“You don’t even know such a simple thing, and you are supposed to be the Technical Lead in the team,” bellowed Shishupal seated in the boardroom of Mindspace in Mumbai’s Malad area, shouting at Avyukt sitting on the other side of the endless conference table.
The boardroom was packed with other members from Avyukt’s team, each having varied experience, some senior while others too junior to even open their mouth. Shishupal was an employee of one of SunTech’s largest clients located in Cheney, a city on the outskirts of California. Born and studied in India, SP as he called himself had moved to US some fifteen years ago as a junior developer, but in a short span of time he had reached this position of power.
Shishupal adjusted his spectacle, and continued his foul banter “You Jack***, Bas****, do you know who I am?”
“I am the future CTO of my company, I can say this, standing on the top of Mount Everest, who the hell are you?” boasted Shishupal in his loathsome tone. “I am the king of Cheney!!” he howled blinded by his power, seated on the edge of his seat, his beer belly neatly hidden under the corner of the conference table.
Avyukt tried to interject to explain the reason why there was an error in the code, “But…But…”
Shishupal raised his left hand with his palm facing Avyukt, and he barked with a big smirk on his face, “Shut it!! you dare back answer me, you think you are better than me, you are nobody, so watch your words.”
“My organization gives SunTech an annual business of nearly Five Million Dollars,” he stated, now raising his right palm with his fingers extended, “Huhh!!, we can hire hundred people like you just like that,” he said snapping away to glory.
The banter continued for another thirty minutes and all this while Avyukt was calm listening to the unnecessary rubbish being thrown at him. Once the accusations stopped and Shishupal stepped outside the conference room, the remaining members present in the room could hear each other’s heart beating rapidly.
Avyukt swivelled his chair to the right, he slowly got up from his seat, walked a few steps, pulled the glass door, and exited the conference room. He was pacing with his face down, his French beard hidden from everyone’s view. He walked through the lanes going right, straight, then left and entering the washroom.
Avyukt washed his face with the help of the cold water flowing through the Tap, thinking what the hell just happened and was there even a need for such a discussion. Suddenly, the lights went out in the building, it was nearing seven in the evening. It was pitch dark as the sun had already set. Out of nowhere a bright flash of light hit the mirror and Avyukt covered his eyes by moving his forearm in front of his eyes. For a second, he moved his arm to observe where the light was coming from, but his eyes were unable to bear the brunt of the intense and glaring light.
“Who is it,” he shouted.
“Don’t you know,” came the sweet and calm voice.
“Maa? is that you?” asked Avyukt trying to peek into the mirror without much success.
“You still remember your mother’s voice?”
“How can I forget, Maa, it’s not even been a year we lost you”
“How are you doing Son?”
“I am alright Maa”
“Don’t lie Son, I am your mother, I can read your face unlike anyone”
“You know all Maa; do I need to even say anything?”
“Son, I have a question for you”
“What is the question?”
“Do you know the story of Shishupal?”
“Maa!! he just blabbered his entire life history in a thirty-minute discussion, yes, I know”
“Haha, you still like to humour me isn’t it Son”
“What do you mean?”
“I am asking you about Shishupal from the Mahabharata”
“Oh, that guy!! I vaguely remember him”
“Well, then let me reiterate the story for you”
“Shishupal was the King of Chedi, born with four arms and three eyes; at the time of birth, his parents were worried about his condition and hence consulted a renowned sage.”
The voice continued in a calm manner, “The sage informed the parents that the child’s superfluous body parts would disappear when a certain person took the child into his lap.”
Avyukt was intently listening to the voice without moving a muscle, “But there was a catch, do you remember?”
“No Maa, I don’t remember”
“This certain person would also be responsible for the death of the child”
“One day the child’s cousin came to visit, he held him in his lap and the extra eyes and arms disappeared”
“Who was his cousin?”
“Who else, but Lord Krishna”
“Then what happened? What did Krishna do?”
“He assured the child’s parents; he would pardon his cousin for a hundred offences”
“Time went on, but Shishupal never respected his cousin and finally, during a ceremony organized by the Pandavas, Krishna beheaded Shishupal’s head using his Sudarshan chakra as he continued to offend Krishna and surpassed the count of hundred.”
“Maa, how does this story relate to me, I am not Krishna, am I?”
“Son, you love to bring a smile on my face, don’t you?”
“It’s a serious question?”
“Do you know the meaning of your name?”
“No, Maa, I don’t remember, and I don’t think I ever googled it”
“It means clear minded, but the most important thing is that it is one of the 108 names of Lord Krishna”
“Okay Maa, but I still don’t have any Sudarshan chakra”
“You take the story quite literally”
“When Lord Krishna beheaded Shishupal, he beheaded his Ego!!”
“Oh, so to beat the Shishupal in Kali-Yug I need to behead his Ego?”
“Now you are thinking in the right direction!!”
“First and foremost, Ego can be defeated is through Knowledge and second is to be calm and fearless in the face of adversity,” suggested the voice. “And remember, one more thing Son, wherever there is Shishupal, there will always be an Avyukt, ready to defeat him,” concluded the voice.
Before Avyukt could ask any more questions, the electricity in the building was back. He slowly slid his hand down, only to see himself standing there, alone in front of the wide mirror.
‘Was I daydreaming?’ he thought looking at the time on his watch; it hadn’t even been a minute since the light went.