Putting his perfectly creased clothes inside the bag, he zipped and locked it carefully. He took the glass of orange juice and sipped it involuntary as he was completely lost in the thoughts of his board meeting which was supposed to be held tomorrow.
“Take your tickets.” Said his wife, while he grabbed them from her hands and rushed in his car.
Arthur was a successful business person with absolutely a no-nonsense attitude. He was punctual to the core and disciplined. It took him 10 long years to build his empire in the form of his company and no doubt why he was so workaholic. For him, work was all that he lives for, yes, there was a family, but that was sidelined in most of the occasions. Arthur was unaware of held of his relatives because he had always thought that get together are a waste of time. “I can sign a million dollar deal in the time that you all spend merely clicking pictures and laughing over the same joke again and again.” He usually used to comment when someone would insist upon his presence in the party.
It is not that he wasn’t a social animal, of course, he loved meeting new people until and unless they have a deal to offer, share to trade, meetings and strategies to discuss. He would practice his presentation while taking a shower; he would answer his emails while gulping in his breakfast, he would go out with his wife while fixing another meeting with clients in the same restaurant. Work was definitely not a part of his life rather his life itself. As the time passed on, even his wife accepted this fact and didn’t make any more attempts of changing him.
He was driving through a calm route accompanied by mountains, surrounded by greenery which was bordered with daffodils that seemed to move with air each time a car used to pass. The sun was charismatically throwing off warm rays that were perfect for a long drive. Putting up his glares on, Arthur checked the time.
“I don’t want to be late.” He drove faster, carefully recollecting what he is going to present in the presentation. He was too busy to notice the serenity of life that was accustomed around him though his eyes were open, he was merely seeing anything. His ears were clearly able to listen to the sound that the breeze was making, the day was pleasant but no time to stop and snatch some moments from the always running watch.
Suddenly he spotted something in the middle of the road, “Is that a wooden log?” he thought to himself. A strong clasp on the break was enforced only when he realized that it wasn’t a log rather a woman lying on the road. He hated to waste the time but still he went down from his car to check if she is alive or not. He went closer, pacing hurriedly towards her only to find that she was alive, not just alive but healthy and fit. There were no signs of injury and that in a way baffled him.
“Hands up! We expect you to politely give your entire valuable to us and we will let you go alive at least.” – Said a voice from the back. Arthur raised his hands with no sign of resistance after all he was alone on the road. Their faces were masked definitely to hide their cowardly painted face that has fainted their identity of humanity.
“Quickly go! And take whatever you find in his car.” Said one head to the another.
“Wait, please take everything but spare my laptop. I am going for an important presentation. Please, it is indeed very important for me” his eyes were moist and voice was shaking. Money was surely not the issue but what can destroy a workaholic is preparing hard for a presentation, so close of cracking a deal and then not being able to deliver that all!
With his half smile which appeared to be worse than any wicked face, the man grabbed his laptop. They stole some other valuables as well, like the Rolex watch, brand new Armani suit, his IPhone, but nothing was as painful seeing the laptop being taken was. For Arthur, his laptop was almost his life after all. Arthur didn’t looked at them again till he heard the sound of the engine of his BMW which was now driven by those robbers leaving him isolated in the middle of his path.
There was no way in which he can communicate his ordeals to other nor there was someone to listen to him. It seemed as if his entire life has gone for a toss, a toss that he didn’t even wish to play for. Things were getting blank in front of his eyes and there was no way of getting out that he could think of. All he was able to see was a plethora of red flowers with daffodils between… Soon a pleasant breeze began to blow and Arthur thought of sitting on a rock for a while. He looked up at the sky and smiled to himself seeing a bunch of birds flying together.
“If you want to go fast, go alone and if you want to go far, go together.” He recalled.
The sun was now shining at its fullest, alas! Arthur lost his glares too. It was heating now and for the first time after so long Arthur felt the sense of sweating. He heard the sound of a mini waterfall, and couldn’t resist from washing his face off. Going through bushes and shrubs he finally got to glance at the beauty of that waterfall that was gradually making love with the ground by flowing carelessly yet calmly across the bushes. The arena was peaceful accompanied by chirping of birds and crackling sound of dried leaves. Arthur sat on his knees and leaned ahead to splash some water on his face.
“Fresh” he murmured. The water was cool and took him to the memory lanes within a moment. He sat there on the rock, silently observing the waterfall remembering his old days when he and his dad used to go to riverside for swimming. Time passes by so quickly or maybe I was the one who hurried – he wondered.
We all live in this world, in a coexistence of people, friends, spouse, acquaintance, family, colleagues, each relationship has a name. These relationships are made by chance and choices both, however nourishing them stays in our hand. We gradually become a part of rat race too, some by choice, some out of desperation; some out of chance while some because they don’t have any other choice. This race turns to be ruthless, cares about nobody and not even for yourself. We are humans, a social animal but things turn out to become upside down when we seek materialism and practicality in everything and with everyone whom we meet failing to understand that, often life is not a calculation but merely an unsolved equation.
The sun was now setting up but Arthur wasn’t, in fact it seemed as if he was rising. The serenity that was omnipresent around nature, around him took him away from his monotonous, fast paced life and for the first time ever, sitting somewhere away from his office chair, away from his technical gadgets seemed to be peaceful and quite relaxing from within. He realized that in all these years, the happiness that he used to get in playing the flute sitting at the sea-shore during his teenage can’t be relive, neither a million dollar deal nor a BMW car or a Rolex watch were able to beat that serene happiness.
“Probably I lost my project, the efforts that I had put into making that presentation a worthwhile one, despite I lost my gadget that had important files and my luxury but is that really a loss?” – He asked himself seeking an answer from within.
“You had bought those things, and you can buy them later. The efforts didn’t go in vain either because you learned unconsciously but how are you going to calculate what you have lost these years?”
“Moments! More than Life, maybe.” He replied.
“When was the last time you ringed your college best friend just to hear out his voice? When was the last time you saw your entire family together? Did you ever looked at your wife and child before leaving home?”
There was silence, inside and outside likewise.
“Your work is your priority which is good but, for whom are you working if not family? Who are you without your family? Your friends? Tomorrow, if your dear one dies, will you even get a chance to thank them? To say goodbye? Or to spend that late moment together?” he questioned himself.
Our lives are unpredictable and yet we live like we are here forever. We keep postponing the meets, avoid get together and find out boring to discuss with family isn’t it? But how many of us are aware that may be tomorrow you will breathe for the last time and bid your goodbye to the world without even letting know your dear ones. What are you going to do at that point of time? Which presentation, meeting or salary drawn is going to peace you out?
Arthur got up and tapped his pant; there was an old phone in his pocket which he keeps for the emergency.
“I will be back today, honey… Keep the dinner ready. Lots of love,” he texted his wife
And… dialed his best friend’s number.
This article has been written by Shweta Suvarna.
Wordsmiths who vent out their views and opinions via contributing to The Naked Truth.