Year: 2008 Time : 0740 hrs
I am always busy. I woke up at six this morning, packed my stuff and got in to the cab that Ravi had booked earlier. Ravi is so particular about this car.
“This is the latest model that anyone in this country can lay their hands on, boss” he says so proudly. I nod my head as I know what is coming next.
“Image boss image. You will look great when you get down at The Parks building boss.”
Yes, Image is something for which I am being paid by my company, Rockwell advertisers proclaimed to be the best in the industry. And I really don’t care as all the expenses are paid by the company. Its well over fifteen minutes in the car now and the busy traffic demands a few more minutes. Its 8.00 am as I reach the reception desk of the ‘The parks’. I slide a business card to the lady at the desk.
“I am hari sado. I work for the Rockwell’s”. She takes a quick glance
“Nice to meet you”, she says out of habit. “How can I help you?”
“I am here to meet Mr.Raj, the vice-president and I have an appointment too”.
Before even she responds, Mr.Raj is all over me with handshakes and how-are-you’s?
He guides me to his air-conditioned office room. Glass tables designed to suit the classic theme, paintings hanging over the walls. Wealth and prosperity is what I see everywhere. I sit before the panel and start discussing about my company. I finish my presentation and just before lunch they sign the deal worth 2.3 crores and it is all as smooth as a cake. They invite me to Lunch and we eat slowly discussing a variety of issues. The deal will open up new doorways for Rockwell and I will get a share as pay hikes and promotions.
I walk back smiling to the receptionist and give a hi-fi to Ravi on my way back in the car. The return journey is faster and over the phone I tell my CEO everything that happened in there. I take the day off; go to the nearby shopping mall to buy Sports shoes for pintu and a bright red sari for Rekha. The shop is small but very posh and stylish. I put the stuff in a basket and hand it over to the man at the counter.
“Eight triple nine rupees. Sir”, the man says after punching in some numbers at the machine.
He swipes my credit card and asks for a signature. I pick up pintu from school on my way back and surprise him with the gift. He is so happy that he hugs and kisses me. I return home expecting the same from Rekha. Dinner at the ‘meridian’ and I can call it a wonderful day.
Year : 2008 Time : 2230 hrs
Night times at this part of the city aren’t safe these days. The streets are deserted and are lit only by the moon. I once again check my bag and make sure that the cash is safe. If everything goes well, I would be relieved of all my debts by tomorrow and still have around two thousand eight hundred rupees at my disposal. Rupa can have a thousand from it for her summer swimming classes that are about to begin in a week she would definitely be happy on hearing this. Poor kid, it’s about two years since I had taken her out.
Lights are still on at my apartment and I slowly climb the stairs and reach the fourth floor. The door swings open and I hand over my bag to kala. I have always wondered how she recognizes the footsteps and she is always ready, waiting for me.
“Kala today is a special day!” I wait for her to respond.
“What is it?” she lets forth a giggle.
“We got the payment that we were expecting a month back today. Those sleazy people at the city centre finally agreed to pay us the twelve thousand rupees.”
‘Kumar enterprises’ is a parcel services company with 2 trucks and a mini-van. It is jointly owned by me and ramesh, my friend from college. We named it with my name as ramesh felt that my name will bring luck to the company. So far it has not.
“You know what? This is not at all a big money for those and they made us wait for this in spite knowing well how important is this money to us. And we cashed the cheque in the afternoon”
“Oh. How nice!” and she really means it.
“And kala, we will pay back the bank loan and we are also planning to buy some furniture for our office.” I say drinking a glass of water.
“How about a visit to the family temple tomorrow. Rupa can also come as she is bored these days.” She plans in her own way.
“Ok, we’ll plan it for the weekend.” We talk for a while and I take a pillow and a bed sheet and leave to the terrace. Sleeping under the open sky is very relaxing and soothing to the mind.
Year : 1995 Time : 0930 hrs
“Dear students, our school has yet again proved its mettle by performing extremely well in the board exams. This year the school administration will provide full scholarship to all the 3 toppers and will assist them in everyway in pursuing the courses of their choice.
I now individually call upon the toppers to come over the stage and receive the scholarships. With a total score of 95 percent we have Lalita .She has secured admission in the state college and the school will fund her fees for the next four years. The auditorium roars with applause as lalita gets on stage. Next we have hari sado and kumar with a score of 92 percent each.”
Both the boys jump on to the stage and receive the medals from the principal.
“Students, hari sado is joining the National engineering college and we wish him success in all his endeavors. Kumar here deserves a special mention. He has rejected the engineering and science degree offers from various institutes and has chosen to join a history course, the subject of his interest. I ask every one of you to derive inspiration from kumar and follow your own dreams.”
The principal hugs kumar and pats him on his back.
Kumar felt very proud, but for the last time for the decision.