Sanjeev slowly hung up the phone and contemplated the conversation he had just had.
The voice on the other end had been distorted by some electronic scrambling device, gravelly and rough, but most of all, urgent. The man had sworn Sanjeev to secrecy with information that was on a strictly need-to-know basis. And right now, only Sanjeev needed to know.
It was a mission of the utmost importance he had been charged with, and from the tone of the voice, Sanjeev knew: failure was not an option. Though Sanjeev had only been working at this office for only a month, he understood how serious this man was. The man needed his help.
He got up from his place and walked out into the garden outside his office. He contemplated what he was about to do and wondered the consequences should he go with what had been discussed on phone. It was in a way of speaking a miniscule help, but he was not sure if it would be looked upon with as an act of respect or disgust. Sanjeev had to decide before the morning of the next day when the task would be completed and implemented on the day after.
As he walked into the room next day he seemed to be cynosure of all eyes. He walked into another room to wash his face. He looked into the mirror and wondered to himself why he was doing this. He remembered that what he was doing had a purpose, an aim and a meaning than what he had been doing in all these years. It was not an earth shattering contribution, but yes it was going to be soul satisfying.
After he finished it, he walked to his home. He lied to his mom that he had finished dinner outside, went to his bedroom and stared at the oscillating fan. Just like the fan his mind was wandering about their happy times together in the past and wondered why it had to go wrong all of a sudden. They say ignorance is bliss….maybe it was not. Wish everyone could get a second chance in life.
He saw it the next day evening and was happy with it. Only he could have done it with so much passion and emotion because no one else could have understood it better than him. In a way he felt happy and sad at the same time. His parents and relatives would be shocked, he could become devoid of friends…but that was maybe the tip of the iceberg.
In the evening he saw himself on TV appearing in the latest ad with his hands on the shoulder of his elder brother Surendra.
Surendra: "I have AIDS. I got it because I had unprotected sex once and hence today I stand to lose my life. Don't let it happen to you. Practice safe sex."
Sanjeev: "AIDS doesn't appear by touching or talking to someone. This is my brother and he is suffering from AIDS and we are close the same way as before. Please don't ignore them as they need our help. Help spread the awareness for AIDS."
His parents were yet to know this bitter truth and they would learn it today. Sanjeev discovered it only a month before. He convinced his brother to appear in the AIDS awareness program he was entrusted to shoot by his Boss in his ad agency and together they decided to spread the awareness.
As he walked past his office, he saw a young man cleaning a window pane of a shopping complex. He wished that some mistakes in life could be cleaned just as simply as that. Alas……