"May I speak with Mr Sharma?"
Vivek was jolted out of sleep by an early morning call on his mobile phone. He must have ignored if it was not from Dr Kashyap, the cardiologist who was treating his mother.
"Yes, speaking," Vivek said rubbing sleep out of his eyes.
"We had to hospitalize your mother as she had some trouble in breathing."
"What!" Vivek sprang to his feet, "how is she now ?"
"She is fine, Mr Sharma." The doctor said reassuringly, "there is nothing to be worried about."
"I will be there in a while, doctor." Vivek said as he hung up.
He immediately dialed the number of his secretary and said, "cancel all my meetings for today."
"But sir!" A panicked voice from the other end said, "what about the Japanese delegation? The deal with them is a huge one."
"They have to wait," Vivek who has managed to make it into the board of directors of one of the major MNC's at a young age of 30, said.
Sun was shining brightly on Vivek and he had everything that matters to a man. He had a well paid job, a promising career ahead, a luxurious lifestyle and a happy family life. He used to live in a palatial villa in the heart of the Delhi town with his wife and son. His only sister was married to an affluent businessman and was leading a happy married life abroad. Though his life was flowing smoothly, sometimes he did feel a void deep within his soul. And whenever those nagging thoughts started haunting him, he just shrugs them off and gets busy with his daily life. Just as he has done today. He shook his head and made his way to the closet to get ready and bring his mother back home.
Kamaladevi, Vivek's mother sat silently on the passenger seat as her son drove quietly. She was weary as was obvious on her face. Vivek pushed the brakes when they had reached their ancestral home and helped her walk into the house. Vivek and his wife Ira had cajoled her a million times to stay with them but she has always denied as she wished to stay in their ancestral home where she believed her late husband's soul was resting.
"You can leave Vivek," Kamala said, "you must be busy."
"No Ma," Vivek smiled, "I am on leave today."
Vivek sat by her side till she drifted to sleep. Afterwards, he quietly slipped out of her room. As he passed through the corridors his gaze fell on the bedroom by the side of it which was once his. He hesitantly walked towards it and opened it. The room was full of musical instruments of all kinds. A nostalgic pain filled his heart as he ran a hand on the harmonium on which he had played a thousand melodies and sung a millon songs that has won him appraisal from the audience. His thoughts wandered to the days when he was a student of MBA.
During those days, music was his passion and he used to spend his days dreaming of becoming a singer. He thought of the day when he had won the title of the University Champion Singer and even got a call for audition from a famous music director who has judged the event. He was on the cloud nine as his dreams were on the verge of fulfillment. But then his world came crashing down the very night as his father suffered a major cardiac arrest and died the following morning.
Now Vivek had to shoulder the responsibilty of a younger sister and an old and ailing mother. He was in a dilemma now. As long as his father was there to support the family, he was free to do do whatever he wished to. But now he can't just think about himself and let the women perish. Music was a highly competitive field. Being successful was neither easy nor persistent. He needed a reliable career to support his family. Hence he had to turn his heart into stone for the sake of his family and bury his dreams alive. He gave up singing and focused on his studies. Later he landed up in a well paid job to everyone's relief and was able to fulfill all his duties.
As he looked on the graves of his dreams, he realized that he was no more what he once ysed to be. He was only a well programmed robot who was trained to do his jobs perfectly. Though he was biologically alive but his soul has passed off many years ago. He had died the day when life had happened.