Samar returned to his room with a heavy heart. He could not concentrate on his work. He had an important presentation for the next day. He was supposed to take up his father’s business. But after that not-so-pleasant revelation, a decade ago, Samar never turned back and eventually joined the Gupta Industries. At present he was the marketing head of Gupta Industries. Finally, Samar somehow managed to complete preparing his presentation. He set the alarm and fell asleep as he was dead tired.
“Ooouucchhhh!!!”, Samar woke up with a loud shriek, next morning. “Alarm has gone off twice, and I am tired of calling out your name since half an hour, so the idea of dipping your index finger in my steaming hot tea, graced me”, said Harsh in one breath with a mischievous grin, leaving no room for Samar to backfire. Samar got up from bed with a look of disgust on his face. He secretly thanked Harsh in his heart for saving him from being late.
Harsh was Samar’s closest friend. He had shared the hostel with him, they had done internship together and were now sharing the same apartment. Harsh had always been with Samar through his ups and downs. Samar finished his daily chores and galloped for office.
He was just in time. He had a wonderful day at work. His presentation was applauded and appreciated. Samar felt relaxed and happy for a change. He was famished by the end of it all. He hastily entered a nearby café and ordered his favourite hazelnut cappuccino and smoked chicken sandwich. To his delight, his favourite sports news popped up on the TV screen of that café. Samar was glued to the TV screen and was happily munching away the sandwiches. During the interval, he got up to pay the bill but had to wait for about five minutes at the counter as there was some technical issue. As he was looking out of those big crystal clear windows, an antique mirror placed neatly over a stand, beside the window caught his attention. He stood admiring the mirror and its carvings. He was about to brush his hair, but in the process, he dropped his wallet. He immediately bent down to pick it up. A handsome young man in dark blue suit caught his attention. He picked up his wallet in a fraction of second and gazed at the mirror with eyes wide open. He again took note of the young man; he was wearing a dark blue suit, had a well-trimmed goatee, walked very briskly and he wore a crooked tie. “Crooked tie!!”, exclaimed Samar. He immediately shifted his glance to the man’s shoes. The young man wore a pair of neat sneakers with messy laces. Now Samar went more close to the mirror to have a better look, not realizing that his nose was sticking to it and there was no breathable space between him and the mirror.
Samar’s sudden bizarre behaviour brought about hilarious whispers among the café staff and other people present there. “Excuse me, sir, is there any problem with the mirror?”, a sweet voice of a café staff interrupted Samar’s observations. “Uhh!! Ohh!! N… No! I…I’m sorry”, fumbled Samar, realizing he had already become center of attention. He immediately paid the bill and ran out.
He came out and looked left and right but to his utter dismay, he found out that young man was the son of a famous celebrity! Samar shoved his hand in grave agitation. He felt plagued! He could clearly see how some kids from the café were still staring at him in bewilderment. He could feel the stiff brim of embarrassment choking him. Without further delay, he stepped on the escalator. “How come I mistook someone else as Sssaa…!! How stupid of me to behave like that!”, Samar murmured to himself. But embarrassment apart, he felt shaken within. He just couldn’t peacefully settle with the thought of going home. There was something that kept bothering him deep down.
He didn’t go home, instead took a u-turn and headed towards his bank locker. He arrived at the bank, took the locker keys for the first time and stood in front of that locker. He could not gather enough courage to open it. His hands and feet grew cold. He could hear his heart beating. He just stared at the locker, he was not in a state to decide whether he should open it or not. Somehow he managed to open the locker. When he was reaching out for its contents, his hands trembled and he felt nauseated.
The locker contained few photographs of Samar, his parents and Sagar and few gifts that they had given him. He had safely stored them in the locker and left it untouched for a decade. With trembling hands, Samar picked up one photograph. It was a photograph of summer vacation with his parents beside him and Sagar on his shoulders with his arms wide open. It was taken in their beautiful backyard. The photo revealed the ecstatic mood and a priceless smile beaming on their lovely faces. In short, it was picture perfect. Those people, those smiles, that place and that bond was something Samar missed terribly.
He gently moved his fingers over the photograph, his father, his mother and Sagar! He hugged the photograph and wept bitterly. Once that first tear broke free, the rest followed in an unbroken stream. The torrent of his tears soaked through his shirt. He could silently hear himself scream. He felt engulfed in an avalanche of thoughts, queries that had no answers and felt a raging war in his head. He felt lost, as if in the middle of nowhere.
Just then his phone rang. It was Harsh. He felt a lump in his throat and his voice cracked, still he cleared his throat and answered the call. “Samar can you pick me up from the overbridge square? My car has got a punctured tyre”, said Harsh, with a hint of urgency in his tone. “Sure,” Samar managed to answer and immediately disconnected the call. He made sure he didn’t give Harsh any hint regarding his well-kept secret. Samar wiped his face, brushed his hair, settled his suit and headed towards Harsh.