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Data’s Engineers

Updated: Sep 21

By Padmanabh Kulkarni


Trigger Warning: Violence


“Isn’t that a grammar mistake?” Amogh snarked as he tried to hold his pig snort.

“Umm. Yeah, I guess. But the registration agent insisted the name was correct.” Prabhu smiled. He was used to the comment. It started the conversation quite well, and he could explain what his company did, which eventually left the skeptics’ jaws dropped and nodding in bewilderment. Amogh could be forgiven for underestimating the boisterous and overzealous Insta ad that made basic spelling errors. But he was intrigued, for some strange reason, about this outfit which made some pretty outlandish claims in the ad, which sounded borderline like those Tambu Wale Baba ads on the local train side tracks. This was going to be amazing material for his exposé Youtube channel.


“So, aap ki duniya badal denge. That’s pretty vague. What is that supposed to mean?” Amogh asked pointedly.

“It means we use data, AI and our network of IoT devices to change your life,” Prabhu explained as if that should be obvious.

“Ok-kay. But what do you mean - change your life? What exactly do you do?” Amogh kept asking as he made sure his spy cam was working.

“Everybody works hard in life. But not everyone is lucky. To meet the right people, to meet the right opportunities. To bump into … Ey! The laundry is closed right now!” Prabhu stopped his explanation midway and yelled at the girl trying to insert coins into the washing machine.





“Data’s Engineers” was a nondescript one-desk office on the probably illegal extra floor inside the BhooliBisari Laundry. The whole establishment was on the second floor of the grimy-looking Mansukhani Complex close to Ulhasnagar station. The windows looked out to the noise and chaos of the train station and, occasionally, an industrial but picturesque sunset.


“The door was open.” She lamented.

“It’s a half shutter. Can’t you see? That means we’re not ready yet.”

“What’s there to be ready? It’s just washing machines.”

“Do you maintain and make sure it works every single day?... Then don’t ask silly questions.” Prabhu was slightly annoyed. “Everything needs maintenance.”

“The laundry opens at night?” Amogh was puzzled.

“Yes. 9 PM. Do you have any clothes?”

“No! We were discussing your company - Data’s Engineers.”

“Yes. So, you want your life changed? That’s our product.” Prabhu asked nonchalantly.

“I … am not sure.” Amogh was lost for words.

“Then why are you here? Don’t waste my time. There are so many people waiting.”

“Where? I don’t see anyone.”

“Our ads are yet to reach them. They’re probably around here somewhere.”

“Ha? You mean you already know who needs your service?”

“Yes. That’s why you saw the ad. I guess we do misfire once in a while. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll deliver the ad to the next candidate.”

“Hey! Hey! Why will I need your service? My life is fine.” Amogh was outraged at the assumption of misery.

“Sure.”

Amogh paused and checked. The recording was still ON. He stopped it briefly and hesitated.


“What’s up with the BhooliBisari?”

“Chaddi, of course. There are no memories to be lost here. I mean, sure, for some, there are. But for most, it’s the chaddis. We have a whole collection of unclaimed ones. Do you want any?” Prabhu asked innocuously.

“...” Amogh was flabbergasted at the sheer audacity of the inane offer. “No, I’ve got mine, thank you.”

“You should try to be in another’s for once. It will give you perspective.” Prabhu carried on unflinchingly. Amogh shook his head in exasperation.

“I’ll be taking your leave, good sir.” He tried to be sarcastic. But all the tongue-in-cheek cleverness seemed to pass right through Prabhu.

“Sure. I’ll be waiting if you decide to change your mind.”


The whole experience thoroughly weirded out Amogh. But Prabhu didn’t ask for any money upfront, so he was unsure how to catch him red-handed committing fraud. Is this something legit? He wondered as he left the decrepit building. But how the hell can they engineer my luck? This totally smells like a con job. I’ll have to be careful. Amogh briefly sought shelter at a vada pav stall as it started raining quite heavily. “Bhaiya, Ek vada pav, Ek chai,” he ordered and continued his train of thought. I must get him to make some crazy commitment. I must appear needy. Hmm. How should that work? He kept staring at the eerie-looking sole tube light from the second floor with the rest of the floors covered in darkness. The incessant rain made everything appear all the more dark and dreary. Who the hell even tries to do laundry there? That’s probably just a ruse. That place is a potential homicide scene, Gawd! Amogh looked anxiously at the watch. It was getting pretty late, and nothing seemed to happen.


“Bhaiya, does anyone ever come here for laundry?” He tried some social engineering to know more about this odd gig.

“Bhai, I only sell vada pav. I don’t know much. But yes, there are a few large consignments from time to time. It’s very cheap, I hear.”

“Do you know him? Prabhu?”

“Oh, yes! He likes my vada pav. He helped me set up this stall.” The owner seemed to be fond of Prabhu.

“Hmmm. Never saw that coming.” Amogh was a bit surprised. Prabhu didn’t look like the jovial type to him. He stepped back into the rain and checked the stall’s name – ‘Shuruat’. Everyone’s on the start-up train these days. He scoffed and kept looking around for other clues. This story was looking more and more intriguing the more he tried to dig.


* * * * *


“Bhaiya, why did you have to take this route? This place is always waterlogged in this season.” Amaya cribbed as the taxi reached a standstill in the knee-deep water.

“Ma’am, this is a shortcut. The subway is jammed.”

“Great. Now your car is jammed.” Amaya was annoyed and checked her phone battery. It was about to go out. “Shit.” she cussed under her breath. It was probably bad either way. If the rain continued, she could be stuck in the car. If she got out, she would probably have to trudge through the ugly waterlogged mess. Ok. Mess it is. The station is close by anyway. “Ma’am, please don’t …” She was out before he could finish. He frowned and sighed as the dirty water gushed into the back seat. Amaya grunted and trudged out of the water to the side of the road and wondered how far it was to the train station. The street looked deserted except for a small shop at the corner. The other cab drivers seemed to be smart enough to avoid this route. The rain kept getting nastier, and finally, her driver figured it was best to leave his car to the elements and save himself.


“Will you have a vada pav? Or chai?” he asked out of courtesy.

“Uh…No.” Amaya was probably just being cautious. Beep beep! Her messenger pinged.

“Is that you, Amaya?” It was from Amogh. No way! How?! Oh … The Data’s Engineers… Were they for real? Crazy. But I haven’t even paid them. Haven’t even seen them. She hurriedly messaged the number from the strange ad.

“Have you started on my project?” She typed frantically. The battery was close to dying out.

“Yes. You chose the free trial, remember?”

“I did?” She only remembered clicking on some inane Insta Ad while drunk on a cab ride home.

“Yes. We normally keep disappearing messages ON. But you should have our app on your mobile.”

She quickly sifted through the apps. They were mostly familiar. And then - The Transformer App. What the hell is that? Is that what he’s talking about? When did I get that? She had done a few silly things to get Amogh’s attention before, so this was not totally out of the realm of possibilities. But this was too creepy, even for her.

“See. Your love interest has willingly contacted you. You can see the first milestone in the app.”

It was there. How did they know?

“OK-OK. My battery is running out. I’ll contact you later. I don’t understand anything right now.” She closed that chat and giddily responded to Amogh’s message.

“Yes. It’s me. But where are you?”

“I am at the vada pav stall on the corner. I thought I saw someone familiar. Are you safe? You need a ride home?” He seemed earnest.

Oh, My God. Is he really going to drop me home? And Smriti is out for the night. I can invite him for coffee. Amaya was in fantasyland.

“Sorry to bother you. But yes. I’m kind of stuck.” She kept the decorum as much as possible.

“No problem. I’ll get my car around the corner. You’ll have to run a bit till there. Hehe!”

“Yes…” her phone died before she could send the message.

My Goodness! No! Damn it! She just started galloping eagerly in the rain. Which corner was it? She wondered as she reached the corner close to the vada pav shop. There was no one there. She ran to the stall and blurted.

“Bhaiya, the guy here…where did he park his car?”

“I don’t know. How am I supposed to know? He just bought the vada pav.”

Gawd. He must be calling me. “Bhaiya, can you lend me your phone?”

“OK.”

What was his number? Seven…One…Nine…Nine…Four…or was it Six? No!! This cannot be happening. I need to calm down and remember the number. What kind of godforsaken place is this? Are no shops open? Is this still Mumbai? That office seems open. She glanced at the tube light on the second floor. Oh boy. It was too risky. Let’s wait a bit to see if Amogh shows up here. Amaya was getting more anxious by the minute. A few minutes passed by without any sign of Amogh.

“Bhaiya, can I borrow your phone for ten minutes? I’ll just go and get my phone charged up there.” She pointed at the only office with lights on.

“Are you sure? You know them?”

“No, but it’s an emergency. I’ll keep it on a call with a friend. Don’t worry; I’ll pay you.” She hurried to get into the building as she called Smriti.

“Moti, listen quickly. I need to get my phone charged at this kind-of-risky place. I’m keeping this call on. Just ten minutes, and I’ll be done.” Amaya blurted into the phone without the pleasantries.

“Uh…but why? Are you OK? Send me the location, yeah?” Smriti was used to her roommate’s antics. She wished her friend was more careful. That was part of her charm, though. Amaya was an average-looking Marathi girl with a sharp wit and a bit too much of risk tolerance for Indian standards.

“Yeah yeah. This is not my phone. I’ll SMS.” She hurried to find the elevator.

Gawd, this place is a khandar. She kept muttering as she made her way to the second floor. A Laundry? You have got to be kidding me. Whatever. As long as they have a charger. She tried to rake up the door.

“Hello? Is there anybody here? I need a phone charger.” She hollered from under the half-open shutter.

Is it her? Prabhu was taken aback. He double-checked Amaya’s location data on his dashboard. She was supposed to be in the cab. Why is she here? What is this model doing? Did the sensor mess up? He was trying to guess a ton of things before he could come up with an innocent alibi for himself.

“The laundry is not open yet. It opens at nine.” He briefly opened the door and curtly replied.

“I need a phone charger. It’s urgent. Only ten minutes.” Amaya pleaded.

“Ummm. OK.” Prabhu hesitated but finally relented. “Only ten minutes.”

“Thanks so much.” She quickly plugged it into the charger at the laundry counter and waited with the speakerphone on. “Moti, are you there?” She checked if the call was still on.

“Yeah, I’m here. Eating pizza. Very thrilling.” She chuckled. “Just don’t get into any trouble.”

Amaya briefly looked inside the laundry and wondered who in the world comes here at night to do laundry. Beep! Beep! There was some notification from the cramped-up attic office upstairs. Prabhu ignored and continued smiling facetiously at Amaya. Beep! Beep! It kept going off frequently.

“Shouldn’t you get that?” Amaya was curious.

“It doesn’t concern you.” Prabhu was annoyed by the intrusion.

“Ok-kay!” Dude definitely does not look very social. Fits the place. Heh. I need to get going ASAP. Amaya wondered and quickly checked the status. The phone was just up. Come On. Come On. A missed call. Shit. She promptly called back.

“Hello, Amogh? Sorry, my battery died out.”


Oh. That explains the ad and his visit. The damn thing works better than I expected. Well, well, well. Prabhu was happy but also slightly alarmed by the unpredictable, yet surprisingly accurate decision taken by his model. Hmm. So, it’s ingesting the traffic and cab data properly. How did he find the address, though? What the hell did that intern put in the company profile? I asked her specifically not to put this address. Humans! Ever fallible. And then we wonder why life is unpredictable. He drifted out of his casual pondering session and checked on Amaya.


“Yeah, I’ll come at the corner with the bakery shop.” She closed the call and decided to wait just a bit more to make sure the phone didn’t die out till she walked to the corner.

“So, you run a night laundry? You get customers?” Amaya asked amusingly.

“We get bulk orders. We are not that bothered about regulars.”

“Okay. And you got some side hustle going up there, I guess.” Amaya tried to be nosy in the least offensive way. A mandatory skill of a good field reporter.

“Are you some sarkari officer?” Prabhu was slightly annoyed.

“No. No. I’ll get going.” She quickly unplugged and rushed downstairs without any pleasantries, not that Prabhu cared about such things.

Hmmph. How about that?! I need to tweak the notifications, though. The thing is taking a life of its own. He thought as he looked through the ventilation window at Amaya’s silhouette under the streetlight.


* * * * *


“I heard you got your man in the sack last Friday.” Smriti poked Amaya, stuffing her face with dabeli. “Now, I will wonder every time you send me off alone. Hehe.” She snickered.

“Phht. No yaar. These society aunties.” Amaya was pissed at the aunties and Data’s Engineers, as she kept looking at the next probable milestones in the Transformer App. “Intimacy with the object of affection”, “Career changing story opportunity”, “Personal conflict” and the morbidly nonchalant “Death”; all of them masked over by a colorful cheery popup that kept prompting for a premium plan. She did indeed get her brief moment of privacy with him that night - for two minutes - before a call interrupted Amogh.


“She’s decided to join? Great!” He seemed excited about the new joiner.

“Hey. Hold your horses, yeah? It’s the age of harassment lawsuits. Let her ease into the job first.” managing editor Greeshm had seen some life.

“Come On. She’s a bright kid. I’m excited to have her on the team.”

“Right.” Amogh could imagine sarcasm dripping from Greeshm’s face.

“Haha. Don’t worry. I’ll keep it professional.”

“You better. She’s going with you on her first beat.” Greeshm hung up.

Amogh wondered about the quiet, gorgeous but surprisingly brilliant and sharp girl from the interview - Madhu. Good-looking ones are supposed to be superficial gold diggers. Right.


“What’s up?” Amaya tried to be normal. She was boiling underneath. Who’s this girl he’s excited about?

“I need to go to Kalyan station. Have to get the new girl to her accommodation.”

“Can’t she get a cab or something?”

“Come On. It’s her first job, that too away from home. I will not recommend she take a cab at this hour. And… as her senior, I need to make a good impression,” Amogh twinkled, trying to be cute. Amaya did not enjoy that sentiment at all.


* * * * *


The penthouse on Palm Beach Road was littered with confetti, balloons, cocktail glasses, drag queen paraphernalia, and dead bodies. Lots of them. Inspector Shelar let out a long sigh as he secured his gun, hand signalling the assault team to clear the premises room by room. He rubbed his face in exasperation and walked over to the balcony to catch some fresh air. It had been a wild and bloody night. “Stop those press guys. Don’t let them leave.” He spoke into his walkie talkie. “I’ve got a lot of questions.” He kept looking at the sea, wondering. How the hell did that girl know about this? It looks like she knew about it. She cannot ask Arif to come here casually. She’s from the press, after all. Dhaansu News of all places. Those guys are always pushing their luck.


Amaya wiped the blood off her face. She was still in shock, hiding under the collapsed bookshelf. She tried to move, but her hip was probably broken. Beep! Beep! Beep! Damn It! She desperately turned off her ringtone in panic. The attackers may have been on the premises still. She looked at the notification on the transformer app. The “Death” trajectory was now at 32%, and “Biggest Career Opportunity” was at 80% probability. That seemingly gave her the confidence to call out for help. “Hello! Is anyone here? Please help!” She yelped.


“Ms. Amaya Marathe?” Inspector Shelar crouched to take a look below the collapsed bookshelf.

“Yes. Can you please help? I think my leg is broken.” She pleaded.

“Umm. Sure. But you need to tell me a few things.”

“Oh, Come on. Is this the time?”

“Not saying I will not help you. I just need some information before you get your lawyer.”

“Aargh. OK!” Amaya grunted and relented.


“Tell me honestly. Did you have at least some idea that this kind of mayhem would happen here?” Insp. Shelar picked up the bookshelf while questioning Amaya.

“No.”

“Looking at the stunts your news agency has pulled off, it is hard for me to believe you had no idea about this.”

“We are the press. We always keep in touch with the cops. You should know that.” She tried some evasion.

“Yes, but not with the special tactical team. Police stations and coroner offices are your usual haunts.” Shelar stared at her with a poker face. “Yes, get her on the stretcher.” He relieved her with a warning. “We’ll be speaking soon.”

“Sir, most of the victims have been identified on the guest list, but the relatives are reluctant to provide information. Strange.” Arif informed Shelar.

“They won’t.” Shelar shook his head. “They are all gay or trans.”

“Oh!” Arif was probably going too much by the book. He had forgotten to check the victims physically.

“Assure them that the names won’t leak. I mean, seriously. Keep this detail from the press at all costs. No decent outfits around these days. By the way, how did you happen to be here? Do you know that girl? Amaya?”

“No. No. I just met her in the lobby before the shootout began.” Arif was nervous about where Shelar was going with this.

“So?”

“I … I actually got invited for a plus one by another lady. I thought it was just some social event.” Arif briefly checked his phone nervously. That weird app was showing an ominous status.


* * * * *


“So, how does this work?” Amaya typed in the customer chat of the Transformer app. It was a super minimalist app with just one screen showing life event probabilities in a blue barometer and a customer support chat widget.

“You see a list of life trajectories. Right?”

“Yes.”

“Pick one.” the support person replied.

“And then?”

“Then go on living your life. You will be guided that way.”

“Ha? How’s that possible?” Amaya was dumbstruck.

“Do you know how you clicked that ad?”

“What do you mean? I was drunk, bored, and frustrated.”

“Right. That’s why it was shown to you. I mean, there’s more to it. But that’s the gist. We know who needs us.”

“You have some spyware on me?”

“No. We don’t. It’s a blind guess by our AI model based on many data streams it ingests - location, age group, vicinity, music, chat sentiments, and some proprietary datasets.” It was all Greek to Amaya. She understood some of it, but mostly it went over her head.

“So, you do have some data on me.”

“Not identifiable as you. But yes.”

“OK. So how does your app know my life trajectory?”

“It doesn’t. It knows probabilities for different life paths. That’s what we do. We ingest the life data of millions of people - sentiments, careers, locations, relations, serendipities. Then we know the probabilities of outcomes of different life situations. It’s pretty complicated. If you understand it, you should work for us.” It was followed by a nerd glasses smiley.

“What happens when I select one path?”

“The model updates and only filters the communications - messages, matches, ads, emails, pictures, whatever - useful towards that path.”

“You are essentially controlling all of my digital life.”

“Yes. But you choose it yourself. We are only making sure you get there. Your equal partners in success.”

Amaya did not respond for a few minutes.

“Do you have a trial version?”

“Yes. Three free updates to life trajectory. USD 555 per update after that.”

“That is expensive!” She was stunned at the price.

“You will be achieving your dream life and making it look like you earned it. That cannot be cheap.”

“You sure I won’t be charged for three updates?” She was still skeptical.

“No. We are professionals. You will get a GST bill.”

Amaya spent the rest of the night looking at raindrops on her window and drinking tea.

“OK. I’ll start the trial.”

That was her first message of that morning.


* * * * *



Amaya took out her phone in the ambulance and tried to check her life trajectories. The first paid selection seemed to lead her to this LGBT event massacre. Was it the app or just a coincidence? She kept wondering. The Transformer was definitely not for the faint of the heart. Maybe a highly successful life is not for the faint of the heart. She tried to reason around her trajectory choice and the events that had unfolded.


“Sorry, ma’am. Please avoid any unnecessary stressors until you get treated.” The ambulance staff advised her.

“I’m fine. Really.” She insisted.

“Please. I will strongly advise against using phones. It’s the protocol.” The staff tried their best to be professional.

“Can I just…”

“Ma’am, you realize you are the sole survivor of that massacre. Count your blessings and just cooperate with us.”

Amaya reluctantly put away the phone and stared at the ambulance roof blankly, wandering in her mind. Should I have chosen the “Love of your life” trajectory? But love follows success, I guess.


* * * * *


“Bloody Amazing! This thing works like a charm!” M was so ecstatic he kissed his phone.

“Aren’t you worried about the CCTV footage?” D wondered.

“That’s why I love this thing. The complex had an outage in the system because of a global hack. The app can read so many cross events and lead us to the perfect coincidence. It’s nuts!” M was a techie himself. But even he was surprised at the results achieved by the Transformer. D looked at him with skepticism and wondered. Isn’t this messing with God’s plan? Are we any different than those deviants? D was pretty deep in the cult’s doctrine. He was never happy with M’s choice of using the Transformer. For him, they were playing with God’s plan. For M, the Transformer was God’s plan. That’s why he gave us this app, he would say. D didn’t say much and kept driving.


M patiently waited for Transformer’s update. Ping! He eagerly checked for the next set of trajectories. “Salvation” was at 80%, “Respect in peer group” was at 90%, and “Money” was at 60%—everything he wanted, almost. “Death in conflict” seemed to have increased from 20% to 50%. He wondered about it nervously and took a few deep breaths in the gusting wind to shake it off.

* * * * *


“Your career seems to have taken off. Congratulations, Amaya.” Greeshm gave a beaming smile.

“Thanks, boss. Make yourself at home.” She tried to get up from the chair using crutches.

“Take it easy, trailblazer. We love a risk taker at our organization. But we need you still.” Greeshm was proud and happy to have a talented, gutsy woman like Amaya brighten their prospects. Dhaansu News was usually derided for sensationalist reporting. For once, a real transformative story had fallen right into their lap, and in a way, no one else could have covered it. Amaya’s reporting of the Palm Beach Road massacre - a national, some would say global, controversy on bias and violence against the LGBT community - was a stellar piece of journalism, with some help from her phone, of course. But nobody needed to know about it. The book deals, documentary offers, and interview requests kept pouring in.


“Ladki, we’re going places.” Amogh was happy to be on her team. “We’ve got another banger in the making, I think. There’s this strange app called Transformer circulating around. I was hoping to cover it with you. I’ll cover some ground with Madhu till you get better.”

“Transformer? Looks like a common scam.” Amaya was taken aback. People who used it never spoke about it. It was Fight Club for the AI age. That was the advice given by Data’s Engineer’s support chat.

“Is it like that Nth Room thing in Korea?” She tried some diversion. “We should check that one first.”

“Nth Room?”

“You should keep up. Google it.” Amaya had just been served an ad for B-Room, so she was acutely aware of similar schemes happening in India. Transformer seemed to be good at keeping itself under the radar by diversion or evasion.

“Oh!” Amogh exclaimed as he saw the search summary. “Is this kind of thing happening in India?”

“I suspect so. It’s called B-room. I got an ad for it.”

“No way! So, did you look into it?” Amogh was surprised.

“Not yet. But I think that story is much meatier than some Tambu Baba app.” She slyly diverted the topic elsewhere.

“Hmmm. I agree. Although, I think that transformer one is also interesting. I have met the guy at their office.”

“What?” Now it was Amaya’s turn to be stunned. She tried to keep her composure.

“Yes. But that’s some side hustle I keep doing on common scams. I’ll fill you in when you get back.”

“Uh. Ok.” She wanted to know more, but it was probably not a good idea to show her eagerness. Guess I’ll have to wait.


* * * * *


Amogh gushed as he spoke incessantly about Madhu and their upcoming date. “I’ll get some snacks for us all, yeah?” Amogh said as he went to the counter. Amaya’s face showed the kind of disdain only other jealous women could detect. Amrita patted her back and turned over the card Amogh had dropped. She chuckled as it read in Hindi “Daata Ke Injiniyar” in fine print on the back. Kya kya karta rehta hai, weirdo. As she tried to hand over the card to Amogh, Amaya stopped her and took the card. She angrily looked at it and tore it apart. She let out a long sutta sigh looking out the cafeteria balcony and started typing furiously on her Transformer chat.


“Wasn’t my result guaranteed?”

“Not entirely. It comes with a time limit and probability. You have to make your move within that time. We can’t control things forever, you know.”

“I did.”

“See, we can only control people’s surroundings, not their minds. That’s your part. The lady charms.”

“Can you change something now? Maybe organize some seduction, or too good to resist an offer? I need more time.”

“When you choose a trajectory, you automatically opt-out of other possibilities. Math makes sense of the world. It cannot change the way it works.”

“My ‘Love of your life’ trajectory still shows a 10% chance.”

“It will cost you to go down that road now. Like a lot. But you’re earning well with our help, I guess.”

“Yeah, yeah. Can you do it?”

“1 Cr in 24 instalments.”

“You have got to be kidding me. That’ll cost me almost everything I’ve earned because of the Palm Beach story.”

“Up to you.” Engineers’ message came back.

“Hey! … type proper responses. Don’t be rude!” Prabhu yelled at the intern sitting next to the washing machine. “They pay us money, you know. Start that communication course on DoneAcademy tomorrow.”

“Yes, sir. But what was her order?” She asked sheepishly, adjusting her glasses.

“One transformer subscription.”

“Uhh … Do we sell heavy machinery?” The poor thing was puzzled out of her wits on the first day of her job.

It is hard to train the rookies. Hey Daata! Let’s see how long this one lasts. Prabhu looked up and shook his head as he contemplated how to explain his product to the intern.

“OK. I’ll take it.” Amaya’s response came back.


The intern was relieved she did not lose the sale. Prabhu smiled and wondered, looking out at the grimy and mundane train station. The things people do for love. He looked at his graduation picture in the drawer with Amaya smiling in the front row. The goofy kid in the back was barely visible. Did anyone even notice him?


By Padmanabh Kulkarni





_____


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