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They were total 150 freshers. It was the happiest day of their lifetime. They had their first offer letter in hand, the letter they have fantasized and doubted all their four years of engineering. Leaving home behind, they had migrated from their home town to Mumbai, the city of hope, city of dreams. The total conglomerate was divided in four batches for training. Two of the batches were sent to Pune. The training would last for six months where they would be groomed for Technical and Soft skills.
As time passed, the lot transformed into smaller groups. Spending day at office was their only time they looked forward to where they could keep their mind busy. The evenings were mostly sombre when they had to do their daily chores that they regularly procrastinated in morning. Many a times they skipped dinner as they weren’t in the mood to go out. Getting up in the morning was equally bad. Staying away from family made many nostalgic and low. No wonder they sought emotional support outside and every day a new gossip about someone seeing someone were heard in office.
Neerav was transferred to Pune unlike his friends who were given Mumbai location. He was from West Bengal. He was 5’8 & fairly attractive. He was ok with his relocation. The news of first job was enough to cheer him. When he had started, he regularly called his home, but as days passed, the frequency subsided.
The days were passing boringly for him until he found a friend on internet. They had met by chance and at once hit it off. Her name was Natasha. She was software professional too and worked for a small firm in Mumbai. Being originally from Orissa, she too was engulfed in the nostalgic state and each searched support in other. They had a lot in common and as days passed they felt like they knew each other for years. She was a shy girl who restrained herself when they talked about her. But with regular chats she was getting candid.
That day, he asked her if they could talk on phone or meet. He waited for her reply, but only in vain. He had expected similar reaction from a shy girl like her. He doubted if he acted correctly by asking her directly, but then how was he going to reveal this thoughts. Somehow the optimist in him kept assuring him about a positive outcome. From that day he waited for her to chat but her chat status never turned online. His days turned gloomy in her absence and world suddenly seemed cruel to him. His visage was always frowned and he knew that he was angry on himself and doubly on Natasha.
One day, his melancholic mind found a new hope when Natasha’s grey chat status turned green. She was the one to ping him first. Both were glad to meet online after a long time. She chatted as if nothing happened which he found strange and wanted to confront but forgave her the next moment. When he asked her again, she took no more than ten seconds to reply. He was happy. She was ok to meet him. He felt like a sad chapter from his life has ended and the new chapter was about to start. It was decided that he would travel to Mumbai. Place and time were fixed.
Neerav’s group divided when he was relocated to Pune. Life was no different for even the Mumbai guys. But together they had had loads of fun and enjoyed a lot. So when Neerav told them that he is travelling to Mumbai, they were very happy. They were eagerly looking forward to seeing him.
Neerav reached the venue a few minutes early. So he decided to revise his dialogues till she comes. But hours passed and Natasha never turned up. Did she ditched me ? He felt upset and his hopes crumbled. Yes, she ditched me.
The next day Neerav’s was welcomed to office with open arms. They revisited their old days with a cup of coffee. There were smiles everywhere. He wished he could stay with them. He needed them. He just had a heart-break.
The next mail was delivered to the complete batch.The subject was intriguing, at the same time conniving. “The inside story of Neerav”. It was a long mail from a batch mate to each and every one of 150. Neerav’s heart skipped a beat when he saw it in the mailbox. Some bastard had played a trick on him. And he had fell in the trap so easily ?
The mail had his entire chat history with Natasha...Natasha...So there wasn’t anyone called Natasha at all ? So some sick bastard who was hunting for entertainment trapped him ? His heart sank. He grimaced as he stared at the long chat. Her questions, his frank answers, Open, Private talks were all open to all. Everything was out for others to nose.
His friends were furious on the sender. They tried to support Neerav and claim that this was all false and bullshit. But everyone knew the truth. He was exposed.
Neerav sat humiliated, undignified. An emotional fool. He stood & walked out.
*** The End ***