Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A LIFE NOT LIVED - A SHORT STORY



After 3 years of marriage, Pankaj realized how their long work hours had finally sucked the life out of their marriage. It greatly troubled him that it had been compromised to just a courteous kiss in the mornings before they both rushed off to their respective jobs and a few hours lazily spent together in front of the telly at night.


He decided what was needed was more "together" time away from work and all the distractions. On the spur of the moment, he booked two tickets for a romantic vacation. When he told his wife about it, she was very excited. Pankaj could not remember the last time he had seen her so psyched up. He told her to get used to it as it was going to be a norm from then on.


Unfortunately, his boss at work didn't take this sudden change in his work schedule all that well. He pointed out how the project Pankaj was working on was due soon and warned him that any delay of it would reflect badly on his review. Pankaj promised he would finish the project before he left for the vacation. In order to keep his word, he had to spend many sleepless nights working on the project.


At the same time, something unexpected was happening. Even before the vacation had begun, things were getting better. The otherwise groggy, dull mornings now found them waking up excited and counting down the number of days left for the vacation, and the evenings found them spend less time in front of the telly and more in bed.


Finally, the day had come. Pankaj had to first go to his office and give the clients a presentation before he could rush back home and leave for the vacation with his wife.


With the final report of the project saved in his laptop beside him in the passenger seat, Pankaj drove to his office. After few minutes, he found his eyelids getting heavy and he stopped to get some coffee. He had barely gotten about 3 hours of sleep last night.


Upon resuming his travel to the office, he got an SMS from his wife.
“All the best with the presentation. Am almost done with the packing. See you soon! :-*” Suddenly, he heard a car screech past him and he slammed on the brakes. He realized that he had jumped a red light, and to make things worse he had applied the brakes right in the middle of the oncoming traffic. Before he could even think of doing anything, a shadow quickly swept over him. The air resounded with the truck's blaring horns. The last thing he remembered was the truck hitting the passenger side of his car and pushing his car along with it as if it was a miniature toy.


When he woke up, Pankaj found himself in a bed. He realized he was in a hospital. He began to hear gasps. He looked around and saw few nurses staring at him. One of them ran out of the room. To get a doctor, he thought.


Pankaj tried to sit up, but his body didn't move. He felt weak. His eyes caught a glance of his hand. He kept staring at it because it couldn't be his hand. The hand he was looking at was the hand of an old man, not of someone who was in their early 30s.


A few more nurses rushed into the room. They all just stood there looking at him. Then they began to whisper to each other. One of them was loud and close enough that he could make out what was being said:
“Can you believe it? Its been 40 years since he has been in the coma!”


Beginning to feel restless, Pankaj started looking at the many faces staring back at him in hopes of finding one that is familiar.


***

Created by:  Rejo John and Manu Prabhakaran


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