Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Four Days in the Fog


Disclaimer : The following story does not have any intentional similarity with the life of someone living or dead.

Epilogue
Only humans are intelligent enough to conceive the idea of ending their own life to avoid miseries. So, in a way, evolution imparted in the human brain a power so great that it might actually reverse the direction of evolution.

School 

I belong from a small town. During my school days, I did not have any real friend, not until the exams came anyway. Teachers liked me, but they did not really think of me as a jewel, they saw me more like a geeky-goodboyish fellow! I was shy and silently I ended my school life. I had crushes like a normal guy would have. But I never gathered the courage to ask a girl out, or for that matter to talk to a girl. In the twelve years, the only thing I remember other than the endless hours of mugging up is the day when JEE results were out. I cleared it, I was very happy. I think that day was the first day I experienced happiness. Not for long though, my rank was, as my dad said, unsatisfactory. I joined IIT Kharagpur, thinking some positive changes will come to my life.

Semester I

I could not blend in the life of KGP. In my first year, the first rejection I came across was the NSO trials. I did not play any game other than Badminton in my life, also I sucked at it. I went there and the guy who played against me, well, lets just say he left there without losing a single rally. In the coming months, I tried out for as many societies as I could and I never got a congratulatory text! I lost hope, I tried not to, but I just did not have it in me, the ability to cope! I got addicted to some vices available on the DC++. I started missing classes and even labs. I got de-registered from 2 subjects. Soon, before I could realise, the semester was about to end. The empty promises I made to myself after the miserable midsems, were starting to haunt me! I failed. I FAILED! I was not brave enough to tell that to my parents. I stayed back for the winters and told my parents that I was taking up a project. They were happy, I guess!

Semester II 

My room mate was a busy guy, the only interaction between us was in the morning when he asked for my toothpaste. The only 3 guys I talked to were my lab partners. Decent fellows, for some reason I felt threatened by them but I liked to think of them as my friends. In the mean time, I did not have the slightest clue about the curriculum. I was good at maths but I do not know what the hell happened and I was unable to digest the math taught in KGP. After the midsems, the Hall Days started. I went to all the hostels, roamed alone and ate alone. The loud music, the rush, laughter I liked it, I desperately wanted to feel it. I pretended that I was having fun. On my hall day, I invited my lab partners. I cleaned my room, bought crayons. They were smokers, so I bought cigarettes for them. They did not turn up. I cried. The wall beside my room mate's bed was filled with scribbles and mine was empty, as empty as it gets. I tried to sleep but the letters from his wall were becoming loud, alive and were mocking my emptiness. The agony was unbearable. The sheer existence of my life started to seem useless. I was feeling like a bad code, error 404!! I consoled myself that I have to carry on for my parents. Little did I know that the very next day my father will sign for the courier carrying my grade card. My darker side, my lies, my backlog, my deregistration, everything suddenly was unveiled. I received a call, at the end of it I felt like a piece of flesh, unwanted, unworthy of being.

The Decision

 I wanted to kill myself! Suddenly it felt like the solution to everything. "No more missed classes, no more dereg, no more backlogs, no more mockery, no more will I be the reason for my parents' disgust. I will have my share of fame, may be even for 1 week, my fellow kgpians will remember me, my mother will shed some tears. Let them forget me after that, I want that little recognition.", I thought. I noticed the pack of cigarettes I bought the previous day. I opened it, 4 of them ! I bought, 1 for me and 3 for my friends, lab partners! I decided I would end my life after I finished the pack. I will smoke one each day and after that I will start my journey to unknown, or may be that will be the end of my journey! I lit up the first one and started smoking!!

The First Fog
It was 1 am. I inhaled the first molecules of Carbon Monoxide as a rookie and engaged in a long stretch of coughs! I went out and started smoking in the corridor. I noticed a guy, I know him by face, but of course he does not! He was hesitating and wanted to say something. I looked upon him interrogatively. He blurted out,
-Hey dude, can I please have some puffs ? 
-Sure you can
-Thanks man! I am Deepak. 
- Hi!
Its funny how people seem to get a relief when inhaling the very poisonous gases after roaming around the whole day in a relatively clean atmosphere! I chuckled, astonishing even myself, given the state of my mind!
-What?
-Its nothing, enjoy your smoke man!
-What is your name buddy ? Deepak asked, while handing the cigarette back to me.
It was by far the most intimate question someone asked me in Kharagpur. I doubt if my room mate knows my name! 
Jay, I am Jay ! [ I pronounces it as JOY, being a Bengali]
- Joy! Its very ironic that you are acting quite gloomy here Joy. Everything alright ? 
- No No.. Everything is fine dude. Its just that I am worried about the upcoming exams. I have got some shitty acads!
- Oh, is that so ?  Ask me my CGPA!
- Ok! What is your CGPA?
- "Nine" , he said, " Five point Nine "
I laughed, quite heartily, almost forgetting about my commitments with Death.
Don’t worry Joy, Sab Moh Maya Hai (everything is superficial) Enjoy your stay here, make friends have fun !
- Yah its just that I don’t have that many friends.
- Yah ?? Okay, lets just make your list longer. Add my name will ya ? Deepak Sharma is your friend from tonight.
The cigarette was finished
-Well bbye.. See you! he said
- Okay, bye!
 Deepak left in a hurry. I was feeling bad that I did not get to know him any better. I could not tell him that, " No Deepak, you wont see me again"  for obvious reasons!
I went back to my room and opened DC!

The Second Fog

It was 8 in the evening. I was halfway done with the cigarettes. I heard a mature voice  behind me
-Hey! my reflex caused me to throw the cigarette away, I turned around, it was our warden. My fear must've been evident on my face.
-Wooo!! Easy boy, dont worry, I am not gonna eat you.
-Sorry sir!
-No no its okay, in your age it is quite normal that you will want to try out some things.
I did not know what to say. I was silent.
-What is your name son ?
-Joy!
-Okay Joy, see you are the future of our country, the brighter of the brightest. You guys should try and live longer, not make your life shorter by inhaling poison. Please try and not smoke.
I could not tell him that cancer is not going to be the reason for my shortened life, not at all.
-I wont sir.
- Good! That’s my boy. Where are you from Joy?
- Sir I am from Karna-Subarna.
- Oh! You are a Bangali eh ? [ The conversation rapidly changed into our mother tongue]
He talked to me about his family, how he struggled from a farmers' family to become a respected professor. He was quite eloquent, any normal person would be inspired by his story. But then again I am far from normal.
- Take care son! You are a good kid!
- Bye sir.
The cigarette was still ignited, I crushed it with my feet. I felt like he cared about me. A hint of smile was appearing on my face but momentarily. I wiped it off. I was afraid to welcome the good feeling which was trying to encroach my mind. I was afraid that I might deviate from my plans. "No, you moron!", I said to myself, "He does not care about you, he was just doing his job!"

The Third Fog

I  opened the box. Two of them are left. I was experiencing a trans as I lit up the second last cigarette. I did not attend a single lecture or the labs in the last two days. What’s the point ? My mind was completely blank. I was just lying on my bed and smoking the damn thing! Suddenly, a strange thing happened. My phone rang, and the caller was not my mother or my father! I waited for a moment before taking the call. It was a land line, starting with 03222, kgp number... 
-Hello!
- Hello! Is this Jay ?
- Yah!
- Listen Jay, your friend is admitted at the B C Roy Hospital, he had an accident and he asked us to call you. Can you come right away?
My friend? my FRIEND ? I was so taken aback that I remained silent for some time.
-Hello!! Are you there Jay ?
-Yes.. Sorry sir! I am coming, who is admitted sir? Could you please tell me ?
- It is Ronit , Ronit Malhotra. 
 The phone disconnected! I was dumbfounded, Ronit is my room mate. He asked to call ME? I waited for a moment in shock and then ran towards my cycle.

Realisation

I reached B C Roy to find him lying on the bed. His right leg was broken and skull fractured.
-How the hell did you mange to be so late ? you moron ? I cannot even go to the bathroom! Ronit shouted!
-How the hell did you manage to get in such a big accident ?
- I was talking on the phone and a car bumped me! Sadly, it was a professor and not his daughter and I was not jogging.  He laughed and cried in pain at the very moment after that.
- Yah. You are always talking on the phone you dumb fuck!
- Sorry SHAKTIMAN! he said, pretending to be on the verge of crying.

I laughed. I laughed so hard that my eyes filled with tears. My voice choked and I could not stop laughing or was I crying. This is what I wanted all along. Calling names, being the victim of friendly banter, making fun of each other, being insulted in the worst possible language only to feel good about it. Some light moments, some memories worth remembering, that is what we live for and that is what I did not have. In the last three days, I made friends with a stranger, I found a guardian who cared about me and now I came to know that my roommate thinks of me as his friend, may be the best one, because he called me, when he needed someone the most!

I hugged him, and did not let go and I was still crying. 
-Get off me you homo ! You are hurting me.
I laughed again, my body, my soul, my existence everything was happy. I laughed and I laughed for a long time!
What happened Jay ? 
- Nothing man, it is just that I did not know that you thought of me as a friend.
-You are such a juice! Of course I think you are a friend you moron, you are my best friend. What did you expect me to do? han ? Kiss you good night? 
- Call me a juice again and I wont take you to the bath room and you will have to pee your pants!

I went back to my room to get some stuff for Ronit. 

The Fourth Fog

 I was on the balcony. I lit up the last cigarette after hanging my clothes on the new rope I put up at the balcony. Yes, that is the rope I bought to hang myself, but now as I dont have any intention to die any time soon, I thought to use it for something else. 

I took the last puff and threw the cigarette away. A cold breeze took the smoke I exhaled far far away from me. My secret commitments burned to ashes with the last cigarette.

Cigarettes and accidents, they are lethal, they take away a lot of lives. But at least one life was saved by 4 cigarettes and a road accident. 

I went back in the room, got some unfinished assignments!


Sambuddha Adhikari
Dept. of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering



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