Saturday, October 29, 2011

A 'Broken Wing' Thing

(This is a story that i wrote for a competition under the topic 'Broken Wings'. Aaaand it won me the first place.)

Hydrophobia is the fear of water, and that is something I’ve had since birth. My father says it’s because 2-year old me fell into a bucket of water which happened to be taller than I was. And hence the reason why I hate Titanic and why I close my eyes every time I’m in a train or bus crossing a bridge. But my manufacturing defect has never made me feel left out just because I couldn’t go swimming and fishing in the pond with the other kids. And anyways none of that was going to matter anymore because I am now sitting on the deck of the nearby bridge looking down at the tons of water silently flowing beneath it. Yes, another half an hour and I am going to commit suicide. According to Indian Express Nov. 28th 2011, fifteen people suicide every hour, and this hour I am going to be one among a fifteen. The water under this bridge has been stagnant for years so I can leave alone the fear of flowing in the process of dying. But I can’t jump just yet, there has to be a flashback session of why I’m doing this. At least that’s how the movies show them.

I am an Electronics Engineering student from Kerala who has 7 standing backlogs and no job in hand, and for a student like me placements was the worst time of life. When friends are out getting two and three job offers you are home taking the compulsory “day off” watching The Sound of Music and The Prestige for God knows how many times just because there's nothing else to watch, and logging into Facebook hoping a 5 minutes break from it could get you at least 10 new notifications. But finally the day came when “the mail” came, in which a sort of reputed company was recruiting and had no conditions regarding percentile or backlogs. But, reading on I found that they needed just 6 people from the whole college and had a whole process of aptitude tests and interviews.

I was thinking, 'seriously, what a life? You get to be happy for not more than 5 seconds?'

So, I didn't even care to prepare a resume and went to college the next day hoping to get some attendance sitting in class, but unfortunately they had canceled classes for the day because of majority students appearing the selection process, and by 9 30 it was even made compulsory to all students to appear. I almost peed in my pants hearing that. An IT company, 6 offers, 250 students and me, an Electronics Engineering student. Since it was the college rule that you cant leave the campus once you enter in the morning I was left with no choice but to write the aptitude.

By afternoon the results were out and without much exaggeration 'my name was there in the list' of 30 students who were filtered out of the 250 and I was like 'baby baby baby oooooHH'. I couldn't stand on my feet, because I was excited and I had to create a resume real fast, but mainly because I was excited.

The fast thoughts that went through my mind were, 'This was it', 'I had to get through somehow', 'this was my only chance' and 'baby baby baby ooooHH'.

After a few hours came the interview and by then the company had turned into my dream company and whatever work they give me was my dream job. I entered the interviewing room with a smile. Gave them my resume which had not a single detail about my backlogs. After a two minute silence they asked me their first question, “How many backlogs?”

This was the very same question that got me flunked for three successive lab vivas and I knew the answer to that question would decide whether I was going to get this job or not. I stormed out of the room and ran.

And here I am on the deck of this bridge. The flashback was now over and I was ready to jump. I couldn't open my eyes, because the sight of the large body of water beneath would make me change my mind. Have heard theories about the picture of the person who you love the most to come to you just before you die. Haven't seen that yet, maybe I will just before I hit the water. And I jumped.


Felt myself going deep down into the water body and could also feel my feet hitting some sort of a ground like place, but it couldn't be, I had to keep drowning. I tried to kick myself up hoping it'd drown me more, but instead my whole upper body was above the water level and I was standing on a shallow ground.

There were 2 things that I learned that night,
1, Suicide attempt is a crime and
2, I wasn't Hydrophobic

Changed Status

About 20 years ago difficulty in life for a teenage boy was defined by the kind of course taken, the number of exams, how to talk to a beautiful girl and the methods on how to catch a smoke or drink without your parents catching you.

My name is Sharath Kumar, a middle class teenage boy. Everything about me was so called 'middle-class'. My dad works at a bank and earns enough to buy me a gift worth Rs.5000 every year on my birthday. My mother is a housewife who like every other mother cooks the tastiest food. I have 98 friends on facebook, 32 of which are my family members.

Final year at engineering college was a really boring time for me, loads of exams and countless number of questions about what i'm going to do with my future. To make things worse the people who are worried about my future more than my dad who paid for my education were my neighbours, the milk-man, the paper guy and even the temple guy who comes every month for donation. Engineering has taught me everything that a certain forward message says, opening a beer bottle with my teeth, experience getting drunk to the maximum level of intoxication and still trying to stand straight and pee, getting depressed over a single girl a zillion times, and also created a habit of smoking a cigarette daily. In short I was enjoying my perfectly going imperfect college life.
The only thing that kept bothering me was not having a girl-friend. I have been single since the day I was born. Its been 21 years and not even a one week relationship. All my friends kept telling me that when the day comes, i will find the perfect person.

August 6th 2011 was the day that the worst that could happen to me happened. Me and a couple of friends were having the end of the month booze party. Just before the party had started I had taken a friends laptop and gone through my facebook notifications, nothing great, just the usual farmville notifications. The booze party went on till 3 in the morning but unlucky me as usual passed out after two shots and three rounds of puking before 10.

It was around 9 the next morning when i got up hearing my phone ringing. With the extremely bad hangover I picked the call. It was MOM.

Mom: “What is wrong with you? This has become a disgrace to our family.”
Me: “Mom, what are you talking about? Ive told you about the monthly booze parties.”

But she barely heared what i said and she went on...

“...never thought you would go for such a thing. When you said you wanted to stay with your friends i never thought it was to have privacy to do such things. We have loved you in every way and is this what you're giving us back?”.

Oh God. How do I stop this?

“...if you had any kind of feelings for Rani, you should have told us first place rather than telling the whole world about it.”

“STOP IT”, I shouted.

Shit. Rani was the tamilian servant girl who comes home everyday to wash clothes and clean the house. And what the hell was Mom talking about?

“What are you talking about?”, i asked “Why are you talking about Rani now?”

“Dont try to pretend in front of me now. Indrajith uncle called early morning....”
CUT went the call.

I stepped out of the bachelor home, took a deep breath of fresh air and put a cigarette in my mouth before i could take in my next breath. I was thinking what exactly could have gone wrong? Why would Mom say anything about Rani at this time of the day? Ah chuck it, she's probably pissed off with something. But still...feelings for Rani? Oh no...somethings not right.

The cigarette wasnt working, so i took the laptop and logged into facebook. Actually i didnt have to log in, it logged in automatically. 2 notifications.
“John Mathew and 20 other friends like your status.”
“Anil Uk and 35 other friends commented on your status.”

Status? When did i even put up a status? Clicked on one of those notifications and there it was,


Closed the laptop in a second and was in a hurry to put on some pants. I looked around at all the bastards drunk and sleeping peacefully. I know one of them did this.
I was in a hurry to get home and convince Mom that it was a huge mistake. But by the time i got home, my whole family was there, including my cousins and their children who were already running around the place. A whole group discussion went on the whole day, and finally my history was sealed. My first love – Rani the servant girl. However I try, its not going to change.
A week later I even started getting “hope you have thought well about it” wall posts.


Make sure you log off your facebook account after use.
A status can change your life.