It was a sultry summer afternoon and the usual Mumbai humdrum was busy fighting it out with the soaring heat to establish the existence of human civilization. As every battleground claims its own share of victims, the roads lay strewn with dazed beings, unsure about their own existence, some managed to sit while others simply passed out under sheds of trees and buildings. Only a defiant lungi and vest-clad vendor kept roaming around. His multi colored ice-cream board seemed like some kind of high tech shield and the only line he repeated- “Strawberry, vanilla, butterscotch ice-cream” seemed like the last clarion call to his fallen comrades. But nobody moved.
Unfazed about the bloodbath outside, Akshay lay on his favorite blue recliner at his new sea-facing bungalow, basking under the warmth of his recent success at office. There was an office party last night at boss’s house and the whole office was invited to celebrate the birthday of boss’s wife. Akshay generally hate going to these parties but this time he did not regret it, towards the end of the party boss suddenly rose, tapped his glass twice with the spoon and announced that he has been promoted as the new Business Partner of the company and that he would be heading one of the divisions. His boss also added that Akshay was actually a prodigy and that this kind of feat to be achieved at such tender age was exceptional and this will go down the company’s history as a legend. Everybody congratulated him. But Akshay suddenly remembered that there were not many who actually believed in him. He is a bit introverted and very few people saw a successful HR in him. And he tried to remember those previously sulking faces forcing to dawn a smile at the party yesterday and he frowned a bit. He was trying to remember the numerous days he slogged it out at office when everyone left but then his gaze suddenly fixated on a soaring red kite, high above in the blue sky, leaving the rest of the pack down at a much lower height. The left corner of his lips involuntarily curled up and he took a sip from his usual blue martini. He was amused at the site how the lower kites were busy fighting it out among themselves while the red one rose to new heights.
The warmth of his comfortable recliner made him a bit dizzy and he closed his eyes and let himself drown down the memory lane. There were so many successful moments in his life, so many memories to feel proud and it felt as if all the reality was just zooming past him and suddenly he was standing at the MDI’s main gate with bags in his hands and wondering what the on Earth “Change Masters” would actually be! It is right that he has numerous noteworthy moments in life but the reminiscence of the 2 years he spent here was so addicting that he often slips into a phantasmagorical trance while brooding. Akshay was successful in every aspect of life but real satisfaction now evades him, often does he wish to linger on in his memory and never come back. He still wanders around those hallowed stoned walled buildings, those numerous festivals at Library greens, late night bites at Sharma Ji’s and general daily chatter and commotion still echoes in his head. Maybe happiness has become a pipe dream…he was about to kiss “Riya” when he felt a gentle nudge on his shoulder, his wife Kriti was pointing towards the sea shells that she has gathered. Akshay smiled or at least tried to and went back to his thoughts, his gaze lost in the blue sea…a distant boat was slowly disappearing into the horizon.
–Apurba Adhikari PGPM 2016-18