Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Them...


She sat at the bar counter alone. It was her day. She had triumphed. The deal had been sealed. It was huge for her organisation. A deal that big was not a matter of joke. And she had managed it alone. This also meant a very hefty bonus, a company paid vacation overseas and a double promotion. The party was in her honour. They all seemed to be having a great time. She sipped on her drink as she watched them. The merry making; the dancing; the pretence. Every once in a while some one or the other would come hug her/pat her back/shake hands with her and congratulate her. Few would exchange a few words. No one tried to be too friendly with her. It was the aura she carried around; the “don't mess with me” attitude.

She had always been successful. She had always wanted to be successful. Ever since she could remember; as a kid she had always dreamt of a life in a big city. While young girls her age spoke of clothes and boys and spent all their energy in looking artificially beautiful, she spent her time reading, studying and focusing on ways that would take her to a big city. She would keep dreaming about it. Without her parents' knowledge she had given those competitive examinations. And the day the results were out and she had secured admission in the city of dreams; she was ecstatic. She had convinced her parents about sending her away, making promises of returning as soon and her course was complete. They had agreed and here she had landed-at THE city to be in.

The vastness of the city had not scared her. She had dreamt of this for way too long to be scared. It was in fact giving her a great high. She had found herself a place as a paying guest with an elderly couple. It was just like she had wanted a single room with a bathroom. It wasn't much but she had her privacy. It was her space.

A bright student that she was, college was quite a cakewalk. And so was the placement. Having got a job it one of the best multinationals, there was no looking back. All promises about going back to her home town were broken the moment she had packed her bags to come to this city.

At work success was like her best buddy. Just didn't leave her side. Great deals, promotions, laurels, incentives and sea facing, company sponsored, lavish apartment. She had all that she had dreamt of. It was like she was made for the corporate world. There was just no looking back. She had enjoyed all the glitz. Her subordinates looked up to her. Her peers suffered from a definite envy. Her supervisors doted on her. There had been moments of filth and distress but she had managed them well. She had no reason to not be happy.

But today at this loud, lively, fun discotheque were everyone seemed to be having a great time-and a great time because of her, she felt that she was missing something. Something in life was amiss. She suddenly started feeling very uneasy. She decided she needed some fresh air and excusing herself, to whoever was listening or wasn’t listening, she walked out.

It was almost midnight. She walked out; the vast ocean spread silently in front of her. Besides a couple of cars and the silent whoosh coming from the depth of the sea there was no sound. She crossed across and started walking along the walkway besides the sea. The cool breeze hit her intoxicated head; she started feeling a nice high. The palm trees that lined the promenade whispered to her as they swayed. As she continued walking, she could not help noticing him sitting on the rock facing the sea. There was something about him that made her stop walking and start at him. He was sitting with a bottle of beer besides him. Two empty bottles lay a little away. He was wearing a faded t-shirt and had dishevelled hair. He didn’t seem to care much. She felt envious. He seemed to be humming a very familiar song. It was an old film song; one of her favourites. She was suddenly gushed with memories of her childhood; her hometown.

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As he woke up today morning, he just felt it that it was going to be a great day today. He just felt very lucky. But then he felt lucky most of the days. He whistled tunelessly as he entered the bathroom. He was in no hurry. He came out of the bathroom and stared in front of his wardrobe as he wore his lucky rocket-ship underpants. He picked up a pair of denims and his favourite t-shirt. He tossed up a quick breakfast for toast eggs and orange juice. Loaded himself with his laptop and left home.

He was his own boss. Life was peaceful. He earned just enough to pay his rent and live a basic happy life. He was contended with life, with himself. Nothing really deterred his carefree spirit. He had not shaved for days. A haircut was a forgotten chore. He was just not bothered. He just knew to be happy

Working as a freelance writer gave him the liberty to live as per his own rules. He would get paid for doing what he loved the best – writing. And he was good at that. It had taken time for his writing to be recognised. He had created a portfolio; repeatedly visited various publishing houses; worked for free. Slowly but surely his work started getting recognition. People want him to write for them. They started paying him for what he wrote. For every article he wrote. And slowly they started paying him well. He would normally sit at home or go to the park or a coffee shop or by the sea side. Where ever he felt he could write well. It all depended on his mood.

Today he had a story to write. He had been contacted by a business magazine and they had asked him to write a success story of this small town girl turned business icon. She had in just a few years done wonders to her organisation. He normally hated writing stories like this. It was so clich├ęd; so boring. It strangled his creativity.

He had tried to meet the girl all day today. But she had been very busy, is what her office had communicated to him. And she was going to fly out of the country the next day. Ah this wasn’t really turning out to be too lucky a day. He had to do this story. He needed her interview. This was going to be good money. As the day settled, he started walking along the promenade it was midnight. The sea was slowly washing his anxiety off. He picked up a couple of beers from a shop which was about to close and sat on the fence wall drinking and humming an old film song.


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There was something so intriguing about him that she couldn’t stop herself from walking up to him.

“Hi”

He looked up at her. “Hi”, he said

“Err, mind if I sit here?”

“I would have, had I owned the city”, he grinned with a twinkle in his eye and patted at the spot next to her

She smiled as she sat down besides him.

“Care for a beer? I just have one bottle left.”

“No, Thanks.” She took a deep breath as she said that and stared at the sea; the twinkle of a few lights somewhere far away. “Just felt like I needed some company”, she paused, “just some company”, she said as she turned towards him.

Their eyes met. She looked vaguely familiar. Of course she did. He had received her picture in his email that morning. He grinned again.

She stared back at the sea. He continued humming.

18 comments:

  1. Nice one. The characters seem well-organised and three-dimensional. You are improving.

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  2. A good read! liked the narrative structure as well

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  3. Beautiful...very life like character and yesss the romance of living.Good conclusion.Loved it.

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  4. Very very well written! The reader hands on every word and is left dreaming of what a part 2 could bring.

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  5. Please come up with next part soon :) curious to know what next?? Good job! :)

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  6. hey this was a nice read , loved it as usual :-)

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  7. Please do not write a sequel to this :)Leave it hanging this way and keep your readers guessing...

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