The Perfect Wedding Night
“Hemant, don’t you think we take life for granted?” asked Vivek, as an aura of seriousness descended onto him.
“hmm, true...but why do you ask so?”
“Because that was my biggest flaw”
“flaw ???” I exclaimed.
“ The moment I finished my 12th boards I thought the only way to peruse my way of life was by leaving home. Even thou I had planned everything, I still didn’t want to hurt my parents by running away. I guess 17th June 1998 provided me with that golden opportunity. Like a teenager about to experience his first kiss, I clinched tightly and just didn’t let it go. I had found my reason to leave home.
As I left home I expected them to start hunting for me within a day or two...and didn’t want the chase to last more than a week. After all my father was a very social man, and had a lot of influential contacts. It would give me more than enough time to put my GREAT PLAN into action...after that I could emotionally blackmail and bargain with them to let me follow my way.
That afternoon after I left home, I wandered enjoying my new found independence. Finally I went to “Radha Krishna” lodge. It was a few kilometres from my house. My elder cousin’s friend had many times mentioned about it. He always stayed there whenever he came down to Delhi for his competitive exams. For a week, it would be a good hiding place.
The place was a shabby, 2 storied building which had more holes in it than French cheese. I told the manager, I was a student from Meerut,U.P. and was in town to attend a crash course in a nearby coaching institute. The manager handed over the keys to a pity looking peon, who walked me thru a dark alley with small doors at on both sides. It reminded me of the rat-holes on either side of the railway track at new Delhi railway station.
He stopped in front of a door, which had room no.102 scribbled on it with a permanent marker. The room, was lit by a naked 25watt bulb hanging right in middle of it, the cooling was provided by a wore out two and half bladed fan, and homely comfort was given by old broken bed, full of blood sucking bugs. At an expense of Rupees 200 per night, It was luxuriously comfortable for me...”
I could sense the sarcastic smile on the other end of the phone. He paused for a second to rejoice the taste of this vivid image that was being constructed by his words...
He continued in an excited voice,
“ After a few minutes, I settled down, and counted the money in my purse. I had 1650 rupees left with me. I had spent 44 rupees on my “celebration of independence” earlier that afternoon. I had A cup of tea, a plate of bread-pakora and brought my first packet of gold-flake light cigarettes without the fear of being caught or scolded. It was an adrenaline rush worth millions.
I slowly got to work, the first step was to calculate my finances, it all looked very simple, and a m aximum of 6 nights of stay would be 1200 rupees,
10 rupee per meal at the nearby dhaba (one katori dal for 6 rupees and a buck for a roti) , 3 meals a day, meant 30 rupees a day, so that would be a maximum of 180 rupees for 6 days.
That still left me with 270 rupees for travelling, soap, toothpaste and if everything went fine or if I finished a day or two earlier, I could have treated myself to a great victory dance with a 30 rupees beer bottle.
Content with the smoothness with which things were going, I went to the nearby dhaba, had an wholesome meal for 10 bucks, and came back to the room.
The funny part was that I just couldn’t sleep that whole night. Thou the blood sucking bugs, and the shrieking female voices from the neighbouring rooms did contribute to the insomnia, it was my excitement of being all on my own that kept the adrenaline rush flowing .
In my mind, I kept rehearsing my plan of action. For me It was simple, and fool-proof, five step plan to success.
1. Get out of the house, and create a vacuum. Make my parents realise how much they need me.
2. Reinforce my cry for independence. I loved them but that didn’t mean that I had to blindly follow what they said.
3. Apply for work. I had inquired about 4 call centres. I knew they were hiring even 11th class drop-outs. The pay was good, and the prospects of life in a booming industry seemed amazing.
4. Get a job, start working, and just leave a tip with a friend about my location so I can be found.
5. Emotional bargain. Once back at home, bargain with my parents to continue my job, and in exchange join some small professional course they would suggest.
That night, at that point, for me that plan was perfect and flawless. I knew myself, I knew my parents, I knew how to analyse people, for me failure was no way in the horizon. It was the excitement of my 1st step towards an emotional, psychological and financially independent life that kept me upbeat.
I don’t know when I finally fell asleep, I just remember that these five steps kept repeating themselves in a cyclic manner till the point my mind finally got exhausted and switched itself off in expectations of the great day to come.
(the next chapter will published soon)