For That Moment to Live Forever

The results were out and the company had done fairly well in the last quarter of 2011. Besides, the opening of the new subsidiary company had just been announced and Sidharth had been given all the credit for materializing the long awaited dreams of the owners. The celebrations were all done with, bonuses were settled and so were the promotions and the retirements.

All the scattered files were folded, packed and arranged in heaps, piled on Sidharth's table. It was 6:30 pm; time to leave and Sidharth was pleased to complete his work. The day was unusually tiring, just like every other day. Sitting on his chair, as he was waiting for his computer to log off, loosened his tie and weighed backward on his executive chair, rested his head on the head rest and closed his eyes. The sound of Window's jingle and the system was off. He got up, quickly packed up his bag and opened the drawer to take out his watch. Hung the bag on his shoulder fastened the watch around his left wrist.

A deep breath and he started walking...! Just then the door opened and Mr. Srivastava walked in.

“He has reached the Radisson”, reminded Mr. Srivastava, the secretary to the General Manager.
“Who has reached the Radisson?” rejoined Sidharth.

“Mr.Gaur, GM of the Arayans Group, for the meeting regarding a joint venture”.

“So, why are you telling me? You should inform Mr. Dinkar”, he directed in a casual way, after positioning the needle to the correct hole, inserted the enlarged strap to the loop, rechecked the watch. Perfectly tied.

“But sir....!”, said Mr. Srivastava, avidly, before Sidharth's instant reaction.

“Oh yes, yes... yes... I'm sorry”, Sidharth, apologetically, realising that Mr. Dinkar had retired and he himself, had been handed over the charge of the General Manager, just that very day. And now the burden was heavier.

At 36, Sidharth Samarth was the youngest GM of the Futurist Group of Companies, Pune. Sincere as the sunrise, hard working as a bull, wise as a fox but busy as the metropolitan road.

“Alright, I'll be there....” Sidharth went on, whilst slowly unfolding the cuffs of his shirt, one after the other, to fasten them again. “What time is the meeting?” rechecked Sidharth, pretending to be alert and up on his toes, as he turned back and shifted his bag from the shoulder to the table, once again.

“7:30 sir”

It was already 6:38, Sidharth checked his watch, which he was about to undo, “would you come along?” Sidharth, in a heavy frantic voice.

“No sir, I won't. But Umesh will join you there. He is on his way to the Radisson”.

“Hmmmm....that's fine”, a visibly tired reaction from Sidharth, as he walked around the table, to get back to his chair. He sat down, impatiently started tapping the table with his fingers and bent his head down, on the desk, after he heard the sound of the closing-door.

“Good evening sir”, greeted the driver with a salute, as he opened the rear door for Sidharth to enter.

“Good-evening, Roshan”, responded Sidharth, settling himself on the seat before the door was then closed by the driver.
The driver took his seat, picked-up his cap from the dash-board, put it on his head, tied his seat belt, pushed the ignition and the car started. So did the music. He pushed the lever to the drive-mode and the tires rolled on. The song was, “Lakdi ki kaathi”.

“Baba, please play that song, please Baba, please”, seven-year-old Sidharth made a desperate request to his father, who was then listening to “Dil dhoondta hai fir wahi, fursat ke raat din”.

“Beta, you are enjoying your holidays. Let me listen to this song and then you may play whichever one you want to. Why don't you go to you mother”, responded his father, apprehensively, feeling irate at being disturbed.
“But you've heard this song, a hundred times. Even I can recite the lyrics, Dil Dhundta hai fir wahi...... bla, bla.......!”
“Sidharth”, shouted the father, promptly, “go to your mother at once. Do you hear me?” he insisted furiously, at being constantly bothered by the little Sidharth.

Sidharth turned out of the room without saying anything, hearing the door, shut at him, bluntly. But it didn't go unnoticed.

“Come here and we will do something else”, urged his grandfather, in a caressing voice, who was witnessing the scene, from the window of the adjacent room.

“No I don't feel like. I want to hear that song, lakdi ki kathi”, its new, its so good and better than this stupid song, which Baba is listening to”, retorted Sidharth, after entering his grandfather's room, still upset with what had just happened. “It's really annoying, Dadu. Over and above, he listens to it every Sunday, can you imagine Dadu, every Sunday”, anxiously, pressurising and expecting his grandfather to take an action and get that song stopped right away, which was audible to them both.

“What is your grandmother doing?”, probed the grand-father, carefully pulling Sidharth closer, who was then standing at the edge of the bed, looking at the calculator lying besides his grandfather.

“Oh, she must be busy with her Krishna. Cough-coffee-Krishna, that's what she does throughout her day”, instant response, Sidharth, toying with the calculator.

“Oh really?” he laughed and “Your mother?”, grandfather, attempting to deviate Sidharth's attention.

“She must be in the kitchen. Perhaps cooking something special, it's Sunday na!”
“And Ruhi?”

“She must be with her dolls and teddies”

“Don't you like dolls and teddies?”

Hmmmm... not any more. But I enjoy going to my friends, especially, Aru, and of course listening to my favourite song......!”, he recollected the main issue and insisted, “But that's not the answer to my question Dadu”, he asked again, with persistence, “Why does Baba keep listening to this irritating song? Its boring, really boring. I hate it, Dadu I hate it very much...!
“Sir, would you go with Umesh ji or should I wait here?” asked Roshan, after stopping the car in front of the Radisson and looking at Sidharth, through the rear mirror.

Sidharth was still lost in the memories of his childhood.

“Sir....!..Sidharth Sir...!”, he repeated, turning towards Sidharth and nudging him a couple of times, momentarily.

“Yes....yes”, Sidharth, answered unsteadily, “yes...what was it...! Sorry, I'm really sorry, I was just thinking... something else”, Sidharth, thoroughly exhausted and completely out of sorts.

“I was just asking, do you want me to park the car or would you return with Umesh ji, after the meeting is over”.

“Just turn around, at once, towards home”, Sidharth, ignoring Roshan's query.

“What?” driver, astonishingly.

“Yes, we had a flat tyre and we couldn't reach on time”, Sidharth, slipping a five hundred rupee note into the driver's side pocket.

“But sir, it will tarnish the company's reputation”, quickly returning to his original sitting posture and went ahead thoughtfully, “moreover the car has tubeless tyres and it can sustain the punctures”, noticing Sidharth's gestures through the rear mirror, “You know!”, expressed Roshan, encashing an opportunity.

“Then, it's an emergency. Your wife or one of your kids is unwell”, one more five hundred rupee note, exchanging the pockets.

“Why are you saying that, sir? And anyways I stay alone. My family is back home in Lucknow”, Roshan, still not convinced.

“Then your mother is arriving, today”, a thousand rupee note, followed by another, “and here's one more pink note and now shut your mouth or else park the car, I'll attend the meeting.”, he incited, hurriedly, whilst holding the door opening lever. “It will certainly benefit me, not you”, Sidharth waiting for Roshan's response to take it or leave his offer, to conclude the deal.

“Yes sir, one of your friends just had a heart-attack/accident and we had to go there”, Roshan, counting his money, after a successful negotiation.

“That's nice”, Sidharth, raising his eyebrow.

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