So, I thought today I would publish here an excerpt from the manuscript I am working on at present. This would, roughly speaking, be the second or third draft and I feel that I still need to garnish it at places before it is brought out in the truest sense to be devoured. If you have stumbled upon this page, please feel free to go through this and leave behind your feed backs. I would love to hear from you.
Second Chance-A short Story
Kartik worked as an office boy at a software company which was still in its inception stage. The better salary that he was offered, despite the fact that they had just started functioning had lured him into leaving his previous job as a conductor for a private bus owner.
The office was accommodated in a three bedroom apartment in the heart of Mumbai. The atmosphere inside the office was comfortable and relaxed. There weren’t stringent rules or implicit motives like in many other establishments to disrupt the enviable amount of peace that prevailed inside. In fact, most of the workers in that office considered him as their companion or a confidant in many regards. They helped each other through the vagaries of their lives sans complaints.
When the officers unexpectedly run out of cigarettes, Kartik made sure that he ran to the nearby shop to buy them fresh packets; he was the one who brought them lunch from the restaurant downstairs; he offered to drop them off at their apartments in his scooter if any of their cars broke down- the list was endless and in return they addressed him affectionately as Bhaiyya and celebrated his birthdays at the office, when there would be a cake cutting ceremony during the office hours and a party at the local pub late at night. They granted him bonus from their pockets during major festivals and once even bought him fresh piece of cloth to stitch a new pair of pants.
Today, as he sat stooped down on his table near the water purifier, Kartik could feel droplets of sweat collecting on his temple. The rumble of the air conditioner resonated with his emotions, lending an unpleasant rhythm to his thoughts.
‘You should try this at least once in your lifetime, Bhaiyya,’ Rakesh, the friendliest one in the pack had whispered it in his ears the previous day. Since then a recurring thought had been meddling with his peace of mind day in and day out for he was tempted enough to give it a try.
He had seen this place where his petulant mind demanded to go. The building was not conspicuous but sandwiched between two hardware shops in the busiest street of the city. People hustled in and out of the street at all times of the day, making the process of insinuating into the building hassle free. There was even a back door, which could be approached if one stepped onto the alley beside the street, although sailing past the same would be the hardest thing anyone could conjure to do for it had constantly kept its repertoire as the ugliest and the most stinking alley of the city, if not the whole world.
‘He would take the alley,’ Karthik decided. He couldn’t pave way for any risk, for he was a middle aged man who had lived a half of his life sans a smudge in his reputation.
The walk through the alley was horrid to say the least. The air was infested with fleas which seemed attracted to him by his mere presence. Mounds of garbage flanked the path, which would be an undeniable source of the many infectious diseases that stifled the people of the city often. The atmosphere was stuffed with a repulsive stench, which started growing unbearable as Kartik moved closer and closer to his destination. Steering free of the fleas and the mosquitoes that yearned to attack him ferociously, he found himself standing at the summit of the tall row of steps that led to the place he was headed to.
P.S: This post is tagged with ‘Saturday Specifics’, a sub section of this blog where I put up something creative- a story, poem, haiku, Flash Fiction or a Book Review.