Where Am I? Those were the first words that came to his mind as he struggled to open his eyes. He saw a branch of a tree above his head.
The sudden rage of sunlight after a prolonged period of darkness seemed to blind him and he covered his eyes with his hands. He was wearing the same blue colored Indigo Nation shirt with white collar and Van Heusen Black pant that he wore yesterday.
Yesterday? Was it yesterday? Or was it Day before yesterday? How long had it been since he had blacked out? His watch was missing and so he had no clue if he had been at that place for a day long or 2. His mobile phone was missing as well along with his purse. As he searched for his mobile phone in his pant pocket he found a note which read “ENJOY YOURSELF”.
What does that mean?
The last thing he remembered was sitting in his car and listening to Bill Wither’s Aint no Sunshine and relaxing after a day’s hard work. The last thing he witnessed was an image of a gloved hand with a kerchief which was thrust on his face and he had left out a muffled scream. That was it. Then he blacked out and found himself alone a few minutes before.
What was this place?
Why was this done to him?
What did they want?
What was he going to do?
He walked around with lot of questions cropping up in his mind and wondered what he should do next. He felt hungry. Damn. Perhaps hunger is the only routine that happens irrespective of any emotional feeling of grief or anger or happiness.
For sure he was not going to find any Ponnusamy or Saravana Bhavan or Vasantha Bhavan in this wretched place. He looked at the coconut at the top of the tree and wished how good it could be if it were to fall down. Wow....if only wishes do come true....
He walked as far as his legs could take. He felt dizzy and nauseating. And that was when he saw it. HOLY COW!!!!! It could not have been possible. He was facing a beach that one gets to see only in the movies. The water looked invitingly blue and inspite of all the confusion in his head, he managed to smile.
He was unsure if the water was reflecting the color of the sky or if it was vice versa. He had always wanted to go to such a scenic island and drop dead on the beach. How wonderful it could be if he was going to be there with.....
He heard gunshots. He hesitated for only one second and then found himself running like a hare. His PT master would have been proud, had he seen him dash at such Olympian speed. Suddenly he felt like one of the characters of the hit drama LOST where they get stranded in an island. Just like them he didn't know why he was here and wondered how he was going to escape from here.
Why would someone try to kill him?
What harm had he done to anyone?
Why was this happening to him?
A barrage of questions and no answers. Confusion reigned over his mind and he seemed to have no answers. He dropped pace and started to walk amidst the trees. He tried to remind himself of the happy times of his life. His Birthday at home, his naughty school days, the college culturals, the Ooty trip with friends, first day at job, getting promoted, getting appreciation from the client.
When was the last time he had sat down and reminded himself about his happy times?
When did he last have a relaxed conversation with his parents?
When was the last time he had asked his father if he took his insulin dosage?
When was the last time he had had a banter with his mom or asked her about the fate of her favorite mega serial heroine?
When had he last called his jobless friend and asked him if he needed to know about any job openings?
How long was it since he went to any theatre and whistled shamelessly with his friends?
Not for quite some time.
He had become a victim of the fast paced life. Like most of the hapless souls on earth he had forgotten the past, ignored the present and worried constantly about the future. Perhaps this soliloquy was for good. With no work to do or deadline to meet, his mind seemed relaxed inspite of the peril hanging like a dagger above the head. He decided to walk again to the beach and take a dive into the divinely blue water.
What was that? A ferocious roar silenced his mind and made him feel numb. He glanced in the direction of the roar and trusting his instincts he began running in the opposite side of the forest. He ran as far as he could and didn’t care to look back. The roar seemed to follow him accompanied with a thud sound. He ran for his life.
Till that instant he had never known that he could run so fast. Well...it was not the very ideal time to make a discovery. The roar seemed to be nearing him and he ran faster...harder. Just then he entered into a section of forest with a different entrance to the beach. And then he saw....
There was a huge cake inside a hut built on the sand. Above the hut lay a HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUDDY poster. He saw his friends looking expectedly at him and welcoming him with cheers and claps. Near the hut there was a giant screen which showed him running and entering into the beach.
It was a set up made just for fun. He went to his dearest pal standing near the cake and asked "So it was you? You almost had me killed. Do you realize that?" As those words left his mouth, he smiled instead of being angry.
"Well...you didn’t accept the proposal for the holiday on your birthday. We didn’t have much choice you see. So how do you feel?"
"Never felt so alive."
He hugged his friend and marched towards the cake amidst cheers. The cake structure reminded him of the company designation hierarchical tree.
He chose to ignore it.
He saw her standing facing the sea. He could only see her back with her hair flowing in the direction of the wind, but still he was left with little doubt that it was her. She was his fiancé. For 2 weeks she had been asking him to take a break from work after he had fainted one day at work place owing to work pressure.
He had ignored her for long. Perhaps…she had decided to take matters in her own hands….and done it spookily with style. He hugged her tightly from behind and said “I hope the idea was not to get me killed.”
She turned back, looked him eye in eye, smiled and said “How do you prefer it?”
He kissed her gently said “If you are planning to kill me with your eyes and lips…..lets do it now!!!!!!!!!!”
P.S: Ending 1 dedicated to Nandoo, who completes Silver Jubilee on July 03 and Arun who becomes another year sweeter on July 06.
Ending 2 dedicated to KK who crosses the ocean of bachelorhood and lands ashore Ms K's heart on July 09.