The clock ticked 2 PM IST on a weekday. It was high peak work hour for Naina. Usually her client calls starts by this time as she works for a UK and Europe clients. Naina an IT QA Manager by profession and a very independent woman by nature.She has been successful through out her career. Within no time she gained confidence of her senior management and respect from subordinates through her work.I knew her as a good friend of mine. We generally catch up during daily tea time around 5 PM to enjoy our sip of tea.That break was quite needed for us to get recharged for the next load of work. I have been noticing her from the past few days being very silent and lost.This was very deviated from her actual jovial behaviour. Being a good buddy I managed to know the reason behind. I was surprised first when I heard and later felt "can this really happen?" Probably we can believe certain things until they happen to us. I need to stand in her shoes, feel with her heart and see through her eyes to narrate her empathetic situation.This is Naina's story through my voice.
It was 2 years ago when I had to handle a challenging position in a crisis project.The client was demanding, the technology was new, delivery schedule was tight. Service cost card was low yet the expectation from Delivery head was to show great profits.These are very quite common in any projects of IT world. Perhaps, this busy schedule has been keeping me busy forgetting my agony I was going through in my personal life. Marriage is very important innings of any one's life. Our happiness and future dreams are being build based on the foundation of wife and husband
relationship. Unfortunately, for me it turned up as a nightmare. Within no time I realized my marriage was a financial agreement of dowry and my salary rather a bond of love and commitment. Every day fights and struggle to understand and digest the mean expectations of a money minded and selfish, egoistic husband has become intolerable. I made up mind to stay away from him, close to my parents. It was a quite tough decision for a woman like me who has come from a orthodox Brahmin family. To gain peace of mind, save my own self respect, I had to go ahead with this decision.
In mid of this personal crisis I slipped into this crisis project at my professional end. One fine morning I got to see a mail from my boss saying "Make sure you are available for today's 3 PM internal meeting with our new onsite Delivery Mr. Deva". With reluctant mind set I joined the call with delay of 5 mins as I had to switch from client calls to internal calls.
Even while dialling the meeting number the Naina inside me was saying, "Oh God! One more manager to eat our time rather helping us from troubles and chaos. May be after seeing few monarchies that year in the same project I felt so. Not sure. By the time I joined one
of the manager's have already completed the intro of Mr.Deva. Hmm mm..I missed the intro I thought. Waiting to hear what Nirvana this senior is going to give. Hello All, I am Mr. Deva come here for few months to help in this pipe cleaning. We all laughed in the call loud. It was quite after long time I had laughed since the inception of the project. He started getting our quick intro, role and posing us few queries. Well, what was interesting to me was his voice.
It was so manly. While in the back end I was thinking of his amazing voice, it was time to close the call. Even after the call I was feeling like hearing his voice one more time. Shall I call him back..No so cheap that too for a Man? Never in my life I did. The so called woman ego/pride stopped my self.
In the initial days this was all the point I was joining his call regularly at 3 PM. Surprisingly within a week, I got a call from him on my mobile. Hi Naina, how are you doing? This is Deva from Edinburgh. I was surprised, overwhelmed to receive his call. In the excitement I screamed Hi Deva, I am fine.You got a amazing voice which makes me you to feel interesting. He laughed with his killing voice for which I was already clean bowled. Tell me Naina, you asked me to call yesterday about few offshore issues. Sorry could not make up on that day. Hope you would not mind to have a call now.
I replied "Oh! It was for that you have called me, I forgot about the issue now. He replied back saying no problem we can talk some thing else also apart from project. By the way it may be too
late in India. I replied saying no worries my home is 2 hours from the work location, within this time we can discuss from our childhood to till date. He laughed aloud, I can feel it through the mobile
receiver. Surprisingly I shared so many things without any inhibitions, as if I am talking to some one close to my heart. After 2 hours when the cab reached home. Deva said looks like you need to take rest to be fully energised for tomorrow. Add me in what's up we will catch up. Ya, sure I said and rushed home. I got freshen up and turned on my modem. I never used what's up probably for this manly man Deva, I had to activate it. I quickly added his number. He was online. The 2 hours of talk over phone was not enough for me. We started chatting. I fell int sleep in mid night. Very soon, this chatting has become addiction to me. I used to wait for the morning at Edinburgh so that Deva pings me back. I don't remember when his voice made me to talk sweet nothings. I startled can
some one from so far, whom we have never seen, never talked face to face can knock down us with voice and chat. Whatever is the logic behind I can't avoid him. We talked from some thing to every thing, no boundaries, no restrictions, no inhibitions. Some times I whispered in his ears through the phone.
"Deva, shall I bite your damn neck which has this manly voice". Deva on other side, "Naina, control! What woman have turned now a days..oh my God! Save me". We used to laugh at this kind of silly jokes. Few happy days passed away, slowly I deviated my self from work to this chat and call addiction. I used to get upset if I get no response from him. It was during summer season Deva informed me he is coming to India with his wife and kids to meet his parents at
Indore. I was so happy when I first heard it. I felt I had all lenience to ask him when are you meeting
me, unexpected answer I had to hear "May not be possible Naina as I have to meet many friends and relatives. I was filled with rage, his answer made me irritated which in turn made me to switch off my mobile without informing to Deva. After some time late in the evening I turned on, they were 20 missed calls and message from Deva. Call me once you see my message. My addiction made me to call him back. As soon as he picked my call, he started, why did you switch off the phone without intimating me Naina? Are you mad? Don't repeat this again. I was so hurt with your behaviour. You need to understand as a married man and father of 2 kids I do have some responsibilities. His words pricked me. May be some times truth is bitter. I quickly responded saying sorry. He was smart enough to pull me back into his chat world. Probably I was weak enough to surrender to his magic. We continued again the same way of chat. After few days the calls gradually reduced.They were less messages on what's up from him. My womanhood stopped taking the initiative of pinging him proactively. In between mail from my onsite manager saying "Tomorrow is going to be Deva's last day in our project.
Thanks to him for helping us to shoot up our revenues and guiding us to right way to do great deliveries. Please join in the call to bid adieu to him. I closed my laptop after reading the mail. Took sick leave and left office. I didn't turn the next day to office. Well, I was sick mentally. I felt as if he was going to be parted from me forever. I asked my subordinates to convey my Thanks and all the best message on behalf of me.They had a video call with him. The next day I got to know they passed my message to him. My counter part from other location forwarded me the mail written by Deva thanking for the short term association with the project. I was searching my name in the mail, I was no where. Neither I am in the recipients nor in the body of the mail. I convinced my self thinking when I am in heart why he need to mention me in the mail. Yet, some where in the corner it was churning me the fact he ignored me. Did he deliberately missed me in the mail? Or he really forgot me or it was an accidental missed? How can I answer from his mind? The next day I got a call from him "Naina,how are you know? Got to know you were sick. How are you feeling now? I replied in a faint voice "I am OK". Come on it is not you, tell me Naina what are you expecting from me. I said, a phone call from you and chat every day for some time. Is this OK with you Deva? Ya..Sure why not. As promised, he called for few days then after he was busy in getting his son prepared for his school admissions. Days passed I was back into my gloomy days. It was after few months my colleague from Bangalore called up and informed that Deva has met her and they had a private lunch. I was happy to hear he was here in India, I took his India contact number from her. Without any second thought I called up on his India number, to my misfortune it was switched off. After few days, I got a call from him, I was in so much of vexation I started scolding him, why you didn't inform me you were in India? Why you didn't call me? You are so stupid. I was on top of my voice.
Deva became so impatient and responded in a serious tone "Naina, I don't understand why are you so pissed off if I have not called you. I was busy so I didn't call you. Is that clear. His answer made me to roll tears from my eyes. I was dumb struck for a moment, I slowly mumbled "You had time for a private lunch with a colleague but no time to give me a ring? He gave his explanation of why he could not call, nothing I could hear expect my own cry. I forgot the basic sense that I am in a office cab and started weeping like a helpless child. I didn't even realize when the call was disconnected. Days passed on, I cursed my self for becoming so obsessive and possessive for him. None of the handsome seniors who proposed me in college, nor the smart colleagues in office distracted me so bad. Can a person whom we never met, whom we never saw can occupy so much? I deleted his contact from What's Up, erased his messages, kept ban in my mind on his memories.The more I restricted in his my thoughts the more he was occupying my mind. I questioned myself did I meet him anytime? Was I being physical with him? Why I am wandering in his thoughts? I got the answer, I have met him in every day in call. We were physical every night in our chat. His voice made me sensuous and my text drove him crazy. It was so tough to come off from his thoughts.To my surprise I received a call from him while I was thinking of him. Is this telepathy? As usual he started about my whereabouts I replied in a reluctant manner. Suddenly he replied Naina I don't want to spoil your life. Just leave this here. I really did not understand what he meant? Neither I asked next question nor he spoke more on this. We know what we do is unacceptable to the world though it is not harming any one.
I took a break for myself and spent few days on the serene beaches at Pondicherry. Though away from work and home, his thoughts were running in the back end. Self introspection began in the silence of the nature. Were my expectations incorrect? Did a call and chat from him to me was so expensive to him? The fact I understood after self storming is "He is happy in his own world. His first and last love was his family, I was an interruption in between the smooth flow. May be a break or a entertainment channel for him in his routine monotonous life. He was a gentleman and I was a wicked woman? Unsure who was right and who was wrong. I read some where, when we realize the things/persons we love and admire most are happy in some other's presence it is good if we let them free. It gives us utmost satisfaction thinking they are happy some where. May be this very fact made me to stop chat with him for ever. I came out of the Utopia I built in my virtual world to the real world. One thing is for sure he can avoid me over phone, over the chat but cannot command my mind on my virtual love. Never seen, Never touched, Ever felt him for ever.