A crazy story!

A crazy story!

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 I died a few minutes ago!

It sounds like an FB status Na? Yes I mean it. It is a quite untimely death. A heart attack snatched my life. I am just thirty five years old. I think I am too young to face a mishap like this. Anyway it did happen. Now I am on the way back to him; almighty. I left behind my wife and ten year old daughter. It hurts so badly when I think about them. What would they do without me?

Yup I reached there. I can see two giant doors in front of me. I notice a board on top of each door. One is displaying “to heaven” and the other is obviously “to hell”. I hardly spotted a man sitting under the doors, fully engrossed in his laptop. I go up to him, and cleared my throat to catch his attention. He is in white attire. His face is devoid of any blemish, hairs are curly and shiningly black. He is immaculate. He moved his gaze from his laptop to me. I looked at his laptop it is not apple, but the logo is of some fruit that I have never seen and a part of it is bitten off too, resembles Steve Job’s apple.

“Ashish Malhotra, thirty five years old, CEO of a software firm, pretty successful life!” He chanted my details.

“Yes sir” My chest rises up with pride.

“And a poor family man” He smirked

“Yes sir” Chest deflates.

His eyes are blue and glinting. He has got a fair and long face, with tiny stubbles, is quite angelic.

He takes a deep sigh and says

“I am here to say, where you are supposed to go, heaven or hell”

“Okay, where I am supposed to go sir” I asked nervously.

“Hmm let me check” He is typing and moving his fingers on the mouse pad with rapt attention, and eventually he leans back and pressed enter. He passes me a cocky smile. I kept my fingers crossed.

Some beeps, his eyes moves from the laptop screen and to my face, he does it time and again. I can see a trace of disbelief and amazement on his handsome face. He seems so confused, I guess. It leaves me in a daze.

“Is there any problem sir” I asked, my heart skips a beat.

“Damn” He says under his breath and he kept on tapping the Enter button.

“This is so unusual, I don’t know how it happened” He says and turns the laptop screen towards me.

I can see a table on the screen, which shows the tally of my Sins and good deeds. I opened my eyes wide and moved my gaze to the bottom of the table, it reads,

Total Sins: 50%   & Righteous deeds: 50%

“Heck!” I blurt out. I thought its possible outcomes. I may have to be in both H’s or I am gonna be denied both.

I looked at him, more disappointedly. I am greeted by the same sort of look from him.

Time passes by… He seems to be indulged in deep thought, to sort this out. Finally he looks at me, I-made-up-my-mind kind of look. He says,

“I will give you one more day to live. And your fate depends on that day only. Live that day as you like, sins or good deeds it is all up to you. See you after twenty four hours, good luck Ashish! Have a great day” He grins and I found myself making my way to earth again.

I am so puzzled! It seems like a “super over of a twenty-twenty match, a tie-breaker.

“Things are the same even after death, so confusing so unsettling…Is anybody out there to end their life, please listen, Life is damn creepy after death!

*********

When I open my eyes, I could see four panicked eyes on me. My wife Neena and my sweet daughter Rishika flank me, I am in hospital bed.

“I am alive…  Neena” Said I holding them against my chest.

“You really frightened us” Neena whispered. She is teary.

For the next few minutes, I explained what I had been through after that chest pain. They looked each other. They are kind of shocked and unconvinced.

“You might have been dreaming, Ashish  …You just had a minor chest pain, it is not a heart attack” Neena said matter-of-factly.

“No Neena I have only this day to live, I gotta do a lot” Panic seizes me.

In the very next hour, I saw Neena calling Doctor,

Doctor calling Psychiatrist… counseling, lecturing!!

But I don’t give up, they do!   … I’ve made up my mind already… Whatever happens I want heaven!

                                                           **********

They don’t let me to get outside hospital; I took my phone, and opened the list of virtuous deeds to be done in one day

It is raining calls from my phones

Donations to mental rehab and orphanage to be given timely and from now on with a hike!

Our entire client’s shares should be properly distributed and forged documents to be gone to waste-bin.

No bribe, No illicit money… so and so! List is longer than Nile.

I have done with all these sorts of stuffs, with the help of my phone and obedient subordinates

I called up my parents, after three months. Finally I called my Neena and my sweet daughter, I hardly spent time with them, and I was too busy to set aside a few minutes for my family. I am a poor family man.

I earned hell lot of money,what is the use now, I missed out the golden moments to be with my family. It is too late…! I badly wanted some more days to live… to live with them; to enjoy my life to its fullest with my angels. I want to see them happy.

“I am sorry” I trailed off before them.

They are still looking at me blankly.  I took a look at the wall clock, jus two minutes to 12.

Only two minutes for me, I hugged them tightly. Tears!

“You will be fine dear” Neena said under her breath, she blew her nose. Rishika has no clue what is happening around.

Ii is 12 am now!

I am alive, I am alive   I screamed.

“It was just a dream Neena” I said sheepishly. She scowled and called doctor again.

I overhear her talk with doctor.

“He is okay Sir, now got convinced”

My thoughts wander off!

It was not just a dream, I learned a lot from it, and now I know how I should play the rest of my life’s Innings! An inexplicable solace fills up my heart.

It is going to be a fresh start! When I turned my head, I saw him through the window in twilight… his curly hair, his angelic face; he is standing in the garden… this time without that laptop. He smiles at me and his thumps up, shows it to me… I can decipher from his lip’s movement…

  He is saying “All the best”

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Bowled!

Every eye on me!

Some prays some claps

And some Fingers crossed!

Here I am, sweating and panicking

I felt taps on my shoulder

I blotted my forehead

I Looked at him, he is confident

I am nervous!

Hyperventilation..!

My foot moved… Slowly then faster

I can hear the buzz

I am galloping

My heart is pounding.

I am reaching… leaping

Finally I hurl it…

Silence for split seconds.

Bails, dancing in the air with ball

He is leaving with drooped head!

Hugs, high fives, smiles!

I look up at the sky

First wicket of mine!

A touch of love…

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I felt the bitterness in my mouth. It was almost dried up. I licked my lips to make it moist. My eyes still remained closed. With three flaps of eyelids, I wide opened my eyes. Mind was so empty. I tried hard to seek some thought, but it was hindered by the excruciating pain felt on my right knee. I tilted my head to get the clue of where I had been. I was in a hospital. Bandages wrapped around my right knee and around my head. Purple colored blood patches turned out on the bandages. It hurt badly… Pain stirred me crazy. I felt like someone piercing a nail right on my temple. I had no clue how I ended up here. I urged to scream but in vain. I was so worn-out. I lunged forward making a vain effort to get up. I fell back on the bed and puked. A yellow fluid flowed out of my mouth. I am still not sober. Alcohol I had last night was reluctant to withdraw its impact. Within no time I passed out.

                                                                          ********

I woke up again. I glanced at the drip bottle dangling over my head. Pain was still there. Sister walked up to my bed and gave me an angry look.

“Why the hell I am here” I grumbled.

She kept mum. I craned my neck. I was in casualty ward. I could see people scamper across the floor and grief stricken faces on neighboring beds.

“Are you deaf?” I asked again.

She was silent. She replaced the empty drip bottle with a new one. I glanced at the wall clock.It was 3 am. I felt strange and lonely.

“Can you please tell me what happened last night?”  This time I was less furious.

“You were too drunk and met with an accident last night” Nurse said distractedly. She was scribbling something on the notepad hung on the rail of my bed.

“Accident…?” I was quizzical. I was almost freaking out. I strived to memorize the things happened last night. I just listed those events that are scattered inside my head,

 

Drinking beer one after another… Assaulting bartender as he refused to give me drinks further… I was breaking beer bottles… Some people were beating me up and dragging me outside the bar… I was stumbling upon a plant pot… Finally I was inching towards the bike… The rest is resting in my oblivion.

 

“How it happened?”  I was ridiculously curious.

“You hit a pedestrian, a lady. She was seriously injured and now in intensive care unit” Nurse answered contemptuously. She added.

“We have informed your parents. Your mom is downstairs dealing with the legal formalities. You are lucky as your dad has got political influence. You can come out legally unscathed…  A spoilt brat”

She mouthed the last line under her breath and left, dodging my further questions.

She really caught me off guard, my mouth was agape. I thought again “I hit a lady and she is in ICU!”

It was quite dreadful. How could I leave someone’s life at stake? I was totally shaken. I wanted to yell out… I was regretful; my heart is brimmed with remorse. I was desperately in need of a “Cntrl+Z” in my life. I wanted to correct it by flitting back in to last night, though I knew it was quite impossible.

********

 “How many times did I warn you Rohit? But you turned deaf ears to my words now look where my son is. Drunk and rode bike over a poor lady” I saw Mom was bursting into tears.

“Do whatever you like Rohit. But remember don’t play with others life. There are people out there, who value their life unlike you.”  Mom was blowing her nose.

 Her words were adding oil to the fire already set inside my mind. I kept mum, I had no other option.

“At least think of your dad, I don’t know how he would react to this. You have to learn a lot Rohit …a lot!” 

She tried to look away from my eyes. Tears were streaming down her cheeks. It was awful to think that it was me who brought about those salty droplets. I felt numb inside. My physical pain was felt less tiring than that I felt in my heart. I justified Sister’s comment “Yes I am a spoilt brat”

********

 

Two days passed…

Still I hadn’t got any information about that lady’s condition. Mom was with me all the time in the hospital as dad was out of station. Whenever I asked mom about that lady she made a face and didn’t say anything. She hardly spoke to me. I was really getting crazy. I craved to know about that lady, at least if she was alive or not.

In the afternoon when Mom was out, I decided to go by myself to know about the lady’s condition. I grabbed the crutch and made my way to the ICU.

When I reached in front of ICU, a male nurse stopped me and said…

“This is not the visiting time please come after seven”

“Please, I just want to know how she is doing now” I pleaded.

He then pointed to a girl standing at the end of corridor, her back facing us.

“That girl is patient’s daughter. You can meet her” He said and indulged in his works.

“Thanks” And I walked to wards her with increased heart rate. I felt like going back to my bed, but I didn’t.

“I have to face her” Thought I.

 

Two minutes passed…

I cleared my throat twice to get her attention. She didn’t look back.

“Excuse me” My lips were quivering.

She turned around.

 

“What the…” 

I was totally taken aback. I clutched the crutch very tightly as I was losing my steadiness. I blinked several times to believe what I was seeing. It was Niya… with whom I had a break up months before… the same I girl with whom I had been dating for one year… She loved me sincerely and wholeheartedly. Her love was pristine and genuine. But never did I take it seriously. I was frivolous and carefree. I dumped her. She cried for my return… She missed me badly…  She was ready to patch the things up… But I was allured by the new corporate world and its flamboyant life style… She moved on.

Once she was completely out of my life, I began to miss her. I wanted her back in my life. I could see my life getting messed up without her presence… everything turned upside down. I started to punish myself for getting rid of my Niya. I started dating random girls… sleeping around with them. It didn’t help. I became a regular drunkard… I splurged money on pubs and bars. I sought the help of intoxication to forget my woes… and this accident was just a sequel to all those escapades.

 

She stood there shocked and within no time she came closer… and asked

“What happened to you Rohit?” 

I could see her eyes brimmed with anxiety and concern.

“She still cares for me” Thought I. It was painful.

I didn’t know how to answer her. I felt a lump in my throat. I averted my glance from her eyes.

“I met with an accident two days before. I rode my bike over a lady. I was drunk then and completely out of my consciousness”

I said it weighing each word.

She threw an intense stare at me. Her face was devoid of expressions. She didn’t cry. She inched forward and said…

“It was my mom Rohit”

With that she strolled down the corridor. I didn’t follow her or try to stop her because I knew I just didn’t even deserve her dislike.

 

Later in that evening I told mom everything happened. Once I completed, I was in tears, so was she. She comforted me. I was kind of relieved as she began to speak me like before.

******

 

2 days passed…

When I opened my eyes, I saw Niya instead of Mom; pouring tea to the cup. She held it to me. I saw a beautiful smile on her face.

“How is mom?” I asked.

“She is stable now and doing exceptionally well” She said.

“Oh it is gladdening and I am really sorry Niya. It wasn’t intentional” Said I

“Hmm I know, but getting drunk is intentional” She faked anger and smiled

“I am gonna stop it” I said, sipping tea.

“Hoo that sounds great… You mean it?” She said sarcastically.

“I love you Niya” I blurted out.

She sighed… kept mum for next few seconds. I saw a tinge of sadness in her eyes. She turned towards me, lunged and I felt her lips pressing on my eyes…!

She whispered in my ears “Your Mom said everything”

 

Deep inside my heart, I thanked my Mom for a Zillion times for giving my Niya back..!

 

My heart blares out…

Drew drops touch the drowsy leaves,

To wake them up…

My heart blares out…

I just want to touch you..!

 

Sun snuggles up to the cloudy sky,

To make it warm…

My heart blares out…

I just want to snuggle up to you..!

 

Butterfly kisses the lovely flower

To relish its honey…

My heart blares out…

I just want to kiss you..!

 

My heart duels with my mind

To hold you inside…

And it blares out…

I just wanna love you, and I do!

A good start!

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For the last one week ,days are kind of tougher for me. I am so unsettled with a lot of chores happening in my life. Whenever I start reading a new book it takes few minutes for me to grope for the book mark. In the morning when I wake up, depressing thoughts would disturb my fresh mind again. My routine is messed up like a teenager’s bedroom. I don’t find interest and fun in anything. Everything seems to be monotonous and colorless. My own thoughts hurt me like anything. They are brandishing fresh challenges in every morning. I am fed up.

Morning is where we start of our day. A day would be completely spoiled unless you did well in the beginning. Finally I made up my mind to fight back my negative thoughts. My strategy is to handle my thoughts milling around in my head in the morning. I tried to push my negative thoughts out of my mind. (Thanks to YouTube videos of Robin Sharma). And listening to my favorite melodies did help me a lot in shaking the burden off my shoulder. I started to start my day with a sweet smile (I think it is sweet) and lively face. Now things are getting back on track.

So friends (for those who didn’t get the point from the words scattered above…)

A good start is half done! 

Joker!

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They laugh out loud…

Pinch of content in my heart

They applaud, loud then louder…

Tinge of pride in my smile

They enjoy being with me…

Speck of joy in my mind

Now, show ends and they are leaving

I am out of ring

I am out of my attire

I am the same person

I perceive…

Everything is there unchanged

All my worries and woes run back

I writhe in pain, nobody cares

I wish I could be that Clown foreva!

Color smeared face is better

It simply hides everything..!

I wish I could be that Clown foreva!

 

She is rich… richer than me

I loosened my neck tie and leaned against my chair. It is a hectic day for me. Three back to back meetings with client delegates, new project site visit. Being a young entrepreneur and a newbie to this corporate life, these chores are kind of strange for me. My father has inherited everything to me; his mannerisms, his looks, his walking style, all his earnings, all his experiences those he bagged in his long and eventful life and what not.

I am sitting in my private cabin of my office. It is 6.30 in the evening. I feel like calling it a day, but a pile of unopened yet urgent emails are there in my inbox waiting to be opened and answered. I am totally exhausted.

I started to sift through my inbox sipping a black steamy coffee. As Caffeine is reluctant to take its toll on me I grabbed another cup. Time speeds away.

Suddenly a name in my inbox caught my attention. I read that name again and again and opened that mail.

It is from Meera Abhinav. It is the name before which my forgetfulness gave in. A mixed emotion is being conjured up in my heart. I have not yet tried to get in touch with Meera since that farewell day. I foolishly waited and looked forward her to bump into me. Something expected in an unexpected way, here she comes and my heart skips beats.

 Those professional mails and chores started to move away from my mind. I start to read her mail.

From: meeraabhinav89@gmail.com

To: sidhardhsudh@qbuilds.com

Subject: J

Hi Sid,

No formal words Sid. I am in your City. I would like to meet you on this Sunday. Hope you could set aside a few minutes for me. I perceive that I am straight to the matter, without considering the fact that you are one of the busiest people of the country today… lol

I think, I am the same Meera and I am looking forward to meet the same Sid.

Will be waiting for you at the Coffee day, Bay pride Mall, Marine Drive, Table No.4 Sunday @5.30

Regards

Meera

I don’t make any sense out of her mail. Actually, it is kind of flighty for me. I am smiling at the way she drafted that mail. She is the same. Thought I. Pic of Her smiling face, stored deep inside my heart came off and flashed before my eyes. It is my ego or haughtiness, or some stuffs of that sorts stood in my way of reaching Meera. But, now a tinge of regret made a blemish on my sweet excitement.

“Meera, this time I not gonna Miss you” My lips moved. I decide to cancel the regular Sunday Golf club visit.

 But the thing is; she only mentioned about the meeting point and time. She has not left her contact no.  So I did choose to reply her mail.

Hi Meera

Let’s meet up on this Sunday. I have something to tell you.Something I have been cherishing for last few years. I know it is quite ironic that I haven’t yet made an attempt to get in touch with u. I think our meeting was waiting for a good omen… See you there…and I am not too busy to spare a meeting with u Meera… I perceive you are the same so am I. And I like they way you are.I love to see it once again

Regards

Sid

 

Still I am having confusion between the words “like n love” when it is Meera on the other side.Something holds me behind and tugs me backwards. I was scared; scared like anything to reveal my heartfelt love to her because the mere thought of losing a beautiful relationship was something unbearable for me. She was my alter ego. Hope I could replace “was” with “is”. Still I am hesitating.

 

 I am so unsettled with her mail turned out in my inbox out of blue. She hasn’t left any clue of what this rendezvous is actually meant for. I made all possible way in my mind to sort this out. Too many guess works and speculations wreaked a messed up mind.

I have lost track of time as Meera n her memories milled around in my head. I closed my laptop and left for home.

 

 I love driving, but this time it is turning out to be a mechanical process involving my arms and feet. My mind is preoccupied with something else.My eyes are scouring the brightly lit streets for someone in vain. I am quiet unaware of the vehicles pass by me. Some drivers are honking incessantly and some people are throwing their hands in the air, cursing the traffic congestion in this late hour. But I love this city, queen of Arabian Sea. Cochin has something so special that pins me down here. May be its culture, people around here, Kerala cuisine… I can’t figure out. May be, now it is Meera!

 

                                           *********************************

 

I am sitting on the chair my eyes settled on the cargo ships wandering in the harbor. I have reached Coffee-day half an hour before the planned time. I tried my best to be simple in looks as Meera loves it.

I would like it to be a casual meeting, but ironically I am unable to slow down my heart rate. I am getting more anxious with every passing minute. I fidget with my phone.

After few minutes…

Meera is sitting right opposite to me. An awkward silence prevails after the exchange of usual pleasantries. She has changes in her looks. She lost some weight. Dark circles are there just beneath her eyes. She hasn’t lost that sparkle in her eyes. Her curly hairs are tied neatly with an aid of a clip. Her face lacks any sort of beautifying stuffs, it has turned pale. Her collar bones are more visible now. She is in a black-top and faded blue denim. Time and again I sneaked glances at her.

“What would you like to have Sir?

Thanks for the waiter for breaking the silence. I sighed.

“Cold coffee and Chilly cheese toast” I ordered and looked at Meera for approval. She nodded with a smile.

I felt like, a big glacier stood in between us melted in seconds.

“So come to the point Meera. Why are we here?” I mouthed. She might have sensed the nervousness being hidden behind my forced smile.

“Nothing special Sid… felt like meeting you.” She shrugged her shoulders.

“Marriage?”  I blurted out. I regret for being downright.

“Nope, you look like the same Sid. Now a Kiddy corporate Magnet” She giggled.

“It is nice to have a child like face Meera, it helped a lot” I retorted

“Hmm… Good for you”

“Really I missed you Meera. Our college days, night out parties, silly fights, driving escapades…” I trailed off.

“Same here” She said. After a pause she asked “Still single ya dating random girls?”

“Single yet dating” I smile so does she.

Waiter arrives.

“You are to say something, right Sid?”  She asked nibbling the toast

I stopped having Coffee and wiped my lips with tissue. I felt a lump inside my throat. I mustered all my courage and mouthed.

“Meera I don’t want to miss you further in my life” My nervousness is not as crazier as I thought.

“I want you as my own…” I added. This time my voice is firm.

Silence in between us, it is bit awkward but inevitable.

She thought for a while and said

“You are a good guy Sid, and I love you too… but.”  She stops midway. She is hiding something, she tries hard but her eyes betray.

That “but” gnawing me from inside.

“I have got to do a lot Sid. So many responsibilities. It was my choice to have them and face them” She said, she is bit pensive.

“I don’t understand” Said I. Strangely I tried to equate her lines to that of Robert Frost’s

Miles to go before I sleep!

 Kind of weird right? And thankfully it happened inside my mind.

I found her getting up and walking to the exit door. She carries her oversized vanity bag in one hand and pulls my hands with her other hand. I followed her nonchalantly, though I have no clue of what to follow next.

                                       ******************************

 

“You know Sid. This great venture wouldn’t have possible without Meera. She moved earth and heaven to make this happen. She could have got a glamorous and lucrative job, but she set aside her life to save the weak. She is dedicated; she is content with what she is doing now. She cares them all. She keeps them happy, she cares them as if they are all are her Kith and kin. This rehab and those grief- stricken faces you find here are comfortable in Meera’s hands. They aren’t just a part of her life; they are the life itself for Meera. She does a part time job as teacher in nearby school. She makes her living with the money she gets from there. She is independent Sid, she is strong enough to face the challenges she confronts, mature enough to take wise decisions… and kind enough to dedicate her life in a great deed like this. She is simply an exemplary woman Sid … a plenty of things to be learned, even from her smile”

Sister said it glancing at Meera with her admiring eyes. She is busy with the people in that rehab. It is a psychiatric rehabilitation centre for women. People around here include rape victims, abandoned parents, mentally challenged people, drug addicts… list goes on. I waded through them to find Meera. she is chatting and cracking jokes with them. Once she spotted me, she introduced me to them. They are not grief stricken. By seeing those smiling faces you couldn’t believe the fact that once they had been through a horrible and uneasy past. They succeeded in pushing those haunting memories out their mind. Meera taught them how to dance, stepping on their worries.

 

I just watched Meera in awe. I love her… for being a great humane being like this. Her life values more than the numbers that my bank account would flaunt. She is rich… richer than me. Now when I am sitting beside her, I feel so inferior. Life is not about earning and splurging money… it is something to be made worth living.

 And I got my answer! Not from her words but from her priceless life. I hugged her and kissed on her forehead and made my way to the car.

I find Meera waving me bye in the rear view mirror!

Inspired from a real life incident! And I made an attempt to convey it you.

Thanks for reading…

-Vinay

PS: to err is human to forgive is divine :)