Life Is Tough
Life Is Tough
“What is the purpose of living this boring life, I am feeling exhausted. I don’t want to live anymore,” Charan said to Nakul, one of his close friends.
“Hey, chill man. Why are you talking like a married guy? To be frank, you haven’t started your life yet,” Nakul said and smiled.
“That’s the problem, man. I am thirty now and still unmarried. This pandemic has literally stopped everything. See it’s been two years since we took the work from home. We are continuing to do the same. We can’t even go outside as we did earlier. Life is boring. My parents were trying to find a bride for me. But they are still struggling.” Charan said in a grumpy voice. He and Nakul were sitting on the sofa in his home, watching the TV, a dancing show telecasted. Charan’s parents had gone to his niece’s marriage but he stubbornly refused to attend it because she had rejected him when her parents asked to marry him. That doubled his frustration even stronger. When he had asked her why she got rejected him, she said that he wasn’t looking good and shorter compare to her height. On hearing this, he felt like ending his life but somehow survived because of his friends. Yes, without them he would have killed himself long before.
“It takes time. You have to stay calm, they will find the right choice for sure. In fact, my parents took three years to find a good bride for me, you know. You should stop worrying about your marriage first. Everything will be all right. Do we have a beer?” Nakul said and winked at him.
Charan stood up and walked slowly to open the fridge. He felt the coolness on his face when he knelt to pick up two kingfisher beers. He uncorked and came down to hand it to Nakul, who got it with a brisk smile and took a few sips before he said, “Are you feeling okay?” he sensed that Charan was still not looking comfortable.
“Yea, I am okay, but still not feeling all right. I don’t know how this life is going to be. I feel there is a great amount of responsibility the husband takes on his shoulder when it comes to marriage life. I am already paying EMI for a home loan I took two years back to buy this new flat,” Charan said with concern as he looked up at the ceiling. The new paint smell still wafted in the air, he could sniff it. He was proud that he had offered a helping hand to his father for getting a home loan. He took fifteen lakhs as a loan and the remaining forty-five lakhs were the savings of his father as he retired as a senior manager from a public bank a year ago. He had one sister Narmadha who got settled in Australia, where she went for onsite assignment initially and got a permanent visa after staying there for five years, even she got married to the Australian. Her parents didn’t accept this but asked her to return to India, to get marry her to a well-settled bridegroom. But she bluntly rejected and got married to the person she loved. On May 18th they both celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary along with her daughter Advika’s third birthday on the same day. That’s the first time her parents talked to her to wish their granddaughter a happy birthday.
“So what? I too took a twenty lakhs home loan and paying it for more than five years. See, last year I went onsite, and boom. Now it got reduced to ten lakhs. There is no more burden of paying high interest. So, ask our delivery manager to offer you an onsite job to stay in the UK for two to three years and come back and settle down here in India. The point is the money you owe to the bank is not heavy as you think. Remember this quote: The best results come to him who is ready to work hard even in the struggling times. Your life will turn out to be good at any time. Expect the miracles to happen and it will,” Nakul said and took a few swigs on seeing his face.
“That’s right. I’m only overthinking about it. Anyway, the point is should I marry at thirty? I think half of my life is already over. Even in the pandemic times like this, we can’t even guarantee anything,” Charan said and chuckled seeing his friend.
Nakul slapped lightly on his elbow and said, “Hey, you don’t think too much. As someone said the actual life of any person only begins at the age of forty, you know.” He winked at him.
On hearing this, Charan couldn’t control his laughter and spilled the beer on the floor as the bottle shook in his hand.
“That’s a good joke.”
“Man, it’s not fun. It’s a reality, you know. Why it was said because at that age you could feel life is more interesting. Your children would have grown up to the stage where they can do their daily chores and you would have saved some money in the bank and more importantly the understanding between you and your wife would be far good than it was initially,” Nakul couldn’t believe if this was rightly said.
“I know you match things perfectly. You have nailed this art, man. I think your wife is already flattered to hear your words, isn’t it?” Charan said with a thin smile.
“Not like that. But yea,” Nakul blushed on remembering what went on last night. Her wife was hurt when the soap opera she was watching wasn’t going as expected and the lead role actress had suffered due to the actor’s betrayal. Immediately she asked what he would have done if he was in his position. Nakul reacted quickly and said I would have hugged her and gave kisses before I said sorry for missing the birthday gift. “You are my smart husband.” His wife said and kissed him.
“Don’t blush. I can’t bear seeing your face, man,” Charan said and placed the empty beer bottle on the teapoy.
“No, not like that. I just thought of sharing it with you. You will come to know more about this kind of drama when you get married. It’s a sweet memory, you know.”
“Yea, I could see. You are almost drooling, wipe it down.” Charan said and gently nudged his friend and continued, “So what’s tomorrow’s plan. Are you coming to the office or planning to take vacation since there are only two days for Dasara celebrations to begin.”
“No, I am not coming. I have already applied for vacation and it got approved by our manager. He wasn’t in a mood to approve it, but I requested him because it was long since I had gone to my native to visit my uncles and aunts. It’s a big trip, you know. They are already waiting for us to come and join the celebration.” Nakul stood up and looked at the clock hung on the wall. It was already nine past forty-five minutes.
“Okay, I have to go now. Otherwise, you can expect my wife in a few minutes here,” Nakul said and laughed.
“Yea got it, man. Okay, do safe driving. It’s already late,” Charan said.
“Sure but drink and driving isn’t a big deal for me. I had more experience, don’t worry about it.” Nakul said and fumbled to take the car keys from his shirt pocket.
“Yea, but still. Anyway, have a good night. Once you reach home, call me. We’ll meet after your vacation. Importantly, don’t forget to bring the homemade sweets from your native ah,” Charan said and lightly punched on Nakul’s chest.
Nakul rode at 30kmph initially. There is no traffic at night so he sped at 80kmph later. While driving he fumbled to change the gears, because he earlier took an additional beer with Charan. He never drove in such a boozy condition. He knew it wasn’t safe to drive like that. So he dropped the speed and stopped the car very close to a tea shop. He ordered a tea and washed his face with the water. It made him look fresh and the booze was not heavy to him. He sipped the tea, hearing the old song which played on the radio FM in the tea stall. He even chanted a few lines as paid the bill. He took a deep breath before he opened the car door and started the engine again.
As he felt fresh, he thought he was in full control to drive even faster than the speed he would generally prefer to ride. He turned on the same FM channel which he heard in the tea shop and continued listening to the song. His spirit was good. He even checked his mobile if his wife had called him. She didn’t. So he dialed her number. But his phone rang before his call went and he swiped to attend. His wife asked if he had eaten food or she had to prepare for him. He said to keep it ready to come and have it. She said okay and cut the call. He sped the car at 100 kmph even though he felt a little uneasy. He knew he was still feeling giddy to drive at this speed. The truck lorry from the back was honking continuously, he was irritated and drove even faster and forgot to see that there was a bumper in the road ahead. The car jerked back and forth when it hit the bumper and zig-zagged from the path and the truck from the back didn’t have any control to stop it and rode over the car just like a frog would be flattered under the tire of the lorry. It was a gruesome accident to witness. Nakul was no more alive. He was shot dead. His dreams about his children were dead too. His wife had waited and waited to hear the news that her husband was dead. Her life was on the brink of a question after his death. Oh God, how she can take this? Such a tragedy should never happen to anyone. It’s all because of drunk and drive.