Wednesday, July 16, 2008

One Unread Message

Chapter 4: One Unread Message

"Gimme Hope.. Hope Once Again..." crooned Kansas on the iTunes Radio.

Ved sat with a glass of Jack Daniel's, the lights switched off, immersed in the music playing on his MacBook. Looking out of his window, he took in the sights of the beautiful European city of Prague by night light.

Prague, or Praha, as he loved to call it, was beautiful. One of the most eye-catching cities in Europe, it had a glorious heritage and had only been slightly damaged by World War II, which had left its bedazzling splendor almost intact. Prague was an important cultural and economic center in Europe and Ved was here on business.

Years earlier, his father had visited Czechoslovakia and now he had the privilege to be here. Like father, like son, thought Ved and smiled wryly.

He closed his eyes and the years seemed to flash by as quickly as they had sped by. He felt as if he was sitting in a time machine and had been spit forward an aeon in an instant. Images floated into his consciousness from nowhere and he groped in the dark to make sense of them.

He heard voices in the distance. He couldn't tell if it was Pink Floyd singing: "Where were you, when I was burned or broken?" or the sound of Geetanjali saying goodbye as she had boarded her flight to the US to join Wharton. He wasn't sure if it was Geetanjali's voice he had heard on his voice mailbox saying: "Ved, I'm sorry, but I do not wish to continue my relationship with you. I hope you understand."

If she had said nothing and disappeared, he would have maybe been able to come to terms with it. But a one-liner goodbye to years of togetherness crippled him. He was left with no answers and with no one to question what happened?

"What the hell happened?" he had asked himself so many times, but till date walls couldn't speak and so he hadn't received his answer.

He finished his drink and sat down to complete his presentation. Blackstratblues was playing "Anuva's Sky" and he smiled to himself. It was his favourite track and it put him in a good mood.

Ved needed to be nothing short of brilliant in his presentation to the client tomorrow. The client was one of the top banks in the Czech Republic and getting the win would help i-flex get a foot in the door to the lucrative emerging market of the Czech Republic and associated markets for it's flagship banking product.

He quickly went through the slides. In matters of work, Ved was a perfectionist. He trimmed down the unnecessary gimmickry, formatted the text to give it a uniform look, did a retake on the comparison of technologies between the product offerings of i-flex, Misys and Temenos and mentally ticked off the advantages he would be listing for i-flex vis a vis the others.

He completed his assignment, printed copies and put them in neat handouts for each of his clients. He smiled on the job well done and for the fact that all of a sudden, Mark Knopfler had begun to play "Going Home" on his iTunes.

Ved placed his notes in his briefcase, did a quick check of the Prague map to locate the directions to Prague castle, put on his favourite AC Milan jersey, dabbed on some Boss cologne and stepped into his loafers.

"You have mail!" squaked the lady voice on his MacBook. He loved his MacBook. It was a work of art and he was endlessly fascinated by each detailed feature that it offered.

He closed his eyes and smiled. Life was being kind to him.

One Unread Message, said his mailbox. It was from Nimisha.

Pink Floyd played "Wish You Were Here."

(to be continued)


Paradox Phillic said...
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Paradox Phillic said...

So i reckoned that he dozed off in the night.... dreamt of the past which seemed like future or so....woke up in the morning, prepared & left for his meeting, right?

Else it would mean that he went for the presentation in the night. Is that how it happens in Prague? :D

Anyway, i hope you are not going to announce in the next part that Nimisha was Geetanjali's friend who who had mailed him about some information(of critical importance) about geetanjali... and he didnt choose to read it till it was too late. ... Usually i am not that pessimistic, but the buildups like these lead to sad endings...

I am keen to read the next part.