Friday, August 31, 2012

Afterglow!

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Friday, August 31, 2012


The cool breeze of the beach lulled him into sleep, the blue sky pleased him, and the foamy waves touched his feet. He felt better, he wanted to make up for all the time he slogged in his office, and worked over-time. It has been a week and he came to the beach every day. As he walks towards a shack, he tells us his story and warns us that it is not a very interesting story.

Vishal! You would not take him as a random guy. He owned an advertising organization and was considered to be one of the top notch young achievers. All the entrepreneurship magazines carried his interviews and start-up stories, and few colleges did case-studies on his company. Yet his private life was very discreet and he never entertained media. Everything one knew about him was related to his company and his work.

Every day, he would come to the beach and park his car in a nearby mall and would walk to the beach like a normal guy. What he did not know was that a girl warily followed him. Rumana, an intern at his office fell for him the first time she met him and she definitely did not consider it as an out-of-college infatuation. Well, okay, she is sort of out-of-college excited girl but she took a liking for him instantly. The first time she saw him was the day she can never forget and she vividly remembers every detail of the day. Yes, even the intricate ones! It was the orientation day and Vishal addressed all the interns. She liked everything about him and honestly, she believed that all the Mills & Boons stories leaped into reality.

But today was different. She wanted to talk to him about this, about them. Her friends forced her to do this and she thought it was the right thing to do.

She walked upto him in the shack and meekly waved at him.

“Hey Ramya”, he did not want any company.

“It’s Rumana, sir. If you don’t mind, can I join you? I need to talk to you.” She was unhappy that he did not even know her name well.

“Oh! I am sorry. Just having a bad day, trying to snap out of it! So, Rumana, tell me. Has anyone been troubling you at work? Is everything alright?” Vishal never wanted his employees to be troubled by fellow employees. Of course, which boss would want that?

“Oh no, it is not that. Work is great, sir. I wanted to talk about something else.”

“Yes?”

“But please do not try to misunderstand me. Umm...I mean just try to understand what I am saying. It is like...”

“Rumana, you are stammering.” Vishal was impatient now. It was time for him to leave.

“Umm...yes...err...gulp...Sir; the thing is I like you. I like you...I mean I like you...as in not in a normal way, you know. I fell for you the moment I saw you. I can vividly picture the first day of my work. You walked in wearing a black shirt. You looked amazing, sir.”

“Impossible relationships”, he uttered in disgust.

“Oh no, sir, don’t say that. I mean if you think it is the problem of employer-worker thing, I can walk out of the company. It won’t be impossible then.”

“Rumana, you have no clue what you are talking. You are too young for all this. It is time for you to focus on your career.”

“I am 22 now”, she flared her nostrils in the air, “and you are 26. I am not too young.”

“Rumana, I am married and I am so devoted to my wife. I love her more than anything else. I cannot imagine any other woman in my life.”

Tears welled in Rumana’s eyes.

“No, you are lying. You cannot be married. You are just 26. Please Vishal, sorry sir. Don’t lie to me.”

“Preeti and I were together in college and married immediately after college. I know that we were rather stupid to get married at that age but we wanted to be together, and so we did! We did not care about our age, our parents; we wanted to be together and that was all that mattered to us”, he pauses to remove his wallet and fishes out a picture of him and Preeti.

She takes the picture and holds it in her hands and stares at it with tears in her eyes. Preeti was indeed very beautiful.

“But sir, I have read your interview somewhere and it said that you were single”, she clinged on to her last hope.

“Ah! It was a printing mistake.” He brushed it away and said, “So, I assume that we are done here. See you at work, tomorrow. Okay?”

“Yes sir. Thank you, bye.” She got up and ran to her car without even looking at him.

Vishal felt sorry for her but what could he do? He walked to his car at the mall and bought a bunch of flowers for Preeti and got into the car. After reaching home, he opened the door and walked to the mantelpiece. He carefully placed the bunch of the flowers in a vase at the feet of his wife’s portrait, stared at the portrait wondering how beautiful she looked, even in a photograph. He stood there for a while staring at the picture and sighed.

It has been two years that Preeti has died in a car crash and Vishal hasn’t gotten over it, quite obviously. She was all that he had. And after she was gone, he had nothing in his hands and had nobody. She was the only friend he had. She was his wife, his girl-friend, his booze-mate, his confidant, his world. And now, it was all gone. After she died, he followed this daily ritual of getting her flowers and replacing the flowers. Purple tulips, always! It was her favourite.

The next day, he reached office a half an hour late. It was raining very heavily and he was stuck up in a traffic jam. On his way to the cabin, he saw that Rumana’s cubicle was empty. And he just stared at the cubicle, which was full of purple and all, now looked empty and dull. But, he felt nothing! He just stared into the void, and walked away.


17 comments:

anwesha on 31 Aug 2012, 22:23:00 said...

Good stuff...Would love a continuation though :)

Lazy Pineapple on 31 Aug 2012, 22:33:00 said...

Such a bitter sweet story. Like anwesha has written, you could write some more about these characters and their story...

Sunaina on 1 Sep 2012, 00:22:00 said...

Thank you! :)

Sugumar on 1 Sep 2012, 03:25:00 said...

I jus love it too much!!! :D

Sunaina on 1 Sep 2012, 04:59:00 said...

Thank You! :)

Ashna Banga on 1 Sep 2012, 06:53:00 said...

Oh I just love this so much! :D
Very well written!

Sunaina on 1 Sep 2012, 08:58:00 said...

Thank you so much! :)

vinishashah on 2 Sep 2012, 22:33:00 said...

great one ,loved the way you narrated it :)

Sunaina on 4 Sep 2012, 19:25:00 said...

Thank you! :)

Aditya Kasibhatla on 5 Sep 2012, 06:05:00 said...

Mast! :D

You must try taking the story little forward! :D

Sunaina on 5 Sep 2012, 08:52:00 said...

Thanks re! :P

Asisha on 8 Sep 2012, 07:19:00 said...

Did u edit??
I luv it !!

Sunaina on 8 Sep 2012, 08:06:00 said...

Yeah, sort of. Thank you! :)

AaeKay :) on 13 Sep 2012, 08:17:00 said...

I've read all your posts since I found you blog and love them!

So I have a small surprise for you..
http://ablogtoremember-abi.blogspot.in/2012/09/thankful-for-award-that-gave-me.html

:)

Sunaina on 13 Sep 2012, 08:35:00 said...

Thank you! :)

Rinku Moni Gogoi on 17 Sep 2012, 12:35:00 said...

A touching story.. loved it... :)

Sunaina on 17 Sep 2012, 19:43:00 said...

Thanks a lot! :)

 

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