The Day The State Split Asunder- 8
The Day The State Split Asunder- 8
It became evening by the time he reached his home. He exuberantly unzipped his bag and took out the blue envelope which contained the offer letter and walked towards the Lord Shiva portrait.
God! It is only because of your blessings, I got a job today. I think you liked my prayer in the morning.
The delicious aroma of spicy vadas frying in the oil wafted from the kitchen. The tantalising smell intoxicated the taste buds on his tongue. He swiftly turned around and walked into the kitchen at the drop of a hat.
His mother was singing Annamacharya songs and there were three different pans placed on the stove with three varying burning levels of flames. She was so engrossed in chopping the onions that even with tears sliding down her cheeks; she continued singing.
'Amma!' Karthik said as he quickly dragged a chair from the dining table and sat down on it.
The delicious vadas inundated in fresh curd with spring onions sprinkled upon it were present on the plate straight in front of him.
'So finally you got selected?' she asked after stopping singing while keeping her hands busy chopping the onions into tiny pieces.
'How did you know?'
'If in case you are not selected you would straight away go into your bedroom and lie down on the bed.'
'I see, so you might have thought like I won't get selected even today?'
'Not like that!' she turned around, dropping the knife on the chopping board. 'Congratulations! At last, you made it!'
'Amma, actually I have to tell you one more thing.'
'What is that?'
'The job location is in Bangalore.'
'What!' her lip corners pulled downward in sadness.
'Yes, Amma! If I don't go to Bangalore, I will lose this opportunity.'
The smile on her face vanished. She was looking at him, mute and immobile, resembling a tree rooted in place. He quickly rose and stood beside her, taking her hands into his and said, 'What happened? Why are you silent?'
'Had you prayed properly in the morning, maybe God would've given the work location in Hyderabad, instead of Bangalore,' replied his mother and the sadness became clear in her eyes.
'Why so woebegone? You don't like me to go to Bangalore?'
'Don't ask me. Ask your dad.'
She moved to the sink where she began washing the dishes, wiped them dry with a wet towel, and got back to the stove. His father after having completed his evening prayers walked into the kitchen.
'Karthik! You look so animated today. What's the reason?' his father asked.
'I finally got a job,' Karthik said.
'Congratulations! At last, you made it,' his father said.
'But the job location is in Bangalore and Amma is not happy about it.'
'What is the point about not feeling happy?'
'Dad! I am a bit apprehensive about relocating to an alien city that I have never been to before. If I don't report, then I need to renounce the offer. If I proceed, then I need to leave Hyderabad and you both.'
'We will talk about it later. For now, go and take your bath.'
Ten minutes later after taking his bath Karthik walked into the hall and sat beside his father who was watching the updates of the burning Andhra-Telangana issue. The news channel was broadcasting the clashes in which Andhra and Telangana supporters got into a physical fight. He picked up the remote and muted the television.
'Dad! Shall I go to Bangalore or not?' Karthik asked, placing the remote on the table.
'Just go ahead. Bangalore is the IT capital of the country, an idyllic place to start your career.'
'Dad, I am unable to decide. I want to join and I don't want to leave you both.'
'Always remember. The hardest walk you can make is the walk you make alone, that is the walk that makes you the strongest. Do you know when I first came to Hyderabad? I didn't even have a job. I just came in a pair of clothes. I had no friends and relatives here at that time. I used to sleep at the bus stand.'
'Fair and square, you had thrown yourself to the wolves and returned leading the pack.'
'Always remember and pin this quote in your mind - "The wolf on the top of the hill is never as hungry as the wolf climbing the hill" Always be that wolf, climbing the hill. Have the hunger to achieve more in life. And also sometimes a change in place brings a change in destiny. My destiny has changed completely after coming to Hyderabad. Let's see what destiny has planned for you in Bangalore.'
'Let's wait and see dad. But what about Amma? She is not happy.'
'I already spoke to her. Don't worry, and what about the hostels?'
'I already searched for one. But they are asking to pay a month's fee in advance. We can pay it online. Can you give me your credit card?'
'Your generation is fortunate. You didn't even reach Bangalore, but still, you confirmed a place to stay. In my days we had to roam the streets day and night looking for the tolet board sign.'
Karthik's mother came to the hall holding two bowls in both hands containing his favourite Vadas, placed them on the table, and sat on the chair facing them in the opposite direction. By the time he completed eating it, the image of a homeless man he had seen in the morning flashed in his mind, reminding the promise he made to himself.
'Amma! Can you pack some food?' asked Karthik.
'This morning I vowed to give food to a homeless man at the bus stop if I get a job.'
'I will pack it,' she walked back to the kitchen. Five minutes later she came along with a carry bag containing the box and gave it to him. He collected the box and strode off toward the bus stop.
When he approached, the old man was singing songs and was playing with a stick just like the way kids play with toys. He gave the box into the hands of the old man. The old man after having taken it from him said - "God bless you, dear!"
Karthik smiled and returned to his home.