Presenting the final part of The Joker, Part III. The previous two parts can be accessed here Part I and Part II.
I gained my vigour in few months but destiny already had another twist in store. A night before fifth semester exams, dad fell critically ill owing to his long term affair with cigarettes. Taking care of dad’s business was a necessity, an option I would never have preferred otherwise. His health kept waning with time. No amount of dawa or dua seemed to work the magic.
One night just as I finished dinner dad came up in the hall.
“Papa you aren’t asleep yet?”
“I was but your mom’s snoring woke me up”
“Mom doesn’t snore” I replied playfully.
“Yeah she kicked me as I was snoring. So I came out to check how my son is doing?” replied dad while slowly sitting on the cushioned wooden chair.
“What can happen to me dad … Did you take your medicine?”
“Yes yes I did. Any sort of trouble in office? Are my clients nice to you?”
“Yes papa all are nice … except that Mishra … He is kind of a …”
Dad interrupted “Asshole … I know… He sniff’s his nose into other’s business all the time”.
I cracked up hearing dad’s verdict.
“Son, let me share my understanding of life. It doesn’t matter how many moments made you laugh, but the moments you created to make others laugh.
You know when I married your mother … well technically my high school sweetheart, I promised to keep her smile alive in whatever situation we are… and I didn’t just promise her, I promised to myself.
And God knows I have lived up to it.
This cancer is just a test by God to see if I can make her smile even in pain. Believe me son I am gonna emerge as a winner”
I nodded looking at dad with a heartbroken smile.
“I know son taking care of my business is not what you ever had in mind, but you are doing it without so much as a hiccup and I am really proud of you for holding up so well. In a month the new factory will start functioning and thereafter your maternal uncle will handle it.
Anyway I followed my dream of setting up my own factory even though your grandfather laughed when I shared with him my plan about two decades back. He had been a government servant all his life thus the concept of building a family business was alien to him.
Nevertheless I pursued my dream without any consequence in mind.
If your heart is in the right place then it’s worth pursuing your dream”
Before the onset of the sixth semester I lost the man who inspired me to be the Joker. Dad sure always cracked up mom with his out of the world limericks.
I wish I had forced him to quit cigarettes. I wish Ritika shared her woes. I wish …
A heart-clenching lightning interrupted my yearnings which reminded – I was still on the roof. I marched down wiping my tears.
One guy was waiting for his round, probably imagining his introductory statements while I was waiting for my One Minute.
The moment of truth arrived and was I prepared?
I had one minute to prove my worth. Having no interest in dad’s business, job was the only possible alternative to sustain mummy and myself.
As I entered the room of fate, the youngest interviewer looked up and smiled at me, a warm considerate one.
“Welcome back Pratyush, Are you here to avail your sixty seconds?”
“Precisely Sir” I said clearing my throat.
“Whenever you are ready”
“I have never been more ready in my entire life.
Sir, my marks may hint that I suck at engineering but maybe it’s the timing of examinations which suck. Before enrolling here I did envision myself employed in a big MNC like yours busting my eyes day and night in front of the screen.
But now I have no zeal for it. I don’t wanna sulk at my life every single day at the end of work. No, that isn’t going to be me.
Today I am a Joker and this is exactly what I want to be for the rest of my existence. I want to bring joy to people’s lives. I want to relieve people off their stress.
I want to bring back LIFE into people’s dreadful LIVES.
Every IT student at this stage knows coding, bug fixing and stuff but you will rarely come across one who knows how to make a person laugh and revive his will to thrive.
May be these aren’t the configurations you are looking in an android developer but this is who I am”
Silence prevailed for another few seconds as the interviewers kept staring at me without so much as a blink.
“Pra…” clears throat “Pratyush why don’t you wait outside for few minutes?”
For the first time in years I let my heart speak. I wasn’t proud of my decision and neither was I afraid of the result. Whatsoever be the jury’s decision, the path I chose would be my destination.
I was back in the interview room for the third time.
“Pratyush I am very sorry to inform that you failed to convince us… to appoint you as an Android developer”
“I am sorry sir for wasting your time”
If you are up for a challenge, we can offer a whole new department”
My desperate eyes looked up from the ground with hope.
“Would you like to be the head of … Stress Relieve Department … We can work on the name later though”
This short story is based on a tale I heard couple of years back about an engineering student. No part of this short story can be printed / published / used anywhere else without my written permission.
Copyright: Karan Singh Surana
I hope you enjoyed this three part series. Kindly shower me with your generous comments and suggestions. 🙂