A chicken patties and a gal

Sitting on a bench in a railway compartment munching a stale hot chicken patties, it occurred to me that life was not fair. For example, the stale hot chicken patties that came without tomato sauce (courtesy a shop at the station) had cost me fourteen bucks. Not fair. First, the only place where I could find chicken was in the name. Next, the little square piece of baked or fried or whatever dough had cost ten bucks the last time it went down my food pipe. Which was probably 2-3 years ago. But then, this one tasted as if it had been fried 2-3 years ago as well.

My eyes darted to the pretty gal in the corner of the compartment. She was smiling at some apparent joke which her dull looking boyfriend had cracked. Not fair again. I was single, sweaty and grumpy while that guy was having a good time.

Life is also strange. Lets take the patties example. The vegetable patties is triangular while the chicken patties is square. I tried hard to figure out some apparent reason that could justify this fantastic choice of shapes. Probably the difference ensured that the vendor would not hand over chicken patties against vegetable orders as a mistake. I gave up thinking. Maybe I should have bought a vegetable patties instead. They seemed to sell more; that meant it was less probable that they would be stale. I have the best of realizations at the worst of moments. Life isn't fair at all.

Back to the gal. Perhaps I was a bit harsh on her boyfriend. If that was her boyfriend at all. I of all people should abstain from judging people by their looks. Its funny how we do the things that we expect others not to. Nah, Life is a weird and unfair concoction.

Why did the patties vendor sell me the stale stuff? He certainly did not intend to sell stale patties to me when he had placed his order. He was bad at inventory control. I remembered that they had taught me inventory control back in my fourth semester. Weird. I am a software techie who has a one in a million chance of ever having an inventory. They keep teaching the wrong guys. Our mathematics department had put me through a lot of trouble mugging inventory control. I wished they had spared me the trouble. The vendor selling the stale patties deserved it more anyway.

My thoughts were stopped mid-way by the gal. She stared at me. Or so I thought. I am never confident when gals look anywhere around me. A part of me tells me that I was the intended recipient of the gaze. The other part tells me that the gal looked at everything except me. By the time I make up my mind, the gals are long gone. No wonder, I was single and grumpy on that bench.

The train stopped with a jerk. The gal and her probable boyfriend walked out. I was done eating the patties. I realized that I had patties crumbs clinging to a substantial portion of my face. Even the bag on my lap had minuscule crumbs all over. I have never really learnt the art of eating cakes and patties. I took out my handkerchief and started to clean up the mess.

The Answer

Dr. B. Kar stepped back from his table. He had begun to sweat profusely. Not that he wasn't used to the heat. His life had never been easy. He took out his dirty handkerchief and mopped his brow. He was almost there.

It all came back to him.
He was born into an average middle class family. Very simple and very normal and very accepted. Until the day he was born. For he was anything, but normal.
He was born with an ugly large head and a small diminutive torso. The nurse had shrieked when he was born, and his mother had smiled. But soon people knew that the large ugly head was not as ugly inside as it was from the outside. He was nothing less than a genius.

However that did not change people's attitude towards him. Boys of his age avoided him. He could sense that. He never went to play with them. That troubled his mom. She would try to coax him to go out and play with the rest of the kids of his age. “How do you know they don't like you unless you go out and see for yourself?” she would say. He loved his mom. He did go out one day, only because he wanted to see her happy. He had returned weeping with a big purple bruise on face that made him look even uglier. And a bag full of insults on top of that. He never went out after that. His mom had never asked him again.

School was a similar story. He was abused everyday. Even the teachers loathed him because he was so ugly. He had slowly learnt to accept that as a part of his existence. He did not have many choices.

But school also meant Physics and Math and Chemistry. It fascinated him. Science gave wings to his imagination. It became his world and gave him a reason to exist; to bear whatever wrong the world continued to do to him. He had a natural ability for science. He made the teachers very uncomfortable. The other students loathed him even more. He was yards ahead of them. He never topped his class though. Because he did not believe in sticking to what was written in the books. Science was his baby and he hated rules when it came to science. He wanted to explore it the way he wanted. But he was smart. And he knew he had to pass school. So he did enough to pass school with decent grades every year.

And then he saw Shaina. She was the new girl in the class. And the most beautiful. Shaina was popular from day one. She made heads turn wherever she went. She was smart and she was also good at studies. He had never really looked at girls before. But Shaina was different. She had captured his imagination. She disturbed his thoughts. His thoughts were clouded with his feelings for her. His grades had begun to suffer. Shaina was an angel for him, a goddess; someone who gave a new dimension to his being. Or so he thought.

It’s funny how moss can grow even on stones. One day, the loathed, abused B. Kar actually found the courage to confess his feelings to Shaina. He had been unable to sleep the previous night. Shaina had slapped him hard and demanded how someone as ugly as him could even dare to think something remotely close to that. Then she had walked away, leaving behind two of her muscular followers to do the rest. One of them had punched him in the face and the other had pushed him to the ground. They had given him one kick each and left. And B. Kar had learned an important lesson in life. He stayed clear of gals for the next ten years of his life.

The Answer - II

But Bella was different. She worked with B. Kar in the lab where he did his research. He had met her when he joined as a researcher in the lab after completing his PhD. B. Kar had performed exceedingly well in college. But his social life was still the same. True, people no longer abused him, but he knew that he was still a loner, an outcast. He was awarded honors and recognized multiple times. People had clapped. He had walked out of the auditorium and found that things had not changed one bit. But then, he wasn’t really expecting a change.

Not until it was a year after he had started working with her. That was three years ago. Bella was a decent, good looking girl, and she neither had the glamour nor the attitude that Shaina did. In fact, B. Kar hadn’t really noticed her. But Bella was impressed with B. Kar’s intellect and his analytical abilities. She befriended him, though all they discussed was technology. Once in a while, they would go down to have lunch together in the canteen. Very rarely, they would also talk about something lighter. B. Kar usually fumbled, for the simple reason that he was not used to sharing anything with another human. But Bella would make up for the two of them. Bella was the friendly types; she was on close terms with a lot of people in the facility.

B. Kar had tried hard to ignore what he had gradually started feeling for Bella. His experience with Shaina had left a scar that was irreparable. However, ignoring her had not been easy either. Even Bella had noticed his uneasiness. She had asked him what he was up to. B. Kar had avoided the question. But Bella asking him the question had given him a new hope. “This is different”, he had told himself. He had his reasons. They both knew each other quite well. Bella actually cared for him. She was the first person to care for him after his parents who were long gone. “And, this is not a crush the way Shaina was”, he thought. He had known her for a substantial time before he had started to develop feelings for her. After more than a month of deliberation with himself, B. Kar finally told Bella what he felt for her.

Bella was left in tears. She had told him how she felt for him as a friend and could not believe that he had such things in his mind all along. She could not believe that he had mistaken her friendliness for something else. “You have insulted me. I do not think we can be friends any longer”, she had said.

B. Kar was devastated. Because it became clear that whatever he did, he would remain an outcast. He had suspected that all along, but when it became clear to him, it hit him harder than he had thought possible. He stopped going to the lab. Within a week he had resigned. He had thought Bella might reconsider and sympathize with him. It was his belief that he deserved that. When she did not, he decided that it was time to end his life. Because he knew that his existence had lost its meaning. A man, above all, is a social being. A man who had no social acceptance had no reason to exist.

But he did not. Every man has his destiny. After the initial shock had passed, B. Kar felt it was his destiny. He had to rise to the occasion. He had to prove himself to the world, prove to Bella, to Shaina, to everyone who had wronged him since the day he was born. He had to give them an answer, an answer that would shock the very existence of their ego. They were dispensable. He would show them that they were dispensable. B. Kar would make them pay very very badly for what they had done to him. B. Kar relocated to his father’s property in the remote town where he had spent his childhood. He set up a lab in his ancestral home. The place was in ruins, but that hardly mattered to B. Kar. He spent all his money in his research. When it dried up, he stole millions of dollars through the Internet. He knew that the world owed it to him. No one ever got a trace. He was a genius; he was ahead of his time.

And today, three years later, B. Kar knew that he was there. His answer was ready. He walked towards his laptop and initiated the power sequence. There was a very gentle whirring of motors as the initiator circuits came to life. And then there was silence. For his ‘baby’ was perfect. B. Kar smiled in satisfaction.

“Hi Biplab, how are you doing”, Bella’s sweet voice broke the silence. A shiver ran down B. Kar’s spine. And then he laughed. Bella was his now. She would not hurt him anymore. She was his, anyway he wanted her. And he could never lose her again. He knew that was out of the question. No one could take his Bella away from him now. This Bella was completely his; her very existence in its entirety was his.

Only, now she was electronic.

P.S. This is my attempt at fiction in a really long long time. If you read this, and you are not in a rush, do drop me a comment. Please tell me what you felt about this or what you feel should have been different.

The Rebel

Sometimes I have these weird whims.

All of a sudden, I decided to create a rebel version of myself. So I sit glued to photoshop for an entire evening. I was trying to create a message for the world, just when I am about to leave college and move into it.

And this is what I ended up with.

I am really displeased with the end result. But I am a rebel now, and that means I don't care whether what I come up with is good or bad *wink*. (Being a rebel certainly has its advantages).

In fact I did not know what I wanted to do with it, so I put it on my blog. Cause not everything that I put on my blog needs to be satisfying for me.

Escape route

Let me tell you a story.
Mr. X gets up at 7 every morning. He shaves and shits and drinks his coffee and showers and all that. He switches a few channels and catches up with the stocks on their ever crazy journey. By this time his kid is ready and Mr. X drops him off at school.

Beautiful Mrs. X. gives Mr. X a long list of what she wants for her household. She complains about that trip he had promised and how they should go out for dinner that night. Mr. X talks about how busy he is at work. Mrs. X understands nothing of what Mr. X does in his office. Mr. X leaves for office in his sleek car.

Days at office are rarely different for Mr. X. He meets clients and delivers presentations and attends office meetings where people talk at length about stuff no one is interested in. And he spends time creating those presentations debating whether to use 11 point Arial or Garamond 12. Mr. X brings back home some work and the stuff Mrs X had ordered. His kid tells him what he did at school and Mr. X feels guilty because he does not find enough time to teach him maths. Mrs X keeps complaining about this and that but on some days they have a pretty good time.

Once or twice in a year, the X's go out for vacations. They share their photos with their friends and talk excitedly about the trip. Sometimes, Mr. X goes out on office trips.

Growth for Mr. X means a bigger office and a better pay. Mr. X works not beacuse he is very interested in it, but because he has a family to support and a future to secure. On some rare nights Mr. X gets all nostalgic and tells Mrs. X about his dreams and fantasies when he was in college. Beautiful Mrs. X doesnt seem to connect much with all that.

You know what??
I'm calculating how much time I have before I turn into Mr. X. Except the beautiful Mrs. X part perhaps. Given the direction in which my career is progressing, it's just a matter of time before I turn into Mr. X. Where is the INNOVATION in my life?

This is not what I had signed up for when I decided to be an engineer. I need an escape route. Any ideas anyone?