Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Change (in the Twilight Zone)

Karthik sat in front of his PC and switched it on. He was tired after a hard day's work - he had a fight with his junior, Madhur, regarding some figures in the balance sheet of the firm. He got so angry that he threatened to fire Madhur, right in front of his entire staff. It was embarrassing for Madhur, who had joined just a few months ago in this firm.

Karthik's temper was well known. This was, however the first time that he had shouted at anyone in front of his entire team. Usually, such “sessions”, as they were known among his peers, were done in a private chamber. But no one had ever received a threat of getting fired. Surely, Madhur’s mistake must have been indeed grave, so thought everybody. Karthik, however, knew that it was partly his fault of giving Madhur too much work at once. Surely the kid would falter at some stage. But who wouldn’t learn without making a mistake at some time or the other, he started thinking. Being reprimanded was not a crime; it was a reminder not to make the same mistake again. But again, was he too harsh on the young kid? Questions like these started eating his head when the beautiful Windows tune rang, indicating that the PC had now started.

Karthik opened his favorite webpage – Google News. He loved reading about the world and all the things that happen around him. News was his medium of expression; knowledge was power according to him. He sat browsing the page for the next 30 minutes till he was now up-to-date with the world.

Just as he was about to close his webpage, a pop-up appeared. He was startled because what he saw in the pop-up was really strange. It went as such:

“Now available at www.chokethemdeadly.com – The virtual boss!!! Track down the movements of any of your sub-ordinates anywhere in the world. Know their darkest secrets and desires. No registration needed. Terms and Conditions apply.

This message is for Karthik Narayanamurthy only. In case you are not him, please do not use the software.”

Karthik was shocked. How did the pop-up have his name on him? This was eerie and scary. Was it some kind of a new virus, which could destroy all his files? Was it a program sent by some neighborhood hacker? Or was it a dream? In his state of confusion, he clicked on the webpage. He waited to see what would happen as this was his home PC anyways, with nothing much in it that is of any use to anyone but him. If anything goes wrong, nothing much would be lost anyways.

A screen popped up, giving him instructions to download a software VirtualBoss.exe. He ran the program and waited for the instructions. He then patiently entered the required fields:

Name: Karthik Narayanamurthy
Designation: Project Manager
Name of the sub-ordinate you wish to track: Madhur Kumar Lodiya
Company: Rotary Investment & Management Systems Inc.
City: Bangalore
Country: India

The next screen popped up as such:

“Welcome Karthik Narayanamurthy. Please wait while we direct you to K.L. Madhur’s webpage. Happy Surfing.”

Karthik was patient. So far the software looked normal. No data of importance was asked, so it was safe as of now. But was it real? Can it show him what Madhur was doing right now? Was it for real or just another prank? He waited patiently as the webpage was being loaded. He was directed to http://madhurkl.chokethemdeadly.com. Wow, the name of the site looks pretty authentic, he thought. When the site opened he scanned it over. It had tabs for biography, pictures, videos etc. He opened the bio and what he saw nearly shocked him.

The page had a full-fledged description of Madhur and his entire life-history. He read all of it and realized that it was accurate. Where the hell did the creator get this data? Now it was starting to get pretty weird. He reached the homepage and then browsed it once more. He was startled to see a button called “Live Feed” on it. Can it be true? Can this webpage really show him a peek into the life of his junior? Is this really happening? He felt compelled to pinch himself and was startled to know that we was not dreaming – This was for real. He opened the live feed, trembling with fear and excitement.

A video feed popped up on his screen. Though not too clear, he could see someone sitting at a desk, working on a PC, just like him. Karthik felt it was another scam, but then zoomed in on the face. It was Madhur!! This was too much to bear. How can he? Well, he is, he was seeing the feed of Madhur’s apartment.

After regaining his composure, he took a virtual-tour of the apartment. In it, he saw the life of a hard-working son of poor parents, whom he had to support. He saw the life of a man with no ambition but to succeed in life and bring joy to his parents. He saw a young man, whose dedication was way beyond his age, who was under unfortunate circumstances. No wonder Madhur wore the same set of clothes every alternate day and came in by bus. He clearly wanted to save as much as possible, for a brighter future. He was nor more sorry than ever for having shouted at Madhur so badly. If he was in the kid’s condition, he could have never worked half as hard as Madhur did daily. A new found respect began to grow in him, for this fine lad. He realized that each of his employees had a life of their own too. His temper now turned to respect and praise.

The next day, Madhur was in for a surprise. On his desk was a hand-written apology by Karthik for his behavior and a promise to be careful next time around. He also promised a raise and a good recommendation for him. Madhur smiled and looked at his boss’ cabin. Atlast, the plan worked.

And so life goes on… In the twilight zone…

This post is dedicated to one of the most inspiring and my most favorite TV series in the world - "The Twilight Zone"...


Deepak said...

if this is the future...then its dangerous... :-D

IIM ka Sarkari Babu said...

The future is now!!!