Friday, May 27, 2011

2. Retreat

 “The bigger the real-life problems, the greater the tendency for the discipline to retreat into  
                  a reassuring fantasy-land of abstract theory and technical manipulation.”
                                                                                     - Tom Naylor

"Should I prepare some tea for you?", Akanksha asked.

"Yes. I have a very very bad headache", answered Pratham.

He sulked as he looked at his drawing room. He recollected the effort he had put to ring the door bell. More so, to revert his decision of committing suicide.

He recollected...

"What are you doing Mister? Get down imediately", a lady police yelled at him.

"Are you fed up with life too, like I am, with the highway traffic?", she kept shouting.

"Assholes like you have no courage to face life", she said and hit him with her stick.

Pratham felt the hurt. He said nothing.

"What a stupid, idiotic man you would be, who selected this place to commit suicide", the lady police kept shouting making him realise that what a fool he was to attempt suicide on such a busy highway.

"Coward. You should have burnt yourself to death, suffering every single blister on every single cell of your body", she said.

Pratham spoke nothing.

"Atleast you would get an idea what your family would go through once you get lost forever", she sounded mad.

"I am not asking you not to die, it's your personal problem. But don't you dare commit suicide here. This is under my jurisdiction. I don't want another case registered. Go back home and burn yourself to death.", she hit him harder.

"Coward", she yelled. "Get lost now", she added.

"Tea", Akanksha offered Pratham.

He seemed lost.

"Pratham, Tea", Akanksha reinstated.

She realised that her husband was as usual lost. She had tried very hard to strike conversations with him. But he never spoke. They never conversed, like an ideal couple should have.

Pratham kept looking at the ceiling. He felt pathetic for not being able to take one proper step towards his destination. He thought that he was indeed a coward. He could never be brave to start something, nor was he brave enough to end something - his life.

He thought about what he had written in the suicide note. About chances. He realised life had given him chances. Not once or twice, but many times. He never cashed on them. This new life was another chance too. An opportunity to prove himself again.

In his mind he had put in all he could, all efforts, all courage, and live the way he wanted to. But it only remained a dream, a virtual reality. He could not put it into actions. He detested himself for being so complacent with so many things in life. Especially love.

He relived a conversation.

"Pratham, do you love me?", asked Jenny.

"Jennifer Peterson, I love you. I love you a lot", said Pratham with an air.

"Marry me please", proposed Jenny.

"This is strange. A lady proposing a man?", mocked Pratham.

"I don't care Pratham, whether I propose or you. We both want this, don't we?", said Jennifer.

"A man's job is a man's job lady", Pratham went on, on a lighter note.

"I am serious Pratham. I want us to get married.", said Jenny.

"Slow down, sweetheart", Pratham avoided that talk.

"I want an answer now", demanded Jenny.

Pratham was dumbstruck.

"Say something Pratham, please", Jennifer was about to breakdown.

Pratham said nothing.

"Pratham.. Pratham...", he heard his name being called and this broke his reverie.

He saw Akanksha standing in front of him. He looked at her, saw her blabbering. He couldn't make out what she was saying. The voices in his mind were louder than Akanksha's.

"Pratham", she called out again.

"Yes", he gathered himself.

"The tea has gone cold...", Akanksha said.

"No problem", he said, lifted the cup up and gulped it down in one go.

"I will take a nap", he declared and picked up his sack, carefully, placing his hand on the zip where he had kept his suicide note. He looked for his mobile and realised that he had thrown it on the road and had forgotten to pick it up.

He walked towards his bedroom leaving behind every thought of defeat and thinking about how he could sleep over everything and wake up fresh. But that was, again, just in his mind, efforts being miniscule.

While entering, he looked at Akanksha and said, "Leave me alone for sometime".

This wasn't new for Akanksha. She nodded in affirmation, picked up the cup and headed towards the kitchen thinking how she could set her life straight.... be contd

Back to Chapter 1: Suicide

Onto Chapter 3: Quietude