One Rupee Coin !
One Rupee Coin !7 mins 21.4K 7 mins 21.4K
“Ticket-Ticket-Ticket! Bhaiya Chaubees Rupay,” roared the bus conductor! I dug into my pocket and pulled out a properly folded fifty rupee note!
The conductor returned me a twenty rupee note and a five rupee coin. I was amazed and asked for my one rupee change. The ticket collector smiled at me and apologized for not having changed. However, I didn’t change my decision and kept on asking for the same. He promised to return it the next day, but I wasn’t very convinced. At last, he asked the bus driver to lend him a coin so that he can give it to me.
It was a really hot day and the argument made me even more tired. While I was opening the lock of my room, my mobile phone vibrated. The screen said ‘JAMES calling’.
“Hi, Rohan, where are you ? We all are going to celebrate Vijay’s Birthday! I hope you remember,” shouted a hoarse electronic voice from other side.
“No James, I cannot come today, I am busy! Actually, my landlord is not fine and he wants me to accompany him to the hospital, I hope you can understand!”
“But Rohan…Shreya is also coming and….you know Vijay will feel embarrassed if you will not show up….I mean, he did a lot for you on your birthday,” James' voice was fading.
“I never asked anyone to do anything on my birthday James, so now please stop it, I have many tasks pending. Bye!” I hung up the phone.
My father was right—when you dream big, you will face many obstacles. My friends were the BIGGEST one. I was a very systematic and organised person. I never used to waste my time on issues that were not fruitful. I was aspiring to sit for the I.A.S exam, as I wanted to be one of the Administrative Officers. Rigorous hard work and sacrifices were always on the highest priority. I read an article of Jagan Bhutani, the first Ranker I.A.S cracker. He was my idol. I followed him and his lifestyle, the books he used to practice with, the routine he used to follow etc. Twelve hours of study and six hours of sleep was my loop.
Vijay was a contrast. A lazy techie boy, with multiple girlfriends and a hassled life. I still never understood why he befriended me and liked me so much. I was not ‘HIS TYPE’. I was a hard worker and he was a weak student. We were never compatible with each other. May be I never liked him. That’s why I always tried to stay away from him. These people always took life lightly. Life is definitely not a joke.
On the forth morning, my doorbell ranged at 6:30 am. I was surprised as for the first time my alarm lost the race of time and my doorbell won. I peeped into the eyepiece and saw a trimmed vibrant but skinny face of Vijay, smiling.
“Oh come on Rohan, I know you have seen me. Don't make any SILLY reason for not opening the DOOR…”
I was really upset and thought that TODAY MY DAY will be wasted for sure.
“Dammit, so much suffocation in your room Rohan. At least stop torturing the walls with maps, collages, articles and quotes,” said Vijay, entering my room lazily.
“It’s my way of living, please do not interrupt. Tell me why you are here?” I roared.
“Go and get ready I am getting married today! You are going to attend a court marriage.”
“What the hell? I mean with whom and......”
“Do not argue…just get ready…FAST!”
I was not able to understand what he meant, and I had no reason to decline. He was at my home this time. Aptitude practice, G.K revision, science IQ, all were at stake today. Vijay was very unpredictable.
I put up my best pair of shirt and pants and accompanied him….without knowing where we were going.
He bought two cups of coffee, handed me one and drove near the beach. I took out my share of money, but he declined.
We both were bar foot. The waves of the sea were washing usu.
“Rohan, come sit down!”
“Will you shut up? What the hell you are up to? I am wearing my best sets. And I cannot spoil it,” I was really mad at him.
“Rohan, calm down idiot, let me explain….sit down,” he pulled me towards the sandy ground.
I sat, not wishing to. I understood he lied to me about marriage. He just wanted to waste my time.
“Rohan, three days back was not my birthday. I was just wanted to celebrate life with you all.”
“See....And you lied today too,” I shouted.
“Hahaha, by the way, I met Mr. Shergill today. While he was unpacking his luggage he told me that his family trip to Shimla was a memorable one.” I was speechless as he caught me lying about my landlord. I thought he will get angry but he was continuously smiling naughtily. His glare was so sharp that it forced me to look into the infinity of sea.
“Yes, I lied to you too Rohan, but with a good intention. You are ruining your life bud. This is wrong. I can see it in your eyes, you are struggling. The anger and frustration for no reason speaks a lot in itself. Tell me honestly, are you enjoying?”
“Enjoying what jerk ? I am studying, I am working hard to achieve what I want…and definitely life is not easy.”
“Who say this? Life is fun. Are you really enjoying studying?”
“Who are you to ask me this dammit?”
“Shreya’s brother,….anyway I don’t know about you but I can tell she has fallen for you. She tried calling you multiple times, you never answered. She is not happy to go to London.”
“What London?” I was surprised.
“Okay, I will make it all clear…Rohan, we are moving back to London next week...forever….back to our ancestral home. And this was the reason I lied to you twice. I knew if I would have told you the truth you would have never come. I don’t know your feelings towards me but I really love you my friend and I cannot see you trapped and trolled. Today my words might sound nil but you will realise it one day. Take this…this is my card…whenever you feel you need me, just ring me here!”
We sipped the coffee together...!
“Life is not lived with budgets and perfections. It’s lived with heart and soul. I know it is very hard for you, but if you will keep living like this, you will start considering yourself the victim of all flaws that happened or will happen in your life. If life was too predefined, then death date would also have been certain. But it’s not.
You know I have read it somewhere:
‘Stay loose, keep loose…the harder you grip….easily it will slip!
Life is a swing…. life is like the wind, when will fall you cannot find.’ …..umm…
And something more…I don’t remember, very nice lines. Let things happen in their own way. Choose the path you desire. Believe me, you will get more than you deserve. Reanalyse yourself, you are not following you...you are following ...umm…some...Mr. Bhutani."
That was my last conversation with Vijay. I lost his card and I never tried to search him after that day. Today I am sitting on my study table and preparing a timetable for students. Yes, I ended up as a professor. I was not good at administration, and hence those doors never opened for me. I was meant to be a teacher. A teacher who was once a GOOD STUDENT BUT A WEAK HUMAN. Vijay turned me into a HUMAN I was meant to be. I lost a friend and my beloved following the path of someone else's. If that day my door bell would have failed, I would have ended up as a frustrated, failure Rohan. But today somewhere I am contented and happy. Yes, I realised it late. But I realised it. He proved his name...Vijay, the Victorious.
And my alarm bell shouted 5:30 am. I had to get ready for the bus.
“Chabbiss Rupayee Sahib!”
I handed him three ten rupee notes. He returned me five rupee coin.
“Bhaiya, but I don’t have one rupee coin,” I said to the bus conductor.
“The conductor smiled and said…its one rupee only sir, keep it!”
I miss you, Vijay!