Short Story: I dont wanna miss you

It was a Saturday evening.

A group of children were playing in the park making noises that hit the nearby houses. They were enjoying the Saturday evening to the core. No studies, no homework, no exams. What else children need these days? An hour of sleep, lots of time to play and enjoy.

65 year old Vasudevan was sitting in the bench and was keenly watching the kids playing cricket, in the park situated nearby Mercy Oldage Home. He was in his white dhoti and well pressed khadi pyjama which has been donated by Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan to all the senior citizens of the Mercy Home. The walking stick, which never parts from him, was lying beside him. He was here by his own decision.

He could see two kids fighting in the crowd of children playing see-saw. A flabby obese child was hit by another one who is thin and weak to his age. He could barely lift the cricket bat which was lying on the ground. The scene of the weak tiny boy who keeps hitting the obese child disturbed him. Vasudevan was very much tired for his age and in his life. The small boy’s mischievousness was at the peak. He constantly hits the obese kid with the bat and this plump kid never retorts back. After few more hitting, both of them leave the place and this flabby kid walks towards the bench.

Vasu seeing him coming, calls the obese kid.

“Hey you. Come here dear”

Hearing those words, the boy turns his side and comes running towards him.

“What is your name?”, Vasu asked him softly bearing a light smile in his face.

“Deepak” came the reply.

“Deepak, why do you play with that naughty boy who keeps hitting you always? Why don’t you hit him back so that he never shows his mischievousness to you?

Deepak replied, “I play with him because; others don’t include me in the games. They don’t allow me in their group because I’m fat. I look ugly. My dress is tight and they hate playing with me. Aswin plays with me even though I’m fat. He is the only one who accepts me as a friend. If I hit him back he’ll too leave me. After all his the only one I’ve, to play with me. I don’t wanna miss him”

Saying this he hurriedly left running towards the park gate.

Deepak’s words stirred Vasudevan’s thoughts.

***

A week back in his own house, he shouted at his son Krishnan, who was assistant manager in an elevator company managing the finance and accounts.

“I’m leaving this house”, Vasudevan’s voice reverberated the 3BHK flat which Krishnan bought a month ago. “I cannot stay with him who doesn’t have any respect to his father. I’m leaving”

“Father, it’s you who happily gave away the important file containing the account statements to waste paperwala. You know how important that document is? I had worked day and night to prepare that report and it was due submission. I had to ask another day to prepare it again and submit it back. It is the only reason, I spoke harshly to you. Why are you leaving us for this?”

“No whatever reason you give me, I’m not in a mood to accept it. I need respect. When it is not available here, I’m not staying here. See you”. Vasudevan packed his bags and left the house and he is now here in the Mercy home for the past one month. Krishnan’s effort to make his father stay back went in vain. He was helpless.

***

Someone knocked the door early in the morning. When Krishnan opened the door he was surprised to see his father back home. Vasudevan quietly entered the house and entered silently into his room and sat in his chair. Krishnan could not say anything. He wanted to talk to his dad. But he did not want to hurt him saying anything. He wanted his father to rest. He was in tears out of the happiness that filed his heart seeing his father back home after a month from the Mercy home.

Krishnan was getting ready for the day’s work and was hurrying as usual to his office. He left home hurriedly seeing his father asleep in his room.

By the time he reached his Office, he got a call from his manager.

“Krishnan, please bring the audit report which we prepared yesterday. Hope you reviewed it at home as you said”

“Yesss Sir…I’ll be there in a minute”. When the receiver was placed down, he realized that he had left the file at home. “Oh my God…today again in hurry I left the file back at home”. He quickly made another call to his manager and informed that he need some time and he’ll be back in 5 minutes.

“Oh yes. No problem Krishnan. Take your time. Come to my cabin after 5 minutes”, Manager replied and put the receiver down.

By the time he was about to start home. Krishnan received another call from reception.

“Mr. Krishnan, someone is waiting for you in the lobby”

“Yes I’ll be there in a minute”

“Thank you Sir” the call ended.

Who wants to see me now? I want to get that file from Home immediately. Shall I ask him to come another day and discuss? Thinking all this he got down the stairs and reached the lobby in search of the person who has come to meet him.

***

Krishnan approached the reception and the lady pointed her pen towards the couch. It was a fraction of time Krishnan took, turning to the direction the receptionist pointed, to see Vasudevan sitting in the couch, with a file in his hand, along with a flabby kid who was holding a football, sitting beside him. His heart was heavy with melancholy.

“Father….” He said. He was not able to talk. His throat was choked out of happiness of seeing his father.

Krishnan could not control his feelings. He burst out in tears and came towards him and fell on his father’s feet.

Vasudevan spoke, “Krishnan, here is the file which you forgot to take with you, this morning. Amma gave this to me to handover this to you. Hope this is so something important for you today. I don’t wanna miss you”

P.S: This is a thought expressed by my colleague. He wanted those thoughts to be written in some form of story and I’ve tried my best to put it here in a story as narrated by him.

Life isn’t a File – A Self Contemplation !!

My Mobile clock was ticking 8.00 PM in its flashing 320 X 420 TFT display

The Mobile stereo headset was plugged in place into my ear cavities on one of its end and to the Mobile stereo jack on the other end. I can see quite a few of Software Species seated beside, behind and in front me holding their i-Pods, MP3 Players and PMP in their very tired hands, who work desperately in a space bounded by card boards, named Cubicle, to force the output kiss their Monitors when they run a chunk of texts which they call it a PROGRAM or to sound more Computer-Literate-Software-Lingo, they call it a CODE.

I could feel the breeze of air sweeping across my face through the window. The corporate vehicle was swallowing the stretch of road ahead under its huge white-Blue metallic body with a number inside a circle stuck to its face. I could feel the inertia in which it was covering long distance to drop people in their respective destination.

Bus

The bus was dim lighted. The ambience was not so encouraging. I could see tired minds at rest. Most of them were fixed in their seats and eyes closed thinking about the nearest weekend that will embrace him/her soon. A man with some amount of hair stuck to his chin, which he called it a French beard, was talking over the Blackberry in a high decibel voice about the status report which was sent to Onsite and the metrics which has to be submitted before 0800 hours PST (Pacific Standard time), the next day. A teeny-weeny young girl in her early twenties, who was seated beside me, was busy talking to her friend about how Rohit was helping her during the regression testing. A treat assurance for successful testing completion was made, before the call was ended.

It sounded so dumb to me. She was now busy with her “Chicken Soup for the Girl’s Souls” by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Hansen & Irene Dunlap in her lap! She gave me a look that will burn 275 calories of energy from her body.  She know that, I was staring at her..err… staring  at her book. I changed the direction of my vision at an horizontal angle of 20 degrees first, for a period of time, then an angle of 45.3 degrees towards the window. I was feeling tired, tired out of long travel in bus after a hectic work. It will take another one hour to reach my place.

I closed my eyes resting my head tilting it back at the head rest provided in the seat. My thought wandered.  Suddenly my inner self announced me, “I’m proud to be an Electrical and Electronics Engineer!! “ I was taken aback.

Electrical Network !! (Its here just to accentuate my EEE thought)

Why suddenly this thought erupted in the little mind that was busy all these time? Why I am so much inclined towards the subject, which I hated to the core suddenly? Its hundred percent true that, mind wanders like a monkey from one tree of thought to another one easily. My friends will throw a sheepish giggle or a lousy laugh at me if they ever heard me saying this. Such statement from my side is highly inappropriate. People know me as a software guy or a Computer Whiz kid from my college days, in spite of the undeniable fact that, all of us belonged to the esteemed group of “Electrical & Electronics Engineers”.

I thought software engineering would be interesting and elegantly clad field where you would see things you imagined, you see things working which you designed and executed. I hated electronics to the core. I saw people who were putting all blood and sweat to achieve things in the ‘Trical-‘Tronic subject as an algae which made the pond dirtier than the lotus which makes it beautiful. I always assumed myself to be a lotus adding beauty to the pond rather than being one among the algae floating in the water. I was never proud to be so much inclined towards software. I was actually happy that, I could survive in the software Market. I brushed up my software skills along with the soft skills which would enable me to get into this “Hello World”. I proactively mastered things that added feathers in my knowledge cap. I studied my subject just for marks. The last minute preparations, one night studies, group studies, mind mapping concepts in a way that is in no way related to the subject helped me to fetch marks and accolades. But, what about the knowledge? Am I an electrical engineer? Do I know things which others know? Have I made justice to the 4 precious years of my engineering life?  The questions stacked my memory and it was overflowing. Poor thoughts do know am not a Computer. I’m just another human being with blood and body with thoughts oozing out of human parts made of flesh and tissues.

College days were fun. We had time everything on earth though few things weren’t the way we expected. College was bound by rules. Lots of rules. But that was the boundary into which our heavens existed. We had everything. Food, Clothes, Money, Sleep, computers, Lectures, Labs, Practical, Hostel, Restricted freedom, Friends  and most importantly Peace. A peace that no money can buy. Though we were bound by boundaries of unseen, impractical, grotesque protocols written for students. We rested in peace in spite of the control that was impacted on us. Happiness persisted that were not explicitly declared. Happiness sustained as we were always surrounded by “same pinch” minds. Friends were families. Next room guy was a brother. Fourth bench corner guy was an entertainer. All girls were girl friends – Friends who were girls!! We did not see affection, we felt in our hearts. We did not see enmity, as it was practiced in our paths. We did not see God in temples, because we were taught things in “Temple of Learning”.  We did not find time to discover a new person amidst us, as we knew all of them around us. There wasn’t a stranger in our life.  So ultimately, life was full. full of colors, full of joy, full of love, full of exams, full of friends, full of boredom. A boredom which will not kill you, but will give new soil to sow interesting ideas.

But today, we are bounded too. Not bound by friends, but bound by strangers. We hardly know who sits in the next cubicle. We are bound not by walls of freedom, but by the walls of pressure. We spend hours together in this boundary to clock an minimal quantity of that fourth dimension, which decides the DNA of Life. We find little time for friends. We find little time for peace, which will not acquired at ease. There is something that decides all this. Those times were gone when we ran behind mark sheets, now that, we are running behind those few sheets of tinted paper which can buy everything under the sky. We never felt the notebooks heavier, but now, its aching to carry those currency notes. I do not deny the fact that our hard work reaps those currencies. But why do we put so much effort to earn money? Is it to keep on earning or to find time for people around you? I do not understand.

Time has changed everything in its path. When time passes, it doesn’t leave any stone unturned in its path.  It hasn’t spared me too. I spent four of my precious years in a field which involved bonding of emotional flux in one’s heart with the flux in another’s. But now am fidgeting with one dumb terminal to get some crap thing outta chunks of code. I wanted to be in IT, but not this kind of life which I’m living now…

The Bus jerked over a speed breaker. My thoughts spilled and I awoke from a deep thoughtful sleep. I looked at my mobile. It was 9.25 PM.  The bus has reached my place. In another 10 minutes, I have to get down. I did not notice the message which I received, a few minute back. Rightly the message reflected my thoughts

It read…

The IT Professional PREAMBLE-

We the unwilling, led by

the unknowing are

doing the impossible for

the ungrateful. We have

done so much for so

Long, with so little

Knowledge that we will

One day qualify to do

Anything with knowing

Nothing. Be Proud to be

An IT Professional !

Why should I be proud? I haven’t done anything great being an IT professional. I felt like being an algae in the pond. I felt as if I’ve lost the peace which I had before. I’m still searching for the Peace. Life has always its own style of teaching a lesson. It’s a good teacher. If it teaches something, you won’t forget it in your life time. I’ve learned from it. The bitter truth that I had to accept. The truth which can’t be denied. The truth that I’m still a Software Engineer.

I understood that, Life is not just another ‘File’, which can be created, modified and saved as you wish. It is something like a hard coded program which follows bizarre Logic to execute and terminate one day! Being a Software Engineer hasn’t helped me in any way.

Now I’m proud to be an Electrical and Electronics Engineer!!

I got down the bus and strolled towards my street to reach home, have something for my hunger and sleep tight.