Surmiya parked his Swift in the visitor parking lot of FAME park. As he got out and lit a smoke, he marvelled at the fact that this government complex that houses the Ministry of Foreign & External Affairs had the top floor dedicated to the Research & Analysis Wing, the country’s top intelligence agency. Here, the best and brightest analytical minds of the country converge. They track, analyze and oversee the vast network of operations covert or otherwise that the Indian government runs to safeguard the sovereignty of India. One of them was Riya, who probably would be pacing up and down in her office, right now, barking orders on the phone trying to pull in all the information she could find on the situation. The situation; PMO’s office directly put her in charge. It must be pretty bad if it came to her, that much Surmiya had deduced from his past cases he helped her solve. She had a knack for getting the most trying of the cases. Surmiya checked his watch. Its 8:07am. Shit! Surmiya dropped the remaining cigarette to the ground, stomped on it while locking his car and walked towards the entrance. He entered the foyer and walked right past the guards to the elevator. Sound of a bell indicated that elevator has reached the top floor. As doors opened, he was greeted by smell of freshly painted office and wooden panelling. He saw there was a reception desk now and walks there to announce his presence.
While he waited to be called in, he observed that the office was a bustle of activity. There were lot of people moving across the halls and lot of them on phones. Few minutes later a woman in high heels wearing a navy blue business suit walks from the long passageway towards him and greets him. Are you Mr Surmiya K? He nods and she continues, Miss Riya is busy in a brief and would be with you in few minutes. I am supposed to escort you to her office. Kindly follow me. Surmiya follows her up the same passageway she came from a moment ago. Jeanie walked up to the end of the passage and stopped near a heavy wooden door of what seemed like a large corner office. She turned around, pointed towards a leather couch opposite to the door and spoke silently, Sit and gave him a shy smile. Surmiya sunk into the couch comfortably and returned her smile. Satisfied with herself, she turned, knocked once on the door and peeked in. If she said anything, Surmiya couldn’t deduce, but a grunt from inside acknowledged her action. Jeanie stepped back, took a deep breath, apparently happy with herself and walked down the long passageway back to whatever she was doing before Riya’s request pulled her off it. Surmiya, for his part, was impressed by Riya’s growing stature in the organization. The corner office was separated from the passageway with glazed glass but Surmiya could still identify a large plush office with a big wooden desk near the full length windows looking over the park.
Before he could let his thoughts and observation wander, he heard his name being called from inside, Surmi, come in. Surmiya got up and thought, Hmm personal nickname. It means she needs him desperately. He has an upper hand. A sly smile escapes on his otherwise poker face. He walks in. He is instantly impressed by the large office. Wood panelled walls lined with bookshelves full of plain leather bound books, no doubt containing most intriguing of the cases from across the world. Riya had a hobby of collecting interesting cases and adding it to her collection. One of her strengths derived from the knowledge of them. She drew a lot of inspiration from them. But Surmiya already knew that. What caught his eye was the glass top of the heavy wooden table that lay near the full length windows that overlooked the park below. There was a faint blue light glancing off the table top. First he thought it may be a reflection, but the lack of a computer or rather even a single object on the table, made him realise, the table top is the computer screen, probably even a full multi-touchscreen. His observations were interrupted again by an impatient grunt. He immediately made amends. Greetings Riya. What a lovely office you have got yourself now. So what is it that brings us together once more?
Riya was sitting on a high back chair with her hands on the table where a photo of a young man lingered. Surmiya noticed an etching on the chair as he walked closer to her table
Treat your kind with respect and Never fight other’s battles for them
This was a famous code of honour that was followed by every nation on this planet who has an intelligence agency to flaunt; but secretly everyone knew what it really meant.
Never underestimate your enemy kind and Never enter a war unless it benefits your motherland
Here was a person in the intelligence community who was very honest and has managed to succeed in it exceedingly well and she flaunts the code with aplomb on her seat. Instantly he realised this is her fiefdom. Her seat of power from which she ran the show whatever was handed to her. Surmiya felt a rush of adrenaline of competitive spirit. He smiled looking around the expansive office space. This could have been his or rather a similar one like this, if he had chosen to accept the offer by RAW to join them a year later than Riya was recruited. But by then he had made up his mind and had started his journey in the private enterprise. He was determined to succeed and become the top intelligence operative this nation had ever seen outside the government control. He closed his fist as he remembered his path and he stiffened as Riya touched him on his shoulder.Posted on