It was yet another morning at my desk. The three CCD coffee mugs were lying on my desk since last evening. I threw them in the bin below the desk and cleaned my desk while my desktop was still running the login script. There was mesmerizing silence all across me. The last night incident had left everyone stunned. A truck carrying GoodDay biscuits had hit one of our night shuttles and one of my colleagues took her last breath on the spot. If not for the high alert incident that was raised the last night, I would have taken the same shuttle.
Preethi was a calm girl, hardly interacted with anyone and was always reserved. She used to sit in the opposite wing and I used to meet her sometimes in the lift. She never exchanged a smile or note of recognition and was always found alone during lunch breaks. I am surprised that I have noticed her so much and did not realize it until I got to know about her death.
My desktop gave the Windows logging alarm and I opened my outlook. “Hey Sneha, How you doing?”. Vinny was there at my desk with wrinkles on her forehead. “Doing good Vinny.. What about you?”.
“No yaar, I am not doing any good. I was asked to inform Preethi’s parents about her death. You know it is such a difficult job”
“Oh dear!! Did you inform them?”
“Yes!! I did…”
There was complete silence. I did not know what to ask. Wrinkles on Vinny’s forehead grew deeper. She turned to me and said “And you know what? Preethi’s parents reaction left me paralyzed. They did not seem to be concerned. They told me that they considered her to be dead few years back when she ran away with a guy and hung the phone. It was shocking…”. She sighed and left the cubicle before I could say something.
Tons of thoughts kept swirling in my mind. How can a parent be so rude? It cannot happen this way. I was very disturbed. My mail box had couple of alert emails but they did not alert me enough to work. I was badly in need to coffee. I went to Nisha – my coffee partner.
As we walked across the lobby towards the pantry, Nisha explained me the accident scene as though she watched it live on TV and watched it over and over again on youtube. I just kept nodding. I did not want to listen to all this but somewhere deep in my mind I was curious to know more about Preethi. “And Sneha, you know what…” I was alert now. I felt Nisha would have more details on Preethi’s parent’s reaction.
“No. I do not know. What is it?”
“Sandeep called Preethi’s husband to inform him about her death. Looks like that fellow was completely drunk when Sandeep called and he did not bother to come to hospital. He is such an irresponsible swine. Sandeep had to call him over and over again this morning and only then he agreed to come”.
Coffee did not seem to have its regular charm. I was completely disturbed learning about Preethi’s fate. Life is so fragile. It is so hard to find true love and affection. People learn to hate someone very easily in no time, but why do they take so long to love and appreciate someone. I was in need of meditation.
I went back to my cubicle and I saw Sweety (alias Shruthi) at her desk. She was looking as lively and jovial as ever. But there was something even she was bothered about. “Hiyeeee!!!” she wished me in her regular tone. “Hi Sweety! What happened? You look worried”.
“Haan Sneha!!! You got to know about the night shuttle right!! I felt so bad you know! There were tons of Cashew and Pista biscuits lying all over the road and people were driving over them.”
The last night incident had left its own impact on everyone.