It was friday morning when I hurried towards the battery rickshaw, from noida city centre metro station to go to my college. I sit across a middle aged man with spectacles, reading the indian express. Suddenly my eyes caught the headline, that took me months ago…
Brisk billow over humid sky, sun was setting, creating the land shine like gold, gulls were going into hibernation, boats man were tired and lying over the sand, smoking marijuana. People from west were sauntering along the sea. And there, a boy trying to reach and feel the intangible red beast that was constantly hiding itself down the sea, there was a charm in the movement of his hand, a promise that there was nothing else in this world, he so wanted to touch.
His name was Sonney, he was from my college, as I recognize his face, from the day he came late at railway station, and someone has to pull the chain so that he could board the train, Perhaps he was from law department, I am not sure. I was the incharge of organising the college trip to goa. 400 people were interested first, but two days before the trip, 166 more students enrolled, so it was tough to organize a tickets at last moment, but the union decided to charge extra from these students, many of them agreed. And here we were.
I was constantly looking towards his movement, he was pacified, he sat on the warm sand, still contemplating the
sky, there was some sort of calm in his eyes that you come across once or may be twice in your life, and never ever eager to miss a chance to go and talk to such pacifist. I stood up grotesquely, and moved towards him , and sit beside him. He was not hostile, he was still calm and didn’t even turned to see me. ‘Hey!’ I said pompously.
‘Shhh.!’ he hissed maintaining his posture.
It was silence all around, and the sound of silence suddenly fell upon my ears, I was also gone into the deep, meditation. After some time he broke my solace and asked softly, ‘did you heard that’ not sure what, I just nodded. ‘isn’t it peaceful wonder, beyond all the materialistic pleasures of the world’ he said turning towards me for the first time. ‘Yes it is I said’
‘Btech or BSc?’ he asked
‘Btech ‘ I said.
‘So you’re having a good time here?’ he asked again,
‘Yeah pretty much ‘ I replied.
Then again silence surrounds us.
It was strange because I came near him and I was the one who was suppose to ask him questions like that but the situation is reversed, it was he , who was interrogating me. I don’t know what was exactly going on in his mind, but I was sure there was something hidden behind those pacifist façade of his expressions.
‘You’ve Got no friends here?’ I asked for the second time, but he didn’t hissed this time, he just got into a deep thought, ‘ Friends, friends just slow you down, they are good for nothing , you can always travel an extra mile alone and even faster without them.’ I was still trying to gasp his philosophy.
May be he was wrong but although he has a point to justify. I thought about this thing till now.
He stood up, and walked toward the café, ‘would you like to come Amit,’ he said, I don’t know how he knew my name, we had never met before.
”How did … you…?!’
He cut me off and said,’ it was on the college notice board along with your photo. I remembered you from there.’
‘Oh yes of course.’ I replied hesitantly.
2, beer and 1 platter fish fillets. He ordered,
I had no idea what fish fillets was, it was rather hard for me to pronounce it the way he did.
‘What do you study,’ I asked abruptly. As the waiter left.
‘Law’ he said in a voice, which makes you feel guilty about existence of mankind.
‘Why isn’t it interesting?’ I asked watching the final ray of the Sun vanishes, from the french window, the last hope of every creature, which return after twelve hour of constant effort.
‘No I never liked it,’ he replied.
The contrast in his calm was getting visible, the façade was breaking.
‘Why are you doing it then’
‘My father wanted me to become a lawyer just like him.’
‘Well you are surely not your father. Are you? You can have different dreams towards life. ‘
He laughed abruptly as he noticed change in my voice tone.
‘Ok tell me what do you like to do.’
I don’t know. He said and took a sip from his mug.
‘You must know. ‘
He closed his eyes as he was again going to the world of peace and meditation, but he didn’t concentrate and open his eyes abruptly.
‘Whats the matter, ‘
‘Nothing I just can’t, can’t disobey my family, its hard, very hard.’
He had some sort of family issues too, that I later discovered may be the good old breed did not cope him up from his dreams, family was important for him but converse was perhaps untrue.
‘Close your eyes and see the magic’. He said in a quick tone
I closed without any objection, considering it some sort of enchantment.
‘Count till hundred.’
I opened my eyes and he was not there anymore.
I was astound, looked around. He was gone.
I asked the waiter, he said that the person with you paid the bill and left. I came out of the cafe searching for him but he wasn’t there, it was dark now, I walked toward the hotel.
The headline of the newspaper, said ‘LAW STUDENT COMMITTED SUICIDE DUE TO SHORT ATTENDANCE’.
I watched his photo, that was taken perhaps an year ago. I was stunned to see all this. Ran towards the college and saw handful of students muttering about this, in the hall some students were preparing posters of protest. Everyone was ready to bring the dead person back to life.
The next time I saw him was on his funeral, his ashen like face was swelled due to pressure on the epiglottis. Well, everyone thought it was a suicide, and two professors resigned, as they thought it was. But it wasn’t exactly what others saw. It was the errand of passion and dream of Sonney’s father that was profoundly ghastly for him, he was sick and tired of it, less attendance was just a medium through which he accomplished his final mission to achieve peace.