Well, it all happened a few weeks ago. I was in my usual coffee stopover on my way back from office. As I sat there enjoying my coffee and smoke, I met this guy. Well actually, he was sitting there first, busy talking on his phone. I had come later.Finding no vacant tables, I asked him if I could join him. Knowing very well that it would take nothing less than an earthquake to vacate any of the tables in the next couple of hours. I was familiar with the people at the other tables...they were regulars.
Anyways after he got off his phone, that is when it all started. At first he observed me for some time. I had to break the ice. I thanked him. He smiled.
"So what do you do? Are you into music?" he asked.
I replied I am an industrial designer. And went on to explain what it meant.
The next question he asked, caught me completely off guard.
"So what do you think I do?"
Now this was a trick question. How the hell am I supposed to know the profession of a person who I met 10 minutes ago. Hell, I didn't even know his name by that time. And it wasn't as if he was sitting there in some uniform or tell-tale clothing which would offer me some hints. The logical guess would be a BPO executive or a Software Engineer...since these are the most common professionals you come across in India these days. If you just throw a stone...chances are it would hit a person who is either one of these two.
I took the safer guess and said -
[it is always better to try this option...a BPO executive would not mind being called a S/W engineer..but the converse is not true]
He smiled. Shook his head and dared me to try again.
I was dumb founded. Clearly I was not enjoying this "Guess what I do" game of his. After a hard day's work, the last thing I wanted to do now was speculate on the work profiles of random people. I told him that this game of his was surely beyond my intellectual capabilities.
Triumphant smile. " I work for the military intelligence" he said.
He went on. Went on about how his work involves great danger. How he is supposed to be under cover all the time. How he is responsible for espionage activities in insurgent areas. How his mission is to uncover militants from the general population.How he got shot 13 times in a mission, yet survived. How he was actually a chef by education but ended up as a spy.
The experience left me wondering.."what the fuck?"
I mean imagine being a top secret under cover spy.So what do you do about it...you blow your cover to a person who you have met 15 minutes ago at a coffee joint. Not very intelligent for somebody who works in the Military Intelligence.
Obviously this was a brazen lie. But the way he carried it off till the time he left, even after realising that I was not believing an iota of what he said...is commendable.i am not even sure if he actually was a chef...but he surely did cook up a story.
And I thought I had seen them all.