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False happiness

Discussion in 'Stories (Fiction)' started by Vedhavalli, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. Vedhavalli

    Vedhavalli Finest Post Winner

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    Pranav had got his first month’s salary two days back. His mother was very proud of his achievement. He had joined an MNC right after college and started earning 20,000 Rupees a month. That was twice the amount Pranav’s father had been earning all these years. New friends, happy training sessions and a truckload of beautiful girls made up his day. Ecstasy spread through his body when he received that SMS. It was an SMS he had been waiting for since he joined the company last month. It was from his bank.
    Rs. 20,000 has been credited to your account on 30[SUP]th[/SUP] September 2008. Total available balance in your account is Rs. 20,000.
    All these years of back breaking project works and assignments had finally come to fruition. Pranav had Rs.20,000 at his disposal. He didn’t have to ask his parents for pocket money. There had been days when he had to beg his father to give him 20 Rupees so that he could eat his favorite cup noodles. Even when he was in college.
    Pranav duly went to the ATM and withdrew 10,000 rupees with which he had planned to buy new clothes for his parents. After shopping in an upscale mall with a friend he went back home with a designer silk saree from Kalaniketan and two checked shirts from Van Heusen for his parents. When his mother opened the package tears of joy flooded the floor as she pulled Pranav towards herself and kissed him on the forehead. His father opened his package and smiled. “Thank you Pranav,” he spoke gently and walked to his room. Maybe he didn’t want his son to watch him cry.
    When we spend money for our children, it doesn’t mean a lot to them even if it does to us. But when our children buy us something with their money it is the most confusing feeling. It is a mix of joy and uncertainty.
    Pranav already had big plans for the evening and as it drew near he told his mother, “I will be going out with friends, ma. Don’t stay up and wait for me. I will finish lunch and come home around ten or eleven.” One attractive bonus of starting to work is, your curfew is no longer in effect. You can go home and leave home as and when you like. Your parents will stop questioning you.
    “Don’t be very late son. These street dogs will chase you if you pass them at late hours,” Pranav’s mother called out as he crossed the hall.
    Don’t worry ma. I will return in a taxi,” he shouted back.
    “Pranav, take my scooter if you want,” a hesitant male voice echoed in the hall. It was his father.
    Pranav stopped in his tracks. He couldn’t believe his ears. He was finally being offered the privilege of taking his father’s scooter for a spin. His mother walked toward the entrance with a wide smile plastered on her face and handed him the key to the scooter. He received it like a winning trophy.
    Dolphin Bar was always a place of curiosity for Pranav. He had always wanted to have a drink there but had been warned by his friends that they charged twice than the Government run liquor shops. One item in Pranav’s TO DO list after getting his salary was to pay the bar a visit with his less fortunate friends who were still searching for a job. Four people joined Pranav at the bar and almost every cocktail on the menu was ordered. Excitement slowly turned into recklessness and second helpings of all the drinks were ordered. It was the best day of Pranav’s life. He had brought happiness in the lives of his parents and his friends. Most importantly, he had found happiness. The bill at the bar was 7,500 Rupees. A very concerned friend snatched the bill from Pranav’s hand and for a second Pranav thought he was going to pay the bill. But the friend started checking the bill to see if they were charged anything extra.
    The other friends gulped as they wondered if this was a huge amount or not as they didn’t know Pranav’s salary yet. That would have helped for a comparison but they were decent enough not to ask him about it. Pranav opened his wallet with a flourish and placed his debit card on the bill. The waiter returned back with the card for his signature. Pranav felt like a very rich adult who had brought small poor kids into Disneyland.
    Next stop – Wang’s Kitchen.
    Since all five of them were bloated with drinks, they decided to go easy on the food. They ordered simple dishes and the waiter brought the bill of 2,000 Rupees. The four friends blinked for a second as Pranav had gone to the restroom while the bill arrived. They had to pay the bill, at least collectively. They all emptied their pockets and collected 800 Rupees. It was an exercise in futility. They took back their money and waited for Pranav and passed their time toying with their forks and noodles.
    Pranav walked out of the restroom a little confident than before. His bladder was empty now and almost half of the drinks he took in had been washed away. He was a little sober than before. He took the bill in his hand and smirked. He wielded his debit card again and the night came to an end at eleven PM.
    A very grateful friend hugged Pranav and started crying like a baby. “You have done so much for us Pranav. I don’t know how to thank you.” The others had to pull that friend away and Pranav straightened his shirt. He waved at them and kick-started his scooter. He was very content with his life. His parents were very satisfied and his friends had started respecting him. Money is a super power, he thought as his scooter started to move.
    Pranav knew about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol so he kept the speed under 30 KMPH. The night sky was full of stars and a cool breeze blew over his face as he cruised on the empty Old Mahabalipuram Road towards his home in Adyar. The street lamps sprayed a golden hue onto the shiny roads. Pranav thought about how his life had been shaped up. His parents’ money and his hard work have finally paid off and his life was settled. He earned a handsome salary and his on-the-job training was going great. He looked up at the sky and thanked God silently.
    Ten minutes into the journey Pranav spotted something unusual in the distance. Two huge black objects were lying in the middle of the road. He strained his eyes and focused on the objects. His heart fell right into his stomach as he increased the throttle and reached the bleeding man in seconds. His motorcycle was lying ten feet across the road. The man was bleeding profusely from the side of his head and his eyes were open. Pranav pulled him onto his lap and shook him. The man gave Pranav a hopeless stare and Pranav started sweating profusely. He shook the man vigorously and the man blinked twice. There was life. Pranav dropped the man and stood up and started shouting frantically for help. The road was completely deserted. Every now and then a luxury car would zoom by, pausing for a second near the accident spot and rushing away. Pranav’s hands started shaking as he searched his pocket for his mobile phone.
    Pranav’s mother had called his mobile three times in a row and it kept ringing at the Dolphin Bar.
    Pranav slapped himself for losing his mobile phone at this crucial time and searched the man. No wallet. No mobile phone. He did have an expensive motorcycle though. The shiny black Royal Enfield lay on the ground in full splendor. Its steel handlebars glistening under the street lamp. Pranav sat on the road next to the dying man.
    “Don’t worry… Don’t worry… I will save you… It’s nothing serious… Just a minor accident… We will first go to a hospital… Then you can go home in an hour…” Pranav had started wheezing and he had trouble talking coherently. The man just blinked at him, somehow trying to communicate to Pranav that he should be saved
    A pair of headlights flashed in the distance and Pranav stood up with renewed vigor. He jumped up and down and waved his hand for help. It was a call-taxi. The driver pulled over and ran towards Pranav and the man.
    “Help… Help… He is dying….” Pranav held the taxi driver.
    They both lifted the dying man and rushed towards the taxi.
    “Is he drunk?”
    “I… don’t know.”
    “Is he your friend?”
    “I… don’t know.”
    The driver stopped in his tracks and stared at Pranav with hesitation.
    “You don’t know who he is?”
    “I don’t know… I saw him lying on the road.”
    “OK. I am getting you to a nearest hospital and I am out of this game. Am I clear?”
    “Yes. Just go to a hospital.”
    The car took off with Pranav resting the man’s bleeding head on his lap. Within five minutes the car pulled over near the emergency ward of a dingy looking hospital. Something is better than nothing, Pranav thought as he and the taxi driver hauled the body onto a gurney lying outside and the driver went back to his car. Pranav ran after him.
    “Please don’t leave me… Help me… Stay with me…”
    “Let go of me! I have done you a huge favor. I am not even charging you for the taxi usage. I don’t want to get into trouble. Go save him,” the offended taxi driver drove his car hastily out of the hospital building.
    A sleepy compounder helped Pranav drag the gurney into the emergency ward. A pool of blood had already collected near the dying man’s head. The receptionist ran towards the gurney. Pranav was moved by the display of concern and humanity at the hospital. The receptionist pulled Pranav by the arm and told him that the compounder would take him to the emergency ward.
    “I want you to fill in these details,” the mascara eyed receptionist was curt.
    “I don’t even know the guy. You should call the police,” Pranav spoke in a casual tone as he knew his job was over. He had saved the man’s life. He was almost waiting to get back to the accident spot where his scooter was parked. He badly wanted to go home.
    “You don’t know the man. He has got no ID on him. What are we supposed to do with him?”
    “Save him. When he wakes up you can ask him who he is,” Pranav made a mental note to slap himself when he went home. How badly he had mistaken the receptionist to be humane.
    “What if he doesn’t wake up? I hate to say this but he has already lost a lot of blood. There isn’t much hope left for him,” the receptionist spoke without even looking at him. This had got into Pranav’s nerves.
    “Really? Are you the chief doctor here?”
    The receptionist stopped writing and looked up. “I see accident cases rushing in almost daily and I can tell the ones that will make it through and the ones that don’t.”
    “OK. I am sorry but can you please save him?”
    “Make an initial payment of 10,000 Rupees and we will start treating him. We’ll also need you to inform the police about this.”
    “I don’t have any money.”
    “You don’t have time. Quick. Make some calls and get the money. That man is dying on you.”
    “On me? He is dying on me? He is dying on us. Why don’t you show some courtesy and help him?”
    “I am not Mother Teresa and this is not a free clinic.”
    “Do you have a telephone?”
    “Over there.”
    Pranav rushed to the telephone and picked up the receiver. The only mobile number he remembered was that of his friend who cried at the bar. He wouldn’t be of much help. Pranav’s father had recently bought a mobile phone so he didn’t memorize his father’s number either. He banged the receiver back onto the telephone and walked back to the receptionist with tears.
    “I have only 500 Rupees in my account. Will you accept it as a kind of advance and start the treatment?”
    “I am sorry. Hospital rules. An initial deposit of 10,000 Rupees is required. We have a doctor looking at that man but it will only be a very high level treatment. He will have to undergo surgery in his brain.”
    A dejected Pranav walked slowly to the visitors’ room and slumped into a steel chair. He took out his wallet and examined its contents. A few 10 Rupee notes and a shiny black debit card. His thoughts went back to the last three hours within which he had spent 10,000 Rupees. An amount which could have saved this man’s life for sure. He looked at his name embossed on the debit card – Pranav Murthy
    He imagined himself in the place of that dying man. He was lying on a stranger’s lap. The stranger was promising him that he would help him. His hearing and vision were getting hazy by the minute. The shock was more excruciating than the pain itself. He knew that the stranger was drunk and had no money on him. Just a kind heart. He thought of all his loved ones – his parents, his loving aunts, his friendly cousins, everyone who should be present at his last moment. But he was stuck with this stranger upon whom his entire life depended.
    His train of thoughts was disturbed by a doctor who entered the visitors’ room. “Who accompanied the accident case?” Pranav flinched at the way in which the doctor referred to the dying man as a ‘case’. He walked up to the doctor.
    “I heard you do not know this man?”
    “Yes.”
    “Very kind of you to bring him here but he is no more with us. He needed an immediate surgery. You didn’t have the money and we don’t have the right equipments,” the doctor patted Pranav on the shoulder and walked away. Pranav broke his debit card into two pieces and threw it into the trash can.
    He was a changed man vowed to spend only for true happiness...
     
    sindmani, sreeram, jskls and 6 others like this.
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  2. pinkydarling

    pinkydarling Platinum IL'ite

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    Nice story and heart touching...
    Really u wrote a great story dear.keep it up.
     
  3. Vedhavalli

    Vedhavalli Finest Post Winner

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    Thank you pinky!
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Vedhavalli

    Vedhavalli Finest Post Winner

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    Thank you pinky!
     
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  5. deeprapriya

    deeprapriya Gold IL'ite

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    Very nice story!!!....
     
  6. Lathasv

    Lathasv IL Hall of Fame

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    Worth readable story @vedavalli.Absolutelya right I feel happy when I spend money on charity ( that happiness we can't buy ) keep continue to write :)
     
  7. Rith

    Rith IL Hall of Fame

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    Very nice message which is conveyed so well with the mindset of current generation...Wonderful narration. A perfect story. hats off @Vedhavalli
     
  8. nivsrini

    nivsrini Silver IL'ite

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    what a heart touching story dear. Its is a true happiness when we could help someone who is nearly in need and live saving circumstances.
     
  9. twinklingstar

    twinklingstar Gold IL'ite

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    wow..wonderful mindblowing story
    message is conveyed so clearly and properly.
    i too never waste money in treating already filled friends . but make sure to buy some stuff to poor and needy people on street. a;so on birthdays i prefer celebrating and distributing sweets and eatables at orphan children and take blessings...
     
  10. iyerviji

    iyerviji Finest Post Winner

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