My age was 14. I was known for my social service.
Class 9, section ‘A’, 3:30 pm, History class. What fed our ears were- occasional snores, whispered gossips and somewhere in the background the voice of our teacher who was somewhere in a battlefield in or around the 1900’s. Sitting next to me on my left was the school captain. He was staring at his pen with his chin on the bench since more than ten minutes now. I whispered to him- “What did you have for lunch?” Dint get a reply. I bent forward to look at his face. To my astonishment he was sleeping and that too with half an eye open, like a devil. I realised history was better, so opened my ears for some history lessons. Only then I realized that ma’am was actually dictating notes. So, bad luck. I then, looked to the guy on my right, Roshan. He was smiling but sleeping. Weird guy, really. I imagined a bash on his silly face. It felt nice. Then, I scanned around my surrounding benches only to find a few more of such sleeping Einsteins and a few irksome faces giving me a stare as if they saw my face after 500 years. I couldn’t sleep while the sun was out, that was my main problem. Also, I felt bad for the teacher. But mainly, I was known as the guy who had a golden heart.
I took a deep breath, bashed on Roshan’s smiling, sleeping face and immediately stood up and said loud- “ Ma’am I have a doubt.” Roshan looked clueless.
This move was like pouring ice-cold water on sleeping people. Everyone woke up in astonishment. “WTF? Arjun has a doubt?” was the line doing the rounds. A few pinched on my back. “He doubted history? Oh my god!” were also making rounds. Ma’am was almost about to shed tears of joy, but controlled herself and asked- “What’s that doubt, my boy?”
There were [(61*2)+2] eyeballs gaping at me. I looked at my watch, it was about 10seconds for the bell. On the other hand I dint want to disappoint my fans (classmates).
While everyone wondered what could be that mystery behind history that I was about to ask, I looked at ma’am, smiled and asked- “ When is Sports day?” Trrnnggggg.. The bell rang. There was a huge roar in the class and everyone laughed with words like- jackass, stupid, dumbo,…etc emanating from here and there. Ma’am was staring at me with a weird expression as if she had just spotted the joker in a circus and finally said in disgust- “ What stupid bunch of guys these are!” and left the class. Poor lady, she would say nothing worse.
Everyone packed their bags, and while leaving they all said to me- “ Thanks macha, for waking us up. Thanks for the social service.” I thought of giving them flowers but just said- “ That’s my pleasure. Now get lost.”
My age was 40. I was known for social service.
4pm. Me, my mom and my wife. A saree showroom.
For the first time in my life, I was reminded of the fact that I too was just a normal human being and I too make mistakes. I mean, I just couldn’t believe that I was there for saree shopping with two women. I was sitting in the waiting hall since two hours now, while the dangerous duo of ‘daughter-in-law and mother-in-law’ were selecting sarees to purchase. There were two more middle-class gentlemen to my left who also wore expressions of helplessness, waiting for their wives I suppose. I dint know them personally, but we had similar problems at this point of time. That meant we could be friends with just as much as a snap of the finger. Anyway, I stood up and asked them- “ Shall we go have a cup of coffee?” They looked at me as if I said- “ You are released from Central Jail.” We introduced ourselves and left for coffee. We had a nice cup of coffee and a plate of samosas and I paid for it. By the time we strolled back to the showroom, we were like friends forever. The guy at the billing counter was watching the cricket match in his small little portable TV. I requested him to turn his TV slightly towards us and he did so without a word. I bought three cups of flavoured ‘American Corn’ and we all ate while we watched the match. Just as we thought we were enjoying this, my lady parade arrived after purchasing 3 sarees. I said to the gentlemen- “It was nice meeting you, but I’m happy to say I’m the luckiest. I’m the first one to leave” and smiled. They fell to my feet and with tears flowing from their eyes and said- “I can never forget this favour of yours for my lifetime, Sir. I’ll build a temple in your name.” No, they actually dint say that. They just said- “ Thank You Sir. It was a pleasure meeting you. And yeah! Thanks for the social service.”
My age was 86. I was known for social service.
On a hospital bed. Breathing heavily. Lost into thoughts.
After all the ups and downs in life I went back to my native village to spend the rest of my life. My son was one useless human being. One thing he dint do is- kick me out of his house mainly because I came out before he would do it. So, here in my village, the news had spread that I had written a ‘will’ which says- all my property and the fields would go to the farmers of my locality after I die. Every morning, when I sat outside my small house reading a newspaper, I used to be greeted by the farmers passing by with– “Good Morning babuji.” But it sounded more like- “When will you die babuji?”
I also had read somewhere that- “When you've told someone that you've left them a legacy the only decent thing to do is to die at once.”
So here I was, lying in a hospital bed as weak as a dog’s tail and coughing away long and hard. With every minute my breath became shorter, my coughs became louder. Suddenly, I felt the air rushing out of me, I coughed loudly and forcefully and that was my last breath.
Now here I am, dead in the coffin. A farmer came by, spread a garland on my body, came close and cried softly- “ Though you died so late, you left us all with a future and happiness. Thank you babuji.” Though he sounded real, I would have slapped him if I was alive. He continued- “ We farmers will always remember your social service.”
So, my next destination is Heaven, of course. Looking forward for some social service there.
(Now, I hope you don’t have hearts made of stones. So, don’t abuse me for this totally senseless piece of crap. That way, you too would be a social servant ;) )