She sat in the Starbucks cafe, sipping her coffee and staring out of the window. The blood-stained knife lay next to her handbag, covered with her blue silk scarf. With every sip of coffee, she tried to release her stress, however, the flashback of events throughout the day, tormented her. She was going through an amalgamation of emotions, and all she needed was, a peaceful time for herself, away from the crowd, to assimilate what had just happened with her. So, as soon as she was done with the coffee, she wrapped that knife with her scarf secretly, put it in her handbag, paid the bills, and pranced out of the café, in haste. Then she took a cab ,and headed towards her home, which took approximately 45 minutes from the café, and sometimes even more, as per Pune’s traffic. But the day was not meant to end that way. She had woven a lot of dreams, carried tones of hopes to make her parents feel proud of her. After all, it was her first job interview.
It was a gay day for Stuti. She was a little bit nervous, but her excitement had camouflaged everything. She had been preparing for a long time for this interview and that reflected her determination. She received blessings from her parents and a shy ‘best of luck ‘from her younger brother. She was boosted up with confidence now. Stuti was an Engineering student, from Computer Science stream, and she had always aspired to become a Software Engineer. Today, it was her chance, to achieve it all and surely, she had taken her first step, to realize her dreams.
She reached the company office and waited near the reception, for her turn, as she had been told- she would be called. As she had to wait for quite sometime, her hands, holding the documents’ file, started shivering and the A.C. near her added fuel to fire. Finally, her turn came and she was called in, with her documents and the required stuff. As she entered the cabin, she greeted the interviewers warmly. It was a panel of two interviewers, sitting in front of her. Now, the interview session began, with her brief introduction. She replied to it flawlessly. After all, this answer was something she had been working on, throughout her final semester. One of the two interviewers, named Shahid Malviya, who barely looked around his early thirties, got highly impressed listening to her hobbies and creative quotient, and applauded her. Stuti was glad. She was answering most of the technical questions correctly, although, one or two tricky ones that she‘d gone wrong with, were corrected by the senior interviewer Mr. Deshpandey .
Now, suddenly, within a blink of her eyes, Shahid Malviya came and sat beside her. She thought they are trying for a stress-interview, and so, kept that soft smile ‘on’. Shahid asked a personal question to which she kept mum for a while. He asked her if she had a boyfriend. Stuti was perplexed, because of the manner in which he asked her. Sitting just next to her, his bulging eyes got fixed on her awestruck face. He repeated the question a bit rudely. She responded with a ‘no’. He smiled and moved his chair closer to her, and she was continually and slowly, trying to push her chair backward. Mr. Deshpandey was merely a keen observer of the scene. Stuti, at the first place, had been assuming these as a part of the stress-interview. Now, Deshpandey uttered something, to her surprise.He said that she had all the apt qualifications and requisite capabilities, to manage the job. He also mentioned, that she had performed exceedingly well in the interview and was ready to work with their expanding organization, but…..then came a condition. That ‘but’, everything depended on it.
Shahid was much more interested to explain the terms and conditions, and the ‘but only if’ condition. Stuti’s heart, which had started singing victory songs for a moment, had now started pumping at a jet’s rate. In her heart, she prayed to God, to give her the courage to cross the coming hurdle and grab her dream-job And Shahid continued to speak,” But only if, you…..I guess you understand what I want to say.” Stuti wanted to clear all her doubts, and so, she said, “No, I don’t.” He was already sitting only one inch farther, and by shifting his chair even closer to her, he wanted to remove even that distance. Stuti had everything very clear in her mind, but, was it too late?
As he moved his hand towards her face, she started sweating and stood up, trying to run away. And he, before she could act, twisted one of her hands, ruthlessly, making her sit there again. Her throat got choked, but then, she gathered some courage to shout for help, and he covered her mouth with his hands. She was in tears, because she couldn’t believe it was all happening with her. Then something clicked her, and she found a ray of hope, when she saw the interviewers’ left-over Dosa plate, at the other corner of the table. The plate contained some leftover chutney, and the ray of hope,knife and fork’. She had to make her hands reach there. Now, she cleverly started acting as if she had fainted, and he released her hands and mouth to see, what had happened. He sent Mr.Deshpandey to bring the private nurse. As he moved out, she acted swiftly. Without wasting her time, picked up the knife, and before he could again take over her, she bit his hands and then wounded him with the knife, in the maximum possible. Saw him busy with his bruises and cuts, and she grabbed her handbag and ran towards the door, and finally got out. He could do nothing, as a number of questioning eyes would stare him and wouldn’t spare him then, as all the staff and other cabins were just outside that chamber.As she walked out of that place, she noticed that she had taken the knife with her in all that rush, and before anyone else could notice, she took out her silk scarf and covered the blood-stained knife, and exit that office building. She saw a café nearby, called as ‘The Starbucks Café’, a place where she could sit and get some relief.
Now, when she was about to reach home, all this was revolving round and round in her head-the expectations, the emotional ups, and downs faced in a single day, the fear. Finally, a strong lady who had emerged from ‘within her’, proudly smiled and thanked God, as she took out partially, the blood-stained knife from her handbag and again, kept it inside. She realized it that day, that life is full of unexpected twists and turns, and nobody gets a prior notification about it. So, being ready to face-whatsoever, and change our DESTINY can be one possible option for it. The other can surely be, to surrender to the situations, and then console ourselves lifelong that it was just WRITTEN IN THE DESTINY.