May 4, 2010

Mansion ...

Mani decided to take a walk out of the house as these frequent power cuts and non-stop opera by the mosquitoes pushes him off the bed and adding to that the summer heat makes sleeping next to impossible. He may forget to take his house keys while he steps out but not a pack of cigar and a lighter. He put on a torn t-shirt which had an inlet for air, just below his arm-pits and 2 of the three buttons were missing, he adjusted his hair and made sure that it does not look ugly as though he is gonna be photographed by the paparazzi at the middle of that night. It has been 6 years since he moved into this mansion at triplicane, and nothing has changed in his life since then, it’s the same warden, same room mates, same shabby restrooms, same food, and same job less life. Mani sucked hard and managed to bring down that full cigar to half in that one sucking and there goes circles of smoke in the air and Mani managed to put a straight line of smoke inside one of the circle and smiled to himself ...

Mani is a BE graduate who passed out of the famous Anna University and had dreams to be an aspiring civil architect. When these flyovers were built across Chennai, Mani used to imagine as if he is the lead supervisor, standing in the middle of the construction site with a while shirt and a black pant with a yellow color helmet on his head and spreading his arms wide open with a big chart on his hand and till date that has remained only in his imaginations and never became a reality. He works in a local fancy store as a sales boy and gets a meager 2500 rupees per month and in that he has to pay his mansion rent, buy cigars, if possible eat and send some money to his parents, yeah, it was not an easy task, but still he has to do it. At this crucial financial situation Mani was introduced to drugs and liquor which he promised to his mom that he will not touch in his life, and of course we have to accept the fact that he mind and body looked relaxed when he administers himself with either of those two, all of a sudden Rs 2500 seem to be like a sliced peanut to Mani, first thing he did to compensate his new expense is, he cut sending money to his family sighting the ever growing inflation in Chennai and any parent would not want their son to suffer so they too designed to live a life without expecting his money for survival, yes, whatever may come, life will move on.

His roommates who know his family situation advised him a lot to get rid of those evil habits and it all went like playing a melodious flute into deaf man's ears. Mani upgraded himself from being called as a "drunkard" to a "thief" and once he was caught red-handed when he forged the money order which came for one of his roommate, since his roommates knew his weakness they just warned him but once a thief is always a thief, soon he started trying his hand at the shop where he was working and that costed him his job and more than Mani his roommates were so worried that they cannot keep any cash in their room as this guy may flick them all and spend for his bad habits. On humanitarian grounds his roommates supported him from few months and later they too felt that it’s too much of a pinch of their pocket and one fine day they asked Mani to leave the mansion, but Mani pleaded guilty and agreed to be normal once again, again on humanitarian grounds Mani was accepted back to the same room. He went to his old employer and begged for a job and somehow managed to convince him and regained the same sales boy profile. Life seem to be limping back to normalcy for Mani and that took a different turn when he happened to meet Sumitra the local prostitute in his area.

Mani worked overtime to get additional money, he will head straight to Sumitra's house spend the night with her and come into his mansion at dawn, sleep for few hours and again head to work for long hours so that he can spend the whole night with Sumitra. Mani has lighted his 4th cigar by now and he is still in the process of rewinding his life for us and the power cut and the opera of mosquitoes still continuous to haunt him. It was one day where he found his knees getting swollen and he could barely walk, that in turn triggered a series of other complications like groin getting swollen, his spinal cord paining like hell and his bone joints refusing to move and at the end of all these chaos he was announced that he had caught HIV and is one the verge of starting his countdown. His roommates took pity on him and Mani too decided to behave well with them as he is physically and mentally so weak, he took himself indoors and one thing he cannot stop is his smoking habit and owing to the fact that he is counting his days his roommates sponsored for his cigar as well and none of them have the habit of smoking. Mani would always be surrounded by a smoke balloon and he thanked his roommates for giving him the pleasure. It was getting close to dawn and Mani had already finished one pack of cigar and the last one was half burnt.

Senthil got up to the shock of his life, he was left speechless, he shook his other roommate Thyagu and that attempt went in vain, he could not say a word, he threw his pillow on the other roommate Kalidas and he got up as if he was hit by a tsunami. Senthil looked visibly shocked and he showed few things on the floor and instantly Kalidas felt a chillness riding thru his spine, Thyagu too got up after a while and went speechless. With words failing to form a sentence Senthil said - I was telling you guys that Mani visits our room, but none of you guys believed me in this, see those cigar buds at least now believe me, Mani's ghost is staying with us

2 SAID FROM THE HEART:

MouliG said...

Wow. Very nicely written. Nice ending.

chennaigirl said...

Ending and the twist is good, bt the way you have moved to the end can be fine tuned - IMO.

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