Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This isn't the life I ordered…..

Maybe I should end this life.
I am tired of this daily struggle to find the will to go on. I don't know how many more days I can wake up and  go about pretending everything's fine. It isn’t. Who says money can buy you anything? Not happiness, not a reason to live.
I guess most people would call me lucky. How many would come out alive from under a fallen chimney? ……
……..Our steel plant. It was just routine inspection, kind of ordeal I went about daily. 15 workers, 3 officers died plunging along with the beams. My 2 bodyguards trying to shield me, but died. (Maya says she had given up hope of seeing me alive.) After 15 hours, the rescue team got me out, from where I lay. I wasn’t hurt. The stretcher was cold, hard. I tried to get up, but couldn’t……….
……Some blue room. Faces. Maya, doctor talking. Why is Maya crying? I am fine. She sinks into the sofa, sobbing …..
….. my bedroom, Maya, smiling. “I am there, I’ll take care.” Of what?? ”Usha, saaab ke pair pe chaadar udhao”. I am not feeling cold……
That was 2 years back. I haven’t smiled since, spoken rarely. Just signed a few documents. Maya is taking care of things. I am still the chairperson, but its Maya who is the Boss. Poor girl, was shattered when I asked her to divorce me. Has decided to grow old with me. will fulfill all my dreams. She had her own dreams: Hum do, hamare do, she would say. Living happily ever after.
We cant have kids now.
Maya talking to me. Something about giving a life to some child. I think she wants to visit a child adoption agency. Cannot blame her for wanting to be a mother…but I am useless. No, leave me alone.
Of late, I have been hearing strange noises. Joy, laughter, frolic. Afternoons and evenings. Must be the whisky.
The plant is ready. Maya has been hardly home for the last one year. She wants me to come at the commissioning, I refuse. I would prefer being left alone. I think I saw tears welling up in her eyes. She pleads again. I close my eyes.
I am a recluse now. Avoid Maya as well. I’ll be doing her a favour. She is still young. And the growing empire is hers. Why should she be unhappy because of me. Yes. The decision is correct. My revolver is in the lower drawer. I write her a letter.
I call for one of the drivers. Its Abdul. He’s got the BMW. He looks tired. Its 2 AM. Give him the letter, to be given to madam when we  return.
Ask him to take me to Lonavla. The sunrise is very beautiful at the Bootleggers valley. That’s when I shoot myself.
We start off. I ask him to to drive fast. I want to experience speed before I die. I close my eyes, lower the windows and feel the air on my face. Cell phone rings.
Maya. She is frantic. She loves me. Live for her coward!
I ask the driver to take me back.  He takes a U – turn. I tear the letter.
Dawn breaks out as we reach home. What’s that?? Noises from across the compound wall. Joyous laughter.
“Abdul, ye kya hain??”
“Bacche saab”
“ Saab, anath ashram ke. Apke poorane bagiche main hain na. Maya madam roz wahan aati hain”
“Hamare ghar main?. Mujhe wahan le chalo”
What the hell has Maya done? Am I businessman or saint giving out charity?? Our CSR policy took care of all that “ 2 saal se chal raha hain. Pehle 20 bacche un mazdoor ke the, jo accident main mare gaye the. Unki patni bhi yahan kaam karti hain.”

What crap? I wasn’t responsible for their wellbeing. They must have been compensated. “ Ab kareeb sau bacche hain.”

We stop. Children all around the park – where I used to jog earlier.
I stare. Some children come close to the car. Recognize me. Soon the car is surrounded by children. Cacophony. I roll up the windows.
“Pooche unhe kya chahiye”
“ Gareeb bacche hain saab. Aaap ke karan zinda hain. Kuch nahi chahte. Sirf aapki lambi aur khushaal zindagi ki dua kar rahe hai” .
My life?? And I was about to throw it all away!
I want to say something. Cannot. Maya appears. Hugs me as I open the door. She hasn’t slept all night.
“Maya……yeh sab?” Fighting tears…..
She smiles. “ Hum do, hamare sau……”
I smile.
It’s evening. The coffee hasn’t tasted this good for a long time. The sunset is beautiful. Never mind the wheelchair.

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