7 Things I Liked About IITK...or not..

The name can give any technocrat a mini orgasm, the vastness of the campuss, the flora-fauna( peacocks and squirrels wherever you set your eyes on) can widen your eyes in awe, the cutting edge facilities can leave you rummage a thesaurus  for the want of a suitable adjective...but is Indian Institute of Technology worth it's blue-bloodedness?
Joining hands with many confused teenagers egged by the zeal of their over-expecting parents, I also had once spent a considerable part of my higher sec years preparing for IITJEE. Attending tuitions from 6 in the morning till 11 in the night, mugging up B.Sc level chemistry because of the foul-mouth chemistry teacher and his incorrigible habit of using expletives, to guessing random answers in the FIITJEE mock tests , I had done everything. I even had to sit for the grueling 6 hour test just a day before our Statistics boards exam (my deepest respect to the guys of West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, and their ability to set exam dates.). But then I had mistakenly thought that it would end there only...
After 2 and a half comfortable years, the dormant Lucifer started rising his head once again. Once again I had a chance to give the most coveted technical instis of India another go.  The chance came much before I had expected. One of my connected professors offered me a chance to work in IIT, Kanpur...The glory of the place was too magnetic to me to say no.
I accepted the offer without thinking and even said yes to the fact that I won't be getting a hostel room and won't get paid even. So the starry-eyed me, basking in the glory of the name, landed in Kanpur, the hottest place on earth...OK..not earth, the hottest place I have ever been to.
6 weeks down the lane...I realized fully what gave the most popular author in India impetus to write his first novel. And so thought the writer in me (who takes the word procrastination to a whole new dimension), if 4 years in this hell hole can make him write a full-fledged novel, why can't 6 weeks fuel me to write a small blog post? So forgotten is the MATLAB code on which I busted my bums on, and the boring images of a drop sliding down a inclined plane, I start recalling about what kept me going for this 6 weeks and also the retarding forces.
1. You may call me a glutton, but foodie is a term I prefer. The breakfast at Hall 7 is one of the best things about this insti. Yup, you read right...I AM talking about hostel food. Priced at Rs. 15 (now Rs.20) you can have bournvita/cornflakes, fresh chana, toast butter jam/ special dish. This special dish can be  Dosa, Idli, Uttapam, sandwich,poha, parantha on different days...the catch is you get unlimited amount of this things for Rs. 20. Yup, a paradise for people who can eat loads, unlike me. I am all talk when is comes to food. The canteen dinner is good on most days...but inedible on others. I am sure that people from Manchuria will launch a attack on this place if they know what they produce in the name of Veg. Manchurian. Another notable thing is the stupendofabulous Chicken roast they make on Thursdays...mmmmm..will mis that in Kolkata.
2. If you are a feminist please skip this one, because the word girl-favoritism is like Zulu to you gals or guys. (duh!! there actually are male feminists.) If there was a death penalty for girl favoritism, then IITK would be almost empty, barring the two girls hostels and a few ascetic people like my friend Kaustav. You don't have to be beautiful or slutty or anything, you just have to be a girl here. And everyone focuses his attention on you. I will refer to a small a incident. One of my guides, he never met me the for the first two weeks, but when a girl intern came, he met her that very day, advised her on nitty gritties of research work, and fuck...she is also getting a accommodation and remuneration. I don't blame the girls for this, because the majority of girls doesn't take advantage of this by themselves (some sluts do), I blame the sicko attitude of the males who makes this possible.
3. The labs...yup, label me a geek or whatever, but the labs are something that caught my marvel...All sorts of computers, instruments, machine-tools you name it, they have it. They also have dedicated technicians who would make experimental set-ups on your behalf. This is "a luxury you get in IIT" as my guide told me. The collective cost of the instruments which I had been handling costs roundabout 10 lakhs...this fact alone made me handle them with utmost care. The worst part is people here never make full use of the facilities. The interferometric set- up I just talked about was used last in 2007. And now no one in the lab knows how to use it...My question is quite rhetorical. Why waste a fucking 10 lakh for a useless showpiece?? People don't get to eat here in this country.
4. The less I say about His Perfectness, the better. The accolade refers to my guide, who at one point of time told me " So what you are stuck? I have my own work and research, I can't GUIDE you." Then why did you accept me as an intern, eh? You could have said no very well and save me the pain. Nah...you had a better plan, to become a pain, sadist. I don't think the guy saw 3 Idiots. Otherwise he would have sued them. The character of Virus is totally based on him. Just because his recommendation can guarantee a seat in Stanford doesn't mean that you will treat everyone as scum, doesn't mean you will talk to a intern with you legs on the table.
5. The other interns..they are the guys I am really indebted to. Especially Mr. Kaustav Pradhan who allowed me to share his bed room with me.Without his quirky antics and an impeccable taste in food, I would have fled from this place. I am indebted to that fatso. All those nights spent sharing anecdotes of our lives, of going out and eating one full chicken each, of watching 2 movies back to back, of sleeping together in the 3 feet wide bed...friendship met brotherhood in Kanpur. It's the first time in many years I shared a room with anyone..I hope next time I can do it a girl, not any girl but a particularly crazy one who blogs here. Ram Vivek Kumar Sharma deserves a special mention for lending me his laptop almost every night and making us realize knowledge and brains doesn't matter much here. You only have to follow orders without a question and work hard on the job at hand (which being as tough as running a pre-written code and plotting the results.) He was really proud of his work and claimed this was a really challenging job and no one could have done it more efficiently than him. Anudeep, however is a real brilliant guy and we get along like a house on fire. Thanks buddy for letting me crash in the mattress in your room...thanks for introducing me to the "House MD" series..thanks for all the brilliant time we spent together discussing viscosity, movies and family...for that late night trip to Rave 3 where we ran out of money...thanks stranger, for being my friend.
6.Whoever said that Thar desert is the hottest place in India is wrong, it's Kanpur. To add to my perennial sufferings the place where stayed was in a state of perpetual power cut. All those sweaty sleepless nights, those sleep starved afternoons..those blistering afternoons when I had to step in the heat to grab some food from the comfortable AC lab...i curse you Kanpur heat, may the tundra lynch you someday. The only thought that kept me going was that people at Kolkata were also facing a similar kind of problem..sadism rocks.
7. I detest the sicko attitude this people have for summer interns. They call us here for summer projects and they never decide what project to give us beforehand. And when we come they feed us some bull which is never enough to keep us busy for 2 months. So we report to them , they feed us even more bull and they promise you that your work is really good and they are thinking of making it into a technical paper to be published in a renowned journal. But when you cram all the things you have worked on and submit the final report to them, they scowl and say "You haven't done anything new or important." Hello!! I wasn't given anything new and important to work on...I did what I was told to do. Got me on my nerves, oh they did.

However, I should point out that not everyone's experience was the same. One of my friends went to IIT Chennai, and she got loads of important stuff to do and got good lab mates. Sigh..I feel so green.
Looking back at those days, I realized the name of the insti never matters, the certificate for which I lived through hell for two months never matter...it's the people, it's always the people who makes a difference. It's just my dumb luck that I got associated with the worst kind possible in a educational institution...But still I gto my share of hostel life, I got the certi, made some very good friends...My heart tells my egomaniac brain to be satisfied with it.I am trying to listen, I am trying.


My First Crush

                                                                                                                                                                               She crash landed into my heart when it was pure and untainted, when it was alien to the enigma called love.
She was from our school, but from a different section. Our moms were friends, but we were mere batch mates who never exchanged anything more than a hello. Little did I know that one fine evening I would wake up from my comfortable afternoon siesta and find her in my bedroom. It was from that day everything changed...
Mom was almost shaking me in order to teleport me from the realm of dreams to the world of mundane mediocrity.
 “Your friend is here.”
“Whooo??Mom I wanna sleep.” I howled and thrashed around in the bed. Mom was habituated with this drill. But…
“Ankita is here. Wake up.”
I sat up at the speed of light. For one moment everything was hazy, and then I realized the T-shirt had moved up my body, revealing my paunch. I immediately sucked it in, tugging at the bottom of the T-shirt, and heard a giggle.
Holy #@$#$%@. I muttered an expletive I had learnt that day only; first she enters my room without permission and then she giggles at me. Some nerve she had.
I looked at my legs. Of all the half pants I had, I was wearing the shortest one. And I hated the hairs I had sprouted all over my legs recently. Thinking of hairs, I realized I was wearing a sleeveless T-shirt…
My ears turned red, first of the many times that day. I cursed my mom and her ignorance of the fact that her son had grown old enough to be eligible for some privacy. I felt so self conscious that couldn’t even say “Hi” as I stood in front of her. The pant material was too flimsy. It astonished me why I never gave it a thought before.
She broke the silence.
“I was going through your books. You have a nice collection, wow. May be you could lend me some.”
My possessiveness made me hate lending books, but I couldn’t tell her that. I couldn’t meet her eyes even. I shrugged and  tried to clear my desk. She had come to get some extra help in physical science from my father. And the last thing I wanted was to get rebuked in front of her for a untidy table.
Did she see my paunch? Did she laugh at my tantrum? Can she see that my ears are red?
I checked her out from the corner of my eyes. By that time I had some misplaced sense about the word ‘sexy’ , but was couldn’t decide whether she was sexy or not. May be I should consult my friends before deciding. She was in a salwar kameez, now that was a minus. A sexy girl should wear jeans. But she had short hair and a pretty thin figure, that was a plus. But I was still nonplussed about her sexiness.
“Why did you laugh?” I heard a voice blurting out. Off late I was a having a problem recognizing my own voice. It had turned gruff all of a sudden. I liked it though.
“Because I saw this.” She pointed to a book with red cover which I had secured beneath a bunch of old magazines, stifling a smile. She looked cute when she smiled. Not that I knew when exactly you can call a girl cute. But I heard one of my friends say that his girlfriend looks cute when she smiles. So I also had to use the word.
I face ashened I shifted my glance from her smile to the book.
Oh hell…she has seen the book I rented from Golpark yesterday“The Sands of Time” by Sidney Sheldon.  His books were a hit among us because of the strong sexual content.
Does she think that I am bad boy?? At least she didn’t laugh at my under covered body. But did she notice my paunch? I sucked in even harder. I don’t know where this impulse came from, but I wanted to impress her.
“Where did you get it from? My mom doesn’t allow me to read these books. But I want to. Can you lend it to me?”
There was this mole near her throat. It moved up n down as she spoke…I couldn’t answer her question, That place, where I rented books from was infamous for some other stuff too. Arka (my best buddy) said you can get magazines which had pictures of naked women in them.  One of the boys of his class got caught with such a book last week only.
She was from the same section as Arka. She would never talk to me if she knew I visited that store. But why the hell she wanted to read it?? Girls aren't into this kind of adult stuff, are they?  
I thought hard about whether I would lend it to her or not, but was saved from reaching any decision by my father.
We sat in the study table. Dad immediately led us to a voyage amidst the sea of gravity, magnets and light beams that travelled in straight lines. But when you have your dad as the captain, you knew the waters like the back of your hand. So I decided to concentrate on Ankita. She was gulping down everything dad said with utmost seriousness.
Darn…Why is my dad so handsome???
Her face was smooth and thin, her eyes magnetic…I almost asked dad if eyes were also magnetic materials, like iron. But I didn't want to look stupid in front of her. She was one of the top 5 students of her section, while I hovered on the boundary of twenties. I wanted to give her an impression that I was a good student also.
I was busy examining the motion of the mole on her throat, when Dad asked her a question…the mole didn’t move for a few seconds. She didn’t know the answer. I smiled and took my chance to gloat.
“It is 9.81 m/s.“
She looked at me in the eyes sharply. I realized that she knew the answer. She just hesitated to tell it…it was the first time our eyes met. There was something in her gaze, something strange in the expression of her  pale face, that made my ears turn red again.
I lowered my eyes…my mind strangely vacant, my heart thumping faster than ever, there were goose bumps on my hands, a strange cold feeling down my neck which I could relate to the times when results were declared…
It was then, while studying the laws of falling bodies, I myself had fallen into a unknown territory…there were no laws which explain my fall…there were no Galileos or Newtons who studied it…there were thousands of book written on it, but each defined it in a different way…
I was then, I first experienced love.
She wasn’t the most beautiful girl of our batch, she was just another gawky teenager like yours truly was at that time. But to me she seemed to grow more beautiful with each passing second and  I grew more and more shy of her. Suddenly after that one day taking my eyes off  became difficult, not to think about her, impossible.
I went to her section regularly, as Arka studied in that section. The frequency increased after that day. I never talked to her on my own…she made my day by her cursory greetings and occasional chats.
She had forgotten to take the book with her. I wished she would. May be we could have a proper conversation then. So I carried it with me to school for two weeks. The shopkeeper charged Rs. 20 for each week, so I had to save money by but not having food at the canteen. But not for once did I mind staying hungry because of her.  It would look bad if she asked for the book and I couldn’t give it to her…
But she never asked.

One day Arka called me to share some trivia about the fifth Harry Potter book which he had dug out.I almost crashed into her as she almost ran out the class…she seemed to be super excited about something.
Her breathless “Hi” was pure melody that caressed my eardrums, her fleeting glance bliss for my eyes and specs combo...
Despite being a Harry Potter fanatic, I hardly paid heed as Arka discussed who would die in the next book. She did that to me, yeah, somehow she gobbled up my entire attention.
Suddenly I heard her name from the bench behind us…Come teenage and gossiping is one of the many things which girls develop. I strained my ears.
“…proposed to Ankita. He is that handsome guy from class 9, you know. He has Mechanics as additional subject so he is really good at studies. She went to meet him now. “
My heart wasn’t ready for this…it never asked for this at such a tender age…the shock was too rude for it. I went into a shell which everyone took to be common teenage behavior…I hated the sight of her, shouted with mom when I heard she would be coming again to my home, and made it a point not be in the house that time…Day in day out, my heart bled for her. I considered her a betrayer…my entire existence wanted to hurt the Class 9 Mechanics additional lover-boy so hard that he won’t look at her again…but he was a senior, I couldn’t do that. All I could do was cry my heart out at nights…I had no one to confide my feelings to, no one to guide me.
I realized what being a teenager really meant.
Time washed her away from my life…in a few weeks, how many I don’t remember, but she became history. That’s how crushes are, no?
 I had crushes on several more girls, and not to brag or anything but I can’t rule out the possibility of some girls having a crush on me, now that I had lost my paunch and shyness with age and mastered the art of friendly flirting. I got myself landed into some short term relations even. Ankita remained happily forgotten, or may be a fleeting memory. She changed to the afternoon session from class 8.And I never met her in the remaining four years.
It was after I had left school, I started using Facebook. I had never been into social networking before, but now as the school emblem disappeared from our chests…I had to opt for it to keep in touch with friends. It soon became an addiction. Hours of post exam indolence were spent checking out one profile or the other and chatting. In was about that time…I got a friend request from Ankita Ganguly.
“Hey r u that shy Ananyo who once studied in 7 E morn?”
I smiled. I couldn't find a trace of the gawky teenager in her…she looked gorgeous in an orange salwar, smiling ear to ear from her display picture. The faded memories wafted back into my mind…and I laughed at my immaturity. Such a stupid kid I was…I didn’t even talk to her properly.
I checked her profile and regretted for not being friends with her in school. Our choices were same to same. We would have made great friends. My be it was time to try my luck...
I left her a cheesy message in reply.
“ Yup I am Ananyo, who once studied in 7 E morn…but about the shy part I am not quite sure, why don’t you check that out over a cuppa coffee?”
This entry is written for the Blogadda contest My First Crush organized in association with Pringoo.com. (click image on top for details.).
P.S This post is dedicated to Ananya...the lady of my life. I have taken the liberty to base the character of Ankita on her. For more on Ankita and Ananyo, check this.

Forever after...


Breaking Free

Breaking free
Hey guys, just give us a break,
We are sick of all this give and take..
We don't give a fuck 'bout what's in store,
Our luck's just a bloody bitchy whore..
Like hell,we care 'bout our future,
Just cut us free from this hellish torture..
We are not here set a fucking example,
Just leave us alone before we crumple...
Don't you guys have a fucking heart,
Screwing our lives is all ye want... 
May be not today, but we will break free,
We will be ruling this fucking country...
One day, oh hell yeah, one day,
You'll listen to what WE say..
Close your eye n broaden your  mind,
The D-day ain't that far behind..
Don't you feel ground shaking already,
The sky has gone all murky n shady...
Tearing the facade of all shattered dreams and lies,
The new Dawn would come, A new sun would rise.



The Same Old Fern Road

     It was in Fern Road where we had first met, on our way back from school. We both were toddlers then, studying in Nursery 1. Our mothers knew each other, and they had stopped to chat in front of a boutique shop…but we hadn’t even spared each other a glance at first. I was too preoccupied with the new toy car mom had bought me and she had devoted her entire attention to the lollipop in her hand.
“Ankita…won’t you say hi to Ananyo? He is in section E.” said her mom trying to divert her attention from the lollipop to me.
“Hello. My name is Ankita.” she said in a sweet voice, smiling slightly.
Not knowing that some 15 years later that smile would swallow up my entire consciousness…
I clutched the car tightly and moved it towards my chest, frowning at her. Somehow I had the premonition that she would take the car from me. I didn’t like the way she was eyeing the car.
Her mom noticed it and laughed…
“So sweet.” She said and pressed my cheeks, making the shy three year old me go scarlet. I took refuge behind my moms back, holding the lose end of her sari.
“Ananyo…talk to Ankita. She said hello.” my mom coaxed me. I shook my head fervently but continued to peer at her through the sari.
She was extremely pale with a round face, chubby cheeks and boys cut hair. Had she not been wearing a skirt, I would have mistaken her for a boy. But it was the lollipop in her mouth that caught my attention…It was strawberry flavored, my favorite. I had an irresistible desire for the sweet. Suddenly the car in my hand didn’t seem to be important anymore.
“Will you give me the lollipop if I give you the car? It’s brand new.” I squeaked in a small voice from behind my mom’s back.
“Nooo…girls play with dollies, not cars.” she replied and turned my face away from me with as much haughtiness a girl of her age could muster.
Her mom laughed again…she was a cheerful woman, I liked her. And she bought me a lollipop.
Soon after that we walked towards the auto stand, me feeling unimaginably happy because of having secured a lollipop without losing the car and my mom chiding me a bit for my manners. Nobody noticed the wrappers of the sweet which lay littered on the alleys of Fern Road, as the forgotten testimony of our first meeting.


It was in Fern Road where I used to see her every Wednesday, fourteen years down the line. I don’t know if she recognized me or not but for some unknown reason, I could always relate to her the small chubby girl I had met years back. We had never come across after that. Our school had so many students, that it was impossible to be friends with everyone.
 She was always accompanied by her boyfriend Rahul, also from our school. She seemed to have grown beautiful over the years…her face had lost its plumpness, and her hair had grown up to her shoulder. She wasn’t the best looking girl in school or anything, but there was a rangy aura of prettiness around her which was bound to hook up your attention. But I never stole glances at her…
Because most of the time I had another extremely beautiful girl accompanying me.
I was infatuated with Rajita from the very first day I had met her. She had come to our school in Class 11 and used to sit in front of me. We became friends in no time and thanks to the fact that we went to the same tuitions, the bond of friendship developed with time. Within a few months we became inseparable. Be it going to the tuitions or buying text books or even movies…we went together.
I nursed a special feeling for her which deepened with each passing day, but never had the guts to tell her. I tried to convey a lot through my eyes, without speaking…I assumed that she was aware of my feelings. Girls always know beforehand, don’t they?
Our friends always taunted the two of us…called us the steadiest couple in school.
We both laughed them away saying “We’re just friends.”
She mentioned in a testimonial in Orkut that I was her best friend, apart from Arja, who was her friend from the previous school.
“So he is your boyfriend, Arja?” I used to tease her every now and then…
She used to go red. She had an oval shaped face, complete with a small nose and thin lips…but it was her eyes, which stole the entire spotlight. Once you looked at them you couldn’t help feeling mesmerized by beauty in its purest form. She had long hair, with an unruly lock falling in her face every now and then.
“No silly, he is my best friend…like you.”
There was a kind of unspoken understanding between us. I was sure that she would accept me, when I would propose to her…I was just taking my time, shaping up my career to be worthy of her…
On Wednesday s we had a tuition at 6:30 pm. And we went there directly from school. Our school ended at 5:15. So we spent the hour roaming about in the Fern road…sharing several anecdotes of our life, joking and trying out the food joints.
It was the best one hour in the week for me…And invariably almost on every Wednesday we used to meet Ankita and Rahul.
“Do you think they are stalking us?” Rajita had asked me one day.
“Nope. They are too busy writing a thesis on the Fern Road, I think.” I winked.
Rajita punched me lightly…
“I think they are a cute couple. They always seem to be so lost in each other.”
Was there a longing in her voice? Was there a tiny bit of expectation in her eyes…?
I couldn’t make that out…it was the onset of dusk, and Rajita’s face was glowing with a golden fluorescence under the dimly lit lampposts of Fern Road.
I was too lost in her eyes to think rationally.
It was in a restaurant in Fern Road, where Rajita told me that she had got committed with Arja.
It was a few days before the Selection Tests. Although school had ended, we used to meet up an hour before the tuitions started for our usual excursion on the Fern Road. We both enjoyed our hour of freedom more than anything else. For that one hour I could have the girl I loved exclusively for myself. And she got an understanding friend who would listen patiently to her incessant chattering without any complaints. I still hadn’t proposed to her…I had decided to do that after the exams.
Rajita seemed unusually happy on that Wednesday. She took me to Rallis, the restaurant we frequently visited for having kulfi.
The shopkeeper smiled at us. He knew us very well.
“The same?”
“No. We are going to have a proper meal today.” said Rajita, surprising me a bit.
The shopkeeper gave a wider smile and ushered us to the first floor of the restaurant, where there were nice sitting arrangements.
“It’s my treat. Order anything you wish.”  She said as I scanned the menu chart.
“Won a lottery, have you?”
“Nope. There is something I want to tell you.” She said, flashing the most radiant one of her collection of smiles and tucking the unruly lock behind her ear.
Before she could answer we were interrupted by raised voices coming from the next table.
It was Ankita and Rahul again…and they were bickering, badly.
“I can’t attend your Birthday. It’s on the day before the exams. My parents would never allow me.” Ankita was saying as she struggled to hold back her tears.
Rahul gave a sneering smile.
“Don’t cry. I am habituated with your emotional blackmails…If you love me you will come.”
“Why don’t you listen to reason?”
“I am fed up of your excuses. Will you fail in your exams if you spend two hours with me?”
“I can’t. My parents…”
“We have been committed for a year, for God’s sake. And we meet only once a week. Whenever I plan a date you shy out citing one excuse or the other. This can’t fucking go on.”
Rahul stood up suddenly…he was quite well known in school for his mood swings. Rajita had also heard from someone that they were on the verge of breaking up and how it was all Ankita’s fault.
We never knew that we would stay witness to the break up.
“It ends here.” He hissed spitefully, threw a 100 rupee note on the table and stormed out.
Ankita sat there for sometime, stunned. Tear slithered down her cheeks along two symmetrical paths…the kajal on her eyes got all blotched. I felt sorry for her. But we weren’t her friends, so we didn’t go to comfort her. After sometime she got up on her own and left the restaurant on shaky legs, without mopping up her eyes…
“They were so sweet a couple. This Ankita has an attitude up her nose. You know what she told…” started Rajita.
I listened to what Rajita said…and nodded at places although I didn’t consent to her. It was Rahul who dumped her as it appeared to me. Who would go out on a date a day before the exams?
But I never challenged Rajita’s point of view…until that day.
“Okay. Leave them. They will patch it up. What’s on your mind? I am dying of curiosity.”
Rajita lowered her face…and started playing with the Papri Chat she had ordered.  The lock fell on her eyes again. She didn’t adjust it.
Rajita can be like MTV Roadies sometimes…you don’t know what to expect from her. So I didn’t bother to guess what was up in her mind. May be one of her pet cats had a kitten or something.
After a long pause, she began…
“I haven’t told anyone yet. You are my best friend and you get to know it first…some how I feel that I have taken a very fast decision. I could use your advice.”
“Ya. Sure…”
 “Arja had proposed to me last month…during the pujas. And I…I said yes to him yesterday.”

I searched the heavens for you…
But in vain.
I traversed to the deepest trenches of hell…
 There was no sign of you…
 But at last I found you…
Here in this isolated boulevard…
The last place I expected you to be in…
You were happy and contented…
And you were smiling…
That contagious smile…
It got me…
And I turned around with a smile…
While my heart cried bitterly…
At last I found you…
And you were happy and contented…
In destiny’s arm.
Later on, Rajita told me that my facial expression after hearing these words was exactly similar to the one Ankita was sporting minutes ago…
Did she ever understand why? I think not…she was too busy basking in the aroma of her new born love story.
There was no point of attending the class that day. I bunked it. I told Rajita that my mom was ill and I had to go home…
I walked towards the auto stand feeling strangely vacant, my tears mingling with Ankita’s as they splashed on the heart of Fern Road.
She didn’t give me the chance of telling her how much I cared for her. I had kept my feelings secret…locked up in a chest.
I couldn’t find the keys to it anymore.
It was winter. The cold wind jabbed hard at my chest…making me shiver, making me cry even more.
Fallen leaves were strewn everywhere on the road. The street had never appeared so dirty to me before…Fern Road had just witnessed the death of two young love stories…may be it was mourning.
It was in the same old Fern Road, where I met Ankita again one year later.
I had gone to a computer education centre to collect the certificate for a course I had completed.  I usually avoided the Fern Road after that incident…but that day I had decided to take the short cut to the auto-stand.
As I walked, I tried to block the old memories from infiltrating my consciousness…
Although one year had passed, I hadn’t yet fully recovered from the shock. May be I still had some feelings for Rajita. It always depressed me when I visited some place where the two of us had some sweet memories…
As I walked past the familiar old-fashioned houses, the girls school, the countless food-joints, the boutique shop, the graffiti in the wall about which we used to joke, I could feel the same old depression engulfing me.
There was an essence of her that still lingered in the surroundings…
Suddenly my chain of thoughts was interrupted by a shrill sound. I looked back and saw a girl running towards me, calling me at the top of her voice.
 It was Ankita.
“Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Wait…”
“You deaf or what?” she demanded, coming to a stop in front of me. There were silvery beads of sweat on her forehead. And to think it was mid-December.
“I had been for calling you for the last 5 minutes. You left your phone at the centre. I knew you…you are from South Point right? So I took the phone and ran after you halfway through Fern Road, yelling my vocal cords out. And you didn’t even slow your pace. Weirdo.” She stopped to breathe.
I stood there with my mouth slightly ajar. I was shocked to see Ankita running at me like that. And on the top of that her perennial flow of words and the realization that I had actually left my phone (which was my dearest possession)… I couldn’t figure out how to react.
1. I wanted to laugh because Ankita looked very comical the way she ran.
2. I wanted to thank her for bringing my phone back.
3. I wanted to say sorry for not hearing her.
4. I wanted to rebuke myself for leaving the phone behind.
I guessed thanking her and saying sorry would be the best option. It’s not everyday a beautiful girl runs after you.
“Hey. Sorry for that. I was in a kind of trance. And thanks for bringing my phone back.”
She gave me the phone back…and smiled at me, wiping her brows.
“Huh!! You’re welcome.”
I never knew that somebody’s smile could take my breath away like this…somebody other than Rajita’s. Somehow it had a soothing effect on my mind.
Didn’t she look mind-blowing in that green top?
“Hey you know…I used to see you and your girlfriend here when we in school. Your name is Ananyo, isn’t it?”
“Yeah. And you are Ankita right? From section D. And that wasn’t my girlfriend. Just a friend.”
“I see. Actually I had heard that from somewhere, never mind.” she smiled again…
Her smile always reached her beautiful eyes…and there was something in her that attracted me. May be it was the friendliness her attitude…she was talking to me as if we were friends for years. I desperately wanted to spend some more time with her.
“Hey. You brought back my phone…I guess I should treat you to some coffee. There is a CCD out there. Will you, um…”, I stammered.
“Fair enough. I have no flies to catch anyway.” she shrugged.
We chatted for an hour and a half.  We talked about school, discussed our favorite books, movies and songs…and we were utterly surprised to discover that our tastes were same to same. She was quite a jolly girl for someone who had suffered a lot in life. Most of her friends misunderstood her and talked behind her back.
I remembered how Rajita had done the same thing without even knowing her.
She told me the story of her break up. How Rahul had put the blame on her. And I told her about Rajita. It was eerie- the way she made me open up to her. I was didn’t usually share Rajita’s story with anyone. But something told me that I could trust her, share the details with her. There seemed to be no pretence in her, she spoke straight from the heart. And I liked that immensely.
We had stepped in at CCD as strangers, but we stepped out as friends…or may be something more. We exchanged mobile numbers and also promised each add other up in Orkut.
I noticed on my way back that Fern Road was littered with the fallen leaves just like that Wednesday one year earlier. But strangely it didn’t seem to be dirty any more.
It seemed that the old was making way for the new…a flower was in the process of blossoming along with the new foliage…
The flower of love.
It was in Fern Road, where we quarreled for the first time over the most trivial issue one can ever think of.
After our sudden rendezvous in November, We kept in touch with each other. That is an under-statement actually, because what we did was quite more than just keeping in touch. We Smsed each other constantly, chatted for hours over the net. The more I came closer to her, the more I got attracted to her.
I never realized when I had completely surrendered my heart to her…whether it was during our endless chat sessions or when she had continuously coaxed me after the death of a friend, I know not. All I remember that the feeling was something magical…sacred.
Within two months of our meeting, I had proposed to Ankita (desperate not to blow the chance this time)…and she had accepted instantly. The ghosts of the past were replaced by dreams of her innocent smile. All of a sudden, life was splashed by all the bright colours conceivable by human mind. It had never appeared so beautiful before.
There was a great understanding between the two of us. We often spoke each other’s mind. We hardly had any difference of opinions. We were, as the cliché goes…a happy couple.
We used to go out every week, me bunking up my classes to match her timings. She also bunked one or two classes, but she always sulked about that. She was way studious and detested bunking classes. She had a C++ tuition on Thursdays in the same computer centre which I used to attend. As a rule I bunked my last two periods every Thursday to spend some time with her. We were always at a loss about where to spend our time and often ended up roaming on and about the Fern Road.
The same old Fern Road…the venue remained unchanged, only the lovers were different. May be one day our love would get lost in the maze called life…but Fern road would remain as it is…bearing witness to several other love stories for the generations to come…and playing a small but significant part in each …
On that day, my mid semester exams had ended and I wanted to spend some more time with her. I wasn’t satiated with the usual one hour date. I asked her to bunk up the computer class.
“No. Ananyo…Today’s class is very important. I can’t bunk even if I want to.” she sounded genuinely sorry.
“Hey. Just one day. I am sure you can manage.” I pleaded. “Please please, Ankita…”
“Please. You know that I don’t like bunking up classes. And Ranajoy sir will teach file transfer today. I have to attend his class.”, she said in a matter-of-fact tone, not meeting my eyes.
I was kind of begging her, but she seemed to be nonchalant about it. That came as a hard blow on my ego. I lost my temper suddenly.
“Ranajoy sir? The flirt who sends you those ‘you-are-so-beautiful’ SMSes…No wonder you can’t afford to miss his class.” I used the tone which Rahul had used, while dumping her.
“What’s sir got to do with this?”
“Everything. I myself attended that tuitions and I know the standard of teaching in there. Nothing would happen if you bunk a single class. Now I gather…you have a different agenda altogether.”
“What agenda??” she narrowed her eyes, which were on the verge of bursting into tears. They didn’t seem to be so beautiful to me anymore.
“Staring at Mr. handsome, Ranajoy sir.” I spat.
“Ananyo. That’s sick. How can you…”her voice began to crack.
“SHUT UP”. I bellowed. People passing by turned their heads to see what was going on. I didn’t care.
“I am sick of your excuses.”
And I walked away from her…I left my love crying on the Fern Road…just like Rahul had done. I never looked back.
She was right. Everybody misunderstood her.
I was no exception.
It was in the same old Fern Road, where I decided to meet her for one last time to say sorry.
It was this fall-out that made me realize that she had secured an irreplaceable place for herself in my life. My anger cooled within the hour and I immediately called her to apologize.
She didn’t take my calls or replied to my SMSes for one whole week.
I missed her terribly. I rued for my foolishness. I never knew I had such a mean streak within me…
 How could I have done that to Ankita?? It places me in the same position as Rahul.
 It was breaking me from inside. The pain I endured after losing Rajita seemed insignificant now. I couldn’t eat, sleep, and study. I just sulked in my bedroom and thought of her and smsed her continuously.
Add to my mental pain was the heat of the season. It was the hottest summer in Bengal, and the temperature kept on reaching the forty degree Celsius mark. There was no sign of the Nor’westers. The frequency of power cuts increased manifold.
I spend the blistering afternoons on the roof trying in vain to call her up. That was my idea of redemption; getting charred by the sun...and within three days I was down with fever.
My insides felt scorched all the time. I knew for sure that had nothing to do with the heat or the fever. I felt as if a part of me was missing.
After one week…I decided to try for one last time. Life was getting intolerable day by day. I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to put an end to it…
Either to my life or my sufferings.
I sent her an Email.
It was been seven days since we last talked, seven days since I whispered ‘I love you’ to your ears, seven days since I last savored the comfort I always feel when you whisper back ‘love you too.’ And these seven days were the worst phase of my life. I have spent 19 years without knowing you…but in this short period of 4 months, you have become an inseparable part of me. I can’t live without you anymore.
I am sorry for what I did to you. But words are not enough to convey my apologies. Can we meet? May be for one last time? I just want to say sorry. Nothing has pained me more in my life than this rift that has grown between us over the last week.
I never expected you to massage my ego, never expected you to sacrifice anything for me, I just expected you to keep my request.
I will be waiting tomorrow, at 2 P.M, in front of the girl’s school in Fern Road.
I love you.
As I had expected, she didn’t reply. But I had a hunch that she would come. How could she not?
 She loved me.
The weather changed overnight.  As I woke up I was surprised to see a dark cloudy sky greeting me with a rush of cold breeze, contrary to the dazzling sunlight and the gust of hot wind I had expected. The streets were water-logged. It had rained last night.
Was that the reason my pillows were wet?
I spent the entire morning rehearsing what I would tell her. This was my last chance and I couldn’t afford to blow it. But still, a thought continuously nagged my mind.
What if she didn’t turn up?
At about 1:45 P.M, I reached Fern Road, dressed in her favorite T shirt and jeans. I was unmindful all day long and had forgotten to bring an umbrella. People seemed to be much relieved by the soft drizzle after the scorching season…but I didn’t quite like it. I still had the fever.
I stood in front of the girl’s school waiting for her. Every passing minute seemed to be sticking a needle in me. The anticipation of seeing her after so many days was getting shrouded by the fear that she won’t come.
Within a few minutes the soft drizzle gave way to the heaviest downpour I had ever perceived in my life. I had never seen rain drops hit the streets with so much intensity. After the hot season, the weather seemed to be taking out its entire wrath on the city. And though I was under a shade, I was getting drenched to bone. It was 2:30 and still there was no sign of her. The rain was making it almost impossible to see beyond a certain distance.
A sudden ear splitting noise of lightning made me shiver. I realized that I was waiting in vain. There was no way she could come in this calamity, even if she wanted to. I suddenly felt vacant…
I decided to go back home. And I was shivering from top to bottom. If I waited any more I won’t be able to get any transportation.
I rounded the corner numb with grief. My worst fear had come true…I didn’t know what to do next. My love life always ended in a disaster. And I found myself hating my life more than ever.
“Ever heard of an umbrella?”
The same sweet sound. It was music to my ears. I whirled round.
There she stood there in front of me, her face broken into half a smile. Was there pity in her beautiful eyes?
“Ankita..I ..I”. I was tongue tied. My grief stricken mind suddenly was overflowed with a tidal wave of bliss.
She had come…even in these rain…she had come.
“Shhh..” She came closer and placed her finger on my lips…
She looked around to check if anybody was nearby. The street was isolated. And the rain shrouded us…gave us privacy.
Perhaps this is how you feel when you get to quench your thirst after seven days…I stared and stared at the personification of my love. I couldn’t have enough of her.
She held my hands…and gave me her neatly folded hanky.
“I have one.” I said weakly.
“Open it.”
I did…and saw a beautiful red rose in it, along with a note. The ink had faded in the rain. But still it was legible…
I am sorry for not keeping your request.
“I am sorry.” She whispered in my ear. For a single moment, the entire world went silent; my entire perception went numb, comfortably numb; I couldn’t feel the rain any more…and then soul met soul on lovers' lips.
There standing in the open street, we kissed for the first time…we didn’t care that it was India and kissing in public wasn’t allowed, we didn’t care that someone might see us…for that single instant, the surrounding world seemed to insignificant. It was just us, me and Ankita.
The sufferings of the previous week melted with the passion as we ventured into an area of love hitherto unknown to us.

And we kissed.

Ps: Now this one is my 1st story...and its pure fiction.no reason to think its autobiographical. enjoy :)


Zero Point Energy Reactor

The Zero Point Energy Reactor
3rd December 2007.
This is the first time I am working for people who are on the right side of the law. This may sound a little strange:
 Because I am a mercenary; I kill for money.
The man I just killed was a potential threat to the entire world. And look at him now; lying on the floor with his mouth open, blood oozing out of a small hole on the right side of his head. Potential threat, my foot.
But he really was a hard man to kill, I must admit, even by my standards. I have never failed in any project so far. But this man… his apartment was a fortress by itself, CCTVs and security gadgets covered a major area of the place, making it almost impossible for anyone to trespass.
But for Mike Adams, nothing is impossible; you can only get close to it. Spending almost a month I devised a plan with the information Nicholas provided me with.
The plan proved to be fruitful.
All devices disabled, when I cornered my prey, he was not surprised. Not one bit.
“I was expecting you. You have come to kill me, isn’t it?” he said in an amused voice.
He mocked me.
The chill in my stare was answer enough.
“How would you kill me? Fire at me? Stab me? Throttle me?”
I brought out my Colt M1911 as a reply. The man’s arrogance was getting on my nerves. What did he think? He could defy death?
He gave out a hysterical laughter seeing my gun and started opening the buttons of his jacket.
He was wearing a vest, lined by wires and ICs.
“See this…” he pointed to his vest. “This vest is supported by the prototype Zero Point  Energy reactor. It does not give electric shock to me, but I can adjust the energy to create a strong field around me…a field impenetrable by any substance on earth. And you can’t touch me without getting scorched.”
I fired.
My first bullet missed him. It followed an erratic trajectory missing him by almost 5 inches.
His maniacal laughter echoed though out the lab.
The next bullet blew his brains off. I would never forget the look of disbelief on his face as the bullet shattered his cranium. It was made of the special alloy Nicholas had given me and was impervious to the Zero Point Energy field. The only material which could penetrate the field.
There is another part of the job. I have to find all the pieces of paper (including toilet paper), and electronic data storage devices in this place, and destroy them. I also have to destroy the Zero- Point Energy reactor. In ordinary circumstances I say no to this kind of jobs. But I made an exception this time.
Because this time…I was hired by the F.B.I.
9th October, 2007.
“It was Newton’s Law which gives us the definition of inertia. But do you know what the cause of inertia is? Where lies its origin?”
Dr. Neil Foster paused for a second, checking the crowd’s reaction. Most of them were journalists and were yawning throughout.
They were hardly interested in a scientific press conference.
Dr. Foster chuckled softly…this lecture was going to change the world.
“It was discovered back in 1994 that inertia arises due to the fluctuations in the Zero Point Energy fluctuations.”
“Now… you must be wandering what this zero point energy is?
Quantum Theory predicts the existence of an underlying sea of zero point energy at every spot of the universe. Zero point energy exists in vacuum at a temperature of zero degrees. It is the lowest possible energy that a quantum mechanical physical system may have and is the energy of the ground state. This energy is so enormous that most physicists believe that even though zero-point energy seems to be an inescapable consequence of elementary quantum theory, it cannot be physically real.
Dr. Foster paused again to drink some water. He had a ting for dramatics.The audience was now alert. He could feel the anticipation in the air. He could even picture himself with the Nobel Prize.
“If we can tap into the zero point zone we can utilize it as a source of energy. Using the concept of Casimir force (Casimir force is an attraction between parallel metallic plates that can be attributed to a minutely tiny imbalance in the zero-point energy between the plates and the zero-point energy outside the plates.) we can generate a propulsive force without carrying and ejecting propellant. If some asymmetric variation of the Casimir force could be found, one could use it to sail a shuttle through space as if propelled by a kind of quantum fluctuation wind. No fuel required.”
One of the reporters raised his hand.
“You mean to say rockets that won’t need any fuel? Is that plausible?”
“Yes… my friend. Now we can build rockets which won’t need any fuel! Perpetual motion machines are not impossibility now. Mankind has tapped into the infinite source of energy. I, Dr. Neil Foster, have developed the technology to tap into the Zero Point Zone. I present you the Zero Point Energy Reactor, the ultimate solution to the energy crisis on earth.”
Dr. Foster clapped his hands dramatically and images of his design, all the complicated machinery flashed on the screen behind him. The reactor could tap into the zero point zone and utilize its energy for meeting the domestic needs, and also for spacecrafts and automobiles.
Dr. Foster presented the audience (who were frantically taking notes) with the small prototype variety he had developed. As soon as the fund-raising was done, he would undertake the large scale projects.
Next day, the headline of New York Times was
The world is about to change.
20th  October, 2007.
“I have no interest in your offer, Mr. Rice. So won’t it be better if you save your breathe and don’t waste my …our valuable time?”
“Dr. Foster. I am going to make you an offer which you can’t refuse.”
“Please… I never thought a billionaire like you would be stealing dialogues from old gangster movies, Mr. Rice.”
“About 13% of the Hollywood movies are being produced by me each year, Dr. Foster. Anyway let’s get to business.”
Damien Rice cleared his throat. For the first time in 20 years he had rehearsed for a speech…
He had lost his parents when he was eighteen and had started looking after the small scale machine-parts business he inherited from his father. His charming personality, power of persuading people and his uncannily shrewd brain won him several contracts and increased his bank balance manifold. He utilized this to expand his business, and started investing in weapon-manufacturing companies and Hollywood. Within 15 years he was one of the richest persons of America, and within 20…of the world.
His power to convince people was legendary. In the beginning he used to rehearse a speech several times…to talk people into signing the business deals. Within a few years he realized that this came naturally to him. He had no need of rehearsing a speech.
But after he heard of the Zero-Point Energy Reactor…he couldn’t afford to let it go. His secretary had called Dr. Foster for an appointment but he had rudely refused, saying that he didn’t have any time for rubbish. After that Damien called him personally. In the end, Dr. Foster reluctantly granted him 30 minutes of his time.
From the phone conversation, Damien understood that Dr. Foster won’t be an easy man to persuade. He carefully chalked out an offer, rechecked it a countless times to ensure that no one would realize what his true intentions were and rehearsed what he was going to say to persuade the scientist. The Zero Point Energy reactor may be an infinite source of energy, but to him it was an irrefutable source of dollars. He could go to any extent to acquire the technology. In case Dr Foster denied his offer, Damien had a Plan B.
Plan B was sure to work.
“Dr. Foster. You have presented the design of the Reactor that would be required for the manufacture of space shuttle. I estimated the budget…something like 50 million USD. Do you have that amount of money?”
“No I don’t. But I have useful contacts.”
“Wait till you hear my offer. You have built only a prototype generator. And that works fine as it appears from the footage you have given to the media. But the chances of failure are high in such a large scale project? Isn’t it? This is a relatively new concept. And this would need huge amount of manpower. Have you taken that cost into account?”
“Let me inform you that I worked alone in this project. I have only one assistant… Nicholas Richards. Most of the parts I needed were manufactured from various companies across the world.”
“But that was a prototype. It has got the dimensions of a desktop computer’s C.PU. Do you honestly think you can manufacture a space shuttle on your own? And even if your contacts provide you with the required money, have you ever wondered what their reaction would be if your project ends in failure?”
“ My Project won’t fail.”
“You can’t deny that probability.”
“What do you propose?”
“Now we are talking. I see you haven’t touched the whisky Dr. Foster. It’s Mortlach.”
“I don’t drink during any negotiation.”
Damien gave out a sigh…this man was wiser than he had anticipated. He won’t let alcohol blur his mind. This was a strategy that worked in most of the cases.
“My offer is simple. My company will cover all your expenses. You can carry out your space-shuttle project under us. If the project fails…we won’t cut our funds and will allow you to continue your research. You can hire the best brains from the top universities to work with you.
Apart from the shuttle we would back you up with the Zero fuel motor vehicles, aircraft and power generators which you have proposed. You will be getting 40% of the annual profits we make from this stuff. And from what we have estimated that would make you a billionaire like me in 7 years.”
“Your offer is lucrative, no doubt…the best I have received. Everyone else wants a guarantee that my project would succeed. You don’t require that.”
“I hope I didn’t waste your time then?”
“Actually you did. I won’t accept your offer.”
Damien’s eyes narrowed, he was pretty sure that Dr. Foster would accept his offer. Damien hated it when his predictions didn’t turn into reality.
“May I know the reason?”
“You are shrewd man, Mr. Rice. You have set up an offer where there is a high probability of your company sustaining a massive loss. Why would you do that?”
Dr. Foster sneered as he said these... Damien squared his jaws. He hated arrogant persons.
“For science.”
Dr. Foster broke into a sarcastic laughter.
“You have a nice sense of humor Mr. Rice…I know what your real motive is. You have a weapon manufacturing company which supplies arms to the government. But 50% of the weaponry manufactured there, are exported to foreign countries…mostly to the Middle East. Isn’t that right?”
“What are you trying to imply?” Damien hissed. The audacity of the snob was getting on his nerves. How could he know these details?
“You see the zero point energy reactors as potential weapons, nothing else. As soon as I take up your offer, you will force me to build bombs. Zero point energy can be used to make weapons which would make the nuclear bombs hide their face in shame. And you will sell those to the terrorist organizations, won’t you?”
“You are raving. I have no connection with any such…”
“I don’t want to be remembered as the man who led the world to destruction. I am an out and out peace loving person. I would prefer to be remembered as the man who produced an antidote to the energy crisis. And for that I don’t need selfish moneymakers like you.
Thanks for your offer anyway.”
Dr. Foster stormed out of Damien’s office haughtily…
Damien stared coldly as he watched him leave his office. He had failed to persuade someone for the first time in 20 years. He never took his failure sportingly. And more importantly Dr. Foster knew too much about him …
He would make him pay for this.
It was time to implement Plan B.
24th October, 2007.
It was 3 A.M when Nicholas Richards got the phone call. After working for Dr. Foster for 3 years, he was no stranger to his eccentricity. While developing the prototype reactor the doc summoned him to his laboratory at the dead of the night regularly.
Nicholas didn’t complain; he was the scientist’s sole assistant. Dr. Foster had kept mum about the project until it was finished and had carried out every portion the experiment with ultimate secrecy. Nicholas handled all the mechanical and electrical aspects of the job, did whatever the doc asked him to do. Dr. Foster had been his research guide at the MIT, until he got suspended for getting involved in a drunken brawl where a man got killed.
 Dr. Foster personally contacted him after he was released from prison and he gladly accepted the job. He loved machines; the doc paid well and there was an added advantage. He discovered this advantage when he accidentally overheard him talking over the phone. He had the chance of making a great deal of money in future.
He got up from his bed immediately. The doc sounded a bit shaken. He drove as fast as he could to Dr. Foster’s lab.
The lab was completely dark. The only source of light was the eerie blue one that was coming out the safe lying wide open at the centre of the room. The prototype reactor was usually kept in that safe.
Dr. Foster was sitting there…he face sported vacant expression, eyes puffy and red. He was not wearing the protective vest he had developed; and was holding a bottle of beer. Nicholas had never seen the doctor drink before.
The lab looked as if someone had searched it carelessly. Notes were strewn all over the place. One of the LCD monitors was cracked.
“What happened?”
Dr. Foster gave out a dry laugh…
“The prototype is gone.”
“No way.”
“Somebody stole it. He hacked into our security code generator and gained access to the lab. He knew where it was…”
Dr. Foster hurled the bottle at a nearby wall and covered his face, shaking a bit.
Nicholas looked in the direction of the safe where the generator was stored. Anyone who wanted to open the safe had to key in a 16 digit access code. How could anyone possibly guess such a code?
 “They took your notes too?”
Dr. Foster looked at Nicholas incredulously.
“Do you think I am an idiot? My notes are kept in my bedroom…they just took the prototype.”
“When did you find out?”
“I came down some 45 mins back to check a calculation. It was then I saw that the door of the safe was open and the prototype gone. I checked the security log book…someone had entered the lab at 1:45 Am. He had all the pass codes. And as for the retina scan, he jammed the system by destabilizing the transformer. Whoever did it was a pro.”
“Can they produce more reactors using the prototype?”
“It’s almost impossible. Even scientists who are working in this field won’t be able to crack it. However they may be able to use it…I shouldn’t have made this public. This is all my fucking  fault.”
Dr. Foster tugged at his hair…something was eating him from inside, and he couldn’t do anything about it. Nicholas had never seen him so restless.
“So… what’s the big deal? They can’t produce any more of these?
We just have to build another one for our use.”
“You don’t see the big deal? What if they crack the mechanism…What if they make a large scale reactor? Zero Point Energy can used to make bombs that can wipe out an entire continent. Oh!! I just can’t believe my discovery is going to be used for making weapons of mass destruction.”
“You have any idea who did this?”
Dr. Foster nodded grimly.
“I saw bare greed in his eyes. Damien Rice. I know what he really is. How he became a billionaire…I know his secrets. He supplies weapons to terrorist organizations.”
Nicholas could feel his hands sweating. He never expected that someone would steal the reactor. He knew for sure that Rice had no role in it. Did the doc know about…
“He had the guts to break into my lab? It’s time I teach him the proper lesson.”
Dr. Foster rose up from his chair and came near Nicholas…
“It’s time to call Mike Adams. I have already given you the details. This Rice is a potential threat to the world. His elimination is required to ensure the world’s safety.”
“But you are taking the law into your hands doctor.” protested Nicholas.
“The government won’t take any action against Rice. He has got friends in high places.”
Dr. Foster put his hand on Nicholas’ shoulder.
“Make the call.”
The blue light was making the evil glint on the doctor’s eyes even more sinister.
26th October, 2007.
People usually contact me through a dry cleaning shop. They have to leave a black overcoat and say “This is for Mr. Adams.” This has to be done on selected dates only. These dates are declared via the electronic medium. People who have experienced eyes spot them.
The details of the project are given in a pen drive, kept at one of the pockets. I usually get 9or 10 projects per month. Of which I select any one.
However, some of my important clients contact me over the phone. These cases are very rare, usually they come from the people I know beforehand…I was surprised when Nicholas Richards called me.
He explained the project to me, gave me the identity and location of my prey, and consented to meet my demands.
I had no intention of doing the job. This was way below my standards…
Then after an hour, I got another call…
That phone call changed the entire scenario.
5th December, 2007.
It took a simple jab at his thyroid cartilage to kill Nicholas Richards. I had told him that I would receive my payments from him directly. He was waiting at the alley I had directed him to…I tapped his shoulder from behind.
He was dead before he could turn around.
I took the briefcase from him…and checked it. It contained 5 million USD. Now was the time to elude the eyes of the F.B.I. I was sure that they won’t let me go. They knew my location…and the moment I finished the job, they would corner me.
But I am too old a bird to be caught with chaff. I had brought a ticket to South Africa, and given that I myself worked at the F.B.I once, I knew they would be waiting at the JFK airport for me.
I had decided to go to Kansas, hidden a truck of hay…It was an ideal place to take rest, and think about another base of operations. I couldn’t use the dry-cleaning shop any more.
I lay on my back, gazing up at the sky as the truck speeded towards Kansas. I tried to think about my project from the beginning. I had the habit of writing down the details of all my projects…may be someday I could publish it under a pseudonym.
Dr. Foster was not as peace-loving as he pretended to be. He was a sucker for money. He had already designed a bomb using his zero point energy reactor…it would need no fuels, no nuclear materials and was 10 times the capacity of any existing nuclear bomb. Dr. Foster had hacked into Damien Rice’s personal computer and gained access to all the people who bought weapons from him, mostly terrorists from different parts of the world. He contacted those people and arranged an auction for selling his bombs. A terrorist organization from the Middle-East decided to sponsor his projects and made a deal to pay him an unimaginable amount of money when the bomb was fully developed.
His thirst for money satiated, he now concentrated on his hunger for glory. He wanted the world to remember him as the next Einstein. But if somebody discovered his link to the bomb, that won’t be possible. So he announced that the prototype was stolen from him and it may be possible for people to produce more reactors from the prototype.
However he knew from the beginning that Damien Rice was a cunning and powerful opponent. He won’t take his loss of contracts sportingly.
So Dr. Foster decided to employ me to kill Rice.
The equation had more unknowns than he had expected.
Nicholas had overheard his conversation with the terrorist group and came to know of the doc’s plans. He immediately chalked out a plan for himself.
He contacted Rice and told him the doc’s plans. He offered Rice to bring the blue print of the bomb and the prototype in return of a large amount of dollars.
Before accepting the offer, Rice decided to persuade the doctor himself…but as he failed, he made the deal with Nicholas. This was his plan B.
There was another thing Dr. Foster didn’t know… ever since the public announcement about the reactor, the F.B.I had been monitoring each and every one of his steps. They had been trying to tap his calls…which were very difficult job as the doc had every possible measure to ensure his privacy. But eventually the F.B.I succeeded. They came to know of the doctor’s plan. But legally they couldn’t take any action against him. Americans can’t spy on fellow Americans on the American soil.
But when Nicholas contacted me over the phone and told me to kill Dr. Foster instead of Rice, F.B.I got my number…and decided to give me the job.
They told me to kill both Dr. Foster and Nicholas. And they also told me the reasons…
I only kill people who don’t deserve to live; who makes lives of others deplorable. From the details the F.BI gave me, Dr. Foster was so blind with greed that he never cared for his planet. He definitely didn’t deserve to live. Same was the case with Nicholas. He may have stolen the blue-prints of the design and sold it to Damien…however with the prototype reactor destroyed, those designs were meaningless. Nicholas had been the professor’s aide from the beginning. He was the only one who could have assembled another prototype.
“We have to ensure the safety of America; of the world…we are not ready for the zero point energy now. I hope that whoever next discovers this tech, would be a good human being and would concentrate on utilizing the energy for the benefit of mankind. As of now we got to destroy it” Said the guys from F.B.I.
They had got the information about Damien’s weapon buyers by hacking the doc’s computer…Damien was one of the highest tax payers of the country. They couldn’t touch him. But at least they knew who his clients were.
So I decided to double cross Nicholas, collected all the information about the doctor from him. He gave me the alloy which could penetrate the field. I spent a month keeping watch on the doc devising my plan to enter into his fortress of a lab.
And then on 3rd Dec, I killed him and destroyed all his notes and the reactor.
Sometimes it perplexes me, the complexity of the human mind…and its vulnerability to greed.
Dr. Foster would have earned enough money and glory in a legal manner. He could have solved the alarming fossil fuel crisis.
 Why the fuck did he have to make bombs? Why did he use the reactor for the betterment of mankind? Why didn’t he care about the safety of the world? Why didn’t Nicholas contact the F.B.I instead of Rice?
Why is it that greed and selfishness always get the better of us?
To some questions, no matter how hard you try, you can never furnish answers…

This was one of the first stories i wrote...it got the third prize in Srijan 2009, the tech fest of JU...Guess who the judge was.

Amitabh Ghosh.