By Ayush Sinha
Romesh, a twenty-four-year-old graduate, seemed to have lost all his hopes in the hue and cry of Kolkata with his newfangled B.Tech. degree. Having been rejected by more than ten companies, he now had no options other than returning to his village, Murshidabad. The village, veiled by the gloom of illiteracy, was home to some of India’s poorest people. Of course, a place where people preferred grazing cattle to books couldn’t be a paradise to a young man like him, but it was all in all; it was the heart of his own heart.
Dreams were shattered somewhere in the ravages of time, and, to him, it was now no use wandering with the college degree he had attached most of his dreams to. Day in, day out he cast his mind back to his childhood, when he was but an innocent child sleeping in his mother’s lap, where people had never scared him and things had never seemed to be as intricate as they were. He decided not to stay in the city any more and to make for his village without waiting even for a single day.
Bewildered, Romesh was on his way to Howrah Junction, his head laid on the side of the open window of the cab. The impressions of the city, which had once seemed indelible, were now waving him off, and parting themselves from his dejected mind by and by. But little did he know that serendipity has always had its own ways.
He received a phone call from an unknown number, but couldn’t believe his ears after accepting it. It left him in a state of complete oblivion. He was informed that one of those companies, after a second thought, had decided to give him a break, and that he had to report to the office the following day.
Clouds were gathered in the north-east corner of the grey sky, and the waning light of the sun was now exhilarating some of the deepest corners of his heart, the corners that had been gloomy for years in the debt of his dilapidated past. What a beautiful evening it appeared to be! The moment he had dreamt of for years was now no longer a dream to him. All of a sudden, the flame of his heart had begun to kindle a new sort of consciousness in it, and his whole self, in that ecstasy, seemed to be one with the world around him.
The cab was stuck in the traffic. He phoned his mother at once, and their happiness knew no bounds. One of the most beautiful moments of his life it was, but the wait for meeting each other was perhaps going to be a little longer now.
Ramesh couldn’t sit in the cab any more, paying the driver off. But no sooner had he crossed the divider of the road, while he was still busy talking to his mother on the phone, than he saw some sort of light before him all of a sudden. It grew and grew, until everything appeared blurred, and eventually, darkness was what left. People congregated around, checking if there was still some life left in him, but all that they had was the voice of the mother screaming, and waiting for her son’s voice. The wait was indeed longer. Perhaps serendipity has always had its own ways.