When the call came, I was thinking about death. Specifically by jumping. Leaping, is how I looked at it, from the top of the 13-storied Block D of Abad Ravines.
I had surveyed many projects in the city under the pretext of a purchase. This one was perfect because of the surprisingly lax security – just one sleepy idiot. Additionally, it overlooked some scenic ledge of the jaw-dropping variety. I considered it a back-up almost by habit, though not overly keen on cashing in on that option. Even in my death, I didn’t want to be entirely obliterated. Someone needed to be able to tell the wife and kid.
I pressed the elevator for the roof-top, when the phone began to ring in my pocket. I had chosen this particular block primarily on the basis of direction of fall. Call me a big softy, but I didn’t want some kid with a teddy discovering me smashed up like an over-ripe plum. That wasn’t the outcome I was going for. I laughed. The irony wasn’t lost on me. Thinking of the result is what got me here in the first place.
I checked the phone. It was mother. I knew it. She had a knack of calling exactly when it was ridiculously inconvenient. Like when you were going to take the first shot of a glass of whisky. Or planning to sleep with someone ridiculously pretty you don’t know how you landed the deal. “What?” I said answering the phone call that was possibly the last time I would talk to her. But I didn’t see the sound of her voice to dissuading me in any way. If anything, it would egg me on, imagining her wracked with grief at the death of her dear son.. She said, “Are you coming home for Diwali or not? I want to know if i must be making your Ghewar Mango Rabdi. “Its a lot of work, and I don’t want you to disappoint me like last time..”
I answered quickly, “Ma….are you saying I am a disappointment just because i don’t come home for a festival?” I said. I was fishing for a complement. Yes. You wanted to hear that your mother loved you enough.
“No Beta…I think you are the best.” I could hear her gushing. She did believe that.
“Work is hectic, mother” I lied. “But if i don’t come, Jisha and Aryan will bring you a big gift!” I said, and cut the call. I hoped Jisha would be sobbing even by Diwali, when my mother opened the diamond and wondered if it was the last thing her son ever did before he died.
I gave out a long tragic sigh, and jumped. snuggling back figuratively to watch the final show. My life in fast-forward. HIghlights special.
Graduation. Wedding. Career. Car. Paris. Scandals. Firing. Can we skip this part, please? All those whimpering employees are not what you want to see in the end. Another car. Ah, yes. I love the cars. Usually coinciding with the trajectory. Director. Chief executive. The second flat. The third car. It was going so well. Melissa. Ooh Melissa. I can’t say I regret that pink cunt. Yup, fucking a white woman at the temple was priceless. The reel moved ahead. More scandals, all courtesy that self-righteous Mike. Ah…this part is good. Where I spiked Mike’s drink. And he stands up at his party and flashes the crowd. Then…the finale. Not my best, really. Mostly because I don’t make an appearance. Just Vyshali. The bitch who replaced me. Not that she wasn’t competent. I’d have chosen her myself. In the end, she came and asked for my blessing and all. Not that it was any comfort. Not when you missed to appear even as a side note in the company newsletter. Of course, it was all Mike’s doing. Egging Melissa and all the others on the damn HR case. I’m sure he’d have said I molested him as well, if it helped. Hell bent that i go unsung.
Well, they can’t forget me now. They’d remember me forever. When I make the headlines. Not just featured in some stupid company letter. Prime News. Ex-director of NJN systems falls to his death from the top of city high rise. They’d have to talk about me. Good things no less. Sentimental even. Perhaps even Melissa would cry. Jisha’s tear-stained eyes would make the headlines, Aryan clinging to her chest. She’d make such a wonderful tragic heroine. But I do hope my mother stops her from remarrying.
I close my eyes. ETA Now.