarter, not harder and eighty percent of bugs are found in twenty percent of the code. Understanding where most of our most serious bugs are and why they got there and what we need to do to prevent more of them is where we should be spending a lot of time. I just simply followed your advice."
"I shared the same with other members also, but none took it seriously. To come to the point, our CEO Siddharth asked us to create an Android version of our CMS. I want you to take responsibility for it."
"Tarun, I am afraid, I absolutely have no idea about Android Programming, but if you can give me some time I can learn and develop."
"Adarsh, I want to tell you one thing," Tarun continued. "The most successful people I've met throughout my professional experience know what they don't know, and aren't afraid to admit it. They are inquisitive and enjoy figuring out how they can help their teams, regardless of what their job title is. They are thinkers and problem solvers, and most importantly, they don't sit around and wait to be told what to do exactly like you."
"Tarun, I am glad for your appreciation. You've inspired me right from the beginning. Thanks for your trust. Tell me about the deadline."
"Awesome!" exclaimed Tarun, "This is what I expected from you. To make your work easy I already recruited an Android Developer. She will be assisting you. She has got a sound knowledge of Android Programming and you have good knowledge about CMS. If you both work together simultaneously you can build it soon. She will be joining today. I will introduce her once she comes."
"Thank you so much," Adarsh glanced at his watch and rose from his seat. "It's time to commit the changes to the production server. I will get back to you again."
"Carry on," said Tarun, and Adarsh retired back to his cubicle and began discussing with his team members about the changes made in the recent revision of the product.
After the discussion, he went into the in-house cafeteria to have a quick sip of coffee. He was holding the cup in his hand and was about to open the door and out of the blue a girl dashed into him and the coffee spilt on his sky blue Pan America formal shirt.
"I am so sorry..." said the girl.
He exchanged an embarrassed look with her and then grinned. She is dressed in dark blue jeans and a white T-Shirt with a square neckline. She looked fair with sparkling beautiful eyes. Her long black hair is held back in a ponytail, and she's wearing a silver chain with a blue pendant.
"What's the need to rush?" Adarsh said. "You should have looked and proceeded."
"Sir, I am really so sorry..."
"It's okay things like these happen. If we keep on quarrelling for every small thing that happens daily then half of the life will go on in battles."
The gorgeous girl glanced up at him. Her eyes widened in surprise. "That's very kind of you-"
"It seems like you came here for a coffee, go and have it. I don't want to spoil your morning."
After having said that Adarsh walked into the washroom without looking back at her. He removed his shirt, washed the area affected with the coffee stains, and spent the next fifteen minutes drying his shirt under the hand dryer. After having dried it, he walked back to his cubicle and resumed his work. He discussed with his teammates about the application and they provided updates about the progress which wasn't much different from what they knew that morning.
"Hey Adarsh," Tarun approached his desk and the girl who spilt the coffee on his shirt stood beside him. "Morning I told you about the new Android Developer. Do you remember?"
"Yes..." returned Adarsh, getting up from his chair.
"This is the girl and her name is Aarti," said Tarun.
"Oh! So your name is Aarti..." Adarsh said, shooting an affable smile at her.
"Adarsh, do you know her before?" asked Tarun.
"Yes sir," Aarti said, "I met him in the cafeteria."
"Well, in that case, I don't have anything more to add. I will leave the planning and execution on both of you but try to complete it in six months. It's important as our director Siddharth will be tracking the progress of this on a day-to-day basis."
"Sir, we will do it," Aarti said.
"Adarsh please introduce her to your team," Tarun said to Adarsh.
Adarsh nodded in agreement to his words and later Tarun left to his cabin. Adarsh pulled the chair from the cubicle behind and asked Aarti to sit beside him.
"Sir, I am really lucky to work under you," said Aarti, smiling.
"Is it! What makes you think so?" asked Adarsh, tapping his fingers on the armrest of his chair.
"Sir! The manager told me everything about you regarding how hardworking you are and how you have learned a lot of things in a short period and suggested me to be like you-"
"But I don't know anything about Android programming, you need to explain it, madam," Adarsh said, emphasizing the last word.
"Sir, please don't call me madam, call me Aarti."
"The same thing applies even to you. Don't call me sir, call me Adarsh."
"Okay sir, Oops…" she bit her lip, "Sorry, Adarsh."
"So… Where are you from?"
"I am from Mumbai and did you feel bad about the morning incident?"
"Not at all. I forgot about it," Adarsh said, trying to make her feel comfortable. "So you came all the way from the financial capital to the IT capital of the country. Come with me, let's go and meet our team members."
Adarsh introduced Aarti to his teammates and later he explained to her about the company's products. They later discussed the blueprint to bring the Android version of the product.
It had been three months since her arrival. Together they were able to build fifty percent of the application. Even though their association was limited only till the work, the time hasn't laid its plans to create a situation to know about each other.
One fine day on Thursday, the time had at last conspired. The testing team reported a lot many errors in the application and it became the busiest day for both.
Aarti looked a bit flustered and was constantly applying a balm on her forehead. The pungent smell of the balm reached Adarsh's nostrils when he approached her desk. Her eyes took a dull red colour.
"Aarti are you alright?" Adarsh asked.
"No Adarsh," she responded in a weak tone. "I am just finding a way to vent out the steam clogged inside of my skull. We didn't even get the time to have our lunch today."
"I agree, it has been a hectic day today," Adarsh was full of sympathy and generous in his language of commiseration. "Why don't we call it a day and go out for dinner? No matter how hard the day is, good food can make everything great."
"Haa! My head is bursting, but we are still not done with today's target," she looked at the time on her monitor. "It's already seven."
"So what! Daily we are working for more than ten hours. We completed more than fifty percent of the application. We still have another three months. Let's look at it tomorrow. I don't feel like working today," Adarsh said.
She nodded, offered him a weak smile and she continued. "You're right. We didn't even have a proper lunch in the afternoon. Let's go now."
They packed their bags and reached the ground floor. When the two of them were out on the footpath, Adarsh stopped for a second and faced her.
"Aarti I have to say, your dress is so beautiful," he said, taking her by surprise. "This pink colour suits you the best."
She knew she looked her best, but the word "beautiful" mesmerized her.
"Thanks. Pink is every girl's favourite." She said and they started moving again.
They began discussing the office matters while walking side by side and after fifteen minutes of aimless strolling, they stopped in front of a Mexican Barbeque Cuisine.
"Do you like dining in Mexican Cuisine?" Adarsh asked. "If not, let's think of a suitable restaurant for us to eat in."
She shrugged. "Anything goes well with me Adarsh. Whatever you pick will be okay?"
"Do you mind Mexican food? You will enjoy the Indian-Style Mexican food served over here. I have been craving for some spicy Mexicana soup for a long time."
"Then let's get in," she replied. "Let me give it a try."
"Excellent!" he said.
They stepped into the Mexican Barbeque Cuisine. As usual, it is bustling with foodies. After a brief wait, they managed to get a small table in a cosy corner. Within no time the waiter approached their desk to take the order. They ordered spicy tomato soup, Vegetable Enchiladas garlic bread, and egg rolls.
After the waiter left Aarti asked him. "Adarsh, do you stay alone or with your parents?"
"I don't have parents. They died when I was just eleven. I am an orphan, I don't have anyone."
"Don't talk like that? Am I not your friend?"
An instant wave of happiness surged in him. "Aarti… Until an hour before I thought that I have no friends in my life and I will never have any. But now, I can proudly say that I have a friend and her name is Aarti."
"So sweet of you… Then never say again that you are an orphan. We are friends from today..." she moved her hand forward for a handshake.
The reply from her came as a pleasant surprise to Adarsh. He seemed at ease with himself and the situation. He extended his hand forward and shook hands with her.
"Adarsh, I think you might have faced a lot of struggles in your life? How did your parents die?"
Aarti immediately realized that this kind of question might hurt him but it was already late and cursed herself for her curiosity."I am sorry. I shouldn't have asked."
"That's all right." He gave a wry smile. "I spent my entire childhood between the four walls. My foster parents never gave me enough freedom to go and play outside. In my college, I used to attend the classes in the day, later I used to give tuitions for classes sixth to twelfth. Not a single day passed without remembering my parents..."
He gave her the entire sketch of his childhood. The sad story of his parent's sudden demise almost moved her to tears.
Even Adarsh's eyes welled with tears as he completed it. He rubbed his eyes and continued, "If there is any happy moment in these recent years it is only because of you. No one else treated me as a friend except you. I will always remain grateful to you."
"I am extremely sorry! Fate acted tough upon you," Aarti said and wished she could have expressed more eloquently how sorry she was for all that had happened to him.
The waiter arrived with their soup, egg rolls, enchiladas, and placed it on the table.
"I never shared my story with anyone except you," he took a sip from his soup bowl. "You are the first person with whom I shared..."
"I am lucky to have met a friend like you..." her lips curved in a smile. "Any plans for this weekend?"
"Nothing much, just need to wash my clothes. What you will do during your free time?"
"I will just watch movies, I enjoy romantic films a lot," she crunched on her egg roll and swallowed.
"Then, in that case, your favourite movie might be Titanic."
"How on earth did you know that?" her dark eyes sparkled with amusement. "Are you an astrologer also?"
"Nay! It was just a random guess. But I have to admit I've not watched that movie."
"You should try watching it some other time," she grinned back and looked at him awhile as she chewed. "You will enjoy it."
"What is that story all about? Is it only about how the ship went down in the ocean?"
"See… It is a story about Jack and Rose. They meet on the ship and Jack falls in love with Rose instantly. But Jack, on the other hand, is a poor guy and is an artist. Rose's mother wants to get her married to a rich guy Cal by saying that the marriage will resolve their family's financial problems and allow them to retain their upper-class status. She tries to commit suicide by jumping off from the stern and Jack saves her. Jack and Rose develop a tentative friendship and what happens next? Watch the movie and find it for yourself."
"So it's a combination of Romance and History sailing together and you said Jack had fallen in love instantly upon seeing her. Love at first sight... Is it possible? Do people really meet and in moments simply know they're meant to be?" he said plainly, face smooth and nonchalant.
She raised her head and looked straight into his eyes, her dark eyes glittering with amusement with a smirk across her face. "OK, I'll admit it. I'm a skeptic when it comes to the idea of love at first sight. To be fair, I'm a logician, not a romantic, so I tend to approach everything with a healthy dose of skepticism. But it does happen, and not just in Disney or Maniratnam movies. Two strangers can actually lock eyes and know that they are meant to be one."
"The locking works only if they are good looking?" he said, narrowing his eyes. "Isn't it unfair falling in love with a person who looks handsome or beautiful?"
"Love at first sight has nothing to do with good looks. If love were dependent on good looks, then we would all fall in love every time we walked down the street and saw good looking people. By the time we'd get home, we'd have fallen in love a million times. When a person experiences love at first sight, he tends to think that because he loved the person the moment he saw her, it must be destiny and thinks that the person is 'The One'. While thinking we have found "The One" can make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside."
"Aarti, tell me one thing, have you loved anyone?" his heartbeat had suddenly quickened and tried searching for an answer in her eyes. But there are no hidden signs of amusement. There were none.
"No yaar..." she was silent for a moment and raised a brow at him. "Why did you ask me that question?"
"Because you look so cute."
She blushed."To tell you the truth… I got many proposals."
"Is it? How many?"
"I don't have the count but each time I receive a proposal, I have to purchase a new sandal."
"As a gift for yourself?" he asked in a tone of surprise.
"No I used to beat them until my Sandal breaks," she appeared serious and honest. "I don't believe in this love and other trivial stuff."
The next minute, the movie of him being slapped by her played in his mind. He felt the cold blood rush to his face and began feeling the pain of her slap on his cheek. He averted his eyes and looked down at his plate.
Meanwhile, she wiped the remaining gravy with a slice of garlic bread, which she ate with lip-smacking relish, she giggled and declared - "The food is lip-smackingly delicious."
"Ya! I could see..." he murmured.
"Do you want anything, sir?" said the waiter.
"Aarti, do you want anything?"
"No! I don't want anything except the bill..." she turned her face towards the waiter and said. "Give the bill to me."
The waiter nodded and he walked away.
"Aarti! Why are you paying?"
"Anyhow, I have to give you the joining party. I will pay it this time, next time you pay it-" The bill arrived. She took the money out of her purse. "I think we can make a move..."
They walked out of the restaurant.
"This is my favourite restaurant, They maintain hygiene just like our home," said Adarsh. "I think you're getting late, I will drop you on my bike."
Aarti noticed an auto parked just a few meters from the restaurant. She walked towards the auto followed by Adarsh and asked the driver whether he would drop her at Kundalahalli Gate. The driver agreed.
"Adarsh, no need. I will go by auto and from tomorrow I will get lunch for you. Don't bring your box."
"Aarti! Please don't do that-"
"Bye Adarsh… Meet you tomorrow, "She got into the auto and very soon she disappeared from his view.
"What a wonderful evening! I don't know why I am feeling so happy today. Thank you God for sending a friend like Aarti..." he said to himself.
To be continued...