06 Nov 2005, 15:10
Rashmi loved the lake at Lalbagh but today she was determined to solve her Rubik's cube by force or by fair means. It was gifted to her by daddy Ajay on the day she turned 3. Both of them were basking on the not-so-bright sunlight as it muffled through the clouds and reflected the trees on the lake. It was a family ritual for the Ajays to spend the entire sunday exploring the world. Prita, Rashmi's mom, was the one who picked Lalbagh this time around. She preferred the park to a movie since it gave her that extra bit of quality time with Rashmi and of course, Ajay.
Ajay was smiling to himself as he watched his 3-year old, Rashmi twisting her Rubik's endlessly. After all, life has treated him in the best possible way. He graduated with an MBA from a famous school like he always wanted. He was now in charge of investment banking for his city for a renowed private sector bank in the country and worked out from Bangalore. Prita was into the services industry and a smart project leader. He met her in his business school and persuaded her for 293 days straight to marry him. She finally budged after the summer's when even she realised that she was head over heels in love with him. The days that led up to their marriage were a roller coaster with one family accepting and the other one objecting and vice versa. Prita and Ajay treaded carefully and made it to the other side of the bridge without any bloody events.
Ajay was good at multi-tasking and for now he was busy juggling between a copy of Business Week and Maynard's Mergers And Acquisitions and more importantly he was counting down for his cup of freshly brewed coffee from Sam's coffee right across the park. Ajay closed his latest business deal with Prita for his cup of Sam's and the trade off was laundry for the next 2 weeks. He was pretty sure Prita will take over by the end of the first week. In the four years of marriage, there was never a big fight and who said ideal couples do not exist. Ajay and Prita were indeed living the "They lived happily ever after" life.
Rashmi uttered a 'Daaa' and Ajay closed his books as if to say he got the message before she could finish it with a '..d'. She asked for some water and Ajay passed on her vinny the poo that had its tummy filled with water. As he watched Rashmi swallow her second gulp of water, he heard tires shrieking followed by loud thuds and more squealing tires. Instinct took over as he grabbed Rashmi with one hand and his mobile on the other and started running towards the direction from where all the noise emanated. His heart beating faster every millisecond, the only assurances came from his own mind, which kept telling 'not her.. she's fine'.. 'she's fine'..'nothin will go wrong'..'will see her smile again'. As he reached the exit of the park, he could make out that a BMTC bus had rammed into a qualis. A couple of other cars were also smoking as they seem to have collided in an effort to avoid the bus. And that's when he noticed the familiar yellow duppatta which Prita sported that day. It was not the main accident that killed his beloved wife but the stray one that followed. Ajay froze and before he realised tears streamed down and Rashmi was crying though nobody told her what had just happened. But, he did not hear any of it and he struggled to breathe, smothered by pain and disbelief. Life turned its ugly tail on him in the worst possible way and probably time as well. Many a business deal were closed over a cup of coffee and Ajay shivered one of them just ended his life. His life has crashed from the summits of happiness to the darkest of pits and he was sure that he will never make it out of there.
"Click...Click....Tsh.... Tsh" from Prita broke Ajay's reverie. Prita was taken aback to see Ajay shaking profusely and pearls of sweat emerged all through his forehead. Ajay got up and hugged his wife and he stuttered "I love you" repeatedly. Prita comforted him as much as she could and gave him his cup of coffee. It took Ajay almost the entire cup of coffee to recover from his nightmare and he could smile at the end of it. He vowed to Prita never to watch Alaipayuthey again and especially the one where Shakthi's hit by a car. At this very point, Ajay could hear a tone, some english song in the background and that filled the air in Lalbagh. It was like in the movies and was getting louder and louder by the second. Suddenly, Ajay was losing his eyesight, pixel by pixel, everything was blurring if not disappearing.
It is 8.40 am, 14 Jan, 2009. The familiar song was 'Viva La vida' by coldplay and my alarm tone. My world came down crashing and blood rushing to my temple. I have a meeting with the clients at 9 am and I am yet to even press my shirt.
After the meeting, I get my first cup of coffee for the day. I manage a smile as I realize that Ajay did look like me. I start thanking God for I am still 27 and for God's sake I do not have a kid right now. And yes, who is Prita? - that's some food for thought.. :)