“Is everything normal, Dr.Ajay?” asked Mahesh over the phone.

Ajay pulling out the reports, “I’m afraid not, Dr.Mahesh. Past two months, he seems ecstatic and talking a lot. We didn’t observe it before.”

“Why didn’t you inform me last month?”

“We thought it is a passing emotion, like his many feelings before. Also, it happens only once per week.”

“Only once per week?”

“Yes, every Thursday. That’s why we didn’t think it mattered. But the same pattern repeated this month also, making me worried.”

“Any change in his behaviour is important. We have to take care that his emotions shouldn’t reach extreme levels. Monitor his situation carefully and keep me posted about the changes,” said Mahesh

“Sure Dr.Mahesh.”

***

Swati sat on the couch with the laptop to watch the new episode of her favourite, ‘The PR Vlogs’ on YouTube.

Kiran tip-toed into the room and went behind Swati. He slowly got into position and closed the browser.

“Grr… Not again Kiran. How many times should I tell you not to be mischievous?”

“Don’t shout dumb head. Dad didn’t buy you this laptop to waste time.”

“I need not learn about time management from you. I know you are jealous that he brought me laptop instead of getting you a PlayStation.”

“It’s not about that, I hate that Vlogs you are watching. It’s just some random guy talking about himself and people like you waste time to watch such nonsense.”

“Oh, is it why there are 37,000 views for the last video in that nonsense? It is not for people without emotions,” said Swati leaving the room.

She came back and shouted, “You will not understand unless you watch it for yourself. He talks about nature, love and many other things.” She banged on the door and left.

Kiran slept on the couch for some time and pulled out his mobile, opened YouTube app, typed ‘PR vlogs’ and opened the first video of the series.

A man seemed to be in his early thirties, wearing a round neck t-shirt is sitting in a chair and talking.

“Life is beautiful. It becomes much beautiful when the spice of Love gets added. 
I’m one among many people in the world who doesn’t have anyone to share the feelings.

I have learnt from my assistant that, nowadays people throughout the world are sharing their feelings through social networks, blogs and some people like to record videos of their day to day life and sharing them as Vlogs. I liked the idea of recording and sharing it through YouTube.

Before I begin about the spark in my life, let me introduce myself. I work in Chai Coffee club located at arrivals, Terminal-1, in Kilimanjaro International airport in Tanzania. My owner wants the rest of the world to taste the Indian flavour of coffee and tea. So he started Chai coffee club outlets in many international airports.

This place is filled with a lot of national parks and wildlife and mainly Mt. Kilimanjaro. I’m very happy leading a simple life here.

I’m not sure how I developed it, but I feel a very strong connection with nature. I couldn’t stand it when someone tries to pollute in any way. It is effortless for me to get angrier if anybody uses ‘one-time use’ plastic. Alas! The whole world cannot sustain without it now. 

People always prefer a paper cup instead of a reusable cup. I personally maintain reusable items with me and will usually enquire them while taking the order, if they want beverage in those cups. But no one ever asked me for one.

Everyone is in a hurry and wants to get rid of this cup somewhere, but no one thinks about its journey later. They are not bio-degradable.

Now viewers, please be aware that, they have a wax or plastic lining inside to hold liquids. They are harmful to nature as well as your tummies. In a way, they are similar to plastic and will end up mostly in landfills and oceans causing a great damage to the earth and every living thing associated with that landfill surroundings. Please be considerate while using them.

But one day, as the sun is setting over the horizon, she came to chai coffee club. She stared at the menu and asked if she could get a filter coffee in a reusable glass, as pictured. I happily offered her coffee in steel tumbler and dabrah*.

I felt that I had a strong connection with her. I got a feeling that I knew her for a long time. Apart from this, I couldn’t resist the happiness that after all the years, someone asked for coffee in a reusable cup.

She seemed to wait for someone, but left after an hour, alone.

I felt like a part of my body is leaving me.”

 Kiran clicked on next video in the series.

“People flock into Kilimanjaro airport all around the year. Some come here to summit the peak, irrespective of challenges it offers in different seasons.

Some will come just to visit national parks.

But exactly a week later, among all those tightly packed backpacks and exciting faces, I couldn’t help myself noticing those two beautiful eyes once again.

It’s her. Again, on a Thursday while the sun is bidding farewell for the day. She asked for the filter coffee in the menu as pictured, in a steel tumbler. I offered her the same.

I strongly felt that she didn’t notice happiness in my eyes, else she would have definitely asked for the reason. I was delighted to look at her eyes, which gave me a feeling that I knew those eyes from years.

 I wanted to speak to her, but I felt happy just by looking into her eyes.

She waited for around an hour and left, leaving darkness in my life. I stepped out of my cabin to talk to her, but I couldn’t.” 

Kiran is unaware that Swati is noticing excitement in his face. He clicked on next video.

I just saw her two times, but I’m not even getting a clue about the connection I’m feeling with her. I wondered if she is the reason that I waited all these years without falling in love even once.

I never waited for a sunset on Thursday, so desperately.

But as the sun is exactly going down, I could see light again. It’s her eyes, she was here.

I couldn’t control my excitement. I placed a filter coffee on the desk before, she ordered.

She smiled for the first time looking at me, took the coffee and sat in the lobby waiting for someone.

Again, she left after an hour all alone. I called her, but she didn’t turn back.”

As Kiran is clicking the next video, Swati shouted behind him. Kiran got scared and turned back to see Swati. They both smiled at each other.

“You liked those video’s, didn’t you?” asked Swati.

“Not exactly, but I’m interested in knowing what happened next.”

“Even I am waiting for that since a week, he said he will go live today. Let’s watch it together.”

They placed the laptop on the couch and waited for the video to begin.

***

Ajay called Mahesh over the phone and said, “Dr.Mahesh, its an emergency. His emotion levels are constantly increasing. If they hit the maximum, he might be paralyzed,”

“NO! Activate the anaesthesia capsule in his body. It will take some time to activate, but he will calm down and relax.”

“But can you at least tell me now, what is happening?”

“The time has come. Doctor, please pack your bag and wait outside. A cab will come and pick you up.”

“But where are we meeting?”

“Over a cup of coffee,” said doctor Mahesh and disconnected the call.

***

As soon as I saw her today, I filled coffee in two steel tumblers and sat on the table, where she usually waits. I could notice surprise in her face. I didn’t want to get excited by controlling my feelings anymore. So I asked her to take a seat and poured a lot of questions dwelling in my mind.

She was quiet and slowly sipped the coffee. The orange hue of sunset falling on her face, made her eyes much alluring. She began saying she has been working here as a wildlife biologist, researching about a rare chimp, native to this region. I wondered if nature is the connection that is bonding us.

We spoke about her work for a long time. I got very attracted to the way she simplified complex theories about animal behaviours, which even someone like me understood.

But she suddenly said that she was expecting her husband. That sent a chill down my spine.

She explained that her husband’s work will usually keep him away from using the phone or any other means of communication. They planned a vacation here during her course of stay.

The only flight from their city will arrive on Thursday evening, which is bringing her here.

Many a time’s emotions win over common sense. How could I not think that she would already be engaged?

I miss her. I misssssss….” (The man in the video collapsed suddenly and video stopped)

“What happened?” yelled Swati.

“How would I know? Poor chap’s heart might be broken, haha.”

“It’s not funny, Kiran.”

“Don’t get emotional about it, I will let you know if he resumes the video.”

***

“Welcome, Dr.Ajay,”

“Why did you make me travel all the way here?”

“Calm down, let’s have a coffee first,”

“There are a thousand questions running in my mind and you want me to be relaxed?”

“A lot can happen over coffee, follow me.”

“Two filter coffee please,” ordered Ajay.

“Do you want it in a paper cup or steel tumbler, sir?”

“Paper cups please.”

The man at the counter sighed and prepared their orders.

Mahesh and Ajay sat on a table and started sipping the coffee.

“How is the coffee?” asked Mahesh.

 “For god’s sake at least tell me now why I am here?”

“Did you see him, the man at the counter?”

“Yes.”

“He is the man you are observing all these days.”

“What? All this sophisticated technology and control and that too in a country far away, for a worker at a coffee shop?”

“Yes, let’s go to headquarters now and discuss more.”

***

“Ajay, our organization invented a new variety of rice. The intention is to address malnutrition and having sufficient rice, without depending on rains or worrying about droughts.

We advertised and convinced governments of quite a few countries and provided samples to them. We made sure that all the officials in all countries provide a positive opinion about the product.

But Raaman , has discovered our secret. He is a prominent agricultural scientist.

He has done a lot of research on our product and prepared a report which has our secret”

“What is it?”

“That our rice contains plastic.”

“Don’t confuse me anymore. Plastic inside rice grain? Please tell me clearly.”

“Due to different kinds of materials we use to produce this rice, a small insect will form inside the rice grain, damaging it. The only substance that can stop it from growing and eventually kill it is, plastic.  A nano plastic particle, which cannot be discovered by any technology, will be placed in every rice granule that is produced.

Not even the scientists from top-class universities were able to discover this fact.

Due to this tiny amounts of plastic might be deposited in the human body, which may not be good for them in long run.

But this guy has found it and was not convinced by our offers to keep his mouth shut. He prepared a report to submit the government.

We planned to kill him and followed him everywhere, but suddenly he met with an accident. We used this opportunity to fake his death and brought him here, to our headquarters in Tanzania.

He didn’t spill anything, even after a lot of torture. We even killed his wife, but of no use.

It was later we discovered that he has lost all his memory due to the accident.”

“What?”

“Yes Ajay, that’s how the fate works. After a lot of analysis and examinations on him, it was found that his memory can be regained.

But if his emotional levels are at extreme there are chances that he may never be able to remember anything. Also, we were advised that he should be on his own for his brain to function normally than to enclose him here.

So we have set him up here, close to our headquarters. He will be monitored by our men closely. Since I had to deal with a lot of other things, we hired you, an expert in mental health to monitor him remotely.

As you are already aware sensors are placed inside his body to check emotional levels and the emergency anaesthesia.

He was hypnotized and made to believe that, he was working in a coffee shop and got a new job here. Hypnosis will be performed on him whenever he doubts himself and things will be normal after a session.

He cannot remember anything from his past, not even his name. “

 “Why all this, why not just kill him?”

“This guy not only knows that our rice has plastic but also knows how to prepare an alternative, with the same output as our product in a completely natural method.”

“But if he can’t remember anything, how can he tell you the details about it?”

“His brain still has signs of trauma. He is not completely well now. We have methods to extract the truth, as soon as his health levels are stable.

Ajay, please observe him more carefully. The emotional levels being reported are extreme. Find the cause first.”

***

“Why did you arrange meeting suddenly, Dr.Ajay?”

“It’s an emergency. You told that he doesn’t even remember his name, isn’t it?”

“Yes, he doesn’t have a clue about his past.”

“Today is Thursday and I have been to the airport for observing him. His emotional levels started increasing, while I was there.”

“Why? What happened?”

“His behaviour is weird. I spoke with his assistant. Before anything, do you know his wife’s name?”

“No, but let me check.” He opened a safe and pulled out a file. He flipped a couple of pages and said, “It is Priya.”

“Then Dr.Mahesh, you need watch this,” Ajay opened YouTube on his mobile and has shown him ‘The PR vlogs.’

As Mahesh completed watching all the videos, Ajay started, “So every Thursday this is why his emotional levels are rising. He collapsed after we released anaesthesia. Does this name ring anything to you Dr.Mahesh? PR?”

“PR.. hmm.. PR..PR… Priya Raaman? Holy cow! Is his wife alive?”

 “No, she is not.”

“Then who is he speaking with every Thursday?”

“Himself!”

***

*Dabarah- wide metal saucer with lipped walls.

__________________________________________________________________

Written by Sayi Rama Krishna

Enclosed in a glass box of a corporate, I always want to get out of the box to do the things I love, like travelling, writing and cycling.