He was walking on the pavement along the main road, talking to his mom. This was just another routine call that Rajeev made every weekend as he was free on the weekends. Weekdays were occupied with a lot of work, hence giving him the perfect excuse to not call his parents every day.
His parents lived in a different city. Or to put it correctly, Rajeev lived far from his parents. After finishing his engineering, he landed a lucrative job with a leading MNC. Work took him away from home. But Rajeev wasn’t complaining. In fact he was enjoying his new found freedom with élan. He stayed with two other college friends, who also worked in the same company. The money was good for a bachelor’s needs and they were spending it, rather blowing it away for a higher cause. Their motto was that they as consumers were doing good to the country’s economy by spending everything that they earned and so the economy was bettering because of their hard earned money.
But Rajeev was not happy. He did not find happiness in materialistic things like shopping for himself, buying fancy gadgets or splurging on food in expensive restaurants. He did try that, though, because his roommates were happy doing that. But a few unhappy times later, he realized that this did not do the trick for him. And soon enough he found his solace in the arms of alcohol and drugs. He was not a drug addict, but lately he had taken a great liking to be stoned on Saturday night and getting up on Monday morning to go to office. This way he did not suffer from his insecurities, loneliness and his unending quest for peace and happiness on his free days.
Rajeev felt very detached from the world. Initially when he stayed with his parents, he did not like them interfering with any and every activity that he decided to involve himself in. Being an only child had its own shortcomings. Slowly and steadily, through the rebellious teenage years, he grew apart from his parents and much to their dislike kept to himself. He did not share any part of his life with them. He thought they would not understand.
And he was proved right. Alone, and away from home, he grew closer to Rachita, who was an office colleague. Rachita was a caring girl who was very concerned for Rajeev and took care of him in every possible way. She did not like the way he spoke about his parents and thought that might be, Rajeev had had a troubled childhood. Rajeev’s lonely heart had found its soul mate. But when Rajeev’s parents came to know of this, they minced no words in telling Rajeev that she was NOT the girl they ever intended to bring to their house. After all, she was a girl who earned almost as much as their son, was a working professional and so would not take care of the household. To put an end to this ugly chapter, Rachita soon left the company and went out of Rajeev’s life. Forever. Initially he tried every possible thing to bring her back. But once he was sure she would never come back, there was no turning back for him too. He completely immersed himself in the pleasures of Lord Shiva’s drink and it was all a sweet poetic justice for him.
Rajeev had nobody to turn to. He was completely alone. He blamed his parents for loosing Rachita. And the pain of losing the most prized possession of his life, his love, he lost semblance of his mind. His performance remarkably degraded in office and after a few times, everyone began to mind their own work. After all it was one rat less to defeat in the rat –race.
He was walking on the pavement along the main road, talking to his mom. The couple coming towards him from the opposite direction gave him a sheepish stare. He came to his senses. He realized he was mumbling to himself. He had yet to place the call. He dialed the number and waited for his mother to pick the call. When his mother picked up the call a few rings later, he spoke with her nicely. He suddenly realized that the two girls walking in front of him were walking too fast. In fact they were running away from him. He was puzzled. He looked at his phone. It was the stapler that he had bought 15 minutes back from the shop. He grew frightened of himself. And suddenly he threw the stapler on the road and shouted, “Mom, call me later. I can’t talk without my ear phones.”