Rakesh was an executive in a private limited company in Delhi. He came from a middle class background. Immediately after his graduation he joined a company dealing with auto spare parts, as a trainee. Impressed by his sincerity and hard work the company had promoted him as an executive which entitled him to occupy a cubicle. The cubicle had two tables. The seat next to him was lying vacant for more than a month as the replacement for the colleague who had resigned his job, had not yet joined
It was a Monday morning and Rakesh as usual reached his office by 9.30 am and was browsing through his papers, when his Manager, accompanied by a young man, came to his desk. He introduced him to Navin as the new executive who had joined the department and would occupy the table next to Rakesh.
Navin was a tall, handsome young man with a friendly disposition. Being of the same age group Rakesh and Navin hit it off well. While Rakesh was a married man, Navin was still an eligible bachelor. Within a few months they had become so close that Rakesh became Navin’s confidante. He would talk about his family, friends and other happenings in life. Before long he also started sharing details of his love life.
Rakesh with middle class values who had married a girl of his parents choice, Navin’s love life seemed full of fun. He started envying Navin.
Navin had several girl friends belonging to different regions. Invariably he would have a date with someone or the other, every other evening and by 5.30 pm he would be fidgety and start looking at his watch .Before the boss called him for some last minute job, he would vanish from the office.
One morning Navin walked into the office, a very happy man. When Rakesh asked him for the reason, he sat dreamy eyed in his chair, refusing to talk. There was a contented smile on his face.
“Come on Navin, tell me the secret of your happiness”, Rakesh shook Navin’s shoulder to bring him back to reality.
“Yaar! She was too good! Yesterday I managed to go to bed with Rekha and found out that I was the first person in her life to have had sex with her”
“What, you had sex with a virgin?” asked Rakesh with curiosity.
“What to do yaar, if girls fall for me, I have no choice but to make them happy. Am I not doing a social service? Ha.. ha.. ha”- Navin burst out laughing at his own joke.
Rakesh was not sure that he agreed with his friend.
“ But I am very choosy about whom I go to bed with” continued Navin
“What do you mean by being choosy?”
Suddenly Navin got a call from his boss on the intercom. He left his table after promising Rakesh to give the details of his fun life another day.
Rakesh was quite keen to know more about Navin’s sex life. It promised to be interesting. One evening he managed to buttonhole Navin and took him for a drink to a nearby restaurant . Fortunately his wife was away at her mother’s place and he was in no hurry to return home.
They were sitting in a cosy corner in the restaurant.
“Tell me Navin, about your being choosy about the girls you go to bed with”
Navin smiled at his friend and said, “Are you envious Rakesh! Well you decided to marry early and settle down in life. I decided not to marry but enjoy life to the full. Why buy the cow when the milk is free? Ha .. Ha .. Ha” -Navin responded with his trade mark laughter.
Seeing the change in the expression on Rakesh’s face, Navin realized that he had hurt his friend.
“Okay Baba! since you are so eager to know about my secret, I will reveal it to you”
Rakesh immediately relaxed and was ready to listen to Navin’s story.
“You know Rakesh, I seem to be having a lucky mole somewhere that girls fall for my look and sweet talk easily. I was seduced by a young married woman in our neighbourhood, when I was only 16 and was still in school. But she taught me many secrets of sex life which has stood me in good stead in all my escapades with girls”.
“Immediately after school, because my father’s job involved frequent transfers, I was admitted to a college with hostel facility. It was a co-ed college with separate hostel for girls and boys. But opportunity for girls and boys to mix were plenty. I soon realized that, much to the envy of my friends, I was the target of many girls who not only sought my company but also were willing to go to any lengths to make me happy. Since I had already tasted blood, I was ready for the game. It was not difficult for me to go to bed with some of them. And I found out that many of them had already had sex with other boys but a few of them were still virgins. I discovered to my surprise that the pleasure of deflowering a virgin was much greater”
Rakesh who was listening to Navin intently asked, “but how do you know that the girt is a virgin? She may be telling you a lie that you are the first person in her life?”
“Good question Rakesh. That is where experience counts. After sleeping with so many girls I can distinguish between an initiated and uninitiated girl”
“Don’t they ask you to marry them? Not all go after you only for sex?”
“Again a good question. Yes, some of them do talk about long term commitment. But the moment I realize the victim is serious about marrying me, I ease the person out of my life”
“They can blackmail you buy claiming to be pregnant with your baby. What do you do?”
“Wow, Rakesh! The way you are asking me questions, you make me feel that you must have also had affairs before your marriage.”
Rakesh recoiled and blurted out, “No, no. I had no girl friends and no affairs. In fact I was a virgin when I married. My wife was the first person I had sex with.” replied Rakesh sheepishly.
“Ha.. ha… you missed all the fun in life Rakesh. Well, to answer your question I always ensure that I practice safe sex with the girls I go to bed with”
“Tell me Navin, how many girls have you slept with?”
“Scores of them Rakesh. I have lost count. But these days I specialize in seducing girls who blackmail me to marry them, because their parents have chosen some other groom for them”
“What do you mean?”
“Without falling into the marriage trap, I persuade them to have their first sex with me”
“Oh my god, Navin! Is it not a rape? Is it not a sin?” Asked Rakesh innocently.
“How could it be a sin, Rakesh? It is consensual sex. I am not forcing myself on the girl. I tell them sob stories and somehow convince them to have their first sex experience with me. Some agree and some don’t. I take my chance. But by and large I have been very successful in initiating a number of to- be married virgin girls into sex”
Navin’s tone was triumphant . He beamed with pride at his achievements!
Rakesh was shell-shocked listening to Navin.
Navin left the company within a year for a better job in Bangalore. While he continued with his efforts to trap innocent girls with his looks and charm, he did not realize that his boss’s not so good looking daughter, who was also working in the same company, had designs on him. She had fallen madly in love with Navin and was bent on marrying him at any cost. She had discovered the secrets of Navin`s love life and threatened him with dire consequences if he refused to marry her.
In the meanwhile Navin had found out that he was afflicted with an incurable disease which posed a big question mark about his job and his very life. He felt very insecure about his future. When the girl was willing to marry him even after learning about his health condition, he saw a possible insurance against the uncertain future he faced. He agreed to marry the girl. Within a year he was blessed with a baby girl bringing some cheer into his otherwise gloomy life.
The rare nervous disease he had was slowly affecting the different parts of his body making him progressively immobile. Thanks to his marrying his boss’s daughter he continued to have a job and earn a living.
Within two years of Navin leaving, Rakesh also left the company for a better job in another company in Mumbai and in course of time completely lost touch with Navin.
Years rolled by. Rakesh had risen to the position of Vice President of the company in which he was working , involving frequent travels.
One morning when he was at the Mumbai airport seated at the departure lounge waiting for the announcement of his flight to Bangalore he saw a man being brought in a wheel chair by an old looking lady. The person with a grey beard seemed to be very ill. But the face looked familiar to Rakesh.
He got up and started discretely walking towards the wheel chair when the person also saw him and their eyes were locked for a few seconds. Rakesh realized that the person in the wheel chair was his old friend Navin. The handsome, charismatic and romantic young man had been reduced to a cripple moving around in a wheel chair.
Rakesh went close to the wheel chair and said, “Aren`t you Navin? We worked together more than twenty years ago”
With great difficulty the man extended his right hand to Rakesh.
“Ya Rakesh, it is me Navin” his voice was feeble and incomprehensive. ‘This is my wife’ he said pointing to the lady standing next to him. There was a look of self pity in his eyes. Rakesh realized that his friend did not want to talk further. So they exchanged cards and promised to meet later.
Rakesh did not meet Navin. But sitting in a hotel in Bangalore a few days later when he was browsing through the newspaper a news item regarding the rape of a 20 year old girl in a taxi by the taxi driver attracted his notice. The face of the person featured in the photo accompanying the news item looked familiar. It was his old friend Navin in a wheel chair looking completely shattered . The victim was his daughter.
“Did God punish Navin for his immoral acts in his youth?” wondered Rakesh. He remembered his Guruji telling him once that “in Kaliyuga you reap the consequences of your misdeeds in this very life”.