David and Richard were two friends reuniting after a long gap of 12 years..eager and excited,they both made the fullest use of their limited time-noted down the numbers and id’s of their friends who so long accumulated dust in the back corners of their thinking box!!..after having a wonderful time and saying goodbye to each and all,they proceeded towards their car and surprisingly both their cars backfired on them and made them wait..what followed was something they didn’t hope was remotely possible..being left alone,they started talking!!..for them it was an accomplishment-you see at school they hated even the very shadow of each other......
David: “so Richard,what have you been doing these days?”
Richard: “sorry,i’m kinda unemployed!!”,hiding a smirk.
David: “what the company kicked you out for your incompetence or have you drunk yourself into poverty?”
Richard: “neither..old times apart,how is Richa and your kid?”
Surprised at this pleasant counter,David stuttered: “they are fine! What about you? Married,have you??”
Richard: “yes and no!”
David : “well it seems your stupidity didn’t let go off you..just like old times,riddles and riddles!!..did you walk on your head when you were a child or did you have your peanut for a brain in your buttocks?”
Expecting things to get heated up,David buckled but to his surprise Richard broke into laughter....David stared open-mouthed: “you mad,Richard?”
Realising his folly David changed his technique-“ thanks! By the way i’m sorry..i was being obnoxious!!..i’m ashamed!”
Richard: “are yaar,what are friends for? Its ok buddy”
From the expressions on David’s face,it could be well read that he was stunned as if a ghost walked by..
He thought to himself: “boy o boy!.he’s changed..and changed ‘changed’..he hardly missed an opportunity to catch me by the collar but look at him now!!..mesmerising stuff!!..he exudes such confidence..truly he has become a man!!..i too must show him the real me!”
He replied : “Richard,i had begun on a bad note and for that i apologise..now you will find this weird bt at this juncture-what does life mean to you?”
Richard: “you read my mind!..i was going to ask you the same question..we do know each other,don’t we?..any way as for your answer i would like to say-happiness”
David: “what about money,i think the former and later go hand in hand..more or less you have to know the person inside you and not necessarrily proceed with the one potrayed by your skin?”
Richard : “not necessarily,money is not important to me cause it cannot buy happiness,rather it kills..moreover i intend on discovering myself as we proceed on with our life’s ventures..i don’t retro or introspect..i take life casually and i do get by!!”
David : “nonsense! When i was small my relatives called me ‘liar’, ‘beggar’ , ‘thief’ and turned no stones unturned to make me feel unwanted just because dad didn’t have much money..i worked my ass off,smarted the streets even and after years of suffering i have reached a point when as the teens now put: “they kiss my ass!”
Richard : “you were always ambitious,determined and awfully competitive..m happy for you but all that means nothing to me!!..i am contented in being ‘me’ and money isn’t that important!!..moreover i believe in loving people for who they are and treasuring them for it gives me happiness!”
David; “there you are wrong my friend!!..i too thought the same and trust me the moment i realised that life was a rugged stone and me too,i got myself into the rugged street..the more i rolled,the smoother i became and so did life!!..yes i was competitive but i lost too you know-mom died and i wasn’t me for a year..i left my job,family and went for soul searching but this very ego of mine which cost me many a friend kept me alive-it gave me the spirit to fight back!!..i saw slowly light entering my life as if mom came back..i figured that i was so attached to mom,that she was ‘life’ to me!!..my kids and family couldn’t even reach that space in my heart and still haven’t!!..my ego still gets the better of me and i still cry when it gets hurt!!..i know harbouring it is equally unhealthy but its okay cause its a choice or deal i have made with myself..it saved me from myself when i was ready to commit suicide..i may not be happy in your terms but i’m happy in mine and i feel mom’s still here with me..by the way you said money kills,why do you say that??”
Richard : “hats off to you!..you are a true fighter,and an awesome one..you were meant for the big things in life and you have made your impact!..i’m impressed!!..yes,money kills!!..it killed my marriage and wife led me to the streets at one time..can you believe she blamed my rich parents for that and walked out saying : “you are your parents’ son!!”..ofcourse i am!!..anyway ,competiting with you made me realise that i,unlike you,am not gifted..hard work can make up for 98% but the special factor that makes up the 2% was not there in me..you were one of a kind!!..but one thing i have always scored over you-i’m a better person.you did stuff cause life taught you that,not because you wanted to do it..i feed dogs,i care for beggars and i get cheated too but thats okay provided they love me back..i go through life and for me life’s slow-very slow infact,i stop and wait!!..i think ,i reflect and i discover..we all walk through life,but we are infact blind..i learnt to respect life instead of fighting it..when you get up in a train,you try to maintain balance,but i on the other hand become the train-as if i adjust my movements to its swaying tune!!..you make your own way,i blend..you have the capability for that,but not everyone does!..you can be others but others can’t be you,you must acknowledge that..i am calm,patient and confident and also i am not rich,but i get by....”
The conversation was interrupted by their drivers who informed them about their cars..and they got up and for the first time in their lives they hugged each other and tears trcikled down their eyes....and these were not ego tears or tears of life but these were ‘tears’ of the heart!!..they apologised and apologised for their past but their hearts spoke more as they departed,their cars going their opposite ways............