One Night in Suryansh Apartments
Posted by Subhendu on November 27, 2009
I had already struck off the day in the calendar. It was 16 more days to go.
Every passing day at Mumbai office, I felt more and more helpless. The fear of going into a path not trodden, a road not taken was making me all the more nervous. Whenever I looked back, I remembered Robert Frost who always inspired readers to come out of their comfort zones and tread unknown waters. I was going to do just that.
It was 10:30. I was not hungry, I was not gloomy. But I was missing something. Someone. The feeling was such that I did not want to think any longer. I wanted to have an excuse though I did not need one. I wanted to get some beer. Options were many. And company was plenty. Time was abundant. Phone bills were paid by the company.
In about an hour, Rugan, Ronjon and Santhanagopalan joined me. The Kingfisher Strong bottles in my refrigerator were greeted by chill dudes Fosters, Budweiser and Carlsberg. And they all had a common pal – Gold Flake Kings. The best place to enjoy a drink is under open sky. The open roof of Suryansh Apartments on the 20th floor.
Rugan was my classmate during MBA. Always ready for 3 things – beer, bike, and bakar. Rugan had looks which any girl would fall for. He was a hunk. 6 ft 2, Muscular build. At times people in disco parties mistake him for the bouncer. Ronjon was a Bong, my co-worker, married, father of 2 kids, in his late thirties. With a amazing beer belly which looked like 2 stuffed pillows under his XXXL shirt. His Hero-Honda Splendor had been with him since he married his wife 7 years ago. Santhanagopalan was a regular software engineer. Amazing with his code, boasting about his zero defect percentages, he wore stylish specs, expensive watches but never cared about his hair. He drove a Santro. They had one common thread – they wanted to quit their current companies. So I gelled with them. I had met them all in a cafeteria in the software park where my company had an office. So our paths crossed. Monday evening was not a great time to party but Vodafone had actually helped in convincing them.
The roof was bare. Seemed like Mumbai was celebrating festival of lights. You could almost see entire Mumbai from this location. Blinking lights, Steady lights, constantly moving lights on the road. We stopped drinking when the lights on the horizon seemed to fade and when Santy, as Santhanagopalan was fondly called, started his narration of how his project manager tortured him on weekends by calling him to office to debug code. Fosters and Kingfisher became just brand names on the empty bottles but were hollow. When Rugan started blowing whistles with the empty bottles, I asked Ron to carry the other two into my apartment. I wanted to enjoy the night.
It was 3 AM in the morning. I lay flat on the mat. 20th floor did not take me closer to the sky. The stars still seemed far away. They were talking to each other. Then they looked at me. They knew that I could hear and they started whispering. They were talking about me. I tried to listen. Keenly. They were actually giggling, laughing at me. They were laughing at my lack of control on situations, at my frailty as a human who lost so much in a matter of months and still was trying to cope up. And then I talked to them. I told them who I was. I told them, I am the same guy who was run over by a bus on the National Highway and who managed to stand up and fight. I had fought and I was not afraid to stand up. My father helped me. Now I am fighting against his loss. I am fighting against so many things at a time that at times I feel my head will burst. But then I have to. We just cant give up. We are humans after all.
You know what, there are people who study stars. And they say, Stars speak the truth. Stars can reveal everything about someone who is born. Depending on what star was at what place and talking what to the other about the person, fate of that person is decided. You feel so helpless when you know you did everything right and still things go wrong. But I learnt the lesson, things happen for good. And you know why you cant change it? Because that is past. Those damn stars were actually at a place talking .. sometime when you were being born and there is no way you could change their positions in the past. I just wanted to ask the stars – why is all this happening with me. They kept answering me. I just could not hear. May be because of the distance. May be I was sleepy. May be it is not the time yet.
Time! 8 AM. I could not bear the sunlight anymore. Have to get up and get ready for office.