One fine morning I got up from bed, late. It was a Monday morning and already the ‘Blues started haunting me.
Without even making the bed, I grabbed the newspaper, anticipating some holiday announcement. Father shouted, “Wash your face, make your bed and then read it, it’s all the same you know, nothing new or nothing special.” With no mood to say a word in reverse to him, I went in reluctantly, finished my morning duties and came back to see if some politician is dead or if some terrorist planted a bomb in my office or something like that… but to my surcprise I read the following news : “A software Engineer was riding a two wheeler without wearing a helmet on the Ring Road and ended hitting the median. Bleeding through the head, he died on spot.” I thought, ‘Oh! You poor creature! Why did you first of all travel to work on a Sunday of all the days’ and continued reading.
The paper read the poor creature’s name as Srikanth P. I was horrified! I rubbed my eyes yet again, and read. I was not wrong, it was the same name. I screamed loud. Father came back, “Oh! Are you not up still? What’s that noise?” ‘Oh! Me.. He can hear me! But what’s written here?!’ I was perplexed at what I was reading and could not believe that I was dead!!
A sense of freedom erupted in me. I was now free to do anything, no need to go to office, no need to have my morning coffee and perform all those idiocy. I could now run over the Bangalore traffic with no one noticing me! I need not pay fine for breaking a rule, I can speak to those whom I love in the ‘Sixth sense’ type and have fun all alone… ‘Oh! Why no one can be so fortunate like me….’!
Then there came the voice “What did I tell you yesterday? I asked you to bring some vegetables from the market on your way back. How could you forget?” It was my Mother asking a reason for my failing the duty…. How could I explain her that I was no more a mortal and no food would ever be needed by me..! Pity of her…she still thinks I’m to follow what she tells me… I am no more entitled to any such harsh words, even from my Mother. I tried the ‘Gayab’ style, tried to elope into the wind, but could not, so had to answer my Mother. I thought I was still an amateur and so that art(of eloping) would be embracing me in some time, after much practice.
Then I got a weird thought, how if I meet a girl who is also dead. Oh! Ours would be a beautiful life together..!
I thought someone was pushing me hard from my back, turned and found my sister bating me for not having the coffee that was getting cold. ‘You fool!! I no more need your dirty coffee, I have my life open, lively and lovely! How would you know? Poor fellow.’ I wanted to tell her, but didn’t for reasons that she would get angered early morning and all that.
But then my mobile started ringing, all three at home started abusing me for wasting the morning idly and asked me to pick the call up. My sister peeked in to see who was on line. I was wondering what is it all, the ‘dead’ life, about? Why should I pick the call? She was holding her coffee that incidentally touched me. I felt something hot scratching my arm and cried ‘Ah! What’s that?’ She said, “Your BOSS on line, tell him that you’re still on bed dreaming!!” I picked the call, he asked me to come fast to the office so that I’d be in time to attend the phone-in conference. Suddenly I was on my toes and got ready and started to the office. I forgot that I was dead and all.
But when I was about to put on my helmet, I remembered the news item….and started with flash back. ‘I was not attending office yesterday at the first place, and moreover, to reach my office, I need not take the ring road, and of all, I never travel without a helmet’!!
I went in again and snatched the newspaper from my sister and read the news item again. It clearly said that the guy called Srikanth P was a native of Andhra Pradesh and worked with some company in White field, and was much elder in age to me…!
“Uffff! I’m alive…”
P.S. I pray in God that the other Srikanth P’s soul be rest in Peace.